Super Women of CSU honored

Audra Brickner, Michele Marquitz and Blanche Hughes at the Northern Colorado Super Women reception at Odell Brewing. (Not shown: Leslie Cunningham-Sabo) Photo by Erika Moore, Coloradoan
Audra Brickner, Michele Marquitz and Blanche Hughes at the Northern Colorado Super Women reception at Odell Brewing. Photo by Erika Moore, Mind + Body

Four of the three dozen women named Northern Colorado Super Women for 2015 by the Fort Collins Coloradoan practice their superpowers daily at Colorado State University.

Blanche Hughes, vice president for Student Affairs; Audra Brickner, executive director of gift planning; Leslie Cunningham-Sabo, associate professor of nutrition; and graduate student Michele Marquitz are featured in the Summer 2015 issue of Mind + Body, published by the Coloradoan.

They were also honored at a reception on July 14, along with other NoCo notables including Nancy Richardson, co-founder of Blue Ocean Enterprises and the OtterCares Foundation (and a CSU alum in interior design); Kerrie Flanagan, director of Northern Colorado Writers; Betsy Craig, founder of MenuTrinfo, which works with food industry professionals on nutrition and labeling; and Olivea Borden, 17-year-old founder and CEO of Oli-Bo-Boily, an international company that helps girls in need while creating living-wage jobs in Central America.

Leslie Cunningham-Sabo. Photo by Erika Moore, Mind + Body

“These Super Women are some of the unsung heroes of our community, quietly doing amazing things and benefiting those around them with their selfless efforts,” the editors wrote in introducing this year’s class of Super Women. “These women come from all walks of life … but the one thing they share above all else is their ability to inspire others.”

Super powers

Hughes was honored in part for her dedication to student success, and her considerable contributions to a campus culture that values collegiality, candor and accountability. While administering one of the largest divisions on campus, she always finds time to support and encourage colleagues as well as students with collaboration, trust and respect.

Brickner’s dedication and leadership has helped CSU reach record-setting levels of fundraising during her nine years with the university. She was also recognized for her wide-ranging community involvement, both personally and with her five children.

Cunningham-Sabo, award-winning teacher, mentor and advisor, has spent the last 25 years researching the issue of childhood obesity, working directly with Northern Colorado schools. Her passion and vision for a healthier community drives her work as well as her hours advising graduate students and volunteer service on local school wellness committees.

After a successful career in international supply chain management, Marquitz is working on her Ph.D. in organizational learning, performance and change in the School of Education at CSU. She was also honored for her community service and philanthropic efforts on behalf of Junior League of Fort Collins; Rotary International; Book Trust, which puts new books into the hands of school children whose families cannot otherwise afford them, and WomenGive, whose 350 members who use their financial resources to help women in Larimer County achieve economic self-sufficiency.

To read about all of this year’s NoCo Super Women, go to the Coloradoan website.