Liberal Arts Student Stories

Students share why they chose a liberal arts education at CSU

Choosing a university (and a major!) is a big decision. Hear why our students chose to study at Colorado State University and how they found their community within the College of Liberal Arts.

With 19 undergraduate majors and dozens of clubs/student organizations within the college, our community is as diverse as it is dynamic. By studying the arts, humanities, and social sciences, our students are driven to advance the human experience - and equipped with the skills and knowledge to do so.

Read the stories of CSU liberal arts students below.

Andrea Day, English
Brooke Cordell, Art History
Catrina Vininski, English & Communications
Daniel Trump, English
Doug Ringer, Political Science & History
Ethan Lee, Economics & Political Science
Fiona McAliney, Art History
Gillian Stieren, International Relations
Hannah Taylor, History & German
Jade Felthoven, History
Jenna Moore, Music Performance
Laura Garcia, Political Science & Sociology
Megan Valliere, Political Science
Merry Gebretsadik, Political Science
Moraima Castaneda, Political Science
Pete Wilson, English & Philosophy
Peyton Dailey, Political Science & French
Rylyn Todd, Journalism & Media Communication
Grace Bolesta, Political Science
Will Wilson, History
Catrina Vininski
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Catrina Vininski

Majors: English & Communications

Minor: Film Studies

Year: Sophomore

Why CSU

I chose CSU primarily because of the campus. As a Colorado native, being able to see the mountains every day and get outdoors is what really sold me when it came to choosing CSU.

Path to my Major

Growing up I knew I always wanted to be a writer, so naturally I followed the English major path. However, during my freshman year, I realized that there are so many different opportunities beyond what I imagined, leading me to expand my career goals, and become a double major in communication. Surprisingly, a required freshman symposium English course led me to add the communication major, as I learned how intertwined the two majors were.

Why do you study English and Communications?


I have learned public speaking, research skills, tactful communication, and how to improve my writing. These two majors have helped me gain a lot of professional and common knowledge skills, that have not only allowed me to complete my coursework like essays and portfolios but also with cover letters, resumes, and other job-seeking skills. In the future, I hope to eventually become an author but currently, I’m still deciding between the countless paths that this type of degree could take me in. I know crucial communication and writing skills that I have obtained from my degree will put me on the right track and help me achieve my career goals.

What clubs/organizations are you involved in? (on campus or off)


I currently workat the office of Student Leadership Involvement and Community and Engagement (SLiCE), key communities, and a ski organization on campus.

Why are you involved in these clubs? What does involvement on campus (or off) provide you both personally and professionally?


These organizationshelped me meet new people, gain communication skills, and improve my customer service interactions.

What's your favorite class and why?


My favorite class that I have taken so far is Beginning to Creative Writing. This class gave me an opportunity to write and allowed me to focus on something other than my curriculum.

What's your favorite CSU memory?


My favorite CSU memory is when the entire staff in the office of student leadership involvement and community engagement went to the mountain campus. This really allowed me to bond with my fellow coworkers and create memories that I will remember for a lifetime.

What do you love about your major/College of Liberal Arts?


Going into my first year of college, I had little knowledge when it came to what a College of Liberal Arts degree entailed. However, I learned that there are so many possibilities and opportunities that exist for any student.

What’s next?


I want to become more involved with CSU/CLA programs and continue to explore the various opportunity CSU.
Andrea Day headshot
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Andrea Day

Major: English

Concentration: Creative Writing

Minor: Media Studies

Year: Junior

Why CSU

Originally, I wasn’t sure where to go. But, not only do I have a personal connection to CSU through family, I also loved the campus and the people here. Specifically, the liberal arts program has a plethora of amazing people who are incredibly passionate about their subjects. I chose CSU because I felt like it was a place where conversation and communication thrives.

Path to my Major

I’ve wanted to be involved in creative writing since I was a little girl. I think I’m one of the fair few that’s known what they want to do since the beginning! Although, my media studies minor was added on due to core curriculum classes. I took SPCM 100 - Communication and Popular Culture and became interested in the connection that media has within and throughout people’s lives. I would have never discovered this passion without AUCC’s 

Why do you study English?


I study English and creative writing because I believe that the written word has an incredible impact on people’s lives. Writers and readers are interconnected to the world in a different way. Studying English has not only made me more passionate about my subject but has provided me with an amazing set of skills. Outside of learning grammatical skills and textual analysis, I have learned new ways to approach and understand literature. I have learned the philosophies behind literature and the discussions that arise from these. I have learned how to mold and shape my imagination and how to converse with others about their own imaginative worlds. And I have learned that English and creative writing are outside of a solitary existence as the sharing and discussing of stories, authors, and more creates interesting conversations with those I may not have spoken to before. In the future, I hope to become an author as well as a book editor. My degree interconnects through the writing and editing skills acquired but also from the entrepreneurial spirit that is required for those jobs.

What clubs/organizations are you involved in? (on campus or off)


I am currently part of the CSU Figure Skating club team. Along with being an athlete, I hold an officer position as the Fundraising Chair for the team. I have also been involved in the Global Village living community, which allowed me to live in Parmelee Hall with students from all over the world.

Why are you involved in these clubs? What does involvement on campus (or off) provide you both personally and professionally?


I started figure skating late for most athletes but the team has been instrumental in my growth. I wanted to join a figure skating team so I wouldn’t lose the skills I had learned outside of college. Luckily, it’s allowed me to grow my social circle while also letting me learn and compete across the United States. I joined Global Village because I wanted to be involved in a diverse learning community. I believe that learning and living with people who are different from you is so important to understand the world and your peers through a larger lens or a UN official.

What's your favorite class and why?


Currently my favorite class is Literary Critique and Theory! Although I am not a literary critic, my classmates and I are truly invested in every reading and every idea that is brought to the table. It is a class that thrives with curiosity and conversation on both the student and the professor’s sides.

What's your favorite CSU memory?


Eating a picnic dinner at Horsetooth Reservoir with my roommate while watching the sunset!

What do you love about your major/College of Liberal Arts?


The College of Liberal Arts and the English major are places that thrive with conversation, imagination, and hope for the future. I truly love that I get to come to class and delve deep into literary critique, explanations of worldbuilding, editing, and more. There is nowhere else that I would be able to discuss my own novels, poems, and essays with in such detail and excitement. Both my major and my college are places that truly allow me to succeed as I venture forward in growing my imagination and my worldview.

What's next?


Moving forward in CSU, I hope to study abroad in Europe next year before coming back to enjoy and get more involved on campus. After graduation, I hope to use the skills that CSU provided me to become an influential force in the world of writing and publishing.
Rylyn Todd
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Rylyn Todd

Major: Journalism & Media Communication

Minor: Information Science & Technology

Year: Sophomore

Why CSU

During my junior year of high school, I went on a trip to tour colleges. After my tour at CSU, I knew that I had found my home away from home. My cousin graduated from CSU, absolutely loved it, and convinced me to visit. He was in Fort Collins during my college tour, showing me around Old Town and taking me hiking up to the A. I immediately fell in love with the beauty of Colorado and the people who lived there. Everyone was so nice and kind, going out of their way to help. Coming from a small town with a graduating class of 85, I was worried I would be lost in the huge crowds. Fortunately, that did not happen. On the first day, I found someone to sit next to in every class. Everyone was so receptive to making new friends. There is a sense of community and pride at CSU that makes me feel at home.

Path to my Major

From a young age, I have always loved to write about people, events, and stories. In high school, I took a lot of writing courses that fueled this passion. As a sophomore, I started volunteering at our local newspaper, writing articles about student life, While I was applying to colleges and trying to figure out what I wanted to major in, my parents kept reminding me to do what I love and I'll never work a day in my life - so that is exactly what I did. When I was accepted into the JMC department at CSU, I thought I wanted to write for a magazine or a newspaper because that was all I knew of the journalism field. However, within the first semester of college I was introduced to a plethora of opportunities in the journalism field. After talking with my academic advisor, I decided I wanted to concentrate in public relations. My second semester, I took a public relations course and now public relations is my concentration. I am also minoring in Information Science and Technology which will help me to understand the evolving technological world.

