Dean of College of Human Sciences reflects on projects, student involvement in college


Julia Benda/ Iowa State Daily

Laura Jolly, the dean of the College of Human Sciences, labels the college as an inspiring place. She has a positive outlook on ongoing projects in the college, including the renovations in MacKay Hall.

Julia Benda

The dean of the College of Human Sciences, Laura Jolly, said the College of Human Sciences is an inspiring place to be and continues to contribute to the programs and events of the college.

Jolly reflected on the undertakings of the previous school year as well as how they have applied to the current year.

“We created and launched this fall […] an education doctorate, an EdD,” Jolly said. “We’ve had a PhD, but we launched an EdD, and we were invited to join the Carnegie Project for the education doctorate so we’ve got a core team of faculty participating in that consortion. We are very excited about the potential for this program because it is a scholar practitioner model.”

Jolly said they have professional positions in Iowa for public education, and it’s giving the professionals an opportunity to come back as part of their doctoral work to focus on problems of practice in education.

Students in the new education doctorate program range from school principals to other educational leadership positions and how they use the program to further their work, according to Jolly.

Jolly said there are different ways students are involved with the College of Human Sciences, including Human Sciences Week and the Human Sciences Student Council.

“We just hosted Human Sciences Week a couple of weeks ago and it is a student run event,” Jolly said. “We have a team of students that work on [the events] throughout the year. It is to engage the Human Sciences community. We foster leadership opportunities in that way. We also have a very active Human Sciences Student Council that meets monthly. [The council is made up of] presidents of all of our student clubs and organizations.”

Jolly said the College of Human Sciences currently has strong student leaders and the large number of active student groups. Jolly also said they are thinking of ways to continue the enhancement and support of the student leadership.

As far as challenges in the future, Jolly said she faces and overcomes adversity with optimism and realism.

Jolly said she asks herself the best way to achieve the goals of the College of Human Sciences and how to move forward.

“I think we are so fortunate at Iowa State to have very committed leadership all over the institution,” Jolly said. “[…] But I also am so inspired by our alums, friends and students in terms of their commitment to the place and their excitement and energy. It’s an easy place to be in that regard, a very inspiring place to be.”

Jolly has also been an integral part of the renovations appearing in buildings on campus such as MacKay Hall, Lagomarcino Hall and the Forker Building.

Jolly said the renovation projects has been exciting. She has gotten the chance to lead tours through the buildings and said she has spoken with alumni and donors to gain support for the projects.

Jolly initially studied for a degree in apparel, retail and merchandising and then furthered her education with a master’s degree and doctoral degree in textiles, clothing and merchandising. She previously worked at the University of Georgia and University of Kentucky, serving various positions within the college.