“I’m very proud that I’m an Iowa Stater,”said Greenlee alumna Karol DeWulf Nickell. A Cyclone twice over, Nickell, 58, graduated from Iowa State with degrees in magazine journalism and interior design in 1979 and again in 2008 with her MBA. She’s passionate about the Greenlee School, and loves being “connected to it, and I talk about it all the time.”
Nickell, now the editor of Phoenix Home and Garden magazine, said her career was jumpstarted by Greenlee’s internship program.
She started at Meredith Corporation as a photography intern. “That’s where things clicked,” she said. Upon graduation, Meredith offered her a position as a trainee, and she became a full member of the Better Homes and Gardens magazine staff after her first summer.
After four years there, Nickell worked hard enough to be a part of the launch team for Country Home magazine; four more years, and she helped launch Traditional Home as editor in chief—the project she holds closest to her heart.
The publication recently celebrated its 25-year anniversary. “Traditional Home is my baby and that is a huge accomplishment for me as a professional,” Nickell said.
A more impressive accomplishment? After 14 years at Traditional Home, she became the 13th editor in chief of Better Homes and Gardens. She says she considers leading that “American icon” as the high point in her career.
Currently, Nickell is hard at work in Phoenix, enjoying that beautiful part of the country and embracing her first time living outside of Iowa. “I love what I do. That’s a blessing.”
Home is never too far, though, for the eastern Iowa farm girl. She’s served two terms on the Greenlee Advisory Council, where she’s presently sitting as chair. She previously served on the MBA Advisory Council as well as the LAS Dean’s Council.
While a student, Karol was also privileged to serve on the Student Advisory Council for the then-College of Home Economics, where she garnered great insight into the levels of professionalism from the dean and associate dean.
“I feel very strongly about how they mentored me, and I now have mentored a number of people in my career, and that is a great satisfaction.”