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 current liberal arts students below.

Andrea Day, English
Annie Egghart, English
Aram Sahakyan, Philosophy
Brooke Cordell, Art History
Brook Rajnowski, History
Cassie Franks, History
Caity Prendergast, International Studies
Claudia Perez, Communication Studies
Daniel Trump, English
Ellie Gould, Political Sciences
Ethan Lee, Economics & Political Science
Fiona McAliney, Art History
Gillian Stieren, International Relations
Gussie Millar, Political Science
Hannah Hurlbut, International Studies & Communication Studies
Hannah Taylor, History & German
Isabel Heiland, Visual Art
Jade Felthoven, History
Jenna Moore, BM Performance
Laura Cardona Garcia, Political Science & Sociology
Madison Taylor, Economics, Political Science/Global Politics & Journalism and Media Communication
Megan Robertson, English
Megan Valliere, Political Science
Merry Gebretsadik, Political Science
Moraima Castaneda, Political Science
Torey Wyman, Journalism & Communication Studies
Zach Ramelow, Political Science
Annie Egghart

Annie Egghart

Major: English

Concentration: Creative Writing

Minor: Film Studies

Year: Sophomore

Why CSU

I wanted small class sizes, I wanted a great education that was affordable, I wanted to be able to study abroad, and when I stepped onto campus I felt like I was home.

Path to my Major

I have always really loved stories, they are something I inherently understand. I enjoy examining plot intricacies of a work. I watch a lot of TV, movies, and I love to read, so to me it was natural to pick English. However, I chose to add a minor after I took a screenwriting class.

What skills have you learned from studying English?


I’ve done a lot of growing in the past year and I’ve learned a lot of new skills along the way. I have never had the opportunity to take a creative writing class before, and with these experiences come many new challenges such as sharing work with others and learning to critique others’ work in a constructive and helpful manner.

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


Last year I was involved in Key Communities.

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


Key Communities was an amazing experience because the program’s roots are all about acceptance. It teaches you to be aware of the differences in people, and at the same time actively accept these differences. The program actively challenges each member to think about roles in society and how they affect others.

What's your favorite class and why?


Screenwriting as communication was my favorite class so far. I have always wanted to be a writer, but I have never had the time to fully complete a big project before and taking the class helped me to accomplish this goal. The class was very challenging as well because it was the first time I had to share my work with others. I would say any writer has a difficult time sharing their work when they are just starting out, and each one of us has to work through this struggle.

What's your favorite CSU memory?


Every Friday night in the dorm, my friends and I would order food and watch Avatar: the Last Airbender in the lounge in Edwards.

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


I love the College of Liberal Arts because I truly love being able to work creatively. Majoring in English has given me the opportunity to make friends who are interested in the same things that I am. I also love taking classes centered on social justice and the College of Liberal Arts has given me the opportunity to explore this passion of mine.

What’s next?


Next I’m looking into study abroad programs as well as graduate programs for screenwriting.
Andrea Day headshot

Andrea Day

Major: English

Concentration: Creative Writing

Minor: Media Studies

Year: Sophomore

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.
Cassie Franks

Cassie Franks

Major: History

Minor: Creative Writing

Year: Senior

Why CSU

After attending a school that didn’t fit me well, I knew I was looking for a place where I would not only find a community of people but also where I would feel welcome and challenged. After visiting CSU and looking into the Liberal Arts Program I found that the students and faculty didn’t only welcome me with open arms, but they cared about my success and my future. After seeing the amazing community of people and resources, I knew that CSU was the place for me

Path to my Major

I’ve always been a history kid. As a kid, most children my age were headed to summer or sports camp and I was headed to archeology camp to dig up long lost shards of pottery and explore what previous generations had left behind. I always knew that my major was going to be history, but it wasn’t until I took a literature class my first semester at CSU that a professor suggested I look into creative writing. After some thought, I found a way to pursue my other passion in writing by adding a creative writing minor.

Why do you study History?


I study history because we have to make connections to the past if we want to be able to understand and better our present and future. By knowing how to connect with the past, we can be better prepared for the future and make meaningful connections with our fellow humans. We are where we are because each miniscule and huge moment in history led us here, and we are all making history each day, leading us to a better future. Through the study of history, I have learned how to think critically, analyze events and sources, and make connections between the past and present. These skills will help me in pursuing a graduate degree in history, and they will eventually help me to find a career as a history teacher, and a historical writer.

