Executive Leadership Team
When Joyce McConnell became the 15th president of Colorado State University on July 1, 2019, she noted publicly that her predecessors had left her with big shoes to fill—but that, “Mine are prettier!” McConnell is the first woman president in CSU’s long history. Prior to stepping into the presidency at CSU, McConnell spent more than 20 years at another flagship, R1 land grant institution, West Virginia University. She joined the faculty of the WVU College of Law in 1995 and held progressive leadership positions thereafter. She was appointed dean of the College in 2008 and immediately fundraised for a $36 million renovation and expansion of the College building. She also expanded the College’s interdisciplinary opportunities and implemented state-of-the-art experiential and clinical programs and facilities.
Provost and Executive Vice President
As Provost and Executive Vice President, Dr. Pedersen is the chief academic officer of CSU and works in concert with the president, deans, vice presidents, and the campus community to strengthen the university’s reputation as an internationally recognized land-grant institution of higher education. Her role is to collaborate with campus leaders to provide academic vision and leadership to articulate, communicate, and facilitate the development of fundamental values basic to the University’s mission and administer academic programs and policies with utmost respect for and attention to our constituents’ needs and promoting inclusive excellence to advance education, research, scholarship, and outreach for all who work and learn at CSU.
Provost and Executive Vice President Mary Pedersen joined CSU in August 2020 from California Polytechnic State University where she served in successive leadership roles with the Provost’s Office since 2011. Those roles included Interim Provost, Senior Vice Provost, Vice Provost, and Associate Provost for Academic Affairs and Academic Programs and Planning. During her more than 30 years at Cal Poly, she also served on faculty as an Associate Professor and Professor in Nutrition, Department Head of Food Science & Nutrition, and Associate Dean in the College of Agriculture, Food, and Environmental Sciences. Dr. Pedersen began her academic career as a postdoctoral fellow in Atherosclerosis at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Medicine. She earned her B.A. in biology from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and both her M.S. and Ph.D. in Public Health Nutrition with a minor in lipid biochemistry from the University of California, Los Angeles. Her primary research focused on lipid metabolism and nutrition.
Special Advisor to the Provost and Interim Director, Translational Medicine Institute
Brett Anderson is a 1987 alumnus of Colorado State University and serves as a special advisor to the Provost and Interim Director of CSU’s Translational Medicine Institute. He returned to his alma mater after a successful business career as managing partner of global business and technology company Accenture to serve as vice president for University Advancement. He served as Vice President for University Advancement from 2009 to 2017.
As an alumnus and volunteer, Anderson has a long history of involvement and service at Colorado State, including chairing the Corporate and Foundation Relations Committee and the University’s Development Council. He served on the Mechanical Engineering Advisory Panel, received the Colorado State Personal Service Award, and the 2004 College of Engineering Distinguished Alumni Award. He has also been an active volunteer with the CSU Alumni Association. Before his appointment at CSU, Anderson served as a consultant to CSU in the Denver area, leading efforts to strengthen Colorado State’s presence in Denver and building strong connections among Denver-area alumni.
Vice President for Information Technology
Brandon Bernier serves as the Vice President for Information Technology, which includes the central IT departments of Academic Computing, Information Systems, and Telecommunications. He joined CSU in 2018 as the Director of ACNS and Telecom. A proponent of proactive campus engagement, Bernier works to bring together information and technology communities to advance teaching and learning, research, outreach, and administration.
With over 18 years of higher education IT experience, Bernier previously worked at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Oakland University in central IT, distributed IT, and Library leadership roles. He holds an MBA from Wayne State University and a BA in Telecommunications from Michigan State University.
Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs
Dr. Sue James is the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs at Colorado State University and is responsible for working with faculty, deans, other vice provosts, and vice presidents to ensure a well-supported faculty and exemplary teaching and learning practices. Dr. James is a professor of Mechanical Engineering who joined CSU’s faculty as an assistant professor in 1994. She served as head of the department from 2010 – 2018 and is the founding director of the School of Biomedical Engineering. Committed to giving back to her community, James has been involved with many service organizations over the years, both internal and external to CSU, including Faculty Council, the CSU President’s Commission on Women and Gender Equity and the Society of Women Engineers. Dr. James is a prolific scholar and inventor in the field of biomaterials who has translated her work to the clinic. She received her Ph.D. In Polymers from MIT and her B.S. in Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science from Carnegie Mellon, with a minor in Biomedical Engineering and a certificate in Women’s Studies.
