The Legacy of Heroines program has been providing scholarships to students interested in gender and politics, the political process, public service, and women’s leadership since 1996. Legacy of Heroines scholars receive a one-year scholarship split between the fall and spring semesters, and also participate in programs and activities through the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics. Most of the scholarships may be renewed based on program participation and continued eligibility.
The 2023-2024 Legacy of Heroines scholars are:
Avery Carlson, a sophomore majoring in chemistry with a minor in international studies, is a recipient of the Helen Jensen Howe Legacy of Heroines Scholarship for Women in Science. Carlson, who hopes to work as a chemist after graduation, has a research and development cosmetics internship with Frontier Co-op and is an undergraduate assistant at Iowa State’s Chemical Instrumentation Facility.
Asked about her favorite things about Iowa State, Carlson said, “I love going on walks throughout campus and finding new places to hammock.” Carlson is from Marion, Iowa.
Jordan Cunningham, a junior majoring in political science and anthropology with a minor in Middle Eastern studies, is the recipient of the Meylor Family Legacy of Heroines Scholarship. Cunningham, who said she loves that there are so many opportunities to participate and be a part of a community on campus, participates in the Alternative Breaks Program and Pre-Law Club. She is also helping establish a new student organization, Plurality Club, with the goal of providing a constructive space for student discussion about impactful topics in law and politics in the U.S.
After graduation, Cunningham plans to attend law school and then work as a human rights lawyer with an NGO or IGO abroad, saying, “I believe that by advancing the respect for and status of women’s and girls’ human rights, we will be able to achieve a greater advancement of human rights for everyone.” Cunningham is from Des Moines, Iowa.
Kaija Dahlberg, a senior majoring in genetics and nutritional science, is the recipient of the Dr. Lauren S. Hughes Legacy of Heroines Scholarship. Dahlberg is involved in Alpha Gamma Delta women’s fraternity, Sparkles Squad Inclusive Cheer Team, Iowa State Blood Drive, and Order of Omega Honor Society. Following graduation, she plans to attend medical school and become a physician.
“My favorite activity has been the Iowa State Blood Drive,” said Dahlberg. “It has been such a joy to serve as one of the public relations executives for the largest student-run blood drive in the nation over the past two years. I love watching our Iowa State community come together to donate and volunteer to save lives.” Dahlberg is from Mounds View, Minnesota.
Stacia Drey, a junior majoring in political science and journalism & mass communication with a minor in ethics, is the recipient of the Political Science Alumni Legacy of Heroines Scholarship. Drey serves as chief of staff for Iowa State’s Student Government and is a politics reporter at the Iowa State Daily.
“I am looking forward to all the speakers we get access to!” said Drey. “I love hearing advice and learning about people’s personal paths to success!” Drey is from Marion, Iowa.
Caitlin Henriksen, a senior majoring in animal science (pre-vet), is a recipient of the Claire B. Andreasen Legacy of Heroines Scholarship.
Abigail Iversen, a junior majoring in animal science, is a recipient of the Claire B. Andreasen Legacy of Heroines Scholarship. Iverson is a member of Block & Bridle and the Pre-Vet club and is a Supplemental Instruction leader.
“After graduation, I hope to attend veterinary school,” said Iverson. “I would like to become a mixed animal veterinarian in the Midwest.” Iversen is from Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Ellie Jermier, a junior from majoring in psychology with a minor in human development and family studies, is a recipient of the Phyllis Davis Legacy of Heroines Scholarship. Alpha Delta Pi Sorority, Psychology Club, NAMI on Campus, Letters of Love, ISU Blood Drive
Jermier says, “I’m looking forward to creating positive change here at ISU as a student and representative. I want to be a positive voice in our community and an advocate for issues in our world and at our university.” Jermier is Grimes, Iowa.
Mia Kawamitsu, a senior majoring in journalism & mass communication and international studies with a minor in fashion, culture, history, and social justice, is the recipient of the Sharon and Alice Rodine Leadership and Advocacy Legacy of Heroines Scholarship.
