Outstanding human development and family studies graduate helps others on her way to law school

Julie Phillips has accomplished plenty during her academic journey here at CSU, and her work does not stop after graduation.

Phillips is a human development and family studies major with a concentration in leadership and entrepreneurial professions, along with a minor in Spanish. Phillips was nominated as an outstanding graduate for the Fall 2020 College of Health and Human Sciences.

Despite working throughout her academic journey, while being a full-time student, she maintained a cumulative GPA of 3.7, which earned her a place on the dean’s list each semester. Phillips also managed to graduate a semester early.

Impactful involvement on campus Julie Phillips, wearing a white dress and a green mortar board, stands in front of the CSU Administration Building holding her green diploma portfolio.

Phillips immersed herself on campus through many other activities and opportunities. She was an undergraduate TA for two years, was a member of the department’s Student Outreach and Undergraduate Leadership (SOUL) club, was employed at Poudre School District for three years working with children at Laurel and Bauder Elementary schools, and during the summer and fall of 2019, she studied abroad in Chile. During her last year at CSU, she interned with the non-profit organization, Court Appointed Special Advocates.

“These involvements have taught me time management, financial independence, and gave me valuable job experience,” Phillips said of her rewarding experience balancing each of her commitments.

Finding her state

“I chose to come to Colorado State University because I love the state of Colorado. I love the people and the lifestyle here, I could not have made a better choice,” Phillips said.

As an HDFS student, Phillips has done an outstanding job through her time within the department. Through the department, she felt supported and encouraged, helping her along her academic journey.

“I was lucky enough to have such amazing professors and advisers to help me balance working part-time and being a full-time student,” Phillips said. “My adviser Lindsay Toper, specifically, has always helped me with applying for scholarships and managing a full course load.”

Navigating the pandemic

During the pandemic, Phillips took the opportunity to take an introspective look within herself, to reflect on the possibility for growth, and appreciate the positives during these unprecedented times.

“The skies are bluer, traffic is lighter, and we get to work from home in our PJs,” Phillips said, reflecting upon the silver lining that this time provided her. “We also had time to work on our relationships with ourselves and the people close to us. I have learned to appreciate the little things and work on my relationship with myself and what really matters to me.”

During this time, Phillips has also taken an opportunity to help her community. She is currently working with a family to help facilitate remote learning during COVID-19.

With graduation approaching, Phillips continues to work as a community engagement specialist with the Court Appointed Special Advocates and is in the process of applying to different law schools – she recently took her LSAT and is awaiting her results. Phillips plans on heading to a law school in the fall, hoping to one day receive her law degree and practice within the field of child and family law.

“I will miss all the memories and experiences that I had at CSU. I have made so many life-long friendships and memories here that will come with me the rest of my life,” she said.

The Department of Human Development and Family Studies is part of CSU’s College of Health and Human Sciences.