Engaging Students

Connections and Commitments

Mentored Research and Artistry

The Office for Undergraduate Research and Artistry (OURA) facilitates opportunities for students to apply the theory they are learning in the classroom through high-impact, real world experiences. This office serves as an interface among students and faculty to ensure that all undergraduates at CSU have access to opportunities to explore and engage in their interests in research, artistry, and other forms of creative work within their respective disciplines. We also coordinate over a dozen formal experiential learning programs.

Quick Facts: Educational Research indicates that undergraduates who are engaged in faculty mentored research achieve higher academic performance, higher rates of retention, higher rates of entry into graduate and professional programs, and more rapid rates of advancement in the work place.


Mentored Research Programs

Research Academies, Cohorts, and Immersive Experiential Learning Programs

Training and Professional Development Programs

Showcasing Undergraduate Scholarship

Diversity Initiatives


Presentations and Workshops

Committees and Task Forces


  • 2017 Innovative Program Award, Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA) IV-West
  • 2016 Innovations in STEM Education, National Science Foundation I-Corps, Washington, DC
  • 2015 Innovations in STEM Education, National Science Foundation I-Corps, Washington, DC
  • 2012 SOAR Award: Outstanding Diversity Program, Colorado State University
  • 2012 Of the Month Award for Diversity Program, National Residence Hall Honorary

Academic Integrity

Ramtegrity Week 2016

  • On Monday, ASCSU students held "takeover" of CSU Snapchat account. The "story" was seen by approximately 3,700 people.
  • On Twitter, our account amassed over 31,000 impressions during the week. We gathered hundreds of engagements on multiple tweets—over 200 alone on a graphic we posted Wednesday.
  • Gained 17 new followers during the week. We now have over 80 followers, including Dr. Tony Frank.
  • On Soundcloud, our content amassed over 70 plays during the week.

Academic Misconduct Hearing numbers

This year, I processed, adjudicated, or otherwise managed 383 academic misconduct cases. Tellingly, the number of Documentation Only cases saw a sharp rise from 197 in FY 2015-2016 to 283 cases in FY 2016-2017.

The number of cases that involved disciplinary hearings stayed relatively constant (from 94 in AY 2015-2016 to 100 in 2016-2017). I believe this is due to greater confidence and participation in our process.


In 2016-2017, twenty presentations were provided that reached over 1,000 participants.

Prestigious Scholars Enrichment Programs

Prestigious Scholars Enrichment Programs

Boettcher Scholars Program

Boettcher scholars tested their chops against one another at The Cooking Studio in a cooking class/competition. Pictured: Jaynee Halverson and Jonathan Schlagel.
In a colorful display of talent, Boettcher scholars painted canvas panels that would piece together to make a single picture at Pinot's palette. Pictured: Eric Paricio, Korissa Straub, Kellyn Dassler.

Annual award given to 40 high school seniors. Students can select any in-state school to attend. Its mission, in part, is to keep Colorado talent in Colorado. Covers total cost of attendance (Foundation provides stipend and covers part of tuition; CSU covers the rest).

OURA provides mentoring, coordination, and enrichment activities to support the program. Forty students have participated in the last five years.

Boettcher Scholar Activities and Support Programs

Community Building

  1. Recognition gifts for incoming Boettcher Scholars that were given to first years at the New Boettcher Scholars Orientation held at Denver Botanic Gardens. The gifts included lanyards, mugs, and stuffed rams.
  2. September 14, 2016 – Welcome Back Dinner – Coopersmith's: Scholars gathered to eat and mingle and to share their summer adventures as well as their school year goals.
  3. October 5, 2016 – Cooking Competition – The Cooking Studio: Scholars were assigned to either the black or red team and each was given the same menu of items to prepare, including a secret ingredient that must be incorporated into one of the three dishes. Each team worked together to prep, execute, and integrate the secret ingredient in creative ways. The staff consisted of the judging panel whose criteria included presentation, taste, and best use of the secret ingredient. After the winning team was announced, everyone was able to eat and taste the fares from both teams.
  4. November 16, 2016 – Winter Social with Cookies and Cocoa – Lory Student Center: Scholars, along with Monfort and Anschutz scholars, assembled for an evening of food, fun, and games. Catering included pizza and seasonal beverages such as hot chocolate, tea, and apple cider accompanied by cookies and snacks. Students engaged in group board and table games and drawings for fun ornaments were done throughout the night.
  5. January 23, 2017 – Spring Semester Dinner – Rodizio Grill: Scholars returned from break to start the Spring semester with a dinner to catch up on winter break activities and to share upcoming excitements for Spring.
  6. February 20, 2017 – Painting Class – Pinot's Palette: Scholars, joined by Monfort and Anschutz scholars, sat in groups of six; each group was given six small panels and tasked with painting them so that they would be stand-alone pieces but also that when aligned, would recreate an image of a cohesive cherry blossom tree. In this enriching teambuilding exercise, scholars learned acrylic painting basics while having to communicate with their adjoining artists.
  7. May 5, 2017 – Carnival Game Social – Lory Student Center: Scholars enjoyed a BBQ dinner and a room full of carnival themed games, prizes, and candy. Towards the end, Melissa and Mary gifted the graduating scholars with a maroon painted wooden "B" decorated with gold lettering saying "Grad 2017" to remind them of their experiences being a Boettcher Scholar.

