CSU's Office of Engagement and Extension celebrates staff members' accomplishments and dedication to service
Colorado State University’s Office of Engagement and Extension hosted its 2022 Forum on campus last week, bringing together colleagues from all over Colorado for four days in order to foster collaboration across the unit that includes CSU Extension, CSU Extended Campus, the Colorado Water Center and Salazar Center for North American Conservation.
Joined by hundreds of their peers, staff members were recognized for their excellence, dedication to service, and accomplishments supporting communities across Colorado.
Alton Schofield Award
This year’s Alton Scofield award was presented to Bruce Fickenscher, Extension director for Colorado’s southern region. Fickenscher previously held roles as the southeast area director and as a livestock and range agent.
An original member of the CSU Beef Team, Fickenscher launched The Coffee Break Project, a community driven effort to support the mental health of farmers and ranchers, whose risk of dying by suicide is more than twice the statewide average.
Fickensher’s dedication to ranchers and farmers is also clear from his work with Changing Our Mental and Emotional Trajectory (COMET), a program that helps deliver trainings to help community members recognize signs that friends and family members are struggling with mental health. Fickensher has also been involved with Colorado AgrAbility.
“Bruce’s commitment and compassion has not only saved lives of those who have reached out but also helped improve their livelihoods and sustain lasting relationships,” wrote one of his award nominators.
Fickenscher concluded his acceptance speech by recognizing the work of his support staff.
“Thank you for helping me to do this, because without all of you, I can’t,” Fickenscher said.
F.A. Anderson Award
Lori Bates was recognized as this year’s recipient of the F.A. Anderson Award.
Bates’ impressive career with CSU has spanned 21 years, including seven years as a benefits manger in the central CSU HR department. Bates joined Extension in 2008 as an executive assistant to the vice president of engagement and director of extension.
Bates later held roles as assistant director of human resources in Extension and in 2021 became the human resources manager for the Office of Engagement and Extension.
Bates’ nomination letters highlighted her engagement with various teams across campus and within OEE, and how Bates’ high level of coordination and partnership with regional support staff helped the organization navigate through a critical transitional period during the past few years.
Bates’ nomination letters detailed her caring, positive attitude, professionalism, and respectful approach in all her interactions, as well as her dedication to OEE and its employees.
The employee recognition luncheon on the third day of Forum highlighted recent retirements and recognized staff members’ years of service.
The Extension employees who were recognized for their retirement were Pat Gannon, Sharie Harless, Jim Klett, and Karen-Ramey Torres.
Jim Klett served as an Extension specialist and CSU professor with the College of Agriculture’s department of horticulture and landscape architecture for 42 years. He also served as curator for the CSU arboretum. Thanking his colleagues for their support over the years, Klett promised that although he’d be retiring, he’d still be around, volunteering his support.
Karen Ramey-Torres served as the director of the Northeast Regional Engagement Center for the last 8 years. Torres’ many accomplishments throughout her career include helping develop a day treatment program for emotionally challenged students, launching The Family Resource Center in Sterling and worked tirelessly to support local community members through Extension’s Engagement Center.
In mid-2019, Pat Gannon became the director of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. Under Gannon’s leadership, OLLI experienced continued growth in membership. Gannon’s experience with engaged work ranges from the Fort Collins art community to school administration and data management. Gannon previously served as a program developer for the continuing education adult program at the Front Range Community College.
Sharie Harless served as an administrative assistant for Colorado 4-H.
Employees who have reached the service milestones for years of service during 2022 were also recognized during the luncheon.
Celebrating 10 years of service
- Katelyn Barnes
- Julie Bergstrom
- Tami Eggers
- Todd Hagenbuch
- Teresa Johnson
- Diane Kern
- JoLynn Midcap
- John Sexton
- Jackie Shea
Celebrating 15 years of service
- Stephen Escobar
- Trent Hollister
- Eric McPhail
- Darrin Parmenter
- Alysha Tarantino
- Mary Snow
Celebrating 20 years of service
- Laura Barrera
- Karin Bright
- Bruce Fickenscher
- Shaylen Florez
- Darrin Goodman
- Sally Ketchum
- Michael Lacero
Celebrating 25 years of service
- Larry Hooker
- Kurt Jones
- Dennis Kaan
- Vanessa Tranel
Celebrating 30 years of service
- Jackie Goodnow
Celebrating 35 years of service
- Marlin Eisenach
- Jeffrey Tranel