Doctoral Student Megan Demasters awarded best Student Paper Award at ASPA

Doctoral student, Megan DeMasters, was recently awarded the 2015 Best Student Paper Award in Environmental Studies by the Section on Environment and Natural Resources Administration (SENRA) of the American Society of Public Administration (ASPA).   Her paper titled, “Treading Water: Implementation of the Safe Drinking Water Act” was selected by a panel of 4 judges to be the best paper on an environmental topic submitted by graduate students nationwide.



College of Liberal Arts Faculty Honored with 2013-2014 Faculty Awards

Ann Gill, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, honored the recipients of the College of Liberal Arts 2013-14 Faculty Awards at the Spring Faculty/Staff Meeting and Awards Celebration on Wednesday, April 23rd at the University Center for the Arts University Dance Theatre. These awards acknowledge the accomplishments and efforts of the outstanding faculty and staff members within the College.

The College of Liberal Arts honored faculty and staff at its annual awards celebration.

Faculty Development Award

Provides support for outstanding research and/or creative activity for five to seven faculty members per year.

  • Karrin Anderson, Communication Studies
  • Nathan Citino, History
  • Constance DeVereaux, Music, Theatre, & Dance

Curricular Innovation Award

Recognizes faculty innovations in areas including but not limited to program development, instructional methods, service-learning, and technology integration. This is a combined award.

  • Kurtis North, Elizabeth Sink, and Amanda Wright, Communication Studies

Distinction in Advancement Award

Recognizes a member of the College who has made outstanding contributions to the fundraising efforts of CLA.

  • Sue Pendell, Communication Studies

Excellence in Teaching Awards

Recognizes one outstanding teacher in each of the following categories: Graduate Teaching Assistant, Special & Temporary Faculty, Tenure-Track Faculty, and Tenured Faculty.

  • Christopher Blake, Graduate Teaching Assistant, Economics
  • Lorella Paltrinieri, Special & Temporary Faculty, Foreign Languages & Literatures
  • Maite Correa, Tenure-Track Faculty, Foreign Languages & Literatures
  • Kyle Saunders, Tenured Faculty, Political Science

Ann Gill Excellence in Teaching Award

Recognizes two faculty members who are instrumental in students becoming life-long learners, critical/creative thinkers, outstanding communicators/performers, successful in their careers, and engaged and caring citizens of their various communities.

This award is new for 2013-14and was established by CSU alumnus Dennis Repp through a $100,000 gift. This gift will allow the College of Liberal Arts to make two substantial awards each year over a five year period.

  • Eric Aoki, Tenure-Track/Tenured Faculty Award, Communication Studies
  • Mako Beecken, Non-Tenure-Track Award, Foreign Languages & Literatures

John N. Stern Distinguished Professor Award

Recognizes faculty who have demonstrated exemplary accomplishments in all aspects of their professional responsibilities over an extended period of time.

  • Fernando Valerio-Holgiun, Foreign Languages & Literatures


Dean Gill also recognized the College’s 2013 – 2014 retiring faculty and staff:

  • Carol Calliham, Philosophy, 29 years of service
  • Patricia Coronel, Art, 31 years of service
  • Bill Davis, Music, Theatre, & Dance, 30 years of service
  • Margaret Gough, English, 21 years of service
  • Katie Kiefer, English, 35 years of service
  • Jim Landers, Journalism & Technical Communication, 12 years of service
  • Lola Logsdon, Art, 14 years of service
  • Paola Malpezzi Price, Foreign Languages & Literatures, 30 years of service
  • David Milofsky, English, 25 years of service
  • Julia Morrigan-McDonough, Art, 38 years of service
  • Sue Pendell, Communication Studies, 35 years of service
  • Donna Rouner, Journalism & Technical Communication, 27 years of service
  • Steve Schwartz, English, 30 years of service
  • Stephen Simons, Art, 25 years of service

Courtenay Daum receives Best Teacher Award from Colorado State University Alumni Association

Congratulations to Professor Courtenay Daum for being named a 2014 Best Teacher Award recipient by the Colorado State University Alumni Association.  Professor Daum, who also received the CLA Excellence in Teaching Award in 2008, has an abiding commitment to teaching and to her students. A former student wrote that “Professor Daum was absolutely amazing,” while another noted that “Dr. Daum is an exceptional professor.”  Another former student commented that her “influence on my success is unmeasurable, and I truly feel that I would not be where I am today without her inspiring presence.” Yet another said that she “teaches her students how to think, not what to think. Our class discussions were dynamic, thoughtful, and captured what it means to truly teach.”

