Outstanding graduate endures life-changing injury, returns to CSU to complete his degree

Murath with a goat
Nash Murath with baby goat, Devon II

In 2019, Nash Murath had to relearn how to talk, walk, and eat after falling from a three-story balcony and experiencing a traumatic brain injury. Now, the Daniels Fund scholarship recipient is being recognized as an outstanding graduate of the Colorado State University Department of Health and Exercise Science. 

Murath has persevered through his own injury and a personal tragedy within his community, finding a way to not only endure, but excel in his time at CSU. 

Nash Murath smiles with two Craig Hospital therapists.
Murath with two of his therapists at Craig Hospital.

“Nash suffered a brain injury, spent a lot of time at Craig Hospital, and has returned to CSU to finish his degree. He is a committed student who is an active part of the department and is always upbeat and brings joy to his classmates and his professors. He was also our Homecoming 5K student ambassador and featured in the student 5K campaign,” said Wendy DeYoung, assistant professor in HES. 

Originally from Conifer, Colorado, Murath began his university education at Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis.  

When he decided to transfer, his family wanted him to return to Colorado, and he chose to attend CSU. 

Murath said, “I picked geology as my first major because I really liked my intro geology classes in Indy. During that semester, my friend from camp ended up passing away, and I finished with a 1.6 GPA.” 

In honor of the friend whom he met at Camp Promise, Murath worked to create a nonprofit in Colorado called Muscular Dystrophy Adventures, which he was later able to register as a 501(c)(3) organization. Murath’s push to create this nonprofit led to his eventual major change to health and exercise science during the Spring 2019 semester at CSU. 

While things began to look up for Murath, “tragedy would strike when I fell 28-30 feet from a third-story balcony and landed on my right side,” he said. “I broke two ribs, fractured my c1, and sustained a severe traumatic brain injury.  I lost consciousness for over 24 hours. I spent 2019 relearning to walk, talk, and eat.” 

Excelling through hardship 

Murath spent the year recovering from his substantial injury which would lead into 2020 and the claws of the COVID-19 pandemic. Murath moved to Pennsylvania with his uncle and completed the Spring 2020 semester online. 

During the Fall 2020 semester, Murath became invigorated by his coursework and developed a passion for studying health. 

Nash Murath stretches and showcases the CSU Homecoming 5K shirt.
Murath promoting the CSU Homecoming 5K.

“When I went back to school, I learned a lot more about the human body and how exercise can promote health and improvements in all aspects of life,” Murath said. “I was taking some great classes with some amazing people: Rick Perry, Wendy DeYoung, Ryan Donovan, Tara Holloway, Karri Smith, Dale DeVoe, Katherine Hutcheson, and others. I took Exercise Physiology which I loved with the awesome professor Christopher Bell. It was an extremely challenging class but so worth it.” 

As Murath continued to recover, he found his passion in volunteering. 

“I kept volunteering at places like the Fort Collins Rescue Mission and Youth Gardeners of Loveland,” he said. At every opportunity, Murath brings forth his positive disposition and devotion to serving others.

After graduation, Murath plans to work at a summer camp in Alaska and explore the continental divide trail. He also hopes to pen a novel inspired by his own experiences and challenges, providing a positive lens on tragic situations, and inspiring others to persevere through hardship as he did. 

“Excercise and the spirit of people helping people are truly what saved me,” Murath said.

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