Sixteen College of Human Sciences students, including one from the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, were among 59 from Iowa State University who spent their spring break doing service projects aimed at helping those in need.

Through the university’s Alternative Breaks program, students engaged in service learning in six states by working with children and animals, preparing meals, helping to renovate homes, and rebuilding trails and habitats.

This year’s trips took teams of students to Colorado, South Dakota, Pennsylvania, Kansas, Georgia, and Louisiana.

All six graduate site leaders of the trips — Alexa Bueltel, Ricky Calderon, Amanda Oller, Morgan Sanders, Lindsey Sheets, and Alex Young — are graduate assistants in the School of Education.

“I have always had a passion for service learning and want to be able to share my passion with other ISU students and see the impact this experience has on them,” Bueltel said.

Working on the farm in Coloradoalt-spring-break-trip-colorado-cropped
Five human sciences students — Bueltel and Dawn Thompson in education, Hannah Zulk and Zach Kaufman in kinesiology and health, and Megan Slattery in nutritional science — were among those who traveled to Wellington, Colorado.

There, they worked with Harvest Farm, a 209-acre farm and nationally recognized rehabilitation program that provides jobs and housing for those recovering from drug and alcohol addiction. The farm accommodates up to 72 men who participate in a long-term program with the goal of breaking the cycles of addiction and homelessness.

“This facility takes in men who are struggling with addiction and they go through a step-by-step program to lead them back on the right track,” Bueltel said.

The Iowa State team worked on the falt-spring-break-trip-colorado1-croppedarm, prepared meals, and worked on restoration projects and upkeep. They also interacted with the men living there, listened to their stories, and heard about their future goals.

“I’m coming back more educated on addiction and the impact it has on individual lives,” said Zulk, a sophomore in kinesiology. “I hope to incorporate these experiences into my future work as a doctor and know that the world is so much bigger than me and my problems.”

Rebuilding homes and trails, working with youth and animals
Young and Anna Ferris, a junior in elementary education, worked with animals at the Kansas Humane Society in Wichita, Kansas. They walked dogs, socialized with cats, cleaned kennels, helped to repair facilities, and assisted with group classes.

“I helped the team to make decisions, work together, and build leadership skills,” said Young, the graduate site leader. “The trip also provided reflection opportunities on the importance of service.”

Sanders led a team to Cloudland Canyon State Park in Rising Fawn, Georgia, where students rebuilt trails and did park maintenance.

“I love the outdoors and wanted to do something to give back to state parks,” Sanders said. “The work we did on this trip was trail rehabilitation, which aids hikers like me continue to do what we love.”

Four human sciences students — Calderon, along with Kylee Joiner in kinesiology and health, Mary Tong in hospitality management, and Amber Ford in elementary education — were among those who traveled to Eagle Butte, South Dakota.

There, they worked with the Cheyenne River Youth Project, an organization that provides care, support, and education to youth on a Native American reservation. The Iowa State students helped with after-school care and cenalt-spring-break-trip-southdakota8-croppedter upkeep, and presented information on the college admissions process.

Adriane Frauenholtz and Trisha Langenfeld, both undergraduates in child, adult, and family services, were in the group working with Rebuilding Together in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

The organization helps to rebuild and renovate homes of those in need. Students stayed in a church in Wilkinsburg and spent the week boarding up a house, plastering another, and drylocking a basement.

“I’ve learned so much from the Alternative Breaks I have been on,” said Frauenholtz, a junior who previously went on the Colorado trip and served as a site leader this year for the Pennsylvania trip. “I believe I will be able to take my experiences to help benefit others in the future.”

Preparing for careers working with peoplealt-spring-break-trip-colorado16-cropped
The Alternative Breaks program at Iowa State began in 2008. For the past decade, teams of students have spent their spring and winter breaks traveling to other states to perform short-term projects for community agencies, and to learn about various social issues.

Human sciences students on this year’s Alternative Breaks — whose career goals include becoming teachers, physical therapists, coaches, doctors, substance abuse counselors, and hospice workers — all said the experience will help prepare them for their future careers working with people.

“I think anytime I have the chance to work with other people, compromise, be challenged, and live outside of my comfort zone, it grows my character and will help me instill the importance of service to my future students,” said Thompson, a senior who hopes to become an elementary school teacher.

“I believe it’s critical for doctors to not only be knowledgeable about the human body and the various systems of the body, but to also have the skills and communication to create an atmosphere that their patients feel comfortable in; basically, good bedside manners,” said Slattery, a sophomore in nutritional science who plans to attend medical school to become a family physician.

The practical, global, and leadership experiences provided by Alternative Breaks and other service learning projects contribute to the social good and improve the quality of life of others. They also help Iowa State students become more well-rounded citizens who are exceptionally prepared to lead in a global society and make a difference around the world.

“After graduation, I plan on going into the Peace Corps,” said Langenfeld, a sophomore in child, adult, and family services who was on the Pennsylvania trip. “It has been my dream for a few years now and I know that serving in Alternative Breaks will help prepare me for serving in another country. Alternative Breaks is just a smaller scale of exactly what I want to do with my life.”


