Since launching in Spring 2016, the Women & Gender Collaborative has developed several initiatives to help improve the campus culture and climate around gender and make CSU the best place for women to work and learn.

The Collaborative’s Grant Program funds a diverse set of projects across campus that serve students, faculty, and staff.

CSU is the first institution of higher education to team up with Jessica Bennett, author of Feminist Fight Club - employees and students can learn how to identify and interrupt everyday sexism by joining the Feminist Fight Club at CSU.

To learn more about how to engage in genuine dialogue across differences, check out Collaborative Conversations!

Women & Gender Collaborative Grant Program

The Women & Gender Collaborative Grant Program funds and assists the development of projects for two years to support and promote their potential for creating long-term positive impact across campus. 


Through an annual proposal process, the Women & Gender Collaborative selects projects that promise to produce long-term positive impacts for our campus community and serve the University's mission to make Colorado State University the best place for women to work and learn.

By partnering with sponsoring campus units, our goal is to provide each project with an institutional home that will support a project's continuation as a permanent program after its first two years.

The Women & Gender Collaborative Grant Program was initially made possible by the gift from an anonymous donor.


WOMEN IN SCIENCE CAREER ISSUES (2016-2018)               

Since 2013, a small community of faculty and graduate students has been meeting to discuss gender bias in science careers. This project expands that work to encourage an open exchange of ideas and information among women and men in the sciences. In addition to providing an honest and supportive environment that fosters an atmosphere of confidentiality and trust, the group works to promote career advancement and active problem-solving for those who are involved.

As part of this project, the group is hosting The Women in Science Workshop on April 13, 2017, which will celebrate the career paths of three prominent women science advocates.  Each will share her experiences— highlighting successes, challenges and ‘near misses’ along the way. The half-day workshop will provide:  

  • Practical suggestions for all faculty/administrators (women and men) to assist in recruiting, retaining, and promoting women in science.
  • Strategies and tools to assist in conversations about science to non-scientists.
  • Insight into the science of team science.
  • An opportunity to network with a community of individuals dedicated to the advancement of women, science and improved communication strategies to promote both.

 For more information on the Women in Science Workshop, read this SOURCE story. To connect with project leads for the Women in Science Career Issues groups, contact Candace Mathiason at

WOMEN READING @ CSU (2016-2018)          

Building upon the success of the book club in 2016, this project is continuing on with a renewed focus on appreciating women's differences, intersectional identities, and diverse experiences. Participants discuss the books in small groups with other employees at CSU. 

One of the unique aspects of this club is that participants are not required to commit to the club itself, but rather can choose which books and meetings to join based on their interests. Three book club meetings will be held in the each fall and spring semesters, with roughly 6 weeks in between each meeting. 

To support access and participation, books are available through the CSU Bookstore at a reduced price. Meetings also highlight the work of local women entrepreneurs who provide raffle items to give away at each book club meeting. 

All meetings take place from noon to 1:00 pm. 

Previous Books Read

May 2017 - The Namesake: A Novel by Jhumpa Lahiri
March 2017 -  Presence: Bring Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges by Amy Cuddy
February 2017 - The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

December 2016 - Exile and Pride: Disability, Queerness, and Liberation by Eli Clare
November 2016 - Feminist Fight Club: An Office Survival Manual for a Sexist Workplace by Jessica Bennett
October 2016 - Years of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand in the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes

For more information on how to RSVP and participate, read this SOURCE story from Fall 2016, or this story about the Spring 2017 line up.

MAN: EDUCATE YOURSELF (MEY) (2016-2018)           

Following a productive series of conversations last spring, the Man: Educate Yourself (MEY) Project is welcoming participants for the next two cohorts.  MEY is an emerging initiative that supports President Frank’s charge to make CSU the best place for women to work and learn.  Sponsored by the Women and Gender Collaborative’s grant program, MEY promotes engagement with men who are campus administrators, managers, and supervisors in conversations, introspection, and appropriate action regarding how men can advance gender equity in office and classroom settings. 

The first MEY group met over the Spring 2017 semester and engaged in conversations about masculinity and societal influences affecting mindsets and behaviors that manifest in work and learning environments.  Through lunch meetings over the course of the semester, MEY facilitators shared skills, insights and ideas on how to increase understanding and promotion of gender equity leading to greater success for all.  If interested in the Fall 2017 or Spring 2018 cohorts, please contact Oscar Felix at (970) 988-0471 or email


Drawing on over 40 years of experience with women’s leadership development, HERS is partnering with CSU to offer a new program designed for CSU women employees: HERS at CSU Women’s Leadership Workshops. Each year, this project provides foundational leadership and professional planning skills for 36 early-career women at CSU. The 2017 workshops will be delivered in three 2-hour seminars once a month in February, March, and April. The activities will include working in small groups to complete a short project on campus that serves the University mission to make CSU the best place for women to work and learn.

