About the image: Sheila Dunn (B.F.A., ’06) studied painting at Colorado State University. “I paint what is sacred to me,” Dunn says. This painting of Moraine Park, Colorado, captures the place in Rocky Mountain National Park that is most sacred to her. She donates 10% of sales to conservation organizations, including the Conservation Alliance in Bend, the Grand Canyon Trust, and the Oregon Desert Land Trust.

The Land Issue

This issue of Impact is dedicated to land in all its complexity — as fact and metaphor, as debt and legacy, as record and narrative. On the 150th anniversary of the University, we have attempted to chronicle the myriad ways in which land demands our attention, informs our work, and determines our future. The Colorado State University Land Acknowledgement below was developed collaboratively by a committee of Indigenous campus and community members and formally adopted by the University in 2019. The land acknowledgment will be integrated into campus culture and history to express truth, gratitude, and respect. Read the full magazine here.

CSU Land Acknowledgment

Colorado State University acknowledges, with respect, that the land we are on today is the traditional and ancestral homelands of the Arapaho, Cheyenne, and Ute Nations and peoples. This was also a site of trade, gathering, and healing for numerous other Native tribes. We recognize the Indigenous peoples as original stewards of this land and all the relatives within it. As these words of acknowledgment are spoken and heard, the ties Nations have to their traditional homelands are renewed and reaffirmed.

CSU is founded as a land-grant institution, and we accept that our mission must encompass access to education and inclusion. And, significantly, that our founding came at a dire cost to Native Nations and peoples whose land this University was built upon. This acknowledgment is the education and inclusion we must practice in recognizing our institutional history, responsibility, and commitment.


Beyond the basics: “Foundational science is the point of discovery”

I’ll give you a current example – the outbreak of a novel coronavirus in China. Foundational science asks: Where did this virus come from? How does it relate to the other viruses we already know about? Within weeks, the scientific community sequenced the entire genome of the novel strain and determined its relatedness to other coronaviruses.

High exposure: Class of 2019 alumnus climbs for cancer

In May 2019, Grant Haley graduated from Colorado State with a bachelor’s degree in cellular and molecular neuroscience and a fierce longing to be part of something bigger than himself. His long-term goals included medical school and a career in oncology or psychiatry, but he wanted to do something unforgettable with his last summer in Colorado.

Walking in beauty: A Navajo scientist confronts the legacy of uranium mining

"Walk in beauty" is a Navajo phrase that I heard a lot growing up. When you walk in beauty, you are in harmony with yourself and with everything around you. You are doing the best you can. I am trying to do the best I can as a Navajo woman and a scientist, to strive for harmony and balance in my work, but the journey is long, complicated, and full of difficult questions.

First person: Journey to the stars

My journey started in 1969, as I – and the whole world – stood still and watched Neil Armstrong walk on the moon. Fast forward 50 years, and Christina Koch and Scott Kelly spend nearly a year in space on board the International Space Station. These out-of-this-world events bring my own, very earthly path into perspective.

The heart of medicine: Healing the healers

“Our students have worked for most of their lives to get here. We tell them they can relax a bit now, but they’ve never done that. There’s a lot of support for them here... In Healer’s Art, students get to learn about and see each other in a way that is not offered anywhere else in the curriculum.” -Laurie Fonken

Field notes: The evolution of Colorado’s country veterinarian

For many aspiring rural veterinarians, “living the dream” may look like a James Herriot tale: The only veterinarian in the county cares for all creatures great and small. They run a mixed-animal practice from a brick-and-mortar clinic on Main Street, and have plenty of time for house and farm calls.