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.

There are several efforts to improve culture and climate across campus, and here are some initiatives from the Women & Gender Collaborative:

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 collaborate with Jessica Bennett, author of Feminist Fight Club, to challenge subtle sexism.  Employees 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!

Finally, the Women & Gender Collaborative is proud to support additional opportunities for professional development, research productivity, and community building through programs like Mondays First with CSU Writes and the Women of Color Network. 

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.



Research Mentoring to Advance Inclusivity in STEM (RMAIS) is a project of the Graduate Degree Program in Ecology (GDPE) and is funded by The Women & Gender Collaborative at Colorado State University (CSU). Through RMAIS, we hope to provide enhanced experiences and improve gender inclusivity for undergraduate and graduate students engaged in STEM research at CSU.

While women comprise approximately 50% of STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) undergraduates, they comprise only about 35% of STEM postdoctoral researchers, thus constraining the percentage of women in advanced career and leadership positions in STEM. Research suggests that early mentorship can improve retention of women in STEM. Thus, the goal of RMAIS is to develop a mentorship framework and associated materials for students engaged in STEM research at CSU. 

The main product RMAIS will deliver will be a set of mentorship materials at the gender/STEM intersection made available to the CSU community. As an integrated part of this project, RMAIS will fund small grants to research triads consisting of an undergraduate student, a graduate student, and a faculty member. Participating graduate students will develop modules on mentorship at the gender/STEM intersection with feedback from a faculty review panel with experience in mentorship and inclusivity. The modules will be implemented and refined through the research triads and a summer research seminar for undergraduate and graduate students. Since GDPE students span eight colleges at CSU, GDPE provides a robust context for developing gender-conscious STEM mentoring materials that will be broadly useful to others in STEM fields. 

Supporting activities of RMAIS include a graduate seminar on inclusivity in STEM, an invited speaker with broad invitation to the CSU community, and a workshop on the developed mentorship materials at the Front Range Student Ecology Symposium held at CSU. 

Read the SOURCE story on this program.

For more information on RMAIS or the GDPE Program, contact Dr. Colleen Webb at

WOMEN READING @ CSU (2016-2018)          

Women Reading @ CSU, a book club designed for CSU employees and graduate students who identify as women, is in its second year! Building upon the success of last year's book club, this project is continuing on with a focus on appreciating women's differences, intersectional identities, and diverse experiences. The book club will focus on reading books that are written from diverse authors and that cover a wide range of identities, experiences, and perspectives. The book club will allow participants to explore their own identities, better understand the identities of others, and connect with other folks working at CSU during the book club meetings. 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 interest. Three book club meetings will be held in the each fall and spring semesters, with roughly 6 weeks in between each meeting. This book club is funded by the Women and Gender Collaborative Grant Program.

Who Can Participate?

This book club is designed for any woman-identified staff, faculty member, and graduate student at CSU.

Spring 2018 Semester Schedule

1. Tuesday, February 27thThe Glass Universe: How the Ladies of the Harvard Observatory Took the Measure of the Stars by Dava Sobel 

2. Thursday, April 5thMen Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit 

3. Friday, May 11thBorn Bright: A Young Girl's Journey from Nothing to Something in America by C. Nicole Mason

All meetings will be held from 12:00pm-1:00pm in LSC 386.

Each book club meeting will include light food and refreshments. Please also feel free to bring your lunch.

Where Do I Buy the Book?

All books are available now in CSU Bookstore in the Lory Student Center. Each book will have 30-45 copies sold at a subsidized price ranging from $10-$15. We offer this subsidized pricing to make reading and this book club more accessible. For those who do not take the subsidy, there is a 20% discount applied. Please note that the subsidized pricing is reserved for those who intend to attend the book club meeting.  

How to RSVP

Please use the link below to visit the Google doc where you can RSVP for each meeting. Each meeting has its own worksheet. We ask that all participants register by the Monday before the meeting, but please feel free to still attend if you forgot to RSVP, or to bring a colleague with you to the meeting.

