Outstanding graduate paves the way for herself and her future students

Victoria Connor
Victoria Connor

Victoria Connor is a leader at heart. As an outstanding graduate from the family and consumer sciences major in the School of Education at Colorado State University, she has spent her undergraduate career building her strengths as a leader, mentor, and educator.

She decided to come to CSU because of the Family and Consumer Sciences Program.

“I wanted to stay in state for my undergraduate degree because I wanted to stay close to family and I didn’t want to leave home,” said Connor. “I also spent quite a bit of time in Fort Collins before college because my sister attended CSU. It felt like home to me when I visited her in Fort Collins.”

Leading by example

Victoria Connor with classmates standing in front of the whiteboard
Connor (left) presenting with her classmates.

Connor was involved in the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority as the chief executive officer and Panhellenic assistant, served as a senator for the Associated Students of Colorado State University, and was the recruitment and retention chair of the College of Health and Human Sciences Dean’s Leadership Council.

“Victoria has been an amazing leader in several organization on campus as well as in her sorority and her church,” said Dawn Mallette, an associate professor in the School of Education. “She has a very strong moral compass which guides her in all she does.  She is an exceptional individual, both academically and personally.”

Her dedication to become a teacher and make a difference in students’ lives showed during her internship with the Family Career and Community Leaders of America in Reston, Virginia. Connor was responsible for supervising 10 high school student leaders at the conference representing over 8,000 middle and high school leaders across the country.

“I am most proud of the development I have made as an educator and as a leader,” said Connor. “While I had the incredible opportunity to serve in several leadership roles, I found that my greatest successes came as a result of my relationships with others. These relationships include instructors, peers, fellow leaders, mentor teachers, colleagues, and students. Each individual contributed support, feedback, and encouragement so that I could fully develop into a successful teacher and leader.”

When the COVID-19 pandemic caused classes to move to a completely remote format, she took this time to focus on her school work and find ways to make herself a stronger student.

“The pandemic allowed me to fine-tune my time management and communication skills, as a daily routine was necessary to my individual success,” said Connor. “I appreciated the challenge to improve virtual communication through text, email, and video chat to ensure my academic success. I especially appreciated the willingness of both teachers and students to be more understanding of one another as we all navigated the challenges of living in a completely virtual world.”

Teaching high school

After graduating, Connor will serve as a Catholic missionary for two-years. She hopes to teach family and consumer sciences at the high school level in Colorado after her mission is complete.

“I am going to miss the CSU community after I graduate,” said Connor. “Regardless of background and circumstance, everyone is willing to support each other in whatever way they can. From my academic adviser, Dawn Mallette, to peers and friends, each person in the CSU community has supported me at my worst and at my best so that I am able to graduate as the best future educator I can possibly be.”

The School of Education is a part of CSU’s College of Health and Human Sciences.