About Us

Catt Center Staff and Faculty

Dianne Bystrom Director Carrie Chapman-Catt Center
Susan Cloud
Amber Manning-Ouellette
Kristine Perkins
Julie Snyder-Yuly
Tara Widner
Kelly Winfrey

Affiliated Faculty

David Anderson
Tessa Ditonto
Margaret LaWare
Alissa Stoehr

Mission Statement

The Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics was founded in 1992 at Iowa State University to interest, educate and engage citizens in the political process. The center honors Carrie Chapman Catt, a distinguished alumna of Iowa State, leader of the U.S. women's suffrage movement, crusader for international peace and an advocate for the expansion of women's rights throughout the world.

In carrying out Catt's work to educate voters and involve citizens—especially women—in the political process, the center:

  • Offers leadership development, mentoring and educational opportunities to ISU students interested in politics, public service and women's issues through the Legacy of Heroines scholarship program; the Leadership Studies Program, which offers both a certificate and a minor; and sponsorship and co-sponsorship of conferences, workshops and retreats;
  • Fosters research on issues related to women and politics through the Archives of Women's Political Communication, annual Carrie Chapman Catt Prize for Research on Women and Politics, and studies conducted by center staff and students;
  • Brings prominent women leaders, national and international scholars, and political activists and practitioners to campus for lectures, programs and seminars through the Mary Louise Smith Chair in Women and Politics and in collaboration with other programs with a focus on women's leadership, women and politics, and women's issues; and
  • Encourages women and men to pursue careers in politics, public administration and public service through the Ready to Run® Iowa campaign training program and by hosting the visits of local, state, national and international leaders who serve as mentors and role models.

In carrying out its mission, the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics works with faculty, staff and students throughout the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and Iowa State University, leaders in the public and private sectors, and political and women's organizations throughout the university, state and nation. Thus, the center's programs blend the resources and scholarship of the academic environment with the experiences of practitioners in fields important to the political process.