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Alvarez credits Iowa State experience with building leadership, teaching talents

Yesenia Alvarez (center), a family and consumer sciences teacher at Waukee High School, honed her teaching talents at Iowa State. Photo by Ryan Riley.

Some say that Yesenia Alvarez started her teaching career in the first grade. At a young age, she would gather her older cousins around in the basement and play teacher.

“I’ve always known I’ve wanted to be a teacher,” said Alvarez, an Iowa State University alumna in family and consumer sciences education and studies.

Learning communities key to Iowa State student success

Amy Raymond (middle) is a peer mentor for Preparing Tomorrow’s Teachers, one of more than 80 learning communities at Iowa State that help first-year college students succeed. Photo by Ryan Riley.

On an 1,813-acre campus with 36,660 students, Iowa State University manages to provide an experience that’s uniquely personal to each student.

Key to that experience is being part of a “learning community,” which is a group aimed at helping first-year college students succeed. More than 70 percent of first-year students — including 75 percent of first-year students of color — participate in learning communities at Iowa State.

Iowa State University helps couples improve their relationships

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

Iowa State to share expertise in cultural proficiency

Daniel Spikes, an assistant professor in the School of Education, will speak about cultural proficiency at the Summit on School Climate and Culture. Photo by Ryan Riley.

Two assistant professors in the Iowa State University School of Education will share their expertise on cultural proficiency at the Des Moines Public Schools’ first annual Summit on School Climate and Culture.

Daniel Spikes and Jason Salisbury will be among a national panel of experts in school improvement speaking before nearly 1,200 educators at the first-of-its-kind event aimed at making a difference in the school and classroom. The summit will be held Aug. 8 and 9 at the Iowa Events Center.

Verb Summer Scorecard keeps kids active, builds campus and community partnerships

(l-r) Isaiah and Isabella Haveman explore Ada Hayden Heritage Park’s lakeshore during Verb Summer Scorecard. Kinesiology students run the free events through July. Photo by Ryan Riley.

Verb Summer Scorecard, a free community-based physical activity program led by Iowa State University kinesiology students, is making it easier to keep children active this summer and establish healthy habits for a lifetime of fitness.

The new summer program is part of ExerCYse, a Department of Kinesiology outreach program aimed at increasing visibility about the importance of physical activity and advancing the notion of exercise as a vital sign in the medical community. Iowa State’s program is officially recognized by the American College of Sports Medicine.

Decision to ban unrealistic body images has merit, but presents challenges

The images are nearly impossible to avoid – stick-thin women and bulked-up men posing in magazines, on billboards and shared through social media. Many are featured in ads for any variety of products, but their bodies – unrealistic and unattainable for most people – sell a different message.

It’s for this reason that the mayor of London decided to ban all ads of “unrealistic body images” from the city’s public transportation system. The decision is one Alison St. Germain, a registered dietitian and clinician for Iowa State University’s Dietetics Internship program, fully supports and applauds.

Bad behavior may not be a result of bad parenting, but a lack of common language

New research led by Thomas Schofield, an assistant professor in human development and family studies, suggests that a language barrier can have negative consequences for adolescent self-control and aggressive behavior. Photo by Wyeth Lynch.

Most parents will admit that talking with a teenage child is difficult at times. It is even more challenging when parents and children don’t speak the same language fluently — a reality for a growing number of immigrant families in the United States.

New research from Iowa State University suggests this language barrier can have negative consequences for adolescent self-control and aggressive behavior. 

College of Human Sciences scholarships support students at unpaid internships

Kelsey Driscoll, a senior in kinesiology and health, leads a walk around Fenway Park in Boston as part of an internship she worked at with the help of a scholarship from the College of Human Sciences for unpaid internships and student teaching. Contributed photo.

The Iowa State University College of Human Sciences has in the past year helped nearly six dozen students who interned in fields where they are helping others, but were not going to be compensated for their work.