Students from Principia College visited with Dianne Bystrom on Jan. 6 in Catt Hall.
Students from Principia College visited with Dianne Bystrom on Jan. 6 in Catt Hall.

Center staff participates in caucus events

Staff members of the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics are involved in several educational activities leading up to and following the Feb.1 Iowa caucus.

On Jan. 6, Catt Center director Dianne Bystrom met with 10 students and Brian Roberts, professor of political science and chair of the Angie W. Cox School of Government at Principia College located in Elsah, Illinois. As a follow-up to a fall 2015 semester course on presidential elections, the students visited Iowa and New Hampshire over their winter break to learn more about the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary. In addition to Bystrom, the students and Roberts met with professors Steffen Schmidt and Mack Shelley of the Department of Political Science at Iowa State University.

On Tuesday, Jan. 19, Bystrom and Kelly Winfrey, assistant professor of journalism and communication and coordinator of research and outreach for the Catt Center, will participate in a panel discussion sponsored by the Ames Public Library. The panel, “About the Iowa Caucus,” will be presented from 7-9 p.m. in the Farwell T. Brown Auditorium, 515 Clark Ave. in Ames. The interactive panel discussion will cover the history of the Iowa caucus, its importance to national and state politics in Iowa, and the overall caucus process within the Democratic and Republican parties. It is free and open to the public.

The panel will include Bystrom; Angie Hunt, communications specialist with Iowa State University News Service; Shelley, chair of the ISU Department of Political Science; and David Swenson, associate scientist with ISU’s Department of Economics. Winfrey will serve as moderator.

On Monday, Feb. 1, the Catt Center will host faculty and graduate students from the University of Missouri, University of Kansas, North Carolina State University and Emerson College (Boston, Massachusetts), who are visiting Iowa to observe presidential candidate campaign events and the caucus that evening. As part of their visit, two panel presentations will be held in 302 Catt Hall. An “insiders” panel of Bystrom, Hunt, Shelley, Swenson and Winfrey will discuss the Iowa caucus from 10-11 a.m. An “outsiders” panel will follow from 11 a.m.-noon with presentations by Mitchell McKinney, professor and chair, and Ben Warner, assistant professor, Department of Communication at the University of Missouri; Craig Allen Smith, professor emeritus of communication, North Carolina State University; and Greg Payne, associate professor and chair, and Spencer Kimball, senior scholar-in-residence, Department of Communication Studies at Emerson College. Both panels are free and open to the public.

On Tuesday, Feb. 2, Bystrom will participate in a panel analyzing the results of the Iowa caucus. The panel – "Iowa Caucuses 2016: What Happened and What’s Next? – will be presented from 1-2:30 p.m. in the Campanile Room of the Memorial Union as part of the Iowa Presidential Caucuses Massive Open Online Course. Other panelists are Schmidt, university professor of political science and the instructor of Iowa State’s first MOOC on the Iowa presidential caucuses; and David Andersen, assistant professor of political science.

The panel, which is free and open to the public, will analyze the results of caucus night and project implications for the 2016 campaign season for Democrats and Republicans. Panelist presentations will be followed by a question-and-answer session. The panel is co-sponsored by the Catt Center and Department of Political Science.