Ask the expert: Women in politics
A new look for Iowa State athletics
Families of the Year
ISU in the news
Transformation (Return to top)
Thanks in large part to the Class of 1956's generous 50-year reunion gift, "Transformation," (pictured above) the work of noted sculptor Albert Paley, was installed in August at the entrance to the recently renovated Morrill Hall on ISU's campus.
Ask the expert: Women in politics (Return to top)
Iowans were bombarded in 2007 with presidential candidates at the State Fair, presidential candidates at the Iowa State Center, presidential candidates popping up everywhere you looked. But one thing about these candidates did not go unnoticed: The pool of candidates was almost entirely male. Dianne Bystrom, director of the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women in Politics at Iowa State, is known for her expertise on the political process, and that expertise is routinely sought out by the national media. Bystrom is the co-author, co-editor, or contributor to 11 books, including Gender and Candidate Communications and Anticipating Madam President. She shares her thoughts with VISIONS about getting women – and young people – involved in the political process.
Why is it important for women to be involved in the political process?
There are three reasons. The first is just our basic concept of representative democracy in this country, which means that our political leadership should represent the people, and women comprise more than half of the population. Second, we’ve had a lot of challenges for political leadership in this country, and when you’re only looking at the white male population as your source of political leaders, you’re looking at a very limited pool. The third reason is that study after study have shown that when women are elected to state, national, and local office, they bring different life experiences, and they have an impact on policies.
Why are more women not involved?
It’s tough to run for political office. It requires a lot of money at all levels of office, but I think there are a couple of additional constraints that hold women back. One is just the very nature of women’s role in our society. Women are still the primary caregivers, not only for children, but also for their elderly parents. So it’s very difficult from that perspective, especially for women who are mothers of young children, to run for political office. In fact, most women who run for political office do so after their children are grown.
There’s also a big difference between men and women in what we call “political ambition.” Most women have to be asked to run. They don’t see themselves as holding political office. A man might get up one morning, look in the mirror, and say, “Gee, I could be governor.” Also, the men who run for office tend to look at politics as a career. Women who run tend to think about it as taking an action and resolving an issue. If you ask almost any woman who’s run for office, she’s done so because there was a problem in her community that needed to be solved.
How has the Catt Center encouraged women to run for political office?
Students who are engaged in the political process [at a young age] tend to be more involved. The Catt Center has a focus on getting not only women involved in the political process, but also young people. Most of our programs are open to men.
We start off with a freshman learning
community that focuses on citizenship and community service. We have leadership courses that are taught by Catt Center staff. We have a Legacy of Heroines scholarship program. And we have the Mary Louise Smith chair that has brought in powerful women leaders, including Elizabeth Dole, Soledad O’Brien, and Hillary Clinton.
In 2007, we also offered “Ready to Run,” a campaign school for women. Research shows that one thing you can do to turn the tide is to offer training and encouragement for women to run. We got a grant from the Center for American Women in Politics at Rutgers University and partnered with the League of Women Voters of Ames and had about 70 people attend. We plan to offer this workshop every other year.
A lot of women would probably be hesitant to jump right in on the state or national level, so do you encourage women to start on a local level?
One of the easiest ways to get involved is to look at the boards and commissions in your community. For example, if you’re interested in recreation, look at getting on the parks and rec board, or maybe you’re interested in the human rights commission, planning and zoning, or the arts.
Another way I would encourage women to get involved is with the League of Women Voters. Or get involved in a political campaign. Political campaigns are always looking for volunteers. If you don’t want to work for a candidate, think about an issue and get involved with that.
You were recently quoted as saying you see the climate as being more favorable for a female political candidate this year. What’s changing?
I’m of the notion that every time a woman runs for president or gets appointed to a high-profile office, that sends a message to other women that political power and leadership is possible. For example, Elizabeth Dole ran for president in 1999. She was taken seriously, and I think that opened the door just a little bit wider for other women to run for president. In the past 10 years, we’ve had a number of very public role models for women, starting with Madeleine Albright, the first woman to be appointed secretary of state, and now Condoleezza Rice. Both are seen as very confident and powerful in a non-traditional role (for women) in foreign policy. Their public leadership helped open the door for Hillary Clinton, who is leading the polls [in late fall] in her quest for the Democratic nomination for president. Public opinion polls now show that more than 90% say they would vote for a woman for president of the United States.
