SECOND YEAR LEADERSHIP FELLOWS
We are College of Natural Sciences Learning Community residents with a love and passion for the sciences and want to share that with you through fun events. We are here to strengthen the community on the floors and in the CNSLC, with a focus on the academic side. We are here for academic support, whether that be setting up study groups for residents or offering moral support and helpful tips. Most of us have taken the base level courses for each of our majors so there is bound to be someone that can help you. We are also here if you want to just talk or hang out. So come find us!
Garrett Poitra (He, Him, His)
Science Outreach Scholar Fellow
Hey! My name is Garrett Poitra, I am a first-generation Latino student from Denver Co. I’m currently a psychology major with a concentration in clinical/counseling psychology. People are cool and infinite in variation, but sometimes you need some help. So that’s why I want to further my understanding of human dynamics and psychopathological development. Anyways, I’ve always been a huge nerd, video games, movies, and space stuff but I still love to stay active. So you can find me at the gym listening to a podcast about comics, sociology or lectures from Jordan Peterson. I’m also in love with nature, and there are some pretty views around the FoCo area so you might see me taking in the scenery or trying to be all adventurous and falling off a cliff. So a little like me life is crazy and sometimes hard to navigate (especially in college) so if you ever wanna talk about college, life, or marvel movies I know some stuff and I’d love to talk with you. Oh and takis slap.
Jonathan Ibarra (He, Him, His)
Diversity Through Technology Fellow
Hey there, I am Jonathan, I am a second-year computer science and psychology double major. In my first year I participated in the Science Outreach Scholar program, but this year I will be a fellow for the Diversity Through Technology program. I am a loving person, I have an appreciation for beauty, and I I resonate with this quote by Kanye West, “If I got any cooler, I would freeze to death”. What really matters, is that I am here now, to make a positive difference in the world. What I find interesting personally is purpose; there is purpose to everything. What I like to do for fun is listening and talking about music. I like to play and watch basketball. I love playing video games with my friends. I can talk about fashion and cars. There is a lot I find interesting!
Destinee Danks (She, Her, Hers)
Science Outreach Scholars Fellow
My name is Destinee and I’m from Window Rock, Arizona. A big reason why I am a learning assistant is because the Science Outreach Scholars community was such a amazing experience, that I wanted to be apart of it as well. The community was so welcoming and caring, that when I was having a hard time transitioning into college for my first year, I felt more at home. I want to claim a higher knowledge of myself and others to create lasting connections. Do be afraid to contact me, the other LA’s, and instructors for anything you need!
Hinzan Diarrassouba (He, Him, HIs)
Diversity Through Technology Fellow
My name is Hinzan Diarrassouba. I grew up in Denver, Colorado. My family is originally from the Ivory Coast. I am currently a 2nd year, majoring in Economics with a minor in computer science. On my free-time, I love listening to music, watching/playing soccer and playing videogames. The biggest influence in my life is the music I listen to. When I first came to America, music was one of the only ways that I could interact with the world around me. I was a Michael Jackson fanboy. In my opinion, music does so much to shape one’s life, whether as a motivator, or source of information.
One of my passions in life is connecting to people. I truly cherish all the moments that I have with all the people that I meet, no matter how small. This is what has motivated my career path. I originally wanted to be a Psychologist because mental health was very much looked over in my upbringing. It was only when I started to expand my social circles that I realized that mental health is such an important aspect of one’s life. There are many ways to engage with mental health with so I chose Economics. Not only will I be studying human behavior, but since some of the topics have to do with running organizations, I hope to support/get involved in a practice one day, even if I won’t be the one that patients see.
As for right now, I am making the most with College of Natural Sciences Learning Community.
Judith Aviles (She, Her, Hers)
Science Outreach Scholars Fellow
Hey guys! My name is Judith, I am a 1st generation student here at CSU, my major is Biology! I started my journey as a CSU Ram in Fall 2019, a semester before COVID hit; before the pandemic, understanding course material and the subject was hard enough, but now not being able to meet with my professors and talking about the material with them is even harder. I admire all of you coming in Fall 2020 as this is a new path we are all walking together, but mostly because you have decided to enter an environment that has changed drastically over a short amount of time. My reasoning being here and working alongside you is to help entering this new working environment as smoothly as possible, I want to help you feel welcomed and heard as I was in the SOS program my first year and it helped me make some of the best relationships with friends I could have ever asked for! Being a Hispanic woman did give me mental setbacks as there still aren’t enough women of color in STEM and going in I may be the odd one of the bunch, but I wanted to help increase the number of women and the amount of POC in the program. As serious as this all may have sounded, I want to let you all know I am a huge fan of the paranormal, horror, life outside of our own, and most of all going stargazing when the weather permits! And if you ever have a horror movie recommendation, I am all ears!
