Sharon Miller Rodine

Honored by:Virgil and Cheryl Miller
Brick location:B:10  map

In the spring of 1992, after learning that the renovation of Old Botany into Carrie Chapman Catt Hall might be removed from the ISU Foundation's capital campaign due to lack of donor response, Sharon Miller Rodine wrote to Iowa State University President Martin Jischke suggesting the idea for the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics... to give "life" to a project bearing Catt's name. The Center was to provide leadership development and educational opportunities for high school and college students, as well as others across Iowa interested in politics public policy and public sector leadership. The concept was to blend the academic resources of the university with the career experiences of alumni and leaders from the public and private sectors.

Rodine presented the idea for the Center to the ISU Political Science Alumni Advisory Board at their meeting in the spring of 1992, where it was overwhelmingly approved. Though anchored in the Political Science Department, the Center was to be a truly multi-disciplinary program that involved the many other academic areas impacting government and public policy, such as business, economics, communication, and management. The Political Science Department, President Jischke and administrators at Iowa State were very receptive to the idea of the Center. It received a "green light" all the way from the Political Science Alumni Advisory Board to the Iowa Board of Regents.

In announcing the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics at the Order of the Knoll dinner on September 25, 1992, Sharon Rodine said:

"The causes to which Carrie Chapman Call dedicated her life -- involving women in the political process, educating voters, and promoting world peace -are as critically important in 1992 as they were in 1892... and perhaps more so.

Thus, the concept was born of creating a dynamic, program-oriented Carrie Chapman Call Center as a living memorial to her life's work. The idea was discussed during the Iowa State Political Science Alumni Advisory Board meeting in Washington, DC, last spring.. and has been received with great enthusiasm by the faculty, officials, alumni, and students at Iowa State. What started as an idea in the spring, becomes a reality tonight. President Jischke has informed me that just this week the Iowa Board of regents gave their approval to the creation of this center. This is a major step and I would like to thank President Jischke for his strong support and hard work in getting this program through the approval stage.

The lifetime achievements of Carrie Chapman Call provide an exciting foundation for the development of the Center named in her honor. The Center will offer educational opportunities for women and men who are interested in politics, public policy, and careers in the public sector. It will foster research by faculty and students. It will serve as a resource for the State of Iowa. And it will provide a wide variety of programs featuring national and international scholars and public figures.”

For over 20 years Sharon Miller Rodine, has been a leader in organizations focused on the needs of young people and women. From 1989-91, she served as President of the National Women's Political Caucus in Washington, DC. In that role, she traveled extensively, working to recruit, train, and develop support for women candidates and elected officials at the local, state, and national levels. This position followed years of involvement with the Caucus at the national level and in Texas, where she served as Chair of the Tarrant County Women's Political Caucus in Fort Worth.

From 1985-88, Rodine was the Executive Director of the National Organization on Adolescent Pregnancy and Parenting in the Washington, DC, area and co-authored two books on teen pregnancy prevention, Teen Pregnancy Challenge: Strategies for Change and Teen Pregnancy Challenge: Programs for Kids. Prior to that position, she served as the Director of the Texas Association Concerned with School Age Parents, a statewide teen pregnancy prevention network (1981-85), and was the Director of the Downtown Branch YWCA in Houston, Texas (1973-81). In 1979, she was selected to represent the YWCA of the USA at the YWCA World Council in Athens, Greece.

During 1992, Rodine was one of 100 women from across the country selected to participate in Leadership America, a program for women leaders from the public and private sectors. Over the years, she has helped establish a number of local and state leadership programs for women around the country.

Rodine is a member of the Board of Governors for the Iowa State University Foundation and the Iowa State University Political Science Alumni Advisory Board. In 1992, she received the university's highest Alumni Association award, the Distinguished Achievement Citation, for her volunteer and public service activities.

In addition to helping establish the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics at Iowa State, she is co-chairing the fundraising efforts for the Center, serves on the long-range planning committee, and has been a speaker at many Catt Center events.

Most recently, Rodine was appointed to the Advisory Board for the Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women. She was also appointed by the governor to the Oklahoma Interagency Coordinating Council for Teen Pregnancy Prevention. In addition to her numerous speaking engagements and training programs, Rodine is a program consultant with the Oklahoma State Department of Health, coordinating statewide projects related to teen pregnancy prevention.

Rodine received her B.S. degree from Iowa State University in 1971 with a double major in Political Science and American History. In 1981, she received an M.Ed. in Adult Education from Texas A & M University. She is the daughter of Virgil A. and Cheryl Miller of Ames and attended school in Ogden, graduating as valedictorian of her class in 1967.

She is married to Richard Rodine (ISU ’73) and has two sons, Brent and Michael. She and her family live in Norman, Oklahoma, where she established the Norman PTA Council and served as its first president and as a member of the State PTA Board. An active public speaker and organization leader, Rodine is, above all, a dedicated advocate on issues of concern to women, young people, and families.   

Submitted 12/14/94