Outstanding Graduates–Fall 1997

From the time she was two years old, Deana Namuth has suffered from juvenile arthritis, a painful disease that often makes activities such as typing painful and difficult. Namuth faced the prospect of more pain–and the possibility of worsening her condition–if she hand-typed the dissertation for her doctoral degree in soil and crop sciences.

With the help of the university’s Assistive Technology Resource Center, Namuth acquired voice-activated computer software that enabled her to recite her dissertation and to compose teaching assignments. Namuth, 29, estimates that it took her twice as long to use the voice-activated system compared with conventional typing, but without it her dissertation would not have been completed on time.

When Namuth graduates from the College of Agricultural Sciences on Dec. 20, she said she’ll think of those at the university who helped her get through. "I couldn’t have done it without their help," she said. Contact Namuth at (970) 224-3414 or (970) 491-6501.


After earning his bachelor’s degree in liberal arts this month, Eric Davidson hopes to begin implementing a vaccination program for Vietnamese children. Davidson, a 29-year-old native of Winter Park, Colo., has been interested in Asia since high school. Before coming to Colorado State, he taught English in Japan and worked in southeast Asia as a freelance news photographer.

At Colorado State, Davidson studied social sciences and international development and has been active in the International Club and Asian studies program. He participated in a study abroad program and traveled to Hanoi for a year.

Currently, Davidson is working with the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation and the Center for Disease Control to develop a vaccination program for Japanese encephalitis, a virus that debilitates many children in northern Vietnam. Davidson hopes to obtain funding and implement the program within the next year. Call Davidson at (970) 498-0227.


When Cary Denison graduates with a degree in consumer science, it’s not surprising that he’ll own and operate his own business. Denison’s entrepreneurial skill is evident in all the jobs he has worked while in college.

Denison, a native of Paonia, Colo., has freelanced as a bullfighter, worked in semi-professional and professional rodeo and offered services as an independent hunting and fishing guide. Denison also is a live-in mother’s assistant, helping care for three children.

Denison is now in the process of buying and becoming familiar with the industrial cleaning business he will run after graduation. He also is working toward publishing his own outdoor magazine, which is scheduled to be distributed next spring. Call Denison at (970) 484-9985.


When Laurie-Ann Mitchell graduates with a master’s degree in marketing this month, it will have been an achievement 10 years in the making.

A lack of money forced Mitchell to quit pursuing her bachelor’s degree in marketing from Colorado State in 1987. But after spending six years in the "real world" as a flight attendant and administrator at Continental Airlines, Mitchell realized that a degree was key to reaching her career goals. Mitchell did so well academically that when she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in marketing in 1996, faculty in the College of Business convinced her to stay and pursue a master’s degree and teach undergraduate courses. She completed the program in just a year and a half.

During her years as a student, Mitchell earned a place on the dean’s list, won a top 10 graduating senior award and an outstanding business student award. She is a member of the Sigma Iota Epsilon, an honors fraternity. Call Mitchell at (970) 282-0281.


When electrical engineering student Sheila Ranae Mason graduates this month, she’ll take away a diploma, but during her time at Colorado State she’s been dedicated to giving service to her college and community.

Mason, a leader in several student organizations, coordinated a Thanksgiving food drive for the past three years. She served as a mentor for three underclassmen in electrical engineering and helped the College of Engineering coordinate career exploration events, outreach and recruiting programs. Two years ago Mason initiated and organized the electrical engineering department’s annual High School Shadow Day, an event that gives high school students an opportunity to sample college life.

In addition to her class work and community service, Mason assisted professors with projects and worked in internships including laser research, weather radar tracking, and fabricating and testing semiconductors. A native of Leadville, Colo., Mason plans to work for Intel after graduation, and will move to Portland, Ore., in January. Call Mason at (970) 416-1331.