The Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics held a year-end celebration event on April 27 in the Cardinal Room of the Memorial Union to honor the affiliated students who will earn their undergraduate or graduate degrees from Iowa State University this spring or summer, as well as the students who graduated in December 2022.
Dr. Susan Harper, director of The Center for LGBTQIA+ Student Success at Iowa State University, was the guest speaker at the event. Harper shared stories about her leadership journey and philosophy. She urged the students to use their own leadership abilities to create opportunities for themselves and others to have the “power to” act and affect positive change.
The graduating students in attendance were recognized in a slide show and presented with a small gift from the Catt Center.
Graduates sharing their future plans include:
Jaden Ahlrichs is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in global resource systems and horticulture. From Pocahontas, Iowa, Ahlrichs has been the Meylor Family Legacy of Heroines scholar since 2020. He recalls his favorite Iowa State memory as being a part of the ISU community on campus with his friends. Post college, he will work for Sustainable Environmental Consultants, where he will be able to interact with farmers from across the United States who raise livestock or grow row crops, vegetables or orchards.
Molly Blanco is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in journalism & mass communication and Spanish and a minor in sociology. Blanco is from Burlington, Iowa. She has been the recipient of the James R. and Lauri K. Young Choral Music Legacy of Heroines Scholarship since 2020. Her favorite memory at ISU was carrying a wagon around campus to deliver the newspapers for the Iowa State Daily. Blanco is currently job hunting for a career in journalism.
Kathryn Burns, from Dubuque, Iowa, is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in political science and Spanish and a minor in women’s and gender studies. Burns has been interning with the Catt Center since 2020. She has been a Legacy of Heroines scholar for two years, first as a recipient of a Political Science Alumni Legacy of Heroines Scholarship and this year as a recipient of a Kedrowski and Fitzgerald Family Legacy of Heroines Scholarship. Burn’s favorite memories at Iowa State are going on study abroad to Caceres, Spain, and being on Homecoming Central. Following graduation, she plans to work in the political realm.
Garrity Corns is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in political science and women’s and gender studies. She is from Barcelona, Spain. Corns received the Political Science Alumni Legacy of Heroines Scholarship in 2022. Her favorite memory at Iowa State was running the Pre-law Club during her junior and senior years. She will be attending law school in Washington, D.C., this fall.
Mariana Denise Gonzalez, from Eagle Grove, Iowa, is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in political science and public relations. Gonzalez was a 2022 Women Impacting ISU calendar honoree and has been an intern at the Catt Center this past spring. Her best memories at ISU include running for study body vice president, studying abroad in Italy and finding a lifelong community. After graduating, she plans to enter the fields of public relations, communications, research or public affairs. Gonzalez also plans to run and serve in public office in the future.
Peyton Hamel, from Littleton, Colorado, is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in English and a minor in biology. She has been a recipient of the Elizabeth Hoffman and Brian R. Binger Legacy of Heroines Scholarship since 2020. Her favorite memory at Iowa State was getting the newspaper for the day and cutting out the articles she wrote for the Iowa State Daily. Hamel plans to write her first fictional novel for publication post-graduation.
Sarah Hannon graduated in December 2022 with a finance degree and a political science minor. From Farmington, Minnesota, she was an intern at the Catt Center from 2021-2022. Hannon has also received the Elizabeth Hoffman and Brian R. Binger Legacy of Heroines scholarship in 2022. While in college, her favorite memory was all the friends and mentors she met in classes, research and at other events. Hannon is now working as an associate financial analyst at Casey’s.
Arwa Hassan, from Iowa City, Iowa, is graduating with a degree in public relations and a minor in entrepreneurship. Hassan worked at the Catt Center last year as the public relations and events planning intern. She has been the recipient of the Katherine Bruntlett Annin Legacy of Heroines Scholarship since 2022. Her favorite memory at ISU has been studying abroad in France. After graduation, Hassan plans to work in global public relations.