Intellectual Development

  1. December 10, 2016 – A Colorado Christmas – Colorado Symphony: Scholars first enjoyed a pizza lunch at Panhandlers pizza before shuttling down to Denver. There, along with a few Monfort and Anschutz scholars, they attended an orchestral and vocal performance in the Boettcher Concert Hall at the Colorado Symphony. Seasonal music and a children's chorale set a nice tone for the holiday season.
  2. April 30, 2017 – Glass Blowing – Daggett Glass Studio: Scholars were able to choose between crafting either a blown glass ornament or a shaped glass paperweight. While manipulating molten glass, each scholar colored and crafted their own personalized artwork under the direction of a skilled glass worker.


  1. October 22, 2016 – Homeless Gear – Sam's Club Fort Collins: Scholars joined the Monfort and Anschutz scholars in supporting Homeless Gear, a local organization that provides aid to homeless family's right here in Colorado. With a table and carts set up outside of Sam's Club, scholars distributed lists of needed goods to Saturday patrons as they entered to shop and collected the donated items throughout the day. Afterwards, all goods and monetary donations were delivered to the Murphy center for storage and later distribution.
  2. May 14, 2017 – The Spring Plant Sale – The Gardens of Spring Creek: Scholars had the opportunity to support the Gardens of Spring Creek by staffing their annual plant sale fundraiser which benefits the horticulture programs at CSU and Front Range Community College.

Learn more about the Boettcher Scholars Program.

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Anschutz Scholars Program

This is CSU's most prestigious merit and needs based award given to 5 incoming students annually. It is funded by the Anschutz Foundation and covers the full cost of tuition. OURA provides mentoring, coordination, and enrichment activities to support the program. Twenty-five students have participated the last 5 years.

Stretching outside of their comfort zone, scholars hung around on suspended fabric at the Live Beyond Limit studio. Pictured: Anna LaForge.
A trip up to CSU's Mountain campus included a Sunday hike where Anschutz scholars ascended a trail and sported an "A". Pictured: Jenna McAllister, Brandon Gonzales, Thany Dykson, Eli Goegling, Reed Featherston, Logan Lynch, Sierra Goldstein, and Ellie Gould.

Learn more about the Anschutz Scholars Program.

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Monfort Scholars Program

This is CSU's most prestigious merit based award given to 3 incoming students annually. It is funded by the Monfort Family Foundation and covers the total cost of attendance.

15 students have participated the last 5 years.

The Monfort family graciously invited scholars to watch a Colorado Rockies game from the owner's box at Coors Field. Pictured: Lexi Elio, Sage Mijares, and Victoria Palmer.
Monfort scholars bonded over cheese and chocolate at The Melting Pot. Pictured: Sage Mijares, Lange Simmons, Becca Schaldach, Dacre Kurth, Theresa Papich, Mary Swanson, Sydney Alderfer, Lucy Lawrence, and Victoria Palmer.

Learn more about the Monfort Scholars Program.

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Griffin Scholars Program

This is an award given to students from Wyoming and Colorado who have completed two years at a community college and wish to attend either CSU, UNC, or UW. Twenty-one students have participated in the last 5 years.

