2021 CHS Faculty and Staff Award Recipients

Through a competitive process, the following faculty and staff members were selected by their peers for awards from the College of Human Sciences. They were recognized on Tuesday, April 27, 2021, for excellence in advancing student success, transformative research and engagement, and community-building leadership and service.

Advancement of Student Success

Elizabeth McNeill

Assistant Professor
Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition

Early Achievement in Teaching Award
Elizabeth McNeill offers inspirational, rigorous, student-centered contextual learning to instill a life-long love of inquiry in her students. Characterized as easy-going — yet always well prepared — she nurtures a safe and inclusive learning environment and fosters student engagement in critical thinking. She also goes above and beyond to add exceptional professional development and lab research experiences for to her students.

She developed a new online course in research design and analysis. With Kevin Schalinske, she also developed a course on nutrigenomics and an Honors seminar on medical research ethics. She also retooled a lab and lecture course on research concepts in human nutrition.

With colleagues at other universities, she also developed an intensive one-week international workshop for undergraduate students to explore new intellectual approaches to experimental design and quantitative analysis.

Ellen KcKinney

Associate Professor
Department of Apparel, Events, and Hospitality Management

Mid-Career Achievement in Teaching Award
Ellen McKinney is emerging as an international leader by developing a program of teaching and scholarship that examines apparel design processes from a theoretical lens and employs practical applications. The International Textile and Apparel Association has recognized her with four faculty awards — among the highest honors for educators in her field.

Her work attracts top students to the program. She has developed a digital learning management system to steadily ensure her students have the qualifications they need –even international awards – to attain their desired positions after graduation.

She re-developed the rigorous pattern-development course — a core component of the highly ranked apparel, merchandising, and design program. Her work has transformed the creative and technical design and product development specializations within the apparel, merchandising, and design major.

EunHa (Lena) Jeong

Assistant Professor
Department of Apparel, Events, and Hospitality Management

Online Teaching Award
When the pandemic hit and nearly all Iowa State University courses moved online, EunHa Jeong was well ahead of the game. Buoyed by considerable professional development in pedagogy, she has expertly taught accessible, online and hybrid undergraduate and graduate hospitality management courses for years.

She models how to develop and teach effective, accessible, online courses that attract new students from several majors — and increase enrollment while maintaining high performance standards.

She has developed and taught four successful hospitality management courses, including the online ServSafe Food Safety Certification course, an online version of the course on hospitality sanitation and safety, and both face-to-face and hybrid versions of a graduate course on quantitative research methods.

Transformative Research and Engaged Scholarship


Jeong-Eun Lee

Assistant Professor
Department of Human Development and Family Studies

State Specialist
Human Sciences Extension and Outreach

Early Achievement in Research Award
Jeong-Eun Lee’s exceptional methodological research in gerontology and family life is expanding human potential. Her findings and outreach in social and family relationships, mental health and well-being of older adults, and community intervention improve the lives of older adults.

Dr. Lee has earned major funding from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture to study acceptance and commitment therapy to benefit custodial grandparents and grandchildren. She is also the primary investigator on four intramural grants, to advance finance and family life programming and caregiving.

Her research has been published in several of the most selective gerontology journals, including Aging and Mental Health, Journal of Aging and Health, and Research in Aging and the International Journal: Gerontology.

Duck-chul (DC) Lee

Associate Professor
Department of Kinesiology

Mid-Career Achievement in Research Award
Duck-chul Lee has earned an international reputation as a groundbreaking researcher in the field of physical activity epidemiology — particularly cardiorespiratory fitness, physical activity, and health outcomes.

A frequent contributor to medical journals, he received the Top Ten Publication Award from the American Heart Association in 2014, and the Atlas Award by Elsevier in 2017, for significantly impacting people’s lives. In 2019, he received the Paper of the Year Award from the American College of Sports Medicine, the leading professional organization in his field. He has 112 research publications. His Web of Science h-index is 32, with more than 700 citations last year.

In his NIH-funded lab, he has mentored more than 200 undergraduate research assistants as well as several graduate students, visiting scholars, and post-doctoral fellows.

Susan W. Arendt

Department of Apparel, Events, and Hospitality Management

Career Achievement in Research Award
Susan W. Arendt’s distinguished work improves the world’s health. With USDA funding, she has developed evidence-based food safety training modules used in academic classrooms and food service industry education. Her highly-cited research helps mitigate serious food borne illness and death by improving foodservice employees’ adherence to safe food handling practices.

As evidence of her international reputation, she is a Fellow of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She was recently named editor of the Journal of Child Nutrition and Management. In 2014, she was named the Reviewer of the Year by the Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Education. She wrote the most frequently downloaded paper from Food Protection Trends in 2017.

She does this all while successfully mentoring future academics and junior faculty.

Extension or Professional Practice

E. Andrew Pitchford

Assistant Professor
Department of Kinesiology

Early Achievement in Extension or Professional Practice Award
With deep insight into adapted physical education, E. Andrew Pitchford is shaping the future of education in Iowa.

