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Ripple Effect aims to make waves at CSU

September 4, 2013

What does it take to make CSU the best place in the world to work and learn - in any capacity - if you are a woman?

Ripple Effect lgoYou’re invited to help make that change through The Ripple Effect, a new initiative launched today at President Tony Frank’s annual Fall Address.

The Ripple Effect was launched after President Tony Frank charged Amy Parsons, vice president for university operations, with making CSU just that – the best place for women to work and learn.

To get started on this ambitious goal, Parsons and a team of women from across the university came together and decided that the best place to start was to get the university engaged in sharing ideas that can create real change, and for the university leadership to make a commitment toward hearing those ideas, facilitating more discussion around them, and acting on the best ideas.

Women are leaders at CSU

Women have long played a leadership role at CSU, on the faculty and staff and in administration, Frank said, but only in recent decades has the higher education marketplace fully acknowledged the unique challenges women employees often face.  

“As a higher education community, we’ve paid a lot of attention at CSU to issues of salary equity, time to promotion, and opportunities for advancement, but we haven’t always done as much as we could to support women appropriately in the different stages of their careers and lives,” Frank said. “We know that women often disproportionately carry responsibilities as caregivers and parents, as just one example, and we ought to be acknowledging this and exploring what it means for the women here at CSU. This initiative is about finding ways to ensure that all members of our community have the resources and support they need to be successful, contributing and engaged members of our campus and community.”

Today, at the President’s Fall Address, Frank announced the beginning of that change with the launch of The Ripple Effect. The Ripple Effect is an initiative to carry out Frank’s charge, and is based off of the belief that every idea and discussion can create a ripple or change, and collectively those ideas can change an entire organization.

“We named this project as a nod to the famous Mother Teresa quote: ‘I alone cannot change the world but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples,’” Parsons said. “We know real change comes from many ideas and from many people being engaged in the process. This is an exciting time for CSU – and I’m looking forward to seeing our campus evolve. It will take the entire campus community – women and men – and those outside of the campus community who take an interest to reach our goal.”

Innovative platform for seeking ideas

To get started, Parsons created an innovative website that is a forum for women and men to share ideas with the university and watch to see the best ideas be discussed, forwarded to university officials, considered for implementation and create change. The website can be accessed at

Parsons and various offices across campus also will take a hard look at current data and facts related to CSU and women, as well as analyze at research and best practices for women in the workplace and educational settings. That data, along with ideas submitted through the website, will inform change.

“This project is bold and ambitious, and it will take an ongoing commitment from all of us to transform CSU – which is already a great place for women to thrive – into the greatest place for women to thrive,” Parsons said.

The Ripple Effect also supports the university’s land-grant mission; CSU is about providing access to new ideas and initiatives, and change happens through education.

In addition to Parsons, Ripple Effect committee members include Lorie Smith, director of Organizational Development and University Initiatives; Mary Ontiveros, vice president of Diversity; Kim Kita, director of Special Projects and Partnerships; Mary Stromberger, College of Agricultural Sciences professor and vice chair of Faculty Council; Jane Kneller, Department of Philosophy chair and chair of the President’s Commission on Women and Gender Equity;  Diana Prieto, director of Equal Opportunity, and Dell Rae Moellenberg, Department of Public Relations.  

Contact: Dell Rae Moellenberg
Phone: (970) 491-6009