Culver Fellows earn a renewable annual scholarship of $2,000 — in addition to all other merit- and need-based financial aid awarded by Simpson College — 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 16 for the incoming fall class of first year students. Click here for application guidelines and materials.
Danielle Bates – Class of 2019
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 is a Andrew Goodman Foundation Vote Everywhere Ambassador. She plays tennis for Simpson and is involved in the Speech and Debate, College Republicans, and Simpson College Rotaract Club. Danielle has a passion for politics. She is double majoring in Political Science and International Relations with minors in French and Religion. She wants to use her education from Simpson to go onto grad school and then eventually 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 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 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 is a Culver Fellow from Grinnell, Iowa. He is majoring in multimedia journalism and minoring in Spanish. At Simpson, he has been involved with The Simpsonian, The Simpson Acorn (a satirical publication), Speech and Debate, and Simpson Feminists. 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 is a Culver Fellow from Des Moines, Iowa. She is a double major in Environmental Studies and Spanish with a minor in Political Science. Sydney will be spending her junior spring studying abroad in Concepción, Chile. At Simpson, she has been involved in the Student Government Association, Speech and Debate, Sustainability Club, Light Company, and the sorority Kappa Kappa Gamma. Sydney has had the honor of serving as the 2017 Student Body President and a Newman Civic Fellow for the 2017-2018 school year. Following her first-year she interned at the Iowa Environmental Council and following her sophomore year she interned at IMPACT7G. While at Simpson, she has worked on many projects to make the campus more sustainable, including leading a prairie reconstruction project on campus. Sydney plans on working towards a career in environmental activism.
Emily Schwickerath – Class of 2019
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 is a member of Simpson College Republicans. Off campus, she has worked as a field director for the Senate Majority Fund, legislative secretary in the Iowa Senate, and currently is a field director for Kim Reynolds For Iowa. 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 is a Culver Fellow from Goodell, Iowa. She graduated from West Fork High School in Sheffield, Iowa before coming to 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.
Kathryn Hays – Class of 2020
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 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 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 is a sophomore Culver Fellow from Grinnell Iowa. She is double majoring in Political Science and Public Relations. Casey is involved in cheerleading, Kappa Kappa Gamma, is the Student Government Association Manager, and works as a contributing writer for The Hill Talk. In the spring semesters, she works as a clerk for Senator Amy Sinclair. During the summer months, she interns with the Senate Republican Caucus staff. After college Casey hopes to work for the Iowa Senate as a Research Analyst for the Education Committee.
Kelsey Poppe – Class of 2020
Kelsey Poppe is a Culver Fellow from Ionia, Iowa. She graduated from Nashua-Plainfield High School before coming to Simpson. She is double majoring in Business Management and Psychology, with a minor in Human Resources. After graduation, she hopes to attend law school. Besides being a Culver Fellow, Kelsey is involved with Simpson Women’s Golf Team and Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society.
Abby Schulte – Class of 2020
Abby Schulte is a Culver Fellow from Keota, Iowa. She is majoring in Political Science and History with a minor in Women and Gender Studies. Along with the Culver Fellowship, she is a member of the Speech and Debate Team, Simpson College Democrats, Simpson Feminists Club, and the Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society. Abby has always been interested in politics, but decided she wanted to pursue a career in it while working on a civic engagement project during the Iowa Caucus that involved getting presidential candidates to visit her small rural high school. During her Culver Fellowship, she has volunteered for the Hillary Clinton campaign and spent a summer interning at Congressman Dave Loebsack’s District Office in Iowa City. She was also awarded the Rising Star Award by Iowa’s Second District Democrats in 2017. After graduation, Abby plans to attend law school. She would like to pursue a career in either civil rights law or policy and would like to one day run for office.
