Meet the 2014 Iowa STATEment Makers: Garrett Burchett

Iowa STATEment Makers is a recognition program of the Iowa State University Alumni Association’s Young Alumni Council, honoring graduates of the past 10 years who have made strong statements in careers, entrepreneurial endeavors, academics, community service, or personal achievements. There are 17 honorees for 2014, and we’re introducing each of them to you here on the blog.

ImageDavenport, Iowa
Life Member

In 2010, Garrett (’03 community and regional planning, MS ’05) and his brother – a fellow ISU alum – took a chance on a dream and started Mississippi River Distilling Company to create home grown, handmade spirits in the Quad Cities. As evidenced by his use of local growers and farmers to help manufacture the product, Garrett is a firm believer in the family farm and in the stewardship of land and water resources. The Burchett brothers are known for emphasizing quality over quantity when making premium vodka, gin, and whiskey using a handcrafted German still. Thanks to the company’s commitment to quality, Mississippi River Distilling received the “Renew Rural Iowa” award from the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation. Its products can now be found on many store shelves in Iowa and beyond, making the company an Iowa success story after only a few short years in operation.

Garrett on…

…his favorite ISU tradition: “football tailgates”

….what would make the world a better place: “if there were more Cyclones in it!”

…the movie he’s always quoting: “The Big Lebowski”

…what’s next for him: “Continuing to build a solid business here in Iowa. We plan to expand the reaches of the Mississippi River Distilling Company to include distribution in over 30 states.”

 

 

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Five Things

Here are five things to put on your Cyclone radar this week:

1) On Friday night, students from ISU’s apparel, events, and hospitality management program held a “trashion show” at North Grand Mall. The event was designed to showcase sustainable student creativity by asking designers to create clothing from recycled materials. In honor of Earth Month, proceeds from the event were donated to the Audubon Society to support clean water projects in central Iowa.

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2) Also on Friday night was the Student Alumni Leadership Council’s fifth annual “Nearly Naked Mile,” which saw students strip off excess layers of clothing, donate them to charity, and take a run around campus to celebrate spring…and giving to a good cause. Watch for more photos from this event to be posted on our Facebook page in the coming days. They’re always ridiculous.

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nazlongisudiff3) Last week the ISU Foundation launched a new social media campaign aimed at sharing how ISU students dream of making a difference. Watch the introductory video here, and watch for the hashtag #ISUDifference on Twitter, where students are currently being encouraged to share what they hope to someday do to make a difference in the world. We’re also using #ISUDifference on our Twitter feed to show how alumni, students, and friends have been making a difference through participation in Cy’s Days of Service projects. There’s still time to submit your project. In fact, please do!

4) After the abrupt cancellation of its Stars Over Veishea production of Into the Woods earlier this month, the ISU theatre department is regrouping and gearing up for its final show of the school year — My Grandparents in the War, which opens Thursday at Fisher Theater.

5) The Iowa State men’s and women’s golf teams both finished fourth at their respective Big 12 championships last weekend, with men’s golfer Sam Daley earning runner-up medalist honors with an impressive 286 (72-74-69-71). Daley was one of three Cyclones who placed in the top 10. The women’s team had two golfers finish in the top 10. The highly-ranked women’s team had already locked up a spot in the NCAA regionals going into the conference meet, but the men’s team may very well have punched an otherwise unavailable ticket with its performance in Texas.

Meet the 2014 Iowa STATEment Makers: Erin Curtis

Iowa STATEment Makers is a recognition program of the Iowa State University Alumni Association’s Young Alumni Council, honoring graduates of the past 10 years who have made strong statements in careers, entrepreneurial endeavors, academics, community service, or personal achievements. There are 17 honorees for 2014, and we’re introducing each of them to you here on the blog.

