For two days in February, FLC students and faculty were regaled with tales from the worlds of law, entrepreneurship, the high-tech industry – and Fort Lewis College in the 1990s. Ramona Pierson and Tara Trask, 1994 graduates of the Psychology program and today both entrepreneurs and start-up business developers, reunited were brought to the FLC campus the Alumni Engagement Office. Over a busy couple of days, the pair hosted a brown-bag lunch conversation, met budding business owners at a Hawk Tank Business Plan Competition workshop, joined in on classes, lectured on their fields and work, and met one-on-one with students and faculty. And they rekindled a college friendship two-decades strong.
Ramona Pierson (Psychology, ’94) is chief executive officer for Declara, an artificial intelligence-enabled social learning platform for innovation and human capital development. Her path to FLC started after a near-fatal accident that left her blind. But this didn’t discourage her from doing things students do in Durango (like rock climbing) while in school here. Overcoming tremendous adversity, she is now one of the hot tech stars of Silicon Valley, speaking around the world on topics including the future of work and the impact of AI on the workforce.
Tara Trask (Psychology, ’94) is president of Trask and Associates. A litigation strategy, jury research, and trial consulting firm in the San Francisco area. She found herself at FLC as a sophomore, after time at UT Austin, and a year off skiing. FLC was where she found her passion for psychology that led her to a top career in the field of trial science that is now immortalized in the new TV series “Bull,” based on her mentor, Dr. Phil McGraw (of talk show fame), and his early career as a trial consultant.