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.

February 2017
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As student-athletes took on their opponents at this year's state high school wrestling tournament, they had the support of Iowa State athletic training students — for the 45th consecutive year. The partnership has provided quality sports medicine care for the wrestlers. Read more.

Students in an introductory apparel construction class are using their newly learned skills to make shorts for boys in South Africa. About 100 pairs of shorts will be taken to South Africa and donated to little boys in May as part of a study abroad program. Read more.

Three Iowa State designers — senior Sarah Mader and alumnae Elizabeth "Liz" Scarpino and Hannah Swanson — were among 17 who showed their collections last week at Omaha Fashion Week, the nation's fifth-largest fashion event. Read more.

Top stories

Doctoral student aims to improve accommodations in STEM education

Ashley Nashleanas didn't have a model or rule book to follow while growing up blind. Braille helped her to read textbooks in school, but graphics in math and science lessons were often just — missing.

She adapted by turning graphics into something she could feel or hear. 

Nashleanas went on to earn a bachelor's degree in chemistry from the University of Notre Dame, and a master's degree in chemistry from Iowa State. Today, she's a doctoral student in educational psychology at Iowa State. Her dissertation will explore how high school math teachers nationwide accommodate students with blindness and low vision when using graphics in their teaching. Read more.

Positive parenting produces lasting effects at biological level

Parents getting under a teen's skin? It isn't always a bad thing. When parenting is positive, it can have a lasting effect.

That's according to Elizabeth "Birdie" Shirtcliff, an associate professor in human development and family studies and the primary author of a newly released paper in the journal Developmental Science.

"Positive parenting and a safe and supportive environment sets a person up for years," Shirtcliff said. "What parents do matters long-term — across a lot of different outcomes. They are actively shaping who their children are at a biological, and maybe even cellular, level." Read more.

Career fair expands options for future educators

Future teachers attending this year's Teacher Education Career Fair can visit with representatives of public school districts, charter schools, early childhood education providers, and organizations seeking summer employees.

Representatives from 50 school districts and organizations in nine states will attend the third annual career fair, 1 to 5 p.m. Monday, March 6 in the Iowa State Alumni Center. 

At least 16 new organizations will be there including charter schools from Minneapolis and Kansas City, the Iowa Mennonite School, Iowa Educational Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired, and the nonprofit Mid-Iowa Community Action for children and families affected by poverty. Read more.

Research shows power of father figures for building views of husbands' role

New research from Iowa State shows that black men build their perceptions of a husband's role from a variety of experiences and examples.

"Fathers are not working in isolation to raise and rear their children," said Tera Jordan, an assistant professor in human development and family studies. "Boys exist in a complex network."

This complex network crosses biological boundaries. While fathers serve as a blueprint for a son’s perceptions about family relationships, other men within a community — including uncles, coaches, pastors, and grandfathers — play an important role as "social fathers" in black men's lives. Read more.

Culinary Boot Camp takes students from meal planning to beef and broccoli

Students are embarking on a journey that puts their culinary skills to the test.

Culinary Boot Camp is once again being offered to Iowa State students. The first part is being held tonight (Feb. 27), while the second will be March 6 in MacKay Hall.

The first night will be in lesson format. Participants will be given tips regarding grocery shopping and meal planning, among other useful facts. They'll also walk away with information and handouts from the Iowa Beef Industry Council, which is sponsoring the event.

During the second part of boot camp, students will work alongside ISU Dining chefs to prepare a main course – beef and broccoli – and a dessert – caramelized bananas. Read more.

Helping parents understand BMI may lead to positive changes in childhood obesity

Schools are taking a proactive approach to get students to move more and improve their eating habits.

But it takes a team effort at both school and home to make a difference, said kinesiology professor Greg Welk.

To that end, Welk was part of a new study, published in Childhood Obesity, which found parents were more likely to change their child's lifestyle when schools provided educational materials along with the results of their child's body mass index screening. Read more.

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What's new

The Fashion Show surpasses its $20,000 crowdfunding goal

Vision seminars, open forums held for three AESHM department chair finalists

School of Education's Tera Lawson named one of four Ames 4 under 40 award winners

ISU Body Image and Eating Disorder Awareness Week this week

Brian Burt, Anita Rollins, Shannon Coleman highlighted for Black History Month

Next Hilton Chair lecture: James Blumenthal speaks March 2 on exercise to treat depression 

Spring career fairs held Feb. 8 at Iowa State attract 2,930 students and visitors


Dean Laura Jolly and associate dean Carla Peterson joined communications specialist Lynn Campbell in representing the College of Human Sciences at this year's ISU Day at the Capitol. Watch a video and see two sets of photos.

Doug Wieczorek is a human scientist who is an assistant professor in the School of Education. He specializes in instructional leadership. Watch Faculty Focus video. 

The Iowa State University Food Science Club this month made approximately 120 pounds of fudge to sell as a fundraiser. Proceeds from the sales will go toward club trips and other activities. Watch video.

Lorraine Lanningham-Foster is a human scientist who is an associate professor in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition. Her primary focus is on issues related to obesity. Watch Faculty Focus video.

Five male survivors of sexual violence are featured in a documentary called The Voiceless, which will be unveiled at 6 p.m. March 27 at the Iowa State University Memorial Union. Iowa State alumna Vanessa McNeal provides this sneak peek of her new film. Watch video.

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