Meet the Presidential Ambassadors!

Savannah Babish – Membership Chair

Hometown: Northglenn
Major/Minor: Business Administration with an Accounting concentration, Minor in Criminal Justice
College: College of Business
Year: Senior
Years of PA Service: Third Year

Colorado State University was a place I felt I could quickly call home, as I was welcomed by the most inspiring people from the moment I stepped foot on campus. Over the course of my time as a student, the CSU community has endlessly invested their resources in students like myself, making it possible to pursue higher education and build brighter futures. The graciousness of CSU donors and alumni inspire me to always be driven to help others succeed and make me proud to be a Ram.

During my time spent at CSU, I have had the chance to be part of incredible organizations that have helped me grow in my educational and professional career. 

Aside from being a Presidential Ambassador, I serve as our District Representative of District VI, for the Council for Advancement and Support of Education Affiliated Student Advancement Programs (CASE ASAP). Through this program, I’ve connected with leaders at several universities across the U.S. and learn about the unique skills and programs each university offers. These organizations have been an incredibly impactful part of my CSU experience and provided the opportunity to give back to this university in more ways than I could’ve imagined.

Ethan Barron

Hometown: Austin, TX
Major/Minor: Biomedical and Mechanical Engineering
College: Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering
Year: Senior
Years of PA Service: First Year

When I first stepped foot on CSU’s campus, I was welcomed with a sense of kindness that made it feel like a second home. I immediately fell in love with the deeply-rooted sense of community that I felt in everyone that I met. After I learned about the number of resources CSU students have: academic, mental, and physical support, I knew that CSU was the right choice for me.

Going into my senior year at CSU, I can happily say that the same sense of community that I first fell in love with has only gotten stronger. I am always surprised by the willingness and dedication that my peers and the CSU faculty have shown me when I need help. I know that if I fall at CSU, there will be plenty of hands to help pick me back up. Rams take care of Rams and that’s why I love CSU!

After I took a tour of the Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering, I knew that I wanted to become an Engineering Student Ambassador so, if I was lucky, I could give one person the same sense of community that my tour guide gave me. I have been an Engineering Student Ambassador since my sophomore year and have made some of my best memories there. I am also involved in the University Honors program and I serve as an undergraduate research assistance in the CardioVascular Biomechanics laboratory. Off campus, I volunteer at the Medical Center of the Rockies in Loveland, Colorado. I am so excited to give back to the University that has given me so much and serve as a Presidential Ambassador this year!

Jonathan Cable

Hometown: Brush, Colorado
Major/Minor: Landscape Architecture | Construction Management (minor)
Year: Junior
Years of PA Service: First Year

Growing up in rural Northeast Colorado, I knew that my choice in higher education would have to align with my passions for community, innovation, and sustainability. With my dad being an Aggie Alumnus, I had early exposure to what it meant to be a Ram, but my first interactions with CSU occurred through CSU Extension and Colorado 4-H.

Through my high school 4-H career, I further developed my passions for leadership, agriculture, and service. CSU's land-grant mission, commitment to Colorado agriculture, and outstanding community were the ultimate decision-makers (and, of course, the beautiful campus). A constant theme of my story is the exceptional support and numerous cheerleaders who have pushed me to pursue opportunities to thrive during my journey.

This team of supporters has included Extension Agents, college ministry leaders, the College of Agricultural Sciences Student Success Team, professors, and academic advisors. The overwhelming encouragement I have received inspires me to give back with the same diligence that I have been shown.

During my time at CSU, I have witnessed a culture of inclusive excellence and the outstanding support of our diverse community. Coming from a small town and being homeschooled, I was unsure how I would find my place in a campus of 35,000 students. Since arriving at CSU, I have enjoyed abundant opportunities for engagement and service. This growth began during my involvement in Key Communities as a first-year student. Key Civic motivated me to break out of my shell, fostering an excitement for applying my purpose.

I have served as an Ag Ambassador, Ag Council representative, member of the Student Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects, and a C.A.N.S. Around the Oval committee member. When I am not in the landscape architecture studio or at a College of Ag event, I also enjoy serving with Mountain View College Ministry. As our resilient community establishes new and innovative ways to engage during this next year, I am thrilled to represent CSU as a Presidential Ambassador. Taking this next step in my journey as a Ram and student leader, I can’t wait to share my story with the numerous university partners who have made my journey successful.

