CSU confers degrees on Ram grads May 15-16

Colorado State University will confer degrees on more than 4,000 graduates at the spring 2015 commencement ceremonies May 15-16.

College ceremonies and Army and Air Force ROTC commissioning will recognize 3,153 undergraduate and 1,127 graduate students, including 71 doctoral students, 129 Doctor of Veterinary Medicine students and 12 new officers in the U.S. Air Force and 21 in the Army at Colorado State University. Forty-two students are candidates for distinction as summa cum laude, 107 as magna cum laude and 185 as cum laude.

Commencement ceremonies, with the exception of the Army ROTC commissioning, will be webcast live.

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Commencement speakers for this year’s ceremonies include:

Kevin Fitzgerald, veterinarian and comedian, will speak at the College of Agricultural Sciences commencement ceremony at 11:30 a.m. May 16 at Moby Arena. Fitzgerald’s background ranges from numerous tours as a bouncer with The Rolling Stones, The Who, and The Police, a 25-year career in veterinary medicine that saw him named “Specialist of the Year in Private Practice” in 2006, and over 20 years  performing as a professional stand-up comedian. In addition to 10 seasons of his own show on Animal Planet, Emergency Vets, Fitzgerald has appeared on The NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw, The Today Show with Matt Lauer, Fox News Channel’s Geraldo-At-Large with Geraldo Rivera, The Maury Povich Show, TNN’s Crooke and Chase, Discovery Channel’s Home Matters, and most recently, CBS’s The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. He also hosts a weekly segment on CW2’s morning news show called Animal House, in which he keeps the public informed about pet- and animal-related issues.

As a comedian, Fitzgerald has opened for such diverse and legendary performers as Bob Hope, Diana Ross, The Temptations, and The Neville Brothers. Despite maintaining a busy practice at Alameda East Veterinary Hospital in Denver, Fitzgerald performs at nearly a hundred corporate and fundraising events annually as a host, guest speaker, and lecturer at universities and veterinary conferences across the country.

Charlie Hix, director of Boeing’s new propulsion facility in South Carolina, will speak at the College of Engineering commencement ceremony at 11:30 a.m. May 15 at Moby Arena. Propulsion South Carolina is part of Boeing’s Propulsion Systems Division, which provides engine and propulsion systems procurement, contracting, engineering and manufacturing integration for all commercial airplane programs, and support for more than 12,000 in-service airplanes. Named to the position in 2013, Hix is responsible for leading the team that serves the nacelle Center of Excellence for Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

Prior to his present position, he served for three years as the director of engineering for propulsion systems where his responsibilities included oversight of program propulsion engineering, strategic planning, engine and nacelle strategy, leadership development and propulsion engineering skill development.

Prior to that, Hix was the director of the 787 Dreamliner Propulsion Life Cycle Product team where he was responsible for the propulsion system, including engines, pylons, nacelle and auxiliary power system, for Boeing’s innovative aircraft.

Hix joined Boeing in 1986. He has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from CSU and a master’s degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Washington. He also has advanced degrees in mechanical engineering and management from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

August W. (Bill) Ritter, Jr., founder and director of the Center for the New Energy Economy at Colorado State University, will speak at the College of Health and Human Sciences commencement ceremony at 7:30 p.m. May 15 at Moby Arena. Ritter was elected as Colorado’s 41st governor in 2006, and built consensus to tackle some of the state’s biggest challenges. During his four-year term, Ritter established Colorado as a national and international leader in clean energy by building a new energy economy. Ritter is a member of the board of the directors of the Energy Foundation and a senior fellow and member of the board of directors of the Advanced Energy Economy Institute.

Ritter earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from CSU in 1978 and his law degree from the University of Colorado in 1981. With his wife, Jeannie, he operated a food distribution and nutrition center in Zambia. He then served as Denver’s district attorney from 1993 to January 2005.

Shreve Stockton, author and photographer, will speak at the College of Natural Sciences commencement ceremony at 8 a.m. May 16 at Moby Arena. In 2001, Stockton received her bachelor’s degree from Brooks Institute of Photography and promptly moved to New York City, then to San Francisco. In 2005, she rode her Vespa scooter from San Francisco back to New York. En route, she became captivated with Wyoming and moved there at the end of 2005.

The Daily Coyote: A Story of Love, Survival, and Trust in the Wilds of Wyoming, is a memoir of Stockton’s move to Wyoming and her first year raising a coyote named Charlie, who is now eight years old. The book is supplemented with Stockton’s photographs of Charlie and Wyoming landscapes. Stockton’s first book, Eating Gluten Free, was one of the premier cookbooks and lifestyle guides on celiac disease and gluten intolerance, published in 2005.

Stockton currently writes two blogs, The Daily Coyote and Honey Rock Dawn. Her work has been featured in People Magazine, The New York Times, Vanity Fair, The Guardian, The LA Times, USA Today, Publisher’s Weekly, is the cover art for both her books, and is in countless private collections.

Lisa Dale, assistant director for the Colorado Department of Natural Resources’ Parks, Wildlife and Lands, will speak at the Warner College of Natural Resources commencement ceremony at 7 p.m. May 15 in the Lory Student Center Grand Ballroom. In her current role, Dale works to develop and implement policy regarding parks, wildlife and forestry resources. She advises and coordinates with Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the Colorado State Land Board, the Colorado State Forest Service and the Governor’s Office.

With a background in environmental policy, Dale completed her graduate work in 2003 and went to work for The Wilderness Society, where she conducted post-doctoral research on the National Fire Plan. From there, she went on to serve as the director of Governmental Affairs for the Western Forestry Leadership Coalition, a state-federal coalition of forest managers. Returning to academia in 2006, she taught full time at the University of Denver for five years, offering courses in public lands management, the global politics of climate change and global environmental policy.

In 2010, Dale began working for the State of Colorado, initially as the legislative program director for what when then known as the Division of Wildlife. Dale is a published author, having written several peer-reviewed articles and a textbook on environmental policy. She has a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University, a master’s from Regis University, and a Ph.D. in environmental policy from CSU.

Commencement Ceremonies

Complete CSU commencement ceremony starting times and locations for each ceremony:

May 15

  • Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, 8 a.m., Moby Arena
  • Air Force ROTC Commissioning, 8 a.m., Lory Student Center Grand Ballroom
  • Army ROTC Commissioning, 9:30 a.m., Lory Student Center Theatre
  • College of Engineering, 11:30 a.m., Moby Arena
  • Graduate School, 3 p.m., Moby Arena
  • Warner College of Natural Resources, 7 p.m., Lory Student Center Grand Ballroom
  • College of Health and Human Sciences, 7:30 p.m., Moby Arena

May 16

  • College of Natural Sciences, 8 a.m., Moby Arena
  • College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, 8 a.m., Lory Student Center Grand Ballroom
  • College of Agricultural Sciences, 11:30 a.m., Moby Arena
  • College of Business, 3 p.m., Moby Arena
  • College of Liberal Arts I: Art and Music, Theatre, and Dance, 4:30 p.m., Lory Student Center Grand Ballroom
  • College of Liberal Arts II, 7:15 p.m., Moby Arena