CSU Todos Santos Center staff visit Colorado campuses to exchange knowledge, best practices

Photography: Olaf Morales

From September 7 to 14, three staff members from the CSU Todos Santos Center in Baja California Sur, Mexico, traveled to Colorado to meet and exchange knowledge with their U.S. colleagues and counterparts at CSU’s Fort Collins campus and the CSU Mountain Campus, roughly 40 miles west.

The Center’s staff who participated in the visit were Idalia Paz y Puente, associate director of business operations, Olaf Morales, the Center’s languages coordinator, and Elia Rossana Alvarez, director of veterinary student programs.

During their first full day in Colorado, the group drove to the CSU Mountain Campus for a guided tour with campus director Seth Webb, and stayed the night in the remote mountain setting. In the morning, they met with various staff to learn about dining, conference, and housekeeping operations, noting the differences and similarities between the two University locations.

“Being at the Mountain Campus was one of the best things during our stay in Colorado, not only because it gave me a set of new ideas that could be implemented at the Center in Mexico but also because we were able to establish stronger connections with new people and learn from them in their own environment,” said Morales.

The Todos Santos team spent the remainder of the trip on CSU’s main campus in Fort Collins, where they toured The Foundry dining hall and Parmelee residence hall, visited the Office of International Programs and the CSU Research Foundation, and met with staff and faculty to discuss upcoming programs at the Center such as the biannual Spanish Immersion course.

“We enjoyed meeting with colleagues who are seeking to expand their knowledge about Housing and Dining operations,” said Laura Giles, associate executive director of CSU’s Housing and Dining Services. “To be in a shared space, telling stories and relating to each other’s work is inspiring, reflective, and makes us stronger as colleagues; it was a wonderful chance to highlight what we do for our students and to be proud of our contributions to CSU.”

Making the most of their time on campus, Paz y Puente and Alvarez also toured CSU’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital and Flint Animal Cancer Center while Morales met with faculty from the College of Liberal Arts to discuss plans for the new Liberal Arts and Community Engagement semester program in Todos Santos.

“The hospitality and kindness of everyone [at the Animal Cancer Center] reminds us that we are part of the CSU family, and that we are welcome to share and learn from what has been forged at CSU with students,” said Alvarez.

Before returning to Mexico, the group also made sure to balance the trip’s formality with visits to New Belgium Brewing, Fort Collins Museum of Discovery, and a few shops and restaurants in downtown Fort Collins.

Reflecting on the week and the mission and purpose shared by faculty and staff across all CSU campuses and locations, Paz y Puente noted, “At the end we all work for the same objective: provide students with an adequate atmosphere to study and feel comfortable far from home.”

Colorado State University Todos Santos Center

Located in Baja California Sur, Mexico, CSU Todos Santos Center serves as the University’s international hub, providing research and educational opportunities in alignment with existing University curricula.

Advancing CSU’s mission of teaching, research, service, and outreach, the Center collaborates with Mexican universities and organizations, and provides workshops and programs for visitors and local residents.

CSU’s vision in Todos Santos is to cultivate generations of global citizens and to partner in the creation of thriving communities through experiential learning and the exchange of knowledge.

For additional information, visit todossantos.colostate.edu.