Luke Huber

Luke Huber hopes to have a career focused on improving services provided to families with young children after graduating from his program. When he isn’t studying, Luke enjoys spending time with family, traveling, and being outdoors.

Get to know Luke

  • Program: Human development and family studies
  • Year: Master of Science (’20), second-year doctoral student 
  • Hometown: Hudson, Iowa (Black Hawk County)
  • Career goal: Focus on improving services provided to families with children in the zero to five age range
  • Clubs/activities: HDFS Graduate Student Network, Prospective Student Day, Ballard Middle School wrestling coach
  • Awards/honors/scholarships: Dean’s list
  • Most influential ISU mentor: Kere Hughes-Belding
  • Favorite class: HD FS 585, Program Evaluation

Luke Huber uses research to institute tangible change, supports families statewide

Luke Huber is a firm believer that social change starts with the family. After obtaining his master’s degree, he is now a second-year doctoral student focusing his studies on improving early childhood prevention and intervention programming through data-informed decision making. 

Early into his program, Luke began an assistantship in a research study headed by Kere Hughes-Belding and Carla Peterson, associate professor and professor in human development and family studies. Through participation in this study, he met with families directly who were receiving home visitation services—a service that provides both parenting and family support to families with young children.

“Once I started visiting with families who directly received these services, I started to realize some things about what I value in terms of supporting the family unit,” Luke said. “Home visitation and family support services research were really tangible ways for me to do that.”

This experience inspired him to focus his research more toward improving services and providing support for families—specifically those with young children.

“Because [the zero to five age range] is such an important developmental time period for [children], it’s important to support the family to give kids the best chance as possible at an early age to set them up for success,” Luke said.

Lukes believes in the power of research and the opportunity it allows to enact change. 

“I enjoy research to make tangible change,” Luke said. “What I feel like sometimes happens is there’s a disconnect between research and actual application. I want to make sure when I do research and use data, there is application behind it.”

Research is fundamental when taking targeted approaches and making informed decisions. Luke has seen how these correlate through his internship with Lutheran Services in Iowa over the summer. 

Lutheran Services in Iowa is a nonprofit human services agency focused on serving and empowering communities across the state. Projects Luke worked on over the summer included improving the home visiting program, referral system, and community of practice. Having this tangible experience has allowed him to see the vast opportunities available at the end of his academic journey.

“[The internship] has been very formative,” Luke said. “I’ve had a great mentor with it, so that’s been really cool.”

In the future, Luke hopes to have a career focused on improving services provided to families with young children. 

“I think [family] is what I would consider the backbone of any society,” Luke said. “Thinking about how we can support them, we can have a better society in that way.”

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