Making Ames Home
Written by: Leah Whaley, Public Relations Intern
As California and New York natives, Liz McAllister and her husband Zach Lisabeth may have never pictured themselves living and working in Iowa, but after nearly four years here, Ames has become their home. Zach earned his degree from Northwestern University in Communications and continued his education pursuing his Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Iowa State University, which led Liz and Zach to Ames in 2016.
Prior to their life in Ames, Liz graduated from Pitzer College in Claremont, California with a degree in environmental studies and went on to serve for two years in AmeriCorps where she began working in youth education and development. She is currently completing her master’s degree in social and cultural studies of education from Iowa State and serves as the Director of Strategic Change Management at the Iowa State University Foundation.
In her past role, Liz she traveled frequently, and as a writer Zach travels to both Los Angeles and New York, but throughout their careers they have chosen to stay in Ames rather than relocating. The sense of community and inclusivity in Ames have been a big factor in why they have chosen to stay, and do not have plans of leaving anytime soon. “For the foreseeable future, I see us here,” said McAllister “Ames is a calm and comfortable place to call home.”
Ames offers the amenities of a larger city as the home of Iowa State University while still creating a welcoming, close knit community. Liz is able to see this first-hand as a community member and through her work at the Iowa State University Foundation. “There’s a real investment in the community thriving. Whether it’s the youth, adults or ensuring that it’s a welcome place for everyone, inclusion is an important factor to me and Ames represents that value well.”
For those considering living in Ames, Liz’s advice is simple, “Do it,” said McAllister, “It’s a wonderful place to build connections and be part of a growing community of people who care about each other, care about the world and act on those beliefs. Find a way to get engaged in the community because then it feels like it’s yours to make and yours to build.”
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