College of Human Sciences honors fall 2022 graduates


Iowa State University will hold commencement for graduates on Dec. 16 and 17. As part of the weekend, the College of Human Sciences will hold convocation at 1 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 16. This ceremony will give students and guests a more individualized celebration and it’s also where the college will honor the following graduates with awards as well as honor Eden Montang with a posthumous degree.

University Marshal: Rachel Vander Hart

Rachel Vander Hart is graduating summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology and Health and minors in Business and Psychology. Not only has she maintained an exceptional academic record, she spent time as an undergraduate research assistant in the Physical Activity Epidemiology lab contributing to a study centered around physical activity and aging. Rachel was sought out to be an undergraduate teaching assistant because of her exceptional leadership skills. She was also part of the Cyclone soccer team where she contributed both on and off the field. She served in several leadership roles, leading her fellow student athletes and giving back to the community. Rachel was accepted into her top choice for physical therapy school and plans to attend Des Moines University.

College Marshal: Emily Bonnett

Emily Bonnett is graduating summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, a minor in Learning technologies and endorsements in reading, math and special education. Emily took her education a step further and earned her Iowa Substitute Teaching Authorization as well as completed Dyslexia Training during her time at Iowa State. On campus, she gave back to the community by being a leader of Iowa State’s Dance Marathon Team and was an active member of her sorority. She also helped her fellow classmates by serving as a proctor in the Iowa State Testing Center. Emily plans to enter the field of education as a teacher where her goal is to create an inclusive classroom where all students can learn and grow.

Dean’s Recognition Award: Skylar Bundridge

Skylar Bundridge is graduating summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Event Management and a minor in Public Relations. She has maintained an exceptional academic record and started her own business, Sky Ivy Designs. Her apparel and accessory lines are top sellers in the on-campus retail store, Innovate 1858. Skylar hit the ground running right out of high school as an intern assisting with a hospital foundation gala. From there, she went on to intern for a large-scale event planner in Kansas City. Combining her passion, entrepreneurial drive and innovative spirit, Sklyar is an exemplary student ready to make an impact in her future career.

Dean’s Recognition Award: Katie Lee

Katie Lee is graduating magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. After graduating from Des Moines Area Community College with an associate degree in nursing, she began her nursing career during the COVID-19 pandemic. Katie started the RN-to-BSN program in August 2020 and then took a position at an acute care facility that required a one-year residency. Despite the career requirement of a residency program and the challenges of COVID-19, Katie persisted toward the completion of her BSN. She’s graduating with an exceptional academic record as a first-generation, nontraditional nursing student. Katie is currently a travel nurse, filling the need for quality patient care amidst the nurse staffing shortage.

Dean’s Recognition Award: Reece Nielsen

Reece Nielsen is graduating summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Financial Counseling and Planning and a minor in General Business. Driven to help others succeed, he has been a student leader in Navigators and served as a teacher’s assistant. Reece engaged in the necessary training to become a Volunteer Income Tax Assistant where he prepared tax returns for low-incoming individuals and families. He has also attained the rank of Eagle Scout and spent time as a program director for a summer camp. Combining a passion for people with his financial knowledge, Reece is well positioned for a career in helping others.

Graduating Student of the Semester: Layne Collum

Layne Collum is graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology and Health. Nominated by her peers, Layne goes out of her way to engage with others. She’s welcomed first-year students as a Destination Iowa State team leader and served as a teaching assistant in the biology department. Layne also spent a spring break with the Pay It Forward club traveling to several states doing volunteer work. Exceptional grades and a drive to help others succeed will serve Layne well as she pursues an advanced degree in physical therapy.

Posthumous Degree: Eden Montang

Eden was eager to begin the fall 2022 semester at Iowa State University as a senior, majoring in human development and family studies.  Her ambition after graduating was to become a social worker and assist children with special needs.  Eden had a passion for the deaf culture and served as a teaching assistant for sign language courses at Iowa State.  She dreamed of someday getting married and having a family that included adopting special needs children, specifically deaf children.

After graduating from Boone High School, Eden attended massage therapy school in New Mexico.  Upon receiving her certification, she returned to Iowa, joined the Iowa National Guard and began attending Iowa State University.

Eden was unique and gifted in her ability to be both strong and tender, creative and conservative, and she was unmatched in her generosity and empathy.  She was also intellectually gifted, articulate, and confident.  She celebrated life, enjoying hard work, music, reading, writing, traveling, dancing and spending time outdoors.  However, she treasured her faith, family and friendships most. Eden developed and cherished a powerful, Godly friendship.  During difficult times, she leaned on the Bible verse Proverbs 23:9:  “Don’t waste your breath on fools, for they will despise the wisest advice.”  

Unrelenting in her values and strong sense of right and wrong, Eden’s advice to others was to look, seek and find solid friends who would walk beside you, hold you accountable, guide you and pray with you.

Eden will be honored with a posthumous degree during the College of Human Sciences Convocation ceremony.