The Women and Philanthropy Development Council advances our mission to connect and empower a community to elevate women and philanthropy at CSU. The council has been integral in the early formation and success of Women and Philanthropy, not only by personally investing but also by providing strategic guidance to engage a diverse group of women who create positive impact at CSU and beyond. The Development Council meets four times a year in addition to attending Women and Philanthropy events and engagement opportunities. 

Women and Philanthropy Development Council: Leadership Team

Paula Edwards

Paula Edwards

Paula is an outstanding community volunteer and dedicated Ram, with 25 years of support to Colorado State University and our community. She enjoys traveling, biking, skiing and spending time with her family. Her philanthropic passions lie in promoting philanthropy, building community, education, and supporting women and their families.

Paula recognizes that Women and Philanthropy can be a portal for information- the connector and communicator for a multitude of events, activities and efforts that are gender focused within the CSU community. She believes that we can serve as the convener of women who support CSU – women who have diverse interests and want CSU to be the best it can be! Through her role on the Women and Philanthropy leadership team she hopes to enrich relationships that already exist with the University and to develop new relationships and leaders that will be champions for excellence at Colorado State University.

Nancy Richardson

Nancy Richardson

Nancy is a local business owner and a tremendous supporter of Colorado State University. She received her B.S. from CSU’s College of Health and Human Sciences in 1982. Outside of her work, Nancy enjoys the outdoors; riding ATVs, hiking, playing golf, traveling and spending time with her family and friends. 

Nancy’s philanthropic heart leads her to support causes that help our youth and the fight against the injustice of human and sex trafficking. She is excited to see Women and Philanthropy flourish and believes that there is nothing more powerful than bringing women together for a common cause. 

Women and Philanthropy Development Council: Council Members

Carol Cochran

Carol Cochran

Carol is the co-owner of Horse & Dragon brewery located in Fort Collins, CO. Though she is currently dedicated to the success of the brewery; she hopes to get back to hiking, gardening, reading, traveling, cooking and eating with friends before long. 

Carol’s Philanthropic passions lie in early childhood literacy, attainable and secure housing, and educating others about the self-accruing benefit of giving. She hopes to bring her enthusiasm and an appreciation for the way the Development Council might work together and utilize their varied strengths to accomplish fantastic things for CSU and women. 

Ella Fahrlander

Ella Fahrlander

Ella is the Vice President for Community Engagement at the Community Foundation of Colorado. She leads the events and communications team and carries out fund-development efforts focusing on northern Colorado’s nonprofit sector. 

Ella grew up in Crested Butte, Colorado and previously worked for the University of Colorado – Colorado Springs. 

Candace Mathiason

Candace Mathiason

Candace serves as the faculty representative for the Women & Philanthropy Development Council. Candace is an Associate Professor of Pathobiology from CSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and is the co-founder of the CSU Women in Science Career Issues Network 

Candace enjoys designing jewelry, landscaping, building, baking and macro-photography in her free time. Her philanthropic passion is Women in Science, a CSU group that works to advance the careers of innovative women and improve the diversity of voices present in leadership roles at CSU and beyond. She looks forward to working with a diverse cohort of women that are interested in supporting women’s initiatives and bringing her own personal experiences in the development of small group environments that encourage open and honest conversation.

Kristin Kirkpatrick

Kristin Kirkpatrick

Kristin is the Regional Director for a national non-profit and mother to three small children. She loves to spend time with her family and doing just about anything that involves the outdoors and bringing people together. As a mother, she is passionate about philanthropic efforts that improve the future for children.

Kristin is a Ram through and through, she is excited to participate as a member of the Development Council to make CSU even better than it already is. She is intrigued by the goals of Women & Philanthropy and looks forward to strategizing and then implementing a plan to make our goals come to fruition.

Peggy Smith

Peggy Smith

Peggy is a dedicated Ram supporter who enjoys traveling, golf, tennis, biking reading, playing cards and entertaining. She believes that it is important to help people to help themselves sustain their success, primarily through access to education and providing opportunities to women and children to further their own passions.

Peggy loves that women are banning together to help other women, and are understanding the importance of women and their philanthropic impact. Peggy loves to tell and good story and is excited to use that skill to be an ambassador for the Women and Philanthropy cause.

Erin Mercer

Erin Mercer

Erin is a Strategic Senior Program Manager for Accenture and a Fort Collins native. She enjoys spending her free-time with her husband and three young children playing and watching sports, doing yoga, reading, and traveling. Her philanthropic passions lie with causes that support women, children, education and animals.

Erin hopes to leverage her experience and skills in her consulting career and passion for philanthropy to help make things happen! She is most excited to develop relationships and see the impact we can make together. “When women rise, we all rise.”

Jen Parker

Jen Parker

Jen Parker is a veteran marketer with extensive experience in the multimedia industry and has a life-long passion for music and creating meaningful community partnerships. She currently works as the Executive Director for the KRFC radio station in Fort Collins. 

Originally from England Jen has lived in 8 different cities across the United States. She currently lives in Fort Collins with her husband Joe who works for Colorado State University, where their two children are both Juniors. In her spare time, Jen loves to attend CSU sporting events, listen to music, entertain friends, workout and travel to see family in the USA and back in the UK. 

Leslie Walker

Leslie Walker is a newcomer to the community. Although she is a University of Colorado graduate, she is quickly becoming “ram-ified.” She is proud to be on the advisory board of Women in Philanthropy. Those she serves with – from the university to the community – are accomplished, action-oriented women. Together, the group offers opportunities for giving and recognition for women who want to make an impact with their assets while supporting CSU.

Leslie also graduated from the University of Denver with a Masters in Business Administration. Subsequently, she worked in the cable television industry, in non-profits and in real estate.

Leslie loves the outdoors, which is one reason she was attracted to Fort Collins. The area offers opportunities to pursue her favorite activities: bicycling, playing tennis and hiking. Even after moving a handful of times as an Air Force brat, she loves to travel. Next on the list: bike the Finger Lakes in New York. On the quiet side, she enjoys reading, writing and painting.

Other than her husband, Dale, her main squeeze is her 100 pound Labrador. Leslie and her dog often volunteer as a therapy dog team.

Savannah Babish

Savannah serves as the student representative on the Women and Philanthropy Development Council. She is a senior, pursuing a degree in Business Administration with an accounting concentration and a minor in Criminal Justice. During her time at CSU, Savannah has been a part of several organizations that have helped her grow in her educational and future career. Aside from being a Presidential Ambassador, she serves as the District VI Representative for the Council for Advancement and Support of Education Affiliated Student Advancement Programs (CASE ASAP). In her words, “The graciousness of CSU donors and alumni inspire me to always be driven to help others succeed and make me proud to be a Ram.”