Student interns assist Catt Center with research, programming

CATEGORIES: November 2019, Voices
The Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics is located in Catt Hall.

Five undergraduate student interns and one graduate assistant have been assisting the staff of the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics for the 2019-2020 academic year.

Undergraduate student interns play an essential role in the Catt Center’s work, including the Archives of Women’s Political Communication, Women in Iowa Politics Database and Gender Balance Project, and public relations and events planning.

“The Catt Center interns are phenomenal,” said Karen Kedrowski, director of the Catt Center. “They contribute to the success of everything we do.”

Carrie Ann Johnson

The graduate assistant is Carrie Ann Johnson, a fourth-year doctoral student in rhetoric and professional communication with a certificate in human-computer interaction. Johnson is setting up a Vertically Integrated Projects program at the Catt Center, a new initiative at Iowa State University that provides multidisciplinary teams of graduate and undergraduate students the opportunity to participate in a multi-year research project while earning course credit. Johnson is helping to develop projects focusing on gender and politics and recruiting students to start in the spring 2020 semester.

Johnson is also a graduate teaching assistant for the Department of English. She serves on the Graduate and Professional Student Senate and the Performance Art Council, and as the faculty liaison for Phorum, the student organization for rhetoric and professional communication students.

“Right now we are in the planning stages of the Vertically Integrated Projects,” Johnson said. “I look forward to doing in-depth studies with faculty and undergraduates soon.”

Johnson is from Brigham City, Utah.


The undergraduate student interns are:

Crystal Brandenburgh
Crystal Brandenburgh

Crystal Brandenburgh, a senior in history with a minor in political science, has returned for a second year as a research intern working on the Archives of Women’s Political Communication with Kelly Winfrey, coordinator of research and outreach for the center, and Sue Cloud, communications specialist for the center. Brandenburgh is expanding the Archives’ collection of speeches by leading suffragists, including African-American suffragists, and developing the “Spotlight on Suffragists” series that the center will be featuring in its social media in 2020 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Brandenburgh is the 2019-20 Elizabeth Hoffman and Brian R. Binger Legacy of Heroines scholar, a member of the Phi Alpha Theta history honor society and a peer mentor for History 195, “Introduction to History.” This past summer, she completed an internship at the Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project in Washington, D.C.

“The best thing about working at the Catt Center is the ability to gain career experience while simultaneously fulfilling a passion for politics and feminism,” Brandenburgh said.

She is from Council Bluffs, Iowa.


Arin Johnson

Arin Johnson, a sophomore in global resource systems and environmental studies, is a research intern assisting Winfrey on the Women in Iowa Politics Database and the Gender Balance Project. Johnson is collecting the latest data on women serving on municipal and county boards and commissions, and also doing a literature review of existing gender balance research.

Johnson is a member of the International Student Council, Greeks Go Green, Globe Leadership Fellows program, World Language Partner Exchange and Alpha Gamma Delta sorority.

“I love working in an inclusive environment that promotes female empowerment,” Johnson said about her internship.

She is from Des Moines, Iowa.


Abigail Mankins

Abigail Mankins, a senior in political science and environmental studies with minors in statistics and women’s and gender studies, is the Sharon and Alice Rodine Leadership and Advocacy intern, assisting Winfrey on the Women in Iowa Politics Database and the Gender Balance Project. Mankins is researching the number of women running in 2019 for mayor, city council and school board in Iowa, as well as bill sponsorship by women in the Iowa legislature.

Mankins is a Helen Jensen Howe Legacy of Heroines scholar and a communication consultant at Iowa State’s Writing and Media Center. Last summer, she was a conservation programs intern for the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation in Des Moines.

Her favorite part of working at the Catt Center, Mankins said, is “constantly learning more about women in politics.”

She is from Des Moines, Iowa.


Jazlyn Talley

Jazlyn Talley, a senior in political science and public relations with a minor in environmental studies, began working at the center over the summer as a research intern on the Archives of Women’s Political Communication. This fall, she has been focused on collecting the speeches and campaign ads of the female presidential candidates, as well as researching suffragists for the “Spotlight on Suffragists series.

Talley has been a Phyllis Davis Legacy of Heroines scholar since the 2017-18 academic year and is a member of Alpha Omicron Pi sorority. She also works at Iowa State’s Enrollment Services Center.

“My favorite thing about working at the Catt Center is all the incredible and strong women doing important work in the political field I’ve gotten to meet and work with,” Talley said.

She is from Des Moines, Iowa.


Grace Tuzik

Grace Tuzik, a senior in public relations with a minor in event management, is back for a second year assisting Kristine Perkins, public relations/student programs coordinator for the center, as the public relations and events planning intern. Tuzik is a member of the Iowa State chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America.

“One of my favorite things about working at the Catt Center is getting the opportunity to give women on campus the recognition they deserve with the Women Impacting ISU calendar,” Tuzik said. “It’s so fun to be a part of the planning process and watch it all come together to celebrate women who truly deserve it.”

Tuzik is from Algonquin, Illinois.

The salaries of the student interns are supported through private gifts to the Catt Center.

In addition, Kedrowski is supervising three Iowa State students serving as Vote Everywhere ambassadors for the Andrew Goodman Foundation, an organization that seeks to involve young adults in the democratic process through on-campus engagement and social and traditional media, and one student who has served this fall as a fellow for the Campus Election Engagement Project (CEEP), a national nonpartisan organization that helps colleges and universities motivate their students to register, volunteer in campaigns, educate themselves and turn out at the polls.


The Vote Everywhere student ambassadors are:

Kara Dieke

Kara Dieke is a first year student in economics from West Des Moines, Iowa. In addition to her work with the Vote Everywhere group, she is involved in the Economics Club and is part of the Freshman Honors Program. Her favorite Iowa State memory is having pancakes on central campus with her friends during Homecoming.


Zach Johnson

Zach Johnson is a sophomore in political science and data science from Ely, Iowa. Johnson is also a community advisor in the Department of Residence and a section leader in the Iowa State University Cyclone Marching Band.

Johnson said that his favorite part of working with the Catt Center is “promoting civic engagement and more involvement for women in politics.”


Hayat Sumael

Hayat Sumael is a sophomore in criminal justice studies and political science from Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Sumael serves as a senator in Student Government, on the Civic Engagement and the Diversity and Inclusion committees, as secretary for the student organization United Residents Off Campus, and on the Student Union Board. She also works for Cyclone Cinema.

“I think the Catt Center is an amazing, peaceful and a good, safe space,” Sumael said. “The people in the Catt Center are truly genuine people.”


Suzanne Fitzgerald

The CEEP fellow is Suzanne Fitzgerald, a junior in history from Ames, Iowa. Fitzgerald is pursuing the teacher education track and minoring in political science. She works for the University Lectures program.

“Voting is so important. I’m proud to help ISU students make their voices heard,” Fitzgerald said.