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The 2015 Awards Luncheon and Pi Sigma Alpha Initiation

Author: Troy Rutter

On April 15, 2015, the following students and alumni were recognized for a variety of achievements at the Political Science Awards Luncheon and Pi Sigma Alpha Initiation.

Recognition of Outstanding Students

Each of these students is recognized for their academic achievements, highlighted by having junior or senior status and achieving a cumulative GPA of at least 3.5.

The 2015 students recognized are: Evan Abramsky, Jacob Armstrong, Jessica Bales, Zachary Bauer, Benjamin Baur, Kelsey Behnke, Grace Bogart, Brenna Bormann, Taylor Bradley, Jared Chappelear, Carter Collins, M’lyn Crawford, Elijah Decious, Jacob DeHaai, Patrick Dennis, Varad Diwate, Jayne Durnin, Kacy Flaherty, James Good, Samantha Haase, Nigel Habben, Kestrel Henry, Eric Iverson, Thomas Jacobs, Cathryn Kelzenberg, Vincent Lin, Alexander Lindvall, Sarah Luth, Amanda Malin, Matthew Miller, Andrew Moeller, Erin Norton, Jacob Peters, Samantha Pickering, Ellen Rigolle, Kaitlyn Schmaltz, Matthew Scott, Ross Serena, Maddison Shrader, Cole Staudt, Alicia Stearns, Heather Swanson, Katherine Tindall, Chelsy VanOvermeiren, Lissandra Villa, Gabriel Walsh, Anthony White, Jacob Wilson, James Wise

Pi Sigma Alpha Induction

Pi Sigma Alpha (ΠΣΑ), the national political science honor society, was founded in 1920 to encourage and recognize superior achievement in the study of government and politics at the undergraduate and graduate level. Since its founding, ΠΣΑ has grown into one of the largest and most distinguished honor societies in the United States.

The 2015 inductees are: Evan Abramsky, Benjamin Baur, Grace Bogart, Cory Cramer, Brett Daley, Nigel Habben, Alexandra Harrington, Kestrel Henry, Amanda Malin, Matthew Miller, Andy Moeller, Christopher Neary, Samantha Pickering, Amanda Raster, Kaitlyn Schmaltz, Matthew Scott, Ross Serena, Heather Swanson, Gabriel Walsh, Evelyn Ward

Alda & Weldon Brown Award – Katherine Tindall

The Alda & Weldon Brown Award is awarded to the graduating senior in political science with the highest cumulative grade point average. Mr. Brown, a 1937 graduate of our department, established a trust fund that awards a $200 savings bond each year to the student so designated.

Katherine will graduate in May with a double major in Political Science and in Journalism & Mass Communication. A native of Akron, Iowa, Katherine is active on campus as a political science teaching assistant, a Catt Center Legacy of Heroines Scholar, a member of Kappa Alpha Theta Sorority, and a reporter for the Greenlee School of Journalism’s ISUtv. Her interest in academics pushed her to apply and earn acceptance to Iowa State’s Cardinal Key Honor Society, as well as maintain a 4.00 grade point average. Off campus, she works as a production and journalism intern for Ames Channel 12, the government access channel of the city, and has worked as a researcher and archivist intern for the Catt Center for Women & Politics. In her free time, Katherine enjoys judging for the Iowa High School Speech Association and volunteering for her church, Collegiate United Methodist.

Ross Talbot Outstanding Graduating Senior Award—Samantha Haase, and Alex Lindvall

The Ross Talbot Outstanding Graduating Senior Award is awarded to honor the academic and personal achievement of a graduating political science major. The scholarship is named after Professor Emeritus Ross Talbot, former chairperson of the department and distinguished scholar. Students considered for this award have achieved an overall minimum 3.5 GPA in all academic courses at ISU. The $500 scholarship is applied to the student’s tuition.

Don Hadwiger Working Student Scholarship—Heather Swanson

The Don Hadwiger Working Student Scholarship is awarded in memory of Professor Emeritus Don Hadwiger, who passed away in 1997. The scholarship is presented to a political science major who works toward his/her own financial support. The $500 scholarship is applied to the student’s tuition.

