Graduating seniors at the year-end celebration. From left: Rachel Schroeder, Jane Kersch, Logan Murphy, Karen Dau, Iman Kashmola, Caitin Ward, Shelby Perkins, Corinne Hastings, Elli Rigolle, Sam Vander Forest, Olivia Weikum, Jerry Chen, Lissandra Villa, Micah Rook and Krista Klocke.
Graduating seniors at the year-end celebration. From left: Rachel Schroeder, Jane Kersch, Logan Murphy, Karen Dau, Iman Kashmola, Caitin Ward, Shelby Perkins, Corinne Hastings, Elli Rigolle, Sam Vander Forest, Olivia Weikum, Jerry Chen, Lissandra Villa, Micah Rook and Krista Klocke.

Center affiliated graduates share future plans

The Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics held its year-end celebration on March 31 in honor of the graduation of nearly 90 affiliated students who will be earning their degrees from Iowa State University in May, August or December 2016.

Students attending the dinner held at the Memorial Union included Legacy of Heroines scholars; Catt Center student interns and teaching assistants; a graduate assistant; and students enrolled in the Leadership Studies Program, Vermeer International Leadership Program, Global Leadership Study Abroad Program and Dean's Leadership Seminar. Also attending the dinner were members of the Catt Center faculty and staff; members of the Leadership Studies Program Advisory Board; and Amy Slagell, associate dean for academic programs for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

“Once again, I can say that this is the largest number of graduating students associated with the Catt Center,” said director Dianne Bystrom. “This continued growth is due to the recent addition of new Legacy of Heroines scholarships and the increased enrollment in the Leadership Studies Program, which has grown to more than 250 students this spring."

Gloria Betcher, Ames City Council Ward I representative and adjunct associate professor of English at Iowa State University, was the keynote speaker. In her presentation, “Ted Talks: 100 Years of Leadership Advice,” she shared tips learned from her leadership experiences and training.

To conclude the evening, seniors graduating in May, August and December 2016 were called to the front of the room to receive a gift from center staff while their future plans were shared with dinner guests.

Students sharing their future plans include:

Gibson Akers

Akers is from West Liberty, Iowa. He graduated in May with degrees in event management and public relations and a leadership studies certificate. After graduation, Akers will attend Kansas State University for graduate studies in college student development and work as a graduate assistant for the KSU athletic department.

Jessica Bales

Bales graduated in May with degrees in political science and public relations and a minor in military science. She was the 2015-2016 Elizabeth Hoffman and Brian R. Binger Legacy of Heroines scholar. After graduation, Bales is commissioning as a second lieutenant in the United States Army.

Rafal Barabas

Barabas, from Elmwood Park, Illinois, graduated in May with a degree in civil engineering and a certificate in leadership studies. After graduation, he will be moving to Chicago, Illinois, to begin employment as a civil engineer.

Kierstin Blomberg

Blomberg, from Newhall, Iowa, graduated in May with a degree in meteorology and a minor in leadership studies. She will pursue her master’s degree and her Ph.D. in meteorology at Iowa State.

Brady Carnahan

Originally from Manchester, Iowa, Carnahan will graduate in December with degrees in communication studies and performing arts and a leadership studies certificate. He is unsure at this time of his post-graduation plans.

Tucker Carrell

Carrell graduated in May with degrees in supply chain management and management information systems and a leadership studies certificate. Carrell, from Sioux City, Iowa, will be returning home after graduation to pursue a career in property management and development. He hopes to one day start a business that works with adults nearing retirement.

Jerry Chen

Originally from Taipei, Taiwan, Chen graduated in May with a degree in management information systems and a minor in leadership studies. After graduation, he will move to Hopkins, Minnesota, to begin work at Cargill.

Vanessa Contreras-Colunga

Contreras-Colunga graduated in May with degrees in criminal justice and sociology and a leadership studies certificate. After graduation, she plans on working a full-time job and travelling. Contreras-Colunga is from Des Moines, Iowa.

Karen Dau

Originally from Davenport, Iowa, Dau graduated in May with a degree in chemical engineering and a leadership studies certificate. She also served on the Leadership Studies Program Advisory Board. Dau is moving to Houston, Texas, where she will be a process engineer for LyondellBasell Industries. She hopes to pursue a Master of Business Administration and a professional engineering license.

Logan Halverson

Halverson, from Independence, Iowa, graduated in May with a degree in forestry and a leadership studies certificate. He was also a teaching assistant for CL PS 322, "Leadership Styles and Strategies in a Diverse Society," this spring. He will work as a forest technician with the U.S. Forest Service in northwest Montana through the summer and will apply for the U.S. Air Force officer program.

