Office of Engagement and Extension
Vice President for Engagement and Extension
Dr. Blake Naughton joined Colorado State University December 1, 2019 as the Vice President for Engagement and Extension. He previously held the role of Associate Vice Chancellor for Extension and Engagement / University of Missouri System Chief Engagement Officer at University of Missouri, Columbia. Blake earned a BS in Science, Technology and Society at Stanford University, a Master of Education at Harvard University, and PhD in Administration and Policy Analysis at Stanford University.
Assistant Vice President for Engagement and Extension, Executive Director of CSU Extended Campus
Dr. Chris LaBelle joined the Colorado State University Online team in August 2019. In his current role, he leads CSU Online, Professional Education, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and the Collaboration Campuses. Chris brings over twenty years of experience in online learning and professional development to the team. He holds an Ed.D. from Boise State and MA from UCLA.
Director of Communications
Julee Stephenson oversees the comprehensive strategic communication plan for Office of Engagement and Extension. She brings over twenty-five years of experience in delivering communications and community engagement strategies. She previously served as leader of corporate affairs for a regulated utility company and currently serves on the Dean's Advisory Board for Boston University College of Arts & Sciences and as a development committee volunteer for Emergency Family Assistance Association (EFAA) in Boulder.
Director of Development, Office of Engagement and Extension
Executive Director, Colorado 4-H Foundation
Rochelle Platter leads fundraising efforts for OEE which includes CSU Extension, CSU Extended Campus and several of its specialty programs including 4-H Youth Development and Colorado Water Center.
Ali Eccleston is the Development Coordinator in the Office of Engagement and Extension. Ali's primary responsibility is supporting fundraising efforts across the division. Ali brings over 14 years of nonprofit experience in development planning, campaign management, donor impact and stewardship. Ali previously has served in roles varying from consultant to Executive Director. Ali received her Bachelor of Science degree from Colorado State University and is an active volunteer in the community.
Executive Assistant to Blake Naughton
Megan Griffith is the Executive Assistant to the Vice President for Engagement and Extension. She has been at CSU since September of 2013, spending four years supporting leadership in the College of Agricultural Sciences and two years in corporate and foundation relations with the College of Natural Sciences. Megan has a B.A. in English from Dickinson College and a M.A. in English Literature, Culture and Media Studies from University of Vermont.
Yvonne Bridgeman is the Operations Manager for the Office of Engagement and Extension. She is responsible for internal reporting, budgets, human resources, and manages special projects as directed by the Vice President. Yvonne has been with CSU since 2001, and has a B.A. in Sociology from CSU.
Associate Director for Engaged Research
Dr. Dawn Thilmany, Associate Department Head and Professor in Department of Agriculture & Resource Economics holds a half-time joint appointment with Office of Engagement and Extension serving as Associate Director for Engaged Research in the Office of Community and Economic Development. In this role she collaborates with Community & Economic Development and with the Director of the Regional Economic Development Institute (REDI) to advance CSU initiatives in community and economic development. She is an Extension Economist Specialist, and is working in partnership with multiple CSU divisions to develop onboarding and best practices for new scholars, staff and students for applying their field expertise into engaged research opportunities.
Engagement Program Manager
Geniphyr Ponce-Pore, M.S., M.Ed.,
serves as the program manager for engagement for the Office of Engagement and Extension. In this role, she provides support for the Provost’s Council for Engagement and supports strategic initiatives and projects that advance engagement across the university, including professional development, campus-wide events, and industry and community partnerships.
Director, Community Development
Patti Schmitt serves as the community development director for the Office of Engagement and Extension, working closely with Colorado communities to address complex social, health, economic and safety challenges. Additionally, she is the director of a unique leadership program called the Family Leadership Training Institute (FLTI) of Colorado at CSU Extension. FLTI is a unique leadership program that targets community members traditionally underserved and focuses on bridging the gap between decision makers and community members so that communities can better learn, plan and act together.
102 University Square Building
Martha Thomas, M.S.
The Office of Engagement & Extension provides free data and market research reports to decision-makers in industry, education and government throughout Colorado. As Data Coordinator, Martha is responsible for the timely fulfillment of all requests using the office’s economic development databases and CSU’s extensive resources. To make a request, contact Martha directly or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Regional Engagement Center Leadership
Karen Ramey-Torres is Director of the Northeast Regional Engagement Center in Sterling, Colorado. She is a graduate of Colorado State University with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Ramey-Torres is a native of northeast Colorado with a strong history of community involvement.
Jill Garber is Director of the Regional Engagement Center at the Sturm Collaboration Campus in Castle Rock, Colorado. Prior to coming to CSU she was the Director of Extension Campuses at Arapahoe Community College and helped to open the Castle Rock Campus in the fall of 2011.
Colorado Water Center Leadership
Interim Director, Colorado Water Center
Jennifer Gimbel currently serves as the interim director of the Colorado Water Center. She joined CSU as a senior water policy scholar focused on Colorado River issues and curriculum development. Jennifer was the principal deputy assistant secretary for water and science for the U.S. Department of Interior from 2014 to 2016, and also served as director of the Colorado Water Conservation Board from 2008 to 2013. She has a bachelor of science and Juris Doctorate from the University of Wyoming and a master of science from the University of Delaware, and has authored numerous articles and presentations on state and federal water law.
Water Center bio
Associate Director, Colorado Water Center
Julie Kallenberger serves as associate director of the Colorado Water Center, assisting in leading and ensuring execution of the Center’s research and education programs and outreach activities. She also facilitates the Poudre Runs Through It Study Action Work Group and the Water Literate Leaders of Northern Colorado Program. Prior to joining CSU in 2008, Julie worked on water and natural resources-related issues in Colorado's government and private sectors including USDA-ARS, West Greeley Conservation District, and Colorado Parks and Wildlife. She holds a bachelor of science degree from South Dakota State University and a master of science from CSU.
Water Center bio
CJ Mucklow serves as the northwest region director and interim director of field operations for Colorado State University Extension. CJ’s served as a regional director since 2011 and assumed the additional interim responsibilities for Extension’s field operations across Colorado in January 2021. CJ started his 30+ CSU career as a 4-H/agriculture Agent in Elbert County and also has served as an agent at the Routt County Extension Office.
CSU Extended Campus Leadership