Extension and Outreach

Research

As a land-grant institution, Iowa State University and the College of Human Sciences are dedicated to extending research to the people of our communities, state, nation, and world. We do this in a variety of ways, such as:

Our research starts in labs located in Ames, Iowa, but truly knows no boundaries, as alumni, students, faculty, and staff work the world over to bring improvements to people’s lives.

Education

Curriculum and Instruction graduate students are working with area school children to improve their literacy and reading skills through the Fred Duffelmeyer Reading Clinic. This donor-supported center offers tutoring for the children who need it most, advancing their skills and improving their chances of academic success.

Extension

Human Sciences Extension and Outreach provides research-based information and education to help families make decisions that improve their lives. As the outreach arm of the College of Human Sciences, faculty and staff work together with specialists located across Iowa’s 99 counties to translate university research to practice for local individuals, families, employers, and communities. 

Human sciences outreach focuses on food safety, nutrition, wellness, caregiving, parenting, relationships, and personal finance for people across the lifespan. Human Sciences hotlines and call centers offer assistance with home and family questions, stress counseling, financial concerns, and legal questions. 

One of its hallmark programs, the Strengthening Families Program: For Parents and Youth 10-14 (SFP 10-14),  was named the most effective program for decreasing the onset of drug and alcohol problems in youth out of 6,000 prevention and intervention programs. The Pan American Health Organization and the United Nations has adapted SFP 10-14 for use in other countries.

Community engagement

On any given day, our students are working with members of society through internships at local retirement homes, in communities on food systems change efforts through the Rising Stars Program, or with the revitalization of a downtown community through the MainStreet Iowa initiative. 

 

Extension and Outreach News

A recently published study co-authored by Christine Hradek in Human Sciences Extension and Outreach shows that social marketing campaigns can increase kids’ consumption of fruits and vegetables. Photo by Ryan Riley.
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 Iowa State University’s Human Sciences Extension and Outreach.



Linda Niehm, a professor in apparel, events, and hospitality management, plans to extend opportunities in entrepreneurship as the new Dean’s Faculty Fellow in the College of Human Sciences. Photo by Ryan Riley.Fellowship to expand opportunities in entrepreneurship

A prestigious College of Human Sciences fellowship will soon be used to develop entrepreneurship opportunities for both Iowa State University students and underserved populations in rural Iowa.

Linda Niehm, a professor in apparel, events, and hospitality management, is the second faculty member named a Dean’s Faculty Fellow, an honor made possible by an anonymous gift to the College of Human Sciences.



Diane and Bill Jamison talk about the benefits of the Elevate couples education curriculum to enhance healthy relationship knowledge and skills — such as improving communication and reducing stress. Contributed photo.
Iowa State University helps couples improve their relationships

Iowa State University will soon offer a new program that applies a national research-based training model to help couples have healthy relationships.



Eulanda Sanders, Iowa State’s Donna R. Danielson Professor in Textiles and Clothing, credits the 4-H Youth Program with launching her career in the fashion industry. Photo by Kent Davis.4-H alums credit youth program with launching human sciences careers

As Iowa teens this week participate in the Iowa 4-H Youth Conference at Iowa State University, they’ll pledge their heads to clearer thinking, their hearts to greater loyalty, their hands to larger service, and their health to better living, not only for themselves, but also their communities and beyond.

For a number of 4-H alumni, that commitment to head, heart, hands, and health led them to pursue a career in human sciences.

“4-H really set a foundation for my life,” said Eulanda Sanders, Iowa State’s Donna R. Danielson Professor in Textiles and Clothing and the College of Human Sciences’ equity adviser. “It’s a fabulous organization. Often, when I have 4-H’ers in class, it’s evident. They possess attention for detail, good communication skills, inquisitiveness, and a willingness to take risks.”



Mason Finn, (back row, standing, third from the left), a junior in athletic training, observes a rookie minicamp as part of his internship with the Dallas Cowboys. Contributed photo.Iowa State students shine in internships across the nation

More than 300 Iowa State University students — in areas ranging from culinary food science to athletic training, apparel, event management, and extension and outreach — are gaining valuable work experience this summer through internships in Iowa and across the globe.



Kimberly Greder, an Iowa State associate professor in human development and family studies, wants families outdoors. Photo by Ryan Riley.Low-income, rural mothers express need for family time outdoors

Low-income mothers from rural communities say participating in outdoor activities as a family is a primary need for their physical and emotional well-being.

But a new paper co-authored by Iowa State University's Kimberly Greder and published in the Journal of Leisure Research demonstrates many of these families aren’t getting time together.



Research by assistant kinesiology professor Elizabeth Stegemoller shows that singing can improve speech and swallowing in people with Parkinson\'s disease. Singing groups like this one in Ames will be recorded to facilitate virtual singing groups in Calhoun County. Contributed photo.Iowa State engages Iowans with new Human Sciences research

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is launching two new research projects in northern Iowa. One will build literacy and STEM skills in children, while the other will use singing training to improve quality of life for Iowans with Parkinson’s disease.

The two proposals have been selected for funding through the Engaged Scholarship Funding Program, a partnership of ISU Extension and Outreach and the College of Human Sciences. This new program funds research projects that focus on engagement, translate research into practice, and involve and benefit Iowans, their families and communities.



Aaron Hauser, an Iowa State junior in elementary education, works with Nevada fifth graders Allison Kruzich and Stephanie Lopez to use a new online math lesson he developed. Photo by Lynn Campbell.
Technology helps fifth and sixth graders with math problems

About 45 future teachers at Iowa State University are using technology to help fifth and sixth graders at Nevada Middle School better understand math concepts that give them difficulty.

Students in Christa Jackson’s CI 523 Teaching Mathematics to Struggling Elementary Learners class and Mollie Appelgate’s CI 448 Teaching Children Mathematics class this semester developed modules — or online tutorial videos — to encourage student collaboration and increase conceptual understanding of mathematics ideas.



A team of students in Iowa State University’s Entrepreneurship in Human Sciences class this semester did national field research on what makes an iconic coffeehouse. Contributed photos.Establishing an iconic coffeehouse

What makes a coffeehouse iconic?

Five Iowa State University undergraduate students in Linda Niehm’s AESHM 474-574 Entrepreneurship in Human Sciences class this semester reached out to coffeehouses across the nation in search for the answer.

They’ll be among 101 students presenting their findings from 39 projects at the 13th annual College of Human Sciences Entrepreneurship Showcase, 6 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, April 28 in the LeBaron Hall lobby with awards to follow in LeBaron Auditorium. The public is invited to attend.



Christine Hradek, a specialist with Human Sciences Extension and Outreach, is creating partnerships to bring more fresh fruits and vegetables to food pantries. Photo by Ryan Riley.Donation gardening project aims to bring more produce to food pantries

As a human scientist, Christine Hradek applies research and utilizes local resources to meet the needs of hungry Iowans.



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