• Find Me On:

  • Office Hours:

    By Appointment
  • Role:

  • Position:

    • Instructor
  • Concentration:

    • Indigenous initiatives to achieve security and sovereignty on ancestral homeland
    • news and media narratives that reflect peaceful spectrum of human activity
    • published The Globalization of Compassion: Women in the Foreground of Cultures of Peace
    • focus on women peace builders.
  • Department:

    • International Studies and Journalism & Media Communication
  • Education:

    • Ph.D. Colorado State University, Interdisciplinary Studies


Elissa J. Tivona is a humanitarian, designer and writer living and working in Northern Colorado. As a regular freelancer for academic and popular publications, Tivona counts herself among the growing ranks of journalists who use the media as a platform for world benefit, investigating and publishing stories of creative problem solving, resilience and reconciliation. Following the 1999 Columbine shootings, Tivona took a hiatus from an established career as a video and multimedia producer and returned to university to earn a doctorate in interdisciplinary Peace and Conflict studies. In the course of her dissertation research on 1000 Peacewomen Across the Globe (1000 international activists nominated collectively for the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize) Elissa rediscovered the true power of media and coined: If it heals, it reveals.


She brought this renewed vision to dual appointments at Colorado State University (CSU) with the Journalism and Media Communications department and the Office of International Programs. She helped establish the Peace and Reconciliation minor at CSU and developed innovative curriculum using human centered design for the core course, Education for Global Peace. After joining the Journalism faculty, she developed curriculum for Journalism, War and Peace highlighting constructive journalism paradigms, including Peace Journalism, Solutions Journalism and Restorative Narratives.  Tivona earned a certificate in Human Centered Design from IDEO U. and incorporates design-thinking strategies into teaching and learning in her classrooms.


As a humanitarian, Tivona is an active volunteer in areas related to her academic interests and research, including: serving on the Board of Writing For Peace and editor of the Peace Correspondent; former president and vice-president of the United Nations Association, Northern Colorado Chapter; collaborator with Tiyospaye Winyan Maka, a Lakota non-profit organization building sustainable homesteads and supporting right livelihoods with indigenous communities; and longstanding convener of multi-faith peace advocates in Northern Colorado.


  • The Fisherman's Daughter, DoveTalesFamily & Cultural Identity (2016) An International Journal of the Arts published by Writing for Peace
  • More than twenty recent articles in Northern Colorado Medical and Wellness and Lydia’s Style Magazine, including “Envirofit Combines Business And Benefit” and “Telestroke robots: neurologists on wheels”
  • The Wicosani Community Project: Peacebuilding Among the Lakota Sioux in North America, People Building Peace 2.0. (Peace Portal: 2012)
  • Globalization of Compassion: Women’s Narratives as Model for Peace Journalism. Chapter in Expanding Peace Journalism, January 13, 2012, University of Sydney Press
  • Hope at the End of a String, Proteus Magazine, A Journal of Ideas (2006) Vol 23, Issue 2:62-64
  • Computer Platforms: Mac vs. Windows, New Mobility Magazine (1997)       Co-author with Dr. David Young.       New Mobility Vol. 8, Issue 49:51-54
  • An Educator’s Point of View chapter CD-ROMS: Breakthrough in Information Storage (1988) Frederick Holtz, Ed. Blue Ridge Summit, PA: TAB Books Inc.


  • LB 300 Specialized Technical Writing

    Specialized Technical Writing primarily for journalism majors. Emphasizes specialized writing skills used in professional letters,
    resumes, manuals, critiques complaints, and interest-specific research

  • IE 472 Education for Global Peace

    Peacekeeping, peacemaking and peace-building on micro and macro
    levels, and education’s role in them, as key components for sustaining
    global peace.

  • JTC 490 Journalism, War and Peace

    — Can we reframe NEWS stories to expand possibilities for peace and reconciliation?
    — Can we reduce media’s complicity in popularizing accounts of sensational violence and terror?
    This concept course explores the shifting role of the news media locally, domestically and internationally. You are invited to engage with other stakeholders in this growing conversation among reporters, editors, publishers, academics and activists from Africa to the Antipodes.
    With the tragic execution of journalist James Foley, and the deliberate use of this violence to frighten media consumers, what role can journalists play as creators of these messages and what responsibility do we have for change?

  • LB 492 Senior Capstone

    Integration and reflection for liberal arts majors with an emphasis on
    core competencies and academic, professional and/or career transitions.