The HERS at CSU Women’s Leadership Workshops are funded by the Women and Gender Collaborative and free for selected applicants. This program is also provided in partnership with the Office of the Vice President for Diversity and the Office of Equal Opportunity.


By offering free yoga classes intended for women veterans at CSU through the New Start Program and the Adult Learner and Veteran Services Office, this project provides opportunities to develop community, enhance health and wellness, and share campus resources. Yoga classes are offered once a week and are designed to address the specific needs of women veteran students, staff, and faculty.

Drop-in classes will run through the fall and spring semesters. Classes are on Tuesdays (7:00-8:00 am) in the Occupational Therapy Building (Room 100 and 101). 

If you have questions, call (970) 491-5809 or email 


In 2013, President Frank charged the University during his Fall Address to become the best place for women to work and learn, thereby initiating the President’s Women and Gender Initiative, which launched as the Women & Gender Collaborative in Spring 2016. Over the 2016-2017 academic year, the Collaborative has supported five grant-funded projects that have provided targeted opportunities for improving the culture and climate around gender at CSU.

It is with great excitement that the Women & Gender Collaborative announces another call for proposals. All interested employees (staff and faculty), departments, and units are invited to review the application packet and submit a proposal for consideration. Project proposals should be developed to create long-term positive impacts that serve the University’s mission to improve the campus culture and climate around gender and make CSU the best place for women to work and learn.  


In order to support innovative ideas across campus that will produce long-term positive effects for women and the gendered culture at CSU, the Women & Gender Collaborative will fund and assist in the development of projects over the course of two years. It is anticipated that the two-year time frame will enable funded projects to acquire sufficient evidence of their repeated success and impact, such that a compelling case could be made to seek long-term funding from other sources and secure the projects’ continuation after the first two years.

The Women & Gender Collaborative is willing to help interested individuals or units develop their project proposal ideas and/or clarify any details about the proposal process. Appointments are available during the following time blocks.  Please contact Katie Esquivel to reserve a specific time if you would like meet and discuss your project idea.


Feminist Fight Club at CSU

CSU has joined with Feminist Fight Club author Jessica Bennett to establish the first campus chapter of the Feminist Fight Club – an initiative to integrate the research and strategies from the book Feminist Fight Club into campus life through ongoing meetings, workshops, and community engagement.

The Feminist Fight Club at CSU

The Feminist Fight Club at Colorado State University provides an inclusive space for community, growth, learning, and support for all members. We seek to develop our skills in identifying and addressing problematic behaviors that disadvantage women and other marginalized groups in the workplace by building upon the research and strategies presented in the book, Feminist Fight Club. We also focus on holding ourselves accountable to one another as we model and practice behaviors that foster a campus culture and climate that supports the success of all students and employees. To this end, we commit to support one another through honest reflection, courageous dialogue, and collective action.

Don't have a copy of the book yet? Download the FFC at CSU Discussion Guide

Building on CSU’s Principles of Community

The collaboration between Colorado State University and Feminist Fight Club aims to provide faculty, staff, and students with shared language, strategies, and resources that support the personal, professional, and academic success of all members of our campus community. Through meetings, workshops, presentations, and continued engagement with the book, the Feminist Fight Club at CSU will provide suggestions for concrete actions that reflect our Principles of Community of inclusion, integrity, respect, service, and social justice.  Specific calls to action include:

  • Elevating interests, concerns, and voices of those from underrepresented groups
  • Being an upstander by interrupting problematic behaviors and implementing more inclusive practices
  • Supporting the recruitment, retention, development, and success of members from historically marginalized groups
  • Building relationships of trust, respect, dialogue, cooperation, and solidarity to work together across differences

For more information or to join, contact Cori Wong at


Collaborative Conversations provides a space and ongoing collection of video resources for those who are seeking to dive a little deeper into complex topics related to gender, diversity, inclusion, and equity.

This program is a collaborative effort with support from CSU Online and The Institute for Teaching & Learning.

Starting this fall, a group of "dialoguers" from across campus will meet to collectively explore how they understand specific issues related to gender and apply their perspective to their personal and professional lives. The dialogues featured in Collaborative Conversations do more than just highlight the “what” of diversity and inclusion - they also model the “how” of engaging in unscripted, open-ended dialogue to learn from and with one another across our differences.

Upcoming Collaborative Conversations

Each Collaborative Conversation features an hour of dialogue with opportunities for audience participation. The space will be held for a second hour so that attendees who wish to stay may informally discuss and process topics raised in the conversation.

Thursday, September 14, 1:00-3:00 in LSC Room 372-374

Tuesday, October 10, 1:00-3:00 in LSC Room 304-306

Thursday, November 16, 1:00-3:00 in LSC Room 372-374

*These events will be recorded and links will be made available for viewing by public audiences.