Of Note: News About Alumni, Students and Staff

The Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics is pleased to recognize the accomplishments and activities of its alumni, students and staff:

Madeline Becker, senior in political science and a Rice-Neville Legacy of Heroines scholar, received the 3rd House Memorial Scholarship during the Department of Political Science awards luncheon on April 17. This scholarship was established by the Iowa lobbying community for a student who demonstrates leadership ability and excellence in campus and extracurricular activities.

Narren Brown, a former graduate research and teaching assistant and Rice-Neville intern at the Catt Center, successfully defended his dissertation, “Administrative Structural Variables: Toward Greater Retention and Efficiencies,” on May 9 and will graduate with a Ph.D. in Higher Education from Iowa State in August. Brown is interim director of intercultural engagement and leadership at Grinnell College.

Dianne Bystrom, Catt Center director, recently gave presentations at the annual meetings of the Central States Communication Association (CSCA) in Kansas City, Mo., and the Midwest Political Science Association (MPSA) in Chicago. At the April 3-6 CSCA meeting, she participated in a panel presentation on “The ‘War on Women’: Gender, Politics and Rhetoric” and talked about “The Role of Women Candidates in the 2012 Elections” on a panel titled “Looking Back, Looking Forward: Lessons Learned from Campaign 2012.” Bystrom also served as a respondent for the undergraduate honors research conference poster session at CSCA. At the April 10-14 MPSA meeting, she gave presentations as part of two panels – “Author Meets Critics: Gender and Justice – Why Women in the Judiciary Really Matter,” which reviewed Sally Kenney’s new book; and “Gender and Elections: 2012 and Beyond,” which featured chapter authors from the book’s upcoming third edition.

Ruth Cardenas, a senior majoring in child, adult and family services, earned the 2013 Engel Family Upstander Award for Courage and Leadership. This award recognizes individuals who choose to take a positive stand on an issue of diversity and tolerance and act on behalf of others. Cardenas was featured on the 2013 Women Impacting ISU calendar produced by the Catt Center. She will begin the Ph.D. program in human development and family studies at the University of Missouri after graduating in May.

Valerie Hennings, scholar-in-residence at the Catt Center, recently attended the Midwest Political Science Association’s annual meeting in Chicago on April 10-14. On April 13, she presented “Egalitarianism, Stereotypes, and Attitudes toward Men and Women Politicians in the Americas” with co-author, Amy Erica Smith, as part of a panel titled “Gender Roles in Social and Political Life.”

Sarah Synovec, a junior in marketing and Plaza of Heroines intern at the Catt Center, has accepted a four-month summer internship in the marketing department at UMB Financial Corporation in Kansas City, Mo. Synovec was also recently awarded an Elizabeth Hoffman and Brian R. Binger Legacy of Heroines scholarship for the 2013-2014 school year.

The following students were initiated into Pi Sigma Alpha, the national political science honor society, during the Department of Political Science awards luncheon on April 17. Pi Sigma Alpha was founded in 1920 to encourage and recognize superior achievement in the study of government and politics at the undergraduate and graduate level. It has grown into one of the largest distinguished honor societies in the United States.

  • Kristine Ahlfield, senior in political science with a minor in journalism and mass communication and the research intern for the Catt Center’s Archives of Women’s Political Communication;
  • Sawyer Baker, senior in political science and sociology, Alice Rodine Intern in Community Activism for the Catt Center and the Jane Greimann Legacy of Heroines scholar;
  • Madeline Becker, senior in political science and a Rice-Neville Legacy of Heroines scholar;
  • Molly Bryant, senior in journalism and mass communication and political science and an Elizabeth Hoffman and Brian R. Binger Legacy of Heroines scholar;
  • Hannah Dankbar, senior in political science and Spanish and a Phyllis Davis Legacy of Heroines scholar; and
  • Cathryn Kelzenberg, junior in political science and a Rice-Neville Legacy of Heroines scholar.