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Leaders and role models, 1950s-1970sSubmitted by Julia Faltinson Anderson from Ames, Iowa, USA
- B.S. Home Economics Education 1941
Reflections on the era of Dean Helen LeBaron Hilton - 1952-1975
Background of the Division of Home Economics, 1952-1953
In the fall of 1952, Dean LeBaron inherited a Division of Home Economics that had an established reputation among peers in the state, the nation, and internationally.
Organizationally, the Division had nine departments: Applied Art, Child Development, Foods and Nutrition, Home Economics Education, Home Management, Household Equipment, Institution Management, Textiles and Clothing, and Physical Education for Women.
Basic curricula 1952-1953
Perspective of the faculty
The focus of the faculty was to assure that students would be well-rounded including personal development, preparation to carry responsibilities of homemaking, citizenship, and a professional career. All students took a required core curriculum including specific courses in the physical, biological, social sciences and humanities as well as courses in several departments of home economics. Additional home economics courses were specified by the respective departments to complete a particular major. Several courses required certification.
Perception of the students
Since this was the initial period following World War II, many students were more interested in marriage than in a profession. It was also a period when the ratio of students was five males to one female. Nevertheless, students wanted a comprehensive, integrated background that reflected the core curriculum and a specialization or major.
Changes in curricula
By the late 1950s, the decade of the 60s, and early 70s, a number of changes in requirements and options were made by the faculty to reflect the changing goals of education, new knowledge, and changing times. Curing this time, more decisions affecting families and individuals were being made in the public sector by government agencies and organizations. Therefore, faculty and students needed to be aware and concerned about these issues. Dean LeBaron's awareness of this public sector development was compelling enough that she ran for and was elected to the Ames City Council in 1966 - the first woman to do so. The program in this period also made available a field trip by bus to Chicago and St. Louis between Spring and Summer Session I, open to junior and senior graduate students and faculty. On-site experiences included visits to inner city public schools, day care centers, settlement houses, public housing, urban extension programs, Cook County Hospital, Family Court, and Health Services. A weekly seminar preceded the spring preceding the trip.
Concurrently, there were changes being made in the various departments:
Within six years, the College of Home Economics had lost approximately 1,200 students to these two new colleges.
Innovations in the Division/College
In 1958, Iowa State College became a University and the Division of Home Economics became the College of Home Economics.
*Later adopted by other segments of the University.
Cooperative extension specialists and resident faculty planned cooperatively to bring research and new developments to farm women. These one-day conferences were held annually for many years. The combination of resident teaching, research, and extension contributed to better the needs of individuals and families in Iowa.
Institution Management personnel provided short-course training for food service workers in state institutions, hospitals, and nursing homes.
Many of the developments outlined above were an outgrowth of the times. Dean LeBaron Hilton began her administrative role in an era when women were viewed primarily as wives and mothers to an era in which they were beginning to participate in the public sector as well as holding professional positions. The changing roles of women were reflected in the evolution of the curriculum over these 23 years. In her address at her retirement, she challenged the audience to face themselves and decide how they were going to use new opportunities available to them as women.
A Century of Home Economics at Iowa State University, Eppright and Ferguson, 1971.
Unpublished notes by Julia Faltinson Anderson, 1952-2005