Livesay Award

Who is making an impact?

Do you know Colorado College alumni who significantly impact Colorado's nonprofit sector?

The Livesay Award was created in honor of popular and well-respected Professor Emeritus of Sociology Jeff Livesay, who brought the Public Interest Fellowship Program (PIFP) to Colorado College and has shepherded it through years of growth to become a signature program on campus. It is presented each year to a Colorado College graduate who is living out the mission, spirit, and goals of the PIFP in their life and career by contributing to systemic change, increasing the capacity of the nonprofit sector, and helping to build a new generation of nonprofit leaders.

The Colorado College Public Interest Fellowship Program invites you to nominate a Colorado College graduate for the Livesay Award for Social Change.

If you know a CC grad who has made a significant career contribution to the nonprofit sector in Colorado over the years, please nominate them for the Livesay Award. Nominations for the Livesay Award must be submitted by April 1 each year. We invite everyone and anyone to submit a nomination. To nominate a Colorado College graduate please complete this nomination form

If you have questions about the award process, please reach out to Andrea Culp, Public Interest Fellowship Program Director.

2024 Livesay Award Recipient

Ethan Hemming, 2024 Livesay Award Recipient

Ethan Hemming ‘92

Early on, Ethan spent countless hours volunteering with Samaritan House shelter and Metro Denver Homeless Initiative. Even during his undergraduate years, Ethan was seen as someone willing to sacrifice for others while working to improve the community we live in.

Ethan’s career began with the Denver Public Schools becoming the Deputy Executive Director of the Office of School Reform and Innovation, and then with the Colorado Department of Education as the Executive Director of the Colorado Charter Schools Initiative in which he was responsible for the authorization of all public charter schools in the state.

Since 2016, Ethan has been the President and CEO of Warren Village, a Denver nonprofit that provides affordable living spaces and resources for previously unhoused and unstably housed low-income, single-parent families. Warren Village takes a “holistic, two-generation” approach by providing an Early Learning Center for children, life skills classes for parents, education and career support, and help in navigating resources. Perhaps most importantly it provides a safe, stable place for parents and children to live for two to three years allowing them to bracket the daily struggle for survival and plan for their futures.

Ethan’s leadership has been exemplary in navigating the crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic, identifying and setting strategic goals, expanding partnerships with other organizations, and planning a housing development in southwest Denver in partnership with the Denver Housing Authority to open in the fall of 2024. In the process, Warren Village has become a national model for the interruption of the intergenerational reproduction of poverty.

Beyond working to grow Warren Village, Ethan still makes a point to be engaged in local, state and national policy. Ethan regularly advocates for social change and increased resources for affordable housing, homelessness, and human services. He is often looked to as a leader in the field.

Previous Livesay Award Winners

Steve Wood '84 (2023 Livesay Recipient)

Steve Wood '84 (2023 Recipient)

Steve started his public art career as a free-lance independent contractor which eventually led to the creation of Concrete Couch, the 501(c)(3) we know today. Concrete Couch provides participants with the experience of community-in-action to encourage them to become confident, empowered community-builders and change-agents themselves. With a mission “to work with kids and community groups to create public art, to build community, and to create environments and experiences that humanize our world,” Concrete Couch has given disenfranchised citizens a sense of purpose, pride and connection through creative projects. Whether it be a skill share, music jam, making a giant sculpture, or welding a gorgeous fence to beautify a beloved park, Steve Wood and Concrete Couch has left an indelible mark on our community. Concrete Couch is not just a non-profit that exists to build community through creative projects. Concrete Couch, under Steve’s leadership, has provided a vibrant network of community partners and learners from neighbors close to Colorado College to leaders across the state of Colorado to experience the impact of a non-profit. These opportunities not only provide beautiful civic artifacts for current and future generations but experiences for people to learn how to be in community with one another.

Koki Atcheson '19 (2020 Livesay Recipient)

Koki Atcheson '19 (2020 Recipient)

A 2019-2020 PIFP fellow, Koki transitioned into her full time role at Conservation Colorado in summer 2020. She's wonderful, gracious, and is already making an impact in the nonprofit sector right here in Colorado. She exemplifies a CC student who has produced high-caliber, meaningful work and initiated collaborative and constructive relationships within her organization and with outside partners. She regularly attends nonprofit events on weekends and after work hours, spends time picking up and driving around coworkers, reaches out to Colorado nonprofit groups to strengthen her own organization, and is at the forefront of many equity and ecological justice programs. Koki works hard to elevate those around her, and is always working and ideating with a critical, discerning eye, as well as patience and kindness.


