Join the ASU Women’s Affinity Group

ASU Women’s Affinity Group


We welcome Faculty, Staff, & Students

To join us monthly for a free lunch 12-1

in the Student Union Building (SUB) banquet room


Just check in at La Mesa dining and let them know you are with the Women’s Affinity Group. Then grab a meal and join us in the banquet room. We discuss the upcoming planning for Women’s Week; the newly developing Women’s, Genders & Sexualities Center; women’s equality; equal pay; and other topics of need for women at ASU.

Meetings dates Fall 2016 semester:

October 14th, 2016

November 4th, 2016

December 2nd, 2016


Faculty Spotlight



Rural Place-based Biology

During certain times of the year you will find Dr. Kristy Duran in the midst of Chompe (local Spanish term) bushes, picking the little red berries. Though small in size this berry has many uses. It is traditionally used for both food and medicine. It is there bathed in the orange and red light of the Rocky Mountain sunsets that she connects her culture to her work.

Dr. Duran is a biologist and associate professor at Adams State University (ASU). In this small rural university in southern Colorado place-based research is a staple for many professors. The San Luis Valley, where ASU is located, is a vast treasure trove of opportunities for research in all the sciences.

Dr. Duran comes from a very small town that boasts only 740 residents. The town is also home to doctors, educators, activists, environmentalists, and others invested in making their little part of the world a better place.

“I really try to embody the things my mom and grandmother have taught me. I try to live that and help cultivate the next generation.” – Kristy Duran

As a professor in a rural area Dr. Duran finds that the small class sizes make it easier to connect with her students and help them find connections to this place she calls home. For example Dr. Duran has been teaching at ASU for the past seven years. She said it has been a dream to be able to return the Valley and teach. In 2013 Dr. Duran founded the SACNAS club for ASU students. In 2015 the club was officially recognized as a new student chapter of the SACNAS organization. The national organization was established to increase diversity in STEM fields and stands for the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in STEM.

On the ASU campus students have come to know the SACNAS club through their participation in fairs, homecoming activities, STEM Saturdays, and student orientation. Dr. Duran has provided the SACNAS club members with the opportunity to participate in community work through the Bureau of Land Management programs in the San Luis Valley.

Dr. Duran also takes her SACNAS students to the annual conference. This year students were exposed to different fields in STEM and learned about several career paths for PhD’s. Dr. Duran said that because of that experience many of her SACNAS students are now considering graduate school.

When I asked Dr. Duran what mentoring students means to her she said, “Everyone has the power to create and discover and It’s my job to help unleash that power.”

Among her many accomplishments, earlier this year Dr. Duran was honored for her community work and inducted as an SLV Corn Mother along with six other Valley women.


Dr. Duran teaches Gen Bio, introduction to biology, environmental science, plant ecology, plant physiology, plant systematics, vegetation and habitats, and bio geology.


To learn about Dr. Duran click on the highlighted links in this article to see videos and related websites.



ASU Wellness Week begins October 31

wellness week text from top of poster promoting events

This is the second year the Adams State Univeristy Rex Fitness and Wellness Center has organized events to promote health and wellness. Jessica Chacon, fitness and wellness coordinator, coordinated with campus clubs and departments and community organizations to host events and workshops.


Glow in the Dark Halloween Party
Costume contest and games
7 p.m. until 10 p.m.
Rex Fitness and Wellness Center

Blacklight Bouldering
7 p.m. until 9:30 p.m.
Rex Climbing Wall


Free Faculty/Staff Chair Massages
10 a.m. until 2 p.m.
Richardson Hall first floor

Pokemon Sprawl
6 p.m. until 7:30 p.m.
Start at North Campus Green/The Rock
Sponsored by Chi Sigma Iota

8:30 p.m. until 9:30 p.m.
Rex Fitness and Wellness Center


Fire & Inspire
Conscious Cultural Cooking
SLV Local Foods Mobile Kitchen
12 p.m. until 1 p.m.
CASA Center

Emotional Wellness Workshop ($10)
Essential Oils, mudras and meditation
7 p.m. until 8:30 p.m.
Body Tune-Up, 420 State St.

