The department’s first Ph.D. is granted to Julia Frank Nofsker and, in 1939, Frances Zuill succeeds Abby Marlatt as Director of Home Economics.
In 1932 Julia Frank Nofsker earns the first Ph.D. in Home Economics and Education for her thesis A Study of Home Economics Education in the Public High Schools of Wisconsin.
In the Depression years, members of Phi U focused their efforts on consumer education. Inspired by their advisor Professor May Louise Cowles, who expected them “to take responsibility in dealing with the problems of the consumer … start now to be leaders in organizations of the consumer.” The students compiled a bibliography of consumer publications and constructed an exhibition displaying consumer resources.
When Frances Zuill succeeded Abby Marlatt in 1939, she continued to develop and expand the thriving program. With funding from the Wisconsin Utilities Association, the University replaced the Practice Cottage with the purpose-built Home Management House, situated next to the Home Economics Building.