Latest research

A cornerstone of the land-grant mission of Iowa State University is a focus on research. And in the College of Human Sciences, our research has a direct impact on the way our communities live and learn. Consider some of the current projects:

  • Sarah Rodriguez and Rosemary Perez, assistant professors in the School of Education, and principal investigator Craig Ogilvie, assistant dean of the Graduate College and a Morrill Professor in physics and astronomy, received a $410,626 grant from the National Science Foundation. Ogilvie, Rodriguez, and Perez will use this money to fund a study of the CIRTL AGEP Transformation Alliance. This group will develop, implement, and study models to examine pathways to the professoriate and the success of historically underrepresented minority (URM) students, postdoctoral fellows and faculty in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Research will focus on how students engage with their STEM discipline and which experiences, relationships, and supports foster a sense of community and interest in joining the professoriate. 
  • Professor Gong-Soog Hong and adjunct associate professor Janet Melby in human development and family studies received a $1,998,137 award from the Iowa Department of Human Services. The award continues a partnership between the ISU Child Welfare Research and Training Project and the DHS Bureau of Service Support and Training and Bureau of Child Care Service. The project provides on-line instructional courses, blended learning opportunities, and classroom training to IDHS Social workers and community partners. They are essential to the delivery of social, rehabilitative treatment and support services throughout Iowa. In addition, the award supports state-wide community-based initiatives and continued implementation of the Safe and Together Model. The contract includes matching support for the AmeriCorps Partnering to Protect Children program being administered through the Child Welfare Research and Training Project.
  • Ann Marie Fiore, a professor in apparel, events, and hospitality management, was awarded $190,000 from the United States-India Educational Foundation to improve fashion merchandising education in India. Activities emphasized include the development of a graduate-level course, service-learning activities in India, public lectures, and open source educational materials that better prepare students to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing, global retail industry. Fiore’s team includes apparel, merchandising, and design professors Linda Niehm, Jessica Hurst, Te-Lin Chung, Elena Karpova, and Eulanda Sanders, along with Ana-Paula Correia in the School of Education. The team will also work with faculty from Oklahoma State University, the University of North Texas, and the National Institute of Fashion Technology in India.  
  • Angela Shaw, an assistant professor in food science and human nutrition, was awarded a three-year $950,000 grant from the federal Food and Drug Administration after applying through their competitive grant program. The grant will be used to establish the new North Central Regional Center for Food Safety Training, which will provide guidance to food processors and growers in 12 Midwestern states to become compliant with new regulations. The Iowa State University multidisciplinary team, comprised of faculty and Extension Specialists, is led by Angela Shaw, with support from Linda Naeve M.S. and Joseph Hannan, M.S. from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and Dr. Catherine Strohbehn from the College of Human Sciences.
  • Elizabeth Stegemoller, an assistant professor in kinesiology, received $20,000 from the Calhoun County Extension District. The money will fund a project which will expand on a previous grant that examined the effects of singing on voice, respiratory control, and swallowing in persons with Parkinson’s disease. In this grant, a training video (with Stegemoller leading the intervention) will be completed and the program will be carried out with the Extension specialist for a group of persons with Parkinson’s in Calhoun County. The idea is to determine if a virtual program will elicit the same response as the live program. If so, this will allow the singing program to expand and hopefully help more Iowans with Parkinson’s disease across the state.

These are just five examples of the many outstanding research efforts being conducted in the College of Human Sciences. Whether it's a focus on the effects of singing on speech for those with Parkinson's disease or exploring the impact of digestion-resistant starches, our research is at work around the world, improving the lives of others.