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.

May 2017
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The GRAMMY Museum Grant Program this month announced a grant to Iowa State for a study that will examine the acute and long-term effects of therapeutic singing on people with Parkinson's disease and its symptoms of depression, stress, and inflammation. Read more

Six Iowa State students who planned the first-ever Londonfest celebrating British culture in downtown Ames captured top honors at the 14th annual College of Human Sciences Entrepreneurship Showcase. Students competed for a total of $1,575 in cash prizes. Read more.

Emily Howell, an assistant professor in the School of Education, is working with teachers to develop new ways to incorporate digital tools in the classroom, including games such as Pokèmon GO. Read more from the ISU News Service and listen to a WHO Radio story at 11:18.

Top stories

Technology developed by Iowa State wins National Innovation Award

Two Iowa State researchers have created a cheaper alternative to a popular wax.

Tong Wang and Tao Fei in food science and human nutrition received a National Innovation Award at the TechConnect World Innovation Conference and Expo for developing a vegetable oil-based material that can serve as a substitute for carnauba wax.

Carnauba wax can be found in many foods, cosmetics, and household products such as dental floss, lipstick, and automobile wax. Because it is derived from the leaves of Brazilian palm trees, the product is expensive. Wang and Fei wanted to come up with an alternative that would be more cost-effective, yet work just as well. The product they developed is made from soybean oil. Read more.

Iowa State students showcase jacket with solar panels that charge electronics

A team of apparel and engineering students this month showcased a hiking jacket that uses solar energy to charge electronic devices at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's National Sustainable Design Expo in Washington, D.C.

Six graduate and undergraduate students — Kathryn Kaalberg, Mashud Alam, and Chanmi "Gloria" Hwang in apparel, merchandising, and design; along with Shannon Roth, Nicholaus Steffensmeier, and Samuel Vande Loo in engineering — competed in the People, Prosperity and the Planet (P3) Student Design Competition. 

The contest aims to inspire college students to design solutions for a sustainable future. Read more from the College of Human Sciences, watch a video of the team's live TV appearance on Good Morning Iowa, and listen to a segment on Iowa Public Radio.

Family history of Alzheimer's may alter metabolic gene that increases risk for disease

A new Iowa State study may identify the link that explains years of conflicting research over a mitochondrial gene and the risk for Alzheimer's disease. 

Researchers found a dramatic difference in the gene's impact on memory, general cognitive function and risk based on a family history of Alzheimer's disease and the length of a specific section of the gene.

The study, led by Auriel Willette, an assistant professor in food science and human nutrition, is the latest piece of the puzzle in an effort to lower the risk for Alzheimer's, and ultimately prevent people from getting the disease. Read more and watch TV coverage from We Are Iowa Local 5 News. 

Iowa State provides 21st century skills through family and consumer sciences

Iowa State is equipping educators to provide today's students with 21st century skills.

May 4 was National Family and Consumer Sciences Educator Day. Troy Anderson, coordinator for Iowa State's family and consumer sciences education and studies program, said Iowa State's degree offering is unique to the state.

"It is the only program of its kind serving the state of Iowa," Anderson said. "Through one-on-one instruction, Iowa State's FCEDS students get a wide depth of knowledge. Our courses are specific to degree opportunities, and are consistent with students' real-world practicum and professional association experiences." Read more.

Apparel and engineering students partner to develop wearable electronics

Iowa State apparel, merchandising, and design students partnered with engineering students this spring to develop "wearable electronics."

Twenty-three students in assistant professor Ellen McKinney's AMD 426 Creative Design Processes class spent the spring semester designing a garment that incorporates electronics and in some way relates to a water theme.  

One wearable art piece was inspired by the immortal jellyfish, while another was inspired by Ariel from The Little MermaidThe projects are scheduled to be displayed at Reiman Gardens — which this year is celebrating water as its theme. Read more.

Iowa State shows leadership at Council for the Study of Community Colleges meeting

School of Education scholars presented more than 16 percent of the papers delivered at the annual conference of the Council for the Study of Community Colleges.

The students and faculty members from Iowa State also returned to the Ames campus with three awards and the council's next president.

Linda Serra Hagedorn, an education professor and associate dean of the College of Human Sciences, was voted in as CSCC president-elect. Her leadership will include organizing the association's next annual meeting scheduled for April 26 to 28, 2018, in Dallas, Texas, when she assumes the presidency. Read more.

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What's new

Registration open to employers for Sept. 20 career fairs

ISU Alumni Association to host young alumni event at Blank Park Zoo's June 14 Zoo Brew 

Twelve students named Louise Rosenfeld Undergraduate Research Interns

ISU Summer Youth Fitness Program kicks off June 5

Education alumnus Shane Jacobson named University of Vermont Foundation president and CEO

ISU Fred Duffelmeyer Reading Improvement Clinic offers summer reading tutoring beginning June 12

Apparel alumna Annika Murray named semi-finalist for 2017 EcoChic Design Award


The Iowa State University College of Human Sciences recognized the accomplishments of nearly 450 graduating students in a series of events May 5 and 6. Those who missed the spring 2017 convocation ceremony can watch a video of it here.  

This year's Dyscovry Foods New Product Showcase featured 12 new and exciting food products produced by students in FSHN 412, the capstone course for seniors in food science and culinary food science. See photos.

Joi Mahon, a 1999 Iowa State graduate in apparel, merchandising, and design, was featured in a cover story by Siouxland Woman, a monthly magazine featuring informative articles and great photographs on topics of interest to local women. See the magazine

Family and consumer sciences education licensure students gathered recently for the tradition of lighting the Betty Lamp — a symbol for family and consumer sciences programs nationwide. Installations are a time of passage. The ceremony recognizes the start of the student teaching journey. See photos

ISU Extension and Outreach recently published a video featuring the Latinos Living Well program. The four-week research and community-based program helps Iowa Latinos learn to control and prevent diabetes. Watch video.

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