Center Congratulates Seniors at Year-End Dinner Celebration

Seniors pose with center director Dianne Bystrom and LAS dean Beate Schmittmann.
Seniors pose with center director Dianne Bystrom (far left) and LAS dean Beate Schmittmann (far right).

More than 40 students currently associated with the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics enjoyed a year-end celebration dinner that recognized 21 graduating seniors at Iowa State’s Memorial Union on April 22.

Students attending the dinner included Legacy of Heroines scholars, Catt Center student interns, members of the Community Leadership and Public Service (CLPS) certificate program and the new College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) Dean’s Leadership Seminar.

“This is the largest number of students – and graduating seniors – associated with the Catt Center, due to the stability of the Legacy of Heroines program and the increased enrollment in the leadership certificate program, which has more than tripled over the past year,” said center director Dianne Bystrom. Approximately 70 students will participate in the Catt Center’s student leadership programs in 2013-2014.

LAS Dean Beate Schmittmann was the guest speaker for the event. Her remarks focused on how to be a good leader in one’s career and community and how to achieve work/life balance.

Another special guest in attendance was Elizabeth Hoffman, former executive vice president and provost and former LAS dean. Hoffman established the Legacy of Heroines and sponsors scholars and interns in the program.

To conclude the celebration, seniors graduating in May, August and December 2013 were called to the front of the room to receive a gift from center staff while their future plans were shared with dinner guests. Those plans are as follows:

Kristine Ahlfield
Originally from Ft. Madison, Iowa, Ahlfield majored in political science with a minor in journalism and mass communication. She was the center’s research intern for the Archives of Women’s Political Communication for the 2012-2013 school year. Following her May graduation, Ahlfield will intern in the online communication department of The Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. She hopes to find a full-time job there.

Sawyer Baker
Baker was the center’s Alice Rodine Intern in Community Activism from fall 2011 through spring 2013 as well as the Jane Greimann Legacy of Heroines scholar and Friends of the Iowa Commission on the Status of Women research intern in 2012-2013. Hailing from Altona, Ill., she double majored in political science and sociology. After graduating in May, Baker will attend George Washington University to pursue a master’s degree in public administration.

Brice Ballentine
Ballentine is a communication studies major with a minor in advertising. He is also enrolled in the CLPS certificate program. Originally from Bettendorf, Iowa, he recently accepted a promotions summer internship with the Burlington (Iowa) Bees minor league baseball team. He will seek a position in sports marketing after graduating in December.

Keely Burke
Burke graduated in May with a degree in biology with minors in psychology and Spanish. She was an Elverna Christian Legacy of Heroines scholar from Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She plans to work at a research laboratory in Iowa City, Iowa.

Jessica Chrystal
Chrystal will graduate in August with her degree in public service and administration in agriculture as well as her CLPS certificate. She is originally from Bayard, Iowa. Chrystal is undecided as to her plans after graduation.

Isabela Cortés
Cortés double majored in political science and Spanish. She was the Political Science Alumni Legacy of Heroines scholar as well as a participant in the CLPS certificate program. From West Des Moines, Iowa, Cortés is moving to Kansas City, Kan., after graduation in May and will pursue a job in government or law enforcement. She plans to eventually attend law school at the University of Kansas.

Hannah Dankbar
Dankbar was a Phyllis Davis Legacy of Heroines scholar and majored in political science and Spanish. Originally from Johnston, Iowa, she will be the volunteer engagement coordinator at the Volunteer Center of Story County after graduation in May.

Shawn Gannon
Gannon is a communication studies major and a participant in the CLPS certificate program. Originally from Des Moines, Iowa, he hopes to attend graduate school in higher education after graduating in December.

Emily Hall
Hall majored in English with a minor in technical communication and was a participant in the CLPS certificate program. Originally from Johnston, Iowa, Hall hopes to find a job as a technical writer/editor after graduating in December. She is also considering graduate schools.

Megan Hunt
Hunt is from Granville, Iowa, and majored in communication studies with a minor in English. She was a participant in the CLPS certificate program. Upon graduating in May, Hunt will be the real estate coordinator for Peoples Company in Des Moines, Iowa.

Michelle Hunter
Hunter majored in child, adult and family services with a minor in psychology and was a participant in the CLPS certificate program. She was also the Elizabeth Hoffman and Brian R. Binger intern at the Catt Center, assisting with promoting the leadership certificate program. Originally from Brandon, Iowa, Hunter graduated in May and plans to attend graduate school at Western Illinois University to study student affairs.

Ebony Jones
Jones was an Elverna Christian Legacy of Heroines scholar and a participant in the CLPS certificate program. She graduated in May with a degree in community and regional planning. Originally from St. Louis, Mo., Jones plans on moving to Charleston, S.C., to work for a year and then enroll in graduate school.

Mariah Klemp
Klemp majored in speech communication with a minor in journalism and mass communication. She was also a participant in the CLPS certificate program. Originally from Waucoma, Iowa, she plans to move to Minneapolis, Minn., and begin a career as a real estate agent after her graduation in May.

Kara McDonell
From Dubuque, Iowa, McDonell graduated in May with a degree in anthropology and her certificate in community leadership and public service. She plans on starting her career in the public service and non-profit field in Omaha, Neb.

Tiffani Nguyen
Nguyen was a participant in the CLPS certificate program and majored in sociology with a minor in Spanish. Originally from Sioux City, Iowa, she plans on teaching for Teach for America after graduating in May.

Olivia Palmer
Palmer is from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and majored in biology with a minor in psychology. She was a Phyllis Davis Legacy of Heroines scholar for the past two years. She will begin the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at the University of Iowa in July after graduating from Iowa State in May.

Rachel Peller
Peller majored in women’s and gender studies with a minor in history, linguistics and classical studies. She also graduated in May with a certificate in community leadership and public service. Hailing from Iowa City, Iowa, Peller will intern for one year with Feminists Choosing Life of New York and the Susan B. Anthony Birthplace Museum before pursuing her master’s degree in non-profit management.

Alex Salmon
Salmon is a criminal justice major who will graduate in December with a certificate in community leadership and public service. Originally from Des Moines, Iowa, he plans on continuing his work at Jordan Creek Town Center while applying to area law enforcement agencies.

Kelly Sebetka
Sebetka majored in English and international studies with minors in women’s and gender studies and psychology. She has been an Elizabeth Hoffman and Brian R. Binger Legacy of Heroines scholar for the past three years. Originally from Walker, Iowa, Sebetka will either work for AmeriCorps or teach English overseas after graduating in May.

Dan Voss
Voss will graduate in December with a degree in materials engineering and minors in economics and political science. He also is a participant in the CLPS certificate program. From Atkins, Iowa, Voss plans on traveling the world, earning a master’s degree in education and teaching high school science.

Laura Wentworth
Wentworth majored in journalism and mass communication with a minor in political science. She was the Catt Center’s public relations/events planning intern for the past two years. Originally from Maquoketa, Iowa, Wentworth will attend the University of St. Thomas School of Law in Minneapolis, Minn., after graduating from Iowa State in May.