Micah Loy

Outstanding Grad: Micah Loy
College of Health and Human Sciences

story by Mark Gokavi
photo by John Eisele/CSU Photography
published Dec. 14, 2022

Apart from traveling together to places like Italy, Uganda and Mexico, one of Micah Loy’s favorite memories of his mother, Kirsten — who battled cancer on and off for a decade — is when she attended his high school lacrosse awards banquet.

“I had won an award for offensive player of the year,” Loy said. “She hadn’t really shown up to many of my games because she couldn’t really go very often. The fact that she could come to my banquet and see me win that award, and tell me that she loved me, and was there for me, was just an amazing time.”

Sadly, Loy’s mother won’t see him graduate in just three-and-a-half years  — despite transferring and changing majors — or celebrate him being named an outstanding graduate of Colorado State University. Loy is a graduate of CSU’s Department of Design and Merchandising where he majored in apparel and merchandising with a concentration in product development.

Loy’s mother, Kirsten, died of cancer on Oct. 28. She was 59. Loy doesn’t plan to walk during graduation because his father and brother can’t make it. “She’s with me,” Loy said of his mother. “Big moments are hard, of course.”

in their own words

Q. What was the motivation for your capstone project?

For a part-time job for the past year and a half, I have been working with people with disabilities, and it kind of was just an awesome thing that my capstone project could align with another passion of mine. … I wanted to do something a little bit different. I had never really seen people in the market making clothes for people with prosthetics.

Q. What do you get from working at The Tungland Corporation for people with disabilities?

It’s a fun job. I made some great connections. The (eight) families that I got to work with were super awesome. You just get to hang out with fun people. And sometimes, yeah, there’s things that happen that are a bit hard and you just have to work around them. But it made me understand a lot of patience, a lot of commitment.

Q. How did you manage school and work when your mother’s cancer was spreading?

I’ve been blessed to have a lot of great friends and a great community around here. They’ve helped me a lot through all the things I’ve gone through. And I think just being transparent; I’m pretty bad about opening up about what’s going on in my life, but this time I realized I had to be open about what was going on. … Dr. (Kristen) Morris, especially, has been an amazing help. She really fully understood what was going on and was like, “Don’t worry about it. Deadlines aren’t a big deal, especially because you’re going through something super hard.” And that’s been a super great help.

Also, I don’t like to quit things, and I want to finish them out as best as I can, and I can’t quit what’s going on right now. And my mom didn’t quit (fighting) cancer for a long time, until it overcame her.

The Class of 2022 represents the very best of Colorado State University, showing courage in the face of adversity in the pursuit of their degrees. Read more stories of some of the outstanding students who are graduating this fall. read more