Young W. Kihl Scholarship—Evan Abramsky

The Young W. Kihl Scholarship is awarded to a student majoring in Political Science. It is named after Dr. Young W. Kihl who taught for 32 years in the Department in the area of Asian and international politics and who passed away in December 2014. The $600 scholarship is applied to the student’s tuition.

Political Science Club Recognition Award

  • Daniel Flynn, President
  • M’lyn Crawford, Vice President
  • Jacob Armstrong, Discussion Chair
  • Elijah Decious, Treasurer

3rd House Memorial Scholarship—Brenna Bormann, Erin Norton, Matthew Scott

The 3rd House Memorial Scholarship was established by a volunteer committee made up of members of the Iowa Lobbying community who identify themselves as the “3rd House.” The $1,000 scholarship is awarded to a junior or senior Political Science major with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0. The recipient shall demonstrate leadership ability and excellence in campus and extra-curricular activities.

Brenna Bormann is a junior majoring in Political Science, Philosophy, Religious Studies, and International Studies. During her sophomore year she studied abroad in England and spent the following summer volunteering in Morocco teaching English to four- to six-year-olds. She is an associate justice on the Supreme Court of the Government of the Student Body, hearing cases brought by students or organizations against other students or organizations, and a student representative on the All University Judicial Board.

Erin Norton plans to attend graduate school and then law school. Her extracurricular activities include Pre-Law Club, Political Science Club, and ISU Cross Country and Track and Field. She is President of the Spanish Honors Society, Captain of the Cross County 2013 team, and Vice President of the National Honor Society. Erin has received the Masonic Award of Excellence in Academics and Leadership and the William Ryan Shelley Scholarship from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Matthew J. Scott is a junior in Political Science with a Pre-Law track. His extra-curricular activities include Beta Theta Pi Fraternity (Executive Vice President), Student Admissions Representative, Pre-Law Club, Freshman Council Education Committee, Barton Hall Executive Board Secretary, and Students Helping Our Peers. He is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, the National Society of Leadership and Success, and Pi Sigma Alpha, and was on the Dean’s List for Fall 2013, Spring 2014, and Fall 2015.

Serge Garrison Memorial Scholarship—Lissa Villa

The Serge Garrison Memorial Scholarship was established for Serge Garrison, a lawyer with the Ahlers, Cooney, Dorweiler, Haynie, Smith law firm in Des Moines. He is remembered with great fondness by his family, friends and co-workers. He was the Director of the nonpartisan Legislative Services Agency and a member of the 3rd House Committee. The same criteria apply to this $1,000 scholarship as for the 3rd House Memorial Scholarship.

Lissa Villa is a junior in journalism and ;political science. She moved from Chihuahua, Mexico to Iowa when she was five. Her family relocated to Nebraska just before her senior year of high school, but she stayed behind to graduate from Webster City. Instead of choosing an out-of-state college, she once again opted to remain in Iowa. After graduating in Spring 2016, she hopes to pursue a career as a political reporter in Iowa. She has served as editor-in-chief and founder or a legal and political analysis magazine, as an archives intern with the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics, as a research assistant in a study measuring media impacts on how political candidates are viewed by the public, on the Government of the Student Body, and in the office of now-former Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA).

Whitaker-Lindgren Scholars in Political Science—Elijah Decious and Ellen Rigolle

Mary Whitaker-Lindgren has established the Whitaker-Lindgren Scholars in Political Science to provide opportunities to students. Thanks to the support of parents who valued education and her father’s financial planning, she was able to graduate from Iowa State with a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in Political Science without any debt. With that in mind, she established this fund to provide scholarships ($1,000 for each) for worthy students in the Department.