Why do you study Journalism and Media Communications?


I study Journalism and Media Communication because I enjoy interacting with people and hearing their stories. In my classes, I am learning how to take those personal stories and turn them into content that society wants to read. Equally important, my classes are teaching me invaluable communication and collaboration skills that will help me in future jobs. My concentration in public relations has exposed me to a new side ofjournalism that I am excited to explore. I will still get to follow my passion for writing,but I will also interact with people on a personal level and help their companiesmaintain a positive public image.

What clubs/organizations are you involved in? (on campus or off)


I am a CLA Student Ambassador, reporter for the campus radio station (KCSU), member of Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), member of Canine Companions Collar Scholars club, and a member of the campus ministry Outpost.

Why are you involved in these clubs? What does involvement on campus (or off) provide you both personally and professionally?


Every organization I am involved with benefits me personally and professionally. My CLA Student Ambassador position and PRSSA provide me with invaluable experiences for my major. The ambassador program provides opportunities to apply my communication skills when interacting with families who are visiting campus. As a member of PRSSA, I attended Shadow Day in Denver where I spent the day with a professional who worked in the public relations field. I learned a lot about the field and what PR professionals do on a daily basis. The campus radio station taught me how to speak articulately during live shows and meet deadlines. I joined Collar Scholars and Outpost because they fulfilledpersonal passions. All of these clubs were also a great way to meet new people.

What's your favorite class and why?


I loved JTC350, Public Relations. It was a great introduction to public relations. It exposed me to the different aspects of the fieldand what job opportunities areavailable outside of college. I learned the basics of the industry while figuring out that PR isthe route I wanted to take in my studies.

What's your favorite CSU memory?


Although my first year on campus was cut short due to COVID-19, I have made so many new memories and cannot wait to make more in the future. So far my favorite memories all stem from making new friends.

What do you love about your major/College of Liberal Arts?


What I love most about the College of Liberal Arts is the plethora of majors and diversity in the college. We have so many opportunities within the college which brings a very diverse group of people together. What I love about my major is how many opportunities there are within the journalism field. I always viewed journalism as cut-and-dry –writing for a newspaper or reporting on television –but I have learned the field provides so much more.

What's next?


I am looking for internship opportunities in public relations. Working in public relations is the goal right now, but I am not sure what that looks like yet. I do know thatI am glad to be a part of the CSU community.
Pete Wilson
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Pete Wilson

Majors: English & Philosophy

Concentration: Literature

Year: Sophomore

Why CSU

My twin brother wanted to go to CSU. We are very close, and his decision greatly affected mine. While taking a tour, I fell in love with CSU's sustainability. I also loved how many trees and open spaces there were on campus.

Path to my Major

I knew I wanted to major in English and Philosophy since high school. I had a great AP Literature teacher who inspired me to choose my majors. AUCC classes did not influence my choice due to having lots of incoming credits.

Why do you study Philosophy and English?


I study Philosophy and English because they are thought-provoking. Philosophy asks questions aboutbeing a good person, and what it means to live a good life. English captures the human experience and makes me think about my own life. I have loved literature since I was a boy and get a lot of enjoyment out of reading so much. I have learned how to communicate well. Philosophy teaches logic and how to properly write arguments, clarifying my thinking. English gives me a window into other cultures and experiences, allowing me to relate tothose around me. My writing for classes is much better than it used to be. When trying to prove a point, I use logic to persuade others. When interacting with people of different socio/ethnic backgrounds, I now understand and converse with them about their beliefs and values. I don’t know what I want to do post-college. Good communication and writing skills are needed in most jobs, so my degreeswill be useful regardless of my career path.

What clubs/organizations are you involved in? (on campus or off)


I am involved with the Honors Student Association and Cru Campus Ministries.

Why are you involved in these clubs? What does involvement on campus (or off) provide you both personally and professionally?


I am involved with the Honors Student Association because it lets me connect with my fellow peers in the Honors program. I am part of Cru Campus Ministries because it is an outlet to practice my faith and connect with fellow Christians.

What's your favorite class and why?


My favorite class is British Literature 1: Medieval Period to 1800. I love this class because we discuss topics such as romance, heroics, and forbidden knowledge, while reading some awesome works such as Beowulf and Paradise Lost.

What's your favorite CSU memory?


My favorite CSU memory is playing Intramural Basketball!

What do you love about your major/College of Liberal Arts?


I love English because I get to read a lot of the classics and have really interesting discussions. English makes me dream about what I could beand inspires me to be the best I can be.

What's next?


I don’t know what is next. As of now I’m just enjoying life at CSU!

Peyton Dailey

Majors: Political Science & French

Concentration: Global Politics & Policy

Minors: Spanish & Russian

Year: Junior

Why CSU

I chose CSU for two primary reasons: cost and flexibility. During my college search process, I visited many schools on the East coast and frankly fell in love with the schools and their respective programs. However, even after being accepted to these schools, the cost was not feasible as I wanted to allocate my college funds more expansively to cover law or graduate school in addition to my undergraduate studies. This is where Colorado State came into the picture. As a lingual enthusiast, I was excited about furthering my Spanish and French studies as well as pursuing Russian, a program offered by very select universities. Additionally, the Honors Program mirrored the close-knit academic community I thrived in during high school, and during my visits to campus, the faculty and staff in this program made CSU fell like a place where I could flourish. Essentially, the affordability that CSU offered as well as its flexibility to craft your own academic path made it a choice that made sense from a financial and student perspective.

Path to my Major

During my senior year of high school, the most formative experience for me was being a part of the We the People program, a national program centered around research and exploring questions pertaining to the Constitution. This was a part of the AP U.S Government and Politics class and I fell in love with the course immediately. Through the class, I learned how adamant I am about being a part of a bigger cause, specifically one that is an essential force behind protecting the civil liberties of every human equally. Alongside this discovered passion, I have always had a love for languages. I began learning Spanish in kindergarten and continued these studies throughout high school. I also began learning French in high school and wanted to continue those studies as well. Finally, I wanted to diversify my language profile, so I decided I wanted to learn Russian, which CSU opportunely offered. Colorado State has allowed me to pursue all these passions and interweave them into a multifaceted academic experience that has enhanced my student experience in an unparalleled fashion.

I had a large amount of AP credit that transferred to count for credit at CSU, so I did not end up taking any AUCC courses that influenced my major.

Why do you study Political Science, French, Russian, and Spanish?


I study Political Science, French, Russian, and Spanish because language is one of the most pervasive barriers that exists in our world today. Learning other languages allows not only for the facilitating of interactions with a larger population, but also enhances overall cultural understanding. Every course I take in one of these languages broadens my world view and augments my appreciation for difference.
In regard to my study of Political Science, I choose to study this field for both practical and personal reasons. Practically, I aspire to practice international and humanitarian law in the future so through this study I will prepare myself for law school. Personally, I enjoy understanding the empirical roots of politics and governmental structures andtheir evolution and how our interactions with these structures affect what they signify.
I have learned how to think critically and consider perspective acutely. I have learned how to love both the content I study and how it has given me the resources to interact with so many more wonderful people. I have learned what it means to want to dedicate your life to being an initiator of change and most importantly I have learned how to advocate for what I believe in. I apply these learnings everyday through the internships I have been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to engage in. I plan on practicing law after I graduate and earn my JD. Critical thinking, strong writing skills, and an ability to communicate with different audiences will all contribute to my post-graduation career endeavors.

What clubs/organizations are you involved in?


I am the Chief Justice for ASCSU, the Financial Officer for the Russian Club, the Vice President of Le Cercle Francais, a student researcher for the department of Political Science, a volunteer for the Community Literacy Center, a member of the Gamma Phi Beta sorority, and a Girl Scout mentor.

