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Pack Pride Profiles

Patrick, A89, and Julia, A91, Keller

Patrick, A89, and Julia, A91, Keller, both received their undergraduate degrees in English from Colorado State University - Pueblo.  They are the son and daughter-in-law of Dr. Robert Keller, CSU-Pueblo professor emeritus, and Sally, A77, retired Pueblo City Schools teacher.  

Patrick and Julia graduated with their Ph.D. degrees on May 13, 2016, from the University of New Mexico - Albuquerque.  Patrick received his Ph.D. in Organization, Information and Learning Sciences.  Julia received her Ph.D. in Psychology.  

Prior to their Ph.D. degrees, Patrick received his M.A. in Educational Media from the University of Northern Colorado (2004) and his M.S. in Library and Information Science from Drexel University (2008).  Julia received her M.A. in Special Education from the University of Northern Colorado (1994) and her M.S. in Psychology (2012) from the University of New Mexico.  They have accepted academic positions at South Dakota State University in Brookings, SD.

Joleen Marrufo, A00

Joleen Marrufo, A00, is the director of clinical education at Parkview Medical Center and currently serves on the CSU-Pueblo Alumni Association Board of Directors. After achieving her BSN at CSU-Pueblo, Marrufo began her career as a staff nurse in several departments and in multiple capacities at Parkview.

During this time, Marrufo had the opportunity to work with an outstanding nurse educator and realized education was her passion. “The excellent leadership skills displayed by clinical instructors and professors (at the University) provided me with role models on what to strive for as I grew as a nurse, an educator and an individual.” Maruffo’s fondest memory of CSU-Pueblo is the friendships developed in the Nursing Program.

“Although it has been over 20 years, we are still friends and keep in contact despite being across the country from each other.” In her little free time as a nurse, Marrufo loves to spend time with her husband and son. Being avid fans of ThunderWolves football, they attend almost every game, home and away, and enjoy taking photos with Wolfie.

As advice for all alumni Maruffo says, “I know that it is very difficult with the limited free time we each have but I would like to encourage all alums to participate in the Alumni Association and alumni events.  They are great fun for the family.  The Alumni Association is a great mechanism for future and present alumni to become involved in the community, ongoing career development and the opportunity to create and maintain lifelong friendships.”  

Roni Capin Rivera-Ashford, A74

Award-winning author Roni Capin Rivera-Ashford.A74, was called upon by Disneyto co-author with her son, Aaron Rivera-AShford, a children's adventure book to complement the new Disney-Pixar animated film, Coco, which opened Thanksgiving weekend 2017. Roni's ties to her alma mater run deep and influence her work. She gave characters in the story to people who impacted her life significantly.

Señora Sena, Miguel's teacher in the book, is based on Tena Sena, "a deat friend and mentor of myself and my husband's when we were in the college studying to be teachers at the University of Southern Colorado (now CSU-Pueblo)." Rivera-Ashford lives in Arizona with  husband of 30 years, Daniel.

Garrison Ortiz, A12

As the youngest individual ever elected to serve as a Pueblo County Comissioner, Garrison Ortiz, A12, began his service to others by starting a youth program for middle school students facing adversity while still a student at CSU-Pueblo.

Recently, he was named one of the Top 25 GEN XYZ Young Professionals by Colorado Biz Magazine. As a Thunderwolf, Ortiz worked as the student assistant in the alumni relations office.

Commissioner Ortiz continues his commitment to our community and University by mentoring middle-school, high-school, and college students in our community and advocating for higher education and strong community engagement.

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