HES Outstanding Graduate Eric Meyer helps foster student support through first-year student success pilot class

Eric Meyer posing with arms crossed in front of a fenceWhen looking at college, it wasn’t a hard choice deciding where to go – Colorado State University was a family tradition for outstanding student Eric Meyer and his brothers. However, not every student has the support or the at-home feel of campus that Myer had, or the connections that he cherishes.

Taking his supportive community and with hope to share that support and connection with others, Meyer and his mentor and thesis adviser, Health and Exercise Science Instructor Ryan Donovan, worked together to build a class for students to find success through connection, tools and resources. This course was taught as a pilot course to freshmen students coming into the HES department, many of whom were first-generation and navigating the college system for the first time without many familial or generational resources.

Eric with some of his friends enjoying the outdoors
Eric with some of his friends enjoying the outdoors

The Department of Health and Exercise Science is happy to recognize Meyer as one of our Outstanding Graduates for Fall 2022. We asked him about his journey towards graduation, and the challenges and triumphs he faced along the way.

1.     Where are you from and what brought you to CSU?

I am originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico. I am actually the youngest of four boys all of whom attended CSU. I came to CSU because of the connections that I had to Fort Collins through my family and the campus. I was really drawn to how CSU is a self-contained campus that contributes to the rest of the city but is also set apart.

Eric with some of his friends taking a break at the river
Eric with some of his friends taking a break at the river

 2.     What obstacles have you overcome to get to graduation?

I have over the course of college been very blessed by my circumstances. My biggest challenges came during the course of COVID-19. When we had to move off campus during my freshman year I ended up moving in with my roommate and his family and stayed in Fort Collins. Online education for the next year was difficult but worth the effort.

3.     How have your academic experiences here and your professors, mentors, and advisers helped you overcome these obstacles and be successful in your major?

I had the fortune of working with some amazing faculty and mentors during my time as CSU. Ryan Donovan, who was my thesis advisor provided incredible support during my project. Dr. Bell was kind enough to help me get a position doing research at Medical Center of the Rockies. Countless others helped me to stay focused on what really mattered which was to be involved in this department and give back to the community.

 4.     What activities have you been most involved in?

Most of my volunteer work came through Mountain View Community Church where I have been on the college ministry leadership team for three years now. I also worked as a Physical Therapy Aide at a local clinic and most recently, as a scribe for Northern Colorado Hospitalists. I also was fortunate enough to do research under Dr. Julie Dunn at Medical Center of the Rockies for over a year exploring the link between open fractures and infection risk.

5.     What are some accomplishments that you are most proud of during your time at CSU?

I am most proud of my senior thesis project where I had the privilege to work with Ryan Donovan to develop, create, and teach a student success course for first-generation students. It was the culmination of over a year’s worth of work and I leave the program in capable hands. I am very excited to hear the ways that course touches the lives of students for years to come.

Eric and his friends around a firepit, without a fire

 6.     What will you miss most about CSU?

I will miss the community at CSU the most. CSU has given myself and all of my brothers the best friends of our lives, and it has only been through these people that I have been as successful as I have. Fort Collins and CSU truly is a special place that provides students the opportunity to be a part of something bigger than themselves and it’s through these experiences that I have reached graduation.

7.     What are your plans after graduating?

After graduation, I plan to attend medical school.

The Department of Health and Exercise Science is a part of CSU’s College of Health and Human Sciences