Why are you involved in these clubs? What does involvement on campus (or off) provide you both personally and professionally?


Each of these involvements represents an area that I hold dear in my life. ForASCSU,advocacy and politics;Russian Club and Le Cercle Francais,languages;student research,interdisciplinary informed knowledge;the Community Literacy Center,equal opportunity and reading; Gamma Phi Beta,sisterhood and female empowerment;Girl Scouts,volunteering and working to support girls who arestrong, independent, and ready to take on the world.

What's your favorite class and why?


My favorite class this past year was Intro to Spanish Literature because it combined the two academic realms I love the most: literature and languages. This class allowed me to explore a wide variety of Spanish literature across time, space, and perspective and allowed me to articulate how these works were impactful both at the time they were written and in their contemporary applications.

What's your favorite CSU memory?


Myfavorite CSU memory is walking into the ASCSU Senate chambers and a feeling of immediate belonging washing over me. As cheesy as that sounds, I knew the minute I joined the organization that it was the part of my student experience I had been missing, andsince then I have felt nothing but gratitude and a sense of completion in being a steward to my fellow students. The people I have met and the opportunities that this organization has opened up to me are unmatched, and I am excited to continue to make meaningful memories in ASCSU.

What do you love about your major/College of Liberal Arts?


I love that CLA fosters a community so diverse yet so united in its dedication to learning and a broader frame of thinking. This college is unique in the sense that it represents so many different subject areas and fields of knowledge but CLA students and faculty are immediately identifiable because the college teaches everyone to think humanistically. This translates to considering not only different perspectives but analyzing how these perspectives and their construction affect our society and what that means in a larger sense.

What's next?


After I graduate,I plan to study law and obtain my JD after which I plan to practice Civil Rights or International law. I also see myself returning to academia at some point, as it will always be an important part of my life.
Peyton Dailey

Brooke Cordell

Major: Art History
Minor: Anthropology
Year: Senior

Why CSU

I fell in love with Fort Collins and its small town college feel. When I visited the campus for the first time, I knew it was the place for me. The art department is fantastic and has a plethora of resources and fantastic teachers.

Path to my Major

I always knew I belonged in the arts but my minor I found while taking my AUCCs and loved the archeology and history taught by the department.

What skills have you learned from your degree?


Work ethic and passion for what I do.
These two skills are easily applied to jobs and extracurriculars and help me excel in what I do.

What career options are you pursuing? What skills from your degree can you / will you tie to your job or grad school pursuits?


I would like to be an auction house appraiser or consultant for Fine Arts. I am planning on going to grad school to get my Masters In New York. My degree is giving me the foundation of the knowledge and the work ethic that I'll need for grad school and for my eventual job.

What clubs/organizations are you involved in? (on campus or off)


  • I paint murals for businesses in old town Fort Collins
  • College of Liberal Arts Ambassadors

Why are you involved in these clubs? What does involvement on campus (or off) provide you both personally and professionally?


My sorority provided me with lifelong friends and a community of girls I can rely on. The murals gave me a creative outlet for while I'm in school.

What's your favorite class and why?


United States Art 1945 to 1980
Modern art rarely gets the attention it deserves an education and it was so interesting seeing what art is being produced in a very current time.

What's your favorite CSU memory?


My first stadium football game when I truly became a Ram!

What do you love about your major/College of Liberal Arts?


All of my professors have been so helpful and amazing. I couldn't ask for better mentors or a better support system. They make it easy to be passionate about what you're learning.

What's next?


On to grad school and hopefully a doctorate in art history!
Brooke Cordell

Doug Ringer

Majors: Political Science & History

Concentration: US Government, Law, & Policy 

Minors: Legal Studies & French

Year: Junior

Why CSU

Growing up in Fort Collins, I met a lot of CSU alumni and students, all of whom spoke highly of their experience at CSU. I was also able to observe how CSU has evolved since I have lived in Fort Collins. There has been significant investment in buildings and amenities that show that the administration is committed to improving the university. When considering universities, seeing how CSU is in the process of growing and improving solidified it as my top choice. Northern Colorado is also an exciting and beautiful place to live! 

Path to my Major

I knew I wanted to study history since my early high school days. I participated in History Bowl in high school, and reading about history has always been a side hobby of mine. I feel very passionate about the subject and I can always inundate people with random history facts. Furthermore, two of my history teachers in high school were CSU alumni who majored in history, and they had a great experience. All of these factors led me to confidently declare my major as history before I enrolled 

Initially, I wanted to become a social studies teacher. However, college students are notorious for not making up their minds. I decided instead I wanted to go more in the direction of law. I was recommended to look into political science if I was thinking of law school, and I have always been interested in politics, so I decided to add on a second major.  

Why do you study History and Politcial Science?


The study of history has always been fascinating to me. It can be a cool hobby to have on the side, but the act of studying history also has profound pedogeological benefits. Obviously, history students are expected to read numerous dense historic texts and novels, as well as write papers analyzing these materials. This clearly creates better readers and writers. But history specifically forces students to analyze cause-and-effect relationships between events that happen hundreds or even thousands of years apart. Personally, learning more about history has allowed me to connect seemingly distant pieces of the human story together through common trends or details. Skills like this are valuable in the marketplace; the ability to connect two seemingly dissimilar pieces of information through one commonality between them is how innovation and creativity are sparked. While studying history, I have found that I have become not only a better writer, but also a more thoughtful and analytical person.
I am currently pursuing a career in law. The reading and writing skills I have gained from studying history and political science are undeniably beneficial, but law is also a field that requires analytical thinking skills. Much like a historian can connect two very different time periods together, a lawyer must be able to find relevant case law or statutes that they can apply to the case at hand.

What clubs/organizations are you involved in?


On-campus, I am involved in the pre-law club and Rams for Progress (the club formerly known as Rams for Bernie). Off-campus, I volunteer with a foreign-exchange organization with which I studied abroad during high school. I also give tours at a historic home in Fort Collins (which is unfortunately temporarily closed due to COVID).

Why are you involved in these clubs? What does involvement on campus (or off) provide you both personally and professionally?


The pre-law club provides me with a lot of insight into the legal field from legal professionals and a look into the application process for law school. Also, I get to connect with other students with similar interests as my own (and we get free pizza). Politics are (unsurprisingly) very important to me. I got involved with Rams for Bernie/Progress early along in the Democratic presidential primaries to do what I could locally to push for a progressive agenda. Working toward political goals that seek to improve the lives of the most vulnerable members of our population is very fulfilling to me, and I have made many friends and found internships through being involved in the club.
The foreign-exchange organization I work with, Youth for Understanding (YFU), works toward establishing intercultural relationships, understanding, and appreciation. Globally, thousands of students go abroad with them every year to work toward this goal. I firmly believe that intercultural connections allow people to see how similar we all are, no matter our religion, nationality, or skin color. I gain great joy from helping high-school-aged students from around the globe have a great experience in our country. The historic home, the Avery House, is a fun little hobby that allows me to share my passion for history with others.

What's your favorite class and why?


I haven’t had a class I’ve disliked, but I would have to choose my dance appreciation class as my favorite class so far. It really taught me to go outside my comfort zone by dancing, something I was not (and am still not really) good at- but I learned all that mattered was that I had fun. Professor Mazurana was amazing too. It was my first class of my first day at CSU too, so it will always have a special place in my heart.

What's your favorite CSU memory?


I did intramural co-ed dodgeball my freshman year. It was so much fun (even though I wasn’t that good)!

What do you love about your major/College of Liberal Arts?


I have loved my professors, but I most love the diversity of classes available for my majors. I’ve had classes on subjects that I never even considered could be an entire college course.

What's next?


