Kody Roper was a student of the School of Education at Colorado State University, where he fostered his passion for therapy and counseling. Now, after working as a trauma-focused counselor, he’s returning as a faculty member at the college. Read more about his holistic teaching approach and impressive mental health research below.
1. What brought you to the School of Education at CSU?
I did my graduate work for my master’s degree within the School of Education at CSU, and the experience was life-changing. While working a few years in the community as a therapist at the SAVA Center, I was fortunate enough to be asked to supervise a few graduate students in their internship and guest lecture. Loving all these aspects of my work, I decided to complete my Ph.D. in counselor education from the University of Wyoming. Throughout my Ph.D. program, I was privileged to work for the Counseling and Career Development program within the School of Education as an adjunct instructor and supervisor. Getting to work alongside the amazingly talented students and faculty of this program helped fuel my passion for working as a counselor educator.
After graduating, I wanted to ensure that my workplace aligned with my personal and professional passions and ethics. I was exhilarated when I found out that the Counseling and Career Development program was looking for a faculty member. From my experiences as a student and an adjunct instructor, I knew that the faculty is exceptionally talented, student-centered, and passionate about the profession. CSU was always my top choice from the positions I applied for, and I am thrilled and privileged to be here.
2. What are your research interests, and how did you get interested in that topic?
My research interests are motivated by a mixture of personal experiences and professional counseling roles I have held. My professional counseling background has concentrated on working with individuals who have experienced trauma, specifically victims/ survivors of interpersonal violence (sexual violence & domestic violence). From these experiences, I have focused my research on the impact of trauma on wellness, career trajectories, and professional identity development. Additionally, I am interested in research around counseling interventions to help children who have experienced trauma, such as engaging stakeholders such as parents, teachers, and school counselors to help effect meaningful change in a child’s life.
3. What’s your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy holds that it is critical to engage students holistically, inviting both deep internal reflection and meaningful interaction with students individually and in small and large groups. I prioritize student engagement and critical thinking as each student’s lived experience holds a wealth of information for the learning process. I foster space with my students to invite reflection and vulnerability in the classroom, as this process is critical for being an effective professional counselor.
4. What’s your favorite thing about campus?
I have been a Ram fan since I was young, so the campus has always left me star-struck. The intentional focus on balancing providing a space for learning and enjoyment for students and staff while also embracing the environment and sustainability is something I am proud of CSU. Additionally, I greatly enjoy commuting by bike, and this campus and the Fort Collins community have a fantastic network of trails and bikeways!