Amberly J. Ehret

Amberly strengthens diversity at Iowa State

Amberly grew up in a small town in Iowa with little diversity. Initially after coming to Iowa State, she believed the university, too, lacked diversity. However, she quickly dismissed her first impression.

“After taking a closer look, I found more opportunities to get involved and meet different people — which is cool about Iowa State,” she said.

Inspired to get more involved with diversity on campus, she joined the Diversity, Equity, and Community Committee. Among other things, the committee strives to gauge the climate of the college and to create an environment that caters to all people.

During the summer of her junior year, she attended Camp Pride — a leadership camp that aims to build leadership skills among “LGBTQ and ally undergraduate college students and to create safer and more inclusive campus communities.”  At camp, Amberly worked to implement gender neutral bathrooms.

“It’s important to encompass all diversity,” she said. “Challenge yourself to learn about different types of adversities and how to bridge the gap on campus.”

Wanting to continue her involvement, Amberly joined ISU Leaders in Education and Diversity (ILEAD) her sophomore year. The more she got involved with ILEAD the more she realized her desire to change her major.

Originally studying English education, Amberly switched into child, adult, and family services. Although she loved education, she felt her new program better aligned with her ambition.

“With child, adult, and family services its comprehensive,” she said. “It looks from birth to death. I’m not limited to K-12. I can work in everything from a summer camp to a nursing home.”

Through her involvement at Iowa State, Amberly strengthened her passion for inclusion, the desire for helping, and understanding of others. Her ultimate goal is to become a research professor, studying economic hardships and how it affects families on an individual level.

“The world is a big place, but we’re all the same,” she said. “Cohesion equals change and innovation, and that won’t happen without people’s collaboration and work on the same goals.”