College of Health and Human Sciences’ Executive Leadership Council celebrates a decade of service, impact, and evolution

A group of adults poses, sitting and standing, for a group photo in front of a green wall with a CSU Ram's Head logo in white.
College of Health and Human Sciences Dean Lise Youngblade
Lise Youngblade, Dean

Colorado State University’s College of Health and Human Sciences benefits from leadership with a group of dedicated volunteers who serve on the Executive Leadership Council. Now in its tenth year, the council advises Dean Lise Youngblade and her team with their perspectives as alumni, parents, retirees, community partners, and donors. Each member has a connection to one or more of the college’s eight academic units, and a passion for the overall success of the students, faculty, research, and outreach programs.

“The CHHS Executive Leadership Council members share a wealth of experience, guide our strategy, and elevate our programs,” said Youngblade. “Their individual and collective influence through philanthropy, advocacy, and personal involvement are truly exceptional. We are so fortunate to have such dedicated volunteers committed to our college.


A man in a blue Hawaiian shirt and glasses smiles with a blond woman in glasses and a black top.
Dean Emeritus Jeff McCubbin and Dean Lise Youngblade

Spearheaded by then-CHHS Dean Jeff McCubbin in 2012, the Executive Leadership Council convened champions for the college. The goal was to gather experts in the college’s diverse disciplines and industries who could serve as a sounding board for new directions, a launchpad for strategic initiatives, and advocates who could share the college’s priorities in their circles of influence. “Engaging volunteers to form the Executive Leadership Council was the first step in dreaming big for the college,” said McCubbin. “They helped us advance our vision, communications, alumni connections, and philanthropic partnerships, and continue to help the college evolve to meet emerging industry and community needs.”

Beginning with eleven members, the Executive Leadership Council has grown to include a total of 35 individuals over the years. Since 2012, the volunteer members have spent countless hours dedicated to the advancement of the college, shaping its evolution, and forging impressive change through philanthropy, leadership, and vocal advocacy. Members travel to campus twice a year to connect with Youngblade and faculty, tour campus facilities, visit programs, and engage with students.

Strategic leadership

One of the council’s first priorities was to provide ideas around the renaming of the college from Applied Human Sciences to Health and Human Sciences, with the goals of clarifying the overarching connections among its diverse academic units and attracting foundation and research funding. The name change was made official on July 1, 2013. This rebranding launched strategic planning and the college’s priorities for CSU’s $1 billion State Your Purpose comprehensive fundraising campaign. The council’s feedback, along with personal and corporate gifts to the campaign, formed the foundation of the College of Health and Human Sciences’ campaign goals.


Through individual gifts and corporate contributions, members of the Executive Leadership Council have given more than $10 million to CSU. Nine have committed planned gifts through their estates. In addition, 27 have given to scholarships, resulting in 130 student recipients.

Executive Leadership Council Members

  • Anne Abbott, ’88
  • Teresa Boynton, ’73, ’89
  • Anne Broholm, ’86
  • Cliff Buchholz*
  • Karen DeLine
  • Carla Dore, ’83
  • William S. “Duffer” Duff, Jr., ’94
  • Darrell Eastwood*, ’74
  • Jessica Farrell Wright, ’04
  • Rich Feller*
  • Catherine Finch
  • Lisa Ford*, ’82
  • Tricia Ford*, ’85
  • Bob Fornaro*
  • John Haefeli, ’80
  • Gwen Hatchette, ’94
  • Ray Jackson, ’95
  • Pat Kendall*, ’83
  • Jon Kinning ,’94
  • Susan Kreul-Froseth*, ’74, ’78
  • Wayne Lindholm*, ’75
  • Linda Lindholm*, ’73
  • Pat McKlem*, ’70
  • Karen Morris-Fine*, ’67, ’70, ’78
  • Yvonne Myers, ’82
  • Melissa Pappas, ’85
  • Danette Reagan*, ’87
  • Miriam Sakurada Cake*
  • Marilyn Schock, ’85, ’01
  • Rayno Seaser
  • Susan Stefanich Stevens, ’90
  • Jessica Teal, ’16
  • Kevin Unger*, ’92, ’13
  • Daniel Ward, ’03
  • Tiffany Weber, ’99

Founding member
*Sustaining member

CHHS Executive Leadership Council Decade of Impact Infographic. 10 future estate gifts, 27 scholarships, 35 members over the past 10 years, 225+ volunteer hours, 130 students supported with ExLC scholarships, 75% of ExLC members contributed to Lighten the Load, 286 students received Lighten the Load emergency funds, and collective philanthropy totaling $10 million in gifts to CSU.

During the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, Executive Leadership Council rallied around the Lighten the Load Fund, which was established to support students experiencing financial hardship as a result of an unanticipated crisis, with the goal of helping them stay in school. As a result of their collective giving, along with other donors, 286 students have received emergency grants totaling $56,948.

