Media Tip Sheet: Colorado State Experts Provide Holiday Advice on Budgets, Stress, Pets, Trees and More

Colorado State University experts are available to talk about a variety of subjects related to the upcoming holidays. The following list of faculty members is provided for media use only, not members of the general public.

Holiday spending

Vickie Bajtelsmit, finance professor in the College of Business, can talk about holiday spending and budgeting including money management, organizing records and setting clear goals. To speak with Bajtelsmit, contact Emily Narvaes Wilmsen at (970) 491-2336 or

Retail sales and customer service

Lon Camomile, marketing instructor in the College of Business, can talk about retail sales during the holidays, buyer behavior and customer service. Camomile is a former marketing executive at companies including Teledyne Water Pik, Spring Hill Nurseries and Paramount International Coin Inc., which was the marketing arm of 26 foreign governments selling products in 83 countries. To speak with Camomile, contact Emily Narvaes Wilmsen at (970) 491-2336 or

Economy and the stock market

Sanjay Ramchander, associate professor of finance in the College of Business, can talk about the impact of the holidays on the stock market, the economy and international markets. He is an expert on corporate finance, energy and oil futures and what’s happening to gas prices. To speak with Ramchander, contact Emily Narvaes Wilmsen at (970) 491-2336 or

Supply chain

Lisa Ellram, chair of the Management Department in the College of Business, can talk about how the holidays affect the supply chain and how stores make their purchases. She is a founding member of the Procurement Sciences Institute and is a member of the Institute for Supply Management. To speak with Ellram, contact Emily Narvaes Wilmsen at (970) 491-2336 or

Live Christmas trees

Skip Smith, forestry professor in the Warner College of Natural Resources, can talk about different species of trees that serve as the best Christmas trees and how to properly cut down and care for a live Christmas tree. To speak with Smith, contact Kimberly Sorensen at (970) 491-0757 or

Keeping pets safe during the holidays and winter

Colorado State University veterinarian Tim Hackett can give pet owners life-saving tips for the holidays and winter. For example, Hackett can give tips about preventing and spotting antifreeze poisoning. Antifreeze is tasty but fatal to pets unless emergency care is started within a few hours. Even small amounts of the substance licked off a cat’s paws or lapped off the sidewalk could be life-threatening. Holiday decorations also are interesting distractions, but cats or dogs who ingest decorations and tinsel could end up with a completely obstructed intestinal tract. Hackett can help hazard-proof the holidays and winter for pets and provide information about when it is critical to see a veterinarian. To speak with Hackett, contact Dell Rae Moellenberg at (970) 491-6009 or

Caring for holiday plants

Steve Newman, Colorado State University Cooperative Extension greenhouse plant specialist, can give advice on caring for and selecting poinsettias and Christmas cactus and forcing bulb plants, such as paper whites, during the winter. Newman also can provide information about the toxicity of holiday plants, such as the myth that poinsettias are poisonous. To speak with Newman, contact Nik Olsen at (970) 491-7766 or

Caring for trees

James Klett, professor of landscape horticulture and director of the W.D. Holley Plant Environmental Research Center at Colorado State, can talk about the characteristics of popular trees sold in (and in some cases native to) Colorado and explain how to prolong their indoor life. For more information, contact Nik Olsen at (970) 491-7766 or

Keeping fit during the holidays and winter months

Brian Butki, a sports and exercise science professor, runs a unique, holistic after-school program for children that focuses on exercise, nutrition and mental health to help children build fun and healthy lifestyle habits. He is an expert in motivational exercise and family-based activity levels, and can discuss a family-based approach to keeping active during the holidays and cold, snowy winter months while providing ideas for activities for all ages. To speak with Butki, contact Dell Rae Moellenberg at (970) 491-6009 or

Holiday treats from the kitchen

Santa isn’t the only one who likes homemade treats during the holidays, but the hassle of the holidays often makes baking treats and preparing family meals seem virtually impossible. Baking in Colorado’s high altitude can cause even more stress when recipes flop. Shirley Perryman, Colorado State University Cooperative Extension food science expert, can give ideas and advice for tackling holiday baking projects. To speak with Perryman, contact Dell Rae Moellenberg at (970) 491-6009 or

Holiday blues/depression

From family gatherings to having too much to do in too little time, the holiday season can invoke stress and in some cases compound feelings of depression. To lessen feelings of depression and anxiety, people should focus on what is realistic and what is truly important. Michael Daine, director of the University Counseling Center at Colorado State, can offer expertise on holiday depression and suggest methods to cope during potentially stressful holiday times. To speak with Daine, contact Nik Olsen at (970) 491-7766 or

Cold holidays and winters for pets

Many people remember to winterize their homes and cars for Colorado’s colder weather, and it’s also important to remember to pay special attention to keeping pets safe and warm. Outdoor pets need appropriate shelter to protect them from frigid temperatures, and it’s important to be on the lookout for pets seeking warmth in dangerous places such as under warm vehicles. Dietary adjustments for optimal health during the winter also should be considered, and a regular first aid check through a short list of cold-weather concerns can keep pets healthy. Dr. Rebecca Ruch-Gallie, Colorado State University veterinarian, can provide tips for keeping pets merry during Colorado’s winters. To speak with Ruch-Gallie, contact Dell Rae Moellenberg at (970) 491-6009 or


Nolan Doesken, Colorado State senior research associate and state climatologist, is available to discuss drought, weather observation, weather instruments, historical climate data, descriptive climatology, precipitation and seasonal weather patterns. He also can address agricultural, recreational, hydrologic and industrial applications of climate information. Doesken’s 33 years of professional experience in weather research monitoring, data acquisition, analysis and archiving provides him the expertise to address a wide variety of drought and other climate-related questions. He also can talk about the statewide volunteer network that improves precipitation monitoring and helps provide detailed drought, water supply and other water decision-making information to municipalities, homeowners, industries, utility providers, resource managers and educators. To speak with Doesken, contact Emily Wilmsen at (970) 491-2336 or