Leslie DeLay

Hometown: Parker, Colorado
Major/Minor: Biomedical and Mechanical Engineering
College: Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering
Year: Senior
Years of PA Service: First Year

I have always had a deep-rooted passion for helping others. This was the driving force behind my decision to pursue an education in the engineering field. Having visited the CSU campus multiple times, I always left with the feeling that CSU truly cares about its students. This focus on care, along with providing my top choice of major, showed me that CSU held the best opportunity for me to grow as both a student and a community leader.

Throughout my time at CSU, I have gained a greater appreciation for the hard work and dedication of others who continue to inspire me to be the best version of myself. I confidently wear Green and Gold knowing that I am a part of the Ram Family, something so much bigger than myself.

When starting out at CSU, I made the decision to strongly invest in my academic studies, but it did not take long to fall in love with the unique community and crave further involvement. Now I am a proud member of the Chi Omega sorority where I am able to continue pursuing philanthropic initiatives, especially through the Make-A-Wish foundation. My first experience with Make-A Wish was in high school and I am so grateful to be able to continue serving these families.

For the past two years, I have been working for the Dean’s Office of the College of Agricultural Sciences where I have experienced a new dynamic of the CSU community. The summer after my sophomore year, I was blessed with the opportunity to travel to Ecuador and team up with the non-profit, Range of Motion Project (ROMP), to serve the local Ecuadorian community prosthetic care. This trip was the perfect collaboration between my love for serving others and my passion for engineering.

Merry Gebretsadik

Hometown: Littleton, Colorado
Major/Minor: Political Science major with a minor in Ethnic Studies
College: Liberal Arts
Year: Junior
Years of PA Service: First Year

During my senior year of high school, I always thought I was going out of state for college. But after stepping foot at Colorado State University for a leadership program, I fell in love with the sense of community that was instantly present. Although I was a bit nervous about stepping out of my comfort zone, the CSU community helped make it a smooth transition. Throughout my time here at CSU, I have realized that I made the right choice! I couldn’t be prouder to call myself a RAM!

When I first came to CSU, I was very hesitant about not being able to find my own community. However, by joining various organizations such as the College of Liberal Arts Ambassador team, Associated Students of Colorado State University, Model UN, and Orientation and Transition Programs, I was able to challenge myself and thrive when it came to my leadership journey.

Through my time at CSU, I have also been able to work as a Resident Assistant which has allowed me to strengthen my communication skills as well as serve the community by assisting first-year students in their transition. Being part of these organizations at CSU has granted me with amazing opportunities that I will forever be thankful for. I am looking forward to serving and growing as a leader with the Presidential Ambassador team!

Taylor Heap – Philanthropy Chair

Hometown: Aurora, CO
Major/Minor: Biomedical Sciences, minor in Chemistry
College: College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
Year: Junior
Years of PA Service: Second Year

As a second-generation CSU student, I have bled green and gold my entire life. I grew up visiting Fort Collins often to support our football team, tour the campus, and see where my parents spent their college years. I never thought that I would attend their alma mater because I didn’t want to be in their shadows. Despite this, choosing CSU has been the greatest decision I have ever made. I am able to pave the way towards my future and follow my passions.

The amount of support from the university and my peers is unparalleled. I can wholeheartedly say that CSU has empowered me to chase my dreams, no matter how impossible they may seem. Every day, I cherish the memories I have made on this campus and am looking forward to making even more this coming year.

During my time here at CSU, I have had so many incredible opportunities to discover my passions and connect with my community, all while growing personally and professionally. As a student in the Honors program, I love engaging with other academically-driven students that challenge each other to think more critically. I am a proud member of Kappa Kappa Gamma, and support the academic success of my sisters as the Vice President of Academic Excellence.

As a CVMBS Ambassador, I connect with prospective CSU students and show them all the reasons why I love CSU. In the Sleep and Metabolism Lab in the college of Health and Human Sciences, I embrace my fascination with science as an undergraduate research assistant. I am so eager to be a part of the Presidential Ambassador team again this year. As Philanthropy Chair, I can’t wait to engage with my peers across campus and celebrate the incredible impact philanthropy has on our campus. I am so excited to be back on campus and can’t wait to see what my second year as a Presidential Ambassador has in store. Go Rams!