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


I am involved in the College of Liberal Arts Ambassador Program as well as the National FFA Alumni Association.

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


I am involved in these organizations because of the wonderful opportunities they provide for not only those involved, but the individuals these organizations are involved with. Through this involvement I am better able to interact with my community, develop professionally, and assist others on their educational and career journeys.

What's your favorite class and why?


I’ve been lucky enough to take many amazing classes at CSU but my favorite has to be the documentary film making class I took. In this class I was able to interview two world war two survivors, a man who grew up in Nazi Germany, and a woman who served as an army nurse. I was able to compile their stories alongside my group members and create a short twenty minute documentary on their experiences. It was an experience that I will never forget, and it allowed me to become good friends with Winn and Leila the individuals I interviewed, as well as my fellow group members. It was a great introduction into the use of media in history and one that has prompted me to pursue similar projects.

What's your favorite CSU memory?


My favorite CSU Memory has to be the day that my Eighteenth-Century America professor, Professor Little, had us all dance to the Hamilton soundtrack to start off the class period. There is nothing like being surrounded by your classmates, dancing to a historical hip-hop soundtrack to start off a class period right.

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


The thing I love most about the College of Liberal Arts, and specifically the history department is the close-knit community that the students and faculty create. If you’re ever in need of help, support, or even just some good old-fashioned encouragement, these are the people to see. I always feel like I have support in my work, classes, and projects and I’m always able to find people who genuinely care about my growth and success. The support that the college of Liberal Arts offers to its’s students is unmatched and makes all the difference.

What's next?


After graduating in May, I hope to head to graduate school and obtain my master’s in history. After that I want to put my skills to use in the classroom at the high school and college level while using my free time to pursue writing projects.
AramSahakyan

Aram Sahakyan

Major: Philosophy

Minor: Legal Studies & Global Studies

Year: Senior

Why CSU

Ultimately it was the feeling I had when I was on campus and in Fort Collins. There was something about it that just felt right. I never felt this way on other college campuses.

Path to my Major

I took philosophy my senior year of high school and that’s really where I found my love for it and the drive to become a philosophy major. I can say that AUCC courses have impacted my minors however., especially global studies.

Why do you study Philosophy?


I study philosophy because I feel like the issues we grapple with are some of the most significant life questions to think about. I have learned how to properly argue and hold a position. I have learned how to critique others’ positions and find holes in them. I have learned how to critically analyze texts as well as produce my own. I am pursuing a career in law and/or the environmental sector and I believe that my communication skills will benefit me greatly in either field. My ability to think outside of the box and in unconventional ways will make me an incredibly unique asset.

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


  • Center for Public Deliberation (CPD)
  • CSU Men’s Club Soccer

  • 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 CPD because it gives me professional skills and experiences that are very valuable. I feel like it will help me in the professional world immensely. It has also helped me develop as an individual to see what I am capable of and what I am not. The soccer team doesn’t help me professionally as much as it helps me personally. Soccer has always been my one true love. It feels good for my soul to be playing soccer.

    What's your favorite class and why?


    Environmental Ethics - it took everything that I am truly passionate about into one class. It’s the philosophy of how we should and ought to treat the environment. I believe that if that was a required class or a more common field of study, we wouldn't be in the awful environmental situation that we currently find ourselves in.

    What's your favorite CSU memory?


    Soccer team. I feel most at home and a part of a family with them.

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


    It’s unconventional, outside the box. Yet, at the same time, unbelievably important and very applicable to daily life. I love what I study because it taught me to find happiness in places we aren’t told to look. It taught me to find value in things that we tend to overlook. It has given my life a whole new meaning. I feel fulfilled in ways that I wouldn’t be otherwise.

    What's next?


    After I graduate I plan to work for a few years (either as a law clerk or hopefully at the EPA) and save up money so that I can put myself through law school. I’d like to practice law, most preferably environmental. I feel as though it’s the best way for me to combine my love for the law and my desire to help as many people as I possibly can.

    Brook Rajnowski

    Major: History
    Concentration: Social Studies - Teaching
    Year: Senior

    Why CSU

    Not only did I choose CSU because of my personal connection, but also for the academics.  CSU offered a program that I was interested in, allowed me the flexibility in schedules to take the classes I wanted to and allowed me to continue my participation in music.  I have been very involved in music throughout my whole life, and CSU offered me the opportunity to stay involved while still completing my degree. This was rare to find in my college search and, combined with my history with campus and the academic program, made CSU the right choice for me.