I plan on graduating next December if all goes according to plan. After that, I am (tentatively) planning on serving in the Peace Corps immediately after I graduate from CSU. After that, I hope to attend law school, barring any revelation in my desired career.
Doug Ringer
Daniel Trump

Daniel Trump

Major: English

Minor: Legal Studies

Year: Junior

Why CSU

I fell in love with Colorado at an early age and I knew it was where I wanted to go to college. I also wanted to continue playing competitive rugby while still getting a great education, and CSU has both. After I took a campus tour of CSU in high school, I immediately knew this was where I belonged. Being at CSU feels like I am a part of a big family, one that genuinely cares about me and wants me to succeed. Choosing CSU was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

Path to my Major

I wasn't exactly sure which major or pathway I wanted to choose when I first got to CSU. But during my freshman year, I really enjoyed my liberal arts classes, in particular my composition class. My professor was awesome and made writing enjoyable, something I never thought was possible. I soon found an interest in composition, set my sights on law school, and decided that English was the major for me.

What skills have you learned from your degree?


I have learned better writing and composition skills and have greatly improved my writing.

How do you apply them?


I apply them in all the assignments, papers, and classes I now have, as well as in my everyday life.

What career options are you pursuing? What skills from your degree can you / will you tie to your job or grad school pursuit?


I hope to go to law school and writing is a big part of that, so the skills I am learning now will greatly help me during law school and afterwards.

What clubs/organizations are you involved in?


I am a member of the CSU men's rugby club team

Why are you involved in these clubs? What does involvement on campus (or off) provide you both personally and professionally?


I love the sport of rugby and the teammates I have here at CSU, it is such a blast. I have become such a better player while on the team, and I have made friendships that will last a lifetime.

What's your favorite class and why?


My favorite class is my composition class. It is so informative and interesting, but also fun. I feel like I am learning something new and becoming a better writer every class.

What's your favorite CSU memory?


My favorite CSU memory was when I was admitted. I was beyond happy, jumping up and down and giving my family the biggest hugs. It was an awesome moment, one I will never forget.

What do you love about your major/College of Liberal Arts?


I love being an English major and a part of the College of Liberal Arts. I thoroughly enjoy my classes and professors, and I am learning new skills and ideas everyday.

What's next?


I hope to attend law school after my time at CSU and continue playing rugby.
Ethan Lee

Ethan Lee

Major: Economics & Political Science

Minor: Legal Studies & Sports Management

Year: Junior

Why CSU

I chose CSU for two main reasons. The first being the close proximity to big city entertainment venues that Denver has to offer along with the close proximity to the mountains, rivers, lakes, outdoor recreation in general. The second being a combination of the academic opportunities presented specifically in the School of Economics as well as unique opportunities presented by the Sports Management minor.

Path to my Major

I declared my economics major before starting any course work at CSU. My interest in economics primarily came from an AP Macroeconomics class that I took in high school. My political science major on the other hand was inspired by the POLS 241 (International Relations) course I took my first semester freshman year.

Why do you study Political Science and Economics?


I study both political science and economics to better prepare myself for both law school and a career in law.

What career options are you pursuing? What skills from your degree can you / will you tie to your job or grad school pursuit?


I will use knowledge on the nation’s legal system and economic principles to provide myself with a strong base as I hope to build upon said knowledge in law school.

What clubs/organizations are you involved in? (on campus or off)

  • Pre-law Club
  • Economics Club
  • CLA Student Ambassador PRogram
  • Volunteer coach for the city of Fort Collins
  • Sports Writer for the Collegian

Why are you involved in these clubs? What does involvement on campus (or off) provide you both personally and professionally?


The reason I am involved in the previously mentioned organizations is because they help me better understand topics I cover in class and they also provide me with the opportunity to meet people with similar academic interests.

What's your favorite CSU memory?

My favorite CSU memory is when the football team beat Arkansas on my birthday freshman year.

What's your favorite class and why?


My favorite class so far has been Econ 304, or Intermediate Macroeconomics because it has done a great job of highlighting how many introductory topics discussed in previous courses are applicable in the real world.

What do you love about your major/College of Liberal Arts?


The College of Liberal Arts has provided me with great support throughout my first two years at CSU and all of my advisors associated with my majors/minors have done a great job of highlighting internship and future job opportunities.

What's next?


I hope to attend law school and obtain a Juris Doctor degree specializing in sports and entertainment law and eventually work as a sports agent or as a member of a marketing team for a professional sports organization.
Fiona McAliney

Fiona McAliney

Major: Art History

Minor: German

Year: Senior

Why CSU

I limited my college search to mainly Colorado schools:  CSU, CU Boulder, CU Denver and the University of Wyoming (because my mom and sister both attended UW). I got into each one and remember coming to Fort Collins one day just to take a look around and visit some friends. I saw the campus and fell in love with it.  It was summertime and I remember how much I loved all the grass and trees and how many beautiful flowers were downtown. Not to mention I met some of the kindest people on the campus. I remember sitting at a burger restaurant downtown and just realizing Fort Collins and CSU were where I was meant to be. I also have to say that green is one of my favorite colors to wear and I REALLY like how CSU’s colors are green and gold.

Path to my Major

I took a gap year out of high school because I just wasn’t sure I knew what I want to do. I hadn’t seen much of the world and I hadn’t experienced enough to feel confident about going into something like graphic design (one of my ideas). During my gap year I worked with a real estate company as a marketing assistant and then traveled a bit. One day I was driving home with my dad and I remember him mentioning art history to me. I had never once considered it or even knew it was an option. I had always loved art and learning about artists combined with the history of humanity so it started to make sense and spark a newfound interest for me.

Why do you study Art History


I absolutely love it. I think the way human history and art have influenced and been influenced by one another is incredibly interesting. I also think by studying history it gives us an opportunity as a society to not make the same mistakes twice and continue to move forward.

What skills have you learned from your degree?


I have learned better reading and writing skills as well as a new way to study and look at the world.

How do you apply them?


I apply them through my schoolwork and in my life by always pushing myself to do my best as well as consider both sides to a story (as you must do in history) because there is always more to it.

What career options are you pursuing? What skills from your degree can you / will you tie to your job or grad school pursuit?


I am looking into following an art-business direction for my career. I have also considered gallery/curating work, or going on to graduate school and earning a teaching degree.

What clubs/organizations are you involved in? (on campus or off)

  • CSU German Club
  • Honors Track 2 Program
  • CLA Student Ambassador Program
  • Member of the Denver Art Museum

Why are you involved in these clubs? What does involvement on campus (or off) provide you both personally and professionally?


I love getting involved with on campus organizations because it helps me meet new people and get a better understanding of the happenings at CSU. I love this school and love being a part of some of the things that make it so unique and special. My off campus activities I enjoy because they help me grow personally and get a better insight to the world around me, especially in my field of study.

What's your favorite CSU memory?

I have so many favorite CSU memories and I don’t know if I could pick just one. I think if I had to it would be the day I joined an IM soccer team with some friends. The league was Co-ed, which I always believe makes things more interesting, and we made it close to the last round. It was so much fun and I met so many cool people who loved playing the same sport I had played my whole life. It was my freshmen year and it made me fall in even more love with CSU because of how nice the fields are, how friendly the people are, and how beautiful the campus is.

What's your favorite class and why?


All of my art history classes because I love learning about the subject. One of my all time favorites is Art History of the 20th Century. I love learning about that century because it was so recent and it was also a time of enormous change for the entire human race. With the Industrial Revolution leading up to two world wars and the Depression, many fled their homes and experienced horrors that people today can barely imagine. I think some of the art that came from this period is some of the most intellectual art in the world because of the questions people started to ask, and the huge issues that became more obvious.

What do you love about your major/College of Liberal Arts?


I love all the unique people and experiences that make up the College of Liberal Arts. I also love how amazing the professors are. I have yet to have a bad professor and I think that really says something about the college. Each professor has been unique in their own teaching style and ways and yet each have cared so much about every individual student and the success of their students.

What's next?