Elijah Decious is majoring in Public Relations and Political Science. He has been on the Dean’s List every semester from Fall 2012 through Fall 2014. He has served on the Public Relations Committee of the Government of the Student Body, on the Memorial Union Board of Directors, as a delegate to the Central Committee of the Democratic Party of Story County, as Senator of the Government of the Student Body, in the Alpha Lambda Delta Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society, and the Political Science Club. He is an Undergraduate Research Assistant with the Iowa Family Impact Seminars.

Ellen Rigolle is a junior double-majoring in Political Science and French. As an independent student with a husband who is also studying full time, she award helps her to fund her studies without having to worry about covering living expenses and enables her to take out fewer loans. She is a member of the University Honors Program and an Undergraduate Research Assistant. She is a Student Answer Center student worker, providing customer service by helping students, staff, and visitors with any questions they might have, help the Financial Aid office verify documents, display and distribute general information about Iowa State, and assist in the hiring, training, and supervising of employees.

Robert J. Waters Memorial Fund—Nigel Habben

The Robert J. Waters (BA Pol Sci ’77) Memorial Fund was established by his wife Patricia J. Beneke (BS Pol Sci ’76) to support congressional internships in Washington, DC. Robert was committed to government service and believed in the positive role that the federal government plays in improving the lives of the American people. He was a supporter of universal and high quality health care, human and civil rights, anti-poverty efforts, environmental protection, and a strong system of accessible public education. This fund is intended to meet those goals.

Nigel Habben is a Political Science and History major. He served as an Undergraduate Teaching Assistant in the Department of Political Science, led tutor sessions for groups of students needing assistance with their classes through the Dean of Students Office, and held an internship during a 2014 congressional race in Iowa where he worked on finance/fundraising events and rallies. He is a member of Pi Sigma Alpha and recipient of a FOCUS grant from the Iowa State Lectures Program to create and install an original art piece titled Stendhal Syndrome.

Dr. Yong S. Lee Excellence in Public Management Scholarship—Jason Johnson

Yong S. Lee retired in June 2006, after 27 years of dedicated service to the Department of Political Science at Iowa State. At that time, Yong established the Dr. Yong S. Lee Excellence in Public Management Scholarship. The $750 scholarship is awarded to a student enrolled in the Public Policy & Management Program who is pursuing a Master’s degree. The recipient is selected based on outstanding performance in the core curriculum.

Political Science Graduate Student Award—Ryan Peterson

The Political Science Graduate Student Award is presented to a graduate student who has completed 12 credits of coursework in Political Science and has a minimum GPA of 3.5. The $500 scholarship is applied to the student’s tuition.

Philip R. Baumann Graduate Scholarship—Madeline Salucka

The Philip R. Baumann Graduate Scholarship is a $1,000 scholarship established by E. Robert and Mary Massey Baumann in honor of their son, Philip. Philip received his B/S. and M.S. degrees in political science from Iowa State and went on to complete a Ph.D. degree at Michigan State University.

James A. Socknat Memorial Scholarship—Amanda Raster

The James A. Socknat (BS Pol Sci ’77) Memorial Scholarship is a $1,000 scholarship open to all graduate students in Political Science in good academic standing and who are undertaking graduate work consistent with the Socknat legacy on global development. James A. Socknat was an outstanding supporter or the Department of Political Science, a long-time member of the Political Science Alumni Advisory Board, and a wonderful global citizen who worked to improve humankind. He spent most of his professional career at the World Bank.

Dwight Ink Graduate Student Award—Reed Clayton

Dwight Ink attended ISU, becoming the first graduate with a degree in Government in 1947. He has served the nation as a career civil servant under seven different presidents in a high level policymaking and advising capacity. Mr. Ink has been active in the National Academy of Public Administration, the oldest and most prestigious public administration institute in the U.S. In 1991 the department established the Dwight Ink Graduate Student Award in the amount of $1,000 and in 1997 the Dwight Ink Public Service Award. Mr. Ink continues to provide generous support for the department to build and strengthen its public administration program.

Dwight Ink Public Service Award

Since 1997 the Department of Political Science has given the Dwight Ink Public Service Award to public managers in Iowa who exemplify the highest standards of dedication to public service and are characterized by their leadership abilities, their passion for their work, their high professional standards, and the respect they are given by their peers.

