Dahlia F. Stockdale

Honored by:Harold Stockdale
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Dedicated faculty member in the department of Human Development and Family Studies for approximately 25 years.

Dahlia Frey spent her early childhood years on a farm at Allison, Iowa when economic depression was taking its toll on Iowa families. Known as an "independent" sort of youngster, she managed to test her parents, Marlys and Edward Frey, with troublesome antics. Among the most trying of those antics was placing her new shoes in the plow furrow; the shoes were buried as her father came along with the plow-- never to be found! Two siblings Robert and Betty younger by 3 and 5 years respectively spent the growing up years with Dahlia on the farm; one sibling died in the first year of life of what now probably would be diagnosed as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. When Dahlia was in second grade, the family purchased a 160 acre farm at Aplington, Iowa and forever binding ties with Iowa rural life. Dahlia graduated from Aplington Consolidated High School with 18 fellow classmates in 1949. She attended Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois for one year, transferring to Iowa State Teachers College to major in elementary education. After two summers and one year of education at Iowa State Teachers College she interrupted her education to marry Harold Stockdale, a high school classmate. Teaching fourth grade in Manchester, Iowa on a 2-year teaching certificate followed a summer wedding. The Korean Conflict placed "Harry" in line for the military draft which claimed him in December of 1952. So Dahlia decided to return to school after teaching in Manchester for only one year in order to obtain her B.A. in Elementary Education. In the two years that followed, Dahlia joined Harry in Panama Canal Zone and taught in the Canal Zone Schools for 18 months. Returning to Iowa after military duty it was decided that Harry should continue his education at Iowa State University; while he completed his education from a B.S. in Farm Operations to a Ph.D. in Entomology. Dahlia taught in the Ames Public Schools for approximately 13 years. Once Harry’s education was completed, it was Dahlia's turn to further her education; she needed to renew her teaching certificate and was so enthralled with graduate education in Child Development that she continued on to earn an M.S. (1968) and Ph.D. (1972). During this period of education for the couple spanning 20 years of marriage two children (Clayton 1957; Marla 1966) came to be members of the family.

During the years of professional involvement at Iowa State University (1971-present), Dahlia has taught courses on infancy, middle childhood, parent-child relations, and cross-cultural perspectives on youth and families. One of the most rewarding and meaningful experiences involved teaching preservice teachers in a course on middle childhood, where years of relevant experience in the classroom allowed for the application of teaching experiences to an understanding of children's developmental processes. She received a university "Outstanding Teacher Award" in 1974. One of the joys of teaching for Dahlia has been supervision of graduate students in their research; through 1994, 37 M.S. and 3 Ph.D. students had completed their degree programs with Dahlia as major professor. Major research projects have centered on teen pregnancy, parent-child relations, and foster parent training evaluation.

She served 12 years on the Iowa State Athletic Council chairing the council in 1985-86; from 1979-82 she served as the ISU representative to the Big 8 Conference Women's Advisory Committee. Dahlia also served as chair of the University Academic Standards Committee for 6 years in the 1980's era and in 1991 was elected to the Faculty Senate serving on the Faculty Senate Executive Board for 2 years. A peak experience for her was participating in a Fullbright-Hays Group Project Abroad in South Korea in 1990. Named University Professor, in recognition of excellence in teaching research and service in 1993, was a great honor for her. Administration of the Department of Human Development and Family Studies as Interim Chair from 1993-1995 created an opportunity to try some new wings! Along with Interim Co-Chair, Mary Winter, she was involved in leading the department through several self-studies and program reviews. One of the most rewarding career achievements for Dahlia, with Mary, was to successfully carry out administration of a department with the "co-chair" model.

Submitted on 7/1/96