Rams Shape Science
Meet outstanding members of the College of Natural Sciences community who are shaping the future of science, our society, and the world.
Series by Allie Ruckman
In the College of Natural Sciences, we believe that science is shaped by the people who study it.
Our college is full of people dedicated to discovery, to equity, innovation, and community. Rams Shape Science is their platform to promote their stories, lift their voices, and spread their messages to the CSU community and beyond.
Read the latest stories
“In the short time that I have known her, I have grown tremendously, both professionally and personally, from her friendship and continued guidance and support,” said Liz Arnold, an assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics. “I know that Tensia will always be in my corner, rooting me on to achieve my dreams.”
Department of Mathematics hosts second SK Day; supports young women in math
On March 31, high school students heard from notable women in math at CSU, participated in fun math activities, chatted with current female and genderqueer graduate students in math and toured parts of CSU’s campus.
Second generation teacher builds legacy of inclusion at CSU
Sarah Hervey, a second-generation professor, continues to leave a legacy at Colorado State University by creating a brand new course in the Department of Psychology.
Biology graduate student promotes importance of self in lab
For Melissa (Mel) Morado, personal growth reflects in her scientific life, and scientific growth reflects in her personal life.
“I hope that I’ve left the institution in a better position, as a better place than when I first came here. I’m hoping that I influenced the number of students and faculty members to carry on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion work. I’m hoping that I set an example and high bar for people to continue to be good mentors, good researchers and good teachers, to all people and to all students.”
– Greg Florant, professor emeritus in the Department of Biology
Priya Krakker looks to expand the understanding of genetics
Priya Krakker, a biology student at Colorado State University, is learning, researching, and hoping to teach genetics.
Veteran dove headfirst into experiences at CSU
Josh Johnson, a United States Air Force veteran who recently graduated from the Department of Psychology, sees opportunities and dives in headfirst. In every group Johnson joins, he stands out as an earnest, devoted leader.
Rasa Humeyumptewa looks to improve Indigenous therapy
Humeyumptewa is a fourth-year student majoring in Clinical and Counseling Psychology with a minor in Indigenous Studies, in the Department of Ethnic Studies and is also an enrolled member of the Hopi Tribe sun clan, based in Arizona.
“Hunter is a passionate student with remarkably deep moral courage and an unwavering ethic of care … Hunter unapologetically speaks truth to power, demanding that science collectively recognizes the ways in which it has and continues to exist within certain social constructs, including gender binaries, among others.”
– Vincent Basile, co-director of the Race and Intersectionality Studies in the Education Equity Center in the School of Education
Inflection Point offers needed community support for math classes
Three CSU students of color developed a new peer-led math space, called Inflection Point, that hopes to improve student support through community and shared learning.
Alex Hopkins builds on community she found on campus
Alex Hopkins found community through the Native American Cultural Center and Academic Advancement Center when she started at CSU. By the time she graduated, Hopkins was a peer mentor in both centers, as well as an accomplished alumna.
Recent CSU grad hopes to make statistics more accessible to students
Okiefe Ogbe, a recent graduate from the Department of Statistics, hopes to use his experiences at Colorado State University to make higher education and the field of statistics more accessible to high school students.
“My legacy is people. The people who are out there doing the work.”
– Ernie Chavez, professor and former chair in the Department of Psychology
Jeremy Alcazar sees the good in all kids
Jeremy Alcazar is passionate about mentoring active, energetic children who may be labeled as “challenging.” For him, this work is personal.
Biology student seeks to protect endangered species; make research accessible to a broad audience
Sophomore Colorado State University biology student Noelle Mason has a passion for the black-footed ferret, and she’s working to protect it – along with many other species – using advanced biotechnology.
Preston Dunton: Science meets music
Ever wondered how music and STEM are interconnected? Preston Dunton thinks about that every time he takes out his drumsticks.
“Brandon is soulful. He puts his every effort into the task, person, group or community and does not stop.”
– Courtney Haag, senior in the Department of Social Work
CSU-SACNAS working to create inclusive community in STEM
While SACNAS was initially meant to bring representation to a few minority groups, it has evolved to become inclusive of all minoritized groups in STEM.
Koch has been at the forefront of policy since the 2016 elections. Despite the challenge of political activism, she recognized a need to bridge the political and scientific worlds, and she attempted to fill it.
Rachel Brenner, professor in the Department of Psychology, is developing specific interventions that center mindfulness and self-compassion to reduce barriers to seeking mental health support and the impacts of LGBTQIA+ discrimination.
“I want to make sure that everyone feels really comfortable and welcome no matter what their background is, making sure they know that this is a place that they can thrive and do well no matter what.”
– Ariana Mims, a senior in the Department of Computer Science
Nominate someone to be featured in Rams Shape Science:
Please send your recommendations to Allie Ruckman.