    Path to my Major

    I have always wanted to teach. That was something that hasm't changed since the age of five. The subject matter, however, was never clear until freshman year of high school. I took an honors geography class freshman year and it opened my eyes to my passion for history and geography. As I get older, I realize that history has always been my passion, but I just had not realized it until then. Throughout my time at CSU, I took two lower-division history courses (HIST 150 with Sheflin and HIST 151 with Pizulo) that deepened my passion for history.

    What clubs/organizations are you involved in?


    The main organization I am involved in on campus is the CSU Marching Band and CSU Concert Band. I participated in the marching band for 2 years, playing flute the first year and sousaphone the second. I also have participated in the concert band for 2 years playing flute in both. I am involved with the music department because I have had a passion for music my whole life, and I can not imagine my life without some musical outlet in it. The CSU Marching Band and CSU Concert Band offer that outlet for music without putting too much time demand on my schedule. They allow me to participate without struggling to complete my coursework for my major. This provides great stress relief and a creative outlet for me.
    I am also involved in the work study program for the School of Social Work on campus. I have been in this position for two years and have gained many valuable skills though this job. Being involved in the work study program helps fund my education while giving me opportunities for professional development. I am able to connect with faculty on campus while also building communication and problem-solving skills in a different environment.

    What's your favorite class and why?


    My favorite class so far has been HIST349 with Carrie Pitzulo. Not only was this class one of my favorite time periods of US History (1945 through present), but Dr. Pitzulo made the information come alive. I have taken 3 classes with her in the 4 semesters I have been here, and I would take one of her classes every semester if I could. The way she organizes information is easy to follow, and she allows individual stories to come through to make the content more relatable and understandable. This course allowed me to dig deeper into the social justice movements of the 1960s and 70s without getting overwhelmed with information, and it also introduced me to something I am extremely passionate about—feminism. I have always had an interest in the feminist movement, and through this class, I was exposed to literature and personal stories about the movement that allowed me to find where I connect to the issues and how I can be involved. This class had a major impact on me and gave me the information I need to be a well-informed teacher in the future.

    What's your favorite CSU memory?


    My favorite CSU memory would have to be the final game at Hughes Stadium. I was a member of the marching band, and we were required to stay until the last light was turned off. After all the lights were out, we sang the Alma Mater as a band in the dark. I just think back on my memories at Hughes from high school marching band competitions as well as college experiences in band and being there at the final event was a very special moment. It was such a monumental moment for CSU, and I feel lucky to have been a part of it.

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


    I love that the courses challenge you to think on your own and become your own person. In many other majors, you are encouraged to follow one path and do everything the way they tell you to. In liberal arts, they challenge you to explore all possibilities, discover your own beliefs and ideas, and to be open to the opinions of those around you. In a democratic society, this concept is very important, and liberal arts is one of the only places where you can gain these skills.
    Brook Rajnowski, History

    Brooke Cordell

    Major: Art History
    Minor: Anthropology
    Year: Junior

    Why CSU

    I chose CSU because of the inclusive and friendly environment I found here. The town of Fort Collins is the perfect size to make students feel at home while still being able to adventure. The Art department on campus is fantastic and has an amazing museum available to students to gain knowledge in how the art world functions. CSU also has an great study abroad office and travel is something that has always been extremely important to me.

    Path to my Major

    I have always wanted to be an art dealer or director in the future. When deciding my major, art history was the clear choice to encapsulate everything I needed for my future career. My first art history class further solidified my decision because I was always excited to go to class and the homework didn’t feel like work.

    What skills have you learned from your degree?


    I have learned to communicate professionally with my teachers and peers as well as gained an extensive amount of knowledge about the art world and entry paths into the career I desire.
    I am also involved in the work study program for the School of Social Work on campus. I have been in this position for two years and have gained many valuable skills though this job. Being involved in the work study program helps fund my education while giving me opportunities for professional development. I am able to connect with faculty on campus while also building communication and problem-solving skills in a different environment. ? I apply these skills daily from my club involvements to teachers, and work.

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


    My end goal is to be an art dealer. This career is extremely competitive however I feel well prepared for graduate school and job searches after graduation. I have learned anything and everything about this industry through my department and am confident about my path to graduate school.