Vatsala Kapur Pathy '94Vatsala Kapur Pathy '94 (2019 Recipient)

With a BA in Political Science and History from Colorado College, and a MA in Latin American Studies and Public Affairs from the University of Texas at Austin, Vatsala Kapur Pathy has long had a passion for politics and policy. She comes from a family where the idea of public service has always been central to her identity. Vatsala sees that access to healthcare is one of the essential ingredients to poverty alleviation. She understands that all individuals need a home, safety, health insurance and health literacy in order to thrive. Vatsala’s professional experience has traversed public health and health policy and encompasses all these dimensions. Over the past twenty years, Vatsala has worked in a variety of roles to help ensure access to affordable healthcare for all. She’s worked as a Health Policy Analyst for the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing and as a Government Program Coordinator for Kaiser Foundation Health Plan. Vatsala’s greatest contributions to the Colorado non-profit sector is in her role as owner, strategic consultant and project manager for Rootstock Solutions, LLC, a consulting company specializing in strategic planning, financial management, and project management for nonprofits, government programs and healthcare organizations such as Kaiser Foundation’s Health Plan of Colorado, where she supported the development and implementation of a chronic disease management project for Medicaid patients. She has also worked with the State Innovation Model and spearheaded a $65M grant request for the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, securing a four-year grant for the State of Colorado. Vatsala has also made significant contributions in her work as Senior Program Officer for the Colorado Health Foundation where she oversaw major initiatives including seed funding for the Colorado School of Public Health’s Healthy Eating and Active Living program that led to the creation of LiveWell Colorado. She also crafted and implemented the Foundation’s first major initiative, Health Connections, to strengthen the capacity of safety net clinics and provide $9.4M in funding to 43 different organizations. Vatsala’s idea of success has always been, in the words of Emerson, to “leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know that even one life has breathed easier because [one has] lived.”

Shane Lory '16Shane Lory '16 (2018 Recipient)

Inspired by Boulder Food Rescue and his time as a resident/volunteer at a food and social-justice housing cooperative in Boulder, Shane Lory set out to found Colorado Springs Food Rescue (CSFR) during his sophomore year at Colorado College. After assembling a team of dedicated students, Shane and company spent the '13-'14 school year busily laying down the groundwork for future growth. During its first year, CSFR crowdsourced over $7,000 to purchase initial food transportation equipment, laid down a first draft of CSFR’s organizational bylaws, and began bridging the gap between surplus healthy food going to waste in Colorado Springs and communities that lacked access to such resources. In the spring of 2014, Shane Lory and co-founder Meredith Bird ‘15 were awarded $10,000 in seed funding after presenting at Colorado College’s “Big Idea” competition, paving the way for an additional sizable grant award from the Edmonson Foundation. These initial fundraising successes allowed CSFR to hire its first full time staff member, and begin to build a Board of Directors comprised of Colorado Springs community leaders. Shane oversaw CSFR’s incorporation as a 501(c)3 non-profit, the development of its governance structures, and the hiring of additional staff. After graduation, Shane stepped down from the board and was hired on as Director of Operations. Currently leading the way in Food Systems and Education work in Colorado Springs, CSFR boasts a core staff of 7, with an additional 4 high-school student advocates on the payroll, and 4-5 CC students employed per year. Though CSFR has now distributed over 1,000,000 pounds of healthy food to communities throughout Colorado Springs and intends to continue its food access programs, its focus has shifted to include innovations in Food Education and Food Production. As per their recently released 3-year strategic plan, aptly titled ‘Cultivate 2020’ CSFR plans to develop hyper-regional food production hubs in under-resourced neighborhoods by hiring residents to grow and sell affordable healthy food directly to their neighbors.

Katherine Pease '91Katherine Pease '91 (2017 Recipient)

Katherine Pease '91 is the principal of KP Advisors. She has worked with foundations, investors and nonprofit organizations for more than 20 years. She previously served as the first executive director of the Gill Foundation and as Senior Vice President for Philanthropic Investments and Policy at Gary Community Investments/Piton Foundation. She regularly speaks about the intersection of impact investing and social equity and has written about the subject extensively.

Katherine also earned her MA in Public Administration from The University of Colorado, where she is also a Lecturer in the School of Public Affairs. She has worked with many emerging leaders in philanthropy and nonprofits as a mentor and teacher, including fellows of CC’s Public Interest Fellowship Program and graduate students at the University of Colorado Denver.

