Six graduating seniors to be celebrated at fall 2021 convocation


Dean and Dean’s Chair, Laura Dunn Jolly, and department chairs will recognize students receiving bachelor’s degrees at the college’s undergraduate convocation at 2 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 17, in C.Y. Stephens Auditorium. Six graduating seniors will receive special honors at the ceremony

Evan Schmidt, University Marshal, Kinesiology and Health

Evan Schmidt of Johnston, Iowa, is graduating magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology and health and is this year’s university marshal. His role of working as a research assistant in the Department of Kinesiology, as well as in the Willette lab, grew his leadership skills by conducting tests, collecting data, and organizing it in a way to make it easy for further statistical analysis.

Throughout his education, he also worked in the Mary Greeley Medical Center as a Patient Admission Representative and Glen Oaks Special Care Center as a Certified Nursing Assistant. Schmidt is a well-rounded student who embraced the community and ISU community through his service and volunteer work. Evan plans to attend medical school in the fall.

Rachel Sodawasser, College Marshal, Nutritional Science

Rachel Sodawasser of Marion, Iowa, is this year’s college marshal. She is graduating with honors and summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in nutritional science. She is an exceptional student with a significant amount of involvement as a volunteer in numerous charitable and campus organizations.

She also worked as an Emergency Room Patient Care Technician and an undergraduate research assistant. Sodawasser has many academic achievements as well as a variety of experiences and awards while being at Iowa State University. She will be a part of the Physician Assistant Program at Des Moines University beginning in May.

Grace Erickson, Graduating Student of the Semester, Apparel Merchandising and Design

Grace Erickson is this year’s graduating student of the semester. She is from Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, and graduating cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in apparel, merchandising and design with a minor in journalism.

She has held a director position for five semesters with TREND magazine, a student-run publication focusing on fashion, beauty, body and lifestyle for women and men in the Iowa State community. Erickson has also been a modeling director for The Fashion Show, conducting biweekly practices and training over 70 models in proper runway techniques. She also served as president of the Sports Media Club. Erickson is a self-motivated learner and taught herself to speak, read and write Korean before she studied abroad in South Korea. Her future plans are to work as a social media coordinator for an apparel company.

Madison Considine, Dean’s Recognition Award, Elementary Education

Madison Considine of Naperville, Illinois, is being honored with the dean’s recognition award. She is graduating summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and endorsements in reading and ESL. She is also minoring in learning technologies. Considine has served as a technology intern in a middle school, worked as an undergraduate teaching assistant in the Iowa State Department of Mathematics, as well as served as a lead teacher for a childcare center. Further demonstrating her traits of becoming an inspiring teacher, she also initiated a tutoring service for elementary-age children where she prepared lessons, provided instructions, and ensured families stayed informed about their student’s progress. Considine plans to teach in a Salt Lake City school district for the 2022-2023 school year.

Alexis Gourrier, Dean’s Recognition Award, Human Development and Family Studies

Alexis Gourrier of Las Vegas, Nevada, is being honored with the dean’s recognition award. She is graduating summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in human development and family studies and a specialty in child life. She is an exemplary academic leader as well as a dual-sport student-athlete. She has balanced a full-time academic course load while also attending 30-hour weeks of athletic responsibilities.

Furthermore, Gourrier worked as a ChildServe Medical Day Health Assistant and as a homeschool teacher for first and fourth-grade students. While impressing her fellow classmates, faculty and staff with the ability to be flexible with her athletics and course work, she also showed a great passion for working with children. Gourrier plans to attend Central Michigan in the spring of 2022 and get a master’s degree in counseling.

Emory Wildowski, Dean’s Recognition Award, Event Management

Emory Wildowski of Urbandale, Iowa, is being honored with the dean’s recognition award. Wildowski is graduating magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in event management. She worked as an events intern for Center Grove Orchard and Waveland Golf Course, where she would speak with clients and plan their events. She was also in charge of planning events for her sorority. Wildowski has multiple, positive characteristics and always seeks more than one way to achieve things. She also has shown strong communication skills and reliance to get the job done. After graduation, she will work as an event coordinator at the Ames Chamber of Commerce.