A new look for Iowa State athletics (Return to top)
After opening up discussion about the Cyclone football team’s 2008 uniforms to the public through an online poll, the ISU Athletics Department announced this fall that it has decided on changes, and they’re changes that affect more than just football.
The “I-State” logo favored by a large majority of voters to be placed on the Cyclone football helmets will become the official logo of ISU athletics beginning in 2008.
“There wasn’t clarity or consistency in our identity or team apparel,” said athletics director Jamie Pollard of the department’s previous visual identity. “Our colors had become red with a significant amount of blue and white in the merchandise, marks, and uniforms. Our coaches also said that when recruiting out of state, most people do not equate our present mark with Iowa State.”
Pollard says he hopes the new visual identity will create a clearer and more consistent way to brand the university’s athletics programs. He also noted that although ISU mascot Cy will no longer be part of the official mark or featured on team apparel, he will continue to serve as a secondary mark and as team mascot for the Cyclones.
To learn more, go to www.cyclones.com
Understanding primates (Return to top)
Last August, ISU President Gregory Geoffroy and Great Ape Trust of Iowa founder Ted Townsend signed an agreement at the Trust’s bonobo scientific research center in southeast Des Moines that officially established the world’s preeminent collaboration for primate studies.
“Iowa State University is delighted to expand our partnership with the Great Ape Trust to create
a truly world-class research and educational center for primate studies,” Geoffroy said. “Iowa State faculty and students have worked closely with the staff of the Great Ape Trust since
it opened in 2004, and we look forward to significantly increasing our efforts with the Trust to better understand primates and doing more to protect the fragile environment that supports them.”
Among one of the most noted partnerships between Iowa State and the Great Ape Trust has been the work of ISU associate professor of anthropology Jill Pruetz, who made a breakthrough discovery regarding chimpanzees and tool use that was published last summer. The Great Ape Trust contributed $71,000 to Pruetz’ research in Senegal.
Find out more about the Great Ape Trust of Iowa online at www.GreatApeTrust.org.
Families of the year (Return to top)
The Deal family of Jefferson, Iowa, and the Behrens Family of Templeton, Iowa, were honored on campus as ISU’s 2007 Families of the Year during Family Weekend Oct. 12.
Jerald and Cindy Deal are both 1973 ISU graduates and are parents to Benji (’00 mathematics) and current ISU students Rob and Chris. Ken “Red” Behrens earned an agricultural business degree in 1973; his wife, Vicki, is not an ISU graduate but is an avid Cyclone fan. Their children include Joe (’96 community and regional planning), Jed (’98 finance and transportation/logistics), Jon (’03 horticulture), and current student Jes.
ISU has been honoring families annually since 1968, and all recipients become members of the Family of the Year Society (www.isualum.org/foy).
ISU in the news (Return to top)
• Fall ISU enrollment is up 2.7 percent over fall 2006. Enrollment stands at 26,160.
• ISU’s College of Design opened “Design West Studio” in Sioux City, Iowa, in September. The studio will offer upper-level courses for ISU students as well as an urban extension program, public seminars, and workshops in a city known for its distinctive 19th-century architecture.
• Three Iowa State researchers contributed to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the international collaboration that was awarded a share of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize in October. Ray Arritt, professor of agronomy; Bill Gutowski, professor of geological and atmospheric sciences; and Gene Takle, professor of geological and atmospheric sciences, have worked together on climate studies for 15 years.
• Iowa’s first – and so far, only – same-sex marriage was between two Iowa State students. Sean Fritz and Tim McQuillan were married in Des Moines Aug. 31 in front of a media horde that included the New York Times. The couple was able to get a marriage license, complete their vows, and obtain an official certificate of marriage during the brief window of opportunity opened by a judge’s ruling. “The people of Iowa have been wonderful,” Fritz told the Des Moines Register.
Quote, unquote (Return to top)
“If the climate is changing, you can’t stop it over the next 50 years. What’s coming is coming, and we’d better be prepared to adjust to it.”
– Gene Takle, Iowa State University professor of
geological and atmospheric sciences, on regional climate change, as part of a National Science Foundation-funded research project
“The probability of a major catastrophe is very, very low.”
– Terry Wipf, ISU professor of civil engineering and director of Iowa State’s Bridge Engineering Center, on driving across Iowa’s bridges, following the collapse of an interstate bridge in Minneapolis on Aug. 1
“Let’s take her out for a spin, shall we?”
