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Fort Lewis College’s 2013 draws to a close with Winter Commencement

DURANGO, CO - For more than 230 Fort Lewis College seniors, Winter Commencement will mark a triumphant conclusion to their undergraduate academic career. Winter Commencement takes place on Saturday, December 21, 2013, in Whalen Gym. The ceremony begins at 10 a.m.

A post graduation celebration for FLC’s newest alumni will be held in the Student Life Center immediately following the Commencement ceremony. Everyone is welcome. 

Dr. Sue Kraus 
 Dr. Susan Kraus
The traditional Winter Commencement speaker is the FLC Alice Admire Outstanding Teaching Award winner. For 2013, that is Associate Professor of Psychology Dr. Susan Kraus. 

For Dr. Kraus the commitment to teaching began, in part, by getting criticized while earning her graduate degrees from the University of Colorado-Boulder.

“As a graduate student, I was chastised for spending too much time mentoring my students, and was pushed to prioritize research,” she recalls. “While I love research, and have not neglected that part of my career, teaching always will be my highest priority.”

Her commitment to teaching drove her to find a place to spend her career that truly valued teaching above all else. After earning her Ph.D. in social psychology, she and her husband searched for the right institution that fit their priorities. For Dr. Kraus, she found what she was looking for at FLC.

Her aim as a teacher of psychology is to both help her students lead more fulfilling and informed lives, while showing them how to make the world around them a better place.

“I believe that the study of psychology is of great benefit to society,” she says. “Students who understand human behavior and diversity are well equipped to be leaders, scientists and engaged citizens. Building compassion and understanding toward one’s self and others is crucial to leading a fulfilling life in service to others.”

Her excellence in teaching shows in the growth of her students over the course of their time in her classroom. Her goals as an educator echo the goals of Fort Lewis College as a liberal arts institution: creating graduates who are self-sufficient, independent and thoughtful, and who will thirst for knowledge all their lives.

“The highest compliment to my teaching is students who think more critically after taking my classes,” she says. “When they complain that they no longer believe most of what they read, I know I have done my job. When they value their own research, and quality research of others, I know I have lit a spark that will lead to life-long learning.”

“All these things tell me I have chosen the right path and am making a difference.”

The Winter Commencement ceremony can be viewed live online at For more information on Commencement, visit

Graduates, friends, and family can use hashtag #FLCclassof2013 to participate in the social media conversation about FLC Commencement.
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