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


    I am involved in the panhellenic sorority Gamma Phi Beta and hold a chairwoman position. I am a volunteer with the Girls on the Run philanthropy and am an ambassador for the College of Liberal Arts. I am also an artist and have had work exhibited in both on and off campus galleries.

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


    Any involvement on or off campus allows for great opportunities for networking and practice for social and professional involvement. I joined Gamma Phi Beta because I wanted a smaller community of women to support and have to support me. Coming to college can be overwhelming so it was nice to have a Greek community to be involved with. My position I hold within the sorority has taught me leadership skills and how to effectively delegate. Lastly my volunteer work with Girls on the Run has been one of the most rewarding things in my life personally. Helping young women learn body confidence has been close to my heart since starting with them.

    What's your favorite class and why?


    Any art history class has been my favorite, we have a great department that teaches art history with so much passion. I highly recommend any classes with Michael Fenton, Emily Moore, or Eleanor Mossman.

    What's your favorite CSU memory?


    My favorite CSU memory has to be bid day when I officially joined my sorority. I had a whole world of amazing and strong women open up to me and I have made lifelong friends through the journey with Gamma Phi Beta.

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


    The College of Liberal Arts is filled with teachers that are so passionate about their work. I am always excited to go to class because they make the material so interesting and relatable to their students.

    What's next?


    After I graduate CSU, I plan to attain my masters in Art History as well as my PhD in either San Francisco or New York. I hope to one day become an art dealer for a major corporation in one of these cities.
    Brooke Cordell

    Caity Prendergast

    Major: International Studies

    Minors: French

    Year: Junior

    Why CSU

    I chose CSU because I wanted to stay in state and I was wowed by Fort Collins. I always have positive and rewarding interactions with people all over the city and CSU was a perfect fit for me!

    Path to my Major

    I knew my major before I even walked into my first class here. I have always been focused on global issues and diplomacy, and I really want to have a positive impact on our world so International Studies was the perfect major to help me achieve my lifelong goals.

    Why do you study International Studies?


    I’m majoring in International Studies because its an interdisciplinary degree and I feel it has really helped me expand my perspective on many different things. I think my degree helps me develop a wide skill set and gives me background knowledge on diverse topics. I hope to take my degree and someday become an ambassador to the United Nations.

    What clubs/organizations are you involved in?


    I intern with the Denver Probation department. I play volleyball. I work at the Lory Student Center. These organizations are great ways for me to create relationships and network with a diverse group of people.

    What's your favorite class and why?


    I absolutely love all of my French classes! They are so much fun and it is a really safe space to learn something new and also have a great time doing it.

    What's your favorite CSU memory?


    Watching the solar eclipse during my very first class.

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


    I think the CLA is full of very intelligent people that truly care about what they’re learning. The entire college is very welcoming and supportive and I think it become a family once you start leaning into your degree.
    Caity Prendergast, International Studies
    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.

    Claudia Perez

    Major: Communication Studies

    Minor: Legal Studies & Ethnic Studies

    Year: Senior

    Why CSU

    I chose CSU for a variety of reasons. The first reason was for academic purposes. I love to be challenged and I wanted my professors to push my limits. 

    I am a person of color, so I felt secure going to a predominately white university due to the presence and support that El Centro offers to students who identify with Latinx community. I was a participant in El Centro's first-year mentorship program, and this year I am working at El Centro as a family leader. 

    Path to my Major

    As an incoming student, I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. I struggled to pick a major. I knew I wanted to be in the College of Liberal Arts, but I didn’t know where exactly. It wasn’t until I realized that I was asking myself the wrong question that I came to find my major. Instead of asking myself, “What do I want to do with my life?” I began asking, “What do I want to study? What makes me tick? What could I sit in class for an hour listening to excitedly?” I chose communication studies because it is applicable in every setting, but still focused enough for me to cultivate useful skills.

    What clubs/organizations are you involved in?


    • El Centro
    • Honors Program
    • President's Leadership Program
    • College of Liberal Arts Ambassadors

    What's your favorite class and why?


    My favorite class would have to be Rhetoric in Western Thought. I love reading about ancient philosophers and rhetoricians and getting to read their works. Sometimes I completed reading and my mind was blown. After doing the readings, it is apparent why these texts have survived so long. It’s because they are incredible and rich in knowledge and eloquence, and I got the pleasure of reading and discussing them in depth.

