Leadership Fellows Program

The Leadership Fellows Program is a professional development opportunity designed to help participants strengthen their leadership skills, enhance their understanding of higher education, and gain experience that will benefit them in their current and future positions. Each Fellow works closely with a senior mentor (e.g. Vice President) during the academic year to complete a time-intensive project in a specific area of focus. The Fellows also meet regularly as a cohort to share the successes and challenges of their experiences, learn from one another, and offer feedback to the program coordinators. 2021 is the first year pilot of the program at Colorado State University.

Apply to be 2022-2023 Fellow

2021-2022 Leadership Fellows

Areas of Focus

  • Culture Change and Strategic Planning Implementation, Office of the President
  • Internal Communications, University Communications
  • Community Development, Office of Engagement and Extension
  • Strategic Planning, Office of the Vice President for Research
  • Basic Needs/Food Insecurity, Student Affairs
  • Campus Engagement, Information Technology

Detailed fellowship descriptions

Fellows and Mentors

  • Erika Benti, Transportation Professional, Parking and Transportation Services; Project: Internal Communications; Mentor: Yolanda Bevill
  • Allison Cantwell, Associate Director of Research, Institute for Research in Social Sciences; Project: Strategic Transformation and Planning; Mentor: Alan Rudolph
  • Sonali Diddi, Associate Professor of Design and Merchandising; Core Affiliate Faculty Member, School of Global Environmental Sustainability; Project: Community Development; Mentor: Blake Naughton
  • Andrea Duffy, Special Assistant Professor, College of Liberal Arts; Project: Strategic Planning; Mentor: Jenelle Beavers
  • Emma Eckley, Developer, Student Information Systems Team, Information Systems Department; Project: IT Strategic Planning; Mentor: Brandon Bernier
  • Amber Krummel, Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry, College of Natural Sciences; Project: Strategic Transformation and Planning; Mentor: Alan Rudolph
  • Scott Shrake, Director, Institute for Entrepreneurship, College of Business; Project: Strategic Planning; Mentor: Jenelle Beavers
  • Elizabeth Sink, Master Teaching Instructor, Communication Studies Department, College of Liberal Arts; Project: Basic Needs & Food Insecurity; Mentor: Blanche Hughes

Fellows’ Bios

Erika Benti

Transportation Professional, Parking and Transportation Services

Project: Internal Communications
Mentor: Yolanda Bevill, Vice President for University Communications

Bio: Erika Benti is an active transportation professional with CSU Parking and Transportation Services. For the past four years she has worked connecting students to sustainable transportation options and working with an amazing team to develop innovative safety, education and encouragement programs at CSU, including the President’s Vision Zero Task Force, Rams Ride Right and CSU Moves. A proud CSU graduate (’07), Erika has 11 years of experience in the field of transportation demand management in Portland, Denver, Los Angeles and now Fort Collins. She currently serves as president of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Association for Commuter Transportation. She loves spending time outdoors with husband Matt and two-year-old son, Charlie.

Erika Benti

Allison Cantwell

Associate Director of Research, Institute for Research in Social Sciences

Project: Strategic Transformation and Planning
Mentor: Alan Rudolph

Bio: Allison M. Cantwell is associate director of research for the Institute for Research in the Social Sciences (IRISS) and faculty affiliate in the Department of Sociology at CSU. She joined IRISS in 2019 and has collaborated with a number of faculty, staff, graduate students, and community partners to design and implement data collection and analysis for actionable recommendations. Cantwell joined CSU after seven years at the University of California where she most recently served as Assistant Vice Chancellor of Institutional Research at UC, Riverside. Her career in higher education has focused on leveraging data to tell stories in support of strategic decision-making, program improvement, and student success.

Allison Cantwell

Sonali Diddi

Associate Professor, Department of Design and Merchandising; Core Affiliate Faculty Member, School of Global Environmental Sustainability

Project: Community Development
Mentor: Blake Naughton

Bio: Sonali Diddi is an associate professor in the Department of Design and Merchandising and core faculty in the School of Global Environmental Sustainability. Her research focuses on sustainable clothing production and consumption. Her research-based, interdisciplinary, and systems thinking-informed approach to sustainability-related issues in the textiles and apparel industry recognizes its ever-changing dimensions in an increasingly diverse and challenged society and global economy. Sonali seeks ways to engage with the local community to gain a sense of the broader relevance of her research. She was an expert consultant for BBC Radio (UK), New York Academy of Sciences and invited international speaker for numerous events. Outside work, Sonali enjoys cooking and sharing it with family and friends.