During her time at Iowa State, Kawamitsu has been involved in the international student community through her role in International Student Council, Student Government, and the International Students and Scholars Office. She also serves on student advisory boards for the Senior Vice President of Student Affairs and the ISU Police Department, is a student ambassador and member of the Diversity Committee for the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication, and is editor-in-chief of TREND magazine, a student-run publication from the Department of Apparel, Events, and Hospitality Management.
“The abundance of opportunities is definitely my favorite thing about Iowa State and the reason my college experience has been enriched so much!” Kawamitsu said. “However, if I had to choose one thing, the class for the George Washington Carver scholarship (UST 110: International First-Year Experience Seminar) I took as a freshman is still one of my most memorable and impactful moments in college. Being introduced to and learning about ‘intersectionality’ was pivotal in deepening my understanding of my own identities and was immensely valuable as I navigated college and my place at Iowa State.” Kawamitsu is from Council Bluffs, Iowa.
Shay Kent, a senior majoring in global resource systems and environmental studies with a minor in food and society, is a recipient of the Phyllis Davis Legacy of Heroines Scholarship. Kent is currently a member of Kappa Delta sorority, the GLOBE Ambassador Program, and the Cargill-GRS Leadership Academy. After spending her summer with an NGO in rural Uganda, she was inspired to participate in Peace Corps or AmeriCorps once she graduates.
“One of my favorite things about Iowa State is all the different classes you can take,” Kent said. “I loved taking Plant Propagation [Horticulture 322].” Kent is from Urbandale, Iowa.
Linsey Kitt, a graduate student in computer science, is the recipient of the Helen Jensen Howe Legacy of Heroines Scholarship for Women in Science. Kitt is vice president of the student club Undergraduate Diversity and Inclusion in Physics (UDIP), helping transition leadership after leading the club for two years as an undergraduate. She does research on quantum program testing, and after graduating next spring with her master’s degree she hopes to move to Seattle and find a software engineering position.
Of her time at Iowa State, Kitt said, “One of my favorite things has been being able to do research all five years I’ve been here and seeing how science is expanded through the collaboration of so many different people.” Kitt is from Jefferson, Iowa.
Jessica Kowalski, a junior majoring in global resource systems and animal ecology with a minor in Spanish, is the recipient of the Catt Center 30th Anniversary Legacy of Heroines Scholarship.
Julia Litecky, a senior majoring in political science and journalism & mass communication with a criminal justice minor, is the recipient of the Haselhoff Family Legacy of Heroines Scholarship. Litecky is president of the Honors Student Board, vice president of communication and alumni for the Cardinal Key Honor Society, secretary of DubH Hip Hop Club, and public relations chair for the Diving Club, as well as a member of the Political Science Club and Pre-Law Club. She is applying to law schools, with the goal of starting law school next fall.
“One of my favorite parts of Iowa State is DubH Hip Hop club,” Litecky said. “Continuing to dance has been a highlight of my college experience, and I love getting to travel to different parts of Iowa with my team to perform at a variety of events.” Litecky is from Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Kayla Morrissey, a senior majoring in civil engineering with a minor in German, is a recipient of the Kedrowski and Fitzgerald Family Legacy of Heroines Scholarship. Morrissey is treasurer of the Water Professionals Student Chapter and is a student operator at the City of Ames water treatment plant. Next summer, she hopes to work as an engineer in the water industry and get more experience in that field.
When asked about her favorite things at Iowa State, Morrissey replied, “I absolutely love the courtyard by Lagomarcino Hall, as well as the Memorial Union’s Sun Room.” Morrissey is from Saint Paul, Minnesota.
Yen Nguyen, a senior majoring in biology, is the recipient of the Jane Greimann Legacy of Heroines Scholarship. Nguyen is a Supplemental Instruction leader, an undergraduate teaching assistant for organic chemistry, and a peer tutor for the STEM Scholar Program. Nguyen is from Sioux City, Iowa.
