A young woman from northern Iowa is being named by Glamour Magazine as one of the Top 10 College Women in the U.S. Twenty-two-year-old Mackenzie Lowry, a 2006 graduate of Clear Lake High School, is attending Harvard University. She deferred going to Harvard for a year so she could stay in Iowa and help push a bill through the legislature to raise the cigarette tax.

Lowry says her father died just before she entered high school. She says her dad was a lifelong smoker and died suddenly from lung cancer right before her freshman year of high school. His “traumatic” death “shaped” her young years and prompted her to start a tobacco-free campaign because she didn’t want any other families to go through what hers did due to an addiction to cigarettes.

Lowry says taking a year between high school and college to push for the cigarette tax hike was a very rewarding experience. She says working for the one-dollar-per-pack tax increase was an effective way to convince people to stop smoking and to keep others from starting.

Lowry says once she graduates from Harvard, she’d like to get involved in helping to set tobacco-prevention policy in the future as an advocate or political advisor. She says she wants to have an active voice in policy, whether that takes her to Washington D-C or to China.

Lowry and two of the others on the top ten list appeared last week on NBC’s “Today Show.” The Glamour issue featuring Lowry and the rest of the Top 10 College Women in the U.S. will hit newsstands later this month.

By Bob Fisher, KRIB, Mason City