Outstanding Grad: Tim Fellows, College of Liberal Arts

Tim Fellows before (left) and after hiking the Colorado Trail.

After spending six years in the Air Force, Tim Fellows decided that the best way to decompress and figure out his next steps in life was to take a little walk.

A nice, 2,200-mile, five-month-long walk. And so, the Maine native, who had been stationed in Georgia, decided to head home.

“I was trying to detox a little bit and clear my head, so I decided to head toward Maine on the Appalachian Trail,” he said.

By the time he completed the trek he had seen four bears, a few rattlesnakes and had a near-death encounter with a lightning bolt near the Dragon’s Tooth rock formation in Virginia. He also ran into a plethora of “really interesting people” but met plenty of really good people, too, and had a chance to map out his future.

“I decided I wanted to go to college and focus on something to do with the outdoors and the environment,” he said. “And after hiking the Appalachian Trail I wanted to go to school somewhere in the mountains.”

That explains how a veteran who had never visited Colorado ended up studying economics at Colorado State University. He added a minor in CSU’s School of Global Environmental Sustainability and graduates this month.

Fellows earned two years of college credit in the Air Force while learning Afghan Pashto (he specialized in translating radio conversations among the Taliban and Al Qaeda), so spent just two years at CSU. But he made a strong impression on the faculty with a 4.0 GPA and mature thinking on global issues.

“I had Tim in my capstone class and he took the lead in his group looking at international environmental agreements,” said Terry Iverson, professor of economics. “I found him to be very energetic and clearly very intelligent. He’s very self-motivated and excited to bring their project forward. I expect big things from him in the future.”

Fellows is applying to law schools with a goal of decreasing carbon emissions by helping change policy in America.

“I’d like to work in the energy industry – something where my economic understanding will fit,” he said. “I really didn’t know much about econ going in but I love it because it provides a mental framework you can apply to almost anything. I definitely appreciate my time here, and I would love to be back in the state after law school.”