The academic role of women at Iowa State was truly able to thrive thanks to the Home Economics program. In keeping with the vocational nature of the land grant school, home economics allowed women to apply scientific principles to the tasks of their everyday lives. The study of home economics brought dignity and sophistication to work that had often felt like “drudgery.” It also created a special body of expertise, allowing women to use their knowledge as journalists, consumer advocates or nutrition experts. As time went on and matters outside the home became more pressing for women and men alike, the home economics program shifted its focus to major global issues like hunger, population growth, and women’s rights, always recognizing the importance of home and family life no matter how large the problem may seem.
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