FACES OF SUCCESS

FACES OF SUCCESS

MEET JUST A FEW OF THE AMAZING STUDENTS WHO HAVE TRAVELED THEIR PATHS TO SUCCESS AT CSU AND OBTAINED A DEGREES AT SPRING 2017 COMMENCEMENT.

Aaron Leyte

AARON LEYTE

COLLEGE OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SCIENCES

As a U.S. Air Force veteran, Aaron Leyte is trained in how to respond in an emergency. He just never expected to use his training to save a family member’s life.

In August 2015, Leyte was hiking with his uncle near Longs Peak when his uncle suddenly stopped breathing and had no pulse. Leyte began performing CPR and, after 15 minutes, his uncle developed a heartbeat and respiration. A medical transport helicopter took his uncle to Medical Center of the Rockies in Loveland, where he was treated for a heart attack and has made a full recovery.

Leyte, who earned his degree in health and exercise science, is currently a member of the Colorado Air National Guard at Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora. After graduation, he began an internship in the cardiovascular and pulmonary rehabilitation unit at Wuesthoff Health System at Patrick Air Force Base in Flor

Tim Weinmann

TIM WEINMANN

WARNER COLLEGE OF NATURAL RESOURCES

Tim Weinmann is an outstanding student, a project manager, a scientist, a volunteer naturalist, a father of two, and now a CSU graduate.

Fort Collins-born and -raised, he spent ample time outdoors growing up. After graduating from Fort Collins High School, Weinmann relocated to Austin, Texas, where he met his future wife and the two moved to Seattle, where he received an associate’s degree.

During that time, he worked on a sustainable farm, and at CSU he managed the Nitrogen Footprint project through the School of Global Environmental Sustainability’s Student Sustainability Center.

Following graduation, Weinmann plans to continue working with researcher Jill Baron on her long-term study of nitrogen in Loch Vale at Rocky Mountain National Park before starting the Graduate Degree Program in Ecology at CSU.

Ashley Higgins

ASHLEY HIGGINS

COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES

She aspires to be president of the United States of America – and anyone who knows Ashley Higgins understands that’s not just a pipe dream.

Higgins, who grew up on a ranch outside of Limon, Colo., and graduated from Limon High School, transferred to Colorado State University to begin her sophomore year as a dual major in agricultural education and political science. She is passionate about both areas and aims to influence U.S. agricultural policy.

She is an ardent believer in campus involvement and community engagement. While at CSU, she served as a Presidential Ambassador, Ag Ambassador, Associated Students of Colorado State University College of Agricultural Sciences senator, and deputy chief of staff for the executive branch of ASCSU. For the past three years, she’s worked in the sponsorship and education department of the National Western Stock Show.

After graduation, Higgins moved to Washington, D.C., to pursue a position involving agriculture policy.

Kristi Ivezag

KRISTI IVEZAG

CSU ONLINE/COLLEGE OF NATURAL SCIENCES

When Kristi Ivezag graduated with her bachelor’s degree in psychology, her newborn baby was just 10 weeks old. Ivezag delivered Gwenyth at 3 pounds and 14 ounces via an emergency C-section during her last semester in CSU’s online program. It was the only time she ever asked her professors for an extension on her assignments.

Perhaps that’s because Ivezag has plenty of experience navigating the challenges that come her way. Her first-born son, Vaus, was diagnosed with autism at age 5.

She initially earned credits at a community college in Pueblo, Colo., before transferring to CSU Online. As a military spouse, Ivezag needed the flexibility of an online program that could follow her wherever her family needed to move. It also allowed her to get her schoolwork done after she put her kids to bed.

Ivezag plans on pursuing her master’s in social work as the next step toward becoming the kind of social worker that made all the difference for Vaus.

Christina Parise

CHRISTINA PARISE

COLLEGE OF NATURAL SCIENCES

Christina Parise came to CSU with the goal of becoming a veterinarian, even working through school and summers as a veterinary technician. But two weeks in Baja California Sur, Mexico, at the University’s Todos Santos Center, changed her direction. That experience ignited her passion for field research.

