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Working at CSU

Celebrate! CSU Milestone: Cam Elvheim, 20 years

March 12, 2014
By Geneva Mueller

Cam Elvheim has seen the community of Fort Collins transform - and as a project planner with Housing and Dining Services, she has had her hand in many of these changes.

Cam Elvheim has long been part of the community of Fort Collins. Originally from Arizona, she grew up in a family that moved around quite frequently. They arrived in Fort Collins in 1973 and while her family kept moving, she opted to stay here. 

Elvheim began working at the University in the Software Cellar maintaining the database and selling software. She was able to take advantage of the study program through CSU and obtained her degree in technical journalism with a minor in construction management.

One of the first female electricians in Fort Collins, Elvheim has seen the community of Fort Collins transform -- and she has had her hand in many of these changes. As a project planner with Housing and Dining Services, Elvheim has the opportunity to suggest and design energy-saving projects for some of the buildings on campus.

Energy-efficient lighting

One such project was to replace the fluorescent vanity lights in some of the residence halls with energy-efficient LED lights that provide a more natural light. This project has been implemented in both Braiden and Parmelee halls and will be installed in Corbett during spring break.

Elvheim was also involved in another lighting project, this one in one of the warehouses on campus. Her work improved the workability of the warehouse while simultaneously decreasing energy expenditures. Her innovative design and transformation of the warehouse was so successful that it was featured in an international engineering design publication, LD+A.

Collectively, her lighting projects — technology upgrades, energy retrofits and safety retrofits — have saved 1.15 million kilowatt hours of energy and the University $69,000 annually. Elvheim has generated more than $161,000 in grants to offset the costs of energy-saving endeavors and encourage future investment.

Tangible results

Elvheim is most excited by projects that have tangible results that improve the quality of life for the community and take place within a collaborate framework. She was involved in the implementation of a grease recycling project that involved collaboration with different entities on campus and throughout Fort Collins. This project has grown and transformed to the point where the grease produced by the LSC kitchen is now used to create biofuel.

“It’s fun to watch these projects migrate, to see how they open up and expand and change,” Elvheim said.  “It’s really satisfying when you’re done. It’s more than just putting paint on the walls. I like to know that the products we picked were sustainable and that it’s going to be energy-saving, and that we’re looking at the whole picture to make it better.”

Artist, too

Although passion for her career runs deep, outside of work Elvheim is an artist, making glass art and jewelry. As a member of the Fort Collins Museum of Art, she has participated in the annual mask-making fundraiser for the past nine years, decorating one of 200 clay masks that are auctioned off to benefit the museum in April.

In her leisure time, Elvheim enjoys gardening and is a member of a book club. In her career and personal life alike, she enjoys the collaborative nature of the community of Fort Collins.

“It’s easy to be friendly here; there’s always someone to talk to. And I think that makes [Fort Collins] a really desirable place to live,” Elvheim said.

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.

Contact: Nicole Franklin