Associate Dean Tammi Vacha-Haase presenting the Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship award to Theresa Barosh at Celebrate! on April 19, 2016.
At the intersection of studying species coexistence theory and environmental stewardship stands a graduate student who passionately blends a deep commitment to science education with supporting diverse learners.
Theresa Barosh, a doctoral student in Ecology, has been selected as this year’s recipient of the 2016 Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship Award for her service to and advancement of underrepresented student education, contribution to the enhancement of individuals from ethnically diverse populations, dedication as a role model, and for scholarly excellence.
This award is presented each year to a Colorado State University graduate student by the Graduate School and provides full support for one academic year. The annual award is part of the Graduate School’s longstanding commitment to diversity, multiculturalism, and social justice, with ongoing dedication to the inclusion and affirmation of all individuals and those reflective of individual differences.
Barosh applied for the scholarship with more than five years of research experience and a decade of leadership in mentoring programs. As a PhD student in Dr. Paul Ode’s lab at CSU, she is studying the intersection of species coexistence theory and environmental stewardship. The research examines insect herbivores (a gall midge and a gall wasp) that use invasive Russian knapweed as a host. Her commitment to science education and exploring alternative instructional strategies to support diverse learners led her to recently becoming a research assistant in Dr. Meena Balgopal’s lab where she is researching education of minorities with a large group of collaborating scientists.
Barosh grew up in Estes Park as one of ten children. She wrote articles for her high school newspaper critiquing racial and social inequality, and as an undergraduate, she wrote a weekly political comic often dealing with racial inequality issues. She cofounded the Young Artists and Scholars nonprofit organization, and the organization uses visual modes of learning to help the youth think about complex social and philosophical concepts. She has also led outreach activities through the organization to educate Colorado youth on invasive plant biology and management. She has published articles through EcoPress to continue to educate the public about science, and she has created visual media learning tools to help teach scientific concepts and encourage students from all gender and ethnic backgrounds to learn more about science.
Barosh actively pursues outreach efforts to impact eco-justice policy in Colorado. She regularly meets with many Colorado weed county managers, Colorado Department of Agriculture biological control specialists and private landowners to participate in weed management discussions.“I am particularly concerned with the counties in Colorado with low economic statuses, which leaves them with limited resources allocated to weed management,” said Barosh.
She has worked hard to influence local policy leading to weed management recommendations for valuable lands, such as the Alamosa Wildlife Refuge. “Working closely with these landowners and managers, I hope to promote education on invasive species management throughout my years as a PhD student and in the rest of my career, ” Barosh said.
Visit the Graduate School for more information on scholarships for graduate students.