Welcome from President Tony Frank
Welcome to the 2014-15 academic year at Colorado State University!
As parents and family members, your interest and involvement are important to your student – and to the University. We are grateful to you for entrusting your students and their education to Colorado State, and we want you to know that we take that responsibility quite seriously.
Over the last few months, I’ve been looking back over the past five years to assess our progress as an institution in all areas, but especially in terms of academics. We’ve focused intensively on investing in academic quality during those five years, and I’m pleased to be able to report to you now that the results are showing. As a CSU parent myself, here are some of the signs of progress that are most meaningful to me – and I hope to you, as well:
- CSU students now have more academic choices than ever. In five years, the University has added six new academic departments/units, 13 new graduate degree programs, 12 new undergraduate majors, and 17 undergraduate minors.
- CSU has grown the total faculty 13 percent to keep pace with enrollment, holding the student-faculty ratio to 16:1 – and we’ve also had a 13 percent increase in women tenure-track faculty and a 17 percent increase in minority tenure-track faculty.
- Thanks to CSU’s focus on student success and graduation, 76 percent of CSU students who complete their program of study now do it in 4.5 years or less.
- The number of our students continuing from freshman to sophomore year is at a record high of 86.6 percent.
- The campus now has the first new classroom buildings in decades – Computer Science, the Scott Bioengineering Building, Rockwell Hall West, and Behavioral Sciences. In addition, we’ve renovated and upgraded a large number of our older classroom buildings and transformed every general assignment classroom into a “smart” classroom.
- The number of students involved in undergraduate research has tripled in five years – to more than 5,000 students.
- Students now have a 24/7 place to study on campus with the addition of The Cube to Morgan Library.
- We’ve made key investments to improve student access to online learning and the Honors Program.
- Many of our CSU residence halls have been transformed into multi-faceted living-learning communities, particularly with the additions of the Academic Village and Laurel Village.
- Scholarship and need based aid is up 51 percent overall – driven by a 129 percent increase in institutional aid during a time of state and federal cuts.
- 70 percent of our graduates secure employment or admission to graduate school by graduation today.
- 91 percent of all our graduates say they would choose CSU again if they had the chance.
We hope this progress signals to you, as members of our extended Ram family, that academic excellence and your student’s learning experience are our highest priorities.
Of course, in addition to the exceptional learning environment, we also are proud to offer a strong support network to assist students with any of their challenges, from academic concerns to roommate conflicts. I’d like to ask you, as parents and family members, to help encourage your students to take responsibility for their CSU experience and to seek out and ask for help when they need it. If your student is having trouble in class, encourage her to go directly to her professor or adviser. If your student is struggling emotionally, encourage him to visit our CSU Counseling Center. If you don’t know how best to advise your student, feel free to call our Parent and Family Programs team any time, and they’ll be happy to talk through some different approaches. Our most successful students are those who learn early on that they’re in charge of their education – and what they get from their CSU experience depends on how much they are personally willing to invest in terms of their energy, passion, and commitment.
Now that the academic year has begun, we hope you’ll stay connected with the institution through our RamFAM network. We really do value your involvement and partnership in our CSU community. Please never hesitate to write us, call, ask questions, or share your ideas – and again, thanks for entrusting your student to Colorado State.
Let’s have a great year!
Dr. Tony Frank
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Dear CSU Parents and Families
The fall semester is here! New first year and transfer students, as well as returning students, are establishing, or getting settled into, their academic and co-curricular experiences. Their excitement is ever present! Of course, the first wave of exams and papers are either happening, or will—before they know it. As parent and family members, your curiosity about what your student is experiencing and how to support them through the exciting and challenging aspects of college life—is key.
This month’s parent and family e-newsletter has thoughtful articles emphasizing academics, student health and wellness, the importance of the resident assistant (RA), and much more! Please take time to read through the articles, especially President Frank’s welcome letter. Finally, don’t forget, Homecoming and Family Weekend will be here before we know it—October 16-19. We hope to see you there! See details related to the schedule and ordering football tickets in the newsletter.
As for Parent & Family Programs, we are experiencing significant staff transition. We have a new Coordinator for Parent & Family Programs, Erin Hammersley. She hails from the East Coast and brings years of CSU experience having worked here in Student-Athlete Support Services. Our new graduate assistant, Colin Watrin, arrived here from the Pacific Northwest and is already very busy with his graduate studies and work in our office. Tess Martin recently joined our office this past spring and provides invaluable administrative support. Janisa Garcia, our undergraduate student staff member, returns for a second year, providing an integral link from the past to the present, as well as an invaluable student perspective. As for me, I am excited to be in the Director of Parent & Family Programs role. With two toddlers at home, I am beginning to reflect on the journey that lies ahead that may one day, result in our boys attending CSU! I can only hope!