Parise, a first-generation college student from Long Beach, Calif., said she likes taking classes that interest her, even if they didn’t count for her zoology major. That’s how she wound up in a wildlife disease ecology class.

That, in turn, led Parise to not only add a minor in fish and wildlife conservation biology but also to apply to the microbiology master’s program at CSU with a new goal: to use immunology to help tackle the challenges of wildlife disease. She starts the program in the fall and plans to continue on to her Ph.D.

David Bonomo

Not everyone finishes college in four years. David Bonomo has some good reasons why it took him nearly 11.

The international studies major from Loveland enrolled at CSU in 2006, and decided to cultivate his interest in the Middle East and Islamic culture by studying at Birzeit University in Palestine.

When he returned to CSU, Bonomo was not getting deep, restful sleep, and, thanks to referrals from the CSU Health Network, he was diagnosed with narcolepsy. After helping address the neurological sleep disorder using diet and exercise, he was off to work as a tutor and mentor to a billionaire’s son in Paris, then on to Yongzhou, China, to teach English to 900 kids a week.

Now that he has graduated, he has his sights set on working in business development, education, or water development in Africa or the Middle East, where it all began.

Taryn Arcarese

TARYN ARCARESE

COLLEGE OF VETERINARY MEDICINE AND BIOMEDICAL SCIENCES

Saturday, May 13, was a big day for Taryn Arcarese. At 8 a.m., she received a diploma in biomedical sciences. At noon, she took her position at second base and played the last game of her competitive softball career.

For Arcarese, being able to turn a double play and ace an anatomy exam all in a day’s work took persistence, passion, and a lot of dry-erase markers.

CSU’s softball team trains six days a week year-round and travels most weekends during the season. While on the road with her team, Arcarese could be found writing out study notes from her classes on bus and airport windows.

The oldest of five siblings, Arcarese grew up in Monument, Colo., and planned to attend community college before she was offered a 75 percent scholarship by CSU. She now plans to pursue a career in medicine.

Taylor Hill

TAYLOR HILL

COLLEGE OF BUSINESS

Inspiring. That’s the word that perfectly describes Taylor Hill. Her work ethic, passion, and kindness are remarkable and contagious. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in corporate finance.

Hill attended Grandview High School in Aurora, and has been an exceptional campus leader at CSU while maintaining a 3.7 GPA. She was president of the College of Business Dean’s Student Leadership Council, a Presidential Ambassador and chief sustainability officer and financial analyst for CSU’s Summit Student Investment Fund. She also has gained real-world experience during internships in both finance and human resources with well-known companies.

After graduation, Hill moved to Washington, D.C., to begin a job with Lockheed Martin as a program financial analyst. She also plans to pursue a degree in law, an ambition she has had since first grade.

Victoria and Elizabeth Bohannon-Pea

VICTORIA AND ELIZABETH BOHANNON-PEA

WALTER SCOTT, JR. COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING AND COLLEGE OF BUSINESS

It’s fitting that Victoria and Elizabeth Bohannon-Pea graduated from CSU together. They’ve done homework together, served in the same student organization together, and now, they’re going to work together. They’ve accepted full-time positions at Arrow Electronics, where they both completed multiple summer internships.

The elder Victoria finished her electrical engineering degree in six years. The younger Elizabeth completed her technology-focused business degree in four. The sisters, natives of Aurora and graduates of Rangeview High School, are first-generation college students.

Victoria served in leadership roles in Intervarsity Christian Fellowship and as a mentor to younger students in Engineering Academic Village. Looking around in her classes and seeing few faces like hers – she was the lone African American female in her 13-member Formula SAE senior design team, for example – she wanted to help promote diversity too. During her second year, she helped relaunch a dormant National Society of Black Engineers chapter at CSU. The organization now has about 15 active members, including Elizabeth, and several of its executive team members also sit on the NSBE regional board.

Elizabeth’s degree is a double concentration in computer information systems and supply chain management, which qualified her to engage in NSBE activities. She also took active roles in her sorority, Alpha Delta Chi, and was a Resources for Disabled Students intern for three years.

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