Professor Daum and the other Best Teacher Award recipients will be recognized in a ceremony on Monday, April 28th, at the Drake Center in Fort Collins.

Political Science Professor Kyle Saunders Receives CLA Excellence in Teaching Award

Congratulations to Professor Kyle Saunders for receiving this year’s College of Liberal Arts Excellence in Teaching Award for associate professors. Dr. Saunders joined the Political Science Department in 2004 and quickly established his reputation for being an excellent teacher.  Kyle’s undergraduate courses have included Introduction to American Politics, U.S. Parties and Elections, and Research Methods in Political Science. At the graduate level he has taught seminars in Citizen Politics in the U.S., Scope and Methods in Political Science, and Quantitative Methods of Research.

Professor Saunders’ students offer the best insight into his teaching. One student wrote “I really enjoyed this class.  By far the best Political Science class I have taken.”  And it would be difficult to top the enthusiasm (or use of exclamation points) of the student who wrote, “This was the best class I have ever taken!!!  The most intellectually challenging!!!  Keep it up for future kids.  You are the best teacher!!!  Give this man a raise!!!”

Dr. Saunders is the latest member of the Department to win recognition for his teaching. Brad Macdonald, Courtenay Daum, and Susan Opp have also received the CLA Excellence in Teaching Award, and emeritus professor Bob Lawrence received the Lory Award for excellence in teaching. Martin Adamian, Dawn King, and John Hultgren each received the CLA Excellence in Teaching Award for graduate teaching assistants while at CSU.

The award will be presented at the College’s spring faculty/staff meeting, which will be held on Wednesday, April 22nd, from 4 to 5:30 at the University Center for the Arts.

Pi Sigma Alpha Informational Meeting

Welcome back Political Science Majors!

The Pi Sigma Alpha Informational Meeting will be held on Thursday, January 30th, from 5:30-6:00 pm in Clark C-347.

Please come by and get familiar with the organization, our chapter, and the benefits of being involved with Pi Sigma Alpha at CSU!

Donna Lybecker (Ph.D. 2003), named Distinguished Teacher at Idaho State University

Donna Lybecker (Ph.D. 2003) was recently honored as a Distinguished Teacher at Idaho State University. The award is one of “the highest honors bestowed on faculty at Idaho State University, and it is quite a distinction to receive one,” said Barbara Adamcik, interim ISU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Dr. Lybecker is an associate professor in the Department of Political Science, specializing in international relations, comparative politics, and environmental politics. Her major areas of research include the political borders of North America, environmental issues facing the Western United States and the U.S.-Mexico border, and, recently, the framing of political discourse. In addition to two books, Lybecker’s work includes articles in such journals as Politics and Policy and the Journal of Environment and Development.

To read the whole story, please see

Article by Gamze Cavdar and Sue Doe one of ten most-read articles in PS: Political Science and Politics

Congratulations to Gamze Çavdar and Sue Doe, whose article “Learning through Writing: Teaching Critical Thinking Skills in Writing Assignments,” was one of the ten most-read articles in PS: Political Science and Politics for the previous year.

In the article, the authors note that traditional writing assignments often fall short in addressing problems in college students’ writing, as too often these assignments fail to help students develop critical thinking skills and comprehension of course content. The article reports the use of a two-part (staged) writing assignment with postscript as a strategy for improving critical thinking in a lower-division political science course. They argue that through well-designed writing assignments, instructors can encourage students to reconsider concepts, critically evaluate assumptions, and undertake substantive revisions of their writing.

To link to the article:

Okocha Chigozie2

Political Science Alumnus Awarded Prestigious Foreign Affairs Fellowship

Okocha Chigozie2Chigozie Okocha, a 2011 Colorado State University graduate with a B.A. in Political Science, recently received the prestigious Thomas R. Pickering Graduate Foreign Affairs Fellowship from The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. Originally from Nigeria, Chigozie was involved in the Africans United Club and served as an Intercultural Connections Community Staff member for University Village while studying Political Science at CSU.

As a Pickering Graduate Foreign Affairs Fellow, Chigozie will receive financial support for his master’s degree for two years of full-time education at the University of Denver. Chigozie will participate in a domestic and international internship, and upon completing his master’s degree he will commit to three years of service as a Foreign Service Officer for the U.S. Department of State. Foreign Service Officers serve the President of the United States and the Secretary of State in supporting the interests of the U.S. abroad. Foreign Service Officers can be sent anywhere in the world at any time.

The Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowships are awarded to 40 men and women whose academic and professional backgrounds illustrate that they are dedicated to advancing America’s interests abroad. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellows are selected because they embody the skills necessary to be a Foreign Service Officer: dedication, leadership, planning, cultural adaptability, and strong communication skills. Fellows receive funding for degrees in public policy, international affairs, public administration, and other related academic fields.

Undergraduate and Graduate students may apply for a Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship if they meet eligibility requirements based on  GPA, future education plans, and demonstrated leadership skills and academic achievement in programs relevant to the work of the U.S. Department of State. Of the 40 fellows selected, 20 Fellows receive the Pickering Undergraduate Fellowship and 20 receive the Pickering Graduate Fellowship.

The Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowships are administered for the U.S. Department of State by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. Chigozie will begin in master’s program at the University of Denver in Fall 2013.

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April College to Career Alumni Panels in Sociology, Political Science, and History

The College of Liberal Arts Development Office is hosting College to Career Alumni Panels for College of Liberal Arts departments. The College to Career Alumni Panels consist of alumni from the College of Liberal Arts who have created a successful and meaningful career with their Liberal Arts degree. While there are a range of careers that can be pursued by Liberal Arts graduates, for many graduates it can take a while to find a career that works well for them. Speaking from experience, the alumni panelists will give students advice, tips, direction, and best practices that students can use when networking and applying for jobs. For Spring 2013, the College of Liberal Arts hosted an Economics panel in March and will host panels in Sociology, Political Science, and History in April.

College to Career Alumni Panel – Sociology

Wednesday, April 3
4 – 5: 40 p.m.
Clark Building C364

Panelists include:

McCabe Callahan, ‘02 Liberal Arts/Sociology

McCabe opened Mugs coffee shop six months before graduating from Colorado State University, and opened 5 more operations in the next 3 years. In 2007 McCabe made the difficult decision to downsize and restructure the business to spend less time operating multiple businesses and instead spend the time to focus on development of the concept of the business at the Mugs Downtown location. In October of 2010 he opened Mugs @ the Oval. His new venture,  Community Funded, harnesses the power of crowdfunding to support diverse projects and community initiatives across the country.



Aaron Madonna, ’08 Sociology

Aaron and fellow CSU student Juwon Melvin founded Dreamreel Media, their answer to inspiring young adults through publications and speaking engagements. Aaron has authored two books, Destination College and Help! IDK What I Want to Do with My Life. After graduation, the two friends founded LifeSoap, a company that sells organic soap and gives a portion of the profits to bring clean water to schools in developing countries, in partnership with H2O for Life. Lifesoap has been featured in O, The Oprah Magazine, and Aaron and Juwon already have completed two clean-water projects in Nicaragua.


Thad Smith, ‘74 Sociology

Thad is President of Thaddeus Smith & Associates, a specialty brokerage and risk management service to the biomedical and medical device manufacturing industry.  Thad is also an officer and director of Alacer Corporation and trustee of the Jay W. Patrick Trust.  Based in California, Alacer Corporation distributes health supplements nationwide and generates about $30 million in annual revenue.






College to Career Alumni Panel – Political Science

Monday, April 15
4:30p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Microbiology Building, A113

Panelists include:

Donn Hopkins, ’82 Political Science

As Americas Security Manager for Agilent Technologies, Inc., Donn’s role includes protecting Agilent’s people, intellectual and physical assets, proprietary information and related investigations. Prior to working for Agilent, Donn was in law enforcement for over 32 years, 18 of those as Chief of Police at Colorado State University, where he directed the recovery of the CSU Police Department after the total loss of their facility in a flash flood in 1997, including relocating and building a new police facility and 911 dispatch center. Donn received a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Colorado State University and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy, 160th Session. He has served as President of the Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police, and President of the Colorado Association of Institutional Law Enforcement Directors.


