What is …
… your favorite spot on campus?
I love the fourth floor of Tutt Library. It’s a bird’s eye view of campus, and sunsets from the balcony are breathtaking.
… your most embarrassing moment at CC?
Earlier this year, I was handing out cookies in Tutt Library to students during fourth week. The cookies were apparently too heavy for the cardboard box, which broke, and all of a sudden it was raining cookies in the middle of a quiet study room! We all had a good laugh, though, and most of the cookies survived.
… your most recent binge-watching show?
My husband and I have been watching “Ozark” during the stay-at-home order. It’s wild! I’m also a fan of British crime shows; “Sherlock,” “The Fall,” and “Happy Valley,” to name a few.
… your favorite meal in Rastall?
A big salad with all the fixings. Especially in the fall, when Bon Appetit serves greens grown by students on the CC farm.
… your most memorable CC tradition?
I love all of Commencement weekend because I get to celebrate with seniors and meet their families. The dance is definitely a highlight, and there are always several talented student musicians who perform.
… your most inspirational interaction with a student?
It’s hard to pick just one! Each year, I have co-taught the Economics of Higher Education with my husband, and that time spent with students gave me so much energy and fulfilment. It’s also been special to reconnect with recent alumni when they visit campus, and hear about how their time here shaped them into the people they are becoming.
… your favorite Colorado Springs attraction?
Garden of the Gods! How can anything compete?
… the best piece of advice you received from someone in the CC family?
During my first year at CC, a senior took me out to lunch at Rastall to talk about my upcoming first block of teaching. He told me to err on the side of giving too much work rather than too little. He was right! I can’t believe how much our students can accomplish in so little time on the Block Plan.
… your proudest accomplishment at CC?
Our access initiatives, including the Colorado Pledge, the Stroud Scholars program, and test-optional admission policy, have transformed our admission process. Our commitment to become an antiracist institution is iterative and ongoing, and I’m grateful to the community for working together towards a more equitable community.
Campus itself has also changed a lot over the last nine years. Our alliance with the FAC has had a huge impact on CC and the wider Colorado Springs community, and the renovation of Tutt Library has also greatly improved academic resources for our students and faculty. We also achieved our goal of carbon neutrality in January, and I’m really proud of our community for achieving that goal by the 2020 target. Ed Robson Arena, which follows sustainable building practices, will be a huge asset not only for our hockey program and our student body, but also for the Colorado Springs community through the City for Champions initiative.
… your favorite moment as a CC parent?
I’ve loved getting to know my daughter’s friends. So many parents have told me over the years that their favorite part of CC is their children’s friends. I couldn’t agree more!
Who were you most honored/excited to meet during your time as CC president?
I was beyond thrilled that Oprah came to campus last year as our Commencement speaker. She is an inspiration for so many people, and I was so moved by her words.
What Colorado location(s) will you dream of returning to?
Colorado is such a beautiful state, and I love the mountains in every season. But I’m a believer that the people really do make the place. I have such a deep love for this campus and all of the people who make up our community. It’s going to be really hard to leave.
What are you most excited for as you begin your position as CEO of the National Geographic Society?
I’m planning to approach my position similarly to how I did at CC, by listening. I’m excited to continue learning and meeting new people from around the world. I really love to travel, and this will be a big part of my job. But with the current pandemic, not only will I be traveling much less, but a main focus for National Geographic right now is responding to the Coronavirus and sharing the human experience from around the world. While this is a really difficult and uncertain time, I’m grateful to help deliver on their mission to illuminate and protect the world, especially given our current global challenges.