Expanding programs and facilities

Council members have been at the heart of strategic program and facility growth. From CSU’s Health and Medical Center, which includes the Columbine Health Systems Center for Healthy Aging and Kendall Reagan Nutrition Center expansion, to the Nancy Richardson Design Center, Early Childhood Center, and Pat McKlem Medical Nutrition Therapy Lab, the leaders have regularly embraced interdisciplinary learning, cross-campus collaboration, and community partnerships that are at the heart of CSU’s land-grant mission.

One example is the Campus Connections therapeutic mentoring program in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies. During a 2014 council event, the members met faculty, master’s and undergraduate student mentors, and their community mentees. They were so inspired by the novel approach of the program that they encouraged its expansion beyond CSU. Campus Connections has now been replicated nationally and internationally, with research on mentorship efficacy shaping non-profits and other higher education institutions.

Establishing CHHS Alumni Awards

To elevate recognition of alumni success, advance relationships with alumni, and ensure the College of Health and Human Sciences has strong representation among the CSU Alumni Association’s Distinguished Alumni Awards, in 2014 the Council established and sponsored two college awards: the CHHS Outstanding Alumna/us Award and CHHS Emerging Leader Award, which continue to be awarded annually.

Giving impact

Like all donors, council members’ gifts are driven by their own priorities, motivated by their personal or career experience, family members, or other inspirations. Their gifts span all areas of CSU and the college, and have driven success in areas including:

  • Alumni Association
  • Assistive technology
  • Athletics
  • Career services
  • Creativity
  • Diversity programs and scholarships
  • Emergency assistance
  • Event sponsorship
  • Experiential learning
  • Facilities
  • Faculty
  • Internships
  • In-kind contributions
  • Outreach programs
  • Programs
  • Research
  • Scholarships
  • Student success

Ambassadors, mentors, and hosts

Melissa Pappas and CSU System Chancellor Tony Frank at a sporting event
Pappas and CSU System Chancellor Tony Frank cheer on the Rams

Members have opened their homes and businesses to extend their goodwill for the college to their circles. For example, Sue Kreul-Froseth hosted a fundraising event for Campus Connections in 2014. Carla Dore and her business, Workplace Resource, hosted a celebratory event in Denver to raise awareness and support for the Nancy Richardson Design Center as the building was under construction in 2017. In the summer of 2022, Melissa Pappas, who is the parent of two recent CSU graduates, welcomed incoming CSU students and their families to a send-off event in her Chesapeake Bay home. The event helped Washington, D.C.-based families build their Ram community on the east coast. The 40+ attendees elected to stay in touch so they could all support their students’ success from afar. Other members have hired CHHS graduates, hosted interns, mentored students, provided guest lectures, and more.

A man wearing academic regalia speaks at a podium at a commencement ceremony.
Rich Feller addresses graduates at commencement

“Our Executive Leadership Council members roll up their sleeves in all sorts of ways to work directly with college leaders on specific initiatives,” said Kim Winger, executive director of development. “Members have participated in strategy meetings around new facilities, academic partnerships, search committees, and idea sharing with faculty leaders. They have participated in networking dinners with student clubs, volunteered with the HES Homecoming Race, attended industry appreciation events, served as judges for the college’s Research Day, and inspired graduates at commencement ceremonies.”

Evolving membership

Volunteers on the council commit to serving three years, for a maximum of three terms. At the end of their service, members maintain their ties to the college as sustaining members. This year, seven members–including four founding members–are transitioning to sustainers: Rich Feller, Lisa Ford, Tricia Ford, Bob Fornaro, Pat McKlem, Karen Morris-Fine, and Kevin Unger, along with prior members.

A blond woman in black holds a black mug and smiles with another blond woman in a white shirt with a CSU logo and green and gold scarf.
Carla Dore and Lise Youngblade

Melissa Pappas serves as the active membership liaison, and Carla Dore will remain an active council member serving as a primary liaison to all sustaining members. Seven new members joining the council in ’22-’23 include: Karen DeLine (human development and family studies ’88), ranch owner and entrepreneur; Catherine Finch (housing and interior environment, ’88), interior designer; John Haefeli (history, ’80), retired educator and long-time school board member; Ray Jackson (social work, ’95), Vice President for Player Development with the Denver Broncos; Marilyn Schock (occupational therapy, ’85; MBA, ’01), President of UCHealth Greeley Hospital; Daniel Ward, (health and exercise science, ’03), founder and owner of Inward Fitness; and Tiffany Weber (health and exercise science, ’99) owner of Hillside Vineyard.

Looking ahead

Youngblade is excited about the ways the Executive Leadership Council will support emerging priorities for the College in the future. “As we work to improve the health and well-being of people, communities, and the environments in which we live, the College will rely on the fresh perspectives and community pulse provided by our volunteer leaders,” she said. “I am always eager to listen and most honored to learn from them.”

Learn more about the CHHS Executive Leadership Council. View more photos of the Executive Leadership Council through the years.