Exciting updates regarding the former Parent & Family Programs staff--Kacee Collard-Jarnot, the former Director, continues to work at CSU in a new role in Fraternity & Sorority Life and Conflict Resolution and Student Conduct Services and Maria Marinucci, the former graduate assistant, is in a new professional staff role at the University of Scranton. We wish them well!!
We have a great team in Parent & Family Programs! We are here to support you! Please don’t hesitate to contact us with questions, concerns, or just a desire to converse about your student(s) with someone who cares about you and your student.
John Henderson, Ph.D.
Assistant Dean of Students/Director of Parent & Family Programs
note: John Henderson and Erin Hammersley pictured (above) outside Administration Building, CSU 2014
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Summer 2014 Biennial Survey Summary
We would like to thank the 1,500 parent and family members who responded to our 2014 Parent & Family Programs Biennial survey. You are amazing! The survey asked a number of questions re: parent and family satisfaction with campus services, perspectives on what information parents and family members want to know from our office, ways parents and families communicate with their students, and the list goes on.
Please note that your responses inform what we include in our monthly e-newsletter, adjustments we make to programs and services we offer, and give us a better sense of what you need and how we can best partner with you.
The image below illustrates how respondents feel, overall, about the programs and services for CSU parents and families. Thanks for the great feedback! Also, we thought you’d appreciate some of the initial findings we’ve gathered, please see more results here. For me, I almost couldn’t believe that very few parents or family members who responded communicate with their student via a landline telephone. Wow! I must admit it brings back memories for me when I used a landline telephone to communicate with my family, once/week, when I was an undergraduate. How times have changed!
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Academic Integrity Week - "Choose Integrity"
By Elaine Green, Director Academic Integrity
Colorado State University Parents and Families,
Did you know that grades can be reduced, classes failed, and students even suspended for academic misconduct? Our annual Academic Integrity Week (“Choose Integrity” - Oct 6-9) is designed to familiarize students with their scholarly responsibilities and the expectations we have of them, all of which are explicitly detailed in the CSU Student Conduct Code.
Throughout the week, students will have the opportunity to learn what constitutes academic misconduct and how to avoid it. Particular attention will be paid to student misconceptions regarding what constitutes plagiarism. These free, informative seminars address many common mistakes, paying particular attention to selecting credible sources, citing them correctly, and how to use a variety of online citation formatting tools effectively.
On Monday, Oct. 6, at 4:30 p.m., there will be a workshop on understanding college expectations for citing sources. Students who are not taking a Composition class (CO 130 or C0150) during the Fall semester will find this session helpful as they begin writing papers required for classes in their declared majors.
On Wednesday, Oct 8, many of the colleges and departments will be offering presentations on academic and professional ethics as it relates to students' specific majors, concentrations, and disciplines.
You can help your Ram get off “on the right foot” by encouraging him or her to attend any and or all seminars. Please help us help your student avoid making the kind of academic mistakes that might negatively impact their future. Please join us in our effort to dispel myths, spread knowledge, and introduce valuable campus resources.
P.S. Once finalized, the full Academic Integrity Week schedule will be available online.
“Choose Integrity, CSU’s annual Academic Integrity Week, is co-sponsored by the Associated Students of Colorado State University, The Institute for Learning and Teaching, Conflict Resolution and Student Conduct Services, and the Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative.
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Career Fair Success
By: Summer S Shaffer, CSU Career Center
Every year the Career Center offers an array of opportunities for students and alumni to take an active approach in their job/internship search process. Activities include drop-in and one-on-one career counseling, a variety of workshops, self-exploration opportunities, networking/connect events based on industry interest areas and career fairs. Take a look at our events: http://www.career.colostate.edu/Students/FairsAndEvents/Default.aspx.
Career fairs are excellent events for students to attend and make meaningful connections with hundreds of employers, through networking as well as finding out what job and internship opportunities employers offer. Katie Flint, Senior Associate Director of Employer Relations for the CSU Career Center offers, “Employers come to our career fair because they want to hire a Ram, which is why it’s so important for our students to take advantage of these events. When else in their lives will they have employers actively seeking them out?” This year’s Fall Career & Graduate School Fair will be on September 23 & 24 in the Lory Student Center’s Grand Ballroom. Each day offers students the opportunity to visit with employers who are interested in hiring majors defined by industry focus areas. In addition to meeting with employers students can also meet with graduate schools on September 23.