Amanda Oller, service programs graduate assistant, Student Activities Center, Iowa State University,

Alexa Bueltel, graduate student in higher education-student affairs, School of Education, Iowa State University, 515-294-3265,

Alex Young, graduate student in the School of Education, Iowa State University, 515-294-4821,

Ricky Calederon, graduate student in the School of Education, 515-294-3265,

Megan Slattery, sophomore in nutritional science, Iowa State University,

Hannah Zulk, sophomore in kinesiology and health, Iowa State University,

Dawn Thompson, senior in elementary education, Iowa State University,

Zachariah Kaufman, sophomore in the pre-physical therapy option of kinesiology and health, Iowa State University,

Trisha Langenfeld, sophomore in child, adult, and family services; Iowa State University,

Morgan Sanders, graduate student in higher education student affairs, School of Education, Iowa State University, 515-294-6624,

Adriane Frauenholtz, junior in child, adult, and family services; Iowa State University,

Lynn Campbell, communications specialist, College of Human Sciences, Iowa State University, 515-294-3689,

Every 66 seconds, someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s disease. However, students within the College of Human Sciences are working to bring healing and hope to persons affected by Alzheimer’s, and to raise awareness for battling the disease. (more…)

AMES, Iowa ­– Iowa State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences presented awards to faculty and staff March 9. The award winners included several Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition faculty and staff:cals-award-ford_clark_wintersteen_web

Clark Ford received the Distance Education Teaching Award. Ford, an associate professor in food science and human nutrition, has taught a world food issues class since 1997. The class requires students to critically examine problems surrounding food issues throughout the world.

The Team Award went to the Bioplastics for the Green Industry Team. This interdisciplinary team has made significant contributions through research, extension and graduate education to improve the sustainability of specialty crop production. Producers in the United States use more than 4 billion single-use petroleum-based horticultural plant containers each year. The team developed a sustainable technology that replaces petroleum-based plastics with ones made from biorenewable materials. Their work will help sustain high-value specialty crop producers, reduce environmental impacts and create entrepreneurial opportunities. The team members include: William Graves, associate dean of the graduate college; Chris Currey, an assistant professor of horticulture; David Grewell, professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering; Darren Jarboe, program manager with the Center for Crops Utilization Research; Kurt Rosentrater, associate professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering; and James Schrader, associate scientist in horticulture.cals-award-schalinske_wintersteen_web

The 2017 Rossmann Manatt Faculty Development Award went to Kevin Schalinske, a professor in food science and human nutrition. Since 1999, Schalinske has mentored undergraduate and graduate students by providing research experiences. Students exposed to these opportunities often pursue graduate school. Schalinske plans to use the award funding to provide undergraduate students the opportunity to conduct an independent project focused on the health benefits of egg consumption.


Barb McBreen, Agriculture and Life Sciences Communications Service, 515-294-0707,

From more traditional desserts, such as peanut butter mousse bites, to desserts with a bit of a kick, like the sweet and spicy mango habanero pot stickers, entries in this year’s GPC Ingredient Application Challenge had the judges and taste testers raving. (more…)

February 27-March 4 is Body Image & Eating Disorder Awareness (BIEDA) Week at Iowa State University. Several events and activities have been planned to bring awareness to the issue.

The week’s activities begin with an “Honor Your Hunger” event on Feb. 27, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the LeBaron Lobby. Then at 5 p.m., the first part of Culinary Boot Camp takes place. Students who signed up for boot camp will be given tips on grocery shopping and meal planning. Part two of boot camp will take place the following Monday.

On Tuesday, the documentary, “Embrace,” will be shown in 2155 Marston. The film looks at the reasons poor body image has become a global epidemic and things women can do to have a brighter future. Free popcorn and treats will be provided.

Wednesday’s activity is a lecture by speaker James “Buck” Ryan, executive director of Remuda Ranch at The Meadows in Arizona. Titled, “Eating Disorders Simplified,” Ryan will talk about what eating disorders are and aren’t. The lecture will take place at 7 p.m. in the Great Hall of the Memorial Union.

Then on Thursday, make plans to attend the Rock Your Body! Party in the Memorial Union’s Cardinal Room from noon to 3 p.m. Free food, games and prizes will be offered. Several vendors will be in attendance, and individuals will share their recovery stories.

Friday and Saturday are Eating Disorder Coalition of Iowa (EDCI) Awareness Days in Des Moines. BIEDA officer training and education for students, teachers, coaches, parents and families will take place Friday. Saturday’s Awareness Day will include keynote speakers and breakout sessions.

The BIEDA Club at Iowa State is responsible for organizing BIEDA Week activities. To find out more about the club, find them on Facebook and Twitter.


Whitney Sager, communications coordinator, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, 515-294-9166,

A post-doctoral researcher has been awarded a USDA fellowship to support his research into bacteria found in beef. (more…)

Those interested in learning more about genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are encouraged to register for the upcoming Current Issues in Nutrition online presentation. (more…)

Students are about to embark on a journey that will put their culinary skills to the test. (more…)

A group of four Iowa State University students recently returned from their trip to the Agriculture Future of America (AFA) Food Institute in Chicago. (more…)

A junior at Iowa State University (ISU) was among the 20 college students from Iowa and California to be selected for the first class of the new Principal Community Scholars Program.

Mica Magtoto, a junior in nutritional science, received an email about the scholarship, which encourages students to complete projects that benefit the community. (more…)