Quinn Slaven – Class of 2020
Jake Stoulil – Class of 2020
Jake Stoulil is a Culver Fellow from Kansas City, Missouri, where he graduated from Park Hill High School. He is pursuing a double major in Actuarial Science and Economics & Finance, as well as a double minor in Political Science and Computer Information Systems. Jake became interested in politics while participating in debate in high school. Jake is the Lincoln-Douglas Event Undergraduate Assistant for the Speech and Debate Team. Along with being apart of the Simpson Speech and Debate Team and being a Culver Fellow, Jake is also apart of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity.
Amir Suljic – Class of 2020
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 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.
Emily Bell – Class of 2021
Emily Bell is a Culver Fellow from Aurora, Colorado. She graduated from Cherokee Trail High School and is currently majoring in Business Management at Simpson. Emily plans to attend law school at the University of Denver in Denver, Colorado. The Culver Fellowship interests her because it offers a lot of unique opportunities in the political field that will broaden her knowledge and benefit her future career goal. Emily is involved in many activities at Simpson such as, softball, Speech and Debate, and she is a student ambassador. Politics are important to Emily because they are a force that can drive change. “Being a Culver Fellow is the first step in improving my political knowledge to begin to make a difference in this world.”
Kobey Bosworth – Class of 2021
Kobey Bosworth is a Culver Fellow from O’Fallon, Illinois, where he graduated from O’Fallen Township High School. He plans to major in Political Science and attend law school after graduation from Simpson College. In addition to the Culver Fellowship, Kobey is involved in Greek life and wrestling at Simpson.
Katie Cardoza – Class of 2021
Katie Cardoza is a Culver Fellow from Springfield, Missouri. She graduated from Central High School and intends to major in International Relations. At Simpson, Katie is on the swim team, Speech and Debate team, and Model United Nations team. She gained an interest in international politics when she started her high school’s Model United Nations team. As a Culver Fellow, Katie hopes to be a part of the Capitol Hill Internship Program, help spread political knowledge, and work beside influential people. After Simpson, she would like to advocate for international peace.
Andrew Dunn – Class of 2021
Andrew Dunn is a Culver Fellow from Spirit Lake, Iowa. He plans on majoring in Political Science and International Relations. In addition to being a Culver Fellow, Andrew co-founded and serves as Board President of The Globus Project, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering youth around the world socially, economically, and politically and the Iowa Grassroots PAC a political action committee dedicated to getting young people involved in Democratic politics. He also has served as the Chairman of the State of Iowa Youth Advisory Council, a non-partisan policy advising organization comprised of young people from across Iowa between the ages of 14 and 20. On campus, Andrew is involved with the Simpson College Democrats, SC Feminists, The Simpson Speech, Debate, and Mock Trial Team, CAB, Pre-Law Society, and works in the Office of Admissions as a Student Ambassador. After graduation, Andrew intends to pursue further education in law and international relations.
Daniel Estrada – Class of 2021
Daniel Estrada is a Culver Fellow from Gilbert, Arizona. At Simpson College, he plans on double majoring in Political Science and Psychology with a minor in Economics. He is looking to find future employment or internships in a law firm or public office. Daniel graduated from Perry High School and is a first-generation, Hispanic college student. On campus, he is involved in the Speech and Debate team, Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization, Campus Activities Board, Simpson Democrats Club, Intramurals, the President of Pre-Law Society, and a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. His drive to pursue his interest in politics stems from understanding the struggle of lower-income families who wish to participate in politics. Daniel sees education as a means to lessen the effects of poverty and in turn, will provide a more informed, tolerant group of citizens who exercise the right to vote. He hopes to promote participation of voting on campus as well as increase outreach to students who think they cannot afford college. “Change is necessary for improvement. Moving from Arizona to Iowa is the biggest change of my life thus far and I see nothing but opportunities for success presented before me at Simpson College.”