Katherine currently serves on the Board of Directors of Global Greengrants Fund. She is also a member of the Global Advisory Council of Cornerstone Capital Group, the Steering Committee of Impact Finance Center, and the Advisory Board for the School of Public Affairs at the University of Colorado.

Gretchen Hammer '94Gretchen Hammer '94 (2016 Recipient)

Gretchen Hammer is Colorado’s Medicaid Director, overseeing the office which administers public health insurance for low income and disabled Coloradans, including Medicaid and the Child Health Plan Plus

Before joining the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing in January, 2015, Ms. Hammer was the Executive Director of the Colorado Coalition for the Medically Underserved and served as past chair and Member of the Board of Directors for Connect for Health Colorado.  In addition to her Board Service at Connect for Health Colorado, Ms. Hammer has served on the Board of Directors of the Colorado Children’s Health Care Access Program and the Anchor Center for Blind Children. She also served on the Board of Trustees for HealthONE. 

In her early career, Ms. Hammer was a private consultant focused on leadership development, complex systems change initiatives, strategic planning, program management and constituent engagement for numerous public serving organizations.

Scott Campbell BA '91, MA '93 and Jeff LivesayScott Campbell BA '91, MA '93 (2015 Recipient)

Scott Campbell has a record of excellence in public interest work in Colorado. He served as the director of Palmer Land Trust from 2007 to 2014. Under Scott’s leadership, Palmer Land Trust protected 25,000 acres of natural and agricultural lands and launched 40,000 acres of conservation projects currently underway. With 80,000 acres protected in total, the organization became one of the twenty-five largest land trusts in the country. It won the El Pomar Award for Excellence in 2007; became one of the first nationally accredited land trusts in 2010; and received the Jane Silverstein Ries Award from the American Society of Landscape Architects in 2013.

Scott founded the Protect the Peak Conservation Initiative, a non-profit, collaborative effort to build a contiguous ring of protected public and private lands around America’s Mountain, Pikes Peak. He established Colorado’s premier conservation awards event, the Southern Colorado Conservation Awards—to acknowledge and celebrate the work of conservation non-profits throughout the state. He co-founded the Colorado Scenic Byways Conservation Coalition, leading eighteen non-profits in a multi-million dollar effort to protect open lands along Colorado’s national scenic byways.

In 2014, Scott was awarded a Loeb Fellowship at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. He was subsequently named the Lincoln Loeb Fellow at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. Scott’s work at Harvard and Lincoln is exploring new models for western water conservation—where conservation easements, rotational fallowing, and agricultural-municipal transfer agreements advanced by non-profits and NGOs can restore river ecologies while providing long-term water supplies to farms and cities.

Lance Cheslock '82 Lance Cheslock '82 (2014 Recipient)

Lance A. Cheslock has served as the director of La Puente ("the Bridge") in Alamosa since about 1990. La Puente is a homeless shelter that serves 1000's of immigrant workers in the valley as well as indigent homeless each year. It also helps find them homes and jobs and health care and has expanded to include a coffee shop that builds a sense of community and responsibility between those with no one to care for them and the residents of Alamosa.

He has started a recycled goods store that furthers this cause and helps to raise money to support the efforts. He has managed to convince the state of Colorado to give La Puente a tax break beyond the charity level to an "Enterprise Zone" because of his work investing in social justice and economic recovery, and he often talks with the governor and senators.

There are many other things he has done over the past 20-30 years, including providing many internships for CC students.

John Fish and former CC President Jill TiefenthalerJohn Fish (2013 Recipient)

John Fish was a pastor, college professor, activist, and organizer. After earning his Bachelor’s degree from Princeton (1955), he went on to receive a Master of Divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary (1958), and a master’s degree and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago (1965 and 1971, respectively). Fish was the founding director and, later, national director of Project 55’s Public Interest Program (PIP), the forerunner of Princeton AlumniCorps.

From its beginnings in neighborhood nonprofits in Chicago, PIP expanded to other cities and placed Princeton students and alumni in yearlong community-service fellowships and summer internships to spark civic engagement and promote social justice.

With John’s guidance and support CC’s Public Interest Fellowship Program is modeled on the work of Princeton Project 55.

Contact Us

Andrea Culp
Director, Public Interest Fellowship Program
Report an issue - Last updated: 07/12/2024