– Clayton Anderson (’83 aerospace engineering),
Iowa State’s first alum in space, on traveling in the Russian Soyuz vehicle docked to the International Space Station
“Women are responsible for overseeing the relationship – making sure the relationship runs, that everything gets done, and that everybody’s happy.”
– Megan Murphy, ISU assistant professor of human development and family studies, on a study of 72 married couples that found that wives exhibit greater situational power than their husbands during problem-solving discussions
“You might as well be posting everything you say onto YouTube.”
– Anthony Townsend, ISU associate professor of management information systems and co-author of the book Information Technology and the World of Work, on today’s technology and its implications
“The exciting thing about finding a planet around this star
is that it … bodes well for the survival of our own Earth in the distant future.”
– Steve Kawaler, Iowa State professor of physics and astronomy, on discovering a planet orbiting a star near the end of its life
SesquicenTENnial: An Iowa State University Top 10 List (Return to top)
Famous and infamous: 10 Iowa State connections you might not know about
1. Knute Heglund. Iowa State’s night watchman for 28 years, Heglund lived
in Morrill Hall and was known for his greeting, “It’s a fine night.”
2. Arthur C. Wahl (’39 chemistry). Wahl was part of the four-man team who discovered plutonium at Cal-Berkeley.
3. Big Bill Broonzy. A Chicago blues musician who was a prolific composer, recorder, and performer, Broonzy worked briefly as
a janitor at Iowa State.
4. Ole Martin Ystgaard (MS ’50 dairy science). Ystgaard returned to his native Norway where he developed Jarlsberg cheese.
5. Arthur Karr Gilkey (’49 geology). In 1953, explorer/adventurer Art Gilkey was killed by an ice avalanche on K2 in the Himalayas. He had earlier led the first party to explore the head of a glacier in Alaska now named Gilkey Glacier.
6. Anita “Neta” Snook. The first woman aviator in Iowa, Snook was Amelia Earhart’s first flight instructor; she attended Iowa State in 1922.
7. Jeffrey Dahmer. While his parents attended Iowa State, young Dahmer lived briefly in Pammel Court; he later grew up to become one of the worst American serial killers in history.
8. William Temple Hornaday. A pioneering conservationist who is credited with helping to save the bison in the United States, Hornaday attended Iowa State in the 1870s and went on to help found the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., and serve as chief taxidermist for the Smithsonian Institution.
9. Kung Fan Chi. A horticulture major from China who was killed in an auto accident in 1929 and is now buried in the ISU Cemetery, he was reputed to be a direct descendant of Confucius.
10. Mallory Snyder. Former Iowa State student best known for giving up her soccer scholarship to star in MTV’s “The Real World: Paris,” Snyder later became a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model.
Sesquicentennial Trivia (Return to top)
1. If you were an ISU student and went “campaniling,”
what would you be doing?
a. Sledding down the hill by the Knoll
b. Assisting university carilloneuer Tin-Shi Tam as she
plays the Campanile bells
c. Kissing your significant other under the Campanile
d. Walking around the Campanile three times
2. Who are Lancelot and Elaine?
a. President and Mrs. Geoffroy
b. Athletic coaches
c. The top professors for 2006
d. Swans residing on Lake LaVerne
3. What is the curse of the zodiac, located on the floor of the north entrance to the Memorial Union?
a. If you step on the zodiac, instead of walking around it,
the Cyclones will lose their next game
b. If you walk around the zodiac, you will flunk your next exam
c. If you step on the zodiac, instead of walking around it, you will flunk your next exam
d. If you walk around the zodiac with your significant other, you will be engaged
4. What sweet treat is a tradition during VEISHEA?
a. Rice Krispies Treats
b. Cherry pies
d. Black and white sundaes
5. Where is Cyclone Alley?
a. The walkway between Curtiss and Beardshear Halls
b. The basement of the Memorial Union
c. Hilton Coliseum
d. Howe Hall
6. Cy the Cardinal became Iowa State’s official
mascot in what year?
Scroll down for answers.
Answers: 1) c. Kissing your significant other under the Campanile at midnight. 2) d. The swans residing on Lake LaVerne. 3) c. If you step on the zodiac, instead of walking around it, you will flunk your next exam. 4) b. Cherry pies. 5) c. Cyclone Alley is the student seating section for men’s and women’s basketball games in Hilton Coliseum. 6) c. 1954.