Lori Peek Receives President’s Award from the Natural Hazards Mitigation Association

Dr. Lori Peek, who is an associate professor of Sociology and co-director of the Center for Disaster and Risk Analysis at Colorado State University, recently received the President’s Award from the Natural Hazards Mitigation Association (NHMA). This award, which was presented by NHMA President Ed Thomas, was given in recognition of Dr. Peek’s efforts over the last several years to support the mission and vision of the NHMA.


NHMA is a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing together individuals and organizations working in the field of hazard mitigation. The goal of the NHMA is to be a catalyst for societal change by elevating the value of hazard mitigation and sustainable development so that natural hazard events do not lead to disasters that cause suffering and misery among people while destroying property and the environment. The NHMA promotes education, policies, and activities that will lead to the reduction of risky activities and future disaster losses.


Dr. Peek served a two-year term as a member of the Executive Board for the NHMA. She has also worked as the lead organizer for the annual NHMA symposium, which brings together domestic and international hazards mitigation practitioners and researchers who are focused on minimizing the losses caused by disasters. Congratulations, Dr. Peek!

Soc Major Emily Holcomb ~ “high honors” at Celebrate Undergrad Research & Creativity

The Sociology Department is pleased to annouce that Sociology Major Emily Holcomb was recently awarded “high honors” at Celebrate Undergrad Research & Creativity.


Well done, Emily!

Sociology Student and CDRA Undergraduate RA Speaks at Oklahoma State University

(L-R: Mike Gavin, Tammy Henderson, and Samantha LaFever)


In March of 2013, senior Sociology student and CDRA undergraduate research assistant, Samantha LaFever, travelled to Oklahoma State University for the 2013 Linking Gerontology and Geriatrics Conference. Samantha, along with Mike Gavin, the Emergency Manager for the City of Fort Collins, co-presented as part of a special plenary session entitled “Hazards and Disasters: Where are Children, Grandparents, and Caregivers?”


The session highlighted research Samantha has been working on regarding “grandfamilies” (non-nuclear families where children are being raised by one or both grandparents) within Larimer County. Although an often overlooked population, there are more and more elderly who are raising a generation of children both in Larimer County and across the United States. Samantha has been conducting research to understand how this particular family structure, and related family dynamics, shape risk perception and disaster preparedness activities. This is an important area of focus not just because of their growing numbers, but also because the elderly and children represent two of the most vulnerable populations in disaster.


Samantha, who is also a dual intern with Poudre School District and the City of Fort Collins Office of Emergency Management, thoroughly enjoyed the experience at the conference. She said that she “could not believe the opportunity came up to present in front of such a large audience while still an undergrad!” She also noted the huge role her network played and how thankful she was to have such supportive mentors as Dr. Lori Peek and Mike Gavin.


While at the conference, Samantha met many community leaders and academic researchers, including Dr. Tammy Henderson from Oklahoma State University, who was a co-organizer of the conference. Samantha noted that she “learned a great deal and connected with a variety of professionals interested in the work being done on grandfamilies by participating in such an exciting event.”


Samantha is an exemplar of all that we hope to foster with our undergraduate research experiences at CDRA: she has worked on many different projects through the Center and in the Fort Collins community. We are so proud of Samantha, and wish her all the best with what will surely continue to be a bright future!


Amber Webb ~ First Generation Sociology (and CDRA) Alum Dives into Graduate School

Amber Webb is a former CDRA-National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates (NSF-REU) research assistant and CSU graduate with a double major in Food Science and Human Nutrition (BS) and Sociology (BA). While at CDRA, she assisted with a NSF-funded hurricane risk perception and evacuation behavior study. Specifically, she, along with the other REU students, graduate RA’s, and faculty, collected and analyzed qualitative telephone interview data and quantitative survey data from residents along the U.S. Gulf and Atlantic Coasts. While at CSU, she also worked with graduate students doing research in Community Nutrition and Public Health. Amber was active in the Fort Collins community as well, volunteering teaching nutrition and cooking classes, working in a community garden, assisting the Larimer County Health District, and even coaching in the Boys and Girls Club.

Now at Chatham University in Pittsburgh, pursuing her MA in Food Studies, Amber is embracing an amazing chance to pursue her interests in both Sociology and Food Science. She has made many connections to her undergraduate classes and is enjoying the remarkable multidisciplinary graduate program, which she says, “tends to use a sociological lens and other disciplines to examine complex issues surrounding food.”

Looking back, Amber sees her undergraduate Sociology courses as “super helpful in graduate school because of being taught how to look at the world using multiple perspectives and understanding the experience of others.” She also notes that she has “learned quickly that the volunteer service projects I’ve worked on as an undergraduate gave me transferable skills which have opened doors for me.”

Amber’s dedication to teaching and learning has led her to consider an opportunity to “teach a food studies class to undergraduates at the Umbra Institute in Italy for a semester,” where she will be able to pass on her passion and knowledge to others. As an outstanding student with a warm personality, we know she will go far in all her endeavors. She is indicative of the “first generation determination” that CSU attempts to instill and foster among those who are first in their family to attain a college degree. It was an honor to work with Amber through CDRA and the Sociology Department, and we wish her all the best!

