YWCA Ames at ISU Staff



Angela Merrick, Executive Director 


Angela grew up in Iowa City, Iowa. She graduated from the University of Iowa in 2006, and has a background in journalism and nonprofit management. She became the Executive Director of the YWCA Ames-ISU in August 2011. She is married, and has three boys - an 8 year-old named Oliver, a 6 year-old named Hudson, and a 2 year-old named Liam. They also have a boxer named Mugsy. Angela spends her free-time attending her kids activities, travelling, reading, camping, fishing, swimming and spending time with family.

You can reach Angela at:

Makayla Hendry, Financial/Office Assistant


Makayla is a junior at Iowa State University double majoring in Accounting and Finance. She is from the Chicago suburbs. Makayla enjoys spending time with family and friends, being outside, boating, reading, and playing with her miniature goldendoodle puppy. She loves getting involved with her community, helping others, and volunteering.   

You can reach Makayla at:


Sydnee Ruhl, College Bound High School Mentoring Coordinator


Sydnee is a Sophomore at Iowa State University pursuing a double degree in Psychology and Criminal Justice. She was born and raised in Altoona, Iowa, but enjoys traveling outside of the state. Sydnee was a mentor for the CollegeBound program during the 2019-2020 school year. She also interned and will continue volunteering at ACCESS Assault Care Center in Ames, Iowa. Sydnee enjoys reading and watching television series' in her free time aside from playing with her Chihuahua. 


You can reach Sydnee at:

Cierra Williams, College Bound High School Mentoring Coordinator


Cierra is a Senior at Iowa State University. She is currently studying Journalism and Mass Communication, with a minor in Sociology. Hailing from Chicago, IL (west-side area, shy if 15 minutes from the downtown area), she moved to Ames with the hopes of pursuing higher education after receiving my Associates Degree. She enjoys cooking new things, bowling and hanging with my siblings. She was a mentor for the program during 2019-2020 and completely loved the experience. Cierra hopes to impact a life of someone looking to grow and experience college.

You can reach Cierra at:

Chinmayee Mankar, Global Outreach Coordinator/YWCA Graduate Assistant

Chinmayee is an International Graduate Student at Iowa State University majoring in Business Analytics. She is from Pune, India where she completed her Bachelor's in Engineering in Information Technology and has worked with Amazon and Deutsche Bank as Business Intelligence Analyst before coming here to pursue her master's degree. She has also been an active member of a non-profit organization back in India, working for women socioeconomic empowerment. Whenever she gets time, Chinmayee likes to read books and has recently taken up painting as a new hobby.  


You can reach Chinmayee at:

Olivia Lee, GIRLS Power Mentoring Coordinator


Olivia is a senior at Iowa State studying Child, Adult, and Family Services with a minor in Women and Gender Studies. She is from the Des Moines area and loves spending her time painting, playing games, and listening to music. She was a mentor for the 2018-2019 school year and has been a coordinator since the 2019-2020 school year. Her favorite part in the program is spending time with her mentee and acting as a resource for others. She is passionate about equal opportunity and raising women up to their full potential.

You can reach Olivia at:


Maddy Lakomek, GIRLS Power Mentoring Coordinator


Maddy is a sophomore at Iowa State studying electrical engineering. She is from Munster, Indiana and loves being active and spending time with her family, friends, and dog. Maddy was a mentor for the 2019-2020 school year and this is her first year as a coordinator. Maddy's favorite part of the program is spending time with her mentee and being able to be a role model for so many young girls.  


You can reach Maddy at:


Cody Neeper-Burris, Student Outreach Coordinator


Cody is a current Iowa State sophomore and is majoring in Political Science. She is originally from Davenport, Iowa, and loves spending time with her friends and family, writing, and listening to music. She is highly involved in campus organizations and loves working with the community. Most importantly, she loves giving back to the community through volunteering and wants to make a difference in the world by helping underserved communities and fighting for women’s rights. 


You can reach Cody at: