AMES, Iowa — Abby Tornow will represent the Iowa State University College of Design as its student marshal at the university’s Fall 2021 undergraduate commencement ceremony Saturday, Dec. 18, at Hilton Coliseum. Her faculty escort will be Rob Whitehead, associate professor of architecture.

Tornow, from Kalona, will graduate summa cum laude with a bachelor of architecture and a minor in sustainability. She has been on the Dean’s List and in the top 2% of her class every semester at Iowa State.

A recognized leader on campus, Tornow served as president of Alpha Sigma Kappa – Women in Technical Studies as well as the sorority’s vice president of scholarship and College Panhellenic Council vice president of scholarship. She was a member of the University Honors Program, Order of Omega leadership honor society and Iowa Women in Architecture Students.

During her time at Iowa State, Tornow also served as a peer mentor for the Design Collaborative Learning Community in the College of Design, a seminar leader for the First-Year Honors Program and a team leader for Destination Iowa State. She volunteered with Scout It Out, ASKakes and Walk to End Alzheimer’s as well as community service events for ISU Homecoming and Greek Week.

Tornow completed summer internships with Carlson Design Team in 2018, Heery a SLAM Studio in 2019, Shive-Hattery in 2020 and CMBA Architects in 2021. After graduation, she will join Shive-Hattery’s Iowa City office as a full-time intern architect working to become a licensed architect.

Tornow chose Whitehead to be her faculty escort for commencement because “he gave me the knowledge to tackle architecture both technically and conceptually. He guided me to find my own interests and strengths within architectural practice and in my own life,” she said.

She is the daughter of Sherry and David Tornow of Kalona and a 2017 graduate of Mid-Prairie High School in Wellman.


Abby Tornow, Architecture graduating senior, altornow@iastate.edu
Rob Whitehead, Architecture, rwhitehd@iastate.edu
Heather Sauer, Design Communications, 515-294-9289, hsauer@iastate.edu