It is important that students begin to prepare themselves for the career fair ahead of time. The Career Center offers Resume Rush, resume and cover letter writing workshops, and career fair preparation workshops. Resume Rush (September 17 – 19 & 22, 10 am – 3 pm) offers students an opportunity to have their resume critiqued by a career counselor or employer and get last minute career fair questions answered. “Because we have thousands of students coming out to the career fair, it’s very important that students are prepared and know what to expect before they come to the main event. That’s why we strongly encourage students to take advantage of the career fair preparation workshops and resume critiques that are happening before the fairs. The more prepared a student is, the more an employer will take notice of them” commented Flint.
Beyond Resume Rush and workshops offered by the Career Center encourage your student to actively research organizations they are interested in. Flint shares, “Research! Research! Research! It is vital for a student to do their research ahead of time so they can determine which employers they want to visit with and know something about the employer and the opportunities they have to offer. The worst thing a student can do is approach an employer and ask “What does your organization do?” Employers hate that question and often use it as a way to separate out which students they are interested in”. The Career Center offers a variety of research tools to make prepping for the Career Fair easy.
Ram Career Tools: a customized career resource search
Career Ram: job/internship postings, career fairs, and interview sign-ups
CSU Career Fair App (coming soon, visit website for details): research and favorite career fair employers using your Android or iPhone
For more information on Career Center services, events or Career Fairs visit us at: wwww.career.colostate.edu.
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Resident Assistant (RA) Training: Getting Ready for the New Rams
By Tyler Benateigha and Alec Walsh
The start of a new semester is a busy and exciting time for most CSU students. With that, it looks a little different for Resident Assistants (RAs). While the majority of students are finishing up their summer or winter vacations, jobs, and other activities, RAs are working hard to prepare for the new semester. A large component of this preparation time includes RA training.
As RAs, we have intensive training a few weeks before the residents move in so that we can be well prepared to live and work with CSU students in the residence halls. This training covers topics like conflict resolution, programming, safety and security, self-care, and everything in between. We become masters of resources on campus so we can provide the best possible experience to students. Even if we don’t know the answer, we know where to find it! These training sessions are mostly presented by a Residence Director, Assistant Residence Director, and a returning RA. We also have presenters from various offices on campus, which range from faculty/staff members from the Student Diversity Programs and Services offices, all the way to the Dean of Students. These training sessions, for the most part, make up the entire business day; however the day does not end once the sessions do.
We usually have what is called “in-hall” time, which is used for each staff to go over building specific items. This time will include creating a rotating duty schedule, programming, building-specific committees, and of course staff team-building. Once our in-hall tasks have been completed, we now have free time. While we do have hours off, we have tons of things to do to get ready for residents. We do things like create door decorations and name tags, staff bonding activities, construct bulletin boards, and everything else it takes to make our floors as welcoming as possible.
Being an RA is an enormous time commitment, especially as we prepare for the residents to come back. However, giving back to the CSU community by helping its students is an incredibly rewarding position that makes up a large part of who we are.
Tyler Benateigha is a Senior majoring in History and is a third year Resident Assistant. Alec Walsh is a Senior majoring in Liberal Arts and is also a third year Resident Assistant. Both Tyler and Alec serve CSU community through a variety student leadership positions.
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Adjusting to the University Environment
By Janelle Patrias, Manager of Mental Health Initiatives, CSU Health Network
Tips to help your student with stress and homesickness
According to the National College Health Assessment, stress is the number one factor impacting academic success. Lower than expected performance on the first tests or assignments can be a real shock. For those students for whom grades came easily in high school, this can be a challenging experience. For others, it rattles their confidence in their ability to be a successful college student. It can also prompt self-doubt about their chosen major or academic path.
- Try to lend a supportive ear and refrain from any chastisement about a low grade. They are probably already being hard on themselves.
- Offer encouragement that you believe in their abilities and will stand by them.
- Suggest they check out campus resources like The Institute of Learning and Teaching (TILT.) They offer tutoring, skills workshops (time management, writing, test taking, etc.) and peer advising to assist students in achieving academic success.
In the early part of fall semester, students are notorious for finding themselves overcommitted by their enthusiasm to get involved on campus. There are many different opportunities and students can easily end up too busy. Developmentally, they are still honing their decision-making skills and often time-management techniques need further development. If this is the case:
- Encourage re-evaluation of their activities, prioritizing “needs” and “wants.”
- Remind them to plan ahead for big projects, like research papers.
