Tell Me More: President McConnell engages in conversations with CSU community

The Colorado State University community has grown accustomed to hearing that this fall, “things will look a little different” because of COVID-19 health precautions on campus. In the case of the annual President’s Fall Address, however, things will look very different.

In keeping with current public health protocols on campus, instead of a speech delivered to a live audience and followed by a picnic on the Oval, President Joyce McConnell will be shining a spotlight on several university priorities and areas of excellence via a series of one-on-one interviews with CSU faculty and experts. The “Tell Me More” conversation series will be available on the university’s YouTube channel throughout the academic year and will be accessible through the President’s webpage.

The first interview, premiering Oct. 5, features Dr. Marcela Henao-Tamayo of the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. Henao Tamayo is an assistant professor of Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology and the director of the Flow Cytometry Facility at CSU.  While her ongoing primary research focus is on tuberculosis, she is currently working with colleagues on developing a COVID-19 vaccine. Her conversation with McConnell highlights the scope, caliber and impact of CSU research.

More conversations

Joyce McConnell

President Joyce McConnell

Marcela Henao-Tamayo in her lab

Dr. Marcela Henao-Tamayo

Camille Dungy reading

Camille Dungy

Claudia Rankine portrait

Claudia Rankine

Mary Pedersen on the Oval

Mary Pedersen

Head shot of C.J. Mucklow

CJ Mucklow

Diana Wall

Diana Wall

Other scheduled interviews in the Tell Me More series will highlight equity, student success, community engagement, and sustainability.

The full schedule features the president in conversation with:

• Oct. 5: Director of the Flow Cytometry Center Dr. Marcela Henao-Tamayo

• Oct. 26: Rams Read author Claudia Rankine and CSU English Professor Camille Dungy

• Nov. 16: Provost and Executive Vice President Mary Pedersen

• Feb. 22: Extension Western Regional Director CJ Mucklow

• March 22: University Distinguished Professor and Director of  the School of Global Environmental Sustainability Diana Wall

“We really didn’t want our community to feel like we’d lost the Fall Address and picnic to COVID,” McConnell said. “We’ve all had to adapt to a lot of changes and accept a lot of losses. This felt like an opportunity to create something new and to tell our story through personal, in-depth conversations with just a few of the extraordinary leaders and experts whom we are fortunate to have here at CSU.”

Must-see CSU TV

McConnell said she was just “blown away” by her first interview subject, Henao Tamayo, and is looking forward to future conversations as well.

“For me, this is a privilege, to get to sit down and talk to someone so brilliant, who is so passionate and so clear about the way they are going to make our world better,” she said. “It’s humbling, but also exciting, because I know that this person is working right here at CSU and they really are going to change the world.”

All the prerecorded interviews will be close-captioned and will remain on the university’s YouTube channel for the duration of the academic year.  McConnell hopes everyone will take time to check out the series, noting that the video format does have its benefits right now.

“We’re offering people something they can watch at home while still social distancing and avoiding large gatherings,” McConnell said. “I hope these become this year’s must-see CSU TV.”