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Awards / Honors

Celebrate! CSU Milestones commemorates Judy Muenchow's 10 years of service

April 23, 2011
by Aaron Eddy

CSU is once again honoring faculty and staff who have reached service milestones during the 2011-2012 fiscal year at the annual Celebrate! CSU Milestones. The all-University event to commemorate years of service and retirement will take place at 3 p.m. Thursday, May 3, in the Lory Student Center Main Ballroom.

Judy Muenchow in her element in the Student Rec Center on campus. Judy Muenchow, executive director for Campus Recreation, is celebrating a decade of employment with CSU. Muenchow has always been involved with sports and recreation, but never thought her hobbies would lead to a career.

Small-town beginnings

Muenchow’s journey to CSU began in rural Horicon, Wis., a town of only 2,500. “It was a typical rural, agricultural community where everybody knew everybody,” she said. Muenchow laughed as she compared Horicon to the late 60s television series, "Mayberry R.F.D."

From a young age, Muenchow wanted to be a teacher, but said that women didn’t have a wide choice of career paths at the time. “I knew that I wanted to be a teacher in high school,” Muenchow said. “But you have to understand that, at the time period I went to college, there were really only two professions for women and that was teaching and nursing.”

Muenchow pursued teaching during her undergraduate career, becoming certified to teach K-12 physical and health education. During her time in college, she held a variety of jobs ranging from lifeguarding to working in a cheese factory. “Everybody from Wisconsin works in a cheese factory at some point in their lives,” Muenchow said.

Journey to CSU

Muenchow was married during her senior year of college to an Army ROTC officer and moved to a military base in Ft. Hood, Texas, while her husband served in Vietnam. “During this time, I taught physical education at a community college – everything from racquetball to volleyball,” Muenchow said.

After nearly three years of teaching at the community college, Muenchow’s husband returned from Vietnam with the aspiration of pursuing his master’s degree, so the couple moved back to Wisconsin. Muenchow began teaching K-12 physical education full time, but soon discovered this was not her calling. “Putting it politely, I found teaching middle-school children health and physical education was not the career for me, and I actually didn’t enjoy it at all,” Muenchow said.

Muenchow decided to join her husband by returning to school to pursue a master’s degree in health and physical education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

After graduation, Muenchow took a job at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she worked in recreation for six years before deciding to pursue a doctorate. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Wyoming and continued working for 16 years as the director of campus recreation.

In 2001, the executive director position opened up at CSU, and Muenchow applied for it because she wanted a new challenge.

Impact on Campus Recreation

Much work and determination went into the five-year process of building the new campus recreation center, which opened in 2010.

“Working with the students and staff to design, get the approvals for, construct, and open the student recreation center has been my most memorable experience,” Muenchow said. “There were lots of highs and lots of lows, but it was truly a labor of love.”

Being on a college campus is what Muenchow loves most about coming to her job each day. “It is invigorating, keeps you aware of everything that’s going on, it’s so energizing and it keeps you young,” she said.

Muenchow’s impact on CSU Campus Recreation is felt in many ways, as she has worked to help it become more student-oriented, giving opportunities to students through employment processes or leadership programs, and giving them optimal facilities to enjoy themselves in.

Life outside Campus Recreation

Muncheow’s favorite weekend activity is taking her horse, Chief Joseph Boo-Boo, on trail rides.

With retirement on the horizon, Muenchow thought about what she might be doing in the future, when her career here at CSU is finished. “I love to read, so I will be doing plenty of that when I do retire,” Muenchow said.

“I’m also a life-long runner and somewhat of a gardener, so I suppose I will continue more with those things too.”

Muenchow thinks that the biggest change she has seen at CSU during her tenure is the image of the university. “The way the school is welcoming the green image, sustainability, student diversity, and this unified look is the biggest change I have seen.

“This is the fourth institution I have worked at, and it has been by far the best experience because of my colleagues and superiors, and the support I’ve had. To end my career at CSU will be everything I have every imagined, and I am very thankful.”


Celebrate! CSU Milestones Thursday, May 3

Join the University community in honoring employees during Celebrate! CSU Milestones on May 3.

The event will honor Colorado State University employees who are celebrating retirement and those who have reached 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, and 45 years of service to the University.


Contact: Office of CSU Events
E-mail: CSUEvents@colostate.edu
Phone: (970) 491-4601