Vice Provost for International Affairs
Kathleen Fairfax is the Vice Provost for International Affairs at Colorado State University. She leads CSU’s efforts to collaborate with colleges and units across campus to implement the University’s internationalization initiatives. Fairfax has worked in the field of international education for 32 years, at both public and private universities, and in the public sector. During her career, Fairfax has focused on improving access to international education opportunities at colleges and universities, developing streamlined and efficient operational models for service delivery, and aligning strategic priorities with concrete action items to deliver results. Fairfax holds a master’s degree in political science/international relations from Indiana University Bloomington and a bachelor’s degree in political science and Spanish from DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana.
Chair of Faculty Council
Sue Doe serves as the Chair of Faculty Council. She teaches courses in Composition, Autoethnographic Theory and Method, Reading and Writing Connections, Research Methods, and GTA preparation for writing instruction. She does research in three distinct areas–academic labor and the faculty career, writing across the curriculum, and student-veteran transition in the post-9/11 era. Coauthor of the faculty development book Concepts and Choices: Meeting the Challenges in Higher Education, she has published articles in College English, The WAC Journal, Reflections, and Writing Program Administration (among others) as well as in several book-length collections
Blanche M. Hughes
Vice President for Student Affairs
As Vice President for Student Affairs, Dr. Hughes values effective collaboration and building strong relationships in support of a student-centered institution. Prior to that, she spent two years teaching sociology and chairing the department of sociology at Pikes Peak Community College. The majority of her professional experience, however, was spent in her 13-year tenure as the Director of Black Student Services at Colorado State University prior to her move to Colorado Springs in the fall of 1998. She has experience in teaching undergraduate and graduate courses, programming, counseling, training, and leadership development. Her research interest lies in areas relating to race and ethnicity, gender, and student retention in higher education.
Dr. Hughes has a B.A. in education from Earlham College, M.Ed. from Colorado State University, and her Ph.D. in sociology from Colorado State University. Blanche and her husband, Wayne, have four children and two granddaughters.
Vice President for University Communications
Yolanda Bevill serves as the Vice President for University Communications. This division oversees Marketing, Public Relations, Creative Services, Social and Digital Media, Internal Communications and Web Services. University Communications provides central marketing, media and community relations, design, photography, Web, and digital social media to build a strong, compelling, and effective brand position for the entire university and its units.
Bevill came to CSU from Prairie View A&M University, a historically Black land-grant institution in the Houston area, where she served as chief public affairs officer. Bevill began her career as a television news producer, worked in corporate positions at Key Bank and Lexis-Nexis, then moved into governmental roles at the U.S. Department of the Treasury in Washington, the Office of the Mayor in Cleveland, and the Harris County District Attorney’s Office in Houston. While working in Harris County, she also earned her J.D. at South Texas Law College.
Vice Provost for Planning and Effectiveness
Dr. Laura Jensen, a CSU alumna, serves as the Vice Provost for Planning and Effectiveness. Her CSU service began in 2008 when she served as the Associate Director of Institutional Research. In 2010, she was appointed as the Director of that office and in 2015 was appointed as an Associate Provost broadening her service to the institution. Her current portfolio includes strategic planning, academic program review, accreditation, and institutional research. Before coming to CSU, she worked in institutional research at Front Range Community College and in psychiatric research at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center (now the Anschutz campus). She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in psychology in 1992 and 1996 respectively from the University of Northern Colorado and earned her Ph.D. in education with an emphasis on assessment and program evaluation methodology in 2005.
Vice President for University Operations, Chief Financial Officer
Lynn Johnson serves as Vice President for University Operations overseeing administrative departments such as Facilities Management, Business and Financial Services, the Office of Budgets, Parking and Transportation Services, Purchasing, Environmental Health Services, Central Receiving and Mail Services, Human Resources, the Office of the Ombuds and Employees Assistance Program, Risk Management and Insurance, Training and Organizational Development and the Office of Equal Opportunity. Lynn also serves as the liaison to the Administrative Professional Council and State Classified Personnel Council, oversees many University initiatives and programs such as Commitment to Campus, Strategic Partnerships, and serves on the board of the Semester at Sea program. As CFO, her primary focus is to ensure the integrity of the financial processes and reporting of the University.
Lynn previously served as the University Controller and the Director of Business and Financial Services as well as the Director of Sponsored Programs. She obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from the University of Texas Arlington. Lynn is a Certified Public Accountant and spent several years in public accounting with KPMG and served as the CFO for a non-profit cancer research center in Denver prior to joining CSU in 2003. Lynn lives in Loveland with her husband and has two sons, one of which is a graduate of CSU’s College of Business and the other is a current student in CSU’s Mechanical Engineering Program.
