Award Winners

Ron Bend
Lead Video Producer
External Relations
Ron Bend is the best of the best at his craft and his dedication to making people around him better highlights his genuine character.  Throughout his award winning career, Ron has always concentrated on mentoring students, sharing innovative ideas, and representing CSU with the highest standards.  Keeping education and students at heart is key for Ron. He took a Journalism grad student under his wing this past year and together the two created a series of videos for NPS called, The Outside Science Series, which have received a lot of attention and success on social media. Ron acted as director and mentor while his student, Weston, appeared on camera and was sent around the U.S. on assignment as a video producer. Weston received real world experience and doors were opened for him because of their collaboration.  Ron also developed a curriculum for a videography course for 200 boy scouts as he spreads his love for his art to younger generations.  Another milestone accomplishment for Ron is that he developed a process to stream Commencement live so parents and grandparents at home could watch from their living rooms. Again, education focused, he trained the student video production team and taught them how to run the program so students can add valuable experience to their resumes. He’s making an impact each and every day connecting with our students, faculty and staff. Everybody is important to him. Ron has made the university a better place to work and a better place to learn.

Denis Culver
Colorado Natural Heritage Program
Denise Culver has worked as a botanist and ecologist for the Colorado Natural Heritage Program (CNHP) since 1995. The wetland flora and plant communities of Colorado have been her passion and the focus of her work over those 20 years.  Since her arrival, Denise has written and submitted 96 proposals, of those 86 have been funded! The total dollar amount of the funded proposals totals $3,720,882.  All to the benefits of Colorado’s plant communities!  Along with her proposals, she has 44 publications to her credit and could boast that she has led the biological inventory for 47 of Colorado’s counties.  Her work provides land managers, land trusts, and other conservation organizations with essential data, knowledge, and tools needed to prioritize their work of conserving wetlands.  Denise has also documented nearly 700 locations of rare plants and/or significant wetland plant communities by carrying out wetland field surveys in 31 of the 64 counties in Colorado.  Denise dreamed of compiling a single resource for identifying Colorado’s wetland plants. In the mid-2000s, she began applying for funds to make this dream a reality and was awarded a grant for the project from the EPA in 2010. The resulting labor of love was published in 2013 and is titled Field Guide to Colorado’s Wetland Plants. The 700+ page book contains detailed descriptions of 639 wetland plants, including multiple color photos and illustrations, key characteristics, habitat, ecology, range maps, and many interesting facts.  Denise is also working with a web developer to turn the content of the field guides into a mobile application for use on smartphones and tablets, which will be available in the summer of 2015. In 2013, Denise also began to offer two-day, field-based courses in wetland plant identification. These classes always have a long waitlist and consistently receive rave reviews of Denise’s knowledge and easy-to-understand teaching style. The books, classes and app are all examples of a lifelong commitment to sharing her love of wetland plants and fostering a sense of resource stewardship in all who are touched by her work.

Carol Dollard
Energy Engineer
Facilities Management
Carol’s passion has always been for sustainability, one of CSU’s core values.  In her over 17 years at CSU, she has worked with teams on campus to make University operations more sustainable. These efforts include 13 photovoltaic installations totaling over 6,750 kW, a biomass plant that burns wood chips, 26 LEED buildings (with more pending), and a wide variety of energy and water efficiency projects. In addition, she leads a team that conducts CSU’s annual greenhouse gas inventory and produces biannual updates to the Climate Action Plan.  She co-chairs CSU’s President’s Sustainability Committee. In this role, she has shown leadership in CSU’s sustainability policies and actions, as well as providing student-centered learning opportunities by acting as a resource for students to take grassroots action. Carol also supports student learning—going above and beyond her role in University Operations-via internships that provide students with substantive and meaningful work. She was even an adjunct professor for nine years!  In a demonstration of her extraordinary commitment to CSU, she has worked closely and diligently with other CSU staff to pull together extremely complicated datasets and information about CSU’s sustainability work each year for the Association of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) STARS rating system. This work has led to CSU’s Fort Collins campus receiving the first and only Platinum rating for campus sustainability in the nation!  Carol is a leader among her peers outside of CSU as well. She was selected to be a member of the national Technical Advisory Committee for the AASHE STARS program, helping to guide that system as it evolves. She is a frequent public speaker and keynote, and recognized both along the Front Range and nationally. Carol is a Professional Engineer, a LEED Accredited Professional, and a Certified Water Professional. She is a member of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Association of Energy Engineers, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers, the American and International Solar Energy Societies, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and the Society of Women Engineers.  If all of that wasn’t enough, Carol’s also a 30+ year volunteer firefighter and a volunteer at a raptor rehabilitation center!

