Two Sociology undergraduates awarded prestigious Gilman International Scholarship

Six undergraduate students from Colorado State University have received the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship for summer 2015. The scholarship aims to diversify the students who study and intern abroad, and the countries and regions where they go. Eligible recipients must be receiving a Federal Pell Grant, with plans to study or intern abroad for academic credit. This summer, 1,000 American undergraduate students from 332 U.S. colleges and universities received the Gilman Award.

CSU Gilman Scholarship Recipients

Kayla Beverly, a sophomore psychology and international studies double major from Conifer, Colorado, will complete a three month long CSU-sponsored internship as an events assistant with Shanghai Business Review Magazine in Shanghai, China. Kayla, who has a minor in Chinese language, also received a $2,000 Office of International Programs China Scholarship to fund her experience this summer.

Junior Malissa Gill, a hospitality management major, will study Japanese language and culture on a CSU-sponsored program in Kagawa, Japan this summer, earning credits toward her minor in Japanese. Malissa is from Aurora, Colorado, and also received CSU’s Mona Mitchell Education Abroad Scholarshipfor Students with Disabilities, which provides an additional $500 of funding for her program.

Austin Johnson, a social work major with a minor in criminology, will study for six weeks in Prague, Czech Republic, on CSU’s Criminology & Criminal Justice Program with CSU faculty member Tara Shelley. Austin is a junior from Basalt, Colorado.

Maryann Lasco, a first-generation student originally from Rawlins, Wyoming, will also participate in CSU’s Criminology & Criminal Justice Program in Prague. Maryann is a junior sociology major with a minor in criminology, and will be interning with the Fort Collins Police Department as a crime analyst this fall. She hopes to draw comparisons between the Czech and American criminal justice systems.

Freshman Veronica Villalobos, a first-generation student studying languages, literatures and cultures, as well as international studies, will complete a study abroad program through the American Institute for Foreign Study (AIFS) in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Veronica is from Boulder, Colorado, and is studying Portuguese. She hopes to teach abroad after graduation.

Aurora, Colorado, native Kayla Banks will participate in a program through the University Studies Abroad Consortium (USAC) in Santiago, Chile, which includes both academic coursework and an internship. Kayla is a senior dance major, with minors in arts leadership and merchandising.

Scholarships and Support

During the academic year, Student Financial Services partners with Education Abroad to offer financial aid advising and workshops for students who are considering going abroad on a study, research, internship or service-learning program. Hosted twice a semester, Gilman Scholarship Information Sessions provide students with specific application tips and helpful advice from experts in the application process. Advisers are also available to assist with essay development and feedback.

In addition to federal financial aid like the Gilman Award, the Office of International Programs awards more than $200,000 annually in need- and merit-based scholarships for education abroad, with the average scholarship recipient receiving $750. The Education Abroad office oversees programs in nearly every country around the world and provides support services to students, including advising, orientations, outreach, program coordination and risk management oversight.

Dr. Peek (Sociology) wins prestigious teaching award

Congratulations to Associate Professor of Sociology Lori Peek, who received the 2014-15 Ann Gill Excellence in Teaching Award in the Tenure-Track/Tenured Faculty Category at Colorado State University (CSU). This prestigious award recognizes faculty members who are instrumental in students becoming lifelong learners, critical and creative thinkers, outstanding communicators, successful in their careers, and engaged and caring citizens in their various communities. This award was established by CSU alumnus Dennis Repp, and thanks to his generous contribution, Peek will receive a $10,000 cash award in recognition of her teaching and mentoring efforts.


Dozens of current and former students wrote letters on Peek’s behalf for this award. One nomination letter said: “I will never forget the day I met Dr. Lori Peek when she committed to our Contemporary Race and Ethnic Relations class that she would know each one of our names. That gesture was just the first of many which demonstrated her genuine passion, commitment, and care for all of her students.” Another student wrote, “Part of why this class is a favorite is because of the professor. Dr. Lori Peek may be the most enthusiastic and energetic teacher I have ever had in my 16+ years of education. I have never had a teacher individualize her teaching in a classroom of more than 120 students, but she managed to learn everyone’s name, and does so every semester.  Apart from how great Dr. Peek is, the bottom line is that the class makes you learn.” Many of the letters focused on how the classes students took inspired them to make a difference in the world: “I was fortunate to have Lori as my professor for two classes while I attended CSU. I immediately noticed she was unlike any teacher I have had. Her positive energy and contagious smile created a learning environment that students enjoyed. She had a passion and knowledge for what she was teaching; making it evident that she truly loved her job. It was refreshing to see someone with a love for teaching so much that it rubbed off on me. She inspired me to be a teacher myself. I often try to model actions Lori did that made me love coming to her class every day.”


Dr. Peek has been recognized numerous times for her research and teaching. In 2009, she received the Early Career Award for Outstanding Scholarship from the American Sociological Association Section on Children and Youth. Her first book, Behind the Backlash, was also selected for two major book awards. At Colorado State University, she has received the Greek Life Professor of the Year Award, the Alumni Association’s Best Teacher Award, the College of Liberal Arts Excellence in Teaching Award, and the Waterpik Excellence in Education Award from CSU Athletics.