Two College of Liberal Arts Students Receive CSU First Generation Awards

Two students in the College of Liberal Arts recently received Colorado State University First Generation Awards. Samantha Boreggo, Department of Communication Studies, and Kevin Fleming, Department of Sociology, were this year’s award winners in the College of Liberal Arts.

Click here to watch the video about the accomplishments of Samatha Borrego.

Click here to watch the video about the accomplishments of Kevin Fleming.

The First Generation Awards are awarded to students whose parents have not earned a bachelor’s or graduate degree and who have diverse social and economic backgrounds that are traditionally underrepresented in higher education. For more information about the First Generation Award, click here.




Kevin Fleming, Sociology Major and First Generation Scholar at Colorado State University Wins Award

Kevin Fleming, a Sociology major in Colorado State University’s College of Liberal Arts, was recently named a First Generation Scholar.


See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HmHwx7M4xkU&list=UU3cURzXjmtaLnS8z7QAnOag&index=4


Also interviewed in this video is Dr. Tara Opsal (Assistant Professor of Sociology), who had the pleasure of working with Kevin last semester.


Congratulations Kevin!

April College to Career Alumni Panels in Sociology, Political Science, and History

The College of Liberal Arts Development Office is hosting College to Career Alumni Panels for College of Liberal Arts departments. The College to Career Alumni Panels consist of alumni from the College of Liberal Arts who have created a successful and meaningful career with their Liberal Arts degree. While there are a range of careers that can be pursued by Liberal Arts graduates, for many graduates it can take a while to find a career that works well for them. Speaking from experience, the alumni panelists will give students advice, tips, direction, and best practices that students can use when networking and applying for jobs. For Spring 2013, the College of Liberal Arts hosted an Economics panel in March and will host panels in Sociology, Political Science, and History in April.

College to Career Alumni Panel – Sociology

Wednesday, April 3
4 – 5: 40 p.m.
Clark Building C364

Panelists include:

McCabe Callahan, ‘02 Liberal Arts/Sociology

McCabe opened Mugs coffee shop six months before graduating from Colorado State University, and opened 5 more operations in the next 3 years. In 2007 McCabe made the difficult decision to downsize and restructure the business to spend less time operating multiple businesses and instead spend the time to focus on development of the concept of the business at the Mugs Downtown location. In October of 2010 he opened Mugs @ the Oval. His new venture,  Community Funded, harnesses the power of crowdfunding to support diverse projects and community initiatives across the country.



Aaron Madonna, ’08 Sociology

Aaron and fellow CSU student Juwon Melvin founded Dreamreel Media, their answer to inspiring young adults through publications and speaking engagements. Aaron has authored two books, Destination College and Help! IDK What I Want to Do with My Life. After graduation, the two friends founded LifeSoap, a company that sells organic soap and gives a portion of the profits to bring clean water to schools in developing countries, in partnership with H2O for Life. Lifesoap has been featured in O, The Oprah Magazine, and Aaron and Juwon already have completed two clean-water projects in Nicaragua.


Thad Smith, ‘74 Sociology

Thad is President of Thaddeus Smith & Associates, a specialty brokerage and risk management service to the biomedical and medical device manufacturing industry.  Thad is also an officer and director of Alacer Corporation and trustee of the Jay W. Patrick Trust.  Based in California, Alacer Corporation distributes health supplements nationwide and generates about $30 million in annual revenue.






College to Career Alumni Panel – Political Science

Monday, April 15
4:30p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Microbiology Building, A113

Panelists include:

Donn Hopkins, ’82 Political Science

As Americas Security Manager for Agilent Technologies, Inc., Donn’s role includes protecting Agilent’s people, intellectual and physical assets, proprietary information and related investigations. Prior to working for Agilent, Donn was in law enforcement for over 32 years, 18 of those as Chief of Police at Colorado State University, where he directed the recovery of the CSU Police Department after the total loss of their facility in a flash flood in 1997, including relocating and building a new police facility and 911 dispatch center. Donn received a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Colorado State University and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy, 160th Session. He has served as President of the Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police, and President of the Colorado Association of Institutional Law Enforcement Directors.


Mary Kathryn Hurd, Political Science ’09

MaryKathryn Hurd is the legislative liaison for the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing, the state’s Medicaid agency. As the Department’s lobbyist, she is responsible for designing, managing and administering the Department’s legislative agenda. She works with the Colorado General Assembly to secure sponsors and support for their bills, tracking all legislation introduced and analyzing the legislation for its impact on the Department. She is currently working on Medicaid Expansion in Colorado and implementation of the federal Affordable Care Act. Prior to this role, MaryKathryn was the legislative liaison for the Colorado Department of Personnel and Administration where she was instrumental in the creation, drafting and passage of the “Colorado Talent Agenda” (Amendment S), both the statutory and constitutional statewide personnel reform measures. She has been involved in public policy at the federal as well as at the state level.  In Washington D.C. she interned for Dutko Worldwide Government Affairs Firm on their environment and energy team and later worked on environmental issues for Congressman John Sarbanes. A native of Annapolis, Maryland, MaryKathryn graduated from Colorado State University with a degree in Political Science and Asian Studies with a minor in Mandarin Chinese.


