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Lissandra Villa wins Women Impacting ISU award

Author: Troy Rutter

Lissandra (Lissa) Villa, a senior majoring in political science and in journalism and mass communication, has been selected for the 2016 Women Impacting ISU award by the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics. She will appear on the 2016 calendar that recognizes and pays tribute to women faculty, staff, and students who have distinguished themselves through their accomplishments at ISU. She will be recognized at the 2016 Women Impacting ISU calendar reception Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2016, from 3:30 to 5 p.m. in the Sun Room of the Memorial Union. Lissa was nominated by Steffen Schmidt, University Professor of Political Science, and Jason Chrystal, Academic Adviser in Political Science.

Lissa is fully engaged with helping others. She has been active in helping young students improve their reading and develop STEM skills, and has mentored first-year students in the Honors program. She created and edits the magazine Veritas that analyzes issues within politics and the law, assisted in original research for Dr. David Peterson in Political Science for a large study measuring how media impacts the way political candidates are viewed by the public, received the Cargill 2014 Global Scholar award from the Institute of International Education, has been in ISU’s Honors program since 2012, and is an inducted member of Iowa State University’s Cardinal Key Honor Society. She currently also serves on the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication’s “online team,” where she creates content and serves as student representative on the undergraduate committee and as a student ambassador. She was one of only 30 freshmen elected to participate in the university president’s leadership development course.

She also is outstanding academically, with a very robust grade point averages overall and in both of her majors. She is an undergraduate teaching assistant for the Fall 2015 course Political Science 363 (American Institutions: Media). Lissa has excelled in this endeavor, as in everything she undertakes. She received the 2014 Hugh Sidey Scholarship in Print Journalism from the White House Historical Association.

In addition to her academic excellence and providing active assistance for others, Lissa is an outstanding ambassador for her department, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and the University. Her reach extends well beyond the confines of campus. On ISUtv she reported and anchored for the show Newswatch, with special focus on coverage of the 2012 elections. In 2013, she was a press intern for Iowa’s U.S. Senator Tom Harkin in Washington, DC, where she drafted, proofread, and translated press releases and produced content for social media. From 2012-2014 she worked as senior reporter and editor for the ISU Daily newspaper covering politics and general assignments, and managed reporters on political, business, administration, and academic beats. In 2014-2015 she was an Archives Intern with the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics, focused on 2014 campaign ads and Hillary Clinton’s speeches. From May 2015 to the present she was a general assignment reporter for the Cedar Rapids Gazette and now is writing for the Des Moines Register. She has served as ex-officio member of the Ames City Council on behalf of ISU’s Government of the Student Body, representing student interests.