Elise Sturgeon

Simpson College

Elise Sturgeon, a junior student and Culver Fellow at Simpson College, is a student leader in nonpartisan civic engagement. She has been politically active from a young age and leads an array of campus organizations and initiatives focused on increasing civic and voter engagement. As a Fellow for the Campus Election Engagement Project and lead ambassador for the Andrew Goodman Foundation's Vote Everywhere program, Elise has led Simpson College to a top three national ranking by Washington Monthly magazine of the best colleges in America for student voting. Her leadership of nonpartisan voter registration drives has set a new record for student voter registration and midterm election turnout at Simpson College. She successfully adapted our campus voter engagement and outreach initiatives in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and partnered closely with our local election officials to maximize student voter turnout in the 2020 general election and provide student workers to help staff early voting sites. In addition to these leadership roles, Elise excels in Public Forum and Parliamentary debate formats as undergraduate assistant for Simpson College's PKD National Champion debate team. As a Newman Civic Fellow, she is developing new initiatives to build on Simpson's culture of civic engagement.

Marsha Kelliher
Simpson College

Personal Statement

My name is Elise Sturgeon. I am a junior Culver Fellow at Simpson College studying Political Science and Applied Philosophy with minors in Spanish, Latin American Studies, and the Honors Program. I have been politically engaged from a young age, interning for my first campaign at the age of 14 and working on multiple campaigns since. At Simpson, I have been involved in a diverse array of campus organizations and projects focused on increasing civic engagement on Simpson’s campus. While working with the Campus Election Engagement Project, I helped organize mock caucus events, major social media campaigns, and tabling events to increase student participation in the 2020 Iowa caucuses. Additionally, I was the lead Andrew Goodman Foundation Vote Everywhere ambassador during the 2020 election, directing our team through the challenges of COVID regulations while working to decrease institutional barriers to voting. I was also an SC Colloquium leader for 2 years where I have mentored groups of first year students to help them with their college transition process. Additionally, I am the Undergraduate Assistant for Simpson’s National Champion debate team. I assist with the parliamentary debate program where I lead practices twice a week to prepare our team for competitions.

Elise Sturgeon
Political Science & Applied Philosophy: Class of 22-May
written 2021

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