Special recognition will go to five fall 2020 graduating seniors: from left, university marshal Belange Mutunda; college marshal Kailey Elliott-Jorgensen; and Dean’s Recognition awardees, Sarah Drozdowicz, Katherine Owens, and Mikayla Weron. The virtual fall 2020 convocation for graduating seniors will premier at 10 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 28.

College of Human Sciences honors fall 2020 graduating seniors

The Iowa State University College of Human Sciences will honor fall 2020 graduating seniors individually in a virtual event celebrating their accomplishments. The event will go live at 10 a.m. CST on Saturday, Nov. 28, at www.hs.iastate.edu/isu-graduation-chs-convocation. A recording will be available for viewing at the same webpage after the live event. 

Laura Jolly, dean and Dean's Chair of the College of Human Sciences, will host the event and introduce others, who include department chairs and student speakers. Graduating seniors will be recognized individually, along with statements they have chosen to share.

Five graduating seniors receiving special honors for their outstanding academic performance and leadership, will also be recognized. These awardees include: university marshal Belange Mutunda; college marshal Kailey Elliott-Jorgensen; and Dean’s Recognition awardees, Sarah Drozdowicz, Katherine Owens, and Mikayla Weron.

Belange Mutunda of Likasi, D.R. Congo, will represent the College of Human Sciences as marshal at the university commencement ceremony. She will also deliver an address at the college convocation event. Mutanda is graduating magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in apparel, merchandising, and design, with a focus on creative and technical design. She has been named to the dean’s list multiple times and involved in many events and clubs both on and off-campus. These include various fashion shows across the U.S., the Fashion Scholarship Fund national case study competition, and entity start-up contests hosted by the ISU Pappajohn Center of Entrepreneurship. Mutunda is the founder and fashion designer of an e-commerce business, Belange Handmade, which sells fashion goods and also provides sanitary products for low-income women. After graduation, Mutunda plans to expand her business and bring in interns, whom she will help teach how to run a business and work in fashion design. 

Kailey Elliott-Jorgensen of Webster City, Iowa, has been named the fall 2020 college marshal for the College of Human Sciences and will deliver an address during the college convocation event. She is graduating summa cum laude from the elementary education program in the School of Education. Professors and advisers praise her academic performance, committed involvement in student organizations, and volunteer work. Beyond required fieldwork, Elliott-Jorgensen has worked with children in organizations including Best Buddies and Special Olympics. She also served as a paraprofessional teacher in the Webster City School District. On the Iowa State campus, Elliott-Jorgensen served as vice president of the Body Image and Eating Disorder Awareness Club, worked as a group fitness instructor at ISU Recreation Services, and promoted study strategies to student-athletes in the Office of Student-Athlete Development. She has accepted a job at the Horizon Elementary School in Johnston, Iowa.

Sarah Drozdowicz, of Elm Grove, Wisconsin, is one of three students receiving the Dean’s Recognition Award. Drozdowicz is graduating magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education unified and an endorsement in special education.  She has been on the dean’s list consistently and has served in multiple positions that helped her grow as an educator and leader. She was awarded first place in the Unit Plan Challenge, a competition coordinated by the Iowa Department of Education in which education students designed social studies lesson plans. Drozdowicz has worked as a lead teacher at a kindergarten preparatory school, lead teacher at a childcare center, and a Camp Adventure intern in a preschool room. She has also sharpened her leadership skills through involvement in many student and service organizations. Drozdowicz aims have her own classroom where she provides enriching educational experiences for children.


Katherine Owens, of Cincinnati, Iowa, is receiving the Dean’s Recognition Award this fall. Owens is graduating magna cum laude with a bachelor's degree in dietetics. As a consecutive dean’s list awardee, she has excelled both academically and professionally. Owens held a supervisory role at Fareway and was awarded the Fareway Shining Star award in 2017 for exceptional customer service. Owens remains civically engaged, volunteering often in the Hospital Elder Life Program at United Methodist Medical Center, where she learned to love clinical work. After graduation, she plans to become a Registered Dietitian and work in clinical nutrition.


Mikayla Weron of Geneva, Illinois, is receiving the Dean’s Recognition Award. Weron is graduating magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology and health, with a pre-health option on the physician assistant track. She has been deeply involved in the Kinesiology and Health Club, The SHOP food pantry, the Honors Program, and the ISU Neurophysiology Research Lab. She served as a CNA at Northridge Village in Ames as well as at NHC Healthcare Franklin in Franklin, Tennessee. After graduation, Weron plans to continue to work as a CNA while preparing to attend graduate school to become a physician assistant.