St. Charles, Mo.
Annual Member

Curtis photoErin (’10 kinesiology and exercise science) dedicated much of her student career to serving ISU Dance Marathon – the university’s largest philanthropy, which benefits Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. In fact, she jokingly dreamed of someday becoming a “professional Dance Marathoner.” Little did she know that, just a few years later, her dream would come true. Today Erin works for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals as a Dance Marathon program manager, working to grow 60 existing programs in her territory as well as establish new ones. At the University of Oklahoma, Erin has helped grow a small, unwanted program into an incredible tradition that raised $300,000 this year. She has helped guide students at the University of Central Florida to fundraising increases of more than double in back-to-back years. Of course she gives all the credit to the students, but Erin’s personal passion for the Dance Marathon program is truly contagious and has helped her fulfill the goal of “inspiring this generation to fight for the next.”

Erin on…

…what would make the world a better place: “if Cy was president”

…her dream job: “In an absolute fantasy world, I’d love to dance in a Broadway show.”

…the everyday items she can’t live without: “Sweatpants and Diet Mountain Dew. I work from home, so my work wardrobe is pretty flexible. And I don’t drink coffee, but still need my caffeine during the day.”

…what’s next for her: “I’m really hoping to enter into a doctor of physical therapy program in the next year or two and eventually work in a pediatric hospital. Other than those career ambitions, I also want to travel the world! Top destinations on my list include Australia, anywhere in Africa, Egypt, and Greece. I’d also love to catch a baseball game in all the MLB stadiums across the U.S. – preferably when the St. Louis Cardinals are in town!”

Meet the 2014 Iowa STATEment Makers: Angela Fredericks Anderson

Iowa STATEment Makers is a recognition program of the Iowa State University Alumni Association’s Young Alumni Council, honoring graduates of the past 10 years who have made strong statements in careers, entrepreneurial endeavors, academics, community service, or personal achievements. There are 17 honorees for 2014, and we’re introducing each of them to you here on the blog.

Ankeny, Iowa
Annual Member

Anderson photoAngela (’05 public service & administration in agriculture) is the manager of food chain outreach for the National Pork Board in Des Moines – a unique position that was created with the goal of providing accurate information about pig farming after a number of food companies began banning specific on-farm practices to due activist pressure. Today she works to educate others about the industry, representing more than 69,000 American pig farmers in the process. Throughout her already-impressive career in agriculture and higher education, she has focused on service – whether it was in her position as a chapter/colony consultant for her sorority, Sigma Kappa; as an agricultural education recruiter for the University of Minnesota, where she also earned her master’s degree; or with the Iowa FFA Foundation, where directed the organization’s enrichment center and even served as interim executive director. Angela also spent 2 ½ years serving as the executive director of the Iowa Postsecondary Agricultural Student Organization, which provides leadership training and professional development for students across the state.

Angela on…

…her favorite college memory: “Serving on the Collegiate Panhellenic Council with 14 outstanding women from different sorority chapters on campus. These women truly have become great friends, mentors, and professional peers in my life.”

…what would make the world a better place: “If Facebook never existed! There are just some things we do not need to know about everybody.”

…the everyday item she can’t live without: “coffee”

…what she hopes to achieve: “Help define agricultural social responsibility for today’s consumers and farmers. Understanding how to bridge a gap between emotion and science toward farming practices will be critical for both the consumer and the farmer to rebuild trust in our American food system.”

 

 

Five Things

Here are five things to put on your Cyclone radar this week:

George_Washington_Carver_0826051608321) Wednesday is the Symposium to Celebrate George Washington Carver’s Legacy, an event honoring the 150th anniversary of the noted scientist and ISU alumnus’ legacy. Organized by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, the one-day event at the Scheman Building will feature speakers such as U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, ISU President Steven Leath, George Washington Carver Endowed Chair and Professor of Agronomy Andrew Manu, Tuskegee University provost Walter Hill, and DuPont Pioneer president Paul Schickler. An afternoon panel discussion will focus on how to develop and nurture the “future Carvers” — current and prospective students in agricultural sciences.

2) President Leath has named his VEISHEA Task Force, which will be chaired by vice president for student affairs Tom Hill — who helped guide the university through the aftermath of the 2004 riots. Another “VEISHEA disturbance alum” on the task force will be Sophia Magill, who currently works in federal relations for ISU but was GSB president in 2004. Magill played an integral role on the task force 10 years ago. You can view a full list of task force members here. Leath has asked for the group to make its recommendations by the end of June.