The 2015 Dwight Ink Public Service Award is proudly presented to Gerd Clabaugh. This award is accompanied by a handsome plaque for him individually. In addition, Gerd’s name will be added to the perpetual plaque for recipients of the Dwight Ink Public Service Award that is maintained in the Department.

Gerd is a 1989 Graduate of the Master of Public Administration program at Iowa State. His oral exam, which by the way was held on April 14 of that year (so we are just one day off today from that anniversary) was conducted by his committee of Yong Lee, myself, and Peter Mattila of the Department of Economics. Gerd of course passed with flying colors. He also has done just fine since graduating with his MPA.

Gerd Clabaugh was appointed by Governor Branstad in May 2014 as Director of the Iowa Department of Public Health. Clabaugh has served in many capacities within that agency, including Deputy Director, Director of Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention, Director of Acute Disease Epidemiology and Emergency Response. During the early 1990s, he was appointed Director of the Center for Health Policy. His responsibilities in these various programs included support of all 101 local health agencies, infectious disease surveillance, immunization programming, and emergency medical services.

He has experience in both state government operations and non-profit organizations. He is former director of operations at the Iowa Healthcare Collaborative, where he worked with Iowa hospitals in promoting infection reduction strategies. As a private consultant, he supported public health agencies in assessing community health needs, program development, planning for public health improvement, and grant writing. He has previously served as chief employee benefits manager for the State of Iowa and on the staff of Governor Terry Branstad. While director of health policy at IDPH in the mid-1990’s, he was appointed by Governor Branstad as project director for a Robert Wood Johnson-funded initiative to study and implement healthcare reform in Iowa.

He is past-president and past-legislative chair of the Iowa Public Health Association, and has served as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Iowa, Montana State University-Billings, Des Moines University, and Iowa State University. He has been lead author or contributed to academic publications in a number of journals. In 2015, he was elected to the Board of Directors for the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, comprised of the health directors from the 50 states.

Gerd’s community involvement includes currently serving his third term on the city council and as the Mayor Pro Tem in the city of Johnston, Iowa. He is the past-Chairman of the Board of Directors for central Iowa’s regional solid waste agency, providing services to over 400,000 Iowans.

He has pursued doctoral studies at the University of Iowa, of course holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Iowa State University and received a Bachelor’s degree from Drake University. He is married with four children.

Kent & Kristen Lucken Fund, and the Jeff Rothblum Fund Awards

The Kent & Kristen Lucken Fund is designated to the Political Science Department in order to support scholarship and teaching in international relations, diplomacy, and national security studies. Kent Lucken received the B.A. in political science in 1986, and Kristen Lucken received the B.A. in political science/international relations in 1984 and the M.S. in 1987. Kent spent 14 years in the Foreign Service in the State Department’s Bureau of European Affairs. He is currently employed with Citigroup. He remains active in international relations through the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.

The Jeff Rothblum Fund is designated to the Political Science Department to pay travel and registration fees for students to attend conferences and other unique education-enhancing opportunities. Jeff graduated in 1007 with a double major in Aerospace Engineering and Political Science. He is currently employed with Booz Allen Hamilton in Washington, DC.

Three Political Science students were selected as delegates to represent the Department and ISU.

  • SCUSA (the Student Conference on United States Affairs, at the United States Military Academy-West Point)—Richard Hartnett
  • the Air Force Academy Conference, Colorado Spring, Colorado—Jenny Walsh
  • SCONA (the Student Conference on National Affairs, at Texas A&M University)—Samantha Haase

Graduate Teaching Excellence Award for Spring 2015—Amanda Raster, Matthew Herman
Graduate Research Excellence Award for Spring 2015—Cory Cramer

These students will be acknowledged with: (1) a notation on their graduate transcript, (2) red and gold cords to wear for graduation, (3) a certificate, and (4) a letter of congratulations from the President of Iowa State University.