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Current Culver Fellows

Serving as ambassadors for the John C. Culver Public Policy Center, welcoming distinguished speakers to campus and leading voter registration and civic engagement initiatives

CLASS OF 2021:

Emily BellEmily 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, including softball and Speech and Debate. She is also a student ambassador in the Admissions office. 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.”

Katie CardozaKatie Cardoza is a Culver Fellow from Springfield, Missouri, where she graduated from Central High School. Katie is majoring in International Relations and Political Science.  At Simpson, Katie is on the swim team, Speech and Debate team, Model United Nations team, and a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority.  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 international peace.

Daniel EstradaDaniel Estrada is a Culver Fellow from Gilbert, Arizona.  At Simpson College, he is 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, Intramurals, 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 the participation of voting on campus as well as increase outreach to students who don’t think they can afford college. “The decision I made to attend Simpson College was ultimately based on what The Culver Fellowship offered me as a first-generation college student. This program continues to provide me with the opportunity to explore what civic engagement truly means and a community to debate the nation’s biggest issues with a diverse pool of viewpoints and perspectives.”

Michael RoetsMichael Roets is a Culver Fellow from Princeton, Texas. Michael is majoring in multimedia communications. 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 SamsJoe Sams is a Culver Fellow from Indianola, Iowa. He is majoring 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 SeabrooksJailyn Seabrooks is a Culver Fellow from Alburnett, Iowa. She is majoring in Political Science and Religion. Besides the Culver Fellowship, she is involved in Speech & Debate, Residence Life, Kappa Kappa Gamma, Simpson Democrats, Andrew Goodman Foundation and Model UN. She has interned with NewBoCo in Cedar Rapids and the Fred Hubbell campaign. 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. After graduation, she hopes to work for a nonprofit focused on getting more women in politics.

Natasha ShippNatasha Shipp is a Culver Fellow from Oskaloosa, Iowa. Natasha is double majoring in Political Science and Applied Philosophy. 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. While at Simpson, Natasha has enjoyed several wonderful opportunities such as interning on the Hubbell for Governor campaign and attending a civic engagement conference at Harvard. 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 ThurstonChase Thurston is a Culver Fellow from Wapello, Iowa. He is majoring in Multimedia Communication 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 VanDeusenGeoff 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 history. He plans to attend law school after he graduates from Simpson College. Geoff is a leader on the Speech and Debate team, president of the Simpson College Democrats, and recruitment chair for Lambda Chi Alpha. He is excited to be a Culver Fellow because he wants to get civically engaged while getting members of his community engaged, as well.

CLASS OF 2022:

Paula CarlsonPaula Carlson is a Culver Fellow from Thomas Jefferson High School in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She is majoring in Health Services Leadership and Applied Philosophy with minors in Health and Exercise Science and the Honors Program. her goal is to become a healthcare lobbyist or health attorney that specializes in defending medical professionals in malpractice lawsuits. At Simpson, she is a student manager for the softball team, participates in the Student Alumni Association and Pre-Law Society, and is an undergraduate assistant in the Office of Admissions. She is looking forward to being a Culver Fellow due to the opportunities of networking and connections she will be able to gain through the program.

Kylie DoupnikKylie Doupnik is a Culver Fellow from Harvard, Nebraska. She plans on majoring in Political Science and hopes to attend law school after college. On campus she is involved in Speech and Debate and Women’s Chorale. She is also an active member of P.R.I.D.E, Simpson Feminists and serves as secretary for Simpson Democrats. Kylie is very excited for all the opportunities being a Culver Fellow will provide her.


Taylor HoffmanTaylor Hoffman is a Culver Fellow from Okoboji, Iowa. She graduated from Okoboji High School and plans to major in English with a possible double major in either Political Science or Psychology. She hopes to attend law school after graduating from Simpson. Besides the Culver Fellowship, Taylor is involved in the Speech and Debate program and plans to take advantage of Simpson’s intramurals and service opportunities. Taylor is excited to be a part of the Culver Fellowship because she believes in the importance of political activism and giving back to her community.

Triniti KraussTriniti Krauss is a Culver Fellow from Grand Junction, Colorado. She graduated from Palisade High School and is an International Baccalaureate Diploma Recipient. She is majoring in Global Management and International Relations with a minor in Spanish. She is a member of Simpson’s Speech & Debate team and of Theatre Simpson. As a Culver Fellow, Triniti is excited to promote political participation and bipartisan conversation. 

Gabe MadsonGabe Madson is a Culver Fellow from Harlan, Iowa and graduated from Harlan Community High School. He plans to major in Business Management with a minor in Entrepreneurship. He is involved in Simpson College Republicans, trading card club, theatre, CEO, band, choir, jazz band, Fandom, and International club. He is most excited to get more involved in the political world as a young person and have his voice heard by others. 

Maggie NielsenMargaret (Maggie) Nielsen is a Culver Fellow from Hastings, Nebraska, where she graduated from Hastings Senior High School. Maggie is currently studying German here at Simpson College. maggie is involved with the college band, the debate, and Model UN teams, the Writing Fellows program, and works with the Simpson College Religious Life Community. Her hopes for after Simpson include going to graduate school to obtain a master's degree in Religion and International Relations. but for now, Maggie is looking forward to all the experiences that come with being a Culver Fellow. She most looks forward to helping get her peers involved in politics through the democratic process and continuously observing the political differences that Iowa can offer.