- Empower them to say no to things that they cannot commit to or do not have time to do. Help them let go of guilt, and know it is okay to say no.
- Sometimes the opposite is true and your student might be struggling to find meaningful involvement and community. Encourage them to connect with the SLiCE office to explore opportunities to get involved and find programs to enrich their academic and social experience at CSU.
It is very normal for students to start to feel homesick after the novelty and newness of the semester starts to wear off. Students are dealing with unfamiliar situations and a loss of close friends and family. This can stir up emotions and lead to missing the familiarity of home. Remember that change, even positive change, can create a new level of uneasiness and alter feelings of security and confidence.
- Let your student know that you miss him, however try not to dwell on your own adjustment to his absence.
- Continue to speak positively about college and avoid buying into negativity.
- Resist the urge to swoop in and bring your student home or text more often. Recognize that she may need even more distance and time to make the social connections that will help her feel more connected on campus.
Sometimes stress cannot be avoided. However when stress is not well managed, it can quickly escalate. If your student seems to be struggling with managing their stress or their adjustment to school, the CSU Health Network has resources available from one-one-one counseling to skill building workshops and support groups.
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Science of Learning - How Do Students Learn Best?
By Lauren Bates, Assistant Coordinator of Learning Programs, The Institute for Learning and Teaching (TILT)
Some of the best minds in the Cognitive Psychology program at Colorado State University have decided to share some of the coolest findings in learning and memory research with undergraduates in a new course in the “Science of Learning.” Their aim is to debunk some common misconceptions held by students about their study strategies, while also providing a great new toolbox of skills to help them succeed academically. Sounds great, right? What does this mean for your student? Did you know that simply re-reading your notes is much less beneficial than giving yourself a practice test using flashcards?
Most people incorrectly assume that strategies such as highlighting text and re-reading information serve as accurate representations of how much they know about something. However, research on learning and memory shows us that repetition alone is not enough. We often mistake familiarity for knowledge! That’s why it always feels good to cram for a test (like you are really getting a handle on the material), but the learning isn’t permanent.
Here’s a fun activity for you: without looking at one for reference, try to draw the heads side of a penny from memory. Did you get Lincoln’s head right? Which direction is he facing? Is “In God We Trust” written on the front or the back?
Still believe that repetition is enough to stick something in memory? Clearly there must be something else going on.
Here’s another scenario for you: how often does your student “cram” before a big test? Droves of college students fill the local coffee shops in Fort Collins around midterms and finals, but what if I told you that there was a much more effective way to study?
Research has shown that it is much more beneficial to space your study rather than massing it all at once. Think of it this way; if your student has a big test on Friday and it’s Monday, they are going to perform much better if they take one hour out of every day between Monday and Friday to study instead of spending four hours at Starbucks on Thursday night. I don’t know about you, but one hour each day sounds much more appealing to me. That leaves time for other things like taking that hip-hop class at the Rec, going to a volleyball game, or maybe even spending some time with friends in Old Town. Interleaving your study is also super beneficial! Tired of studying for your chemistry exam? Take a break with some reading for history! This will keep your brain actively engaged in what you are doing and ultimately help maximize your learning. The goal of the Science of Learning course is not just to churn out experts in learning and memory research (though that would be great too), but more importantly, to educate students about how to best spend their time studying throughout their college career and beyond. Think about all that extra time you can have with your student if they’re studying smarter, not harder!
Click here to view more tips related to high impact learning strategies that you can share with your student.
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Meet the Staff: Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life
Pictured from left to right: Juan Martinez, Lindsay Sell, Matthew Dempsey, Kacee Collard Jarnot, and Lauren Misewicz
By Juan Martinez
The Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life (FSL) works collaboratively with other offices and departments at CSU to support the fraternity and sorority community on campus. The FSL Office is staffed by devoted practitioners who support the community’s governing council officers and chapter leadership.
Meet the Staff
Lindsay is the Director of OFSL and the advisor for the Interfraternity Council. Lindsay earned her Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communication from CSU, and also held the position of President of the Panhellenic Council as an undergraduate. Lindsay earned her Master of Science degree in Student Affairs in Higher Education from CSU. She is committed to her membership in Kappa Alpha Theta Fraternity for Women, and routinely volunteers and is recognized for her contributions to the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors (AFA).
