CSU at Todos Santos: Laura Thornes

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Name: Laura Thornes

Colorado State University Faculty and Staff accomplishments are recognized at the Celebrate! Colorado State University awards celebration, April 19, 2016.
Laura Thornes (left) is pictured here at the Celebrate! Colorado State University Awards celebration with Dr. Kate Huyvaert (center) and Dr. Paul Doherty (right). “I had the opportunity recently to present a Distinguished International Service Award to two of my favorite faculty members who are building a lot of Education Abroad programming in Todos Santos,” Thornes said.

Title/Role at CSU: Director, Office of International Programs – Education Abroad (EA)

When did you visit the CSU Todos Santos Center?  November 2013

What did you do/work on during your trips to Todos Santos? 

We had a site visit to assess programmatic opportunity for CSU Education Abroad participants.

What have you learned at CSU that you can apply in Todos Santos? 

My unit builds dozens of faculty led programs each year, and Todos Santos and Baja California Sur (BCS) is rich with learning opportunities for CSU students.

What did you learn at Todos Santos that you can apply to CSU? 

The community seems to have many opportunities for learning and engagement already developed. So we have the opportunity to partner in the areas of conservation, theater, marine ecology, tourism, and service learning. It will be great to have our students become progressively more engaged in those ongoing projects and areas of research.

What would you want people to know about the CSU involvement in Todos Santos? 

We have an opportunity for a long term and meaningful partnership with the community of Todos Santos. Many Education Abroad (EA) program sites cannot have that depth because there is not a permanent presence in the community.

What did you find most rewarding about your experience in Todos Santos?

I loved seeing the charming town and the beautiful desert. I lived many years in Tucson, and the lush desert reminded me a lot of Tucson with the added bonus of having beautiful beaches.

What is your favorite thing about the Todos Santos community?  

I think it is an area ripe with potential. The locals I met were looking forward to see how the new highway between Todos Santos and Los Cabos would enrich their lives and create more opportunities. I love thinking about potential and looking to local stakeholders to define where we could go together.

If you return to Todos Santos, what would you plan to work on? 

My team is continually building Education Abroad programming with the CSU Todos Santos Center in collaboration with many departments across campus. So I hope I will be able to visit again in the coming year, but for now, it is great to have all of my staff gradually visit the area and start to understand why our students love learning in BCS.


About the CSU Todos Santos Center

The Colorado State University Todos Santos Center is the university’s first international location and is core to CSU’s mission of teaching, research, service, and outreach.

The Center provides opportunities for CSU students and Baja California Sur residents to collaborate with local partners and businesses to identify needs, conduct research, and produce impactful outcomes.

CSU’s vision in Todos Santos is to cultivate generations of global citizens and to be a part of creating thriving communities through collaboration, experience, and exchange of knowledge in areas such as agriculture, infectious disease, elementary education, environmental and social sustainability, wildlife ecology, veterinary medicine, and public health.