A class at the CSU Todos Santos Center in early 2016. New student organization shares Todos Santos with campusImage of

New student organization shares Todos Santos with campus

By Tiana Nelson, as appearing in SOURCE

The CSU Todos Santos Ambassador Leadership Board is a new organization for students who have studied or completed research at the university’s first international location, the CSU Todos Santos Center. The student organization has formed to continue connections among students, create cultural understanding and share experiences with the extended campus community, allowing all CSU students and faculty to connect to Todos Santos.

Students listen to instruction prior to working on group research projects.

Students listen to instruction prior to working on group research projects.

“I believe we have a unique opportunity and responsibility in Todos Santos to build relationships for shared knowledge and engagement in collaboration. I love the Mexican culture and value indigenous knowledge. Though this organization I hope to share cultural competencies and participatory research values with my peers,” said Augusta Ahlm, president of the student organization and a graduate student in Agricultural Sciences.

“We met together as students with a passion for the culture and a shared passion for Todos Santos, and we wanted to make sure there was an initiative for the community relationship to be continued for future students.”

Ahlm participated in the Sustainable Agriculture and Anthropology courses at the CSU Todos Santos Center, and plans to return to complete her graduate project.

Participation from campus welcome

The involved students hope that their peers and faculty will attend meetings to learn more about the opportunities at the Center.

A class at the CSU Todos Santos Center in early 2016.

A class at the CSU Todos Santos Center in early 2016.

Cole Purdy, a sophomore Spanish and Fish, Wildlife and Conversation Biology double-major, helped to complete community assessment research when he studied at the CSU Todos Santos Center, and quickly fell in love with the community and formed bonds with his fellow students.

“It’s really started to feel like it is one big family,” said Cole Purdy.

He also notes that he wants to show students CSU has been a responsible and respectful community partner in the Baja California Sur region.

“CSU doesn’t change up things in Todos Santos,” Cole Purdy said. “We are true to the university mission, and we recognize and embrace culture – and essentially everything in Todos Santos.”

Students say they strive to share the information of Todos Santos with the CSU community, and help address challenges and successes. All of the students say they want to return to continue research and connect with the community.

“I am still wanting to participate in CSU Todos Santos activities because it quickly became my passion after being down there,” said Joanie Ellis, who served as a CSU Student Ambassador Intern representing CSU in summer 2015.

Cultivating global citizens

Andrea Purdy, Spanish professor and advisor of the student organization, was born and raised in Mexico and is proud to see CSU students embracing another culture and actively seeking to share it with others.

“You have a group of truly dedicated students who have a love for Todos Santos, its people, the opportunities for cultural exchange and service,” she said. “They represent what it means to be a global citizen, which is one of CSU’s goals for its students as they go out into the world.”

About the CSU Todos Santos Center

The Colorado State University Todos Santos Center is the university’s first international location and is core to CSU’s mission of teaching, research, service, and outreach.

The Center provides opportunities for CSU students and Baja California Sur residents to collaborate with local partners and businesses to identify needs, conduct research, and produce impactful outcomes.

CSU’s vision in Todos Santos is to cultivate generations of global citizens and to be a part of creating thriving communities through collaboration, experience, and exchange of knowledge in areas such as agriculture, infectious disease, elementary education, environmental and social sustainability, wildlife ecology, veterinary medicine, and public health.