Research news


Ann Gansemer-Topf receives support for establishment of sustainable learning communities for graduates
Ann Gansemer-Topf, associate professor in the School of Education, was awarded a grant of $499,987 from the National Science Foundation. Gansemer-Topf will be developing and evaluating a learning community for graduates students in STEM. The learning community will focus on training that teaches and applies project management techniques to academic research, with the goal of improving completion rates and better preparing graduate students for work in industry and the academy.

TJ Stewart awarded grant funding for study on fat-bodied students on campuses
TJ Stewart, assistant professor in the School of Education, obtained $5,000 in funding from the American College Personnel Association Senior Scholars. Stewart will use the funds to study the experience of fat-bodied students on campus and their experiences with fatphobia, sizeism, and anti-fat bias using a visual research methodology, photovoice methodology, that puts cameras into the participants' hands to help them to document, reflect upon, and communicate issues of concern, while stimulating social change.

Rosemary Perez receives grant to study historically white graduate colleges’ inclusion and diversity efforts
Rosemary Perez, an assistant professor in the school of education, obtained $20,475 in funding from the Spencer Foundation. Perez will use the funds to study the work of graduate colleges who work to advance their equity, diversity, and inclusion in predominantly white institutions. This study will illuminate how graduate colleges respond to public policies that constrain their efforts to support minoritized students’ access and success.

Joanne Marshall awarded grant to test school evacuation applications of an active shooter tracking app
Joanne Marshall, associate professor in the School of Education, was awarded $649,982 from the National Science Foundation for a research project titled Active Shooter Tracking & Evacuation Routing for Survival.This project will result in an app that tracks an active shooter in real time, communicating the best evacuation route to students, teachers, and staff. In her role on the research team, Marshall will examine the pre-k through 12th grade application effectiveness and will work with a school in Iowa to test the protocol.

Katherine Richardson Bruna receives additional funding to create a mosquito-themed science comic book
Katherine Richardson Bruna, professor in the School of Education, received $153,445 from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to expand her current Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) project, "Young Scientists and Ambitious Teachers Improving Health in an Urban Ecosystem." The objective of the foundational 5-year funding is to promote authentic science learning and ambitious teaching while familiarizing historically-excluded youth with science pursuits through the Mosquitoes & Me program. Youths in the program learn about mosquitoes and human health. The additional funds will be used to engage Mosquitoes & Me youth participants in science comics creation. They will work with a Marvel Comics author/illustrator to publish a professional comic book that conveys mosquito science and public health information to the broad public.

Larysa Nadolny receives award to research chemical engineering cyberlearning tools
Larysa Nadolny, associate professor in the School of Education, received $293,118 from the National Science Foundation to research effective strategies for the implementation of games in chemical engineering curricula. The research team will develop a STEM-focused dashboard that includes tools such as leaderboards, badges, and awards to increase retention rates in chemical engineering students. This project will continue to improve over its three year course, thanks to the advisory board of national experts who will provide feedback. This project will contribute to the understanding of motivation in regard to gamification in chemical engineering coursework, and provide knowledge for applying gamification to courses in other STEM fields.

Christa Jackson receives funding for STEM software research
School of Education associate professor Christa Jackson was awarded $33,333 as a sub-award from Parametric Studios. The funded project, “An Augmented Reality-based Design Puzzle Sandbox for use in Early Elementary STEM Instruction (NEWTON),” focuses on combining core engineering and computer science concepts for students in kindergarten through second grade. This is done through a variety of different games, puzzles, and hands-on designing through the usage of computational thinking.
New tenured and tenure-track faculty for 2019-20 announcedEleven outstanding scholars joined the tenured and tenure-track faculty in the Iowa State University College of Human Sciences when the 2019-20 academic year began.

Using their expertise to improve people's lives, the focus of these human scientists' research ranges from textile design processes, to wine polyphenols and polysaccharides, to orthopedic biomechanics, to the intersection of political philosophy, normative ethics, and evidence in educational decision-making.


School of Education team receives Partnership grant with Des Moines Public Schools to increase student success in mathematics
Anne Foegen, Mollie Appelgate, Ji Yeong I, Christa Jackson, and Todd Abraham of the School of Education have been awarded $400,000 from the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute for Studies in Education. The two-year grant will support the development of a partnership with Des Moines Public Schools to (1) address the district’s efforts to improve the number of students (and males of color, in particular) who pass Algebra 1 by implementing student-centered, equity-focused instruction and (2) examine students’ mathematics course-taking pathways from Grade 5 to and through Algebra 1.

Christa Jackson receives grant for EDISON project
Christa Jackson, an associate professor in the school of education, received a $220,000 grant from Parametric Studios Inc. for their project EDISON Phase II (Engineering Design Instruction Software for Implementing Objectives of Next (EDISON) Generation Standards in K-12 Phase II). The project focuses on developing STEM curricula that allows middle-level students to use mathematics and science to engage in engineering design challenges on a gamified design, simulation, prototyping and collaborative software platform. The project will support middle-level teachers to effectively integrate science, technology, engineering and mathematics in their instruction.