Ava ShannonAva Shannon is a Culver Fellow from West Liberty, Iowa. She graduated from West Liberty High School. Ava intends to major in Political Science. At Simpson, she is involved in Speech and Debate, On the House, PRIDE, and Simpson Feminists. Ava is excited to be a Culver Fellow because she is looking forward to participating in the Capitol Hill Internship Program and studying in the nation’s capital.


Jocelyn SmithJocelyn Smith is a Culver Fellow from Waukee, Iowa. During her time at Simpson College, she intends to major in Political Science. She is involved in choir and Theatre Simpson and hopes to continue her work with NextGen Iowa to register young voters across the state. Jocelyn has always been an advocate for various communities and is excited to continue those efforts at and around Simpson. She is excited about being a Culver Fellow because it allows her to make stronger connections with politicians from across the state and country.

Elise SturgeonElise Sturgeon is a Culver Fellow from Sioux City, Iowa where she graduated from North High School. In 2014 she interned for the Woodbury County Democrats and was an employee of the Iowa Democratic Party’s coordinated campaign in 2016. She was also very involved in the March for Our Lives movement and organized a student protest at her high school. Elise plans on majoring in Political Science while at Simpson and is looking forward to participating in Debate and Theatre. She is excited to join the Culver Fellows so that she can help others realize how important the political process is to our everyday lives and show how powerful people can be when they stand together for change. 

Noah TrujilloNoah Trujillo is a Culver Fellow from Littleton, Colorado. he graduated from Arapahoe High School in 2018 and is double majoring in History and Political Science. Noah is glad that the Culver Center gives him opportunities to get involved with politics in ways not many other institutions and organizations are able to. 


Maria VeaseyMaria Veasey is a Culver Fellow from Houston, Texas and graduated high school from Oak Ridge. She plans to major in Forensic Science with a minor in Criminal Justice. She is a member of the women's soccer team. She greatly appreciates the opportunity to be a Culver Fellow because she gets to help out with new and exciting events that people will be able to enjoy as well as meet new people.

CLASS OF 2023:

Nyan Baker Nyan Baker is a Culver Fellow from Knoxville, Iowa and graduated from Knoxville High School. He plans to major in Criminal Justice and Political Science. He is a member of the Simpson Wrestling and Mock Trial teams and serves as President of Simpson College Republicans. He plans to attend law school after graduating from Simpson College.


Abby CozzoniAbby Cozzoni is a Culver Fellow from Wentzville, Missouri. She is majoring in elementary education with a minor in Spanish. She graduated from Timberland High School before attending Simpson College. She is a member of the women's soccer team. As a Culver Fellow, she is eager to promote voter participation and help everyone realize they have a voice.


Donni KinghornDonni Kinghorn is a Culver Fellow from Shenandoah, Iowa. During her time at Simpson, Donni plans to major in Political Science. Outside of the Culver Fellowship, Donni is involved with the Women's Tennis team, Kappa Kappa Gamma, and the Honors Program. She is excited to be a Culver Fellow so she can take part in political activism at Simpson College. After graduation, she plans to attend law school to pursue a career in civil rights law or immigration law.


Eli NewsonEli Newson is a Culver Fellow from Denver, Colorado. They are planning on majoring in Multimedia Journalism and Communications, and are involved in campus activities such as Speech & Debate, Pride Club, and Improv Club. Eli has been involved in multiple civic engagement activities such as the YMCA's Youth in Government, One Colorado, and various voter registration programs. After Simpson, Eli hopes to write and share news stories highlighting the struggles of economic and social minorities in the United States. 

Sam PorterSam Porter is a Culver Fellow from Castle High School in Newburgh, Indiana. Sam is originally from Phoenix, Arizona, where he participated on the Academic Decathlon team. Sam is double majoring in political science and graphic design at Simpson and is involved with Speech & Debate and Simpson College Democrats.


Diana SagastizadoDiana Sagastizado is a Culver Fellow from Osceola, Iowa. While attending Clarke High School, she was involved in Family, Community, and Career Leaders of America where she conducted two community service projects of her own. Diana was in the National Honor Society, Student Council, FCA, and played basketball and soccer. During the summer of 2019, she worked as a full-time intern at Osceola City Hall. At Simpson, she is planning to double major in political science and communications. She is involved in SGA, representing the first-year class as president. She is also involved in the debate team and plans to get involved with Greek Life and the Religious Life Community.

Marissa SalberMarissa Salber is a Culver Fellow from Millard North High School in Omaha, Nebraska. She was involved in volleyball, the debate team, the National Honor Society, the French Honor Society, Mustang Mentors, and the student council. She also volunteered at CHI Lakeside Hospital. At Simpson, she is majoring in political science and minoring in graphic design. She is a member of the volleyball and debate teams and is an interfaith leader. 


Monserrat SaucedoMonserrat Saucedo is a Culver Fellow from Springdale, Arkansas. Graduating from Har-Ber High School, she was involved in National Honor Society, French Honor Society, Mock Trial, Key Club, and was captain of the Debate and Forensics team. She is double majoring in Criminal Justice and Psychology. She is also involved in Speech and Debate, Wesley Service Scholars, and the Honors program.


Drake WoodDrake Wood is a Culver Fellow from Kansas City, Missouri, where is graduated from Blue Springs South High School. he is majoring in Political Science and plans to attend law school after graduation from Simpson College. In addition to the Culver Fellowship, Drake is involved with Speech and Debate, Greek Life, Wesley Service, and the Storm Overnight Squad. 


Interested in becoming a Culver Fellow? Download the John C. Culver Fellowship Application today.