Danielle Bates, an undergraduate student and Culver Fellow at Simpson College, is an accomplished leader in student civic engagement. As a Vote Everywhere Ambassador for the Andrew Goodman Foundation, she has led successful voter registration drives, organized voter engagement programs on campus, and shared her insights with other student leaders at national and statewide conferences. She has participated in the National Campaign for Political & Civic Engagement organized by the Harvard Institute of Politics, sharing her collaborative leadership approach with peers nationwide. She has excelled in Model UN competitions and is an active student member of the Des Moines Committee on Foreign Relations. As an intern with the Governance Office of the Brookings Institution, she contributed to important new research on American politics and Congress. Bates aspires to a career in diplomacy, drawing upon her studies in international relations, political science, religion, and French.
My involvement in high school debate fueled an eagerness to learn more about civic involvement and the issues that divide the nation. Now, as a Fellow with the John C. Culver Public Policy Center I work with other Fellows, College Democrats and College Republicans to build civic engagement by the student body. I am an Andrew Goodman Foundation (AGF) Vote Everywhere Ambassador and by participating in this organization, I became more concerned with the obstacles to voting certain groups encounter. A new Voter ID Bill in Iowa presents a roadblock for college students. This has been a motivating force in efforts to ensure voting accessibility. I am partnering with the administration and other students to institutionalize voter registration for students when they move in. I collaborated with civically minded individuals from across the nation at the 2017 Harvard IOP's National Campaign for Political and Civic Engagement which had the goal, #ReconnectUs, to fight the growing polarization in this country. More recently I attended the Iowa Civic Action Academy to build skills in civic engagement. Working with a diverse set of people taught me valuable tools and techniques to share and implement in efforts to increase engagement and minimize polarization.