I plan to graduate in the Spring of 2021. I have also started looking into study abroad programs as well as graduate programs. I would love to continue on with this area of study and push myself to move around the world, experiencing and seeing as much as I can in an effort to gain more insight of the history of our world.
Gillian Stieren

Gillian Stieren

Major: International Relations

Year: Junior

Why CSU

I knew it had the academics I was looking for…then I visited campus, explored Fort Collins, spent some time in the mountains and I was in love!

Path to my Major

I came into CSU planning on studying International Studies thanks to some long and personal conversations with my high school counselor. I did not take many AUCC courses but the preliminary courses for my major made me feel assured that I had picked the right field of study.

Why do you study International Relations


From my International Relations degree I have learned to understand and appreciate the complexities of the many problems facing our world today. I have been given the opportunity to develop a well-rounded and holistic perspective of global events and issues thanks to the interdisciplinary nature of my major, as well as an emphasis on communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and innovative thinking. I apply these to skills both in and out of the classroom, whether it be to my job, my relationships, or my extra-circular activities. I am looking into a position involving foreign service work or diplomacy on behalf of a NGO or the U.S. Government, where my global perspective, problem-solving, and open-mindedness to diversity that I am developing with my degree will serve me well.

What clubs/organizations are you involved in? (on campus or off)


I am an officer in the CSU Outdoor Club.

Why are you involved in these clubs? What does involvement on campus (or off) provide you both personally and professionally?


I am involved in the Outdoor Club because I have a passion for being outside, and the club gives me the opportunity to go on amazing outdoor trips and excursions with like-minded people. It also helps me develop my leadership and problem-solving skills, as I must lead groups of people on trips where we may encounter unfavorable conditions or when the possibility for injury is present.

What's your favorite CSU memory?

The Rocky Mountain Showdown (this year) - sitting in the student section with everybody just going crazy over the game and singing, dancing, and laughing (even though we lost pretty badly).

What's your favorite class and why?


My favorite class currently is Indigenous Environmental Stewardship (ANTH 417), because we are learning about varying perspectives and beliefs about the environment between different cultures. I find the various Native American environmental beliefs and their history of environmental interaction (our main focus) utterly captivating.

What do you love about your major/College of Liberal Arts?


For my major, I love getting to learn about the world and the people in it from so many different perspectives and disciplines (history, anthropology, sociology, etc.), and especially finding the connections between them. I love that in the College of Liberal Arts we are encouraged to think critically about social issues and use the knowledge and insights we gained to find solutions.

What's next?


Semester at Sea (Spring 2020!)
HannahTaylor

Hannah Taylor

Major: History & German

Minor: Political Science

Year: Senior

Why CSU

I chose CSU because the university offered a German major while many other universities, I looked into only offered a minor. I also really liked Fort Collins and liked that it was familiar to me. I also really liked the campus and the variety of clubs and organizations to be involved in.

Path to my Major

I did not take many AUCC courses because I completed 36 college credits in high school. I knew what I wanted to study going in to CSU.

Why do you study German and History?


I decided to study history and German because I want to go into a career of research and teaching history. I am studying German so that I can read primary source documents in German, I have always wanted to learn another language and enjoy learning German.

What skills have you learned?


My writing and research skills have significantly improved. Also, learning grammar in German has improved my grammar in English.

How do you apply them?


I apply the skills I have learned in applications for positions and in my schoolwork.

What career options are you pursuing? What skills from your degree can you / will you tie to your job or grad school pursuit?


I plan on either attending law school or grad school to pursue a PHD in History. I want to practice law or be a History professor. The skills that I have learned from my coursework in the College of Liberal Arts are preparing me for grad school and afterwards in my career.

What clubs/organizations are you involved in?


Last year, I was involved in student government (ASCSU) and the Student Fee Review Board. Currently, I am a member of Pi Beta Phi and a College of Liberal Arts Ambassador.

Why are you involved in these clubs? What does involvement on campus (or off) provide you both personally and professionally?


I was involved in ASCSU because it gave me the opportunity to get involved on campus and work towards improving student’s university experience. I really enjoyed being on the Student Fee Review Board because I gained a lot of information on the different resources available to students and also provided me with a voice in how student fee dollars are spent. I joined Pi Beta Phi so that I could be in an organization of women who support each other throughout college and afterwards. I am a College of Liberal Arts Ambassador because I am very passionate about what I study and the experience I’ve gained from the college.

What was your favorite class and why?


My favorite class I have taken at CSU is History from 1876 to 1914 with Professor Sheflin. I enjoyed this class because I found the content interesting, I really liked how the professor lectured, and the assigned readings were useful and informative. I have taken several classes with the same Professor for these reasons. The reason why this class was my favorite was because of the content covered.

What's your favorite CSU memory?


My favorite CSU memory is making my best friends through working with them at ASCSU. I got to go on a trip to meet with other student government’s all over Colorado to form an alliance in order to advocate for college students in Colorado. I also got to work closely with a lobbyist and political strategists that the student government employed. My ASCSU experience is my favorite CSU memory so far because I was able to work on a team that worked really well together and we all had a common goal, which was to give back to our fellow students.

What do you love about your major/College of Liberal Arts?


I love that I am studying something I enjoy, I know that by studying topics I am passionate about, I will be happy in my career.

What's next?


I am planning on taking the LSAT and the GRE and applying for both PhD programs for History and Law School.

Will Wilson

Major: History

Concentration: Social Studies Teaching

Minor: Music

Year: Sophomore

Why CSU

I choose CSU for a multitude of reasons. Firstly, I was offered financial support through the college of liberal arts to make my tuition affordable. CSU also has a fantastic percussion music studio which I knew I wanted to be a part of as well as a great teacher prep program. On top of that, it kept me in the state of Colorado which I love so I can continue to hike, camp, fish, and ski in my free time!

Path to my Major

I originally started as a music education major here at CSU. I choose this major as I was offered scholarships by CLA, loved playing percussion, teaching youth, and it was a well-known program in the nation. When I began classes though, I realized music was too narrow a focus for my education, but knew I still wanted to become a teacher. I always enjoyed history and geography, so I decided to switch into the social studies teaching program which I’ve been a part of every sense! Changing majors was a great choice and I couldn’t be happier.

Why do you study History and Music?


Being in the history program has really taught me how to reflectively analyze the past and present. It is easy to get caught up in generalizations when looking at the past, and it is important to dive deeper into important events. I’ve also learned about how to analyze and present sources that are accurate and relevant in this program to different audiences. Music has taught me about working as a team and working towards improvement. I apply these skills all the time in my everyday life. Having the mindset of looking deeper into the world has made me a more critical thinker and has really allowed me to develop my own viewpoints of the world. Learning to work as a team has been invaluable and has improved both my personal and professional life. I’m currently pursuing a career as a teacher! My education at CSU is invaluable to making sure I’m prepared to teach future generations. Being able to present media and sources in an engaging way will be valuable when working with students and making effective lesson plans.

What clubs/organizations are you involved in?


I’m currently involved in a few programs at CSU. In the music program, I’m a member of the CSU orchestra and percussion ensemble. I’m on an intramural team called the Wildcats, and we play co-ed basketball and kickball. I am involved with the campus ministry Cru @ CSU and attend meetings regularly. I’m also a Resident Assistant at Newsom Hall this year.

Why are you involved in these clubs? What does involvement on campus (or off) provide you both personally and professionally?


I’m involved with these activities to connect with my fellow CSU Rams. All these serve to build friendships and help me take advantage of “the college experience.”

What's your favorite class and why?


My favorite class was GEO 100. My professor, Dr. Hausermann, made the class super engaging to the point that everyone participated, and I was always excited to show up. I made some great friends and learned new ways to analyze culture and human behaviors.

What's your favorite CSU memory?


Hands down my favorite CSU memory was when I went on an all expenses covered trip to Indianapolis last year to perform at the Percussion Arts Society International Convention. I got to miss school to go hang out with my friends for a few days in the city. We went to the convention center, the capitol building, soldiers' and sailors’ monument, watched live performances, explored downtown, and went to a state park along the river! It was a blast.

