Current Fellows

Culver Fellows earn a renewable annual scholarship in the range of $16,000 to $20,000 to pursue their interests in political science, public policy, history, journalism, international relations, and related fields. Fellows serve as ambassadors for the John C. Culver Public Policy Center, welcoming distinguished speakers to campus and leading voter registration and civic engagement initiatives. Unique opportunities available to Culver Fellows include:

  • Attending the annual conference of the National Campaign for Political & Civic Engagement at the Harvard Institute of Politics;
  • Serving as Ambassadors for the Andrew Goodman Foundation’s Vote Everywhere Program;
  • Organizing debates, town halls, public forums, and candidate visits to campus;
  • Access to internship and job opportunities in politics and government;
  • Working with the director of the Culver Center to develop a signature research or advocacy project to extend academic coursework into experiential learning opportunities and leadership roles.

Applications for the Culver Fellowship are due each year on February 1 for the incoming fall class of first year students. Click here for application guidelines and materials.

Michelle Beving – Class of 2016 (December)

Michelle Beving - Culver Fellow Class of 2016Michelle Beving is a Culver Fellow from Hartley, Iowa, where she attended Hartley Melvin Sanborn High  School. She will graduate in December 2016 with double majors in Political Science and Religion. Michelle serves as a campus Ambassador for the Andrew Goodman Foundation’s Vote Everywhere program, a nonpartisan voter registration initiative on college campuses nationwide. She also serves as an intern in the office of the Iowa Secretary of State, assisting in the processing of voter registrations and election returns. In addition to being a Culver Fellow, Michelle is involved in Speech and Debate, serves as Community Service Chair of Rotaract, and is a Wesley Service  Scholar.

Zach Goodrich – Class of 2017

Zach Goodrich - Culver Fellow Class of 2018

Zach Goodrich is a Culver Fellow from Grimes, Iowa. He attended Dallas Center-Grimes High School where he became interested in politics while taking advanced U.S. History & Government classes. During his senior year, he worked for the Republican Party of Polk County, various congressional campaigns and in the Iowa Senate. During his time at Simpson, Zach was involved with the Student Government Association as First-Year and Sophomore Class President, served as President of the Interfraternity Council and held several leadership positions in his fraternity, Sigma Alpha Epsilon. Outside of campus, he worked in the Iowa House of Representatives and Whitaker Hagenow & Gustoff, LLP in Des Moines. During the 2016 election, Zach served on Sen. Marco Rubio’s presidential campaign at the county and statewide level. After graduating in the spring of 2017 with a degree in Political Science, History and Business Management, he currently attends Drake University where he is pursuing his J.D. and M.B.A.

Tegan Jarchow – Class of 2017

Tegan JarchowTegan Jarchow is a Culver Fellow from Prairie Village, Kansas. She  studied at Shawnee Mission South High School before coming to  Simpson College. Her parents are Jan and Pete Jarchow. She also has a  brother, Zach Jarchow. She became interested in politics and public  policy because she has always been interested in history and current  events. She believes patterns of politics and policy contribute to history  and how our society is maintained. She hails from a family that  discusses politics a lot. She is constantly inspired to use politics and  public policy as an end to better society and individual people’s lives. At  Simpson, she is majoring in Political Science and Sociology with a minor in Women’s and Gender Studies. As a campus Ambassador for the Andrew Goodman Foundation’s Vote Everywhere program, Tegan has helped to register and turn out hundreds of Simpson College students to vote. After graduating from Simpson, she is interested in joining the Peace Corps, doing policy analysis or formulation, working for an NGO, or doing lobbying or issue advocacy. She is involved in Simpson College Democrats, Environmental Awareness Club, Rotaract Club, Social Justice Book Club, Religious Life Community events, Pizza and Philosophy, and Speech and Debate.

Nick Laning – Class of 2017

Nick Laning - Culver Fellow Class of 2018

Nick Laning is a Culver Fellow from Byron, MN. He is double majoring in Political Science and International  Relations. Nick is involved in Student Government, Simpson College Republicans, Choir, and First Year Council.  He serves as Treasurer of the Campus Activities Board. Nick chose Simpson because of the Culver Fellowship  Program and the opportunities it presents to be involved in politics. He was deeply involved in politics while  growing up in Minnesota, having worked on U.S. House and U.S. Senate campaigns and interning in the  Minnesota State Senate. As a Culver Fellow, Nick has clerked for Representative Guy Vander Linden in the Iowa House of Representatives and has worked on the presidential campaigns of Carly Fiorina and Gov. Scott Walker. Nick hopes to use the opportunities the Culver Center offers as a foundation for a future career in politics. He hopes to work as a political consultant and hopefully one day run for public office.

