YWCA Ames at ISU Board of Directors
Cristina Pardo-Ballester, President
Cristina grew up in Granada, Spain. She graduated from the University of Granada in 1996 with a degree in Translation and Interpretation. She continued her studies in Nevada and California. She is currently an Associate Professor of Hispanic Linguistics in the Department of World Languages and Cultures. Her research interests center on Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL), Second Language Acquisition (SLA), language assessment, and translation studies. She joined YWCA-Ames in 2020. She loves to take long walks with Nina, her dog, and pet Julieta, her 16 years old cat. Among other things she likes to do is to travel and spend time with her family.
You can reach Cristina at:
Navya Mannengi, Vice President
Navya serves as the Director for International Student Success for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Iowa State University. She received her Professional Masters of Business Administration degree from the University of Iowa. She was born in Hyderabad, India and moved to Iowa City, Iowa with her family when she was 5 years old. As a child of immigrants, Navya is passionate about increasing global engagement, creating inclusive environments, and promoting growth and well-being for students. Outside of work and school, you can spot Navya spending time cooking, watching movies, and finding new things to try and do in the Des Moines area.
You can reach Navya at:
Katherine Kealey, Secretary
Katherine is a senior majoring in journalism and political science at Iowa State University. Since beginning reporting at 15, Katherine has covered local, state and national politics, food insecurity and education. She now serves as the editor-in-chief of the Iowa State Daily. Katherine was also an intern for the Carroll Times Herald and the Iowa Capital Dispatch. After graduating, she hopes to continue reporting on public affairs for a non-profit publication. In her free time, Katherine enjoys listening to music and rollerblading.
You can reach Katherine at:
April Miller, Treasurer
April Miller graduated from Iowa State University with degrees in Accounting and Management. She currently works at Renewable Energy Group as a member of the Tax Accounting team. Alongside her employment, April is enrolled in the Masters of Accounting program at Iowa State University and is pursuing her CPA certification. April has dedicated her time over the past six years to various clubs and organizations that focus on empowering women and is excited to continue those efforts with YWCA. In her spare time, April enjoys spending time with her dog, Lily, and partner, Treven, on their farm. She also enjoys cooking, crafting, and doing puzzles in her alone time.
You can reach April at:
Michelle DeMarie is a self-employed, licensed massage therapist in Ames. She grew up in SE Iowa and moved to Ames in 2004. After spending almost 20 years working in the financial services industry; she decided to pursue a profession that aligned more closely with her desire to help others in a caregiving role. She graduated from BodyWisdom Massage Therapy School located in Urbandale in 2016, and is also on faculty teaching geriatric and hospice massage once a year. Michelle is married to Sam, who is a professor at Iowa State University in the College of Business. They have 4 sons along with their partners and spouses, 5 grandchildren, 2 very spoiled rescue dogs and 2 guinea pigs. In her free time Michelle enjoys spending time with family and friends, walking her dogs, yoga, painting kindness rocks, volunteering as an animal rescue transport driver and for Mary Greeley Hospice, wine tastings, cooking, hiking, kayaking and traveling.
You can reach Michelle at:
Natalia grew up in Galicia, Spain. She holds a BA in Art History from the University of Santiago de Compostela, and a Master's degree in Education from the Valencia International University. She moved to Philadelphia in 2017, and started to be involved in the international community by volunteering at the International House of Philadelphia. Natalia also worked as a Spanish instructor at the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University. In 2021, after having the most beautiful baby, Martín, she moved with her family to Ames. Currently, she is a Spanish Teaching Professor in the Department of World Languages and Cultures at ISU. Her interests include arts, second language acquisition, and raising bilingual kids. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, traveling, and watching movies.
You can reach Natalia at:
You can reach Taline at: