Speakers - Guests



President Wendy Wintersteen

Dr. Wendy Wintersteen became the 16th president of Iowa State University on Nov. 20, 2017, after a nationwide search, followed by a unanimous vote of the Board of Regents, State of Iowa. The first woman to hold the university’s highest office, Dr. Wintersteen has served Iowa State for more than 40 years in several capacities. Under her leadership, Iowa State has established national prominence in innovation and entrepreneurship in higher education – ranked #11 out of 300 public and private universities by the prestigious Princeton Review three years in a row. Dr. Wintersteen began her career working in eastern and central Iowa as one of the first female ISU Extension associates in integrated pest management. She then completed her doctorate in entomology at Iowa State and rose through the ranks to become a professor of entomology (with a brief stint at the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture in Washington, D.C.), followed by successively senior administrative roles in extension and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS).

Dr. Toyia K. Younger

Dr. Toyia Younger assumed the position of senior vice president for student affairs at Iowa State University on August 17, 2020. In this role, she provides strategic leadership to the division, which encompasses a broad and diverse portfolio of units, offices, and teams organized into three units that include the Dean of Students Office, Student Health and Wellness, and Campus Life, each led by an Associate Vice President.

Prior to her arrival at Iowa State University, Dr. Younger served the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) as vice president for leadership development and partnerships, and Minnesota State Colleges and Universities as associate vice chancellor for student affairs which included an appointment as interim chief diversity officer. She also held positions as assistant provost for academic affairs at Towson University in Maryland and director of student affairs for the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities.

Younger holds a bachelor’s degree in social relations from Michigan State University; a master’s degree in counseling from Trinity Washington University in Washington, D.C.; and a Ph.D. in education policy from the University of Maryland. 


Group Workshop

 Graduate Services - Karin Lawton-Dunn


Karin has been the Director of the ISU Graduate College Career Services Office since 2015 and has worked in higher education for 30+ years. Karin enjoys coaching graduate students and postdocs on the many facets of career planning. She has an extensive understanding of international students and the challenges they face in a career search. 

Karin is passionate about guiding graduate students and postdocs in the development of the many skills necessary to succeed in their future careers. kldunn@iastate.edu



Graduate Student Wellness - Melanie Reed

Melanie has provided crisis management and intervention services at the elementary and secondary education levels, providing direct and indirect leadership support, to students, families, and school personnel facing mental, emotional, behavioral, cultural, and social issues as a School Social Worker. She has also provided counseling, resources, and supports to patients and families as they cope and live with the emotional, financial, and social stressors of new, existing, and end of life diagnoses as a Medical Social Worker, all while in supervisory roles to orient staff to laws, policies, regulations, and procedures in providing effective service delivery plans and practices to designated at-risk populations. Melanie is a current member of the ALL-Coordinated Community Response Team to develop and revise system-based strategies, procedures, and identify service gaps to create a seamless response to the needs of victims of abuse later in life. Contact Melanie via email: melareed@ia.state.edu. 

Professional Areas of Interest: Suicide Prevention and Awareness, Mental Health Promotion, Environmental Health Promotion, Stigma Reduction, Environmental Injustice 

Immigration and Policies - Kailey E. Blazek Naranjo

Kailey is a valued collaborator in the Dentons Davis Law Firm. She focuses on providing clients with the information they need at the time they need it, whether it’s answering an urgent call to address an immediate concern or brainstorming long-term visa or business solutions. Regardless of her client’s situation, Kailey seeks to minimize the burden of immigration law and its ever-changing procedures.

Kailey represents corporate clients as they plan their workforce strategy. When companies hire a foreign national, Kailey works with leadership and HR to develop legal strategies and determine available immigrant and nonimmigrant visa options. Kailey’s collaborative work style extends to the immigration application process as she works to make the process as easy and clear as possible for the employer and the prospective employee. 



  Christine Cain

Christine Cain (she/her) is a 3rd year Ph.D. student in Higher Education. She has her bachelor's degree in English, creative writing, and business administration from Creighton University in Omaha, NE. Christine also has a master's degree in higher and postsecondary education from Teachers College, Columbia University in New York, NY. Her doctoral research is focused on rural college students, college access issues, and how place/space informs student career and educational decision-making. Christine has been a Senator in GPSS for the School of Education since 2020. Originally from Sheldon, Iowa, the Ph.D. brought Christine back to her home state. Christine is a major foodie and is always cooking for friends and family, eating, or exploring new restaurants. In her free time, she loves to socialize, travel, get outside, play boardgames, and will read any mystery, fantasy, and historical fiction she can get her hands on.


She can be reached at: gpsspresident@iastate.edu


Student Organizations 

 Good Earth Student Farm

Good Earth Student Farm is a student-run organization where students, faculty, staff, and members of the local community can grow their own sustainable, naturally grown produce to aid in reducing food insecurity. Our harvest is also shared with The S.H.O.P. food pantry on campus. 


Graduate Student Voices

Members of Graduate Student Voices at Iowa State University, recognize that it is our right to organize for the benefit and protection of our workforce.  Members of the community of graduate students, graduate student employees, and graduate student professional workers have the right to fair and humane working conditions. 


Black Graduate Student Association

The Black Graduate Student Association (BGSA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of student life at ISU, while promoting academic excellence, mentoring, professional guidance, social support and scholarly advancement of undergraduate students, graduate students, and other members of the ISU community of African descent and other nationalities



ISU Services and Departments

Printing Services

The mission of Printing Services is to identify and efficiently provide Iowa State University’s core printing needs, offering services that contribute to the success of Iowa State. 

Center for Communication Excellence

The Center for Communication Excellence offers communication support to graduate students and postdocs from adjusting to life as a graduate student through job applications. How could improving your communication skills help you achieve your goals?

CCE can help through individual feedback, network-enhancing groups, expert-led seminars, thesis/dissertation programming, and the AcComP certification track. 

Recreation Services 

Recreation Services offers the freedom of individuality through a wide range of diverse programs, activities, and facilities. Recreation Services strives to make everyone feel right at home, whether a first-timer or a regular user. However you play, it is Your Rec Your Way!