    What's your favorite CSU memory?


    Spending time and sharing experiences with my friends. I have really great friends and a great community at CSU.

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


    I love the people I met at my college. They are so focused on improving their communities, and they are concerned about the social issues of our society. I am amazed by their desire to do good in the world and the ideas they have to accomplish their goals.
    Claudia Perez, Communication Studies
    Ethan Lee

    Ethan Lee

    Major: Economics & Political Science

    Minor: Legal Studies & Sports Management

    Year: Sophomore

    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: Junior

    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: Sophomore

    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!)
    Gussie Millar

    Gussie Millar

    Major: Political Science

    Minors:  Criminology/Criminal Justice & Legal Studies

    Year: Senior

    Why CSU

    I came to Colorado and CSU from New Zealand, so I’m a long way away from home! So when I was searching for universities in Colorado, I was looking for a place that felt like home. As cringe-worthy as it sounds, I felt that as soon as I stepped foot on CSU’s campus during a hot summer day in July. I felt welcome, seen, and heard. I had a great student-led tour and learned a lot about the school. I left that day feeling happy. CSU made the process of applying to a university very clear and both the people in the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid Office were very helpful and that was a big part in my decision. I didn’t want to feel like I was going into a business, and I didn’t get that at all. Overall, I knew that CSU was the place for me and I felt the most myself here, and that was a huge factor in making my decision.

    Path to my Major

    I have always been a bit of a civics nerd. I always had an inkling that I would get involved with some form of government. I declared a Political Science major once I enrolled for CSU Although my direction has kind of changed over my time in college, I stuck to my major. I loved the classes and the professors. After my first year, I wanted to broaden my scope so I added two minors, Criminology/Criminal Justice and Legal Studies. I felt that these two created a great trifecta and honed into my interests. I study these subjects because I find that it is important in the world we live in today, and I like being informed about all these aspects. I have learned how to write strong essays, case briefs, and projects and I have had numerous times to practice and polish my public speaking abilities. I know that all of these things will help me in my future, and that was something that I found important during my studies. I am graduating in May 2020 and I am planning on attending graduate school in Colorado.

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


    • Kappa Alpha Theta Sorority
    • CLA Student Ambassador Program
    • ASCSU
    • Intramural Sports

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


    I’m involved in these clubs and organizations because it makes this large campus truly feel like a community. I enjoy walking around campus and running into a handful of people I know and recognize and being able to feel like I have a part on this campus, and my presence matters. It makes me feel like I am welcomed in the community and it makes me feel like a part of the Ramily.

    What's your favorite CSU memory?

    My favorite memory at CSU has been Homecoming. My family usually comes up to visit and we go to the Friday Night Lights Celebration and then the football game. I love being there and seeing students, faculty, families, Fort Collins residents, alumnae and everyone in between coming together and celebrating CSU and it’s traditions. Hundreds of people huddled around the bonfire, getting excited during the pep rally and watching the lighting of the ‘A’ and the fireworks are the moments that I truly feel part of CSU. I love seeing everyone come together and enjoying themselves, and I hold that night very special as it was a time where I was surrounded by family and friends in a place I consider my home.

    What's your favorite class and why?


    My favorite class has been Correctional Organizations. It is part of one of my minors, Criminal Justice, in the sociology department. I had a great professor, Ian Greenwood, who is super passionate about corrections and made me fall in love with learning about the US’ correction system and comparing it to other places around the world and learning how we can be better. I enjoyed learning about the policy process of implementing change. We also took field trips to the Larimer County jail which was awesome because we were able to get out of the structured lecture aspect of classes and see real-world examples, which I find is one of the best ways to learn.

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


    I love the people. I love that we have a variety of different majors and therefore interests. It makes for interesting classes full of discussion and debate. The College of Liberal Arts offers a lot of support for its students and professors are always willing to go the extra mile. I like that we are all united under one college but despite our differences, we all have one commonality.

    What's next?


