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.

August 2017
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The Cyclone Scholar Summer Research Program, an eight-week program directed by Shannon Coleman, this summer paired undergraduate students with food science and human nutrition professors to conduct research related to food safety, food security, and childhood obesity. Read more.

The STEM-Lit to Go! program developed by Sara Nelson teaches young children about science, math, technology, engineering, and literature through play. The Iowa State University School of Education and 4-H Clover Kids piloted the program this summer. Read more and watch a video.

Iowa State University this month kicked off the fall 2017 semester. ISU Interim President Ben Allen and CHS Dean Laura Jolly emphasized a dedication to creating a culture and community where all students, faculty, staff, and visitors feel safe, welcome, valued, and included. Watch a video Postcard from Campus.

Top stories

Iowa State University boxing program powers through Parkinson's disease

In the 1976 film "Rocky," boxer Rocky Balboa tells his girlfriend Adrian that he fights because he can't sing or dance. Elizabeth Stegemöller, an assistant professor in kinesiology at Iowa State, is helping people with Parkinson's disease do all three.

In her latest outreach effort, Stegemöller, a neuroscientist who leads Parkinson's singing groups and music and movement groups, partners with National Collegiate Boxing Association national champion Olivia Meyer.

Meyer, a graduate student in kinesiology, is using her knowledge of the sport to build cognitive and physical development of those with Parkinson's disease. Read more and vote now for "Parkin-a-Punch," which matches young boxers with older adults who have Parkinson's.

Teaching social studies in culturally relevant ways

Growing up in Texas, Noreen Naseem Rodriguez wondered why there weren't people like her in school textbooks.

Rodriguez, who is half-Pakistani and half-Filipina, aims to change that for other students of color. This fall, she joins the School of Education as an assistant professor in elementary social studies education.

She said many students find social studies boring because it tends to be disconnected from their own experiences, and often boils down to a memorization of dates and people. Rodriguez instead uses children's books as a tool to teach the difficult histories of people of color in the United States — and engage students in culturally relevant and sustaining ways. Read more.

Iowa State University exercise study recognized for impact to worldwide health

Iowa State research detailing the positive effects of running on longevity received an international award this month for its worldwide impact.

Findings by Duck-chul "DC" Lee, an associate professor in kinesiology, published by the journal Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases show that running is the single most effective lifestyle factor in increasing life expectancy.

The article was selected for an Elsevier Atlas Award from recently published articles in more than 2,500 journals due to its significant impact on people's health worldwide. Read more.

Researchers find that chickens carrying E. coli can cause people to become sick

Harmless strains of E. coli exist in the gastrointestinal tracts of all human beings. However, certain strains of E. coli are known for causing illnesses in humans. 

Melha Mellata, an assistant professor in food science and human nutrition, and her research team discovered that chicken feces could be a carrier of some extraintestinal pathogenic E. coli (ExPEC) infections. When humans or chickens come in contact with the feces, they could become infected and sick.

Mellata said the project highlights the importance of safe food handling and proper cooking practices. Read more.

Festival highlights benefits of music for people with Parkinson's disease

Research by Elizabeth Stegemöller, an assistant professor in kinesiology, has found that singing significantly improves swallowing and respiratory control — improving the quality of life for people with Parkinson's.

Stegemöller this month hosted a Parkinson's Music Festival showcasing people with Parkinson's who have been taking weekly music therapy classes from her. The daylong event in Ames featured an evening concert with her Ames and Waverly singing classes, as well as those from around the state. 

Media outlets including Health Day, U.S. News & World Report, the science and technology website Gears of Biz, and the Waterloo Courier highlighted Stegemöller's research in light of the festival. Read the story and watch a video.

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What's new

Donate by Aug. 31 to help Human Sciences Week 2017

Forker Building nears completion of $5.3 million renovation

Fall career fairs scheduled for noon to 6 p.m. Sept. 20

CHS provides work experience to youth with disabilities

Christine Lippard receives national early career research award in early childhood

Peter Martin receives national distinguished career contribution to gerontology award


The College of Human Sciences on Aug. 17 welcomed new and returning faculty and staff members to the fall 2017 semester. Several took pictures in the CHS photo booth. See photos.

Iowa State's booth at the Iowa State Fair this year featured winning garments from The Fashion Show. Sarah Waigand, the 2017 recipient of the Ana and Ed McCracken Apparel, Merchandising, and Design Scholarship; and Jessica Helberg, the 2017 recipient of the Neva M. Petersen Scholarship in Family and Consumer Sciences, volunteered at the booth. Read more and see photos. 

Mollie Appelgate is a human scientist whose research focuses on teacher learning for both future and current teachers. Watch Faculty Focus video.

Designs by Iowa State alumnae Liz Scarpino, Tirzah Beam, and Victoria Raile were among those featured this month at Omaha Fashion Week's 10th anniversary event. See photo album. 

Matt Rowling is a human scientist whose research focuses on how kidney health impacts nutritional status. Watch Faculty Focus video.