Dr. Dianne Bystrom, the director of the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics at Iowa State University, has personal and professional experience in covering, working in, and studying political campaigns. She earned a B.A. in Journalism in 1975 from Kearney (NE) State College and an M.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication in 1982 and a Ph.D. in Communication in 1995 from the University of Oklahoma. Her current research interests focus on (1) the styles and strategies used by women and men political candidates in their television advertising, Web sites and speeches and (2) the coverage of women candidates and political leaders by the media. She is a frequent commentator about political and women’s issues for state and national media.
Dr. Bystrom is a co-author, co-editor and contributor to 15 books—including Communication in the 2008 U.S. Election: Digital Natives Elect a President (2011); Cracking the Highest Glass Ceiling: A Global Comparison of Women’s Campaigns for Executive Office (2010); Gender and Elections (2009 and 2006); Legislative Women: Getting Elected, Getting Ahead (2008); Communicating Politics (2005); Gender and Candidate Communication (2004); The Handbook of Political Communication Research (2004); The Millennium Election (2003); Anticipating Madam President (2003); Women Transforming Congress (2002); The Electronic Election (1999); and The Lynching of Language: Gender, Politics, and Power in the Hill-Thomas Hearings (1996)—and has written journal articles on women and politics and youth voters.
In addition to directing the center, Dr. Bystrom teaches courses on leadership, women and politics, and political campaigns for Women’s Studies, Political Science and Speech Communication as an adjunct assistant professor of political science. Before joining Iowa State in July 1996, she worked for 17 years at the University of Oklahoma in public relations, higher education administration and political communication.
Kristine (Keil) Perkins is the public relations/student programs coordinator for the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics. She received her B.A. in journalism and mass communication with an emphasis in public relations and a minor in sociology from Iowa State University in the fall of 2009.
In her current role, Perkins handles all the center’s events and activities, supervises student interns, writes for the Voices newsletter, leads the Legacy of Heroines scholarship program, coordinates the Women Impacting ISU calendar and serves on the Women’s Leadership Retreat board.
Perkins joined the staff in the fall of 2012. Previously, she was the director of communications and organizational programming at the Ames Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Commission. While there, she directed marketing efforts for the Ames Main Street Farmers’ Market, offered support for the Ames Blue Zones Project, served on the City of Ames Brag Team and was part of United Way of Story County’s Hunger Collaboration.
Dr. Clinton M. Stephens is a scholar-in-residence at the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics as well as the College of Engineering at Iowa State University. Currently, Stephens runs the Catt Center’s burgeoning community leadership program and teaches classes in leadership development including LAS 222, “Leadership Styles and Strategies in a Diverse Society.”
In his role with the Catt Center, Stephens continues his research and dissemination work that focuses on student leadership development, assessing the effectiveness of courses or workshops to develop participants’ leadership skills, directs the overall program and teaches the growing number of students in the program’s core courses.
Stephens completed a B.S. in Business Administration at Kansas State University in 2002, a M.S. in College Student Development at Oklahoma State University in 2005 and a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration in 2012 at Iowa State University.
Susan Cloud is a communications specialist for the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics. She received at B.A. in Biology in 1988 from Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, Iowa, and an M.S. in Botany in 1991 and an M.A. in Rhetoric and Professional Communication in 1994 from Iowa State University.
In her role at the center, she manages the Plaza of Heroines and the Catt Tracks database, and assists with the Archive of Women’s Political Communication, the Women in Iowa Politics database, and the Catt Prize.
Cloud joined the staff in the fall of 2012. Previously, she worked as a technical writer and editor for Engineering Animation, Inc. and Phasient Learning Technologies in Ames, Iowa, and as a freelance technical writer and editor.
Kelly Winfrey, lecturer in leadership education for the Catt Center, earned a Ph.D. in communication studies from the University of Kansas in May 2012, a master’s degree in communication with an emphasis on gender from Missouri State University and a bachelor’s degree in communication with a minor in ethnic and gender studies from Emporia State University. Her doctoral dissertation focused on explaining women voters through gender group identification and sex-role ideology.
Winfrey teaches SP CM 312, “Business and Professional Speaking,” which is a required course for the leadership certificate, CLPS/WS 333, “Women and Leadership,” and SP CM 417, “Campaign Rhetoric,” which are elective courses for the certificate. In the spring semester she will teach CLPS/WS, “Research on Women and Leadership,” a capstone course for leadership students, and COMST 317, “Small Group Communication.” She will teach in the center’s new global leadership study abroad program, which will begin in summer 2015 with a trip to Stockholm, Sweden. Winfrey will oversee such research and outreach programs as the Archives of Women’s Political Communication, Women in Iowa Politics database and Ready to Run™ Iowa: Campaign Training for Women as part of her appointment with the Catt Center. Her academic home is in the department of psychology.
Winfrey previously served as a communication studies instructor and assistant director of debate at Kansas State University. She has taught courses in business and professional speaking, public speaking, small group discussion methods, effective business communication and political communication at Kansas State and the University of Kansas. She has published five co-authored peer-reviewed journal articles and three book chapters on such topics as gender identification in young voters, the effects of gender in presidential and U.S. Senate campaigns, perceptions of candidate image by debate viewers, online self-presentation strategies of political candidates, campaign coverage of Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin in 2008, and the content and effects of presidential campaign television ads.
Cameron Beatty, lecturer in leadership education and program adviser for the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics, graduated in August 2014 from Iowa State University with a Ph.D. in higher education administration. He earned a master’s degree in higher education student affairs and a bachelor’s degree in sociology and African and African American diaspora studies, both from Indiana University. His doctoral dissertation focused on exploring the leadership identity development of students of color at a liberal arts college. Beatty co-authored a journal article on factors that influence retention, attrition and graduation of college students and has contributed to professional publications on such topics as definitions of masculinity, student affairs research, engaging students of color, black student leaders and team advising.
Beatty currently teaches two sections of CLPS 122, “Leadership with Purpose,” and two sections of CLPS 270, “Campus Leadership Development.” He also co-teaches LAS 151, “Dean’s Leadership Seminar,” with LAS Dean Beate Schmittmann. All are elective courses in the leadership certificate program. In addition to teaching, Beatty advises students enrolled in the leadership certificate program. He will also teach in the center’s new global leadership study abroad program, which will begin in summer 2015 with a trip to Stockholm, Sweden. His academic home is in the department of psychology.
Previously, Beatty taught leadership courses offered through the Catt Center in 2013-2014 as a graduate teaching assistant. He has taught leadership courses for LAS, the College of Engineering and the Honors Program at Iowa State and also at Indiana University. As a graduate assistant in ISU’s School of Education, Beatty taught a diversity course and assisted faculty teaching classes in student development theory, evaluation and assessment in student affairs, and organization and administration of student affairs.