Vice Provost of Undergraduate Affairs
Dr. Kelly Long is the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Affairs. In that role she provides institutional leadership regarding processes and initiatives involving undergraduate education. As VPUA she collaborates with individuals and groups across campus on matters involving curriculum, student success, advising, teaching and learning, diversity and inclusion, admission and access. Dr. Long joined the Department of History in 1998 and later served as Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies in the College of Liberal Arts. Kelly taught high school in the Poudre School District for many years and has been actively involved in pre- and in-service educator development and curricular design. Her research and publication involves US-Asian relations, history education, and the Scholarship on Teaching and Learning. Dr. Long received her bachelor’s degree at Colorado State University and her Ph.D. at the University of Colorado, Boulder.
Jannine R. Mohr
Deputy General Counsel
Jannine Mohr is one of ten attorneys working for the Office of the General Counsel for the Colorado State University System. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Colorado State University and a Juris Doctor from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. Prior to serving as university counsel, Ms. Mohr was a law clerk for the Honorable Barry Ted Moskowitz in the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. Following her clerkship, she worked in Denver as an attorney in private practice for several years.
Ms. Mohr taught the Law in Student Affairs course in the Student Affairs in Higher Education (SAHE) program at CSU from fall 2008 to spring 2019. She was nominated by SAHE students for the 2014 College of Health and Human Sciences Best Teacher Award. In 2018, Ms. Mohr was the recipient of the Dean’s Recognition Award from the College of Natural Sciences. Ms. Mohr has presented on various legal topics both nationally and internationally. Prior to becoming an attorney, Ms. Mohr was a United States Senate staff member. In 2011 and 2015, she was appointed by Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper to serve on the Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission where she served as Vice-Chair from 2012 to 2018 and Chair from 2018 to 2019.
Vice President for Engagement and Extension
Blake Naughton serves as vice president for Engagement and Extension at Colorado State University, leading CSU’s engagement and outreach missions and overseeing CSU Extension, CSU Online, the Colorado Water Center, and the Office of Community and Economic Development.
He holds a bachelor’s in technology policy from Stanford University, a master’s in education administration, planning and social policy from Harvard, and a Ph.D. in education administration and policy analysis, also from Stanford.
Vice President for Diversity
As Vice President for Diversity, Mary Ontiveros leads Colorado State’s diversity efforts and reports directly to the President. Her duties as vice president include leading diversity planning efforts, including assessment, evaluation, and accountability; developing strategic partnerships, alliances and collaborations; organizing the annual Diversity Conference; helping to coordinate activities among on-campus units, commissions, committees, and task forces; and representing the University through networking and collaboration with outside communities, schools, and organizations.
An alumna of CSU, Ontiveros has been an employee of CSU since 1974, working in leadership positions in Admissions, as a faculty affiliate, and special assistant to the president of CSU-Pueblo. She has served on numerous CSU committees, councils, and task forces, and is a member of several professional organizations. She lives in Fort Collins with her husband and son.
Director of Athletics
Joe Parker is director of Colorado State University Athletics. Parker, hired in March of 2015, had been the deputy athletics director at Texas Tech of the Big 12 Conference since 2011, and also served as senior associate A.D. at the University of Michigan (Big 10), the University of Oklahoma (Big 12), Washington State University (Pac-12), and the University of Texas (Big 12). Parker was a three-time All-America swimmer at Michigan, and also became team captain. He earned a gold and bronze medal as a senior in the 1987 World University Games in Zagreb, Yugoslavia. Parker earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from Michigan, and an M.B.A. from the University of Texas. He and his wife, Jennie, have two children, Emma and Will.
Alan S. Rudolph
Vice President for Research
Dr. Alan S. Rudolph serves as the Vice President for Research at Colorado State University. Dr. Rudolph is a former member of the Senior Executive Service, having served as the Director for Chemical and Biological Technologies Directorate, Research and Development Enterprise, Defense Threat Reduction Agency, in Fort Belvoir, VA. Dr. Rudolph has had an active career in translating interdisciplinary life sciences into useful applications for biotechnology development. His experience spans basic research to advanced development in academia, government laboratories, and most recently in the nonprofit and private sectors. He has published more than 100 technical publications in areas including molecular biophysics, lipid self-assembly, drug delivery, blood substitutes, medical imaging, tissue engineering, neuroscience, and diagnostics.
Previous to CSU, he has served as a National Research Council postdoctoral fellow, and as Chief Executive Officer of Adlyfe, Inc., a diagnostic platform company, and Board Chairman of Cellphire, Inc. Most recently, he started a new international nonprofit foundation, the International Neuroscience Network Foundation, and as director secured corporate and private philanthropic donors to fulfill the mission of the organization focused on brain STEM efforts and clinical trial management in underserved populations.
He has a doctorate degree in zoology from the University of California at Davis and an MBA from George Washington University.
Associate Vice President for Engagement
Dr. Ashley M. Stokes is Associate Vice President for Engagement and Extension. Her responsibilities include food and agriculture systems initiatives, fostering applied scholarship opportunities, and developing strategies for university-based extension that broaden and deepen engagement across CSU’s eight colleges. Dr. Stokes received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Alabama and her D.V.M./Ph.D. from Louisiana State University, where she was on the faculty at the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine.
