Seniors were honored at the Catt Center
Seniors were honored at the Catt Center's year-end dinner celebration.

Center-affiliated graduates share future plans

The Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics held its year-end celebration on April 25 in honor of the graduation of the 93 affiliated students who will earn their degrees from Iowa State University in May, August or December 2017.

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, and the Global Leadership Study Abroad Program. Also attending the dinner were members of the Catt Center staff, leadership studies faculty, and members of the Leadership Studies Program Advisory Board.

“Once again, I can say that this is the largest number of graduating students associated with the Catt Center,” said director Dianne Bystrom. “This growth is due to the recent addition of new Legacy of Heroines scholarships and continued strong enrollments in the Leadership Studies Program, which included nearly 240 students this spring."

Rachel Scherle, assistant U.S. attorney for the southern district of Iowa, was the keynote speaker. In her presentation, “Successful Leadership: When You’re Wrong About Everything and That’s Okay,” she shared stories about her leadership journey after graduation from Iowa State University, where she was affiliated with the Catt Center, and the University of Iowa College of Law; how she found her passion; and tips from the lessons she has learned.

To conclude the evening, seniors graduating in May, August and December 2017 were called to the front of the room to receive a gift from Catt Center staff while their future plans were shared with dinner guests.

Students sharing their future plans include:

Michelle Aberle graduated in May with a degree in event management and a certificate in leadership studies. She is from Walker, Iowa, and plans to become a marketing and communication specialist for a nonprofit corporation.

Elizabeth Amado graduated in May with a degree in aerospace engineering and a certificate in leadership studies. Amado participated in the Global Leadership Study Abroad to Sweden in summer 2016 and was honored on the 2017 Women Impacting ISU calendar. She is from Hamden, Connecticut, and will work as a structures engineer at Pratt and Whitney in her home state.

Morgan Arenholz graduated in May with a degree in management and minors in leadership studies and public relations. She is from Waverly, Iowa, and plans to find an event planning job for a nonprofit organization in a large city.

Bailey Banger graduated with honors in May with a degree in event management, a certificate in leadership studies, and minors in general business and entrepreneurship. She is from Rolling Meadows, Illinois, and plans to work in Minneapolis, Minnesota, as an event coordinator before opening her own wedding planning business.

Richard Bechtol graduated in May with degrees in communication studies and international studies, a certificate in leadership studies and a minor in Russian studies. He is from Griswold, Iowa, and plans to volunteer for the Peace Corps.

Jonathan Becker will graduate with honors in August with degrees in philosophy, religious studies, economics, political science and international studies; a certificate in leadership studies; and minors in classical studies and women’s studies. He is from Gladstone, Missouri, and plans to start his own business or attend law school at Harvard University. He hopes to become either a university professor or a judge advocate general attorney through the U.S. Marines Officer Candidates School.

Angela Benjegerdes graduated in May with a degree in communication studies, a certificate in leadership studies and a minor in event management. She is from Mason City, Iowa, and will attend Clemson University to earn a master's degree in counselor education. Benjegerdes plans to pursue a career in higher education.

Kimberley Boggus graduated in May with a degree in communication studies and a certificate in leadership studies. She was a Phyllis Davis Legacy of Heroines scholar for the 2016-2017 academic year and is from Sacramento, California. Boggus will continue grant writing work at the Des Moines Bicycle Collective, a nonprofit organization.

Quinton Bose graduated in May with a degree in biology and a certificate in leadership studies. He is from Sioux City, Iowa, and plans to attend medical school.

Miranda Briscuso graduated in May with a degree in hospitality management and a certificate in leadership studies. She is from Ballwin, Missouri, and hopes to get a job in the hospitality management industry. Briscuso is specifically interested in special events and catering.

Emily Brown will graduate in August with degrees in international business and management and a certificate in leadership studies. She is from Bakersfield, California, and will attend graduate school in Glasgow, Scotland, for international marketing.

Sarah Canon graduated in May with a degree in technical communication, a certificate in leadership studies and a minor in critical studies in design. She is from Ames, Iowa, and will attend graduate school at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis to attain a master’s degree in scientific and technical communication.

Roberto Cortes Ortiz graduated in May with degrees in interdisciplinary studies (criminology and criminal justice) and sociology. He was a Carrie Chapman Catt Legacy of Heroines scholar for the 2016-2017 academic year and is from Waterloo, Iowa. Cortes Ortiz plans to work for a year in a judicial district in the state of Iowa before attending law school in the fall of 2018.