Emily Ortiz – Class of 2017

Emily Ortiz

Emily Ortiz is a Culver Fellow from Lawrence, Kansas. She attended Lawrence High School before coming to Simpson. Both of her parents are politically active, so from a young age, she has grown up around politics. Her parents’ enthusiasm about politics sparked her interest in public policy. She is majoring in History and Political Science. In addition to being a Culver Fellow, she is active in Simpson Pride, Simpson College Feminists, and Simpson College Democrats. “The Culver Center has provided me with the opportunity to visit Washington D.C., an unforgettable trip that has furthered my interest in the politics of our nation, a field which I am thinking of going into.” After graduation she is doing ten months of service in Americorps NCC. She believes that service and public policy are important because they create fundamental understandings between people.

Britney Samuelson – Class of 2017

Britney Samuelson - Culver Fellow Class of 2017Britney Samuelson is a Culver Fellow from Newton, Iowa. She is majoring in Social Justice, Applied  Philosophy, and Spanish  with a minor in Latin American Studies. Currently, Britney is the philanthropy chair of  the Simpson College chapter of Delta Delta  Delta, and she also does volunteer work with the Wesley Service  Scholars program on campus. Britney’s interest in politics began  when she served as a page in the Iowa Senate  during her junior year in high school. Ever since then, she has been interested in how  politics and government  impact lives. Her future plans involve attending graduate school for a master’s degree in public policy, then  working with an organization to protect civil rights. Public policy is important to Britney because she believes it  has the power to  make a positive difference in all people’s lives.

Alanna Wendt – Class of 2017

Alanna Wendt - Culver Fellow Class of 2018Alanna Wendt is a Culver Fellow from Santa Rosa, California. She is a  triple major in Political Science, Theatre and International Relations. Wendt is a member of Delta Delta Delta, Simpson College Democrats,  Simpson Debate Team, and the Pre-Law Society. As a Culver Fellow, she attended the National Campaign for Political and Civic Engagement Conference at the Harvard Institute of Politics in September 2015. Alanna was also selected to represent the Culver Center and Simpson College at two conferences in summer 2016 organized by the College Debate 2016 project to promote student political engagement through the presidential debates. She views the Culver Fellowship as an honor and looks forward to expanding her knowledge  of government and public policy. She is committed to continuing her pursuits of political activism as a Culver Fellow.

Olivia Anderson – Class of 2018

Olivia AndersonOlivia Anderson is a Culver Fellow from Oak Ridge, North Carolina.  At Simpson, she is pursuing a triple major in Political Science, Spanish, and Applied Philosophy.  Olivia is a member of the Pi Beta Phi Fraternity for Women, Simpson Votes, and an active participant on the Simpson College Speech and Debate Team.  She has served as President of Simpson College Democrats and as lead campus Ambassador for the Andrew Goodman Foundation’s Vote Everywhere program.  Likewise, Olivia worked as an Organizing Fellow with the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign during the summer of 2015. Upon graduation, Olivia plans to either attend law school or graduate school or join the Peace Corps. “The Culver Fellowship is the reason why I chose to attend  Simpson. I look forward to participating in the Capitol Hill Internship Program as well as becoming involved in  the thrilling world of Iowa politics.”

Niki Dean – Class of 2018

Niki Dean - Culver Fellow Class of 2018

Niki Dean is a Culver Fellow from Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She graduated from John F. Kennedy High School and is  currently majoring in Political Science at Simpson. Niki hopes to graduate in three years to attend law school at the  University of Iowa. The Culver Public Policy Center was one of the main reasons Niki decided to attend Simpson as  it provides many involvement opportunities to expand her interest and knowledge of politics.  Aside from being a  Culver Fellow, Niki is on the Simpson volleyball team, a member of the TRiO program, and a member of the pre- law society.


Kara Eischen – Class of 2018

Kara Eischen - Culver Fellow Class of 2018

Kara Eischen is a Culver Fellow from Wesley, Iowa. She graduated from Bishop Garrigan High School in Algona. Kara is majoring in Criminal Justice at Simpson College and plan to attend law school after graduating in December of 2017. At Simpson, she is involved with the Culver Fellows, the Student Alumni Association, and the Writing Fellows. In addition, she is a member of the Epsilon Sigma honor society. During the spring semester of 2017, Kara completed an internship at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa under a magistrate judge. In May of 2017, she will travel to Italy for a May Term course with Simpson. Kara is excited to gain the knowledge and cultural immersion that studying abroad can offer. “I am so fortunate that I can make connections and have experiences at Simpson that help develop my career plan and let me find success,” she said.