Corinne Hastings

Hastings will graduate in December with a degree in political science and a minor in event management. She was the Catt Center's Plaza of Heroines intern last summer, helping digitize the plaza's records. After graduation, Hasting plans to continue her education by earning a master's degree in public relations and marketing. She is from Perry, Iowa.

Catherine Hennings

Hennings is from West Des Moines, Iowa. She graduated in May with a degree in communication studies and a certificate in leadership studies. Hennings will be searching for a job in the Des Moines area.

Ty Christian Henry

Henry, from Indianola, Iowa, will graduate in December with a bachelor's degree in liberal studies and a minor in leadership studies. He plans to work within a coaching ministry in the field of athletics.

Shannon Holmes

Holmes graduated in May with a degree in advertising, a minor in communication studies and a certificate in leadership studies. She is moving to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to work as a media department intern for the Cramer-Krasslet advertising agency.

Keri Ives

Ives is from Crystal Lake, Illinois. She graduated in May with a degree in public relations and a certificate in leadership studies. Ives is returning home to Crystal Lake for an internship.

Dusty Jentz

Originally from Platteville, Wisconsin, Jentz plans on graduating this fall with a degree in communication studies, a minor in speech communication and a certificate in leadership studies. After graduation, he plans to move to Minneapolis-St. Paul with his fiancé and work for a company that focuses on business and leadership.

Iman Kashmola

Kashmola graduated in May with a degree in genetics and a certificate in leadership studies. She also participated in the Global Leadership Study Abroad Program and served as an orientation intern for the Leadership Studies Program in the summer of 2015. Kashmola will attend graduate school to pursue a master’s degree in genetic counseling, where she hopes to focus her studies on maternal-fetal medicine or cardio genetics. Kashmola is from San Diego, California.

Jane Kersch

Kersch, from Dubuque, Iowa, is earning degrees in global resources systems and political science with minors in sustainability and French. She was a Rice-Neville Legacy of Heroines scholar from 2014 to 2016. After graduating in August, Kersch plans to work for a non-profit organization in the field of international wildlife conservation.

Krista Klocke

Klocke, a Phyllis Davis Legacy of Heroines scholar from 2013 to 2016, graduated in May with degrees in speech communication and communication studies and a certificate in leadership studies. Originally from Ames, Iowa, she will begin a combined master’s and doctoral program in rhetoric and professional communication at Iowa State in the fall.

Chris Levandowski

Levandowski graduated in May with a degree in civil engineering and a certificate in leadership studies. He will attend graduate school at Iowa State to earn a master's degree in civil engineering. Levandowski is from North Mankato, Minnesota.

Michael Makris

Makris is from Elk Grove Village, Illinois. He graduated in May with a degree in civil engineering and a certificate in leadership studies. At this time, Makris is unsure of his plans after graduation.

Hannah Marsh

Marsh, from Okoboji, Iowa, graduated in May with a degree in journalism and mass communication, a minor in women's studies, and a leadership studies certificate. She was a teaching assistant for CL PS 322, "Leadership Styles and Strategies in a Diverse Society," and CL PS/W S 333, "Women and Leadership," and served as an orientation intern for the Leadership Studies Program in summer 2015. In September, she will begin a year-long AmeriCorps program.

Veronica Middlebrooks

Middlebrooks graduated in May with a degree in biology and a certificate in leadership studies. She was an Elverna Christian Legacy of Heroines scholar from 2013 to 2016. Middlebrooks will study abroad this summer in Cyprus, Greece, at the medical school at the University of Nicosia. She then plans to attend medical school to become a doctor of osteopathic medicine specializing in pediatrics Middlebrooks is from Chicago, Illinois.

Logan Murphy

Murphy will graduate in December with a degree in materials engineering and a certificate in leadership studies. This summer, he will be interning in research and development for Bemis North America in Neenah, Wisconsin. Murphy is from Frankfort, Illinois.

Meg Oliver

Oliver is majoring in communication studies with a minor in women’s studies and a certificate in leadership studies. She was the Archives of Women’s Political Communication intern at the Catt Center for 2015-2016, and will be continuing in that role through the summer as well as serving as an orientation intern for the Leadership Studies Program. Oliver is from Elm Grove, Wisconsin. After taking a gap year to pursue internships, Oliver will be attending graduate school for communication studies after graduating in August.

