The Western Colorado MSW Student Bloggers

Meet our student bloggers for the 2016 year here!

Brooke Lightner (Steamboat Springs, CO) Social work interests include: teens,health, dating violence and relationships


McKenzie (Steamboat Springs, CO) Social Work interests include: veterans, sustainability, integrated health.  Favorite quote: “Life is not a struggle– its a wiggle”.


Rosie’s Riveting Record (Grand Junction by way of Loyal, WI). Rosie’s social work areas of concentration are homeless and runaway youth/young adults.She plans to pursue an LCSW after graduating form the DU WestCo GSSW MSW program! Rosie likes to make people laugh with or at her; either way, as long as there is laughter.


Yesenia Arreola was born in Cuauhtemoc, Chihuahua, Mexico…her hometown is Cusihuiriachic where she lived until the age of 5 at which time she and her family moved to Carbondale, Colorado. Yesenia’s Social Work interests span a wide range of topics that include education equity, access and success; youth and children, immigration, social justice in all forms but especially related to vulnerable populations; issues impacting the Latino community both locally and nationally; policy-macro level work; a passion for changing and influencing larger systems; community organizing; sustainability and environmental justice. Her interests in general are spending time with family and friends, road cycling and hiking as well as volunteering in community organizations and boards.


Amber the Avenger, is the blogging alias of WestCo’s own Amber Abila from Delta, Colorado. Her Social Work Interest is specific treatment for offenders. “Life’s a garden, dig it!”


cryslee will be the blog of Christine Stephens who hails from Grand Junction, Colorado. Her Social Work Interests include environmental justice, poverty, homelessness, and the drug addiction cycle. Two of Christine’s favorite quotes are “Simply loving my life” and      ” Great Minds discuss ideas, Small Minds talk about others”.


“Escandalo” Rafael Orozco, Social  Working for a Living from Fort Collins by way of his current home in Grand Junction has Social Work interests of El Chisme (gossip!) and Social Justice. Some of his favorite quotes are: “You better work”; “The library is open”; “Extravaganza Eleganza”; “The time has come for you to lip-sync for your life”; and “Gentlemen, start your engines! And may the best woman win!”


“El Chisme” is the blogging handle for Alicia Gutierrez from Grand Junction. Her Social Work interests regard underserved populations and global health. The following quote attributed to the Dalai Lama is meaningful to Alicia: “If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.”


Susan Johnson joins us from Hot Sulphur Springs, her Social Work interest regards mental  health.A favorite quote of Susan’s is “Our strength is often composed of the weakness we are damned if we’re gonna show”-Mignon McLaughlin


Kate Tozzi considers both Aspen, Colorado and Washington D.C. as her hometowns. Her Social Work interests are environmental justice, youth care, policy and mental health. She enjoys hiking, reading, listening to music and skiing. One of Kate’s favorite quotes is from Mahatma Gandhi, “Be the change you wish to see in the world”.




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