Alice Dixon graduated in May with a degree in communication studies, a certificate in leadership studies and a minor in event management. She is from Marion, Iowa, and plans to move to Des Moines to start a career.

Eric Edwards graduated in May with a degree in software engineering, a certificate in leadership studies and a minor in Spanish. He is from Bettendorf, Iowa, and will work for Optum as a software developer in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Danielle Giles graduated in May with a degree in speech communication and a certificate in leadership studies. She is from Aurora, Illinois, and was the Archives of Women’s Political Communication intern for the Catt Center for the 2016-2017 academic year. Giles plans to work for a year at WorldWide Logistics in Urbandale, Iowa, and then attend graduate school for communication studies.

Hailey Grant graduated in May with a degree in communication studies, a certificate in leadership studies and a minor in public relations. She is from Pleasant Hill, Iowa, and plans to work in the public relations field and eventually earn a master’s degree and Ph.D. in political science.

Lydia Hall graduated in May with a degree in political science and a certificate in leadership studies. She is from Pella, Iowa, and will live in Washington, D.C. this summer where she will eventually go on to earn a master’s degree in public administration or public policy.

Mackenzie Happel graduated in May with a degree in history and a certificate in leadership studies. She is from Lisbon, Iowa, and plans to teach middle school social studies in central Iowa.

Abdullah Hasanuddin will graduate in December with a degree in sociology; a certificate in leadership studies; and minors in religious studies, philosophy and speech communication. He is from Malaysia and plans to attend graduate school.

Anna Hawkshead graduated in May with degrees in communication studies and international studies with a certificate in leadership studies. She is from Knoxville, Iowa, and plans to pursue a career with Insight Global in Des Moines.

Ashley Hews graduated in May with a degree in public relations, a certificate in leadership studies and a minor in speech communication. She plans to move to Los Angeles, California, to pursue a career in entertainment public relations. Hews is from Adel, Iowa.

Maggie Hollander graduated in May with a degree in computer engineering and a certificate in leadership studies. She is from West Des Moines, Iowa, and will work for BuilderTREND in Omaha, Nebraska.

Brooklynn Jacobs graduated in May with a degree in communication studies, a certificate in leadership studies and a minor in English. She is from Des Moines, Iowa, and hopes to eventually work in publishing.

Rachel Jones graduated in May with degrees in kinesiology and health and Spanish. She is from Loveland, Colorado, and was a Katherine Bruntlett Annin Legacy of Heroines scholar from 2015-2017. Jones will volunteer for a year in Costa Rica doing health care and therapy in a poor area through the FrancisCorps program. She plans to eventually attend graduate school for occupational therapy.

Angela Katoski graduated in May with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and a Master of Business Administration. She is from Duluth, Minnesota, and was a Joanne and Charles Kuster Legacy of Heroines scholar for the past two years. Katoski will work as a project engineer at RJM Construction in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Caitlin Kohlhaas graduated in May with a degree in communication studies, a certificate in leadership studies, and a minor in journalism and mass communication. She is from Humboldt, Iowa, and will intern at the Parks Marina in Okoboji, Iowa, over the summer. Kohlhaas then plans to continue learning about communications.

Anna Lawrence will graduate in December with a degree in communication studies and a certificate in leadership studies. She is from Des Moines, Iowa, and plans to begin a career in her field of study.

Alexandra Lidgett graduated in May with a degree in communication studies and a minor in leadership studies. She is from Des Moines, Iowa, and will work at Smith Fork Guest Luxury Dude Ranch in Colorado.

Karlen Lu graduated in May with a communication studies degree and a certificate in leadership studies. She is from Clear Lake, Iowa, and plans on continuing to develop her career within the hospitality industry in hopes of landing a job with a Fortune 500 company.

Taylor Mankle graduated in May with a degree in journalism and mass communication, a certificate in leadership studies and a minor in American Indian studies. He is from Clive, Iowa, and participated in the Global Leadership Study Abroad to Sweden in summer 2016. Mankle plans to work in broadcast journalism for either television or radio.