Kim King

Hometown: Williamsburg, VA
Major/Minor: Biomedical & Mechanical Engineering
College: Walter Scott Jr. College of Engineering
Year: Senior
Years of PA Service: First Year

I was first drawn to CSU for it’s unique dual-degree biomedical engineering program and amazing Colorado location, but what ended up sealing the deal for me was the overwhelming feeling of support I found while visiting campus. I didn’t know how to describe this feeling at the time, but now I know it’s due to a foundational culture of “Rams take care of Rams”. I witnessed this the day I first toured campus when my father with limited mobility was taken on a private golf cart tour. I again witnessed this culture the day of freshman matriculation when President Frank impressed upon us how important it is to not only get yourself to graduation, but to get the people sitting next to you there as well.

I’m now pleased to say that I not only get to witness this culture in action in and out of the classroom every day, but I now contribute to this culture as a proud CSU Ram.

The knowledge that there is a community of faculty, students, and resources that have my back every step of the way has allowed me to step outside my comfort zone and dive into new and exciting involvements. Some of these include being a student in the University Honors Program; a member of the engineering honors fraternity Tau Beta Pi; and a former member of the club climbing team, despite never having climbed before.

My biggest involvement since my freshman year has been as an Admissions Ambassador where I’ve had the privilege of sharing my student experience with prospective students and their families and I now serve as a student leader within the team. This experience has made me even more excited to continue to serve the University as a Presidential Ambassador!

Lucy Lawrence

Hometown: Centennial, CO
Major: English with a Literature concentration and a Minor in Spanish
College: College of Liberal Arts
Year: Senior
Years of PA Service: First Year

When I began exploring which colleges I wanted to apply to, the most important factor for me was the people I experienced when I visited each university. People are the linchpin of a university—they represent the culture, direction, and impact of a school. When I visited CSU I immediately felt invited into a community that was authentic, warm, and genuine. Old Town Fort Collins is the epitome of what a vibrant college town feels like, and the Rocky Mountains continue to take my breath away (even after 21 years of living in this beautiful state). The community and people of CSU drew me to this campus, and what continues to define my college experience. To find a school that not only offers a world-class education, but one that makes you feel at home when you step onto campus, is a gift I hope I never take for granted.

Since my freshman year at CSU, I’ve been involved in many different areas of campus and the larger Fort Collins community. For the past two years I’ve had the amazing opportunity to work as an Admissions Ambassador for CSU, where I give tours of campus and help future Rams find their home. I’m also involved in the CSU Pre-Medica club, as I am planning to attend medical school once I graduate.

Outside of CSU, I am the director of the special-needs program at Two Rivers Church, where I train volunteers and oversee our program to reach out to special-needs kids and their families in the Fort Collins community. Working with people with special needs is my passion, and I feel so humbled to serve in this capacity while in school. In addition, I have been a part of Spanish Club, taught special-needs children how to swim through a CSU service group, and been a leader in my campus ministry. As I wrap up my time here at CSU, I am so looking forward to finishing this year strong as a Presidential Ambassador, a program I have wanted to be a part of since my freshman year of college.

Ariel Lepard

Hometown: Castle Pines, CO
Major/Minor: Horticulture Business Management
College: College of Agricultural Sciences
Year: Senior
Years of PA Service: First Year

Going to college was something I always had aspirations of pursuing, but never knew if it would be an option as a first-generation student while having to fully fund it on my own. Colorado State University ended up being the only college I applied to, and without even visiting the campus, I accepted my enrollment as soon as I was welcomed as a Ram. This decision was truly life changing. Arriving at CSU for the first time, it instantly felt like home, and through the support of donors and scholarships I was able to be relieved of most of my financial hardship so I could focus my attention towards education. I quickly learned the community of CSU is astonishing in the support you get from each individual, and is something that has constantly comforted me in knowing I will never be alone in the journey to achieve my dreams of being a college graduate. 

The opportunities available seem endless, and I was finally able to see my potential in making an impact on the community, and world.

I have been given many opportunities at CSU that have shaped me into the person I am, and made me passionate about certain interests. I joined the CSU Cheer team for the first three years of college. This past year, I was able to be a part of the first ever female in sports leadership cohort organized by the Rambition organization in athletics. As a student coordinator of all the departments in Quality, my first two years, I worked for a CSU owned non-profit pharmaceutical company called, BioMARC. I now work for the USDA at the National Laboratory for Genetic Resource Preservation on campus as a lab technician in a seed physiology lab, finding the ideal conditions for storing each species in one of the world’s largest seed depositories. The donors and the CSU community have made these experiences possible, making any challenge seem nowhere near as big as the opportunity behind it.