College to Career Alumni Panel – History

Wednesday, April 24
3 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Lory Student Center – Room 224

Panelists include:

John Blair, ‘74 Social Sciences/History

John Blair, Jr. is a Colorado native and earned a BA in Social Sciences from Colorado State University in 1974. He studied Trust Administration at the National Graduate Trust School, and graduated with honors in 1983. He has more than 30 years experience in Trust Administration and currently serves as Senior Vice President and Trust Officer of Home State Bank in Loveland, CO.  He is deeply invested in the community, and has served in leadership roles for OpenStage Theater & Company, Inc., Pathways Hospice, Respite Care, and the CSU Planned Giving Advisory Council.



Jack Graham, ‘75 History

Graham graduated from CSU in 1975 with a bachelor’s degree in U.S. history. After playing football for CSU, he was drafted by the Miami Dolphins. He went on to a successful 30-year career in the international insurance and reinsurance markets, where he was known as an innovator and effective leader. In 1998, he founded ICAT Managers, a leader in catastrophic risk insurance products. He sold ICAT, including its Lloyd’s of London business, in 2010 and remains on the company’s board of directors. Graham also sits on the advisory board of the National Center for Atmospheric Research.



Mike Nosler

Mike Nosler ‘69 History

Mike Nosler is General Counsel for the Colorado State University System. Nosler leads a legal team responsible for advising the CSU System chancellor, the Board of Governors, administrators, faculty and staff. He provides counsel on matters including application of Federal and State policies, university governance, student affairs, policy formation, employment issues and grievances, health care, intellectual property, real estate transactions and bond offerings. Nosler also serves as a liaison to the Attorney General’s Office.  Before coming to CSU, Nosler was a practicing attorney specializing in employment law for more than 30 years and was the managing partner for 11 years. In 2001, he encouraged the creation of the Diversity in Law Program at Colorado State University, and persuaded Rothgerber Johnson & Lyons to provide scholarship funds for up to eight students of diverse ethnic backgrounds who are considering careers in law or criminal justice.


For questions regarding the College to Career Alumni Panels, please contact:

Marilyn Bistline
Alumni and Annual Giving
College of Liberal Arts
Colorado State University
(970) 491-4030

Sociology lecture, titled “Toxic Crimes and Environmental Injustice: Research in the Sacrifice Zones”

The Sociology Department welcomes Dr. Melissa Jarrell (Associate Professor of Criminal Justice; Texas A&M University).  Dr. Jarrell will be speaking March 11 at 12 – 1p.m. in the Lory Student Center, Room 228. Light Refreshments will be served.  The University community is welcome to attend.

Sociology Minor and CDRA Student Graduates and Lands Amazing Internship

Meagan Templeton-Lynch graduated from Colorado State University (CSU) in the fall of 2012 with a B.A. in Journalism and Technical Communication concentrating in news/editorial and computer mediated communication, accompanied by minors in English and Sociology. While at CSU she was actively involved around campus and in the community. Meagan was a staff reporter for the Rocky Mountain Collegian, the branch manager and a contributing writer for Her Campus Media, and a communications intern with the CSU Alumni Association. She edited the novel Hands of the Maker for Enki Publications, was the newsletter coordinator for CSU Apartment Life, and to top it all off, Meagan worked under Dr. Lori Peek as an undergraduate research assistant at the Center for Disaster and Risk Analysis (CDRA)!


During her time at CDRA, she was able to synthesize her major and minor by working with empirical data, as well as practicing academic and science writing. She applied her amazing design work to a flyer, as well as a report for a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) project that profiles Colorado’s counties regarding childcare centers and disaster preparedness. Meagan said that the experience working with CDRA has led her to “think more about what I might be able to do as a journalist to help the general population understand or prepare for potential hazards.”

Peter Hall, Department of Sociology, publishes book titled “The Meta-Power Paradigm: Impacts and Transformations of Agents, Institutions, and Social Systems” (Peter Lang Publishers)

Description (from http://www.cies.iscte.pt/np4/?newsId=646&fileName=META_POWER_B00K_Table_of_Contents.pdf)


“This work presents, elaborates, and illustrates what is arguably the most important concept in the social sciences: power. It focuses particularly on a major class of power phenomena, meta-power, that is, power over power, transformative and structuring power. This encompasses powers to establish, reform, and transform social systems (institutions, power hierarchies, cultural formations, and socio-technical and infrastructural systems). Understanding meta-power is essential to the effective analysis of the formation of societal structures, their dynamics and evolution. This collection presents numerous illustrations and case studies at local, meso, and macro levels, showing how meta-powering is mobilized and operates in different contexts. The book should be of particular interest to business and management researchers, anthropologists, historians, legal scholars, political scientists, and, of course, sociologists.”