Students assist Catt Center, Leadership Studies Program

Eight undergraduate student interns and three graduate assistants – seven new and four returning – have joined the staff of the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics and the Leadership Studies Program for the 2017-2018 academic year.

Undergraduate student interns and research assistants help the center in a variety of activities, including the Archives of Women’s Political Communication; Women in Iowa Politics Database and Gender Balance Project; public relations and events planning; and the Leadership Studies, Vermeer International Leadership and Global Leadership Study Abroad programs.

"We are pleased to once again have a number of talented undergraduate students working with us as interns and research assistants," said Dianne Bystrom, center director. “Each year, these students provide vital support for the programs and research of both the Catt Center and the Leadership Studies Program."

In addition, two new graduate assistants and one returning graduate assistant are assisting the Leadership Studies Program in several capacities.

"We are also pleased to have several graduate assistants who support both the teaching of leadership courses and the research that underpins the curriculum development and programming of the Leadership Studies Program," Bystrom said. "Their contributions are critical to the success of the program."

The graduate assistants are:


Tanner Anderson
Tanner Anderson

Tanner Anderson, a student in the higher education student affairs master’s degree program, is working with leadership studies lecturer Amber Manning-Ouellette on program assessment, evaluation and the development of materials for the Leadership Studies Program. Anderson is from Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

“Working with the Leadership Studies Program has provided me with the opportunity to practice assessment and critical evaluation of educational programs as well as build relationships with incredibly impactful faculty," Anderson said.


Katie Friesen (Ryan Riley/Iowa State University)
Katie Friesen (Ryan Riley/Iowa State University)

Katie Friesen, a Ph.D. candidate in education with an emphasis in higher education, has returned for a fourth year as the teaching assistant for the leadership courses offered by the College of Engineering in collaboration with the leadership studies faculty. Friesen has also coordinated recruitment efforts for the Leadership Studies Program and LAS 151, "Dean's Leadership Seminar," during new student orientation the past two summers. The Dean's Leadership Seminar is a one-credit course co-taught by Beate Schmittmann, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and leadership studies lecturer Julie Snyder-Yuly. Friesen is from Colby, Kansas.

"In addition to enrolling students in our minor and certificate programs, I teach our engineering leadership courses, advise Emerging Leaders in Engineering and the Engineering Leaders of Tomorrow conference, and hold leadership development workshops for student organizations and other various programs on campus," Friesen said. "My favorite part of working with the Leadership Studies Program and the College of Engineering is working with our students. I am always amazed to see how our engineering students are applying their technical skills to create a positive impact for our diverse and ever-changing society. It is an inspiration to me and the work I do."


Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson, a Ph.D. candidate in education with an emphasis in higher education administration, is a teaching assistant with leadership studies lecturer Tara Widner for the Vermeer International Leadership Program. Jackson is from Hartville, Missouri.

"I enjoy working with the Vermeer cohort’s ‘Leadership Styles and Strategies in a Diverse Society’ class, because there are 22 unique perspectives with real-life experiences that each of us benefit from," Jackson said.


The undergraduate student interns are:


Brooke Almasi
Brooke Almasi

Brooke Almasi, a senior in public relations with a minor in American Indian Studies, is assisting Kristine Perkins, public relations/student programs coordinator for the center, as the public relations and events planning intern. Almasi is from Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

"My position allows me to fuse my passions for writing and advocating for women into one internship," Almasi said. "I love the variety of tasks I have the opportunity to work on, from designing the 2018 Women Impacting ISU calendar to creating content for the Voices newsletter. I am excited to continue to promote the impactful events, research and programs of the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics throughout my internship."


Kendal Herrig
Kendal Herrig

Kendal Herrig, a junior in pre-business with a minor in marketing, is working with Widner and Manning-Ouellette to help publicize the Leadership Studies, Global Leadership Study Abroad and Vermeer International Leadership programs. Herrig is also is a peer mentor for the EXCEL learning community – which is affiliated with the LD ST 270, “Campus Leadership Development,” class – for fall 2017. She is from Wall Lake, Iowa.

