Dianne Bystrom announces retirement from Carrie Chapman Catt center


Dianne Bystrom is the director of the Carrie Chapman Catt Center.

Caitlin Yamada

Dianne Bystrom, director of the Carrie Chapman Catt Center, announced her retirement Friday morning after 22 years.

Bystrom has served as the director of the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics at Iowa State since 1996.

In her time here, she founded Iowa State’s interdisciplinary undergraduate Leadership Studies Program and has taught numerous courses including, Women and Leadership and Women and Politics. Bystrom has also spoke on numerous occasions.

She earned a bachelor’s in journalism in 1975 from Kearney State College and a master’s in journalism and mass communication in 1982 and a doctorate in communication in 1995 from the University of Oklahoma.

Before coming to Iowa State, Bystrom worked for 17 years at the University of Oklahoma in public relations, higher education administration and political communication.

Over the years she has won many awards including the Martin Luther King Jr. Advancing One Community Faculty/Staff Award in 2016, the Faculty-Staff Inspiration Award from the Alumni Association in 2015 and the Institutional Service Award from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in 2014. Along with this, she was also the first recipient of the Iowa Network for Women in Higher Education’s Distinguished Higher Education Leadership Award in 2016.

In August of 2017, Bystrom was a 2017 Women of Influence Honoree by the Des Moines Business Record.