Thanks to the generous support from First National Bank and the Vice President for University Operations, Colorado State University offers financial support to assist Administrative Professional and State Classified employees seeking professional development.

Applicants may use this award to help meet professional development needs that cannot be met by their department. The proposed professional development must be related to the applicant’s current job function and duties.

Past Recipients

In the fall of 2019, 35 applications were reviewed and 18 employees were awarded funds. Here is feedback from a few recipients on how their professional development experience has impacted and improved their skills and knowledge in their current positions.

Marcie Johnston
Activity: 2020 American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) annual convention

“My attendance at this convention allowed me to not only network with some of the handful of women that hold my position across the country, but also to expose this male-dominated field to the presence of women in football operations/administration. In addition, it helped create an awareness of involving women in football and the necessity of including and supporting women in this field. This experience not only helped me grow professionally but as a person and left me excited for future opportunities in the profession and career at Colorado State.”

Elicia Ratajczyk
Institute for the Built Environment
Activity: Graphic Recording and Facilitation Training

“This training was intense and informative. I not only learned different techniques for using graphics to help facilitate group meetings, but I also was able to learn new lettering and drawing skills. In addition, the workshop focused on exhibiting and awareness of cultural sensitivity through graphic recording and facilitation work, which will assist in working with minority and vulnerable communities in the future.

“I plan on utilizing the skills that I acquired from this training to help facilitate a community conversation on land conservation at the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota through a service contract between CSU and the World Wildlife Foundation. I believe that this skill set will be particularly useful and beneficial for recording and facilitating the meeting with the indigenous population of Lakota Sioux at that location.”

Katya Stewart-Sweeney
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Activity: Association for Contemplative Mind in Higher Education Conference

“The theme of the conference was ‘Radical Self-Care in Higher Education.’ These sessions focused on how staff and faculty in higher education can utilize contemplative methodologies to offer new avenues for students to better care for themselves and to access embodied learning. I represent CSU as part of a group that gathers regional Colorado schools to discuss how we incorporate mindfulness. The chance to experience this conference on a national level was very inspiring and useful. I am employing new ideas I gained there in my daily work with students and in my campus service through CSU’s Center for Mindfulness.”

Beth Seymour

Beth Seymour
Department of Communication Studies
Activity: 2020 Art House Convergence Conference

“Art House Convergence is the largest gathering of film festival professionals in North America. The five‐day conference helped me build professional skills to better coordinate ACT Human Rights Film Festival. I learned innovative program ideas we can implement locally and met other amazing festival planners who are willing to share ideas, resources, and even collaborate across our distinct geographies.”

Courtney Ngai
The Institute for Learning and Teaching
Activity: Professional and Organizational Development (POD) Network Conference

“As a researcher in The Institute for Learning and Teaching, I work on a project related to Departmental Action Teams (DATs). For this project, I support DATs as they make changes to improve their undergraduate program. This involves a significant amount of facilitation, as I work with DATs directly on their projects. I also spend time conducting research for the project. This includes investigating how change does (or does not) happen in departments as a result of DATs. We have found DATs to be a successful mechanism for positive change in departments and are sharing our findings through multiple channels.

“I attended the Professional and Organizational Development (POD) Network 2019 conference to disseminate the DAT model for change. Conference attendees included members of other teaching and learning centers as well as other researchers investigating change initiatives. These conference attendees could all potentially use the DAT model or components of the DAT model to promote change in their own contexts. Sharing the DAT model at this conference provided us with valuable feedback for the project and provided others with valuable resources and insights developed from this project.”

Brian Buss
University Communications
Activity: Nonfiction Storytelling Workshop

“I attended The Non-Fiction Storytelling Workshop, where I spent a week workshopping a story idea. A month later, I took that idea and shot a documentary film in Uganda, Africa. I have been in post-production since and intend to enter it in local, national, and international film festivals. I made incredible professional connections and was able to take a deep dive into my craft. I’ve also been able to incorporate much of what I learned at the workshop into my film. Upon returning, I was a guest lecturer in a documentary class in the School of Journalism and helped critique our student’s final documentary projects. That film now serves as my primary teaching tool.  I am a much better storyteller today!”

Whitney Cloer
Activity: 2019 NFCA National Softball Convention

“This convention included seminars ranging from skill and player development, the latest NCAA rules and regulations, opportunities for networking at socials to the latest trends in technology in the game of softball. During the Mentoring Session, I was able to sit at a table with the Head Coach of Stanford University and listen to her share her stories of success and failures not just in the game of softball, but in working with student-athletes, parents, and administrators. This once in a lifetime opportunity allowed me to make a connection with a very successful Head Coach and seek her advice on matters in our sport that will empower me to be the best I can be for my student-athletes at CSU. I walked away from the convention feeling re-energized, excited and more equipped for the upcoming softball season with the 2020 Ram team.”

Ashley Everett

Ashley Everett
University Advancement/Creative Services
Activity: UCDA Design Conference

“Attending the UCDA conference was a great experience to hear from other University and College designers about the problems and challenges they face with design within the Higher Education system and ways that they overcame them. Highlights included learning about new sustainability practices, using design to provide out of the box solutions, and how design has the power to create space for identity to be positively represented. Receiving the Professional Development Award made it possible to attend the conference and bring back valuable knowledge and resources to implement within our team and the University at large.”