John and his wife, Evelinn, have two boys, Bronson (3) and Diego (1). John is originally from the East Bay (California) and attended the University of California, Davis as an undergraduate (Political Science '92). He served in the United States Peace Corps (Ecuador '94) and afterward, worked as a secondary school social studies teacher and outdoor adventure coordinator in both New Mexico and southern California. He moved to Colorado in 2000 to earn his Doctorate in Education at the University of Colorado Boulder and afterward, joined the Student Affairs staff as the Director of Greek Life and more recently, as an Assistant Director in Residence Life. John identifies as an educator and life-long learner. He is passionate about working with students as leaders and active community members committed to positive social, cultural and ecological change. He can't wait to start his new position as Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Parent & Family Programs at Colorado State University this summer!
In a recent conversation with John, he shared, “I am thrilled to be working with parents, families, and students at Colorado State University through the Parent and Family Programs Office. I truly believe that we can best serve our students' learning and developmental needs by partnering with parents and family members."
Tess Martin is the newest staff member to the Parent and Family Programs team. She supports Parent and Family Program staff and you, the parents and families of CSU students.
Tess served as Assistant Director of the Wyoming Conservation Corps at the University of Wyoming (UW) for three years. She also worked as a student employee for UW’s Outdoor Program throughout her undergraduate study. Tess knows students and is delighted to be supporting the success of CSU students and families! Following her time with the University of Wyoming, Tess sought to gain experience in the small business arena as a way to extend the breadth of her professional experience. She had a season of fun guiding zipline participants though the rainforest outside of Ketchikan, Alaska before her sense of adventure led her to Asheville, NC where she managed wholesale sales for Sow True Seed and French Broach Chocolates.
Tess holds a B.A. from the University of Wyoming in Spanish and Cultural Anthropology. Her fields of study allowed for annual travel throughout Latin America as well as a semester volunteering at the Women’s Intercultural Center on the US/Mexico border in Anthony, New Mexico. Tess is passionate about social justice and deeply interested in environmental conservation and outdoor education. This year, she will be leading a number of rock climbing adventure trips for the Girls’ Program of the Women’s Wilderness Institute in Boulder, CO.
She is happy to be back in the Rocky Mountain West contributing to the personal and professional development of students
Colin originally hails from Vancouver, Washington before moving to Bellingham to pursue his Bachelor’s Degree from Western Washington University where he double majored in Sociology/Social Studies and Communication.
Continuing a passion for working with students and serving in leadership roles, Colin got his start in the world of student affairs early on as an Orientation Student Adviser and Campus Tour Guide. These co-curricular roles paired nicely with his academic pursuits as Colin became an Instructional Assistant for public speaking courses and participated in research on educational theory within the Sociology Department. His interest in leadership roles culminated in Colin running for student government where he served as President.
After graduation Colin was hired at Western in the Office of Admissions as a Counselor. He has spent the last three years traveling the Western half of the country working with students and families during the college search and admissions process. Colin is very excited to continue working with families in their transition to university life at CSU while pursuing his master’s degree in Student Affairs in Higher Education.
back to top
Assessment Results: Motivation and Encouragement from a Student's Perspective
By Janisa Garcia, Student Intern for Parent & Family Programs
The weather is getting warmer, and during this time of the year, there’s so much to do to finish the semester. Coincidentally, it is also the time when we are ready to call it quits and are burnt out by the school year, and just want to spend time in the sun! Unfortunately that can’t happen quite yet, because it is crunch time. Projects and papers are due and it seems like there is not a week that goes by where students aren’t juggling study hours for the multiple tests they have in one week. With all of these things to do, it can seem overwhelming and can be really difficult to stay motivated.
As the end of the semester is just around the corner, here are some of the things I see as key to keeping myself motivated all the way to the end:
- The first thing I do is keep a “to-do” list. Although this may seem simple to do (which it is), it is also an extremely helpful tool. This allows me to organize my thoughts onto paper, in an order that makes most sense, which instantly relieves stress. Now all of the things I have to do are on paper, rather than in my head, giving me more room to take in the information I need for my tests.
- The second part of keeping my list is a physically check off the things I do as I finish them. This keeps me motivated because I feel like sometimes I work so hard and nothing gets finished; this way I know my efforts throughout the day made a difference.
- The next thing I find useful is switching up my study habits. I don’t necessarily switch how I study, but more so where I study (which is actually a proven means of better retaining information—learn more in Maria Marinucci’s recent article about the Science of Learning). Rather than studying in the library or my desk, I will take a blanket and my books to the backyard. This is the perfect balance between being outside, where you want to be, while also being productive. Even things like studying while running on a treadmill help me feel like I am getting out of the everyday routine.