Vanesa Ramirez (She, Her, Hers)
Diversity Through Technology Fellow
Hey! My name is Vanesa Ramirez and I’m a Biochemistry major with a concentration in Health & Medical Sciences. Last year I participated as a student in the D-Tech program and this year I will be participating as a Leadership Fellow!!! I decided to apply for the position as a Fellow because this program genuinely shaped my first year of college and made it such a great experience, I hope to help make your experience a great one as well 🙂 I love to travel & do things spontaneously and one would say I love to talk an excessive amount. I can’t wait to create some awesome connections with everyone!
These are our College of Natural Sciences Learning Community Student Staff, who help support our community after their second year at CSU.
Kylie Contreras (They, Them, Theirs)
Leadership Fellows Support Student Staff
Hello! I am Kylie, a 4th-year student majoring in Biological Sciences, from Texas. I use they/them/theirs pronouns and am genderfluid. When I was a first-year student, I took a chance and joined the K-12 Outreach and Social Justice program. This program changed my outlook on college and gave me the support, resources, and friends to continue here at CSU. Getting to continue working with this program, now called Science Outreach Scholars, and its students is my favorite part of the PAL job. I also love getting lost on drives (but not when driving for RamRide), saying “hi” to as many animals as possible, and walking around exploring CSU and Fort Collins.
Erik Makic (He, Him, His)
Events and Communications Student Staff
Hi my name is Erik and I am a third year biology major with a minor in global environmental sustainability. I spent the Fall of 2019 in southern Patagonia through the SFS Chile program where I studied climate change, ecology, and social dimensions of conservation,and would be glad to talk to anyone about potential study abroad experiences! I love spending time outside and taking pictures of the beautiful world that surrounds us. My primary interests are climate change, sustainable livelihoods, and trees. I am more than happy to talk with anyone about plants or sustainability. I also love spending time at US National Parks.
These are our lead College of Natural Sciences Learning Community Staff.
Alexandra Keller (She, Her, Hers)
Learning Community Director
I didn’t have a linear path to this career. I started with a major in international affairs as an undergraduate at Northern Arizona University. After having a perspective-shifting experience in Kenya, I decided I wanted to have a more tangible way to make a difference- through the lens of science and medicine. When I returned to the US, I started working in a cancer genetics lab as an undergrad and quickly learned that the health inequities I witnessed in Kenya also exist in the US. While completing I master’s in molecular biology, I found a passion for teaching science as a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow in K-12 Education. Working on the Navajo and Hopi reservations teaching middle school, my awareness of inequities grew beyond access to healthcare and I became passionate about access to education, and to revamping how our educational systems are structured. I started working in higher education while living in Hidalgo, Mexico, where I was a Fulbright Scholar at the Universidad Autonoma del Estado de Hidalgo. In April 2015, I started in my role with the College of Natural Sciences where I am grateful to be able to continue learning about myself and other perspectives every day.
Lindsey Young (She, Her, Hers)
Learning Community Programs Coordinator
Lindsey graduated from Colorado State University with a double major in Biology and Psychology. She has been working with the College of Natural Sciences Learning Community for five years, and has an uncanny ability to help people feel purposeful and valued, identifying and leveraging peoples’ strengths and creating experiences where they can shine. If you don’t find her whispering to the gaggle of plants in her office or chatting about science with a collection of students, she might be out in nature, most likely with people who have never been to the mountains before. She is passionate about learning and growing, and can brighten any room she enters with her authenticity and openness.
Beth Wittmann (She, Her, Hers)
CNS Graduate Student
I am a graduate student who wouldn’t stop knocking at the door of academia until they let me in again. I received my undergraduate degree from the University of Vermont in Wildlife Biology and I moved to Colorado shortly after to work in the wildlife field. I worked as a field biologist for organizations like the US Geological Survey, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, and the US Forest Service. I collected data on reptiles, amphibians, birds, and mammals in forests, plains, wetlands, and mountains. Between jobs, I started developing an interest and educating myself in diversity, equity, and inclusion. That interest made me wonder why there was such a lack of people with different identities in the fields of science. Now, I’m a PhD student and my research is directed at informing initiatives and practices that improve the accessibility of STEM programs for students with marginalized identities. I love seeing how these topics are reflected in pop culture and I’m very picky about media so I will always give you a good recommendation on a book, podcast, or tv show. I’m a certified yoga teacher interested in decolonized yoga and a hiker interested in intersectional environmentalism.