Mary Kathryn Hurd, Political Science ’09

MaryKathryn Hurd is the legislative liaison for the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing, the state’s Medicaid agency. As the Department’s lobbyist, she is responsible for designing, managing and administering the Department’s legislative agenda. She works with the Colorado General Assembly to secure sponsors and support for their bills, tracking all legislation introduced and analyzing the legislation for its impact on the Department. She is currently working on Medicaid Expansion in Colorado and implementation of the federal Affordable Care Act. Prior to this role, MaryKathryn was the legislative liaison for the Colorado Department of Personnel and Administration where she was instrumental in the creation, drafting and passage of the “Colorado Talent Agenda” (Amendment S), both the statutory and constitutional statewide personnel reform measures. She has been involved in public policy at the federal as well as at the state level.  In Washington D.C. she interned for Dutko Worldwide Government Affairs Firm on their environment and energy team and later worked on environmental issues for Congressman John Sarbanes. A native of Annapolis, Maryland, MaryKathryn graduated from Colorado State University with a degree in Political Science and Asian Studies with a minor in Mandarin Chinese.


College to Career Alumni Panel – History

Wednesday, April 24
3 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Lory Student Center – Room 224

Panelists include:

John Blair, ‘74 Social Sciences/History

John Blair, Jr. is a Colorado native and earned a BA in Social Sciences from Colorado State University in 1974. He studied Trust Administration at the National Graduate Trust School, and graduated with honors in 1983. He has more than 30 years experience in Trust Administration and currently serves as Senior Vice President and Trust Officer of Home State Bank in Loveland, CO.  He is deeply invested in the community, and has served in leadership roles for OpenStage Theater & Company, Inc., Pathways Hospice, Respite Care, and the CSU Planned Giving Advisory Council.



Jack Graham, ‘75 History

Graham graduated from CSU in 1975 with a bachelor’s degree in U.S. history. After playing football for CSU, he was drafted by the Miami Dolphins. He went on to a successful 30-year career in the international insurance and reinsurance markets, where he was known as an innovator and effective leader. In 1998, he founded ICAT Managers, a leader in catastrophic risk insurance products. He sold ICAT, including its Lloyd’s of London business, in 2010 and remains on the company’s board of directors. Graham also sits on the advisory board of the National Center for Atmospheric Research.



Mike Nosler

Mike Nosler ‘69 History

Mike Nosler is General Counsel for the Colorado State University System. Nosler leads a legal team responsible for advising the CSU System chancellor, the Board of Governors, administrators, faculty and staff. He provides counsel on matters including application of Federal and State policies, university governance, student affairs, policy formation, employment issues and grievances, health care, intellectual property, real estate transactions and bond offerings. Nosler also serves as a liaison to the Attorney General’s Office.  Before coming to CSU, Nosler was a practicing attorney specializing in employment law for more than 30 years and was the managing partner for 11 years. In 2001, he encouraged the creation of the Diversity in Law Program at Colorado State University, and persuaded Rothgerber Johnson & Lyons to provide scholarship funds for up to eight students of diverse ethnic backgrounds who are considering careers in law or criminal justice.


For questions regarding the College to Career Alumni Panels, please contact:

Marilyn Bistline
Alumni and Annual Giving
College of Liberal Arts
Colorado State University
(970) 491-4030

Susan Opp receives CLA Excellence in Teaching Award

Congratulations to Susan Opp for receiving this year’s College of Liberal Arts Excellence in Teaching Award. Dr. Opp joined the Political Science Department in 2009 and quickly became a favorite of students. Susan’s undergraduate courses have included Public Administration, The Policy Process and Urban Politics.  At the graduate level she has taught doctoral level seminars in Scope and Methods in Political Science and Public Policy Analysis.  Susan has guided student internships, and graduate level special studies.  This year she became faculty adviser to Pi Sigma Alpha, the Political Science Honorary Society.

Susan’s students offer the best insight into her teaching. One said of her, “Best Political Science teacher I have had in all four years.” Another said “I cannot say enough about this teacher.  She has made political science fun, interesting, and useful.  She goes above and beyond.  She really is the best prof I have had.” Finally, one student wrote, “Words cannot express how grateful I am to you.  You helped me find my ‘place’ here at CSU when I came back after taking a year off.  I didn’t even know what public administration really was until you (w/smile).  Thank you for being such an amazing role model for me.  I only hope to be as successful as you already are.”

Dr. Opp is the latest member of the Department to win recognition for her teaching. Brad Macdonald and Courtenay Daum have also received the Excellence in Teaching Award, and emeritus professor Bob Lawrence received the Lory Award for excellence in teaching. Martin Adamian, Dawn King, and John Hultgren all received the CLA Excellence in Teaching Award for graduate teaching assistants while at CSU.

The award will be presented at the College’s spring faculty/staff meeting, which will be held on Wednesday, March 27th, from 4 to 5:30 at the University Center for the Arts.