- Lastly, and possibly most importantly, I always reward myself. Although I don’t have a ton of extra time, there is always a few extra minutes in the day to do something I want rather than something I have to do. For me, it’s doing absolutely nothing, except hanging out with my roommates. We are all so busy and have conflicting schedules and sometimes it’s nice to just sit and chat with them. I really value that quality time, and feel less overwhelmed after having had a good laugh.
The end of the semester is certainly very challenging, but there are many ways to get through it smoothly. And soon enough, summer will be here and all the hard work will have paid off!
back to top
Learning Outcome: Developing a Positive Relationship with CSU Through Participating in Campus Events- Commencement
By Kacee Collard Jarnot, Director of Parent & Family Programs
Congratulations to families with Spring 2014 graduating seniors! It is such an exciting time of year, yet we also know there is a lot of planning that goes into such an event - often from afar. As you plan to attend commencement ceremonies, here are a few resources you (and your student!) may find useful:
Students must submit an Intent to Graduate form through RAMweb. With this form and confirmation they've met all graduation requirements, they will begin to receive commencement information from their college. Students planning to graduate should meet with their academic advisor to ensure they've completed all of the proper paperwork & are qualified to graduate.
The CSU Commencement website is the best comprehensive resource to find graduation information for each ceremony. On this site, families can find:
If you have specific questions about graduation ceremonies (such as accessibility needs, number of seats available per student, etc.) we recommend first checking with your students to see if they have the information, and, if not contacting the college directly to inquire:
We hope you'll consider using RAMFAM Association Business Directory partners as you plan your stay!
back to top
Parent Perspective: Getting to Graduation
By Sarah Menke-Fish, Parent of a Graduating Senior
Michelle, like most first year students coming from the East Coast had no acquaintances or connections at CSU. She like the thousands of others create their own journey and story during their four years at CSU. As a senior biology major, Michelle works part-time for the USDA and carries a full course load. She's an active leader in Silver Wings - a service group on campus and participates in intramurals from soccer to water polo. She recently attended the resume review and job fair and now she's following up on leads, building out her linked-in profile, visiting with admired professors about her plans as well as seeking their advice and wisdom. Her VIDA experience winter break of her sophomore year, a semester abroad during her junior year to the University of Exeter, followed up with a coral reef study last summer at a field station in the Bahamas has made CSU a globally rich experience-- combining academics, labs, research and service into action.
It's been a journey rich with triumph and tribulations. Welcome to the real world, Michelle Fish. Oh...and what do I do as mom? I simply pick up the phone when she calls and I listen. She shares what she's thinking about doing next, and I listen.
back to top
Finishing the Semester Strong
By Joanna Lilley, Collegiate Success Coach, Outreach and Support, Center for Advising and Student Achievement
It’s that time of year – the end of the semester. Spring semester finals can really sneak up on students if they aren’t looking ahead or if they are already focusing on summer. It may be helpful to redirect their focus on the things that need to happen to wrap up the current academic semester. Here are some tips and suggestions for students and for parents and families in supporting students as they cross the semester finish line.
Tips to share with students to finish the semester strong:
- Verify date, time, and location of final exams. There are a lot of exams offered during a short period of time, so it’s important to know when and where students need to be. Students can check the Spring 2014 Final Exam Schedule for the date and time of their exam or they can verify that information on their class syllabi or ask their professor. It’s unfortunate, but every year students arrive to take their exam during their regularly scheduled class time only to discover that they missed their final. Ultimately, it is the student’s responsibility to find out when and where their final exam will be held.
- Be prepared. The semester is coming to an end, and awareness of what was learned and what still needs be learned ought to be prioritized. It is also important to be aware of the style of the final. Is it cumulative? Is it multiple-choice or essay? What needs to be brought to the final? Are students aware of their grades so they are aware of what their course grade might be depending on exam outcomes? This often helps prevent surprise with a final grade.
- Apply different studying techniques. Studying and learning in various environments trains the brain to perform well in a variety of environments or circumstances. Studying multiple subjects during a study session rather than only one subject yields better results (i.e. study one subject for 30 minutes and then switch to studying for a different class). Take lots of breaks. Build upon prior knowledge by studying something once, then taking a couple days off from studying. When students study it again, it will be easier to grasp than if he or she crams.
- Encourage them to chat with an advisor. If students are worried about their semester grade outcomes, I encourage them to connect with their advisor. The advisor can give suggestions and recommendations on next steps to take if a class doesn’t end well.