Brianna Rivera, a sophomore majoring in interior design with a minor in general business, is the recipient of the James R. and Lauri K. Young Choral Music Legacy of Heroines Scholarship. Rivera is from Summit, Illinois.
Alyssa Rodriguez, a senior majoring in human development and family studies with minors in public relations and political science, is a recipient of the Kedrowski and Fitzgerald Family Legacy of Heroines Scholarship. Rodriguez has served on the Student Union Board, which plans student events ranging from free moves to live concerts, since her freshman year and on its executive board four times. She is currently applying for fellowships and researching graduate programs—including at Iowa State.
“One of my favorite things about Iowa State is how many different ways you can get involved,” Rodriguez said. “Through my involvement, I have made so many wonderful connections! I’ve met celebrities, won pitch competitions, and identified my passions!” Rodriguez is from Davenport, Iowa.
Danielle Sanders, a junior majoring in women’s and gender studies with a minor in communication studies, is the recipient of the Katherine Bruntlett Annin Legacy of Heroines Scholarship. Sanders, who transferred to Iowa State this fall, has been exploring student clubs and organizations, particularly those involved in helping the community.
“I love the campus, the buildings, plants, study spaces and art that is displayed in various areas,” Sanders said. “There are always activities and meetings taking place that provide information that is beneficial to the students. I have also enjoyed the lectures that are hosted on campus!” Sanders is from Brigham City, Utah.
Aliah Sow, a senior majoring in mathematics and French, is a recipient of an Elizabeth Hoffman and Brian R. Binger Legacy of Heroines Scholarship. Sow is a World Languages and Cultures Student Ambassador, National Student Exchange Student Ambassador and George Washington Carver Scholar. After graduation, she plans to pursue a Ph.D. in mathematics.
“My favorite thing about Iowa State is the variety of opportunities available to students,” said Sow. “I was able to study abroad twice, in Grenoble, France for a semester and Montreal, Canada for a semester.” Sow is from Los Angeles, California.
Jaelyn Tigges, a senior majoring in mathematics, is the recipient of the Beth Bierbaum Legacy of Heroines Scholarship. Tigges is a tutor for the Athletics Department and a YWCA GIRLS Power mentor. Her goal is to get into Iowa State’s Master of Arts in Teaching for Mathematics Education program and become a high school math teacher.
Tigges said, “My favorite thing about Iowa State is all of the recreation facilities on campus and the many different ways to stay active, like the fitness classes or swimming at Beyer Hall.” Tigges is from Dubuque, Iowa.
Hope Ung, a senior majoring in biology and environmental science, is a recipient of the Helen Jensen Howe Legacy of Heroines Scholarship for Women in Science.
Estelle Venable, a senior majoring in agronomy and Spanish, is a recipient of the Elizabeth Hoffman and Brian R. Binger Legacy of Heroines Scholarship.
Clare Vilmont, a senior majoring in public relations and political science, is a recipient of the Phyllis Davis Legacy of Heroines Scholarship. Vilmont is involved with the Greenlee School with media planning and at the Catt Center as a public relations intern. After graduation, she hopes to get a job in Chicago at an advertising agency.
“My favorite things about Iowa State are the people I’ve met along the way and the support I’ve gotten,” Vilmont said. She is from Waukee, Iowa.
Ulrich Wolfe, a senior majoring in finance, is the recipient of the Maxine M. Burch Legacy of Heroines Scholarship. Wolfe said that his favorite thing about Iowa State has been the interplay of experiences from around the globe and being able to gain more perspectives in business from international students. After graduation he hopes to continue being involved in finance and real estate either locally or at another destination.
Wolfe has this to say of his involvement with the Legacy of Heroines program: “Many of my campus activities have been through attendance at Catt Center events, which I have found very insightful in understanding both diverse concerns and movements in society today.” Wolfe is from Nevada, Iowa.