Two CSU employees named in Northern Colorado’s ‘Forty Under 40’ list

Savannah Hoag

Two rams were recently recognized by BizWest as a few of the best and brightest community leaders in Northern Colorado.

The digital business news journal named Kimberly Stern and John Durkin on their list of  Northern Colorado’s Forty Under 40 for 2015. 


CSU's Director of Social and Digital Media Kimberly Stern. (Photo By: Cisco Mora).
CSU’s Director of Social and Digital Media Kimberly Stern. (Photo By: Cisco Mora).

Durkin is being recognized as CSU’s Director of Corporate Relations, but his current position is the executive director of development for the College of Business. Stern, CSU’s director of social and digital media, is being recognized for establishing the University’s online presence.

Vice President of External Affairs Tom Milligan nominated Stern for the ‘Forty Under 40,’ list for re-vamping CSU’s social media presence. 

“Kimberly and her team have transformed CSU’s social media into what I believe to be one of the best in country,” Milligan said. “She’s got a great team and is a great leader. She turned something into an unquestionable asset to the University.” 

Stern earned both her undergraduate degree and Masters in Business Administration at CSU. 

While Stern is focusing on social media, Durkin has been proving himself as an asset to the University since 2001. Vice President of University Advancement Brett Andersen said CSU is fortunate to have Durkin.

John Durkin is being recognized as one of Northern Colorado's 40 under Forty by BizWest. (Photo Courtesy of John Durkin).
John Durkin is being recognized as one of Northern Colorado’s 40 under Forty by BizWest. (Photo Courtesy of John Durkin).

“John is tremendous, he’s incredibly focused and he focuses on meeting expectations of beyond what is expected of him,” Andersen said.

Durkin’s job title at CSU has changed throughout the years, but he is still remaining dedicated to finding the well-being of students, no matter what position he is in. 

“I’ve worked with thousands of students on resumes, mock interviews and one on one mentoring,” Durkin said. “There were many years when I worked in the College of Engineering, where I was literally on a first name basis with each and every graduating senior that walked across the stage.” 

Online, Stern said she is most proud of her work recognizing Animal Science Professor Dr. Temple Grandin on Reddit. Grandin is known mainly for her animal-handling research advocacy for autism.

“My team facilitated the Grandin AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Nov. 17, 2014 and Colorado State publicized the event through its Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ accounts,” Stern said. “Colorado State University is home to a globally-recognized thought leader in Dr. Grandin, and we wanted to share that wealth of knowledge with the rest of the world.”


Last spring, Stern and her social media team earned a Webby award, the equivalent of the Oscars of the Internet, for their work with Grandin. 

Both Durkin and Stern said they are extremely grateful to have built their careers at CSU, and are honored to work with the teams in their individual departments. They will be recognized Nov. 3 from 5:30 to 8 p.p. at the Fort Collins Country Club. 

“Recognizing the up-and-coming individuals in our community is important because we are getting a look at the future leaders of business and organizations in our community,” Stern said. “The next generation of leaders is here. It’s good to get to know them.”

Collegian Reporter Savannah Hoag can be reached online at or on Twitter at @Sav_Hoag.