Student Spotlight: Dominque Ashe

Dominique is a San Francisco-born nature lover who came to CSU for its environmental programs. After exploring three majors, she settled in Human Dimensions of Natural Resources. Her journey in water began when she spontaneously took a graduate level course taught by CoWC Director Reagan Waskom her sophomore year, which furthered her desire to engage in water management. She promptly added the SWIM minor to her portfolio, delving into the world and professions of its sustainable uses. For her senior project, Dominique worked with the local Peaks to People Water Fund to highlight their collaborative public engagement efforts across Fort Collins’ companies, community members, and resource agencies. Dominique graduated in May and hopes to attend graduate school in public administration or environmental law in the next few years. Until then, she continues gaining experience in water management and sustainability consulting around the Front Range.

Staff Spotlight: MaryLou Smith

After 10 years of exceptional service to the Colorado Water Center and the Colorado water community, MaryLou Smith is retiring from CSU on June 30. Over the past decade, MaryLou has served as a policy and collaboration specialist, designing and facilitating group processes for stakeholders working through complex water policy issues throughout Colorado and the West. Her efforts include the formation and leadership of the Poudre Runs Through It Study/Action Work Group (PRTI) and Water Literate Leaders of Northern Colorado. Much of her work has centered on agricultural/urban/environmental water sharing strategies, groundwater/surface water conjunctive use challenges, and the integration of land use policy with water supply policy. To plant a seed to increase the ethnic diversity of voices in Colorado water policy decision making, MaryLou launched CSU Water Sustainability Fellows in which CSU students of color learn about water issues and share that information with similar students in North Denver communities through a National West Center Youth Water Project. MaryLou previously served 35 years as the vice president and co-founder of Aqua Engineering, Inc., an irrigation engineering firm with projects worldwide. MaryLou grew up on a cotton and alfalfa farm irrigated with groundwater in eastern New Mexico. She earned a master’s degree in educational psychology from New Mexico State University. She also served twelve years on the City of Fort Collins Water Board and has given presentations on her work in places as diverse as Tehran, Iran; Fortaleza, Brazil; and Wray, Colorado.