8 p.m. until 8:50 p.m.
Rex Fitness and Wellness Center


Mental and Emotional Fitness Fair
Wellness Screenings and more
10 a.m. until 2 p.m.
All services are free
Student Union Building Mall Court

Mindfulness Meditation
5:30 p.m.
Student Life Center
Sponsored by United Campus Ministry

Paws and Relax Dog Therapy
6 p.m. until 7 p.m.
Nielsen Library first floor
Sponsored by ASU Counseling Center

Aeriel Silks and AcroYoga Workshop
7 p.m. until 9:30 p.m.
Rex Fitness and Wellness Center


Free coffee and tea
8 a.m. until 11 a.m.
Japanese/American Memorial Garden
Sponsored by Milagros Coffee House


Penitente Rock Climbing Day
Free to members/first year students
$10 non-member/community
7:30 a.m. until 4 p.m.
Sign-up with Rex Fitness and Wellness Center

Holiday Craft and Wellness Fair
9 a.m. until 4 p.m.
Plachy Hall Field House
Sponsored by Adams State Classified Employees Council and FitWell

CEC Annual Chili Cook-Off
11 a.m. until 1 p.m.
Plachy Hall Field House


Ultimate Frisbee Tournament
Rex Intramurals
2 p.m. until 6 p.m.
North Campus Green

For more information call the Rex Fitness and Wellness Center at 719-587-8085

Equal pay for women

On October 24th 1975 I was only a year old. My mother wasn’t thinking about what I would be when I grew up: she was just enjoying my being adorable. But when she did start to imagine my future she pictured me going off to college, which I did. She also pictured me getting a wonderful job that gave me a sense of purpose, which I have. However, she never imagined that as a Latina I would make 46% less than a white man, and 21% less than a white woman.

Sadly that is the case for many women, especially women of color. The women in Iceland decided to do something about this wage gap and on October 24th 1975, 90% of Icelandic women walked off their jobs in strike. This one action changed the course of their country.

A year after the walk out Iceland formed their Gender Equality Council. This group of individuals was able to pass the Gender Equality Act that made gender discrimination illegal. Five years later Iceland elected its first female president, Vigdis Finnbogadottir, who held office for four terms.

In America today women make up 47% of the labor force (according to a white house report) and if we went on strike it would bring our economy to a halt.

Wage Gap by Race

wage gap

A Closer Look at the Numbers by Race

Using a single benchmark provides a more informative picture. Because non-Hispanic white men are the largest demographic group in the labor force, they are often used for that purpose. AAUW uses two different data sources for earnings ratios by race/ethnicity. For African AmericanAsian American, and Latina and Hispanic women, we follow the Current Population Survey (CPS). Because the CPS lacks sufficient sample size for smaller demographic groups, we follow the American Community Survey (ACS) for Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander, American Indian, and Alaska Native women.

Compared with salary information for white male workers, Asian American women’s salaries show the smallest gender pay gap, at 85 percent of white men’s earnings. The gap was largest for Hispanic and Latina women, who were paid only 54 percent of what white men were paid in 2015 (below).

wage by race

Student Debt, Race, and the Pay Gap

The gender pay gap persists across educational levels and is worse for African American and Hispanic women, even among college graduates. As a result, women who complete college degree are less able to pay off their student loans promptly, leaving them paying more and for a longer time than men.

debt by race

Despite the gains women have made in the workforce, the pay gap persists. Individuals in the workforce, community, and government have the ability to help chip away at the pay gap.


