CSU Service 1991 to 2004; 2010-2011
Dean, College of Applied Human Sciences
Faculty and Director, School of Education
Nancy grew up in Chicago, Illinois. She and her husband, Dr. Brian Cobb, currently live in Fort Collins and have four children and seven grandchildren in their blended family.
Nancy attended Southern Illinois University where she earned her undergraduate degree in Social Work with a minor in Psychology and Special Education. From there, Nancy went on to the University of Illinois, Springfield, where she earned her master’s degree in Counseling Psychology. After completing her master’s degree, Nancy attended Colorado State University to pursue her Ph.D. with a specialization in Education and Training for Transition from School to Work. She began her university career as an assistant professor at Keene State College in New Hampshire and then moved to the University of Northern Colorado, before beginning her career at CSU.
CSU Work History
In 1991 Nancy came to Colorado State University as a faculty member in the School of Education. Nancy then became the Director of the School of Education. After two years, Nancy assumed the role of Interim Dean of the College of Applied Human Sciences in 1993 before officially becoming dean from 1994 to 2004. From 2005 to 2018, Nancy served as a consultant to various state and national agencies including the National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Education, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and Colorado Community College System She also served on a number of boards including the Women’s Foundation of Colorado where she co-chaired the Planning Program Committee for a number of years, the Poudre Valley Health System Board, Board of Examiners for the Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award, the American Association of College of Teacher Education, the Women in Deanship Study Group, the National Network for Educational Renewal, the Colorado Partnership for Educational Renewal, the Colorado Council of Deans of Education, and others.
During that time, Nancy also stepped in as Interim Dean for the College of Applied Human Sciences once more at CSU from 2010 to summer 2011. In addition to her work as a consultant, Nancy was named the Academic Dean for Semester at Sea in Spring 2018, Spring 2021 (postponed due to the pandemic), and for Spring 2023. At CSU, Nancy also partnered with her dear friend, colleague, and fellow Legacies Honoree Kevin Oltjenbruns to create WAC – a group to support women in administrative positions across campus. While at CSU Nancy received a number of honors and awards including the CSU College of Health and Human Sciences Honor Alumna Award, the CSU Women’s Caucus/Margaret B. Hazaleus Award, the Oliver P. Pennock Distinguished Service Award, and the CSU Alumni Association Distinguished Faculty Award.
Highlights as Dean of the College of Applied Human Sciences
While serving as Dean, Nancy was passionate about creating new initiatives and programs and bringing them to fruition to enhance the stature and visibility of the college. Pride points for Nancy include:
- Cultivating community relationships – Nancy developed partnerships with Poudre School District to connect schools in Fort Collins to CSU and work on initiatives that brought CSU School of Education faculty and PSD faculty together, creating the Research Center for the Advancement of Student Learning (R & D Center), which focused research on important problems in the schools, and evaluation work on the effectiveness of programs within the schools.
- Expanding internship opportunities – Applied Human Sciences was one of the first colleges to work with the Service Learning/AmeriCorps grant to expand initiatives in the college and create more internships and field experiences for students.
- Elevating college initiatives and programs – Nancy was instrumental in the creation of the Institute for the Built Environment, R & D Center, Early Childhood Center expansion from Gifford to the current stand-alone location, creation of the Fermentation Science and Technology major, cultivating Construction Management partnerships with the industry and the remodel of Guggenheim space, creation of the Human Performance Clinical/Research Laboratory, now a Program of Research and Scholarly Excellence in Health and Exercise Science, and building visibility for work with the Design and Merchandising Historic Costume and Textiles Collection which is now the Avenir Museum. Through this work, Design and Merchandising held the first community fashion show with designer Mr. Blackwell. Finally, she began work on developing the proposal for the collection to become a museum. During this time her college leadership team began work to create Ph.D. programs for many of the departments.
What is Nancy doing today?
Since retiring, Nancy has continued to be active in board activities of the Women’s Foundation, and she is also involved in Women Give and Semester at Sea, where she sailed as the Academic Dean in Spring 2018. Nancy will serve once again as the Academic Dean for Semester at Sea on the Spring 2023 voyage – an experience she believes is life-changing for students and faculty. Nancy has come full circle and spends her time in service and philanthropy initiatives related to issues around poverty and access and working with students and non-profits who serve women and people in need – work she began 50 years ago about which she is still passionate today.