Five College of Human Sciences’ Alums Honored at Annual Ceremony

Faculty News Honors and Awards News

The 90th annual ISU Alumni Association Honors and Awards Ceremony was held on Friday, Oct. 22, where more than thirty awards were conferred representing all colleges and the ISU Alumni Association. Congratulations to all of this year’s recipients! Read more below about the College of Human Sciences’ honorees and view a recording of the event here.

Helen LeBaron Hilton Award

Dr. Pamela J. White

PhD ‘81 food technology

Ames, Iowa

Dr. Pamela J. White is not only a world-renowned scientist, her career has also left a legacy at Iowa State that continues to enrich the lives of students, faculty and staff.

White was instrumental in furthering the development of the College of Human Sciences while serving as the dean and dean’s chair. She has been described by peers as a strong, authentic leader with a priority on quality and making decisions with integrity. Under her leadership, the college gained national prominence and record enrollment by focusing on student success, innovation, facilities improvement, external funding and research productivity.

An internationally recognized food-science expert, the impact of her research aided in developing agricultural crops with enhanced food, nutritional and economic value.

Throughout her career, she secured millions in external research funding resulting in over 160 peer-reviewed manuscripts, books, chapters and patents. She has also given over 200 presentations spanning the globe.

White served as the president of the American Oil Chemist’s Society and has made significant leadership contributions to the American Association of Cereal Chemists International. Her service, leadership and research garnered the 2017 lifetime achievement award from the Board on Human Sciences, Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities.

Upon retirement, she remains highly engaged in her community through service to various organizations focused on improving the lives of others.

Outstanding Young Professional Award

Audrey Kennis

M.Ed. ‘15 higher education

Ames, Iowa

Audrey Kennis is a leader in developing initiatives that promote, encourage, develop and support under-represented populations.

During her time in various roles at Iowa State, her student-centered, data-driven approach resulted in programs that continue to ensure Iowa State’s most vulnerable students have the support they need to reach their goals.

She led and developed programs such as SMART STEPS in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Participants earned higher GPAs, retention increased and students often shared they wouldn’t have graduated without the program’s unique approach to helping them succeed both in and out of the classroom.

During her time in the College of Design, Kennis impacted the lives of thousands of students and the preparedness of hundreds of faculty and staff to make the college more welcoming and inclusive by developing programs and working closely with students.

Kennis was also a prominent leader in Iowa State’s participation at the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity (NCORE) and a program facilitator for the NCORE/Iowa State Conference on Race and Ethnicity Professional Development Academy.

Her seven awards and recognitions, three grants and eighteen professional-service involvements have a lasting impact on students, faculty and staff at Iowa State and within the Ames’ community. 

Today, Kennis uses her extensive experience as the director of diversity, equity and inclusion for the city of West Des Moines, Iowa.

Alumni Achievement Award

Lori Arnold Myers

PhD ‘07 family and consumer sciences education

Ruston, Louisiana

Lori Arnold Myers, CFCS is a high-impact leader in the Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) profession and currently serves as Senior Director of Credentialing, Education and Research at the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS).

As a high-school student, Myers found a passion for Family and Consumer Sciences and began her teaching career in secondary education. She then moved to post-secondary education as an instructor and then assistant professor where she led an FCS education program.

Using her people-centered approach, Myers then used her advanced education, creative energy and passion for curriculum and research to further the FCS profession at a national level.

Her leadership with AAFCS is instrumental in programs and initiatives related to research, higher education, and professional development.  Myers shares her expertise with FCS professionals across the nation in curriculum development, standards-based instruction, assessment and certifications, professional growth, and career opportunities.  AAFCS capitalized on her skills and abilities to provide transitional leadership during a six-month term as Interim Executive Director. 

Myers recently co-authored a Higher Education Challenge Grant funded by the United States Department of Agriculture National Institute for Food and Agriculture. The over $900,000 received in grant and matching funds was used to create and implement the National Partnership to Recruit, Prepare and Support FCS Educators.

With over 40 national and international presentations, numerous state presentations and 20 research and scholarly contributions and achievements, Myers continues to advance the profession with her commitment to improving the quality of life for individuals, families and communities.

Alumni Achievement Award

Susan M. Maxwell

‘73 textiles and clothing

Oro Valley, Arizona

Susan M. Maxwell’s career is defined by entrepreneurship and innovation. Not only did she forever change the retail footwear industry, Maxwell continues to share her experiences with future professionals.

Maxwell credits her Iowa State education as a key to her success in the apparel industry. Her retail career began in department stores. She then became a Senior Buyer for Target Stores and the position included extensive worldwide travel for sourcing materials and product manufacturing.

She recognized the significant loss of profit from mismatched shoes in retail stores.  In 1983, she invented and patented a shoe connection system that attached pairs together without damaging the product.

Footwear companies infringed her patented system.  Maxwell, an individual and the rare woman inventor, didn’t back down when faced with major corporate infringement.  She filed lawsuits to stop the infringers.  She persevered in a 17-year-legal battle and prevailed in all lawsuits.  Law students study her litigation history.  The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office selected Maxwell’s patent to be featured in an exhibition of inventions by women. 

As an entrepreneur, Maxwell founded a merchandising company specializing in the design, development and production of consumer goods in China. 

Her impact in the field continues with her collaboration on two case studies for the 2016 and 2021 editions of Going Global: The Textile and Apparel Industry textbook used in 80 textiles and apparel programs across the world. Maxwell has served on the Dean’s Advisory Council and frequently speaks to Iowa State classes.

Virgil S. Lagomarcino Laureate Award

Steve Schulz

PhD ‘09 educational leadership & policy studies
Mason City, Iowa

Steve Schulz is known as a visionary leader for transforming education at the local, state and national levels.

Currently serving as the president for North Iowa Community College (NIACC), Schulz’s ability to build partnerships throughout his career has resulted in innovative programs focused on improving students’ experiences.

His collaborative leadership with the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE) resulted in the implementation of the Verizon Innovative Learning program focused on improving education for under-resourced middle-school students. The national program now includes 52 colleges serving over 4,000 students. He was also one of the first community college presidents to embrace NACCE’s community of practice call to action. Under his leadership, NIACC currently serves the nation as the Entrepreneurial Mindset Center of practice.

As a further testament to Schulz’s visionary leadership, he orchestrated a first-of-its-kind solar-powered campus that redirected utility fees to fund programming.

His service in K-12 education as a teacher, coach, principal and superintendent coupled with his experience in leading community colleges has been an integral part of his service on various state-wide task forces that shape policy and practice for Iowa’s educational system.

Schulz recently received the Outstanding Administrator Award for Iowa’s System of Community Colleges and serves on several national, state and local boards.