- Eat well and get good sleep. Two of the most important things students can do for their body before taking an exam is to eat well and rest. If they pull an all-nighter it’s almost a guarantee they will not be mentally sharp for their final, not to mention they’ll be feeling ill from lack of energy and lack of sleep. Advise them to listen to their body and take care of it! If students can’t sleep or eat due to stress and anxiety, I encourage them to touch base with the CSU Health Network or to do something that has worked in the past to help with relaxation.
Tips for parents & families showing support during finals:
- Check-in with your student(s). Asking questions like “how’s it going?” can be either a relief or an annoyance. Regardless, this allows your student to be in charge and offer up honestly how they are. Open-ended questions starting with “what” and “how” always elicit a lengthier response than just a simple yes or no question.
- Acknowledge that they’ve been through this before. Remind them that they had finals last December – did that go over the way they had anticipated? If not, this would be an ideal time to brainstorm with them different ways to approach finals in May.
- Show that you care. Something as simple as a text, e-mail, phone call or card showing support during this stressful time is always a welcome surprise. If you want to go above a beyond, send them a care package or if they live close to home invite them home for a home-cooked meal. Simple reminders of how parents & families care may just be the push your student needs to get through these exams.
- Avoid major family events. As best as possible, try not to plan family reunions or any-type of major event the weeks and weekends leading up to finals. This takes your student away from studying both mentally and physically and puts pressure on them in a way that’s hard to fathom. Show that you acknowledge this stressful time and plan family events accordingly!
- Celebrate! Once finals week is over and your student returns home for the summer, remember to celebrate! Identifying the success in completing another academic semester in college is a major milestone!
The final weeks of the semester and final exams can be stressful but they don’t have to be. With adequate mental and physical preparation, students can successfully get through the end of the semester without letting it defeat them. Your continued support and encouragement during this critical time will go a long way in helping them end on a good note!
Note: If your student enters Fall 2014 on Academic Probation, encourage them to contact their Academic Support Coordinator within their academic major, or Joanna Lilley, Collegiate Success Coach, to explore their options for regaining Academic Good Standing.
For questions, or additional information, feel free to contact Outreach and Support at (970) 491-7095.
back to top
Hometown RAMFAM Clubs
By Hank and Linda Teahen of Temecula, California & parents of Alexandra (Alex) Teahen, CSU, Class of 2017
The Southern California Hometown RAMFAM Club is a wonderful group of out-of-state CSU parents who meet locally a few times a year. This is a social opportunity to meet other parents of various grades and majors and share our children’s experiences thus far at CSU. Questions and concerns from the freshmen parents are welcomed while the experienced parents relate their own “tales and experiences”.
Being out-of-state parents ourselves, we were cautiously optimistic when our daughter, Alexandra, decided that Colorado State University was “the one” she wanted to attend. As parents, we wanted what every parent hopes their child will achieve- to be academically successful, make a smooth adjustment to being away from home, family and friends, as well as become a good time manager. CSU Parent and Family Programs were tremendously helpful and informative during first year orientation and shared many “beyond accurate” suggestions that we were able to implement with success.
The Southern California Hometown RAMFAM Club met this year in November and was hosted in Anaheim Hills by a wonderful couple, Lisa and Bruce Camino, CSU parents; their son is a recent CSU graduate. We were also joined by Kacee Collard Jarnot and Alexis Kanda-Olmestead from CSU. The attendees were current parents of CSU students, many of whom were freshman. The coming together of all of us to share our experiences, support one another and also to find answers to various questions we had was so very helpful! Some of the stories were comical and some also serious as you can imagine; and in the end, we all felt like the discussion and information was very helpful. Various topics that were discussed were: dorm issues, jobs on campus, grades (access and no access by the student), meal plan ins/outs, social issues, academic tutor options, travel issues and shortcuts, cheap airfares, security, off campus housing, health insurance options, cars the freshman year, and the list goes on. Huge care packages were also made from each of us donating items to share. These were mailed just in time for fall finals and Alex was thrilled to get such a box of miscellaneous food and gifts. Great idea! Events are currently being planned for Southern California RAMFAM parents and families for the fall 2014.
As this year comes to an end, we have been able see the great length at which CSU goes to keep the parents and families informed and connected. Alex has adjusted well, met many terrific friends, some who will be roommates next year and has taken her academics seriously. We are convinced that Alex is definitely at the right place! A tremendous school, in a safe, nurturing environment, with outstanding professors and administrators that take their responsibilities seriously in helping Alex be successful.
We are all on a great journey at a great University! Welcome aboard!
back to top
Meet the Staff: Off-Campus Life
With summer approaching, your student likely has been deciding where to live in the fall. The office of Off-Campus Life has several resources to offer that can help your student secure off-campus housing and have a successful experience living in the Fort Collins community.