Vice Provost for Graduate Affairs and Dean of the Graduate School
Dr. Mary Stromberger is the Vice Provost for Graduate Affairs and Dean of the Graduate School. She provides strategic leadership to ensure access, inclusivity, and excellence in graduate education, training, and professional development. Dr. Stromberger is also a professor of soil microbiology in the Department of Soil and Crop Science, where for 17 years she taught undergraduate and graduate courses in soil microbial ecology and conducted research on soil quality and plant microbiomes. Prior to becoming Dean, Mary was Associate Dean of the Graduate School for two years, and Chair of Faculty Council for three years.
Mary is a proud first-generation graduate and has a B.S. in Biology from West Chester University in Pennsylvania, an M.S. in Soil Science from University of Delaware, and a Ph.D. in Soil Science from Oregon State University. She is a Fellow in the Soil Science Society of America and recipient of a Fulbright Scholar Award, the Soil Science Society of America’s Education Award, and the College of Agricultural Sciences’ Charles N. Shepardson Faculty Teaching Award.
Vice President for Enrollment and Access
Leslie Taylor serves as Vice President for Enrollment and Access, providing leadership to the Access Center and the Offices of Admissions, Financial Aid, and the Registrar. Taylor has been at Colorado State since 1997, serving in a variety of strategic communications roles focused on student recruitment, diversity and inclusion, and enhancing the institutional image and profile.
From 2013 to 2017, she served in a dual Assistant VP role, reporting to vice presidents of External Relations and Enrollment and Access, and as interim Vice President for Enrollment and Access during the 2017-2018 academic year. She has been a member of the President’s Commission on Diversity and Inclusion since its inception and serves on the Task Force for Native American Initiatives. Taylor earned a BS in human development at the University of Oklahoma, where she also competed on the track and field team. She earned a master’s degree in family and consumer science at the University of Idaho.
Vice President for University Advancement
Kim Tobin joined CSU in 2003 and was appointed vice president in 2017. As vice president, she leads University development efforts and campaign initiatives, alumni and donor relations, University events, and other efforts to build the University’s profile and relationship with donors, alumni, and key constituent groups.
Tobin began her tenure at CSU as the director of development for the College of Natural Resources (now the Warner College), before she went on to lead development efforts for the College of Liberal Arts for nine years. At Colorado State, she has extensive leadership experience in the Division of University Advancement, serving as executive director, assistant vice president, and associate vice president. She has previously served in development positions as Lakehead University, and the University of Toronto. Born and raised in Canada, Tobin earned a bachelor’s of arts from the University of Toronto and a masters of arts from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. She earned her Ph.D. in Higher Education Leadership at Colorado State.
Executive Leadership Team Staff
Chief of Staff and Director of Presidential Communications
Ann Claycomb is Chief of Staff for President Joyce McConnell and Director of Presidential and Administrative Communications in the Office of the President at CSU.
In this role, she oversees strategic implementation of presidential initiatives and communicating President McConnell’s vision and the initiatives of the President’s office to the campus and wider university community. She previously served five years in this same dual role in the Office of the Provost at West Virginia University in Morgantown, West Virginia. Claycomb earned her BA in English literature and psychology from Wellesley College, her MA in English literature from the University of Maryland, and her MFA in fiction writing from WVU. Her first novel, The Mermaid’s Daughter, was published by the William Morrow imprint of Harper Collins in 2017.
Executive Assistant to the President
Emily Lewis serves as the Executive Assistant to the President. She manages President Joyce McConnell’s calendar and engagement opportunities, assists with implementing strategic initiatives, and serves as the point of contact for all inquiries and requests. Prior to joining the President’s Office, Emily held various roles within the Office of the Provost at West Virginia University. She has experience with project coordination, executive-level support, accreditation, and high-level support associated with strategic planning.
Cherí E. O’Neill
President/CEO of the Colorado State University Foundation
Cherí E. O’Neill is President/CEO of the Colorado State University Foundation, which helps promote, develop and enhance CSU by receiving, managing, and investing all contributions, gifts, and bequests given to the university. A veteran foundation, nonprofit, and advancement leader in the higher education arena, O’Neill was most recently President/CEO of the Ball State University Foundation, where she oversaw a team of 75 professionals responsible for development, alumni relations, and stewardship of the endowment. Before that, she was CEO of the 200,000-member Alpha Chi Omega women’s fraternity, its foundation and its housing corporation. For 17 years, O’Neill served in increasingly responsible roles (including admissions, international recruiting, alumni relations, and development) for Indiana University, its Kelley School of Business and its College of Arts and Sciences.