Andrea Duffy

Special Assistant Professor, College of Liberal Arts

Project: Strategic Planning
Mentor: Jenelle Beavers

Bio: Andrea Duffy has been teaching at CSU since Fall 2010 and has served as director of International Studies since Fall 2013. She holds a B.A. in Modern European History from Princeton University and a Ph.D. from Georgetown University with specializations in European, Middle Eastern, Ottoman, and environmental histories. She has studied nearly a dozen languages, has lived in France and Turkey, and has visited more than 30 countries across five continents. She has a thirst for knowledge, curiosity about the wider world, and passion for international experiences and intercultural interaction. She continues to learn and to travel whenever she can. In her spare time, she enjoys rock climbing, hiking, and ultra-running.

Emma Eckley

Developer, Student Information Systems Team, Information Systems Department

Project: IT Strategic Planning
Mentor: Brandon Bernier

Bio: Emma Eckley is a developer on the Student Information Systems team within the Division of IT. Since 2019, she has supported the Joint Banner Project to integrate student systems and IT-supported business processes between CSU-Fort Collins and CSU-Pueblo. Emma earned her bachelor’s in wildlife biology and master’s in computer information systems from CSU. She began her career in Geographic Information Systems, before transitioning to her current role. Emma is an avid backpacker of the Gore Range and spends many weekends exploring its alpine lakes with her husband. She is learning to hunt and is excited to support her protein diet from sources provided by the land. Emma also enjoys experimenting with plant-based recipes.

Emma Eckley

Amber Krummel

Associate professor, Department of Chemistry, College of Natural Sciences, and CSU Monfort Professor

Project: Strategic Transformation and Planning
Mentor: Alan Rudolph

Bio: Amber Krummel is an associate professor of chemistry and associate chair of operations in the Chemistry Department. Her research focuses on interrogating chemical structures and dynamics in complex environments, using nonlinear vibrational spectroscopy and imaging techniques, applying ultrafast laser development, nonlinear spectroscopy and microscopy to address questions in biology and materials science. Krummel is a Monfort Professor whose work has been recognized nationally, including the Sloan Research Fellowship, NSF CAREER Award, and DOE Early Career Award. She teaches courses spanning introductory chemistry to upper-level graduate courses in physical chemistry and spectroscopy. Outside work, she serves on national and international executive committees in her field and maintains industrial partnerships within the energy industry.

Scott Shrake

Director, Institute for Entrepreneurship, College of Business

Project: Strategic Planning
Mentor: Jenelle Beavers

Bio: Scott Shrake serves as executive director of CSU’s Institute for Entrepreneurship in the College of Business promoting entrepreneurship, innovation, business development, and commercialization for students, faculty, and community members across Northern Colorado. He also oversees the College of Business executive education program, helping create cutting-edge programing in areas where CSU is world class. In the classroom, he serves as an affiliate faculty member for the Richardson Design Center, teaching introductory and capstone courses in Design Thinking.  Scott earned his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh’s Sustainability and Green Design Group.  Outside work, Scott enjoys biking the Colorado mountains or spending time outdoors with his wife and their dogs.

Scott Shrake

Elizabeth Sink

Master Teaching Instructor, Communication Studies Department, College of Liberal Arts

Project: Basic Needs & Food Insecurity
Mentor: Blanche Hughes

Bio: Elizabeth Sink is a master teaching faculty in Communication Studies with a passion for facilitating healthy engagement across diverse identities. She has taught at CSU since 2004. Elizabeth’s teaching practice strives to promote investigation of one’s own cultural identity, to develop communication-based competencies, and to advance students’ motivation for effective positive involvement in communities. Her scholarship and curriculum-development advances inclusive communication and practical engagement between people who orient differently around religious and non-religious beliefs. Elizabeth and family also enjoy backpacking and camping. She is a dog-person who enjoys deep breaths, traveling, rock painting, water sports, microwavable slippers (for her forever-cold toes), bluegrass music and acapella singing at the Colorado Renaissance Festival.

Elizabeth Sink