A closeup of 'Threshold' a green, tile mosaic created by Lynn Basa, located in the main entrance to Nancy Nicholas Hall.

Global Human Ecology

What if every Human Ecology student graduated with an understanding of how to make local-to- global change that improves quality of life, community and care of the earth?

Human ecology approaches are crucial to support human development in community and address the social determinants of health and well-being, thereby enabling the realization of social goods such as education, housing, meaningful livelihoods, engagement with nature, safety, and peace for all individuals. Our community of scholars consists of interdisciplinary experts from various fields, including psychology, economics, public health, geography, design, and visual arts. This interdisciplinary composition positions us  to collaborate in enhancing health and well-being. 

Human ecologists can contribute to global health, well-being, and societal development through social ecological models, systems thinking, social justice approaches, human development research, arts-based approaches, sustainable economics, and the development of micro and macro-level societies.

As human ecologists, we are driven to make life better for all. Our work is not limited by geography. We seek to create scalable, lasting impact, both locally and globally, and collaborate to enhance human thriving and environmental care.

An Asian American woman with short, black hair poses and smiles on a street in Prague with pastel-colored buildings.
MFA student Veronica Pham attended the Past and Present – Built and Social conference hosted by Architecture, Media, Politics, Society (AMPS). The conference asked attendees to be curious about what “heritage” means and to consider how globalization threatens buildings, environments, artwork, craft and more.

Sample of current coursework:

  • Communities and Global Health (CSCS500)
  • The Human Rights of Children and Youth (CSCS470)
  • Human Trafficking: Local and Global Perspectives (CSCS410)
  • The Global Consumer (CS562)
  • Global Artisans (DS527) 
  • and more

Goals and Efforts: Our Priorities

We are creating a robust community within Human Ecology for enhanced global research, education, and outreach efforts, and to collaborate campus-wide with other globally oriented units. 

Our efforts include:

  • Convening a Global Human Ecology Scholars Circle and interest groups to steward global research, education and outreach, as well as a human ecology global ethic. 
  • Developing a global human ecology framework that is inclusive of multi-layered identities (e.g., national, cultural and Indigenous) that emerge over time with changing patterns of migration and settlement.
  • Articulating an ethic of community engagement to include in credit-bearingcourses, orientation, and outreach activities for faculty, staff and students.
  • Undertaking a curriculum review and update of our academic programs to ensure inclusion of global content and context. 
  • Increasing awareness of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and other human-ecology related frameworks in education, research, and outreach.

Global Health and Human Ecology Leaders

Global Human Ecology Scholars

  • Jennifer Angus, a person with long, blue/green hair wearing a dark gray top and red necklace.

    Jennifer AngusProfessor of Design Studies | Kay Vaughan Faculty Fellow of Design + Innovation

  • A white woman smiling with curly brown hair worn up, wearing a red and blue scarf.

    Claire BarrettAssociate Teaching Professor, Human Development & Family Studies

  • Belkis in front of greenery, smiling at the camera.

    Belkis J. Cerrato CaceresAssistant Teaching Professor, Consumer Science

  • Professional photo of Mary Beth Collins in front of 100 Women Wall.

    Mary Beth CollinsExecutive Director of the Center for Community and Nonprofit Studies

  • A white woman smiling, with dark hair and eyes, wearing a bring pick blouse and black jacket.

    Lori DiPrete BrownDistinguished Teaching Faculty, Civil Society & Community Studies | Director of Global Health and Human Ecology

  • A woman smiling, with shoulder-length dark hair, wearing a dark V-neck shirt.

    Larissa DuncanElizabeth C. Davies Chair in Child and Family Well-Being | Associate Professor of Human Development & Family Studies

  • A Native American Indian woman, with light brown curly hair, wearing a royal blue dress with silver beads.

    Carolee Dodge FrancisEcology of Human Well-Being (EcoWell) Professor | Department Chair and Professor of Civil Society & Community Studies

  • A white woman smiling, with brown, straight hair, wearing a white shirt and gold necklace.

    Jennifer GaddisAssociate Professor of Civil Society & Community Studies | Jane Rafferty Thiele Faculty Fellow-Graduate Teaching

  • A white woman smiling, with short hair, wearing glasses, a black shirt, and a long necklace.

    Mary HarkProfessor of Design Studies

  • Professional photo of Sigan Hartley

    Sigan Hartley100 Women Distinguished Chair in Human Ecology | Professor of Human Development & Family Studies

  • Professional photo of Gisella Kagy in front of 100 Women Wall.

    Gisella KagyAssistant Professor of Consumer Science

  • A white man smiling, with dark brown hair, wearing a dark green long-sleeved shirt.

    Michael MaguireTeaching Faculty, Civil Society & Community Studies

  • Portrait of Julie Poehlmann in Nancy Nicholas Hall.

    Julie PoehlmannDorothy A. O'Brien Chair in Human Ecology | Professor of Human Development & Family Studies

  • A black man smiling, with black, curly hair, wearing a gray jacket and white and gray shirt.

    Quentin RiserAssistant Professor of Human Development & Family Studies

  • Portrait of Carolina Sarmiento, a Chicana woman, with a dark brown braid and black dress.

    Carolina S. SarmientoAssociate Professor of Civil Society & Community Studies

  • Portrait of Jung-hye, an Asian woman in a black blazer smiling, in front of the 100 Women Wall.

    Jung-hye ShinDepartment Chair and Professor of Design Studies | Faculty Director of the Design Thinking Program | Interior Architecture Program Coordinator

  • Professional headshot of Alvin Thomas at Nancy Nicholas Hall

    Alvin ThomasAssistant Professor of Human Development & Family Studies | Phyllis Northway Faculty Fellow

  • A brown woman with black hair, smiling, wearing a gray jacket and black earrings.

    Uchita VaidAssistant Professor of Design Studies

  • Asian woman with shoulder-length brown hair, blue neck scarf and jacket, smiling.

    Zoua M. VangMeta Schroeder Beckner Outreach Professor | Professor of Civil Society & Community Studies

  • Portrait of Nancy Wong

    Nancy WongKohl's Chair in Retail Innovation | Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs | Professor of Consumer Science

  • An Asian man with short black hair in a seated position, wearing dark blue shirt and glasses.

    Mengni ZhangAssistant Professor of Design Studies