What do you love about your major/College of Liberal Arts?


I love that history majors get to explore monumental events that shaped the world we see around us. While living in the moment, it’s hard to realize just how important our actions are, and history brings that to light. All the classes are super interesting, and I learn new things every day about our past.

What’s next?


Next for me is beginning more education classes to receive my teacher licensure! I also plan to win an intramural championship shirt soon!
Will Wilson

Jade Felthoven

Major: History

Concentration:  Social Studies Teaching

Year: Senior

Why CSU

I chose CSU for a lot of different reasons. I loved the wide variety of options when it comes to majors and the many academic resources that are offered to students here. I also loved how many ways there are to get involved on campus, as that was something that was very important to me as an incoming freshman. Overall, though, I think I chose CSU because of the overall environment, it immediately felt like home to me.

Path to my Major

The path to my major was difficult but so, so worth it. I originally started out here at CSU as a Statistics major. I love the subject, but deep down I knew that it wasn’t the right choice for me. The passion for what I would be learning was just not there. In high school, my history classes were always my favorites and have always had some interest in teaching, so I decided that being a History major with a concentration in Social Studies Teaching was the right call for me. From there, I connected with my current Academic Success Coordinator (Kim Daggett) about my interest in the program and she helped register for my first semester of classes that fit my interests while also exploring other subjects via the AUCC requirements. Through the experience of taking a wide variety of classes my first semester, I became sure that my major was where I was supposed to be.

Why do you study History?


I study history because it helps me understand why the way we live the way we do today. So much knowledge and understanding of human nature is found in history. I have learned skills like critical thinking, public speaking, writing (believe me, writing long papers does get easier!), and deep analysis of texts and events. I apply these skills not only in the classroom, but every single day out in the world. The liberal arts in general teaches long term, transferable skills that make people into better communicators, thinkers, and achievers. After graduation, I am seriously considering teaching abroad in volunteer programs like the Peace Corps before moving into teaching in classrooms domestically. I also hope to eventually attain a graduate degree in history or education.

What clubs/organizations are you involved in? (on campus or off)


I am involved in a couple of different things both on and off campus. On campus, I am a College of Liberal Arts Ambassador, which allows me to get involved in both college and university admissions events. I also have been a part of various clubs on campus, such as History Club and the CSU Speech and Debate Society. I am also a work-study employee in the Office of Financial Aid. Off campus, I serve as an assistant speech and debate coach at a high school in the Denver and you can find me most weekends November-February judging speech and debate tournaments!

Why are you involved in these clubs? What does involvement on campus (or off) provide you both personally and professionally


I really enjoy the time I dedicate to all of my involvements. They allow me to meet so many interesting, intelligent people who I am constantly learning from. Furthermore, my on campus involvement helps me to feel more connected to CSU and it makes it easier to feel like a have a place at such a large university.

What's your favorite class and why?


HIST 345 with Professor Everett has been my favorite history class taken at CSU. I love getting into my upper division history courses because we get to go so in depth on certain subjects. Professor Everett is also, in my opinion, one of the best lecturers on campus. He makes the information and stories come alive right in front of you; his passion is tangible and mesmerizing. I would take one of his classes every semester if I could.

What's your favorite CSU memory?


My favorite CSU memories all involve my amazing friends. For me, it's the little moments that stand out the most. From laughing way to loudly in Morgan Library to cheering on the football team in Canvas Stadium, the people I was surrounded by were what made those moments so fun.

What do you love about your major/College of Liberal Arts?


I love that my major gives me so many options for the future while letting me study some really fascinating things in the present. The College of Liberal Arts encourages you to think critically about some more difficult issues, but I believe that it is that thought that will push us as a collective society to reach higher and higher.

What’s next?


Who knows! As I continue on the path towards graduation, I look forward to all that I have yet to learn. My student teaching experiences are getting more immersive each semester, which is fantastic. Also, I’m excited to potentially study abroad in Rome, Italy this coming summer!
JadeFelthoven

Jenna Moore

Major: Music Performance

Minor: LEAP (Art Leadership & Administration)

Year: Junior

Why CSU

I chose CSU because it was the university that lined up most with what I wanted for myself. I wanted to go to a bigger school, to have many options for how I could customize my degree, to be in an honors program, to be able to use a recreation center and play intramural sports, to participate in marching band, and to be a member of the university’s flute studio. CSU offered me all of these opportunities, and I also felt a stronger sense of community here compared to my visits of other campuses. I felt welcomed immediately, and CSU feels like home to me now.

Path to my Major

Since I am an honors student at CSU, I had the opportunity to customize my course load to not include any AUCC courses. Instead, I substituted them with honors seminars, these smaller class sizes allow for in-depth conversations about interesting subjects. My favorite seminar so far has been about how different types of leisure can affect our lives.
I am extremely interested in music business both for classical musicians and modern musicians you could listen to on the radio. I originally planned to be a business major with a minor in music, however, I did not feel ready to give up flute performance. In order to participate in the CSU flute studio, I switched my plan to have a major in music and a minor in business. I am planning to declare the business minor along with the LEAP minor that I am currently working on. LEAP stands for Leadership, Entrepreneurship, Arts Advocacy, and the Public. This course educates students in the fine arts on how the arts function in our government and society, and it prepares us for how to be successful in the real world after we graduate.

What skills have you learned from BM performance?

I have learned how to be disciplined and resilient. A music performance degree takes hours of individualized practice. It is easy to fall behind if you do not put in a continuous effort to become a better musician. Although the professors in this degree will help guide you, it is you who will be the one to dictate your own success. I have also learned how to take criticism and how to learn from failure.

How do you apply them?


I apply these skills by setting reasonable goals for myself. I understand that I will not significantly improve overnight, so I keep track of my progress in order to be prepared for performances. The concert dates will be arriving no matter what, so I manage how to use the time I have effectively. These skills have transitioned over to other courses in which I plan accordingly before due dates arrive.

What career options are you pursuing? What skills from your degree can you / will you tie to your job or grad school pursuit?


My career will likely include a combination of paths, which I will enjoy because the idea of an office job does not interest me. I will most likely give private flute lessons to students as one of my options. I would also like to perform with a symphony orchestra and possibly perform for movie soundtrack music. Another big goal of mine is start programs in which young musicians can participate in international exchanges in order to perform with students outside of our country. I am passionate about promoting how music is an international language after I had the opportunity to perform with a high school band in Japan. Graduate school is also an option for me. As I get closer to graduating, I will determine whether going to graduate school to further my skills in flute or my knowledge of the modern music world will be the best option. My time management skills and my determination are definitely strengths I will take with me into my career. Everything I do I like to do well, and I believe this mindset will help me secure a career in the future.

What clubs/organizations are you involved in? (on campus or off)


Besides the College of Liberal Arts Ambassadors, I am a member of the Honors Student Association (HSA). I am a member of the International Music Fraternity, Sigma Alpha Iota (SAI). This semester, I am a section leader for the CSU Marching Band. I am also a member of the Presidential Pep Band.

Why are you involved in these clubs? What does involvement on campus (or off) provide you both personally and professionally?


HSA performs community service on campus and off. We also participate in fun activities that allow us to explore more of the Fort Collins area. I enjoy this organization because it allows us opportunities to see more than what is on campus. In SAI, we build relationships with each other and attempt to give back to the community through music. I enjoy being a part of an organization that shares an appreciation for music. The marching band performs at every football game and a few extra performances such as the Denver Parade of Lights. Every member of the marching band receives a scholarship, and the amount of this scholarship increases every year of participation in the band. I also enjoy marching band because it has a great sense of community, and through it I have made some of my closest friends. The Presidential Pep Band performs at volleyball games and events such as CSU Alumni Association gatherings. This is another opportunity for me to spend time with marching band members and combine two things I love: music and sports!

