Junior student-athletes attend Backpacks to Briefcases

Deputy A.D. John Morris

Deputy A.D. John Morris

March 28, 2013

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FORT COLLINS, Colo. - The Colorado State athletic department hosted its inaugural "Backpacks to Briefcases" dinner Wednesday at the Drake Centre for about 90 student-athletes.

The event is designed as a way to connect junior student-athletes with mentors in their desired career areas, and is part of a career planning program established by the Academic Services office. The 60 mentors in attendance were chosen by fields of interest expressed by the student-athletes, and included Ram Club members, former student-athletes and prominent community members.

The keynote speaker was Dean of Colorado State's College of Liberal Arts, Dr. Ann Gill. Gill discussed two main themes with the student-athletes: networking and self-confidence. Networking was a major component of the event, as the student-athletes were given the opportunity to converse with experienced members of the work force over a meal.

Gill told the students that the experience they have gained as a student athlete is invaluable.

"You may feel your resume is short because you have spent three years in school playing a sport, not gaining job experience," Gill said. "Students, I am here to tell you your resume is long. You have experienced teamwork at its highest level. You have been a leader at the highest and lowest points in your career. You have dealt with success and failure, and never quit." 

Gill went on to tell the students to "have confidence," and said that, "Confidence doesn't require good looks on the outside, confidence comes from the inside. Everyone has it. It is up to you to display it."

Other speakers at the event were Deputy Athletics Director John Morris and Colorado State's Director of Career Services, Jeremy Podany.

List of mentors in attendance:
Tyler Abbott - US Fish & Wildlife
Tom Anderson - Doctor, OCR
Andrew Bercich - Talent Attraction Advisor, Charles Schwab
Steve Broman - MD, Associates in Family Medicine
Gary Buffington - Director of Larimer Co. Natural Resources
Jack Capp - US Fish & Wildlife
Jodi Corney - Manager, The Buckle
Amber Curtis - Nurse Practitioner, Medical Center of the Rockies
Chris Dempsey - Sports Writer for Denver Post, Host for 104.3 The Fan
Jim & Kristie Docheff - Owners, Diamond D Dairy
Doug & Connie Dohn - Owners, Dohn Construction
Ryan Donovan - Instructor, CSU
Tim Dow - Lawyer, Tim Dow Law Firm
Laurie Ehlers - Speech Language Pathologist, Thompson School District
Rich Feller - Professor, CSU
Ed Frease - Retired Military, RAAA Board Member
Travis Garcia - Firefighter, Poudre Fire Authority
Ann Gill - Dean, College of Liberal Arts
Denny Hagele - Former VP of Finance and Corporate Controller, The Timberland Company
Connie Hanrahan - Owner, Mantooth Company
Tom Hilbert - Head Volleyball Coach, CSU
Brian Hoffman - Physicians Assistant - OCR
Franke Johnson - Lieutenant, CSUPD
Brian Lacey - Agency Manager, Country Financial
Ben Lorenzen - General Manager, Nelligan Sports Marketing
Mike & Jamie MacKenzie - High School Teachers & Coaches
Sonja Modesti - Personal Trainer, Raintree Athletic Club
Brooke Mynatt - Manager, The Buckle
Shawn Osthoff - Executive VP for Bank of Colorado
Doug Peden - RAAA Board Member and High School Educator
Amy Pezzani - Executive Director, Food Bank for Larimer County
Brian Roth - Play by Play Voice, CSU; GM for Ingrum Sports Production Network
Aaron Sanchez - Asst. Director, Enterprise Rent a Car
Todd Sandstedt - FBI Agent
Ryan Schleisman - Chiropractor, Ft Collins Chiropractic Associates
Avalan Thomsen - Raw Materials Developer, Spyder Active Sports
Gene Vaughan- Broker/Owner, Remax
Steve Wade - Physical Therapist
Ryan Wulff - Dean of Students, Fossil Ridge High School

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