Professor honored for making a difference for women

The following article was written by Chance JohnsonSoroptimist

Carole Makela, a professor in Colorado State University’s School of Education, has received the 2015 Soroptimist International of Fort Collins Making a Difference for Women Award. Makela was recognized by Soroptimist for making a difference for women and families, locally and around the world. Her impact continues as a collaborator, mentor, advisor, professor, professional, and community volunteer.

The Soroptimist Making a Difference for Women Award honors women who, through their professional or personal efforts, make extraordinary differences in the lives of women and girls. The award recognizes work that has a significant impact, inspires, and encourages other women. Recipients may be publicly visible or working in the background. Nominations come from community partners.

“Soroptimist can only estimate the number of women, young and more mature, who have benefitted from Dr. Carole Makela’s contributions,” says Robanette Catalano, presenter of the 2015 award. “Counting students alone, her contacts have certainly been in the thousands. And, considering the pyramid nature of educating educators, her empowerment has reached hundreds of thousands.”

Beginning as a home economics teacher, Makela’s focus was on family management for sustainability and growth of the family within the larger environment. Students were encouraged to focus on family roles, rights and responsibilities, resource management, healthy living, and community involvement while studying finance, nutrition, child care, sewing, personal care, and the home environment. Her purpose has always been to empower students.

Grounded with a strong scientific background in family and women’s issues, Makela progressed into instruction, research, and leadership positions at Colorado State University. During her 45-plus years at CSU, she served as department head in Consumer Sciences and Housing, interim associate dean of the College of Applied Human Sciences, and program chair for Interdisciplinary Studies in the School of Education. She helped establish the local Better Business Bureau and Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Northern Colorado and Southeast Wyoming.

Makela is active on university committees and professional organizational boards. She advises undergraduates and teaches capstone courses. She teaches and advises graduate students at the master’s and doctoral levels, promoting quality research as the foundation of one’s field. This philosophy has been furthered through her editorial efforts with several professional journals.

Her work knows no borders

Makela has attended and made presentations at numerous International Federation of Home Economics meetings. Her research has focused on rural issues, consumer behavior, family health, aging, life-balance, credit, global interaction, and equity. She collaborates with colleagues nationally and internationally to educate and empower. Her focus is on education—formal and informal, structured and self-guided.

Past Making a Difference for Women Award recipients include: Melissa Shaeffer, Jennifer Jones, Dr. Stace Scharfe, Fran Richburg, LouAnn DeCoursey, Sister Mary Alice Murphy, Victoria Lutz, Nicole Gawronski, Julie Field, Wendy Stine, Mary Carraher, Dr. Sue Ellen Charlton, Wendy Cohen, former State Sen. Peggy Reeves, and former Fort Collins Mayor Nancy Gray.

Founded in 1950, Soroptimist International of Fort Collins is celebrating 65 years. Local members are part of the 80,000 Soroptimist members in more than 120 countries and territories, contributing their time, energy, and financial support to community-based projects benefiting women. For more information about how Soroptimist International of Fort Collins makes a difference for women, go to this website.

The School of Education is in CSU’s College of Health and Human Sciences.