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.

September 2016
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When Jeanne Bissonnette taught high school juniors and seniors in North Carolina, she knew it was important to reach her students in culturally responsive ways. She says one reality of a static curriculum is that many students are unable to see a reflection of themselves in the literature they are required to study. Read more.

A written contract generally spells out a person's pay and benefits at work. But Wen Chang in hospitality management says it's the unspoken or psychological contract — which only exists in an employee's mind— that ultimately determines a worker's happiness and can significantly impact a company's success. Read more.

The second annual Human Sciences Week featured an opportunity to meet the new dean of the College of Human Sciences, learn about living a healthy lifestyle, enjoy cherry pies, and make shoes out of used jeans. The food, fun, speakers, and philanthropic events run through Friday. Read more.

Top stories

College of Human Sciences students driven by passion to help others

A passion to help others — whether it's working with children, people with disabilities, or those in need — continues to drive strong enrollment in the College of Human Sciences.

The college enrolls 4,915 students this fall, contributing to Iowa State's eighth consecutive year of record enrollment with 36,660 students.

A growing number of Iowa State students are choosing to become educators. And enrollment in apparel, events, and hospitality management topped 1,100 students for the first time this fall. Read more.


Iowa State internships aim to secure employment for youth with disabilities

The College of Human Sciences is this fall providing four youth with disabilities with hands-on work experience to help them make the successful transition from school to adult life.

Recent high school graduates Andy Casady, Julia Martin, Paige Fritz, and Tom Burbey will work with each academic area of the college during the 2016-2017 school year. 

It's all part of Project SEARCH, formerly known as Students Exploring Alternative Resources at Children's Hospital. Iowa State is a leader in this effort because there haven't been many Project SEARCH internship sites in higher education. Read more.


Hilton Chair: Physical activity as the wonder drug to prevent chronic illness

About half of all adults, or 117 million people, have at least one chronic health condition, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

A Harvard Medical School researcher will explain how physical activity can reduce the rate of chronic illness during tonight's Hilton Chair Lecture.

I-Min Lee is a professor of medicine and a leading researcher on the role of physical activity in preventing chronic diseases and enhancing longevity. Her free, public presentation, "Physical Activity: Wonder Drug for Chronic Disease Prevention," starts at 7 p.m. tonight in Benton Auditorium, Scheman Building, Iowa State Center. Read more.


Using social marketing to promote healthy eating

Social marketing campaigns that educate parents about good nutrition can help to increase children's consumption of fruit, vegetables, and low-fat or fat-free milk.

That's according to findings of a recently published study co-authored by Christine Hradek, a state nutrition program specialist with Human Sciences Extension and Outreach.

"Gaining parents' attention and engaging them in healthy eating practices for their children can be a useful way to increase the effectiveness of school-based nutrition education programs," said authors of the article published in the August edition of the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Read more.


Professor examines impact of exercise on the brain

Exercise and the human brain have always fascinated Peter Clark.

The assistant professor in nutritional science received his bachelor's degree in psychology while winning medals for the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's swim team. Midway through his bachelor's degree, he applied his love of physical activity to his psychology studies. 

Clark comes to Iowa State as the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition puts a new emphasis on behavioral neuroscience — and expands its focus to include how nutritional, physical, and physiological changes in the brain impact behavior. Read more.  


Howell uses technology to improve student engagement

Students become more engaged when their lessons in school align with their interests outside of school.

That's why Emily Howell, a new assistant professor of literacy education, is exploring how the use of technology can assist in students' learning.

"I really enjoy helping students become more engaged in their learning," she said. 

Howell explores the use of design in writing, rather than just text, with digital tools ranging from iPads to laptops and apps. Read more.


Fellowship in family health powers Arellanes' passion for impacting Latino families

Jordan Arellanes is on a mission to improve the lives of Latino families.

The graduate student in human development and family studies strives to better prepare families for a future where their children can go to college.

"Research isn't just made to be published," said Arellanes, who holds the Dorothy A. Wyant Fellowship in Family Health. "It's made to impact people's lives."

He's researching how Latino fathers' involvement can better the lives of families and influence children's academics. Read more.


Keener combines science with practice to bring increased value to bio-based economy

Rubber from Russian dandelions? Kevin Keener knows it's possible. It's just a matter of economics.

"It just depends on where you are in the world what the renewable resource is," said Keener, a professor in food science and human nutrition who serves as director of Iowa State's Center for Crops Utilization Research and BioCentury Research Farm.

"If something grows there, whether it's dandelions or cactus, there's technology innovation where we can take that plant and look at it as a raw material with compounds that can be pulled out of it," he said. Read more.


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What's new

Iowa State ranks as one of top hospitality programs in the nation


More than 5,000 attend Iowa State career fairs


Associate dean Carla Peterson named Nancy Rygg Armbrust Professor in Early Childhood Development and Education


ISU Child Development Laboratory School achieves 5-star rating


HDFS alum Tina Hillman among top nine for NCAA Woman of the Year Award


Iowa State's Kelly Koch makes top 10 in Miss America pageant


Michael Clough and Joanne Olson win national Innovation in Teaching Science Teachers award


HDFS alum Margaret Fitzgerald named dean at North Dakota State University


Attend "Powerful Tools for Caregivers" educational series beginning Oct. 4



The College of Human Sciences is celebrating its unique, innovative, people-oriented programs and rich traditions with food, speakers, and philanthropic events during the second annual Human Sciences Week. Some of the week's events include cherry pie sales, a Food & Fun Fest, Sole Hope philanthropy event, a meet-and-greet with Dean Laura Jolly, and four lunch-and-learn life skills events. See photos.


ISU Dining partnered with the Culinary Science Club to organize a free "Culinary Boot Camp" for students during Human Sciences Week. Students learned about smart shopping, nutrition, and cooking techniques from professional chefs. Watch video.


Iowa State sophomore Emily Steil, an elementary education major, is shining on Iowa State's soccer team. The Big 12 season opened this month. Watch video.


Jonathan Fox is the Ruth Whipp Sherwin Professor in Human Development and Family Studies. He specializes in financial counseling and planning, and is interested in how people learn about money and become more effective with their personal finances. Watch video.


The Iowa Master Gardeners and College of Human Sciences nutrition specialists have teamed up to help reduce food insecurity in Iowa. They are using Iowa State research and demonstration farms to grow more than 10,000 pounds of produce for Iowans in need. Watch video.

Rosie Perez is an assistant professor in the School of Education. She works with graduate students studying higher education and student affairs. Watch video.


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