Each scholar group used their arms to shape a letter representing their respective foundations after a Sunday hike at the CSU Mountain Campus. Boettcher (B) scholars pictured: Eric Paricio, Leah Gibson, Janaye Matthews, and Camryn Daidone. Anschutz (A) scholars pictured: Jenna McAllister, Brandon Gonzales, Thany Dykson, Eli Goegling, Reed Featherston, Logan Lynch, Sierra Goldstein, and Ellie Gould. Monfort (M) scholars pictured: Spencer Kuhn, Lucy Lawrence, Sydney Alderfer, and Victoria Palmer.
After a day on the ropes course at CSU's Mountain Campus, the scholars warmed their hearts and marshmallows at the fire pit before a night hike. Pictured: Eli Goegling, Reed Featherston, Spencer Kuhn, Camryn Daidone, Thany Dykson, Brandon Gonzales, Victoria Palmer, Leah Gibson, Eric Paricio.

Learn more about the Griffin Scholars Program.

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Nationally Competitive Scholarship and Fellowship Advising

Office of Scholarship and Fellowship Program Highlights: AY 2016-17

  • Two students received the Harry S. Truman Scholarship award
  • Two students received the Morris K. and Stewart Udall Scholarship award; one student received honorable mention
  • Four nominees received honorable mention in the Barry S. Goldwater Scholarship competition; first time ALL nominees recognized at a national level
  • Nine students named semi-finalists for US Fulbright Student Program
  • First time a CSU student received a Whitaker International Fellowship
  • First time CSU has had a Schwarzman Scholar Semi-Finalist
Five Year Trends (2012-2017)
Acad. Year
Student Recipients
Funding Entities
Approx. Totals

Select Peer Institution Comparisons
(S = Scholar, F = Finalist, HM = Honorable Mention)
Colorado State
0 S; 4 HM
2 S; 2 F
2 S; 1 HM
CU Boulder
1 S; 1 HM
0 S; 0 F
0 S; 0 HM
Kansas State
1 S; 3 HM
0 S; 1 F
1 S; 1 HM
Michigan State
0 S; 2 HM
0 S; 2 F
0 S; 1 HM
2016 CSU Truman Scholars with Tony Frank and Rick Miranda

State of Success

Student Testimonials: 2016-2017

I want to say thank you and let you know how much I appreciate all of your help and support throughout this application process. I normally would've been very intimidated by an application like the Fulbright one, and definitely would've felt discouraged from applying if not for your help. Your initial belief that I could be qualified to apply for such a program, and continued to support, meant the world you were really able to challenge me to focus and elaborate on my experiences in a way I never would have been able to do on my own. I think I grew a lot as a person throughout this application process and discovered things about myself, my experiences, and my hopes for the future that were not as clear to me before. Regardless of the outcome of the Fulbright Committee's decision, I am so grateful to have gone through this application process with your support! Thank You!

— Kallista Perrine, May 2017

I can't begin to thank you for all the support and advice you've given me during my time at CSU. I don't know if I would have ever applied for a Fulbright if you hadn't encouraged me to, and now I'm preparing to leave for Columbia. It wouldn't have been possible without your help. I'll always remember your kindness and compassion during some of the most stressful moments of my college career. I appreciate it beyond words. Thank you so much again!

— Rebeccca Hermann, May 2017 –Fulbright Grant Recipient–Columbia ETA

PDI Session –The Art of the Recommendation Letter 2016

"Wow!!! Mary and Nancy were incredibly helpful and provided such valuable information. This was a wonderful session and it should be repeated next year with the same content and presenters. I'm so glad I chose this session!"

— Anonymous attendee (66.67% of respondents rated the overall session as "Excellent"; 22.22% of respondents rated it as "Above Average")

State of Success

Students participating in Mentored Scholar Program


"Our research group was like a big family. We all helped one another and looked out for one another. If I was having a hard time, the other students, grad students, post-docs, and techs would encourage me to keep going. And when things went well, they were all there to congratulate me. Without their help and the help of my faculty mentor, I would have quit research a long time ago! Instead, I got hooked."

Biological and Biochemical Engineering Major, Spring 2017

“I was terrified of my professors before I took a research position. My faculty mentor showed me that professors really are here to help me navigate my academic career and to prepare for my professional career! We met regularly and he gave me lots of feedback that showed me my mistakes were to be expected. Honestly, if I hadn't failed in my experiments so many times, I don't think I would remember their significance and I don't think I'd be able to repeat them. Before this experience, I didn't think it was OK to mess up. Now I see that messing up is part of the experiment and that it's normal to mess up more than you are successful."

Animal Science Major, Fall 2016