Eric Paricio

Hometown: Centennial, CO
Major/Minor: Masters of Education in Secondary Science
College: Health and Human Sciences
Year: Graduate Student
Years of PA Service: Third Year

In my undergrad at CSU, I was given the opportunity to earn a major in Vocal Music and minors in Physics and Mathematics – all high quality programs at CSU. Now, I am able to pursue a Masters of Education for Secondary Science, while also earning endorsements in Music and Math. As a high schooler – when my sister (a PA alum) decided to attend CSU – I began to look closer at the university’s amazing programs, extraordinary opportunities, and spirited student life. Everywhere I looked, I found successful students, organizations I wanted to join, and a great place to build the foundations for the rest of my life.

On campus, I have served as President, Music Director, and Showcase Coordinator of Bassic A Cappella, arranging music for and directing one of CSU’s all-vocal music student organizations.

Two years ago, my passion for education led me to the Public Achievement program out of CSU’s Student Leadership, Involvement, and Community Engagement (SLiCE) office, a program that reaches into classrooms in the community to increase young people’s involvement in the Fort Collins community. Additionally, I have worked as a tutor for music theory for first, second, and third year music students.

I also occasionally perform on stage in the operas at CSU through the Ralph Opera Center and School of Music. After my time as the PA Philanthropy Chair last year, I am looking forward to taking on the role of Social Media Chair and being a part of this program as we maintain our incredible direction toward major campus- and community-wide impact. I am so thrilled to be part of the Presidential Ambassadors team for a third year, and I’m eager to meet the many people that have made and continue to make my journey here at CSU possible!

Ally Murphy Pauletto

Hometown: Boulder, CO
Major/Minor:  Major: Ecosystem Science and Sustainability; Second Concentration: Latin American
Studies; Minor:  Spanish, International Development
College: College of Liberal Arts
Year: Senior
Years of PA Service: First Year

I moved to Colorado with my family in 2009. I knew that I wanted to attend college in-state, and was thrilled to have the opportunity to attend a thriving university and play Division I women’s soccer. Arriving at CSU, I found myself at home. CSU challenged me intellectually and on the field. I began to integrate myself into the greater CSU campus. As an athlete, we are often placed in a single category. My desire is that more athletes feel empowered to transcend a single label.

Joining ASCSU, the Liberal Arts Dean's Leadership Council, Rambition, and SAAC has allowed me to collaborate with innovative, diverse groups at CSU. Now, as a Presidential Ambassador, I will work to continue the legacy of versatility, leadership, and service.

While at CSU, I found my passion for studying sustainability and societal inequity. I hope to bridge these two and work collectively to offer contemporary and creative solutions that start at the local level. CSU offers an incredible amount of love and support, and am grateful for the guidance of mentors, athletic advisors, and professors. Because of this, my younger brother has chosen Colorado State; he will be joining the Ram family as a freshman. I am proud to make this a family affair.

Camila Podominick

Hometown: Estiva, Minas Gerais, Brazil
Chemical and Biological Engineering / Food Science and Safety; Technical and Science Communication
Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering
Years of PA Service: 
Second Year

I had always dreamt of going to college, even though money was a big obstacle to that dream. In my last year of high school, I was awarded a full-ride scholarship to the Universidade Metodista de Sao Paulo and started working for a science magazine right away. I published articles about education, politics, entertainment, and science for big Brazilian publications – I was even nominated for the Brazilian equivalent of the Pulitzer during that time.

While my career seemed prosperous and bright, I still had the deep desire of living abroad and learning English – which I knew I would never do if I stayed in my comfort zone. I decided to take a break from my journalism career to come to the US. Here, I discovered many new things about myself, including a passion for the beautiful state of Colorado and the fields of science and engineering. With the support of my loving husband, I decided to go back to school and start a new career as a chemical and biological engineer. 

I transferred to Colorado State University in the fall 2018 due to CSU’s tradition of research and core values related to student’s mental health, diversity, and sustainability – the beautiful campus was just a plus! I helped to start the Algae Club, been involved in undergraduate research, became a Genetics teaching assistant, and mentored other international students. CSU has provided me with so many opportunities and I look forward to continuing sharing my gratitude in my second year as a Presidential Ambassador!

Sarah Szostak

Hometown: San Diego, CA
Major/Minor: Health and Exercise Science
College: Health and Human Science
Year: Senior
Years of PA Service: First Year

As a high school senior being recruited for beach volleyball, CSU wasn’t on my radar during my college search. Yet, after two years of living out my dream of being a student athlete at a small college, I wanted something more out of my college experience and began another college search.

