Alyssa Hanson

Alyssa Hanson plans on working within a school district or an early childhood development center, instructing teachers on how to implement art into their lesson plans. When she isn’t busy studying, Alyssa enjoys hanging out with friends, shopping, and listening to music.

Get to know Alyssa

  • Program: Human development and family studies 
  • Class: Second year master’s student
  • Hometown: Faribault, Minnesota
  • Career goal: Supporting teachers to implement art education programs
  • Clubs/activities: HD FS Graduate student network
  • Favorite class: HD FS 510, Theories of Human Development
  • Why Iowa State: Close to home, HD FS program

Alyssa Hanson plans to support teachers, implementing art into classrooms

Alyssa Hanson has always appreciated art. Her undergraduate studies in art therapy further developed her interest in research, which led to her pursuing graduate school at Iowa State University. 

“During my time here, I have become more interested in art education,” Alyssa said. “I’ve learned a lot about early childhood intervention and have observed in the lab school, which got me interested in early childhood education.”

Alyssa’s biggest aspiration is to support teachers and help them implement art education programs throughout their lesson plans. 

“My research has been about how teachers can be supported and encouraged to teach art and incorporate [art] into their classroom,” she said.

Alyssa is also looking into why art isn’t as present in schools as other core curricula, and identifying strategies to make it more present. Some strategies include finding certain materials that are easily-suited for different lessons, brainstorming ways to ensure easy clean-up, and looking at how to incorporate art into a multitude of class subjects. 

While studying toward her master’s degree, Alyssa is also a teaching assistant for the Human Development and Family Studies 102 course, Individual and Family Development, Health and Well-being, and  HDFS 249, Parenting and Family Diversity Issues. This role has aided with her personal and professional growth.

“[The teaching assistant position] has forced me to become more outgoing and talkative. I’m getting to help other students learn and grow in their own academics, while also collaborating with a professor,” Alyssa said.

Though graduate school has been a big transition, Alyssa finds the experience incredibly rewarding and is excited to graduate and join the workforce.

“Don’t let yourself get overworked. Remember to enjoy time for yourself and with friends and family. Graduate school may be difficult sometimes, but it is also a great experience.” she said.

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