    My plan after I graduate is to go to graduate school and to pursue an M.A. in Student Affairs and Higher Education. Although this seems like a slight stray away from Political Science, my time in the CLA Student Ambassador Program, my job at the Rec Center, and meeting with faculty, and has honed in what my passions are and where I derive my greatest enjoyment from. I would love to start my career as an advisor because I had a great experience with my advisor and I would like to help students have a similar experience to me. I want to be a part of why they enjoy their transition into colleges and finding their passions. I want to not only support the education of students but also their wellbeing. I would then like to move into higher up positions and help write policies for higher education institutions to increase inclusivity and diversity and help make campuses safer and provide the most opportunity for students and faculty.
    Hannah Hurlbut, International Studies & Communication Studies

    Hannah Hurlbut

    Major: International Studies & Communication Studies

    Minor: Chinese

    Year: Senior

    Why CSU

    I chose CSU because of its diversity and interactive teacher-to-student relationships. With over 25,000 enrolled, students come from all different backgrounds and situations which contributes to the diversity of this campus. The student-faculty ratio is also 18:1 with 34.6% of its classes having fewer than 20 students, meaning the education is personal. Teachers and students really do get to know each other and can work together to best achieve academic success.

    Path to my Major

    I came into CSU already declared as an International Studies major. In high school, I knew I had an invested interest in different cultures and language, with a personal goal of learning Chinese, so I had researched my current major ahead of time.

    Why do you study International Studies and Communication Studies?


    I study International Studies and Communication Studies because no matter what profession you end up in, you will always have to know how to interact with other people. Learning to speak in such a way that people from different cultures or languages can connect and understand you is becoming more and more vital as the world becomes more globalized. Throughout my two years at CSU, I have been learning Chinese and Arabic, but also studying the power and potential of rhetoric, how conflict styles shape and influence conflict in professional and personal life, and the scientific evolution that makes us all so similar. I apply this knowledge every day in my life when discussing current political issues with international students, recruiting potential sorority members, or even volunteering at food banks.

    What clubs/organizations are you involved in?


    • Chinese Language Club
    • Council of International Student Affairs (COISA)
    • English Language Conversation Partner at INTO
    • Arabic Language Club
    • Global Awareness and International Affairs (GAIA)
    • Kappa Delta Phi Epsilon Chapter
    • Food Bank for Larimer County
    I am involved in these clubs because I can meet other people who share my interests, whether that be in international affairs and language or spreading confidence in women. Through these organizations, I also get more opportunities to become involved on campus by volunteering or putting on traditional CSU events. While professionally being involved does bolster resume and job prospects, I personally enjoy how much more connected I get to feel on campus by participating in them.

    What was your favorite class and why?


    I have loved all of my Chinese and Arabic classes. While perhaps the most intense and hardest I have taken, the teachers from both languages have undoubtedly influenced my time here at CSU. They each foster an environment where students are never afraid to ask questions, where students genuinely get to enjoy what they study; my teachers make me fall in love with the languages I chose even more. Through taking these courses, I also have an opportunity to interact more with international students and develop friendships with them which is invaluable to me.

    What's your favorite CSU memory?


    One of my favorite CSU memories is actually attending the CSU No Place 4 H8 rally held earlier this year. This was the first time I had seen our campus really come together to (even just symbolically) combat racism and prejudice.

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


    I love that the College of Liberal Arts is a program that develops critical thinking and promotes flexibility. I am learning skills that are applicable in many different work environments and discovering every day how the things I am studying relate to each other. From the importance of “guanxi” or relationships in my Chinese courses to different conflict styles in my communication courses, I am creating a skillset that has facets in areas I had never considered before but which contribute to my well-rounded education.
    HannahTaylor

    Hannah Taylor

    Major: History & German

    Minor: Political Science

    Year: Junior

    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.

    Isabel Heiland

    Major: Visual Art (Drawing/printmaking)

    Minor: Botany

    Year: Junior

    Why CSU

    I love art and science, and I wanted to find a way to combine the two. I found that CSU has a wonderful fine arts program, as well as a great botany program. Better yet, the botany program offered a minor! So, I am learning about everything I wanted to, all in one place.

    Path to my Major

    The amazing art program as well as the option for a botany minor all helped me choose the path of my education.

    What clubs/organizations are you involved in?


    • El Centro
    • Honors Program
    • President's Leadership Program
    • College of Liberal Arts Ambassadors

    Why do you study art and botany?


    In the two and a half years that I have been here, I have already advanced a lot of my art skills and I am starting to understand who I am as an artist. I’ve learned which art paths were for me and which were not for me. I also have a much better understanding of how plants and fungi work, and developed a clearer view of the natural world. I apply these skills in every area of my life, from school to work to just lounging around at home. I am constantly thinking about new art projects to work on, and I notice that when I am working on my own projects, my skills are much more advanced than they were in high school. I have also gained a much better appreciation for plants, which I notice affecting me every single day.