Demarquis Heard, from West Des Moines, Iowa, is graduating with a political science degree and a history minor. Heard was a voter engagement intern at the center, and one of his favorite things was helping organize and run voter registration drives. After graduating, he plans to take a gap year and apply for graduate school.
Rachel Junck, an Ames local, is graduating with a concurrent master’s degree in business administration with specializations in leadership and supply chain management and a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering and minors in Spanish and political science. Junck has been the recipient of the Rice-Neville Political Activism Legacy of Heroines Scholarship since 2020. She looks back at her time in college and recollects her favorite memory as getting elected to the Ames City Council in the fall of 2019 and having the opportunity throughout the campaign to talk with students and community members about the importance of local government. Her future plans include continuing to serve her term on the Ames City Council and working as a project engineer at Chevron Renewable Energy Group.
Linsey Kitt, from Jefferson, Iowa, is graduating with a computer science degree with a physics minor. Kitt has been a recipient of the Helen Jensen Howe Legacy of Heroines Scholarship for Women in Science since 2021. Kitt has enjoyed her time at Iowa State, especially going to the Grace Hopper Conference in Orlando, Florida, last semester. She will be staying at ISU for another year to get her master’s degree in computer science.
Natalia Ríos Martínez is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in political science, international studies and public relations. Martinez is from San Juan, Puerto Rico. She has been the recipient of Kedrowski and Fitzgerald Family Legacy of Heroines since 2021. Her favorite memory while at ISU was restarting the Political Science Club, because she saw the club grow and people
participate. After graduation, Martínez will participate in the Truman Summer Institute Program.
Ashleigh O’Brien is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in women’s and gender studies with minors in political science and African and Africa American studies. O’Brien started interning at the Catt Center in 2022. After graduating, she will attend the George Washington University, earning a dual master’s degree in women, gender and sexualities studies and public policy. Her favorite memory at Iowa State was taking the course HIST/AF AM 469: History of Racial Violence in Europe and the U.S., which she took with Dr. Brian Behnken and Dr. Jeremy Best, where she met some of her lifelong friends and built relationships that will last a lifetime.
Anna Olson is graduating with a degree in journalism & mass communication and political science with a minor in women’s and gender studies. She has received the Kedrowski and Fitzgerald Family Legacy of Heroines Scholarship since 2020. Her favorite memory while in college was filming the College Tour segment for Amazon Prime. After graduating the Boone, Iowa, native plans to attend law school at Drake.
Skylar Promer, from her hometowns of Huntington Beach, California, and Cedar Falls, Iowa, is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in animal science following the pre-vet track with a minor in entomology. Promer has been the recipient of the Claire B. Andreasen Legacy of Heroines Scholarship since 2022. In college, her favorite memory was being part of the Veterinarians Without Borders club. Promer went to Costa Rica with the club over spring break. Following graduation, she is looking for opportunities for field research. Promer is also actively applying for veterinary schools and a master’s degree program in ocean sciences.
Lauren Rush, from Waukee, Iowa, is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in political science and minors in criminal justice and communication studies. Her favorite memories at ISU have been the memories she’s made with her best friends. Rush will be attending law school in Brooklyn, New York, following graduation.
Emma Sarver, from McCallsburg, Iowa, is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in human resources management. She has been the recipient of the Rice-Neville Political Activism Legacy of Heroines Scholarship since 2022. Her favorite memory from college was joining the Society for Human Resource Management and finding a community of people who are passionate about training and developing the workforce. Sarver will be working as an HR generalist at Story County Medical Center after graduating.
Other graduates include Brenda Calvetti, a public relations major with minors in event planning and sociology; Tamara McConnell, a geology major with a minor in African and African American studies; Maxwell Moreno, who is graduating with a master’s degree in anthropology; Nichole Schmidt, who graduated in December 2022 with a degree in psychology and political science with a minor in English; and Emma Staut, a mathematics major with a minor in data science.