Josh Marlin graduated in May with a degree in civil engineering, a certificate in leadership studies and a minor in sustainability. He is from Nowthen, Minnesota, and will work for an engineering consulting firm in the southeastern part of the United States.

Hunter Martin graduated in May with degrees in public relations and women’s studies and a minor in psychology. She is from Ceresco, Nebraska, and was the public relations and events planning intern for the Catt Center for the 2016-2017 academic year. Martin will attend graduate school at American University in Washington, D.C., to study international media.

Alissa Mathisen graduated in May with a degree in public relations, a certificate in leadership studies and a minor in general business. She worked as the publicity intern for the Leadership Studies Program for the 2016-2017 academic year and is from Savage, Minnesota. Mathisen plans to get an internship at a public relations firm in Minneapolis, Minnesota, which she hopes will eventually lead to a full-time position. She also plans to pursue a master's degree in strategic communication.

Amelia Medici graduated in May with a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering and a Master of Business Administration. She is from Johnston, Iowa, and was a Meylor Family Legacy of Heroines scholar for the past two years. She will work as a sourcing buyer for General Mills in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Danielle Mettenbrink graduated with honors in May with a degree in aerospace engineering and a certificate in leadership studies. She is from Grand Island, Nebraska, and will work on helicopter avionics as a systems engineer at Rockwell Collins.

Annika Mikkelson graduated in May with a degree in event management and a certificate in leadership studies. She is from Oswego, Illinois, and plans to work with a sports organization or professional team planning promotional or sponsorship events.

Ellason Montgomery graduated in May with a degree in communication studies, a certificate in leadership studies and a minor in advertising. Montgomery is from Edina, Minnesota, and plans to work in Minneapolis.

Ryan Morton graduated in May with a communications studies degree, a certificate in leadership studies and a minor in general business. He is from Minneapolis, Minnesota, and will work in financial services for Fidelity Investments.

Melissa Moy graduated in May with a biology degree and certificate in leadership studies. She has been a Helen Jensen Howe Legacy of Heroines scholar since 2013. Moy is from Aurora, Illinois, and will intern with Monsanto this summer in Ankeny, Iowa. This fall, she will move to Tucson, Arizona, to pursue a Ph.D. in biological and biomedical sciences at the University of Arizona.

Hannah Nation graduated in May with a degree in event management, a certificate in leadership studies and a minor in advertising. She is from Odgen, Iowa, and will work for Contemporary Services Corp. in Des Moines, Iowa, as a full-time scheduler.

Brooke Neymeyer graduated in May with a degree in criminal justice and a minor in leadership studies. She is from Waterloo, Iowa, and plans to get a job at a police department and attend the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy.

Zach Nickles will graduate in December with a degree in supply chain management and minors in leadership studies and management. He is from Edwards, Illinois, and plans to obtain a job in manufacturing in the Midwest.

Julie Opgenorth will graduate in December with a degree in animal science and a certificate in leadership studies. She is from Orange City, Iowa, and plans to attend graduate school.

Daniel Patterson graduated in May with a degree in communication studies, a certificate in leadership studies and a minor in general business. He is from Paullina, Iowa, and plans to work for a bank in the Ames area.

Christina Paulson graduated in May with a degree in finance, a certificate in leadership studies and a minor in agricultural business. She is from Ames, Iowa, and participated in the Vermeer International Leadership Program’s 2015-2016 cohort. Paulson will work in Des Moines, Iowa, and hopes to continue her education in the future.

Kyle Perkins graduated in May with a degree in psychology, a certificate in leadership studies and a minor in general business. He is from Bettendorf, Iowa, and plans to work for the Educational Technology Fellowship with Curriculum Associates.

Erin Petty graduated in May with a degree in industrial engineering and a certificate in leadership studies. She is from Stillwater, Minnesota, and plans to work at 3M in Hutchinson, Minnesota.

Alejandra Piña graduated in May with degrees in Spanish and international studies; a certificate in leadership studies; and minors in youth, adult and family services, classical studies, and U.S. Latino studies. She is from Des Moines, Iowa, and plans to attend law school at Drake University.

Ashley Preheim graduated in May with a degree in hospitality management and a certificate in leadership studies. She is from Tea, South Dakota, and plans to continue her work with food production and begin a career in university food service.

Kelsey Prescott graduated in May with a degree in communication studies and a certificate in leadership studies. She is from Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, and will work in human resources at Wesley Life in Des Moines.

