News and Events from the College of Human Sciences

Greetings from the Iowa State University College of Human Sciences. We hope you take a moment to learn about the exciting work our alumni, students, and faculty are doing to advance the science and technology of living and learning. Their research and outreach in the areas of education, health, families, and consumer sciences are key to improving people's lives. Thanks for being part of our world.

July 2015
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Mid Life and Beyond, an education program by Human Sciences Extension and Outreach, this year marks four years of empowering Iowa communities. Through study circles and new online learning opportunities, the program helps to provide aging Iowans and their communities with the best resources to enhance their quality of life. Read more.

Raeann Hanlon, a sophomore in event management, is one of three Heddleson interns this summer. She spent most of her internship in the ISU Extension and Outreach office in Calhoun County with the county youth coordinator. She said she knew the workshops and training with field specialists would be a good opportunity to use her event management skills. Read more.

Jacquelyn Luedtke knows firsthand that it takes world-class event management skills to organize world-class sporting events. Luedtke, who graduated from Iowa State in 2013 with a degree in event management, now works as full-time operations coordinator for the United States Olympic Committee at its flagship training facility in Colorado Springs. Read more.

Top Stories

Iowa State a top fashion merchandising and design school nationwide

Iowa State University is once again ranked as a top fashion merchandising and design school in the nation. 

New rankings released this month by Fashion School Career Advice show that Iowa State is No. 1 in the Midwest for fashion merchandising, No. 3 among public schools and colleges, and No. 3 nationally.

In fashion design, Iowa State is No. 2 in the Midwest, No. 3 among public schools and colleges, and No. 8 nationally. Read more.


New HDFS chair aims to cultivate department's name-brand recognition

Iowa State University's newest department chair brings to campus an expertise in the intervention and prevention of emotional difficulties.

Carl Weems is the new professor and chair of human development and family studies. His first day was July 1. Weems comes to Iowa State as the department is broadening its focus to include all aspects of family health and well being — not just physical health but mental health, socio-economic status, and relationships.

"My own research interests are in the area of emotional development and in intervention and prevention of emotion-related difficulties," he said. Read more.


Iowa State analysis reveals need for improvement in youth fitness

A new study provides a snapshot of health-related physical fitness levels for U.S. schoolchildren in grades first through 12th.

Iowa State researchers analyzing data collected nationally through the NFL PLAY 60 FITNESSGRAM Partnership Project found that fitness levels sharply declined as students got older.

Fitness levels varied greatly based on gender and age. The study is published in The Journal of PediatricsRead more.


Insulin resistance increases risk for Alzheimer's disease, new Iowa State study finds

The fact that obesity increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and some cancers is well known. But a new Iowa State University study adds to the growing evidence that memory loss should also be a top concern.

The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Neurology, found a strong association between insulin resistance and memory function decline, increasing the risk for Alzheimer's disease. 

Auriel Willette, a research scientist in food science and human nutrition at Iowa State, says insulin resistance is common in people who are obese, pre-diabetic or have Type 2 diabetes. Read story and watch video.


Iowa State a top presenter at international hospitality conference

Iowa State researchers in hospitality management are giving 14 research presentations — more than all but four other schools — at an international conference this week.

Scholars from more than 130 schools — including approximately 45 international schools from Europe, Asia, and Central America — are attending the International Council on Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Education (ICHRIE) conference July 29-31 in Orlando, Florida. 

Iowa State has about 20 faculty members and students there to present their research on topics that benefit hospitality education and the hospitality industry. Read more.


Making a difference: Heddleson intern Haley Wellman

Heddleson intern Haley Wellman, a senior in family and consumer sciences education and studies, has been working all summer to identify and help improve resources in aging Iowa communities.

Wellman is part of the Heddleson Internship Program through Human Sciences Extension and Outreach and the College of Human Sciences.

The hands-on internship gives Iowa State students an inside look into ISU Extension and Outreach. Each student also is awarded a grant to help fund the internship experience. This year, three students were selected to be Heddleson interns, including Wellman. Read more.


Industry to follow Disney's lead on selfie sticks, says Iowa State professor

The decision to ban selfie sticks at all Disney theme parks is one that Eric D. Olson expects other amusement parks and entertainment venues will soon start implementing if they haven't already made such a move.  

Olson, an assistant professor of event management at Iowa State, worked in management for Walt Disney World Resort in the early 2000s.

Disney initially planned to only prohibit selfie sticks on specific thrill rides and attractions, but has since announced a park-wide ban. Olson says the ban is a matter of safety for all guests. Read more.


Consider emotions as well as money during tough financial times, extension specialist says

Avian influenza is having a significant financial impact on many Iowa families

When families are faced with financial uncertainty or sudden income loss, addressing the situation takes more than just thinking about dollars and cents, says a specialist with Human Sciences Extension and Outreach.

"Changes happen in life, and sometimes families have little or no control," said Jan Monahan, a human sciences specialist in family finance. "Shock and denial are the first reactions people experience."

"We need to help families understand these emotions are part of the process that will lead them to move to adjusting their spending plans and getting themselves back on solid ground," she said. Read more.



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Students with the ISU Dietetics Internship recently completed their community nutrition rotation in Dharwad, India. They'll be back in Ghana starting this fall as well as in the spring and summer of 2016. See photos.


HDFS alumna Vanessa McNeal has finished her documentary. Watch the harrowing story of McNeal — a brave young woman who persevered despite parental neglect, molestation, and sexual assault. Listen as she begins her mission to change the world.


Nearly 1,000 high school students came to Iowa State this summer for the Iowa 4-H Youth Conference. Coordinator Brenda Allen is an HDFS graduate student. Workshop presenters included AESHM's Ann Thye; HDFS' Kate Goudy-Haht, Emily Sorenson, Martha Stewart, and Joann Lee; SOE's Randie Camp; Catherine Strohbehn with AESHM and ISU Extension and Outreach; as well as those from FSHN. Watch video.  


Four CHS students Kasey Derda, Mandalyn Martin, Samantha Mattingly, and Tasha Waterman are interning at Reiman Gardens this summer. Check out the blog they started to share their experiences.


Iowa State students Hannah Klotz and Lauren Whetstone, both interning for the Rising Star Internship Program with ISU Extension and Outreach in northwest Iowa, recently appeared on KTIV in Sioux City as part of their effort to get more exposure for local foods in area grocery stores. They appeared in the "What's Cookin'?" part of the program, making zippy zucchini salad. Watch video, see the recipe.


Iowa State alumnus Todd Snyder was featured this month by The New York Times, National Public Radio, and the Wall Street Journal. "No designer is more all-American than Todd Snyder," WYNC Radio said. "The Iowa native and former high school athlete is suddenly breaking out after 20 years in fashion. This week, he spent $75,000 putting on his biggest show ever, with a large audience and deep bench of international buyers and editors."


Thomas Schrier in hospitality management was interviewed by Iowa Public Radio about the new roller coaster at Adventureland and the amusement park industry. Read, listen to the story.