Summer interns assist with Catt Center programs

CATEGORIES: July 2013, Voices

Three Catt Center programs have received extra attention this summer thanks to interns Anna Olsen and Morgan Todd.

Olsen, a senior in microbiology with a minor in political science, helped with the May and June Ready to Run™ Iowa: Campaign Training for Women workshops. Todd, a senior in political science with minors in history, general business, and journalism and mass communication, has been working on the Gender Balance Project and the Archives of Women’s Political Communication since May.

“Anna played a key role in preparing for the May and June sessions of Ready to Run™. Through her hard work, she helped ensure that both sessions went smoothly,” said Valerie Hennings, scholar-in-residence at the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics.

During the two months that Olsen worked on the Ready to Run™ sessions, she helped with preparation and assembly of workshop materials, signage, recruiting and scheduling speakers, registration, inventory and a willingness overall to help in any area she could.

“It was great to be able to be a part of the Ready to Run™ program,” Olsen said. “More women role models must be present for the younger generation; I hope to be such a role model.”

Olsen was awarded the Phyllis Davis Legacy of Heroines scholarship and will be participating in a variety of leadership development opportunities with the Catt Center during the 2013-2014 academic year. She is also currently a research assistant for the department of political science under the direction of Hennings. Olsen is very involved within the Iowa State campus. She is a member of the Student Organic Farm and Bioinformatics Club, is secretary of The Green Umbrella, and volunteers as an anti-puppy mill activist.

Ready to Run™ Iowa: Campaign Training for Women is a non-partisan program designed to recruit and train women in Iowa to run for elective office, to prepare for appointive office, or to become involved in public life as leaders in their respective communities.

In addition to working on the Archives of Women’s Political Communication database and serving as a research assistant for the center’s Gender Balance Project, Todd is a lab monitor for the political science department in Ross Hall.

“Morgan has been a tremendous asset to the center this summer through her work as a research assistant,” Hennings said. “Her contributions to the Gender Balance Project and the Archives of Women’s Political Communication have allowed us to continue our progress on each of these research initiatives.”

The Gender Balance Project is a partnership with the Friends of the Iowa Commission on the Status of Women that examines the membership of appointed county and municipal boards and commissions in Iowa. Todd has been collecting data and reporting the latest findings on the Catt Center’s website.

The Archives of Women’s Political Communication is an online resource devoted entirely to women’s political rhetoric. Visit to learn more and view the collection of speeches. Todd has been researching new speeches and recording the data online.

“My internship has allowed new doors to open for me in the political science field. Instead of a broad study of governmental policies, it has allowed me to enjoy working in a more narrow scope of study, which I am loving,” Todd said.