Alumni News

Alumni news magazine, College of Human Sciences Matters

This Summer 2015 issue of College of Human Sciences Matters magazine showcases how the college is positively impacting people at key points throughout the lifespan — from the first to the last day of life.

Summer 2015: PDF | Online version

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Alumni news stories

Alumni News

The Peterson family of West Des Moines said the Strengthening Families Program 10-14, a preventative program offered by ISU Human Sciences Extension and Outreach, brought them together as a family. Photos by Ryan Riley.
Program creates healthier outcomes for families with pre-teens

With their three daughters soon to be teenagers, Pam and Chad Peterson of West Des Moines decided to seek help.

They turned to the Strengthening Families Program: For Parents and Youth 10-14, a seven-week, preventative program aimed at helping families as their children approach adolescence. The evidence-based program is offered by Iowa State University’s Human Sciences Extension and Outreach.

“We were looking for answers and found them,” Chad Peterson said. “When it comes to building a foundation for your family, a lot of times, the well-lit path is the good one.”

Janice Friedel, an associate professor in the ISU School of Education, and former doctoral students Cristobal Salinas Jr. and Zoë Mercedes Thornton co-edited a book celebrating the 50th anniversary of Iowa community colleges. Photos by Ryan Riley.New book celebrates 50th anniversary of Iowa community colleges

A new book released this week by an Iowa State University professor and doctoral students celebrates the 50th anniversary of Iowa community colleges.

Iowa’s Community Colleges: A Collective History of Fifty Years of Accomplishment” provides a history of the statewide development of the community college system, through a focus on the individual college stories and dynamics.

Mike Todd, an Ames High School science teacher and Iowa State alumnus, regularly takes his students outdoors. Here, he takes his biology class to the river. Photos by Ryan Riley.Teacher takes students outside to learn about science

Students in Mike Todd’s biology class at Ames High School walked thigh-deep into the river wearing boots and waders. They collected water samples and learned about habitats.

Not everyone was comfortable — some said they were hot and itchy, and everyone got wet and muddy. But for the past 11 years, Todd has regularly taken his students outdoors as part of their learning.

This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the Older Americans Act, helping adults live in the community of their choice for as long as possible. Photo by Ryan Riley.ISU gerontology program carries out goal of the Older Americans Act

In the spirit of the Older Americans Act, Iowa State University’s gerontology program helps older adults to age actively in the community of their choice.

Jacquelyn Luedtke, who graduated in 2013 with a degree in event management, now works as full-time operations coordinator for the United States Olympic Committee at its flagship training facility in Colorado Springs. Contributed photo.Iowa State alumna helps Olympic and Paralympic athletes stay on track

Jacquelyn Luedtke knows firsthand that it takes world-class event management skills to organize world-class sporting events.

Amy Popillion wants her students to see the positive that can come from poor choices and bad situations in life. Photo by Christopher Gannon.Change agent: Amy Popillion

The future Amy Popillion envisioned as a kid growing up in small town Iowa could not be more different than the life she is living today.

Iowa State University alumna Joyce Knock (center) of Windsor Heights reads her newly published book, “I am not dumb and I am not a stinky butt,” to a group of children. Contributed photo.Book aims to help young children understand the hurt of name-calling

When children first see the title of Joyce Knock’s book, “I am not dumb and I am not a stinky butt,” they often roll backwards in laughter.

But as the message of the anti-bullying book sets in, many admit to having their own experiences being teased and called names.

Iowa State kinesiology student Ciara McCarty, left, volunteered at an iCan Bike camp in Fresno, California last summer. She’s one of four students bringing the camp to Iowa next week. Contributed photo.Iowa State students help people with disabilities get up on two wheels

Riding a bicycle can increase a person’s self esteem and confidence.

It can improve physical fitness, mental health, and overall quality of life. It can also spur positive changes in family dynamics, create opportunities for inclusion, and provide a person with an independent means of transportation.

But people with special needs can face challenges in mastering this skill.

That’s why four Iowa State University kinesiology students and recent graduates — Katie Cook, Ciara McCarty, Jeff Robson, and Jenna Ham — are bringing the national iCan Bike camp to Ames next week. It’s the first of its kind in Iowa. The five-day camp teaches people with disabilities to ride a conventional two-wheel bicycle.

Educating a workforce to meet the needs of older adults like Meg and John Tait at Green Hills Retirement Community in Ames is a key step to making Iowa more aging-friendly. Photo by Blake Lanser.Iowa State alumni advocate for older adults

For Iowa State University alumna Merea Bentrott, advocating on behalf of older adults isn’t just a job — it’s her lifelong goal.

Iowa State alumna Lissa Stapleton volunteered at a deaf residential school in Ghana as part of her journey to better understand deaf students of color. Contributed photo.Stapleton advocates for black deaf students

Lissa Stapleton’s awareness and advocacy for deaf students of color stemmed from an experience in high school.


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Entrepreneurship Entrepreneurship and Higher Education: An Overview of the Iowa State University Alumni Survey. Iowa State economics professors compiled entrepreneurship data for this working paper.
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