Andrea Leland
Communications & Advancement Specialist
Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE)
Andrea is a standout professional who makes a positive difference through her passion and commitment to teaching, research, and service missions. ECE is constantly evolving to keep pace with our high-tech world, and Andrea is ideally suited for this type of innovative, fast-paced environment with her strong work ethic fueled by a desire to exceed expectations. In 2015, Andrea was the lead writer for our department’s proposal to the National Science Foundation (NSF) that resulted in a $2 million grant to Revolutionize Engineering Departments (RED). An initiative that is transforming teaching and learning in the ECE department, the proposal was one of six chosen from a pool of more than 100 submissions. The highly competitive grant was open to all engineering disciplines, and CSU’s was the only ECE department selected for the honor.  From day one, Andrea has taken our development efforts to a new level. The amount of ECE donors in 2016 was nearly double the total donors in 2003, the year prior to Andrea starting. In addition, Andrea spearheaded the creation of multiple new scholarships to benefit ECE students, including the Aram Budak ECE Fellowship, which continues to garner overwhelming support. Since its inception, the Budak Fellowship has received almost triple the funding of comparable departmental scholarships.  Andrea helped secure the Lisa and Desi Rhoden ECE Professorship, the department’s first-ever endowed professorship. Her relationship with the Rhodens also helped inspire them to allocate an unprecedented $7 million to the department in their bequest.  Always willing to take on new challenges, Andrea stepped out of her traditional role to write the most recent ABET accreditation report. The 600-page report is typically written by a faculty member with a background in assessment, but Andrea utilized her extensive knowledge of the department to prepare a successful self-study.  Andrea also exhibits her innovative writing skills through her contributions to the NSF-funded RED project. She is the primary writer for two published technical papers and numerous abstracts, as well as the author of a follow-on proposal to the NSF to develop an international collaboration with Chile.  On May 1, 2010, the department celebrated a century of innovation. Andrea managed a multiyear project that pulled together multiple resources across campus to execute the commemorative event. As part of the project, she produced a video with highlights from the past century and launched a web site featuring historical data, photos, and alumni updates from each decade. As evidenced by the achievements already outlined, her contributions have been extensive, and yet she did it all on a part-time schedule to allow her more time with her kids.  Truly exemplifying work-life balance!

Doug Max
Senior Associate Athletic Director for Facilities
For the past 36 years, Doug has served CSU Athletics and impacted the Fort Collins community in the most professional, courteous, and ethical ways possible. A 4-year hurdler and 1975 graduate, Doug returned to his alma mater in 1980 to work his way from Track Coach to Senior Associate Athletic Director for Facilities all the while mentoring, impacting and teaching uncountable students-athletes and young professionals.  Doug is in charge of managing all Athletic facilities which includes Moby Arena, the indoor practice facility, McGraw Athletic Center and soon the new on-campus stadium to name a few. He coordinates game management for every sport which is a logistical nightmare and directs every event with the help of just two other employees. He endlessly explores partnerships with Campus entities and outside contractors to find the best prices and services to maintain and improve CSU at every turn. He is constantly repurposing spaces, materials and finding creative ways to stretch resources further! Overall, Doug has had a hand in over $280 million worth of facilities projects at CSU!

His “leadership and mentoring” cannot be questioned. As a track coach, he impacted thousands of student-athlete lives and they all come back with nothing but admiration and praise for him. Nationally recognized track coaches including CSU’s own Brian Bedard, Wyoming’s Brian Berryhill and Idaho’s Tim Cawley all call Coach Max a mentor as well as he helped develop their teaching and coaching skills. From Coach of the Year honors, to his induction into the CSU Athletics Hall of Fame, Doug has been recognized as a true leader and an amazing Ram!  Now as a senior administrator, he still interacts with athletes and goes out of his way to make everyone feel welcome. Rather it be with facility workers, students, or the President’s Office, Doug is ready with a hardy handshake, pat-on-the-back and a compliment at every turn. With his integrity and professionalism, Doug embodies what CSU wants as an ambassador.  Doug Max is also a crucial figure in the new state-of-the-art stadium project.  He explored other facilities around the country and worked with industry leaders to insure that CSU will have one of the finest facilities in the country! Ozone equipment to battle MRSA, built-in sensors in the weight room for health diagnostics, transformable space for events and meetings, the New Belgium porch and OCR Field level club experiences for fans, and numerous energy saving initiatives are just a few of the items that the stadium will have thanks in-part to Doug’s efforts and partnerships. In addition he has been relentless in efforts to make sure the new game-day experience will be fan-friendly and adaptable for the community. Doug’s vision and innovation will be felt on this campus for generations to come!