Lauren is a Program Coordinator in OFSL, and serves as the advisor to the National Panhellenic Council and co-advisor to the Panhellenic Council. Lauren completed her undergraduate work at Purdue University, earning her Bachelor of Arts degree in Organizational Communication. She is a member of Kappa Alpha Theta Fraternity, and traveled as an Educational Leadership Consultant for her Fraternity after graduating from Purdue. After stepping off the road, she continued her education at the University of Kansas, earning her Master of Science degree in Higher Education Administration while working as a graduate assistant in Greek Life as Panhellenic Advisor. Lauren serves as a volunteer for her organization as well as many others.
Juan is a Program Coordinator in OFSL, and serves as the advisor to the Multicultural Greek Council. Juan earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies from Texas Christian University. AT TCU, Juan joined Lambda Theta Phi Latin Fraternity, Inc. and served the FSL community as the President of the Multicultural Greek Council. Juan completed their Master of Arts in Educational Administration and Leadership at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, CA. At Pacific, Juan served as the Greek Residence Director for Theta Chi Fraternity, and co-advised the Multicultural Greek Council. Juan volunteers with Campus Pride on initiatives that connect the FSL and LGBTQIA communities.
Kacee Collard Jarnot
Kacee is as an Accountability Specialist with a dual report to the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life and the Conflict Resolution and Student Conduct Services Office. In this role, she helps fraternities and sororities operationalize accountability efforts, both proactively and reactively. Kacee earned her Bachelor of Science in Communication, with an emphasis in Public Relations, from Eastern New Mexico University and her Master of Science in the Student Affairs in Higher Education Program at Colorado State University. Kacee is a member of Chi Omega Women’s Fraternity and has been active within the fraternity and sorority community at CSU for seven years, serving as a Fraternity Graduate Advisor for an IFC fraternity, advising multiple positions within Chi Omega, teaching Greeks Against Sexual Assault, and serving as a volunteer for Chi Omega’s National Advisory Training Team. She is an active member of Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA), the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors (AFA), and Association for Student Conduct Administration (ASCA).
Matthew is the OFSL Graduate Assistant and co-advisor for the Panhellenic Council. Matthew is a first year Master’s student in the Student Affairs in Higher Education (SAHE) program at CSU. He completed his undergraduate work at the University of Connecticut, earning a Bachelor of Science in Special Education. Matthew is a member of Beta Theta Pi Fraternity, and traveled as a Leadership Consultant for the South Central region after graduating from UConn. Additionally, Matthew serves OFSL as the advisor for Order of Omega.
The most up-to-date calendar of events can be found on at fsl.colostate.edu. Here are some major events that will happen in the month of September:
- September 6-9, 2014: Panhellenic Sorority Formal Recruitment
- September 22-26, 2014: National Hazing Prevention Week
For more information on FSL, please check out our website or give us a call at 970-491-0966.
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Homecoming and Family Weekend - Please Join us in October!
Register for Homecoming & Family Weekend by Monday, October 13!
Homecoming & Family Weekend 2014 is just around the corner! Parent and family programming kicks off Friday, October 17, with a session focused on helping families explore students’ housing options for the following year. Visit the Parent & Family Program's website for handouts from past Housing Options After the First Year sessions, but be sure to attend this year’s session on October 17 to have the most up-to-date information about living options for next year.
We’ve also added an opportunity for parents and families to connect by region and then tour the newly renovated (and pretty amazing) Lory Student Center.
Additionally, we also hope you'll join us on Saturday for the Homecoming & Family Weekend Tailgate, providing families an opportunity to connect with one another and show your Ram Pride before the football game vs. Utah State.
Programming for Family Weekend ends after the Homecoming Football game. We hope you'll enjoy Saturday evening and Sunday morning with your student in Fort Collins! Here is a tentative list of all the Family Weekend Events – check the Homecoming & Family Weekend website for updates.
Register here for all Homecoming and Family Weekend events.
Please note that by registering for the RAMFAM Gathering & Housing Options event you will also be touring the Lory Student Center as part of the program. Please note there another set of tours being offered during the weekend, there is a separate registration for that particular event – if you are attending the RAMFAM event, additional tour registration is not necessary (unless you'd like mulitple tours!).
Homecoming and Family Weekend events:
Friday, October 17, 2013
- RAMFAM & Housing Options After the First Year
- Festival on the Oval
- Homecoming Parade
- Pep Rally, Bonfire, Lighting of the A
- Music: Men's and University Choruses Concert
- Theatre: The Glass Menagerie, by Tennessee Williams
Saturday, October 18, 2013
- 5K Race
- The Official Homecoming & Family Weekend Tailgate
- Homecoming Football Game (CSU vs. Utah State)
- Theatre: The Glass Menagerie, by Tennessee Williams
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