My quest quickly ended when I started researching CSU and from over a thousand miles away I found myself falling in love with the campus and Fort Collins. When I finally visited the campus in person, I was met with a community with so much university pride, I knew I wanted to be a CSU Ram.

When beginning my time at CSU, I was quick to get involved in my transfer student residence hall, became a member of Pi Beta Phi sorority, and joined the Recreation Assistant team at the Campus Recreation Center. In addition, I am a member of the Ram Handling Team, where I get to share my unique CSU story with students, alumni, and the community. This role has given me the opportunity to connect with the community as well as embrace CSU traditions.

As a Health an Exercise Science major, I also engage with the community through the Adult Fitness Program and additional health promotion practicums. These versatile experiences have given me the confidence and leadership skills to become the Ram Handling Captain of Membership and serve as both a Building Manager and Outreach Assistant for Campus Recreation coming into Fall 2020. I look forward to these roles as well as the opportunity of serving CSU as a Presidential Ambassador. I am so excited to continue sharing why I am proud to be a CSU Ram!

Briana Tangredi

Hometown: San Diego 
Major/Minor: Animal Sciences 
College: College of Agricultural Sciences 
Year: Graduate Student
Year of PA Service: Second Year

My family traveled to Colorado for vacation every summer, and my love for the state grew yearly, so it was no surprise when I wanted to attend a school in Colorado. I stumbled upon CSU and after hearing how wonderful alumni spoke of the University, this became my number one choice.

I discovered this was a place where I could fulfill my dreams of becoming an Animal Scientist and after visiting, I knew immediately this was where I wanted to spend the next four years. The beauty of the campus was awe inspiring and during my visit it snowed overnight. The first thing I remember seeing was the snow covered trees in the oval and fell in love with the beauty of it all. At first I was nervous about being far away from home and knowing only a few people. 

However, I was excited about all the opportunities and the ability to experience the different seasons that California lacked. I am beyond excited to continue my education as a graduate student this year.

My first year at CSU I joined the professional Sigma Alpha Sorority and the Ram Handler Team, which helped me grow and expand my knowledge in ways I never explored before. My sophomore year, I became a member of the Animal Nutrition Group and worked in the Dean’s Office. This allowed me to gain new experiences outside of the classroom and connect with my fellow peers and faculty. Since then, I have grown to be a leader amongst my peers and have helped conduct transfer orientation sessions for the Animal Science Department. I love being able to mentor new students and help provide a welcoming and community-like atmosphere to this school.

These programs have given me the opportunity to give back to the institution that has given me countless opportunities and above that, a home away from home which I will be forever grateful. This year I start a new experience as a graduate student. I am humbled to be able to serve as a Presidential Ambassador for a second year and represent CSU in such a positive way, extending the same mentorship I received when I came to CSU.

Thany Dykson

Hometown: Fort Collins, CO
Major/Minor:  Fish, Wildlife, Conservation Biology / Spanish / Global & Environmental Sustainability
College: Warner College of Natural Resources
Year:  Senior
Years of PA Service: First Year

Fort Collins was an incredible place to grow up, yet I never imagined the ways that CSU could make me feel engaged, connected, and challenged right in my hometown. I was nervous, to say the least, about diving into college so close to home, but the support I received, and the prestige of the Warner College were two things I could not look past.

Within my first year on campus, I began to realize that I had discovered a whole new side of the town, that I thought I knew, and began to fall in love with my campus and community even more. Choosing CSU has taken my education to different campuses and even different continents and allowed me to break down barriers as I explore the world of conservation.

Throughout my time at CSU I have been fortunate enough to experience the many different facets of this campus through my involvement. I am a member of the University Honors program, where I also serve as an Honors ambassador and help grow and strengthen our cohort. I became involved freshman year with research in the FWCB program, and I continue to conduct research at CSU through my current involvement with the Smith lab in the Biology department.

Some of my favorite experiences in college have come as a result of my study abroad opportunities, and I have been able to share this with other students through my post-travel work as a Gilman Scholar and through involvement with the Education Abroad office as an alumnus. The scholar community I have found as an Anschutz scholar here on campus has supported me since day one, and I look forward to another year of growing and connecting with my fellow scholars and advisors. Finally, I am ecstatic to be a part of the Presidential Ambassador team and diversify my experience at CSU even more through this program.