As a member of the Health and Physical Education Leadership Team, he informs physical education policies and programming for the Iowa Department of Education. He contributed to a state physical education guide for students with disabilities and helped create training modules for licensed Iowa teachers to prepare them for important standard-based changes.He also assists the Iowa FitnessGram Initiative, supporting best practices in 90 Central Iowa schools. As the clinical director of the Healthy Athletes Program for Special Olympics, he leads free health screenings and education for individuals with special needs.

He also involves ISU physical education students in service learning. Under his guidance, they volunteer with Special Olympics, administer fitness assessments for children in Ames Schools, and provide the physical education component for 300 children at Northwood Preschool.

Community-Building Leadership and Service

Amy Popillion

Teaching Professor
Department of Human Development and Family Studies

Faculty Award for Inclusive Excellence
Amy Popillion is a champion of inclusion, equity, and access who builds relationships to foster change.

Her scholarship focuses on human sexuality, diversity, and social justice –and she personifies inclusion. She is esteemed for working one-on-one with students who need support related to their experiences of marginalization on our campus. Given her extensive knowledge and work in inclusion and diversity, students also seek her out to serve on their thesis and dissertation committees.

She is a highly sought after and active mentor for teachers who aim to infuse social justice and diversity content into the courses. She convened a group of faculty in human development and family studies to work together to adopt and promote anti-racist teaching strategies. She also initiated a teaching group for departmental graduate students who support their peers by examining each other’s teaching to reduce bias.

Alison St. Germain

Clinical Associate Professor
Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition

Term Faculty Award for Distinguished Service
Alison St. Germain is a personable leader, teacher, and mentor in the dietetic internship and undergraduate dietetics programs who continually enlivens the student experience.

Her promotion of size acceptance and anti-diet, weight inclusive approaches to nutrition serve to distinguish Iowa State’s dietetics programs. She helped grow the Body Image and Eating Disorder Awareness student organization at Iowa State and extend it to the other Regent institutions.

A lifelong learner who has earned certifications for intuitive eating, cognitive behavioral therapy, and online teaching, she incorporated into the internship curriculum, an evidence-based approach to behavior change counseling — motivational interviewing. She is also developing curriculum linking trauma and food security to poor nutritional status.

Tera Jordan

Associate Professor
Department of Human Development and Family Studies

Assistant Provost for Faculty Development
Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost

Outstanding Undergraduate and Graduate Mentoring Award
Tera Jordan’s mentorship ensures that students who are often first-generation and underrepresented receive the support and opportunities necessary for them to excel in academia and their early careers as professionals. Frequently drawing marginalized students, she deftly and respectfully helps them traverse the gap between what they can do without help and what they can do with appropriate assistance.

Knowing the mentor-mentee bond is a primary indicator of each student’s success, she listens intently and validates their social identities and unique experiences. She meets regularly with mentees to set high-reaching goals and recommend opportunities that will set them on the path to exceed their personal, academic, and professional aspirations.

Her work exemplifies the spirit of accessibility and inclusiveness. Thanks to her commitment, a more diverse spectrum of scholars are emerging to lead research, teaching, service, and community engagement.

Alicia Edwards

Academic Advisor
School of Education

Outstanding Advisor Award
Alicia Edwards is a consummate academic advisor who gets to know her advisees as individuals. She connects them with the resources and tools they need to be successful, guides them through critical decision making—and when necessary, facilitates tough conversations.

She was a key contributor to the development of the learning community designed especially for elementary education majors who have transferred into the major or into Iowa State University. These students have different needs because of the required structure of educator preparation. She created and implemented the learning community course, and continues to co-teach it.

Educator preparation faculty highly respect Alicia’s knowledge, expertise, and professionalism. She represents advising and teacher education services on several committees.

Professional and Scientific Awards

Rachel Vos Carrillo

Program Manager
Child Welfare Research and Training Program
Department of Human Development and Family Studies

P&S Staff Early Achievement in Administration Award
As a proactive and astute leader, Rachel Vos Carrillo has made substantial contributions to the welfare of children and families served statewide by the Iowa Department of Human Services. She manages all aspects of services valued at $1.8 million annually that Iowa State provides on behalf of Iowa DHS, through the service-training contract and the “community partnerships for the protection of children” contract.

Over the past two years, she has established clear, professional boundaries between contract staff and DHS contract managers. She created a strategic staffing plan to define roles and responsibilities, along with contract deliverables. Under her leadership, her team has improved communication, resolved issues, increased collaboration, shifted trainings from in-person courses to virtual formats, embraced the state’s new learning management system, and improved training quality and delivery.

Jessica Drenth

Athletic Trainer
Athletic Department

Clinical Preceptor and Adjunct Instructor
Department of Kinesiology

P&S Distinguished Service in Research/Teaching Award
Jessica Drenth is a top-notch instructor and clinical preceptor in the athletic training program.

In the classroom, her students range from aspiring coaches, athletic trainers, and physical therapists to dietitians, teachers, and business executives. She diversifies the course material to make it relevant to her diverse scholars and ensure they all are learning toward their individual career goals.

Athletic training students take knowledge and skills they’ve learned in the classroom and apply them in clinical setting under the preceptor’s supervision — a highly hands-on approach. Yet, faced of the pandemic, Jessica innovated to provide high-quality instruction that could be delivered virtually as well as in person.

Need More Information?

Contact the Chair of College of Human Sciences Honors and Awards Committee