Related Links:

Diversity at ASU


ASU Women’s Blog

ASU Women’s and gender studies facebook

ASU Women’s and gender studies degree


Get out and Vote – Movie screening of SELMA


In an effort to encourage voters to get to the voting box

ASU hosts movie screening of


Starring David Oyelowo

 A thrilling chronicle of Martin Luther King’s campaign to secure equal voting rights for African Americans in a march from Selma to Montgomery Alabama

Tuesday, November 1st

6:00 pm

Mc Daniel Hall Auditorium (MCD) 101

There will be an after film discussion

This event is sponsored by CEILO: Community for Inclusion, Equity, Leadership and Opportunity

Get out and Vote – Movie screening of Iron Jawed Angels


iron jawed angels 2

In an effort to get more people registered to vote,

and encourage voters to get to the voting box

ASU will be hosting a movie screening of the film

“Iron Jawed Angels” starring Hilary Swank.

The film will be shown in MCD 101
Monday, October 17th
5:30-6:00 will be voter registration
6:00-8:00 film showing
8:00-9:00 after film discussion
This is a non-partisan event meant to encourage voting and open a dialogue about voting rights, women’s rights, and other topics attendees wish to discuss.
Please feel free to invite others. Hope to see you there!
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ASU Celebrates Genders and Sexualities Week

Adams State University will hold it’s first Genders and Sexualities Week from October 10-14, 2016.


Monday, October 10

  • Anti-Discrimination Training (lunch provided)

    • Bystander intervention presentation led by AnnMarie Bennett, Ana Guevara, and Dianne Lee
    • 12pm, MCD 101
  • “Allyship” Talk

    • Ryan Anderson and Dr. James Doyle; introduction by Dr. Nick Saenz
    • 4:30pm, MCD 101
  •  “Sanluiseño Community Leaders and Their Sense of Place” (dinner provided)
    • A panel discussion featuring Curtis Garcia, Visiting Assistant Professor of Teacher Education, and Justin Garoutte, Executive Director of Conejos Clean Water; moderated by Maria McMath; introduction by Dr. Nick Saenz
    • 6pm, MCD 316

Tuesday, October 11

  • Safe Zone Training
    • Presentation given by Lis Tomlin and Dr. Penny Sanders
    • 1-4pm, MCD 101
  • National Coming Out Day Celebration
    • Free food and celebration honoring all stories
    • Coordinated by Megan Benfield
    • 3pm, Center for Inclusivity (SUB)
  • Chrysalis: A Trans* Narrative
    • A presentation by special guest Edie Recker; introduction by Dr. Robert Kirk
    • 4:30pm, MCD 10

Wednesday, October 12

  • Snow Cone Social
    • Hosted by the LGBTQ+ Faculty/Staff Affinity Group
    • 1-3pm, MCD Solarium
  • Model UN Poster Presentation: Showcasing LGBTQ+ Worldwide
    • 1-3pm, MCD Solarium
  • Sex in the Dark
    • Panel of SEXperts answer all the audience’s anonymous questions!
    • Featuring Monica Brown, Chris Frizell, Dr. Bethany Kolb, Dr. Penny Sanders,and Scott White; moderated by Lis Tomlin; introduction by Ana Guevara
    • 7pm, Carson Auditorium (SUB)

Thursday, October 13

  • HB2 and LGBT Issues in the 2016 Election: Panel Discussion

    • Featuring Dr. Robert Demski, Ana Guevara, Edie Recker, and Dr. Penny Sanders; moderated by Foula Dimopoulos; introduction by Megan Benfield
    • 6pm, Carson Auditorium (SUB)

Friday, October 14

  • Pride Party
    • Free food, games, and more!
    • Hosted by ASU Pride and Multicultural Student Governance, sponsored by Student Life
      7-10pm, The Loft

Adams State receives NSF grant to advance women faculty in the sciences

The National Science Foundation (NSF) recently awarded a grant of $249,571 to support the three-year project, “Advancing Women in STEM through Institutional Transformation at Adams State University.” Funded by the NSF ADVANCE IT-Catalyst program, the project aims to increase diversity and gender equity among Adams State’s faculty in the social and behavioral sciences and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics).