3) How cool is Melvin Ejim, really? First he was named the Big 12 men’s basketball player of the year, then last week came the news that he’s also the Big 12 men’s basketball scholar-athlete of the year (for the second year in a row). If he’s not the epitome of a student-athlete, we don’t know who is.

4) There are lots of ways natural beings respond to climate change, but shrinking in size? According to ISU professor of ecology, evolution, and organismal biology Dean Adams, that’s exactly what salamanders are doing.

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5) The Student Alumni Leadership Council’s Senior Class Council is celebrating Senior Week this week. Today is the annual “Wieners for Senors” barbecue on central campus, and tomorrow is the grad breakfast at the Memorial Union (administrators and celebrities make omelets for graduating students). On Friday evening, the ISU Alumni Center will play host to the popular “Senior Sendoff.” (With two free Olde Main brews per person, it’s definitely the place to be.) Check out the Senior Week Web page here. In conjunction with the week, we’re also having our biannual Young Alumni Council meeting on campus Friday and Saturday.

Meet the 2014 Iowa STATEment Makers: Jeremy Swanson

Iowa STATEment Makers is a recognition program of the Iowa State University Alumni Association’s Young Alumni Council, honoring graduates of the past 10 years who have made strong statements in careers, entrepreneurial endeavors, academics, community service, or personal achievements. There are 17 honorees for 2014, and we’re introducing each of them to you here on the blog.

Swanson photo NEW

Lehigh, Iowa

When it comes to advocating for agriculture, Jeremy (’05 agricultural systems technology) exhibits a quiet leadership that is really making a difference. An ag precision specialist for Mickelson Seeds, Jeremy also serves as chair of the Iowa Farm Bureau Young Farmer Advisory Committee and is a member of the Webster County Farm Bureau Board. He works every day to create a networking community for Iowa’s farmers. He uses the information he gains to develop programming and opportunities for young farmers, including programs on environmental education, estate planning, policy and advocacy, and more. In addition to his service to the farming community, Jeremy volunteers in his community in many ways, including as a judge and volunteer for the Boone County Aerospace Interest Group, a 4-H program he helped develop with the goal of growing youth interest in STEM fields. He also manages the volunteers who drive the “tractor trolleys” at all ISU home football games.

Jeremy on…

…his favorite ISU tradition: “Hilton Magic”

…his favorite college memory: “traveling with the pep band to the NIT Final 4 with the men’s basketball team”

…the everyday item he can’t live without: “Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups”

…his life goal: “My goal is to be able to help my children or another young person get started farming some day.”

 

 

Meet the 2014 Iowa STATEment Makers: Matt England

Iowa STATEment Makers is a recognition program of the Iowa State University Alumni Association’s Young Alumni Council, honoring graduates of the past 10 years who have made strong statements in careers, entrepreneurial endeavors, academics, community service, or personal achievements. There are 17 honorees for 2014, and we’re introducing each of them to you here on the blog.

England photo

Seattle, Wash.
Annual Member

After graduation Matt (’11 aerospace engr) was set to start his life in the Midwest, but late in his career decision-making process the Boeing Company (a company he called one of the most inspiring in the world when he visited as a youngster) came in and made him an offer he couldn’t refuse: working as a flight test engineer on the 787 Dreamliner. Matt now travels the western United States testing what he describes as “magnificent $300 million machines.” While he does have a desk in a Boeing facility in Seattle, his office is essentially a workstation in a 787 Dreamliner, on which he studies flight maneuvers such as stalls, high-banked turns, and roller coasters. He has visited much of the western United States and even Alaska and Hawaii for his work. But although he’s often miles away and high up in the air, he remains connected to his alma mater as president of the ISU Alumni Association Club of Seattle. He was featured in the VISIONS Across America project this spring as a representative of the state of Washington.

Matt on…

…his favorite spot on the ISU campus: “The Knoll”

…his favorite college memory: “Countless memories at Acacia Fraternity. Too many to name specifically.”

…his favorite app: “Flappy Bird. The Mayor’s score was INSANELY good; I’m still embarrassingly stuck at 38.”

…his favorite quote: “’Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.’ – Abraham Lincoln”