Monthly Archives

July 2019

Guest Blog: Nothing comes from nothing

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My name’s Andy Auer, and I’m the new volunteer coordinator for the Poudre Heritage Alliance. I’m 24, and my pronouns are they/them/theirs. I’m going to be helping Jordan out at the office and at various PHA tabling events – I hope to get to know all of our amazing volunteers, hopefully sooner than later!

I grew up in southern California, and moved to Colorado in 2013, when I started school at Colorado State University. I graduated in May 2017, with a BS in geology and a minor in history. During my time at CSU, I was highly involved in various student organizations, including Geology Club, Gender Identity Group, and Prism (a group for LGBT+ students), as well as serving as an ASCSU senator for the Pride Resource Center in my senior year. I value these experiences for how they’ve strengthened my communication skills, as well as enabling me to take on further responsibilities and opportunities.

After graduating, I’ve continued my involvement in the Fort Collins community, and am currently the president of the Fort Collins Running Club and on the board of NoCo Equality, as well as working in Fort Collins and Livermore, CO.

 I completed Heritage Culturalist Volunteer training with PHA in 2018, and I’m excited to be contributing more to the organization in the role of Volunteer Coordinator.

The study and interpretation of history is really important to me. One of my history professors at CSU was fond of saying “nothing comes from nothing” – meaning that who and where we are today is built atop everything that’s come before. In geology, we took that rather more literally, but still found it to be true. The Poudre Heritage Alliance is an interesting place to work, because we are always trying to focus on how the history of the area has led to our present, and how best we can continue interpreting that history into the future.

The Cache la Poudre National Heritage Area is at the intersection of many different communities, and has been since before recorded history. I’m looking forward to working with the Poudre Heritage Alliance volunteers to expand the general public’s knowledge of the Cache la Poudre National Heritage Area. I’m also excited about learning more about its history and engaging with the National Heritage Area’s stakeholders as they discuss, debate, and make plans for its current and future management.

Guest Blog: Life is a journey that leads us to parts unknown

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by Vanessa Villegas Selwyn, PhD

I grew up in a southwest border town less than an hour drive from Juarez, Mexico.  Las Cruces, New Mexico, is an area is rich with Latinx (Mexican) and Native American history and culture. As a child, I was exposed to my mothers Mexican and Native American heritage alongside my father’s Jewish and German heritage.  Being multicultural with several intersecting identities has led me to champion diversity.  Recently, I have served as president to Todos Juntos (Latinx Graduate Group), a founding member of Graduate Students of Color, a Diversity Coordinator for the Colorado State University Graduate School, the advisor to QWEEN (Queer Women Engaged in an Encouraging Nexus) and taken part in a plethora of multicultural events. Throughout my journey, I have striven to promote and support diversity while initiating inclusive policies.

Fort Collins became my home in 2011. I came to Fort Collins to pursue a PhD at Colorado State University. My interest in science and learning lead me to gain a Bachelor of Science in Biology, a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, a Master in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Multicultural Education and Secondary Science Education. My drive to better understand our world lead me to successfully pursue a PhD in Cell and Molecular Biology with an emphasis in Molecular, Cellular, and Integrative Neurosciences. My love of science is not limited to the microscopic, it encompasses the full range of nature and humanity.

My time in the community has led me to appreciate the impact of the Cache la Poudre River on the culture of Fort Collins.  I’m eager to learn more about the Cache la Poudre River and surrounding areas in my position at the Poudre Heritage Alliance. Additionally, I’m excited to join the Poudre Heritage Alliance’s project to enriching our knowledge of the Cache la Poudre River with the histories of the diverse local community.  I am grateful to join the Poudre Heritage Alliance to have the opportunity to bring my passion for diversity, keen inquiring mind, and love of Fort Collins together.

 

We are really excited to welcome Vanessa to the Poudre Heritage Alliance (PHA) staff! She will be with us through 2019, helping PHA with administrative tasks, marketing and communications, as well as translations. You can reach Vanessa by email at intern@poudreheritage.org.