Clarksville, TN – Being a woman in a male-dominant field can be challenging, but that didn’t stop Isabelle Stapp from choosing political science for her studies at Austin Peay State University (APSU).
“It’s a male-dominated industry,” she said. “There’s not a lot of us, and it’s important to get everybody represented and just getting women out there.”
“I’m very busy a lot of the time,” she said. “Just doing school stuff.”
Stapp is the vice president of the Pre Law Society and president of Pi Sigma Alpha. She’s also the student leader for the Tennessee Camps Civic Summit and is involved with Omicron Delta Kappa, the Coalition for Civic Engagement and assists campus voter registration.
“I got involved because of one of my professors, Dr. (Kevin) Baron,” she said. “He’s one of my favorite professors, and he was like, ‘Hey, you should join,’ and I kind of just showed up to the meeting.”
At the meeting, the professor told her that she should run in the upcoming elections, and she did.
“I ran not expecting to get anything, and he was like ‘Oh, you’re the president, by the way,’” she said. “And I was like, ‘Oh, great.’ Like I had just started political science. It was a shock.”
Although Stapp runs on a tight schedule every day, she said the experiences are rewarding.
“I get to do a lot of stuff with the community,” Stapp said. “I work with a lot of local politicians, and I’ve met the secretary of the state and do a lot of voter registration drives. That’s a big part of it, getting people to vote and do their civic duty.”
Stapp also met many people who share similar career goals at Austin Peay State University.
“I’m here from 8 in the morning to 5 at night sometimes just doing homework and hanging out with friends, and they’ve kind of become a second family to me,” she said.
Along with amazing experiences and her friends, her success in academics and leadership roles for multiple organizations have opened opportunities for Stapp.
After Stapp graduates, she wants to go to law school and find a career as an entertainment lawyer working with musicians and actors navigating copyright laws. She also sees herself diving into politics one day.
“I want to be a corporate lawyer,” she said. “I think one of the biggest goals will be CAA Nashville, which is one of the biggest agencies in the country. They handle a lot of country music artists and stuff like that.”
Through her experiences at APSU, Stapp has built a path for success as a young woman in the male-dominant industry, and she hopes to encourage others in the field.
“I did not think I could do it and that I was not smart enough. Law seems very intimidating,” she said. “But just throw yourself in it. Do it. See what happens. I did it and I succeeded. My dad always told me, ‘You can do whatever you want if you set your mind to it.’”
I get to do a lot of stuff with the community. I work with a lot of local politicians, and I’ve met the secretary of the state and do a lot of voter registration drives. That’s a big part of it, getting people to vote and do their civic duty.
Name: Isabelle Stapp
Major: Political science
Graduation: Fall 2022
Hometown: Dallas, Texas
Affiliations: Pi Sigma Alpha-Political Science Honor Society, Pre Law Society, Omicron Delta Kappa, Coalition for Civic Engagement, TN Campus Civic Summit, assists in campus voter registration