Off-Campus Life’s website has several resources to assist students in finding off-campus housing. RentalSearch is an interactive portal for CSU students to search for active rental properties, roommates, and post information about themselves for others to view as a potential roommate. We also offer an Apartment Complex list. This list includes information about property/apartment complexes including distance from campus, amenities offered, and average rental rates. Your student can also review a Property Management list which is linked to a variety of companies with available rentals. Additionally, your student can check out when the next Roommate Roundup is happening. Roommate Roundups allow CSU students to meet other CSU students as potential roommates in a safe environment and learn more about each other.
Off-Campus Life’s most popular event regarding off-campus housing is our annual Housing Fair. Over 2,000 students attend the Housing Fair each March to meet with several dozen vendors that are present for the event. The vendors include representatives from property management companies, apartment complexes, and important off-campus resources such as utilities, transportation, and city services.
Off-Campus Life can serve your student in several ways beyond helping them find housing. Off-Campus Life facilitates free workshops covering topics such as budgeting for off-campus living, tenant rights as renters, and Fort Collins city codes and ordinances. We also print a handbook each year that covers a multitude of topics regarding off-campus living. This handbook is free for students and available year-round. An online copy of the handbook can be found under Quick Links at our website, ocl.colostate.edu.
Off-Campus Life will also help your student get involved in their community. Off-Campus Life hosts Community Welcome, an event that happens the first week of classes in August. CSU students, police officers and staff from both CSU and the City of Fort Collins, walk from door to door welcoming the residents back for the year. We also host Fall Clean Up, which takes place the first Saturday in November. Over 2,000 CSU students will help local residents prepare their lawn for the upcoming winter by trimming bushes, raking leaves, and winterizing gardens.
Additionally, Off-Campus Life can assist your student in being a good neighbor. Off-Campus Life hosts Party Registration, a city-wide program aimed at educating students and residents about smart partying techniques. Any resident in Fort Collins can register their Friday or Saturday night party year-round. Students must visit the Off-Campus Life office in person to register. Before they register, Off-Campus Life staff educate the student about smart and safe party tips. These tips include notifying their neighbors of the party, designating a sober host, and information regarding rioting laws. If a noise complaint is call in, the party hosts will be given a 20-minute warning to break up their party. This warning gives them the opportunity to avoid a potential $1,000 citation and criminal misdemeanor charge.
Please visit our website, or contact us if you have any questions, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 970-491-2248.
back to top
STARS: CSU is the #1 Sustainability Institution
CSU has achieved a Gold rating and the highest score ever submitted in STARS, the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System. STARS is considered the most comprehensive and well-respected sustainability assessment for colleges and universities. STARS is provided by AASHE (Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education).
Here are 10 Things to Know About Sustainability at CSU:
- More than 75 percent of CSU’s departments are engaged in sustainability-related research. Of the 2,633 courses CSU offers, 794 are sustainability related. Many are endorsed by CSU’s School of Global Environmental Sustainability.
- Eighty percent of CSU students register a bike to commute to campus. More than 50 percent bike as their primary transportation to campus.
- Colorado State has one of the largest solar arrays on any college campus. The 5.3 megawatt, 30-acre, 23,000-panel solar plant is located on CSU’s Foothills Campus.
- CSU operates a composter that processes 100,000 pounds of food waste from the campus dining centers every year. The compost is used on campus as a soil amendment for gardens and landscaping.
- An additional 200,000 pounds of food waste is diverted annually via a partnership with the city of Fort Collins. The food waste is sent through the wastewater treatment plant to power the City’s biogas boiler.
- CSU has more than a dozen sustainability immersion programs including study abroad and alternative spring breaks.
- CSU’s Warner College of Natural Resources sponsors a sustainable living community for students who live on campus. Located in Summit Hall, the Natural Resources and Sustainability Community is open to students from all academic programs. Students participate in sustainability initiatives and field trips in Fort Collins and throughout Colorado.
- CSU has high standards for construction projects, whether they are new buildings or renovations. In the Laurel Village redevelopment, crews diverted 93% of all deconstructed materials from the landfill; sending materials to be recycled, reused, etc.
- CSU has cut water use by 24% over the past 10 years even though the size of the campus and student population has increased. One of the keys is the amount of water used in laboratories. The Chemistry Building, for example, consumes 12 million fewer gallons of water than it once did because of equipment upgrades and concerted conservation efforts by occupants.
- More than 25 percent of food served in CSU dining halls comes from local sources and/or is organic. The student-run Aspen Grille in the Lory Student Center gets many of its greens and other vegetables from Harvest Farms, a branch of the Denver Rescue Mission.
back to top