What Happens at the Book Club Meetings?

While each meeting may have a large group of participants, participants will discuss the book in a small group (6-8 people). The participants choose their own groups, and each group will lead its own discussion. Suggested processing questions will be placed with each group.


Each book club meeting will include the raffling of one give away item. The item will be donated by a local woman entrepreneur. If you know of a local woman who would like to donate a giveaway item to a future book club meeting, please contact Lindsay Mason at

Previous Books Read

December 2017 - Rising Strong by Brene Brown
November 2017 - This Bridge Called My Back edited by Cherríe Moraga and Gloria Anzaldúa
September 2017 - Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

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 Women Reading @ CSU, read this SOURCE story from Fall 2016, or this story about the Spring 2017 line up.

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 19, 2018 from 12:00-6:00 pm in the LSC Theater.This year’s symposium will feature Drs. Kathleen Galvin, Megan Murray, and Kelsey Shaw. Learn more about the 2018 Symposium speakers.  

The first Women in Science Workshop (featured in CSU SOURCE and the Fort Collins Coloradoan) celebrated the career paths of three prominent women science advocates and was attended by women and men at various stages of their careers in academia, industry, local and regional businesses. Topics of conversations included:

  • 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

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


By offering free yoga classes 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.


FREE Yoga classes on campus, all supplies provided
Classes are led by an Occupational Therapist/Certified Yoga Teacher
Small class size, tailored to individual needs


Designed for faculty, staff and students who identify as women
Classes are appropriate for all-levels, and for those who would benefit from personalized accommodations (modifications, props) as part of their practice
May be appropriate for individuals who have unique or special needs (i.e. a disability, PTSD, anxiety, trauma, brain injury, chronic pain, etc.)
This program was initially for Veterans only; it is now open to both Veteran and non-Veteran women


CSU Occupational Therapy Building, 800 Oval Drive
First floor classroom (room 101)


Tuesdays, 7:00-8:00 am
Spring Semester, 2018


Focused on the mind-body-spirit connection, through Asana and Pranayama
Gentle, flowing series of postures, dynamic movements and breathing exercises
This class is movement-focused, and does not include a group processing/discussion component

Designed to:

  • increase strength, flexibility and posture
  • reduce stress, anxiety and tension
  • regulate the nervous system, energy and emotions
  • promote balance, clarity and healing


Drop-in classes will run through the fall and spring semesters. 

If you have questions, call (970) 491-6669 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.


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.

Read the SOURCE story for more on this collaboration with Feminist Fight Club. 

For more information or to join, contact Cori Wong at

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

Don't have a copy of the book yet?
Download the FFC at CSU Discussion Guide to get you started. 

Make sure your fight moves are inclusive and intersectional!
Use the Intersectionality & Inclusivity Supplemental Guide 
to inform how you engage with the book and practice fight moves. 




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.

Starting Fall 2017, 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.

Each Collaborative Conversation features an hour of dialogue with opportunities for audience participation. 

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

Read the latest SOURCE story about Collaborative Conversations. 

 Fall 2017 Series - Coming to Consciousness Around the Politics of Gender

Spring 2018 Series 
Practices of Faith and Belief for Gender Equity at CSU

Four panel participants will explore questions such as: What is it like for a person with a frame on the human spirit to engage with gender-related issues on campus? How might faith, belief, and spirituality inform gender equity on campus? What opportunities exist to develop shared practices for gender equity?

Collaborative Conversation I:
Tuesday, March 20, 12:00-1:00*  in Cherokee Ballroom - LSC 
(Register here)

Collaborative Conversation II:
Tuesday, April 10, 12:00-1:00*  in Cherokee Ballroom - LSC
(Register here)

Collaborative Conversation III:
Tuesday, April 24, 12:00-1:00*  in Cherokee Ballroom - LSC
(Register here)

*The space will be held for an hour immediately following the dialogue so that attendees who wish to stay may informally discuss and process topics raised in the conversation. 

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