Leadership: How I see it

One of the first questions my fellow faculty have asked about my seeking positions of leadership is “why do you want to do this”? I can’t write their tone of voice, so you will have to imagine their incredulousness mixed with suspicion. So, why do I want to “be” a leader?  Firstly, I would beg to rephrase this. I don’t think I can be a leader. I know that if people put their faith in me, I become their leader. This means that the first element of my philosophy of leadership is that I need the help of those around me to become the leader I would like to be. This help comes when I listen carefully to the people who have asked me to lead. A given in this element of my philosophy is that leadership is not something you can take from others. This is especially true in the academic context. Many people are drawn to academics because they have a unique and powerful vision of the world that they want to experience and share. Continue reading “Leadership: How I see it”

Handknitters and Local Wool

Are you a handknitter? Your participation in a university research study on handknitting and local wool in the North Atlantic will benefit wool producers and handknitters who are seeking to build the market for local wool products.

This survey is for adults (18 or older) who hand knit. To participate and be entered into a drawing for a Prize (to be chosen) chose the geographic region where you currently live.

Great Britain or Ireland (Preview Version of the UK version of the survey for IRB application. Other versions of the survey for the links below will be “live” here following pretesting and only differ in word spelling (e.g. fiber/fibre) and the content of the choice experiment.)

North America


Rest of the World


This web page is an approved request for participation in research that has been approved or declared exempt by the Texas State Institutional Review Board (IRB).

To participate in this research or ask questions about this research please contact me, Gwendolyn Hustvedt,  at  +1-512-590-2122 and gh21@txstate.edu

This project [insert IRB Reference Number or Exemption Number] was approved by the Texas State IRB on [insert IRB approval date or date of Exemption]. Pertinent questions or concerns about the research, research participants’ rights, and/or research-related injuries to participants should be directed to the IRB chair, Dr. Jon Lasser 512-245-3413 – (lasser@txstate.edu)  or to Monica Gonzales,  IRB administrator 512-245-2314 –  (meg201@txstate.edu).

Sustainable Consumer Economy

This course is an in-depth study of the role of consumption in the development of sustainable systems including the family, natural resources and economics.

This fall it will be offered from 12:30-3:20 on Thursday in the FCS  building here at Texas State. The CRN is 19570.  The syllabus from the last semester it was offered is here: MCS5342_Su14. (This was a summer session, so you will have to envision the course spread out over the full semester.)

The text for the course is by a historian and focuses on the origin of “consumers”. We use this text to create a stage for our discussions.

deVries, J (2008). The Industrious Revolution: Consumer Behavior and the Household Economy, 1650 to the Present. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

Course Goals and Objectives:

By the end of the course students must be able to:

  1. Understand how problems of sustainability can be analyzed using both neoclassical economics and family & consumer sciences theoretical perspectives.
  2. Characterize the role of environmental, economic and social systems in the quality of life for individuals and families.
  3. Identify various measures used to describe standard of living, quality of life and value for consumers.
  4. Understand the ambivalent relationship between sustainability and marketing.
  5. Discuss how current issues in sustainability can impact consumption patterns.
  6. Explore economic, design, and sociological systems that seek to address the impact of consumption on sustainability.
  7. Analyze the link between socio-ecological problems and consumer behavior.
  8. Evaluate different consumption strategies based on their relevance for sustainable development.
  9. Conceptualize sustainable consumption/production paths and strategies for attaining such paths.

Rewarding Innovation

I had an intriguing conversation with a new friend in Copenhagen last week. She teaches innovation to Nutrition and Foods students at a professional school in the city. Over lunch we talked about working with colleagues to create improvements (not even innovation!) And I confessed that one challenge I had was the need for credit for envisioning, in great detail, a good idea. Continue reading “Rewarding Innovation”

Being More

I developed a professional website last year based on the encouragement I received during my ACE Fellowship. Both a fellow Fellow and a mentor at my host institution suggested that I have a unique perspective as an academic and I should share this with the world. Using social media has been an adventure and I have really enjoyed doing my part in increasing awareness of Home Economics and the special topics that I am interested in: STEM Education for Women and Minorities, Sustainability and International Development. Continue reading “Being More”

Educating for Climate Change

I am part of a USDA funded grant team that has recently created a professional development series designed to help fashion educators get up to speed on climate change and learn how to educate for climate change in the fashion curriculum. Our new website is up and running and it is beautiful. ATHENAS is an acronym for Apparel and Textile Higher Education Nurturing the Advancement of Sustainability. We chose this acronym in part because the Greek goddess Athena was both the goddess of wisdom and of weaving. The logo for the project is Athena’s war helmet surrounded by stitches.

We want to arm teachers to prepare warriors of wisdom to increase the impact their students can have on the sustainability of a multi-trillion dollar global industry. The site has classroom activities, ideas for how to recruit students who are interested in learning more about the science behind the apparel and textile industry as well as valuable professional development units that can help educators at both the secondary and post-secondary levels learn more about climate change and fashion.

Visit the site athenas.ksu.edu or athenas@ksu.edu for more information

Generation X in Home Economics

The generation sandwiched between the post-war baby boom and the 1980s baby boom, popularly but not always happily known as Generation X, came of age during massive societal shifts that directly impact their perspective on the nature of home, family, and professionalism.  Leadership for this generation was leadership into the third wave of feminism. With the 1980s being the signature decade for this cohort, while the generation has been stereotyped as the “slacker” generation, our hard-won distrust of the stability of fundamental structures of society was sharped by AIDS, trickle-down economics, divorce/single parenthood and the dawn of the two-income family.

Continue reading “Generation X in Home Economics”