What's your favorite class and why?


My favorite class is Wind Symphony. I love this class because my favorite part about being a musician is performing in large ensembles like these. The music for this group is very challenging, and it has pushed me to become a better musician. I have a lot of respect for the director of this ensemble, and it is not common that you see a woman as the director of bands for an entire university. Wind Symphony also gave me the opportunity to perform music in Prague this past summer which is an experience I will never forget.

What's your favorite CSU memory?


My favorite CSU memory is having the opportunity to host and perform with the CSU Wind Symphony at the American Bandmaster Association (ABA) celebration in Loveland, CO. ABA members consist of well-known directors, conductors, and composers within the band world. It was incredible to be able to speak to people whose music I had performing throughout my experience with band. Performing at this event was amazing as well because I had never experienced an audience in which every seat was occupied by someone who was just as much into band music as myself.

What do you love about your major/College of Liberal Arts?


I love that I feel as though I can make my major my own. I believe I can take my education at CSU and do something with it that no one has thought of before. I am confident that my professors in the School of Music, Theater, and Dance and other faculty within the College of Liberal Arts will support me and help me build a career path that is perfect for me. My degree has also significantly improved my leadership and communication skills that I believe will be a valuable asset to me in the future.

What’s next?


The next steps for me involve continuing to work hard and reach my goals. I will soon have to start preparing for solo recitals as a part of my degree requirement. One of my goals is to be able to perform with my host sister from my Japan trip (who is also a flutist) on one of these recitals. My honors thesis is also on the horizon, so I will soon be brainstorming for that. I am planning on declaring a business minor this year, so I will have even more classes to plan for in my schedule. Although there is much to be done, I am excited to continue with my degree path in order to build my unique career

Jenna Moore

Laura Garcia

Majors: Political Science & Sociology

Year: Senior

Why CSU

I decided to attend CSU because it was the most affordable option. I knew going into college applications that the cost of the university would, in the end, be the deciding factor. Now years later I am thankful that I decided on Colorado State University. This university has introduced me to so many passionate professors, a beautiful campus, and endless opportunities.

Path to my Major

In high school I was involved in my school’s speech and debate team. It was then that I realized how passionate I was about current events and the American political structure. It became clear to me that political science would be a great choice. Once in college, I added a sociology minor but quickly decided to take a big leap of faith and double major with a concentration in criminal justice instead. I have always had a huge interest in social issues, specifically ones surrounding the American Criminal Justice System.

Why do you study political science and sociology?


I study political science and sociology not only because I find these areas of study interesting, but also because I believe they are valuable in everyday life. It is important for me to understand well the way that American government and politics function. Sociology has also opened my eyes to a lot of issues present in society that I want to improve.

What skills have you learned


  • Analyzing
  • Professional writing

How do you apply them


I use my analytical and writing skills every day. The professional workforce requires that people know how to use proper writing etiquette. Whether it be for emails or for a resume, a strong writing ability is essential. Through the many essays and scholarly readings that both of my majors require, I feel prepared for that factor in the workforce. As a student who has also learned about critical events in American history that have had unintended consequences, such as the War on Drugs, I often analyze different situations in order to think about what outcomes they may bring.

What career options are you pursuing? What skills from your degree can you / will you tie to your job or grad school pursuit?


Currently I am considering going into the political field and working as a lobbyist orworking in victim advocacy. Both paths require for one to be an efficient writer and to be able to analyze situations quickly and thoroughly.

What clubs/organizations are you involved in? (on campus or off)


  • College of Liberal Arts Student Ambassador

Why are you involved in these clubs? What does involvement on campus (or off) provide you both personally and professionally?


What's your favorite class and why?


My favorite class at CSU has been Intro to Ethnic Studies. This course covered a lot of history that is rarely taught elsewhere. It was eye-opening to learn about the experiences of many marginalized groups.

What's your favorite CSU memory?


The first week of college is my favorite CSU memory. I can still remember how exciting it was to begin an entirely new chapter. Moving into the dorms, meeting new people, and figuring out classes for the very first time was a very enjoyable and memorable experience.

What do you love about your major/College of Liberal Arts?


I love that both of my majors have made me into a more open minded person. As with most liberal arts majors, political science and sociology courses cover topics that may change one’s perception. In sociology, for instance, there are many different theories of crimes that can help explain why someone may have committed that crime. Learning about all these theories has helped me understand that there is no single type of individual who commits more crime. In the end, there are a lot of contributing factors.


What’s next?


Since there are many career paths that I could pursue after graduation, I want to explore my interests more. I will soon be applying to internships, including CSU’s Colorado Legislative internship.
Laura Cardona Garcia

Megan Valliere

Major: Political Science

Concentration: U.S. Government, Law, & Policy

Minors:  English & Legal Studies

Year: Senior

Why CSU

After I took an individual visit with the College of Liberal Arts during my senior year of high school, I knew CSU was the perfect fit for me. The class I sat in on, the faculty and staff I met with, and the students I bumped into showed me that CSU is a community that values learning, service, excellence, and acceptance. I learned about internship and involvement opportunities that really peaked my interest and showed me how engaged I could be as a student at CSU, both in the classroom and in the community. That visit changed my life in the best way possible. That day, I found a home and a family at CSU.

Path to my Major

I spent a lot of time working in local government during high school as a long-term member of my city’s youth commission and a delegate for American Legion Auxiliary Colorado Girls State and Girls Nation. However, I didn’t connect my love of government and politics to what I wanted to study until just before graduating from high school. I always knew I wanted to help people somehow, and I have always enjoyed advocacy work and persuasive writing. I thought I might venture into social work, history, English, or communication studies before realizing that political science combines my passions for public service, activism, policy, and deliberation. Conversations with college admissions representatives, my teachers, and my family confirmed that I would love this field. I have an amazing academic success coordinator who helped me during the first steps of starting my major, and since the first day of my first political science class, I haven’t looked back.

Why do you study Political Science?


I study Political Science because I enjoy learning about how we can structurally make a difference by both formal and informal means, including legislation, public participation, and grassroots activism. At times, the political sphere can be volatile, but I love discerning what is going on nationally and internationally and being able to productively contribute to ongoing public discourse. I have learned about political theory, how to responsibly consume political media, bureaucratic and legislative processes, governments around the world, political rhetoric and communication, and so much more. The content fascinates me, but the skills I am learning are what really makes studying the liberal arts important for my future career. All of my classes have taught me how to think logically, write persuasively, speak articulately, and work collaboratively. I am looking forward to a long career in public service, and these skills have already served me well in internship and networking opportunities.

What clubs/organizations are you involved in? (on campus or off)


I am a CLA Student Ambassador, the President of the Knits of the Round Table ,a newly formed community service knitting club, a proud member and local officer of American Legion Auxiliary Unit 1879, and an intern with a non-profit organization called G.L.O.B.A.L. Justice. I also interned with the Larimer County Board of County Commissioners during the summer of 2019.

Why are you involved in these clubs? What does involvement on campus (or off) provide you both personally and professionally?


Every organization I involve myself with includes service in some fashion. Whether that means serving families visiting campus, individuals in the community who benefit from donated knitted items, veterans, or vulnerable populations locally and around the world, I try to make every minute make an impact. One of my mentors always said to be the change you wish to see in the world, so I strive to do that every day. Working with these organizations has provided me with personal fulfillment and professional experience in networking, the nonprofit sector, and government.

What's your favorite class and why?


I absolutely loved POLS103, State and Local Government. As an introductory political science class, I wasn’t totally sure about it. My professor was absolutely amazing and really made us think about tough situations in local governance such as policy recommendations, budget cuts, tax limitations, and more. That class taught me how to think critically about governance and made me want to work in state and local government as a career.

What's your favorite CSU memory?