Allie Karpurk – Class of 2018

Allie Karpurk - Culver Fellow Class of 2015

Allie Karpurk is a Culver Fellow from Peoria, Arizona. At Simpson, she is pursuing a double major in Political Science and Business Management. Allie aspires to attend law school after she graduates from Simpson. She hopes to one-day work in the public sector as an attorney and become a judge later in life. Through Simpson and the Culver Center, she has had the opportunity to attend a conference at Harvard on voter mobilization, and has interned for the Iowa Attorney General and Senator Ernst in her Washington D.C. Office. She is deeply involved in a range of activities Simpson’s campus, as a Culver Fellow, Senior Class President of SGA, a member of the cheerleading team, Crew Captain of Love Your Melon, a Simpson Colloquium Leader, and Kappa Kappa Gamma Women’s Fraternity. Politics and public policy are important to Allie because she believes that through them people have the power to make a positive impact in America. “The Culver Fellowship has provided me with so many opportunities, and I know this is the best way for me to get involved in politics at a young age.”

Stacey Post – Class of 2018

Stacey Post

Stacey Post is a Culver Fellow from Des Moines, Iowa. She attended Dowling Catholic High School. Her majors are political science and applied philosophy. Stacey is the chair of Simpson College Republicans. Stacey has interned in the Iowa State Capitol office of Iowa Governor Terry Branstad and his state-federal relations office in Washington, DC. During the summer of 2016, she worked statewide for the Republican Party of Iowa’s Senate Majority Fund.  Stacey plans on a career in economic development and is employed as the Greater Des Moines Partnership’s Executive Call Program intern for Summer 2017. She loves being a Culver Fellow because of all the opportunities, including meeting prominent members of the political community, internships, and networking.


Danielle Bates – Class of 2019

Danielle Bates

Danielle Bates is a Culver Fellow from Kansas City, Missouri. She graduated from North Kansas City High School and is an International Baccalaureate Diploma recipient. Danielle plays tennis for Simpson and is involved in the Speech and Debate, College Republicans, Simpson College Rotaract Club, and ResLife. Danielle has a passion for politics. She is double majoring in Political Science and International Relations with a minor in French. She wants to use her education from Simpson to go onto grad school and then work for the U.S. State Department. She is honored to be a part of the Culver Fellowship and views it as a way to better herself while keeping up with her passion for politics and public service.

Jacob Bruns – Class of 2019

Jacob Bruns Culver Fellow

Jacob Bruns is a Culver Fellow from Washington, Iowa. He is a double major in Applied Philosophy and Economics & Finance, working towards a future in either employment and labor law or academic philosophy. Jacob is involved on campus in his positions of Simpson Colloquium Leader in the First Year Experience, resident economic modeler on the Palmer Project research team, member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon executive council, and member of the Simpson College Feminists.Jacob believes that the future of the United States will be determined by how well the American public is educated, engaged, and represented in public policy. Jacob’s political goals center around promoting the rights and representation of the working class, equal access to vital social services, and equality along all social and class-based intersections. “The John C. Culver Public Policy Center is what drew me to Simpson College. As soon as I learned I was accepted as a fellow, I knew that this was the place where I could do the best for myself and for the community.”

Bobbi Fogle – Class of 2019

Bobbi Fogle

Bobbi Fogle is a Culver Fellow from Oskaloosa, Iowa. While in high school, she discovered her passion for civic engagement as an American Legion Auxiliary Girl’s State citizen, speech and debate team captain, and fellow for the Hillary Clinton campaign. Bobbi is double majoring in Political Science and Psychology with a minor in Sociology. An active participant on Simpson’s speech and debate team, she recently won a national title in job interview. On campus she advocates for justice as the vice president of Simpson Pride and a member of Simpson Feminists. Since arriving at Simpson she has worked for NARAL Pro-Choice America as an election organizer and is currently working at the National Speech and Debate Association as the membership and operations intern. The highlight of her college career so far was introducing Bill Clinton when he came to speak at Simpson. After graduation from Simpson, Bobbi plans to continue working in the non-profit field and eventually attend grad school.

Randy Paulson – Class of 2019

Randy Paulson Culver Fellow

Randy Paulson is a Culver Fellow from Grinnell, Iowa.  He is double majoring in Multimedia Journalism and Spanish.  At Simpson, he has been involved with Speech and Debate, The Simpson Acorn (a satirical publication), Rotaract Club, Simpson Feminists and Simpson Student Media. During his second semester at Simpson, he interned for the House of Representatives at the Iowa Capitol.  His sophomore year, he served as a Writing Fellow for a freshmen debate class.  Also as a sophomore, he attended the National Conference at Harvard’s Institute of Politics, where he collaborated with other college students to find solutions for the intense political division prevalent in the United States. As a Culver Fellow, Randy enjoys being involved in the political scene while at Simpson.  He believes civic engagement is key to understanding the way a democratic society functions and allows individuals to help shape the world in which they live. 

Sydney Samples – Class of 2019

Sydney Samples Culver Fellow

Sydney Samples is a Culver Fellow from Des Moines, Iowa, where she graduated from Saydel High School. Sydney became interested in politics while taking history and government classes in high school and while being a leader on her school’s mock trial team. She plans to double major in political science and environmental studies with a minor in Spanish, then hopes to then go on to law school to become an environmental lawyer.  In addition to being a Culver Fellow, Sydney plans to be involved in debate, religious life, and looks forward to participating in the Capitol Hill Internship Program.


Emily Schwickerath – Class of 2019

Emily Schwickerath Culver Fellow

Emily Schwickerath is a Culver Fellow from New Hampton, Iowa. She is majoring in Political Science with a minor in religion. Schwickerath is heavily involved on Simpson’s campus as a member of the speech and debate team and serves as Vice Chair of College Republicans. Off campus, she has worked as a field director for the Senate Majority Fund and as a secretary in the Iowa Senate. Schwickerath also attended Harvard Institute of Politics National Campaign as a sophomore. There she collaborated with other college students across the United States on civic service. Being taught to always work hard and stand up for her values, Schwickerath finds it important to have her voice heard by working in government. It is an important personal trait that Schwickerath hopes to use to improve the world. “There is no better way to change the world around you than to directly influence elections and policy. As a Culver Fellow, I had the tools needed to get my start in politics. Already seeing success, I can’t wait to keep changing the world around me.”

Samantha Hafermann – Class of 2020

Samantha Hafermann

Samantha Hafermann is a Culver Fellow from Goodell, Iowa. She graduated from West Fork High School in Sheffield, Iowa before coming the Simpson College. She plans to major in political science and minor in English. She became interested in politics through her volunteer work at the Caring Pregnancy Center and listening to her parents talk about the elections as a child.  Along with being a Culver Fellow she plans to be a part of the Campus Activities Board, College Republicans, and active in intramural sports. Sam is very excited to be a Culver Fellow and get involved in the Indianola community.


Hankel Haldin – Class of 2020

Hankel Haldin

Hankel Haldin is a Culver Fellow from Fort Dodge, Iowa. He graduated from Fort Dodge Senior High and is pursuing double majors in Political Science and Music Performance at Simpson College. Hankel first gained an appreciation for politics when he was able to shadow a state senator through his government class during his senior year of high school. As a Culver Fellow, Hankel aims to encourage engagement in politics and public policy among his fellow students and community. The John C. Culver Fellowship affords students an incredible opportunity to gain political experience as well as work alongside their community.


Kathryn Hays – Class of 2020

Kathryn Hays

Kathryn Hays is a Culver Fellow from Macomb, Illinois. She plans to major in International Relations and Political science with a minor in French. Kathryn’s passion for languages, traveling, and serving others has led her to pursue a future fighting for children’s rights internationally. Until then, you can find her reading to a multitude of engaged two-year-olds. She first became interested in public relations after receiving the honor of attending the Youth to Washington program, where she fostered her love of American politics. Kathryn is ecstatic to be a Culver Fellow and take advantage of all the wonderful opportunities available to her to further better the community.


Levi Lefebure – Class of 2020

Levi Lefebure

Levi Lefebure is a Culver Fellow from Fairfax, Iowa. At Simpson College, he is majoring in Political Science, Mathematics, and History. He is involved with Cross-Country, Track & Field, Student Government, Debate Team and College Republicans on campus. Upon leaving Simpson, Levi hopes to find work in some level of policy making. Policy has interested Levi from a young age, because of how much of a difference for good it can make. He is excited about being a Culver Fellow because it allows him to be as involved in politics on campus as possible. The opportunity of working with campaigns and candidates locally, the Capitol Hill Internship program and the many programs run on campus are all reasons Levi is ecstatic about being a Culver Fellow.