    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 to be a botanical illustrator and freelance artist. I will be able to use my major and minor directly in the pursuit of this career path.

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


    I am currently the president of one of CSU’s a cappella groups, Mainstreet A Cappella, and am a student ambassador for the College of Liberal Arts. Not only that, but I am a part of a kickboxing gym where I can improve my health and self-defense skills.

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


    I knew the moment I graduated high school that I wanted to join an a cappella group when I got to CSU. I had seen a couple of groups perform and thought it looked amazing and fun. Music has always been a huge part of my life, but as I am not majoring in it, I don’t have time to take choir and other music classes. So, to get as much out of my CSU experience as possible, I auditioned for a couple of a cappella groups and got into Mainstreet! I am extremely passionate about it, and have enjoyed being president. Being a student ambassador for the College of Liberal Arts has been an amazing way to meet people and get the word out about a liberal arts degree, specifically an art degree. I am tired of people thinking that studying to be an artist means you will not make any money and lead a good life. This simply isn’t true. I am passionate about art, and I want others to see the value in it as well, as art is a part of almost everything in our lives.


    What's your favorite class and why?


    My favorite class so far has been Intermediate Drawing I with Mary-Ann Kokoska. Drawing is my favorite art concentration, so naturally, I loved this class. I felt like I was really being challenged and learned a lot about how to properly tackle sketch-booking and projects.


    What's your favorite CSU memory?


    I don’t have a single favorite memory here at CSU, because I have too many good ones to choose from. I think just hanging out with the amazing people I have met here are some of the best memories.


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


    I love being an art major because I feel like I am staying true to myself while still getting an amazing education. I cannot picture myself behind a desk, so I know I am pursuing the right path.


    What’s next?


    Next is graduating with my bachelor’s in fine arts, then applying for Botanical Illustration certificate programs. I can’t wait! Although it will be so hard to leave this place.

    Isabel Heiland portrait style photo

    Jade Felthoven

    Major: History

    Concentrations:  Social Studies Teaching

    Year: Junior

    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: BM Performance

    Minor: LEAP (Art Leadership & Administration)

    Year: Sophomore

    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 Cardona Garcia

    Major: Political Science and Sociology

    Minor: N/A

    Year: Junior

    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
    • Poly Sci Fun Club
    • Campus Connections

    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 Robertson

    Major: English Education

    Year: Sophomore

    Why CSU

    I felt an overwhelming sense of familiarity and comfort once I stepped onto campus. I always compare it to the story of the Goldilocks and the Three Bears. The school wasn't too big or too small - it was just right. It wasn't too far or too close to home - it was in the perfect spot. However, the Oval is the spot that I had my 'ah ha' moment that CSU was my school.

    Path to my Major

    I have wanted to be a teacher since I was six. I realized that high school was where I wanted to be when my freshman English teacher told me that it's when “you are forced to make some of the most important decisions of your life while you are also making some of the worst decisions because you are a teenager,” and explained he was there to help all of us when it came to the hard decisions.  I knew then that I wanted to be there to help kids when they need help, not just in school, but in life too.

    Why do you study English Education? What skills have you learned?


    I want to help the next generation not only in their academic achievements, but I also hope to make an impact on their personal lives as well. I have learned the art of public speaking, critical thinking, and creating an invitational environment where everyone holds equal value.

    What clubs/organizations are you involved in?


    I am involved in Special Olympics Colorado simply because of the community and love that is at the summer events. Even the athletes love and support each other on separate teams.

    What's your favorite class and why?


    Public Speaking because of my professor, Andy Gilmore. He made every class enjoyable and I always looked forward to going to his class.

    What's your favorite CSU memory?


    My first CSU pep rally. We used face paint and I had my hair put up in braids. I was in a new tutu that I had just made and the comradery of the freshmen walking into the brand-new stadium was incredible. I have never experienced that level of excitement or energy before.