One of my favorite CSU memories was when I visited office hours for one of my professors. I had mixed up the times, and she told me that she was just about to head to lunch but would be back in about 45 minutes. I came back at that time, and told me how great it was to see me and had brought back a cookie for us to share during our meeting. It seems like a small act, but it really made me feel at home during my first semester at CSU and showed me how much our professors care about our students. I know she would have been as welcoming and lovely for anyone, which makes my heart smile. That day made me realize how lucky I am to be in such a supportive environment. Of course, my other favorite CSU memories are the three times I have met Cam the Ram, whom I love with my whole being.

What do you love about your major/College of Liberal Arts?


I love the diversity of our college. Between the social sciences, humanities, and the arts, we have so many unique and empowering people studying, teaching, working, and researching in our college. Everyone I meet brings something really special to our community. I also really love the academic support we have available to us through our academic success coordinators, career counselors, and centers. I feel really confident in my ability to find support for my major and my career prospects.

What's next?


I’m looking into graduate school, law school, and employment options in government. Public service is the end goal, but I’m not entirely sure what that looks like at the moment. I know I will be able to find a way to pursue public policy and advocacy, and I’m glad that journey began at CSU.
Megan Valliere

Merry Gebretsadik

Major: Political Science

Minor: Ethnic Studies

Year: Junior

Why CSU

I chose CSU because of its student centered atmosphere and endless amount of resources. I also chose it because it was close enough but far enough from home at the same time.

Path to my Major

I first had always wanted to become a doctor since I was little. But my love for politics had grown over time. I had also always loved current events and started to see what my passion was. I loved learning about what was going on around the world and what politicians were doing to help. I knew that I wanted to have an influence on systems of government that are against human rights, and what better way to do that than with a political science degree.

What skills have you learned from political science?


I have learned a lot about how to stand up for what I believe in and different things I can do to help with situations.

How do you apply them?


Through joining organizations that have an impact on situations I want to help.

What career options are you pursuing? What skills from your degree can you / will you tie to your job or grad school pursuit?


I want to pursue a career in diplomacy. I want to be a United States Ambassador and I am going to tie skills such as connecting with political parties that hold influence in order to make a difference.

What clubs/organizations are you involved in? (on campus or off)


On campus: NRHH, ASCSU, Orientation, Hall Council, UWOC, Elections Committee, CLA Ambassador.

Why are you involved in these clubs? What does involvement on campus (or off) provide you both personally and professionally?


I am involved on campus because I love making connections with different types of people. I also think it is a great way of enhancing my leadership skills and learning new ones as well. It helps me network as well, which will help me in my future career.

What's your favorite class and why?


My favorite class would have to be Introduction to Ethnic Studies because some of the things I had learned had shocked me. I was learning about stuff that I was not fully knowledgeable about which made me want to learn more. A lot of the stuff we learned included heavy subjects and it helped me become accustomed to being uncomfortable.

What's your favorite CSU memory?


My favorite CSU memory would have to be being able to welcome the class of 2023 as an orientation leader because I was able to provide them with the support I was glad I received when I came to CSU.

What do you love about your major/College of Liberal Arts?


I love my major because it makes me want to learn more and more each and every day. I also see a lot of what I learn in real life which intrigues me.

What’s next?


Next for me on the list is to continue getting good grades while staying involved on campus and make more connections.
Merry Gebretsadik

Moraima Castaneda

Major: Political Science

Minor: Sociology

Year: Senior

Why CSU

I chose Colorado State because I fell in love with the atmosphere at Fort Collins. I could not ask for more with Horsetooth just minutes away from campus and getting to watch the sun set glaze over the mountains every afternoon.

Path to my Major

I started at CSU undeclared because I was lost in regards to what direction I wanted to steer the rest of my life. Ever since I was a child, I had a dream of becoming a lawyer, yet as a low-income student I was discouraged in following my dreams and claiming them as realistic. However, once I reached out to advisors and financial aid resources, they gave me the reassurance that my dream was very attainable, and CSU would provide me with the knowledge and support to get me there. That is when I declared my political science major.

What skills have you learned from political science?


I have obtained a wide array of skills studying political science such as communication, analyzation, and problem-solving skills.

How do you apply them?


Not only do I apply these skills to my schoolwork but as well in the world outside of education when networking and applying for positions.

What career options are you pursuing? What skills from your degree can you / will you tie to your job or grad school pursuit?


I strive to enter law school shortly after graduating CSU. With the skills I have obtained through studying political science I am confident I will be prepared to succeed.

What clubs/organizations are you involved in? (on campus or off)


CLA Student Ambassador Program

What's your favorite class and why?


My favorite class this semester is Race and Ethnicity in U.S. Politics for the reason that it is such an interactive class and we always make sure to touch upon current events that relate to our learnings.

What's your favorite CSU memory?


My favorite CSU memory is moving out of my dorm after my first year. While it was a bittersweet moment, it was a reminder that I had finished my first year and that was an immense accomplishment.

What do you love about your major/College of Liberal Arts?


I love my major because it is a study I am fascinated about and always have been, and the College of Liberal Arts here does an amazing job at providing students with the most rewarding courses.

What’s next?


In the future I plan on enrolling in law school and becoming an immigration lawyer.
MoraimaCastaneda
Grace Bolesta HYGH

Grace Bolesta

Major: Political Science

Minors: Global Environmental Sustainability & Ethnic Studies

Year: Sophomore

Why CSU

I chose CSU because of their leadership in environmental issues and related curriculum as well as the amazing location. Being in Fort Collins offers unique opportunities for connecting with the outdoors and integrating it into our learning.

Path to my Major

I originally was going to be an art education major, but after working on several political campaigns I realized I wanted to pursue political science. I have been passionate about the environment for as long as I can remember and grew up in a very politically engaged family. Finding the Environmental Policy concentration was exciting, and I finally felt certain about my major. I took Environmental Conservation (NR120)for one of my AUCC science electives and it led me to both of my minors, Global Environmental Sustainability and Ethnic Studies. The joint-taught class integrated both Indigenous knowledge systems and conservation science, and I wanted to learn more.

Why do you study Political Science?


I study Political Science because I hope to work for change in our current system. Political Science has taught me strong critical thinking skills. I have learned and continue to learn how to critically analyze policy and language in order to create more effective and equitable policy solutions. I would love to go to grad school to continue studying politics and the environment in some capacity. The skills I am learning at CSU are preparing me to think for myself and have the knowledge to back it up.

What clubs/organizations are you involved in? (oncampus or off)


I am involved in the Women for Wildlands Club, Outdoor Club, and Pride Resource Center. I am also a supervisor at Morgan’s Grind on campus. Off campus, I have been involved in several climate change action groups.

Why are you involved in these clubs? What does involvement on campus (or off) provide you both personally and professionally?


When I transferred, I didn’t know anyone on campus, but through joining clubs and groups of likeminded people, I felt more connected to the campus community. It has helped me meet friends and prepare me for the work I hope todo in the future as well.

What's your favorite class and why?


Picking a favorite class is difficult because I can honestly say I haven’t taken a class I didn’t like yet. Environmental Conservation and U.S. Environmental Policy have been my favorites so far. Theyhave forced me challenge my previous understanding of environmental issues and broadened my scope of awareness through engaging coursework. I am so grateful that I was able to learn from them because I feel so much more prepared for life post-graduation.

What's your favorite CSU memory?


My favorite memories at CSU have been weekend trips with the Outdoors Club and Women for Wildlands. Exploring the amazing scenery in Colorado with other students is one of my favorite pastimes.

What do you love about your major/College of Liberal Arts?


I love that the CLA is notonly about learning and innovating new ideas, but un-learning and challenging what we think we already know. Studying Political Science/Environmental Policy and Ethnic Studies has provided me with a vast intersection of knowledge. I love that the CLA encompasses so many fields of study because they are all connected in different ways. I feel that this has prepared me extremely well.

What's next?


After graduation, I plan to work in environmental policy or non-for-profit work. I hope to curb environmental degradation through making just and equitable environmental policy.