Guest column: CVMBS dean offers advice to students, community to kick off academic year

the James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital at CSU
Move-in week 2022
Sue VandeWoude
Sue VandeWoude is a veterinarian and dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. A University Distinguished Professor, she is an expert in feline disease, and raises turkeys at home in Fort Collins. (CVMBS photo by Dr. Edward Hoover)

Welcome to Colorado State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences! You have joined a community of caring, resilient, enthusiastic faculty and staff who are among the best in the world at what they do.

I’m new here too. Well, not really, but this is my first week as dean of the college where I’ve been a faculty member for more than 30 years. I am very excited to work in this new capacity with colleagues in the college, across the university, and in the Fort Collins and Colorado communities to build on the legacy of this fantastic organization. The college has seen a lot of interim leadership over the past year, and I want to take a moment to offer my thanks for all of you that worked together to keep the college sound and moving forward.

We are certainly living in an unpredictable, dynamic world. As we transition from a period dominated by COVID-19 precautions to some kind of “new normal,” we can rely on the unchanging rhythms of the day, connect with nature, and focus on the many fantastic, dedicated people that make up the college and campus community.

My new normal is to have conversations and visit with faculty, staff, and students across CVMBS to prioritize our activities and investments. This will include welcoming our next students and listening to questions and concerns posed by undergraduate, graduate and veterinary students. I’ll also be working to extend our relationships with other colleges to strengthen and launch interdisciplinary initiatives. And I will serve as an ambassador for CSU in conversations with external stakeholders.

I offer this advice to students (and really, anyone), to help set your bearings as we start our academic 2022-23 adventure:

  • Fort Collins is a fantastic city with many activities and resources to support your non-academic needs.
  • Listen to the program leaders providing your orientation—they will enumerate many resources available to you as a CSU Ram.
  • Talk to upperclassmen and peers about the opportunities they have most enjoyed and activities they have not found as rewarding.
  • Engage with faculty and staff in your classes and college-wide activities.
  • Consider having a conversation with your new colleagues in lieu of resorting solely to social media or email.
  • Get out of your room and see your new environment.
  • Go on adventures.
  • Learn from experiences that don’t go the way you had hoped, and find a little bit of joy every single day!

I wish you all the very best for this semester and welcome you to the CSU and college community!

Sue VandeWoude
Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences