Meg Skeehan has been on the Colorado State University campus for nine years, and marvels at just how much the world has changed.
“It’s a lot to think about: When I started, gay marriage wasn’t a thing, and most diversity, equity and inclusion issues were barely in the conversation,” they said. “I’ve seen so much progression on campus.”
Skeehan has been an integral part of this progress. As a member of the Classified Personal Council, they have advocated for better pay and working conditions for many of the University’s employees. They also played an integral role in CSU’s pronouns statement and are part of continued efforts to make sure the University is a welcoming place for everyone, regardless of their identity.
This work has recently been recognized in a big way. Skeehan was named one of Northern Colorado’s 40 Under 40 for 2021, and received two CSU honors in 2022: the Multicultural Faculty and Staff Network Distinguished Service State-Classified Award and the Margaret B. Hazeleus Award, which is given to people who support women’s and gender equity at CSU.
“If you want to make change happen, you have to be part of it,” Skeehan said. “You have to be part of those conversations and put yourself in those rooms.”
Making a difference from the beginning
Meg Skeehan celebrates being named one of Northern Colorado’s 40 Under 40.
Skeehan is currently an event coordinator in CSU’s College of Business, and while working full-time, is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in ethnic studies and interdisciplinary liberal arts.
Before starting at CSU, they worked full-time as a manager at a restaurant in Fort Collins, and quickly realized that the sometimes 70-hour work weeks weren’t fulfilling.
“I took a pay cut because my happiness was worth it, and I was also like ‘Well, let’s take a class for free,’” Skeehan said. “When I started at CSU, I was in my mid-20s without a college degree and in the middle of a big career change.”
Skeehan is almost halfway to a degree, and by the time they graduate, they’ll have 15 years of professional experience in a wide variety of roles.
“Not doing that traditional route has given me a lot of perspective and a lot of opportunities to experience different jobs and experiences, and it makes it more natural to come into whatever space I land in,” Skeehan said.
Despite a busy schedule, Skeehan isn’t one to simply clock in and out of work without making a significant impact. As part of the Classified Personnel Council, they worked on the Living Wage Initiative to raise salaries for CSU’s lowest paid employees.
“Meg shows you don’t have to be an administrator to make a difference,” said Catherine Douras, a past chair of the Administrative Professional Council who worked with Skeehan on the initiative. “They show that anyone can have an impact at CSU, and I think they’ve gotten themselves in great positions because of it.”
And one of Skeehan’s true talents is the ability not to be intimidated.
“I don’t even have a college degree yet, but I’m going into meetings with people with Ph.D.s and master’s degrees and presenting my ideas, and they’re like ‘cool, do it,’” Skeehan said.
Another one of Skeehan’s passions is building a more welcoming campus. Shannon Archibeque-Engle, the associate vice president for the Office of Inclusive Excellence, has worked with Skeehan for a number of years on the Assessment Group for Diversity Issues as well as the President’s Commission for Diversity and Inclusion.
“Meg cares, and that makes a difference,” Archibeque-Engle said. “They have such a high integrity to social justice, and they know why it is so important and they’re willing to put in the work to make it happen.”
They’re also in it for the long haul.
“DEI isn’t a thing you check off one time, it’s a constant growth process that involves showing up and being able to admit when you’re wrong, and being able to help people through their mistakes,” Skeehan said. “We need to keep doing everything we can to move forward.”
More than their job
Even though a full-time job, multiple advocacy roles on campus and college courses might seem like more than enough, Skeehan manages to stay perfectly busy outside of work too.
An avid gravel biker, they completed the 2021 FoCo Fondo Race, and plan to do it again in 2022. Skeehan also rock climbs, cross country skis and is part of the Nordic Rangers, a group that provides support to the National Park Services and U.S. Forest Service.
They’re also an avid player of the role playing game Dungeons and Dragons.
“Meg and I spend a significant time talking about our campaigns whenever we’re together,” Douras said.
Skeehan credits Dungeons and Dragons for helping them bolster their problem-solving skills, and regularly arranges meets-ups with friends in and outside of work.
“I think it’s important to do stuff,” Skeehan said. “Work-life balance is something I preach to people.”
A lasting impact
One of the accomplishments Skeehan is most proud of is the University’s pronouns statement, an idea that first gained momentum a few years ago while they served on the President’s Commission on Diversity and Inclusion.
“We were doing all this training and working to identify the needs on campus, and at that time, I was just starting to come out as gender queer and introducing my pronouns,” Skeehan said. “I realized even in these DEI spaces, people were still really struggling with pronouns.”
That led Skeehan and another colleague to form a work group and start identifying places where pronouns can go. It’s now commonplace for CSU students and employees to include pronouns on their email signatures and business cards, and they’re a standard part of many professional introductions on campus.
The official pronouns statement came out in fall 2021, and was implemented into Ram Welcome and all sorts of training on campus. There is also an official website with resources and recommendations about how to implement it.
Skeehan said they’ve received lots of feedback from students and alumni who appreciate the fact that CSU is continuing to work to make everyone feel included and valued on campus, regardless of their identity.
“I think that’s the most satisfying thing — watching the progression on campus and knowing this is making a lasting impact,” Skeehan said. “Anything is possible, but when it actually happens, it’s cool to have it recognized.”
About CSU’s College of Business
As an AACSB-accredited business school, the College is among the top five percent of business colleges worldwide, providing programs and career support services to more than 2,500 undergraduate and 1,300 graduate students. Faculty help students across our top-ranked on-campus and online programs develop the knowledge, skills and values to navigate a rapidly evolving business world and address global challenges with sustainable business solutions. Our students are known for their creativity, work ethic and resilience—resulting in an undergraduate job offer and placement rate of over 90% within 90 days of graduation.
The College’s highly ranked programs include its Online MBA, which has been ranked the No. 1 program in Colorado by U.S. News and World Report for five years running and Report and achieved No. 16 for employability worldwide from QS Quacquarelli Symonds. The College’s Impact MBA is also ranked by Corporate Knights as a Top 20 “Better World MBA” worldwide.