Today @ Colorado State has been replaced by SOURCE. This site exists as an archive of Today @ Colorado State stories between January 1, 2009 and September 8, 2014.

Working at CSU

Celebrate! CSU Milestone: Dwight Burke, 25 years

March 21, 2014
By Geneva Mueller

For Director of Safety and Support Assessment Dwight Burke, Colorado State University transformed from his place of learning to his employer very rapidly.

A Pueblo native, Burke came to Colorado State in 1984 to obtain his degree in natural resource management with a minor in hydrology. He was first employed by the University in 1985 as a part of Housing & Dining Services. In 1987, he was hired by the CSU Police Department as a student police officer, a job that would inspire a lifelong commitment. Burke graduated in 1989 and subsequently accepted a full-time position with the CSU PD.

Although he enjoyed his work as a student police officer, Burke wasn’t sure if that was the path he would pursue. Growing up, he saw himself working in the wilderness, which was why he originally pursued a degree in natural resource management, and at graduation, he had a competing offer with a company in Idaho working on a watershed project. During his time as a student, however, he saw his goals and ambitions starting to transform.

“I think during my years at the University, the social aspect of life developed a lot more for me, particularly working in Housing & Dining Services, having a lot of co-workers that were also friends. I started really enjoying a lot more direct interaction with people and that’s where I saw a shift in my goals,” Burke said.

Working his way up

After accepting the position with the CSUPD, Burke started working his way up. He spent 11 years assigned to the drug task force with Larimer County and then became the investigations sergeant for the CSUPD before accepting his current position as the director of safety and support assessment.

In this role, Burke and his team are charged with creating and implementing support plans for any individuals who may exhibit sign of distress or risk. He said the most rewarding part of the job is seeing those he works with ultimately find success at CSU.

While the career path he took diverged from his initial intention to work in the outdoors, Burke has been able to incorporate this passion into his hobbies. Spare time can be hard to come by with a family with three children — the oldest of whom is now a Ram — but when possible he enjoys fishing, hunting and other outdoor activities. Burke constructed a log home in Red Feather Lakes and enjoys taking his oldest son to South Dakota to hunt and fish.

Unique perspective

With a unique perspective as both an alumnus and employee, Burke has seen the University transform and adapt over his 25 years. In addition to the sheer growth and infrastructural advancement of the University, he has witnessed a positive change in the mentality and milieu at CSU.

“If I think back to my undergraduate experience in the ’80s, that close-knit feel is probably stronger than it was when I came,” Burke said. “I feel that we’ve actually done both — we’ve grown, but made it feel smaller at the same time. And I think the compassion for people has grown drastically over the years. When I look today at what we invest in the members of our community, it’s a lot different than what it was 25 years ago.”

Celebrate! CSU Milestones honors University employees for years of service and retirement, and will be held this year on April 30, 4 p.m., in the Hilton Fort Collins Ballroom. Between now and then, Today @ Colorado State will be featuring selected employees Celebrating! Milestones this year.