"The work I do for the Leadership Studies Program is helping me grow as a leader and a person," Herrig said. "My involvement in the program is opening me up to new ideas and opportunities."


Natasha Hill
Natasha Hill

Natasha Hill, a junior in global resource systems with a leadership studies certificate, is an undergraduate research assistant working with Manning-Ouellette on a Diversity Course Development Initiative Program grant to modify and enhance the diversity curriculum of LD ST 322, “Leadership Styles and Strategies in a Diverse Society." Hill, who is also a peer mentor for the EXCEL learning community for fall 2017, participated in the Global Leadership Study Abroad in summer 2016 and was a member of the Vermeer International Leadership Program 2016-2017 cohort. She is from Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Hill said, "I love being a peer mentor for Leadership Studies 270 [“Campus Leadership Development”] and guiding students down their own path to leadership. I also do research for the Leadership Studies Program, which I enjoy because I get to learn something new basically every day."


Jessica Holtkamp
Jessica Holtkamp

Jessica Holtkamp, a junior in political science, is an office assistant for the Leadership Studies Program, helping Sue Cloud, communications specialist for the center, in providing administrative support for the leadership studies faculty. Holtkamp, who also participated in several 2017 Ready to Run Iowa workshops, is from Mt. Pleasant, Iowa.

"I love working for the Leadership Studies Program because of the incredible and hard-working people I've already met through the program. I'm excited to be a part of a growing program with lots of potential," Holtkamp said.


Caeona Krivolavy
Caeona Krivolavy

Caeona Krivolavy, a senior in child, adult and family services with a leadership studies certificate, is a returning undergraduate research assistant working with Manning-Ouellette for fall 2017 on two projects – how service-learning influences civic skills and attitudes in first-year students and on women STEM majors in leadership programs developing their voice. Krivolavy was a student in the Dean's Leadership Seminar in the 2014-15 academic year, participated in Global Leadership Study Abroad in summer 2016 and was an undergraduate research assistant for Manning-Ouellette during the 2016-17 academic year. She is from Okoboji, Iowa.

Krivolavy said, "I have the privilege to study civic attitudes in first-year students, and I have a front row seat to watch them develop as they engage with class material. Watching students learn and grow is an incredible experience. I consider myself blessed."


Katie Kurt
Katie Kurt

Katie Kurt, a sophomore in speech communication and public relations, is a research intern working on the Archives of Women’s Political Communication with Cloud and Kelly Winfrey, assistant professor of journalism and coordinator of research and outreach for the center. Kurt is from Coggon, Iowa.

"I am very excited for the women's political communication internship because it combines my interest in politics with my love for learning about influential women," Kurt said. "I have already gained so much knowledge because of the biographies I've put together on some of these women, and I am extremely excited to see what this year has in store."


Katherine Paul
Katherine Paul

Katherine Paul, a junior in political science and religious studies, returns for a second year as the Sharon Rodine Leadership and Advocacy intern. She assists Winfrey on the Women in Iowa Politics Database and the Gender Balance Project. Paul is from Boone, Iowa.

“I have really enjoyed and been challenged by my time working with the Catt Center," Paul said. "The mix of political research paired with navigating women's roles in the political world is an ever-engaging topic that I look forward to continuing.”


Emily Ramm
Emily Ramm

Emily Ramm, a senior in elementary education with a minor in child, adult and family services and a leadership studies certificate, is returning for her third year as the intern for the Vermeer International Leadership Program for fall 2017. Ramm, who participated in the Global Leadership Study Abroad Program in summer 2016 and has been a Rice-Neville Legacy of Heroines scholar since fall 2016, is from Onawa, Iowa.

She said, "Throughout the year I work on program outreach, planning a study abroad to Amsterdam and organizing several events. Every day is different, which is something I really enjoy."


The salaries of four of the undergraduate student interns are supported through private and corporate gifts to the Catt Center. Two interns and one undergraduate research assistant are funded from revenue generated from online courses taught by leadership studies faculty. One undergraduate research assistant is funded by a grant through the Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost, Faculty Senate, and the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching.

One of the graduate assistants is supported through a corporate gift to the Catt Center, one is supported by the College of Engineering and one is supported through a course buyout.