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 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 is a Culver Fellow from Grimes, Iowa, where he attended Dallas Center-Grimes High School. Zach became interested in politics while taking U.S. History and U.S. Government Advanced Placement classes in high school and participating in the Capitol Project, which included a week-long mock legislative session at the Iowa State Capitol in 2013. His political experience includes working for the Polk County Republican Party, interning in the Iowa Senate, and working on primary campaigns. Zach is majoring in Political Science, Business Management, and History. After graduating from Simpson, he plans to attend Drake Law School for his JD and MBA and hopes to work in corporate law and manage his own law firm while remaining involved in Iowa politics. In addition to his work as a Culver Fellow, Zach is active in Speech and Debate, Student Government Association, Campus Activities Board, Pre-Law Society, Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, and First Year Council.
Tegan Jarchow – Class of 2017
Tegan 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 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 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 participates in the Simpson College Speech and Debate team and is active in 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.” She believes that service and public policy are important because they create fundamental understandings between people.
Britney Samuelson – Class of 2017
Britney 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 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 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 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 is a Culver Fellow from Wesley, Iowa. She graduated from Bishop Garrigan High School and is majoring in Criminal Justice at Simpson College. She plays on the Simpson softball team. Kara enjoys being a Culver Fellow because it gives her the opportunity to explore important issues in politics and public policy and keeps her engaged with the community.
Allie Karpurk – Class of 2018
Allie Karpurk is a Culver Fellow from Peoria, Arizona. At Simpson, she is majoring in Political Science and is pursuing a minor in Business Management. Allie aspires to attend law school after she graduates from Simpson. She then hopes to serve in the U.S. Senate or as a governor and become a judge later in life. She is deeply involved in a range of activities Simpson’s campus, as a Culver Fellow, a member of the cheerleading team, Breast Cancer Awareness Club, Campus Activities Board, and Kappa Kappa Gamma Sorority. 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 already 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 is a Culver Fellow from Des Moines, Iowa. She attended Dowling Catholic High School. She is majoring in political science and international relations. On campus, Stacey is involved in Speech and Debate, Campus Republicans, and her sorority, Delta Delta Delta. 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 Victory project. In addition to these, she also enjoys reading, singing, and studying the lives of U.S. Presidents. She is excited to be a Culver Fellow because of all the opportunities, including the Capitol Hill Internship Program, meeting prominent members of the political community, and networking with all the people involved in the program both as fellows and as adult leadership.
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 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 is a Culver Fellow from Washington, Iowa. He is a double major in Economics and Political Science who is working towards becoming a financial advisor or post-secondary instructor. Jacob looks forward to using his time at Simpson College to positively impact the community and prepare himself for graduate school. Jacob is involved in the Student Government Association as a 1st year Student Senate Representative, and is a member of the Speech & Debate team, Simpson College Democrats, First Year Council, and Greek Life. Jacob believes that the future of the United States will be determined by how well the American public is educated and engaged in public policy. “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 public policy 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. She is involved in speech and debate and Simpson College Democrats. After graduation from Simpson she plans to pursue graduate school and eventually work to craft improved public policy. “The Culver Center was a major factor in my college decision. I’m honored to have been selected as a Fellow and look forward to all of the great opportunities over the coming years!”
Randy Paulson – Class of 2019
Randy Paulson is a Culver Fellow from Grinnell, Iowa. He plans to major in Multimedia Journalism and minor in Spanish. He is also interested in studying History, Political Science and Public Relations. Randy became interested in government affairs and politics while in high school through his involvement in debate and also from taking Advanced Placement American Government and Politics. At Simpson, he is involved in Speech and Debate, Rotaract Club, Religious Life Community, and the Simpson Acorn (a satirical publication). As a Culver Fellow, Randy is very excited to be involved in the political scene while at Simpson and looks forward to meeting all the prominent political figures the campus will host throughout the coming years. He feels that 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, 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 is a Culver Fellow from New Hampton, Iowa. She is majoring in Political Science and International Relations with minors in Religion, Economics, and Spanish. Schwickerath intends to go to law school after graduating from Simpson. Following law school, she hopes to work on public policy to ensure America’s economic and foreign relations security. She is heavily involved on Simpson’s campus on the speech and debate team. Being taught to always work hard and stand up for one’s values and beliefs are important personal traits that Schwickerath hopes to use to improve the world. “I’m honored to be a member of the Culver Fellowship Program. The tools it provides will help ensure I reach success not only in the classroom, but out in the local, state, national and global community, as well.”
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 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 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 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.
Josh Holst – Class of 2020
Josh Holst is a Culver Fellow from Ankeny, Iowa. He plans to major in Political Science and Math. He loves politics because it challenges people to problem solve. He is a member of the Simpson Speech and Debate team loves most sports (go Steelers!).
Levi Lefebure – Class of 2020
Levi Lefebure is a Culver Fellow from Fairfax, Iowa. At Simpson College, he is majoring in Political Science and considering Mathematics as a minor or second major. He is involved with Cross-Country, Track & Field, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, 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, and she works in Simpson’s Admissions Office as a Student Ambassador. After graduating from Simpson, 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 Culver Fellow from Grinnell, Iowa. She graduated early from Ankeny Centennial High School in order to work in the Iowa Capitol as a Senate Page, then continued to work as an intern for the Senate Republican Research staff. At Simpson, Casey is triple majoring in Political Science, International Relations, and Business Management. She is also a member of the Cheerleading team, Speech and Debate team, and Simpson College Republicans. Casey was elected senator from the class of 2020. She plans to go through recruitment and get involved with Greek Life at Simpson. Casey’s interest in politics began her sophomore year of high school while competing in Student Congress Debate and has grown over the years with her involvement in Girls State, Girls Nation, and her work at the Iowa Capitol and now here at Simpson College.
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. 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 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 is a Culver Fellow from Mason City, Iowa. Quinn has always had a passion for public service and leadership. In high school, he worked as an intern for Martin O’Malley’s presidential campaign, where he was able to gain first-hand experience in the political world. In addition to being a Culver Fellow and political science/pre-law major, Quinn plays football for Simpson College. Upon graduation, he hopes to attend law school.
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 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 is a Culver Fellow from West Des Moines, Iowa. He plans to double major in Economics and Public Relations with a Minor in Political Science. At Simpson, he is currently involved in 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 and was a Precinct Captain for the Bernie Sanders campaign. He currently serves as the Political Involvement Chair for the Bosnian-American Association of Iowa. His future career plans are to become a lobbyist or policy analyst and run for public office. He is excited to be a Culver Fellow as he knows the opportunities and connections he will acquire will benefit him immensely.
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.