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Undergraduate Ambassadors

Student Ambassadors meet with prospective students interested in pursuing English as a degree, and they also help the department with prospective student outreach events. Our current Student Ambassadors thrive both within the English Department and the community, and they are here as a resource for anyone who wants to learn about their experiences as English students at the University of Iowa. If you are seeking insider-English-major information, they are the ones to ask! 

To find out more information or schedule a visit with a Student Ambassador, contact Kate Torno at kate-torno@uiowa.edu. To apply to be an ambassador, please fill out this form and put in Kate's mailbox in 310 or deliver to her via email.  Application

Madeline Berner
Madeline Berner

Madeline Berner is a senior from Keokuk, Iowa double majoring in English/creative writing and graphic design with a certificate in literary publishing. She is currently a co-president of the English Society and an art editor for earthwords: the undergraduate literary review. She also works for the CLAS equipment checkout center. During her junior year, she spent a semester studying abroad in Wales. Madeline loves books, cats, Taylor Swift, and chocolate. 

Cassie Birk
Cassie Birk

Cassie Birk is a senior from the Portland Oregon area double majoring in English Creative Writing on the Publishing track and Linguistics and double minoring in Theater and Comparative Literature. She works both on and off campus as a barista/bookseller by day and a bartender at night. She’s had poems published in multiple off campus magazines and is a genre editor for earthwords: the undergraduate literary review. Through the publishing track, she’s done a lot of work in book design. Her proudest moment was seeing a book with her cover design get a launch party at Prairie Lights. She’s spent a summer abroad in Dublin, Ireland and another back in Iowa City as a graphic design intern for Summer of the Arts. She spends her free time on the quidditch pitch as a beater for the Iowa Quidditch Club or trying to complete her quest of reading all the books in Terry Pratchett's Discworld series.

Alex Chasteen
Alex Chasteen

Alex Chasteen is a senior from southern California studying English & Creative Writing with a Literary Publishing track and minors in French and Philosophy. Recently returned from a year abroad at the University of Oxford, she is currently the editor in chief of earthwords, a Writing Fellow, secretary of the ATI English Honor Society, and an intern at The Iowa Review. She has previously served on the Ink Lit Mag staff, the English Society board, and completed internships with the Iowa Youth Writing Project, the Iowa Summer Writing Festival, and Rescue Press. She's just as curious as you are about what she plans to do after graduation, but hopes to continue writing fiction on the side wherever she ends up. 

Kit Fitzgerald
Kit Fitzgerald

Kit Fitzgerald (katherine-fitzgerald@uiowa.edu) is from the suburbs of Chicago and came to the University of Iowa to study English and Creative Writing with a focus in social media marketing. Kit has been a reporter for the Daily Iowan newspaper, a member of English Society, contributes to several writing groups, and regularly participates in events hosted by Bijou film board, Dey House, and Prairie Lights.

Hannah Gellman photo
Hannah Gellman

Hannah Gellman (Hannah-Gellman@uiowa.edu) is an English and Creative Writing major from League City, Texas. Hannah plays the mellophone in the Hawkeye Marching Band and has played the French horn in the university Concert Band. She is also a member of the University Lecture Committee, where she has helped bring people such as Lois Lowry, Ana Navarro, and Leslie Odom, Jr. to speak on campus. Through the English Department’s Publishing track, Hannah has both edited and designed a chapbook for the inaugural Iowa Chapbook Prize and helped put together Circuitry, a one volume student-run literary magazine. She has had her own work published in the campus literary magazines Ink Lit Mag and earthwords: the undergraduate literary review. Hannah is a senior also minoring in Arabic who studied abroad in Morocco. She is applying for a Fulbright Scholarship and hopes to teach English in Morocco after graduation. 

Tess Koetting

Tess Koetting (tess-koetting@uiowa.edu) is a senior from Texas majoring in English with the Publishing Track. She is currently a drama editor at earthwords: the undergraduate literary review and has served in various positions at Ink Lit Mag in the past. She has spent the last year studying abroad in Ireland, first attending UCC in Cork and then working as an intern in Dublin. She enjoys studying folklore, comparative mythology, and trashy science fiction.

Allison Paltzer
Allison Paltzer

Allie Paltzer (Allison-paltzer@uiowa.edu) is a junior double majoring in English & Creative Writing and Biology on the Biotechnology and Genetics track. She is in the honors college at University of Iowa. Allie is involved in epilepsy research on campus and serves as the president of her sorority, Alpha Delta Pi. She is also a member of the Personal Genome Learning Center, creating events for the Iowa City DNA Interest Group. You can find her wandering the shelves of Prairie Lights, kayaking, and carrying whatever fiction book she picked up recently.

Rachel Zingg
Rachel Zingg

Rachel Zingg (rachel-zingg@uiowa.edu) is a senior majoring in English and Cinema and minoring in Economics. Rachel works as a Writing Fellow for the university's Writing Center and serves on the executive board of Phi Alpha Delta, a pre-law fraternity on campus. She will also be working as a student ambassador for the Cinema Department this year!