"My Ph.D. from CSU provided me with both the rigor and flexibility I needed to forge my own path into the realms of political research and teaching. After graduating, I chose to take a position as a post-doc with the United States Forest Service, rather than delving straight back into academia. The work I did at the U.S. Forest Service looking at Environmental Policy and associated stakeholder and public values and attitudes, paired with my dissertation work on environmental borders, expanded my research, leading me to my first academic job as an Assistant Professor of Political Science and Environmental Studies at Penn State, Altoona. In 2007, I came back to the west, taking a position as Assistant Professor at Idaho State University. At ISU I have used my training in service (I am now Chair of the department), research (I am the Social Science lead for a $20 million, 5 year NSF grant focused on Ecosystem Services), and teaching (I was ISU’s Distinguished Teacher 2013). I credit the Political Science department at CSU and in particular the mentoring of Dr. Steve Mumme with teaching me the skills to succeed in many aspects of academia.