Sellers Named New CHS Associate Dean and Director of Human Sciences Extension and Outreach

Deb SellersAMES, Iowa – Deb Sellers, an associate professor and extension specialist at Kansas State University, will be the new associate dean in the Iowa State University College of Human Sciences and director of Human Sciences Extension and Outreach. She starts July 22.

She will succeed Nancy Franz, who will lead the new professional development unit for Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

Sellers will be the first leader under the new vision for extension and outreach efforts in the College of Human Sciences. Her selection came as a joint announcement by Pamela White, dean of the College of Human Sciences, and Cathann Kress, vice president for ISU Extension and Outreach.

Previously known as Extension to Families, this educational area of ISU Extension and Outreach promotes healthy people, environments and economies by offering research-based statewide education to help families and communities make sound decisions. Programs will continue to focus on improving nutrition and health, parenting and caregiving, and personal finance as well as reducing poverty.

Under Sellers’ leadership, extension and outreach activities will be broadened to encompass all academic areas in the College of Human Sciences. Emphases will be on the focal areas of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education, health and wellness, economic development, and food and environment. The emphasis also will include ongoing efforts in families programming and cooperation with ISU Extension and Outreach 4-H Youth Development.

The broader extension and outreach efforts will enhance collaborations with other Iowa State University departments and units, ISU Extension and Outreach program units, and the 20 multi-county extension education regions, particularly in the focal areas.

During her application process, Sellers described how she has developed her own set of leadership principles that she calls “RIISE.” The acronym stands for reaffirm authenticity, instill trust, inspire others, share decision-making and expect performance.

“These principles guide my actions, as beliefs and attitudes are meaningless without corresponding, concrete behaviors,” she wrote in her application packet.

Sellers currently works in the School of Family Studies and Human Services at Kansas State. She received her bachelor’s degree in English at the University of Florida, her master’s degree in recreational studies at the University of Florida, and her doctorate in lifespan human development with an emphasis in gerontology at Kansas State.


[PHOTO] Deb Sellers

Pamela White, dean, College of Human Sciences, 515-294-5380,

Cathann Kress, vice president, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, 515-294-5390,
Jacy Johnson, director of organizational advancement, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, 515-294-5672,

Cathy Curtis, director of communications, College of Human Sciences, 515-294-8175,

Lynn Campbell, communications specialist, College of Human Sciences, 515-294-3689,