Colorado State University Provost Rick Miranda and Vice President for Engagement Lou Swanson led the sixth annual CSU Ram Faculty Engagement Tour to Breckenridge on August 6 and 7. CSU alums and Colorado Master Gardener volunteers helped host the faculty group at the Douglas County Hidden Mesa Research and Demonstration Orchard. The group also toured the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument before reaching Breckenridge. Faculty learned about county history, environmental health, and economic diversity plans; they talked with ranchers in Kremmling and met Extension staff, county commissioners, and community advisory board leaders. CSU Extension staff from Douglas, Summit, and Grand counties all participated in hosting this year’s tour.
The CSU Ram Faculty Engagement Tour is a two-day traveling seminar designed for recently hired and newly tenured faculty, new administrators, and new student leaders. Invitations are issued through the CSU Provost Office.
Building university-community connections
“The Ram Tour was a full immersion into what it means to work for a Land Grant University,” said Michael Humphrey, Assistant Professor of Journalism and Media Communication. “It was inspiring to meet the staff that makes engagement possible, and the faculty whose research can help make Colorado and the world a better place. What I loved the most was meeting Coloradans whose lives and histories are entwined with the state’s resources, beauty and our university.”
“We met a rancher who is a 4th-generation CSU alum. He said his favorite CSU class was journalism; and I realized that I’m not just teaching students who will become scientists doing similar work to mine — I’m teaching people who will be the stewards of Colorado. It was a humbling realization, and gave me a sense of responsibility to CSU and the state,” said Josiane Broussard, Assistant Professor of Health and Exercise Science.
Each year, the tour travels through a Colorado region to meet CSU community partners, talk with CSU alumni and students, and learn from regional leaders. The tour deepens participants’ understanding of CSU’s existing community partnerships, and provides opportunities to network within and across faculty cohorts. The tour is supported by the Vice President Office of Engagement and CSU Online.