Shelby Perkins

Perkins, from Cleghorn, Iowa, majored in communication studies with a certificate in leadership studies. She was an Elizabeth Hoffman and Brian R. Binger Legacy of Heroines scholar and a Catt Center teaching assistant in 2015-2016. After graduating in May, Shelby will be living in Ames until August and then moving to Las Vegas, Nevada, in pursuit of a full-time job and her Master of Business Administration.

Rachel Pietsch

Pietsch is from Huxley, Iowa. She graduated in May with a degree in communication studies and a certificate in leadership studies. After graduation, Pietsch will be working part time for Iowa State University’s Extension and Outreach.

Katie Popkes

Popkes, from Rock Rapids, Iowa, graduated in May with degrees in management and marketing and a certificate in leadership studies. Popkes has accepted a position working for her family's business, Popkes Inc.

Elli Rigolle

Originally from Johnston, Iowa, Rigolle graduated in May with degrees in political science and French. She was a Catt Center student intern for the Women in Iowa Politics Database in 2015-2016. Rigolle will attend American University in Washington, DC, to pursue a master’s degree in international peace and conflict resolution.

Jamie Rix

Originally from Minnetonka, Minnesota, Rix graduated in May with degrees in political science and public relations. She served as a teaching assistant for CL PS 333 in the spring of 2016. After graduation, she will work as a party advocacy coordinator/ government affairs director for the Iowa Association of Realtors. Rix also will pursue her master’s degree in public administration at Drake University in Des Moines.

Kathleen Roberts

Roberts graduated in May with degrees in math and Spanish. She was a Beth Bierbaum Legacy of Heroines scholar from 2014 to 2016. Originally from Wykoff, Minnesota, Roberts is looking for a job related to her degree in math, such as an actuary or another type of analyst.

Micah Rook

Rook graduated in May with a degree in mechanical engineering and a certificate in leadership studies. From Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, he will be a structural analyst for the Boeing Company in Seattle, Washington, after graduation.

Haley Rusk

Rusk graduated in May with a degree in communication studies and a certificate in leadership studies. She will attend the University of Northern Iowa for graduate school. Rusk is from DeWitt, Iowa.

Brooke Schaben

Schaben will graduate in December with a degree in communication studies. After graduation, she plans on finding employment in human resources. Schaben is from Portsmouth, Iowa.

Rachel Schroeder

Schroeder, from Mount Vernon, Iowa, majored in psychology with minors in women’s studies and biology. She was the 2015-2016 Haselhoff Family Legacy of Heroines scholar. After graduation in May, she will continue her research in neuropsychology. In the future, she plans to earn her Ph.D. in psychology and pursue an academic research career.

Carissa Schweiss

Schweiss graduated in May with a degree in marketing, a minor in advertising and a certificate in leadership studies. Originally from Maple Grove, Minnesota, she will be moving to Pennsylvania to fulfill a career in marketing and advertising.

Sam Vander Forest

Vander Forest is from Batavia, Illinois, and graduated in May with a degree in public relations and a certificate in leadership studies. Vander Forest was the leadership studies public relations student intern at the Catt Center from 2014 to 2016. After graduation, he will intern for the second time with the public relations agency Fleishman-Hillard in Dallas, Texas.

Lissa Villa

Villa is from Webster City, Iowa, and was the Elverna Christian Legacy of Heroines scholar from 2013 to 2016 and the Archives of Women’s Political Communication intern at the Catt Center for 2014-2015. She graduated in May with degrees in journalism and mass communication and political science. After graduation, she is heading to Washington, DC, to intern at TIME magazine.

Caitlin Ward

Ward graduated in May with a degree in psychology and minors in mathematics and Russian studies. She traveled to Sweden last summer with the Global Leadership Study Abroad Program. This fall, she will begin a master’s degree program in biostatistics at the University of Iowa.

Olivia Weikum

Weikum is from Norwalk, Iowa, and was the public relations and event planning student intern at the Catt Center in 2015-2016. She graduated in May with a degree in public relations and a minor in design studies. She will live in Des Moines after graduation, looking for admissions or high school recruitment jobs at a university in the Midwest.

Christopher Whitmore

Whitmore is from Maple Plain, Minnesota. He graduated in May with a degree in materials engineering and a leadership studies certificate. He will be moving to California to begin a full-time position at Rolls-Royce.

Jacob Wiemiller

Wiemiller is originally from Chaska, Minnesota. He will graduate in the fall with a major in management information systems and a certificate in leadership studies. After graduating, Wiemiller plans on becoming an information technology professional.