SOC 205 at Colorado State University

Reception Honoring Author Dr. Stephanie A. Malin (Sociology)

April 28, 2015 | 4pm – 6pm | 108 Johnson Hall

Stephanie A. Malin is an Assistant Professor of Sociology.

Stephanie is a sociologist of environment, globalization, and development, focusing on community-level outcomes of natural resource development.  Her main interests include environmental justice, environmental health, social mobilization, poverty, and political economy of energy development.  Stephanie examines how these variables intersect in rural communities across the American West and Northeast.

The Price of Nuclear Power: Uranium Communities and Environmental Justice (2015)

Dr Laura Raynolds (Sociology) publishes new book: Handbook of Research on Fair Trade

Dr. Laura Raynolds is pleased to announce the availability of her newly edited book, the Handbook of Research on Fair Trade.  The first of its kind, this volume provides a synthetic overview and guide to cutting edge research, theory, and debates in the field. The book includes 30 chapters by the world’s foremost fair trade scholars and serves as both a comprehensive overview and in-depth guide to dominant perspectives and concerns. Chapters analyze the rapidly growing fair trade movement and market, exploring diverse initiatives and organizations, production and consumption regions, and food and cultural products. For more information please see.

Dr. Lori Peek (Sociology) co-leads social science piece of $22 million federal grant

Colorado State University leads federal research to help communities increase disaster resilience

Colorado State University has been selected to establish a federal center devoted to helping local governments decide how to best invest resources to lessen the impact of extreme weather and other hazards on buildings and infrastructure — and to recover rapidly in their aftermath.

John W. van de Lindt, CSU’s George T. Abell Distinguished Professor of Infrastructure, serves as principal investigator and co-director of the Community Resilience Center of Excellence. Bruce Ellingwood, CSU professor of civil and environmental engineering, is the other co-director.

The Fort Collins-based center is funded by a $20 million cooperative agreement awarded by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). CSU will work with NIST researchers and partners from 10 other universities to develop computer tools to aid in increasing community disaster resilience. This includes preparing for anticipated hazards, adapting to changing conditions, and withstanding and recovering rapidly from disruptions.

“This center complements NIST’s long-standing efforts to improve the performance of the built environment against natural hazards — such as tornadoes, coastal flooding, wildfires and earthquakes — as well as large-scale, human-caused disruptions,” said Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and Acting NIST Director Willie May. “The tools developed by the center will help to further advance the important goal of disaster resilience from ambitious concepts to cost-effective solutions that communities can implement over time.”

The award was announced today at the NIST Disaster Resilience Workshop in Del Mar, Calif. The center will receive $4 million annually for five years; NIST has the option to renew the award for five additional years, depending on performance and availability of funds.

“In light of increasingly extreme weather, cities and towns across the country are working to find innovative ways to learn from and prepare for natural disasters,” said Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colorado. “Colorado State University’s talent and resources have once again allowed them to be a leader in this nationwide initiative to enhance our ability to respond and recover. This impressive work will help local governments more efficiently and cost-effectively prepare for and rebuild after these disasters, and make our communities more resilient.”

The center’s multi-disciplinary team includes experts in engineering, economics, data and computing, and social sciences from the University of Oklahoma, Rice University, Texas A&M University, the University of Washington, the University of South Alabama, the California Polytechnic University in Pomona and Texas A&M-Kingsville.

Associate directors are Paolo Gardoni, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Daniel Cox, professor of civil and construction engineering at Oregon State University.

“The center will focus on developing tools that individual communities can use to assess their resilience,” van de Lindt explained. “I am extremely honored that CSU has been selected to lead this important work, and look forward to collaborating with colleagues across the nation to help evaluate the effectiveness of alternative measures to minimize post-disaster disruption and recovery time at the local level, in a way that makes the most sense for residents most affected.”

Van de Lindt’s research has focused on various methods of retrofitting buildings in earthquake prone areas to mitigate damage from seismic events.

Work at the new center will support NIST as drafts its Disaster Resilience Framework. The framework focuses on buildings and infrastructure systems, such as power, communication, water and transportation. It also will address how to maintain social services and institutions vital to meeting the needs of community residents — health care delivery, education, social services, financial institutions — as well as economic functions.

The centerpiece of the center’s effort will be NIST-CORE — the NIST-Community Resilience Modeling Environment. Built on an open-source platform, the computer model and associated software and databases will incorporate a risk-based approach to decision-making that will enable quantitative comparisons of different resilience strategies.

As NIST-CORE is developed, its performance will be tested against data gathered from past disasters. Ultimately, NIST-CORE will be able to learn from one analysis to the next, a capability that does not exist in any other risk or disaster-resilience model in the world.

Dr. Peek, Sociology, Chair of E&T section of ASA

Congratulations to Dr. Lori Peek, Associate Professor of Sociology at Colorado State University, who was elected Chair of the Environment and Technology Section for the American Sociological Association for the 2014-15 year.