Five undergraduate student interns are supporting the staff of the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics with its research and programming for the 2022-23 academic year. In addition, four student voting engagement champions worked with center director Karen Kedrowski and research/outreach coordinator Carrie Ann Johnson throughout the fall in preparation for the 2022 midterm election.
“Our interns are fun, talented, and a joy to work with. We’re grateful to all of them,” said Kedrowski.
Undergraduate interns play an essential role in the Catt Center’s work. The salaries of the interns are supported in part through private gifts to the Catt Center, for which the center is very grateful.
The student interns are:
Seth Bequette, a junior in anthropology and women’s and gender studies with a minor in design studies, is assisting Johnson and Sue Cloud, the center’s communications specialist, as an intern for the Archives of Women’s Political Communication. He started his internship in January.
“I enjoy working for Catt Center because it gives me an opportunity to examine intersections of identity in communication on a scale and in contexts I wouldn’t have examined on my own,” Bequette said.
Bequette is also secretary of the Pride Alliance, a student assistant with the Language Studies Resource Center, and working on reorganizing the Tri Iota Women and Gender Studies Honor Society.
Kathryn Burns, a senior from Dubuque, Iowa, majoring in political science and Spanish with a minor in women’s and gender studies, is the Sharon and Alice Rodine Leadership and Advocacy intern. Burn is assisting Johnson as an intern for the Women in Iowa Politics Database and Gender Balance Project.
“The Catt Center is where I first learned about my interest in research,” Burns said. “I love coming to work and having the opportunity to explore that interest.”
Burns also is involved in the Kappa Delta sorority, Student Alumni Leadership Council and Honors Program.
Sarah Hannon, a senior in finance with a minor in political science from Farmington, Minnesota, is a research intern assisting Johnson on the Women in Iowa Politics Database and the Gender Balance Project. Hannon was also an intern for the 2021-2022 academic year.
“I enjoy working at the Catt Center because of all the amazing people I have met,” Hannon said. “Interning at the Catt Center has allowed me to work on projects I am passionate about while developing important professional skills.”
Ashleigh O’Brien, a senior in women’s and gender studies with minors in political science and African American studies from Walnut, Illinois, is assisting Johnson and Cloud as an intern for the Archives of Women’s Political Communication. This fall, she has been collecting political ads from women candidates in gubernatorial, U.S. Senate and selected U.S. House races.
“Working at the Catt Center has been an absolute dream,” O’Brien said. “I am able to apply my passion for women in politics as well as my scholarly writing and research skills to advocate for the enhancement of women in politics all over America. I truly feel as though I am making a difference for future generations, and there is no greater feeling than that.”
O’Brien is president of the African American Studies Society, and a member of the College Democrats and the Tri Iota Women and Gender Studies Honor Society.
Clare Vilmont, a junior in public relations and political science from Waukee, Iowa, is the center’s public relations/events planning intern, assisting both Cloud and Ashley Marsh, the center’s administrative assistant and events planner. Vilmont is the editor of the center’s semiweekly student newsletter, contributes to the center’s Voices e-newsletter, social media and other communications, designed the 2023 Women Impacting ISU calendar, and is assisting with preparations for upcoming center events.
“I enjoy working with my Catt Center co-workers and getting the opportunity to try new things,” Vilmont said.
Vilmont is also involved with the ISU student-run advertising agency Cardinal & Gold and is a peer mentor at the Greenlee School.
The student voting engagement interns are:
Brenda Calvetti, a senior in public relations with minors in event management and sociology from Muskego, Wisconsin, joined the team this fall. She is vice president of recruitment for her sorority, Alpha Gamma Delta; the philanthropy chair of Rho Lambda National Honors sorority; and the marketing intern for the Ivy College of Business.
Calvetti said, “I enjoy working for the Catt Center because I can make my own schedule and educate students on campus about voting.”
Marquis Heard, a senior in political science with a minor in history from West Des Moines, Iowa, has been working with Kedrowski on student voter engagement since last year as a member of the Go Vote 2.0: We Are the (Voting) Champions Innovation Sprint team.
“Becoming a member of Cyclones Vote has been a great experience for me,” Heard says. “I’ve enjoyed all the work I’ve done in trying to increase the number of civically engaged students we have on campus.”
Heard is also a Save the Children’s Action Network student ambassador.
Alyssa Rodriguez, a senior in political science and human development and family studies with a minor in public relations from Davenport, Iowa, was also a member of the Go Vote 2.0: We Are the (Voting) Champions Innovation Sprint team and has been working with Kedrowski since then.
“Working with the Cyclone Votes team, I enjoy that everyone at the Catt Center is so supportive of their student interns!” said Rodriguez.
Lauren Rush, a senior in political science with minors in criminal justice studies and communication studies from Waukee, Iowa, was also a member of the Go Vote 2.0: We Are the (Voting) Champions Innovation Sprint team and has been working on student voter engagement since then.
“I love working at the Catt Center because I get to work alongside many hard-working and smart individuals who have the same goals I do for our campus and its future,” said Rush.