The resulting plan will include strategies to improve the recruitment, retention, and advancement of women faculty, and in particular of Latinas. By providing more role models, the program will ultimately inspire more young women to pursue careers in these fields.

“We are committed to building on Adams State University’s history and present commitment to inclusive excellence. This institutional transformation development project supports the goals of our ASU 2020 strategic plan,” said project director Dr. Chris Gilmer, vice president for Academic Affairs. “The resulting plan will help us build a more diverse faculty in STEM and the social and behavioral sciences.”

The project dovetails with work done by Adams State’s Title V projects and CIELO group to address diversity and equity issues. As a federally designated Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI), the university has been awarded several Title V grants, with five now underway. CIELO is Adams State’s Community for Inclusive Excellence, Leadership & Opportunity.

The ADVANCE project will be devoted to institutional self-assessment, review and revision of university policies and procedures, and implementation of a faculty mentoring initiative. It will identify best practices, share research results, and develop approaches to advancing faculty diversity. Gilmer noted the project’s results will benefit disciplines across campus.

By Julie Waechter

Adams State Athlete Named Woman of the Year

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Adams State’s Lauren Martin is the 2015-16 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Woman of the Year.

Martin, an exceedingly accomplished cross country and track & field student-athlete, is the second recipient of the RMAC Woman of the Year. She is also nominated for the 26th annual NCAA Woman of the Year Award.

“I love Alamosa and Adams State,” Martin said. “This place has always been my home. This community has supported me my entire life and I want to continue to pay it forward.”

The NCAA Woman of the Year Award honors graduating student-athletes who have distinguished themselves throughout their collegiate careers in the areas of academic achievement, athletics excellence, community service and leadership.

Martin is a political science major with a 3.78 grade-point average in her undergraduate studies. She’s also pursued a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) with an emphasis in Leadership, racking up a 3.90 GPA in her graduate studies.

Her achievements in the classroom, combined with her athletic endeavors, have made her a four-time CoSIDA Academic All-American in cross country and a three-time Academic All-American in track and field. She was an RMAC Scholar-Athlete selection last year. She’s also landed on the RMAC All-Academic list in both cross country and track and field four straight years.

“As a high school athlete, I could only dream of being on the Adams State University team and making an athletic contribution,” Martin said. “Being an average runner in high school required me to dedicate myself to training, follow my coach’s guidance and learn from the great mentors who were part of the running family. It was this winning combination that resulted in my athletic success.”

Her academic prowess led her to be selected, along with four other Adams State students, to produce an economic feasibility study on the impact of athletics on the campus.

Of course, many of those honors took into account her many impressive achievements as an athlete at Adams State.

Martin ended her career as a four-time National Champion, including two national titles at the 2016 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track and Field Championships. She won both the 10,000-Meter race and the 5,000-Meter race this season. She accomplished the same feat in 2014.

Along with her national titles, she was also a nine-time All-American, including once in cross country in 2012. She was also a five-time RMAC champion, winning the 10k conference title this season.

Outside of her work in the classroom and in competition, Martin was also a valuable member of the Alamosa, Colorado community and the Adams State campus. She was the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) Vice-President at Adams State, helping give the ASU student-athletes a voice at the NCAA level.

She served in a number of community programs, including the Special Olympics, which she volunteered for eight weeks each spring. She also served as a guest speaker at local elementary schools.

“The confidence I gained in running provided me the courage to be a leader in the Special Olympics program in my community,” Martin said. “For eight weeks each spring my relationships grew with these athletes as they prepared for competition and my heart was warmed as they gave it their all for me as a coach.”

Her community service volunteer experience spanned from Earth Day clean-ups to meal prep for La Puente, a local homeless shelter.

All conference nominees will be forwarded to the NCAA Woman of the Year selection committee. The selection committee will choose the top 10 nominees in each division. From among those 30 honorees, the selection committee will determine the top three in each division.