Dr. Ellyn Bartges, ’85, Recognized as Our Distinguished Alumna

Ellyn Bartges (middle) accepts an Outstanding Alumna Award from Simon Cordery (left), professor and chair of the Department of History at Iowa State University, and Beate Schmittmann (right), dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Iowa State University.

At the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Alumni Honors and Awards Ceremony on Thursday, 27 October 2017, Dr. Ellyn Bartges was named Department of History Distinguished Alumna. A 1985 graduate from ISU, Dr. Bartges has fused her passions for history, equity, and social justice with a lifetime of playing and coaching sports into a fulfilling career in higher education. She is a proud Iowa State University history alumna who played tennis for the Cyclones. After graduation, she coached college basketball and softball at Penn State and UNC-Charlotte. Following her collegiate coaching career, Bartges worked for eight years as an assistant librarian and high school basketball and tennis coach in her native Illinois. In 2001, she returned to higher education in the Affirmative Action office at Western Illinois University. While at WIU, Ellyn earned her M.A. in history. That work culminated in a curated oral history collection of 34 interviews on Illinois girls’ basketball housed at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum in Springfield, IL. Eager to continue her studies related to history and athletics, Dr. Bartges earned a Ph.D. in Sport History (minor in Gender and Women’s Studies) from the Kinesiology department at the University of Illinois. Ellyn is currently the Director of Equity & Affirmative Action as well as Title IX, ADA, and Chief Diversity Officers at St. Cloud State University. Dr. Bartges has made presentations and been published in academic outlets such as the North American Society for Sport History and the Journal of Sport History. She and her spouse, Dr. Laura Finch, are life members of the Iowa State Alumni Association and members of the Order of the Knoll.