Hannah Parks – Class of 2021
Hannah Parks is a Culver Fellow from Baldwin City, Kansas, where she graduated from Baldwin High School. She is pursuing a career in elementary education and hopes to create positive change in the world through fostering confidence in youth. Although she does not plan on pursuing a career in public policy, Hannah believes that staying politically active and informed is important if one wishes to help others. In addition to being a Culver Fellow, Hannah is involved in Greek life and choir, and her hobbies include drawing portraits, debating, swimming, and enjoying home-cooked food.
Michael Roets, Jr. – Class of 2021
Michael Roets is a Culver Fellow from Princeton, Texas. Michael plans to major in history and philosophy. In addition to his involvement with the Culver Fellows program, Michael is a member of The Storm’s tennis team, an actor in the theatre department, a debater, and a really big fan of Hamilton. “The Culver Fellowship has given me the opportunity to capitalize on the rich political environment of this part of Iowa, providing me with ample opportunities to learn how to turn the dreams of the classroom into the reality of our community.”
Joe Sams – Class of 2021
Joe Sams is a Culver Fellow from Indianola, Iowa. He plans to major in Political Science and Psychology, working towards a future in law school. In addition to the Culver Center, Joe is involved in Greek life, pre-law society, speech and debate, and intramurals.
Jailyn Seabrooks – Class of 2021
Jailyn Seabrooks is a Culver Fellow from Alburnett, Iowa. She is planning on majoring in Political Science with a minor in religion. Besides the Culver Fellowship, she is involved in Speech & Debate, Student Government, the Theater Department, Simpson Feminists Club, and Model UN. She decided to pursue a career in politics after being involved in an organization, Iowa Student Learning Institute, that advocates for the involvement of students in educational leadership. She is excited for all the opportunities this fellowship offers.
Natasha Shipp – Class of 2021
Natasha Shipp is a Culver Fellow from Oskaloosa, Iowa. While at Simpson, Natasha plans to double major in Political Science and Public Relations. She obtained her passion for politics and public service while debating in high school and as she worked on the Hillary for Iowa Campaign in 2015 and 2016. Giving a voice to those less fortunate remains an important goal for Natasha. She plans on using her experiences from Simpson College and the Culver Fellowship to advocate healthcare policy issues in Iowa. Natasha is thrilled to work with the other Culver Fellows to better the communities we all hold dear.
Chase Thurston – Class of 2021
Chase Thurston is a Culver Fellow from Wapello, Iowa. He is planning to major in Multimedia Journalism while at Simpson. In high school, Chase was involved in Boy Scouts of America, attaining the coveted rank of Eagle Scout. In addition to Culver Fellows, he is also involved with the Speech & Debate team, SC Democrats, and CAB Marketing. Chase was drawn to Simpson and to the Culver Fellows program by his interest in politics and expressing his political beliefs. He feels that Simpson is very open and active in terms of discussing current political matters. Upon graduation, Chase plans to attend graduate school to pursue a Master’s degree in Journalism.
Geoff VanDeusen – Class of 2021
Geoff Van Deusen III is a Culver Fellow from Olathe, Kansas, where he graduated from Olathe Northwest High School. He is majoring in Political Science and minoring in Philosophy and plans to attend law school after he graduates from Simpson College. Geoff is an active member of the Speech and Debate team and is involved in the Student Government Association and College Activities Board. He is excited to be a Culver Fellow because he wants to get civically engaged while getting members of his community engaged, as well.
Grant Zajicek – Class of 2021
Grant Zajicek is a Culver Fellow from Panora, Iowa. He is planning on majoring in Political Science with a minor in International Relations. Grant has interned with the Iowa House of Representatives as a Legislative Page in 2017, and will be a Clerk for Representative Dave Maxwell in the 2018 legislative session. At Simpson, he looks forward to being actively involved in Mock Trial, Simpson College Republicans, and the Debate team. He also is a member of the Iowa National Guard and plans to serve his country in the military and the political world. As an Eagle Scout and member of the Iowa National Guard, Grant has a deep passion for serving his country. He is honored to be a Culver Fellow and plans to make the most out of his time at Simpson.