Danielle Propst graduated in May with degrees in community and regional planning and anthropology with a certificate in leadership studies. She was a Haselhoff Family Legacy of Heroines scholar for the 2016-2017 academic year and is from Marshalltown, Iowa. Propst plans to work for either a city or private consulting firm as a city planner.

Amanda Raysby graduated in May with degrees in mathematics and psychology and a certificate to teach secondary school mathematics. She was the Beth Bierbaum Legacy of Heroines scholar for the 2016-2017 academic year and is from Sioux City, Iowa. Raysby plans to get a job teaching middle or high school mathematics in Dallas, Texas.

Audrey Regan graduated in May with a degree in public relations with minors in leadership studies and general business. She is from Bettendorf, Iowa, and will continue her internship at Iowa’s Cultivation Corridor with plans to seek employment as a corporate communications specialist.

Macy Rice graduated in May with a degree in communication studies and a certificate in leadership studies. She is from Mount Vernon, Iowa, and will intern at the Linn County Extension and Outreach Office in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Jeane Robles graduated in May with a degree in genetics. She has been a Helen Jensen Howe Legacy of Heroines scholar since 2014. She is from West Des Moines, Iowa, and will attend graduate school for higher education and student affairs at the University of Vermont in the fall.

Shannon Roth will graduate in December with a degree in mechanical engineering and a certificate in leadership studies. She is from St. Paul, Minnesota, and plans to work in the Harley-Davidson Motor Co.’s Product Development Center in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin.

Ben Rurup will graduate in December with a degree in history, a certificate in leadership studies and a minor in military science. He is from Oskaloosa, Iowa, and will continue his career with the U.S. Army.

Pierce Schultz will graduate in August with a degree in accounting and a minor in leadership studies. He is from Edina, Minnesota, and plans to work in Minnesota.

Ben Shaffer graduated in May with a degree in civil engineering and a certificate in leadership studies. He is from Lakeville, Minnesota, and plans to become a pilot in the U.S. Air Force.

Mitchell Skatter graduated in May with a degree in aerospace engineering and a certificate in leadership studies. He is from Cokato, Minnesota, and will work as a systems engineer for Rockwell Collins in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Ashley Smith graduated in May with a degree in communication studies, a certificate in leadership studies and a minor in French. She is from Ankeny, Iowa, and will work in Ames, Iowa.

Jade Soleil Paragas Sorensen will graduate in December with a degree in aerospace engineering and a certificate in leadership studies. She is from Fort Madison, Iowa, and plans to find a full-time job after graduation.

Nic Stumbo graduated in May with degrees in accounting and finance with a certificate in leadership studies. He is from Boone, Iowa, and will take the certified public accountant examination this summer before joining Ernst & Young’s business advisory program as a consultant in its financial services organization in Des Moines.

AJ Tjaden graduated in May with degrees in international business and marketing, a certificate in leadership studies and a minor in Mandarin. He is from Bettendorf, Iowa, and will work in Beijing, China, for the Ritz Carlton.

Israel Toluwalase graduated in May with a degree in management information systems and a minor in leadership studies. He is from Des Moines, Iowa, and participated in the Global Leadership Study Abroad to Sweden in 2015. He will work with Ernst & Young after graduation as a consultant in Des Moines.

Taylor Urbanski graduated in May with a degree in communication studies, a certificate in leadership studies, and a minor in human development and family science. She is from Hinsdale, Illinois, and will work for American Marketing and Publishing in Des Moines, Iowa.

Sophie Wakefield graduated in May with a degree in communication studies, a certificate in leadership studies and a minor in general business. She is from Edina, Minnesota, and plans to work in Minnesota.

David Weinstein graduated in May with a degree in software engineering and a certificate in leadership studies. He is from Bettendorf, Iowa, and plans to seek a full-time position in Omaha, Nebraska.

Kelsi Wolever graduated in May with degrees in environmental science and political science with a minor in global sustainability. She was the Political Science Alumni Legacy of Heroines scholar for the 2016-2017 academic year and is from Bettendorf, Iowa. Wolever plans to work in the energy or healthcare fields in the Chicago area.

Thomas Woodruff graduated in May with a degree in communication studies and a minor in leadership studies. He is from Fort Dodge, Iowa, and plans to work full-time while volunteering in his community.