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


    I love that we are all a little weird and quirky in the CLA. It makes our gatherings always fun and silly.
    Megan Robertson, English

    Megan Valliere

    Major: Political Science

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

    Minors:  English & Legal Studies

    Year: Junior

    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

    Year: Sophomore

    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: Junior

    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
    Torey Wyman

    Torey Wyman

    Major: Torey Wyman

    Minors: Music, Stage & Sports Production

    Year: Sophomore

    Why CSU

    I chose CSU because I knew I wanted to stay in Colorado. I also knew that I wanted to be close to home, but not too close. CSU also has a beautifully abundant campus that has the ability to feel large and small at the same time. I also had a college representative from CSU come to my high school. From there, I gained knowledge about campus life, opportunities, resources and financial aid options at CSU. I felt it was the best fit for me, and that is why I chose CSU.

    Path to my Major

    I came into my freshman year as an undeclared major with an interest in fashion design. After taking the introductory course I found myself in a bit of a dilemma. I figured out that I didn’t want to create as much as I wanted to cover stories about fashion and culture. I ended up taking a media studies course as an AUCC credit and loved it. That is where I found my passion for journalism. Since then, I have been writing for HerCampus and plan on writing for College Ave, our school magazine.

    What skills have you learned from journalism and how do you apply them?


    I have learned how to interview and how to request an interview. I have also learned how to write in AP style, how to report on news, and why news is important. I have also learned what makes a good news story and how to find newsworthy stories. I apply these through all things that include reading and writing. I have found that I have become much more literate, for reading and writing are the main things my major focuses on.

    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 pursuing editorial photography and feature writing for my career. I also have an interest in a career that includes visual communication. I can connect every aspect of skills from my degree to my job pursuit. Communication, literacy, sociological aspects of the field and collaboration are just a few of the skills I learned form journalism that could be applied to my job pursuits.

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


    I am involved in the dance theatre at CSU, TRIO, and the CLA ambassador program.

    What's your favorite class and why?


    My favorite class currently is Sociology with Professor Downing. It is interesting to study the behavior of human beings and why we act the way we do. It also comes in handy when conducting an interview or investigating a topic for journalism purposes. Professor Downing is also hilarious and very understanding.

    What's your favorite CSU memory?


    My favorite CSU memory is the time Bernie Sanders came to campus and inspired every attendee. It felt great to be part of such a large community.

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


    I love the freedom that comes along with journalism. Unlike math, and science, there is no right answer to journalism. You have the freedom to create your own work and perfect your own style.

    What's next?


    Adulting, internships, study abroad, and graduation. Hopefully, in that order.
    Zach Ramelow

    Zach Ramelow

    Major: Political Science

    Minors: Political Communications & Interdisciplinary Legal Studies

    Year: Senior

    Why CSU

    I love Fort Collins and all the great activities and opportunities the area has to offer. All of the interactions with CSU students I had left me feeling confident that I was choosing the best place for me.

    Path to my Major

    I began my journey at CSU as a history major with the intention of becoming a teacher. I always had an interest in politics and government and I continued to take history classes and also began to take some political science classes. I realized my true passion was for politics so I changed majors during my Freshman year and am glad I made that change.

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


    • CSU Intermural Referee
    • Teaching Assistant for College of Mathematics
    • 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?


    Becoming involved with these organizations has been a great way for me to become more active in the CSU community and meet some great new people. Without my involvement, I might have never interacted with these people. All of these organizations improved my enjoyment at CSU and made me want to give back so that my efforts could have the same impact on others.

    What's your favorite class and why?


    Political Science 460: Public Policy Process. This class is about public policy and the processes behind decision making done by actors within politics while also being way more exciting that it initially seems. The class was taught by Professor Scott who is very interested in the topic and always made it seem like what we were learning was the most important thing we will ever learn. Class sessions were always exciting to attend and the course work challenged me to improve aspects of myself that I would not have otherwise.

    What's your favorite CSU memory?


    My freshmen year homecoming bonfire. This was the first time while I was at CSU where I got close with the people living with me in my dorm hall and felt like I was becoming part of the CSU community.

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


    I love all the different people that I get to interact with an become close to. With everyone being their own individual with their own stories and experiences it is always great to meet someone knew and hearing what their interests and passions are. Because the College of Liberal Arts pushes students to improve themselves through their work you always get to see the passions and the goals that people set and then see the steps they take to achieve them. The professors all seem genuinely interested in the material they teach and make an effort to connect with each student, which makes me more motivated to do my best and become who I want to be.

    What's next?


    I hope to become more involved in my community in the future, as well as in politics and leaving a positive mark on the future. I want to be able to look back at the decisions I’ve made and know that they all mattered and made a difference.