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 2016
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Participants in the Iowa 4-H Youth Conference pledged their heads to clearer thinking, their hearts to greater loyalty, their hands to larger service, and their health to better living. For a number of 4-H alumni such as Eulanda Sanders, that commitment led them to pursue a career in human sciences. Read more

Verb Summer Scorecard, a free community-based physical activity program led by kinesiology students, is making it easier to keep children active this summer and establish healthy habits for a lifetime of fitness. The new summer program is part of kinesiology's ExerCYse outreach program. Read more.

Iowa State University is the best in Iowa and "people come from all over the world to study here," according to Money Magazine's annual ranking of best colleges. And Ames is the third-best college town in America for overall livability, according to Niche, a company that researches and compiles information on cities. 

Top Stories

College of Human Sciences welcomes Jolly as its new dean

Laura Dunn Jolly began July 5 as the third dean of the College of Human Sciences.

Jolly previously served at the University of Georgia as dean of the College of Family and Consumer Sciences; associate director of cooperative extension and the experiment station; vice president for instruction; and professor of textiles, merchandising, and interiors.

Alumni are invited to meet and greet Jolly, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 18 at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden DuPont West Room. A brief program will begin at 5:30 p.m. If attending, RSVP to by Oct. 11.  Read more.


Kinesiology student aims to improve health among people of color

At a time of national unrest for race relations, Iowa State's Markus Flynn has been a role model and a change agent to build and strengthen community.

Flynn, a senior in kinesiology and health, is well-known and respected by Iowa State faculty, staff, and students on a campus where racial minorities make up 12 percent of the 36,001-student body.

As Flynn approaches his final semester at Iowa State, he's looking ahead to how he will apply his passion toward a career. His Iowa State adventure has shown him that his purpose in life is to improve the health outcomes of people of color, through a career in public health or community outreach. Read more.


New $2.5 million grant to assist Iowa State researchers in tracking physical activity

A $2.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health will allow Iowa State researchers to study the effectiveness of aerobic exercise, resistance training, and a combination of both.

"In the pilot study, a combination of exercise methods was best," said Duck-chul "D.C." Lee, an assistant kinesiology professor. "So we believe the message we take from the new study will be that if you replace 30 minutes of aerobic exercise with resistance training, you'll get a bigger benefit for your heart."

The research will be the first large-scale study of its kind to compare four separate exercise patterns — sedentary, aerobic, resistance, and a combination. Read more.


Discovery could lead to better regulation of insulin

Medication can help trigger the enzyme that kick starts insulin production in the body, but the drugs don't always work for those who are obese or diabetic.

That's why a recent discovery made by Rudy Valentine, an assistant kinesiology professor at Iowa State, and a team of researchers holds so much promise.

The team has spent years studying the enzyme AMP-activated protein kinase or AMPK — a main energy sensor in the body. Valentine says AMPK is reduced in obese and diabetics, putting them at risk for stroke, heart disease, and some forms of cancer. Researchers know how to activate this enzyme, but are working to understand why AMPK is being reduced. Read more.


Iowa State receives $2 million grant to transform teaching and learning of engineering

A $2 million grant from the National Science Foundation will transform Iowa State's electrical and computer engineering department and the way it trains a new type of workforce.

The School of Education's Brian Burt, Mari Kemis, and Sarah Rodriguez are on a team of 15 from Iowa State awarded the grant.

Faculty from the colleges of engineering, human sciences, design, and liberal arts and sciences will play a role in creating a new collaborative instructional model for the next generation of engineers. Read more.


Decision to ban unrealistic body images has merit, but presents challenges

The images are nearly impossible to avoid — stick-thin women and bulked-up men posing in magazines, on billboards and shared through social media.

Many are featured in ads for any variety of products, but their bodies — unrealistic and unattainable for most people — sell a different message. For this reason, the mayor of London decided to ban all ads of "unrealistic body images" from the city's public transportation system. 

The decision is one Alison St. Germain, a registered dietitian and clinician for Iowa State's Dietetics Internship program, fully supports and applauds. Read more.


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What's new

Iowa State students place second in national food product competition


Stephanie Clark co-chairs  American Cheese Society's international conference, July 27-30 in Des Moines


Study ranks Iowa State No. 1 for scholarly contributions in fashion marketing


Alum Sandy Huisman named director of the year by School Nutrition Association


Science Bound launches new website


Iowa State alum Mary Murimi is new chancellor of Daystar University in Kenya


Alum Jerry McKim receives Eternal Flame Award for serving home energy assistance community



Thirteen families became the first group to graduate this month from a new research and outreach project called "Small Talk Story County," in which Iowa State is partnering with the Ames Public Library and Raising Readers in Story County to improve early childhood literacy. See photo album and read more about the project. 


Iowa State apparel students partnered with Iowa Prison Industries to design and produce new student usher uniforms for Hancher Auditorium at the University of Iowa. The auditorium reopens this fall after being destroyed in 2008 by flooding. Students in senior lecturer Brenda Ackerman's class worked with inmates to produce the uniforms. Watch videos by the ISU News ServiceThe Gazette, KGAN CBS 2 and KFXA Fox 28.


WRVO Public Media this month featured kinesiology associate professor Paddy Ekkekakis. In the interview, Ekkekakis says the effect exercise has on mood is a learned response. He also says that once the mind starts associating exercise with being negative due to overcompensating after sedentary periods, it can be hard for the body to shake the thought and start recognizing it as a positive. Listen to the radio segment.


Kinesiology professor Greg Welk recently talked with WHO Radio about the benefits of Pokémon GO in keeping people active. He said just like the Fitbit, Pokémon Go is another tool keeping people engaged by allowing them to share their activities with others and receive regular feedback. "Some people become more motivated and stay involved because of the tracking they can do," he said. Listen to the radio segment



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