Erin Magoffie – Class of 2020


Erin Magoffie is a Culver Fellow from Anthem, Arizona. She is double majoring in Political Science and English, with double minors in Biology and French. She graduated from North Canyon High School and is an International Baccalaureate Diploma recipient. In addition to being a Culver Fellow, Erin is also a Cowles Fellow, a player on Simpson’s Women’s Soccer team, a member of the Speech and Debate team, a Wesley Service Scholar, the Activities Chair for the Delta Delta Delta Women’s Fraternity and she works in Simpson’s Admissions Office as a Student Ambassador. In addition, Erin is a member of the Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society and has been awarded the 2017 Simpson College Omicron Delta Kappa Emerging Leader Award. During her time at Simpson, Erin intents on studying a semester abroad in Tahiti and participating in the Culver Fellow CHIP internship in Washington D.C. for a semester. After graduating, Erin intends to become a lawyer or to enter the political field. Having been raised to speak up for herself and to fight fiercely for her beliefs, Erin has always had an interest in politics. Erin is excited to be a Culver Fellow, as it is an opportunity that allows her to expand her current political ideals and show Simpson what she has to offer in terms of political knowledge.

Elizabeth Mixon – Class of 2020

Elizabeth Mixon

Elizabeth L. Mixon is a Culver Fellow from Leawood, Kansas. She graduated from Blue Valley North High School before attending Simpson. She is interested in public policy because she wants to give a voice to women and children, primarily in the area of combatting human trafficking. She intends to major in Political Science and International Relations before attending law school and hopes to go into the FBI. In addition to being a Culver Fellow, she participates in the Simpson College Speech and Debate team and is active in the Delta Delta Delta Sorority. The Culver Center will allow her to intern in Washington D.C., which will bring her closer to the center of where public policy is made. Elizabeth strongly believes that public policy is important because that is where real change occurs.

Casey Nickel – Class of 2020 

Casey Nickel

Casey Nickel is a sophmore Culver Fellow from Grinnell Iowa. She is double majoring in Political Science and Public Relations. Along with being involved in Culver Fellow events, she is also participates in cheerleading, Student Government Association, speech and debate, and her sorority Kappa Kappa Gamma. In the spring semesters Casey works as a clerk for Senator Amy Sinclair. After college Casey hopes to work for the Iowa Senate as a Research Analyst for Education.


Kelsey Poppe – Class of 2020

Kelsey Poppe

Kelsey Poppe is a Culver Fellow from Ionia, Iowa. She graduated from Nashua-Plainfield High School before coming to Simpson. Kelsey chose Simpson because of the Culver Fellow Program. She is majoring in Political Science and aspires to go onto law school after she graduates from Simpson. She also plays on the Simpson golf team.




Abby Schulte – Class of 2020

Abby Schulte

Abby Schulte is a Culver Fellow from Keota, Iowa. She plans on majoring in Political Science and Business. Along with the Culver Fellowship, she is a member of the Speech and Debate Team, Campus Activities Board, Model UN, Rotaract Club, and the Simpson Feminists Club. She is also the political director of Simpson Democrats. Abby decided she wanted to pursue a career in public service while working on a civic engagement project in high school. The project included getting presidential candidates to visit her very small high school so that members of her community could have their voices heard. She is very passionate about political activism and looks forward to all of the opportunities that come along with the Culver Fellowship.

Quinn Slaven – Class of 2020

Quinn Slaven

Jake Stoulil – Class of 2020

Jake Stoulil

Jake Stoulil is a Culver Fellow from Kansas City, Missouri, where he graduated from Park Hill High School. He is double majoring in Political Science and Economics and plans to attend law school after he graduates from Simpson College. Jake became interested in politics while participating in debate in high school. Jake is part of the baseball team and Speech and Debate team along with being a Culver Fellow.




Amir Suljic – Class of 2020

Amir Suljic

Amir Suljic is a Culver Fellow from West Des Moines, Iowa. He is double majoring in Political Science and History with a Minor in Public Relations. At Simpson, he is currently involved with the Speech and Debate and Mock Trial teams. His interest in politics began as he grew older and began to understand his Bosnian heritage and the opportunities being born in the United States has given him; as well as how staying politically active can change not only one’s own life, but a community as a whole. Amir previously interned for eight months with the Iowa Senate Democratic Research Staff at the Iowa State Capitol. He currently serves as the Event Management Director/Voter Involvement Chair for the Bosniak-American Association of Iowa and is the Public Policy Intern for the Greater Des Moines Partnership. His future career plans are to become a lobbyist or policy analyst and run for public office.

Kyler Zielsdorf – Class of 2020

Kyler Zielsdorf

Kyler Zielsdorf is a Culver Fellow from Merriam, Kansas, where he graduated from Shawnee Mission North High School. He is pursuing a double major in Political Science and Criminal Justice, with aspirations of attending law school and joining the United States Marine Corps upon graduation. In addition to being a Culver Fellow, Kyler also is a member of the Men’s Soccer team. Kyler is honored to have been chosen as a Culver Fellow and looks forward to being involved on campus and in the community.