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Lindsey and Casey Goodman standing next to each other, smiling

Generous Alumni Share Their Passion of Humanities with UNC

When Lindsey (’10,’14) and Casey (’10) Goodman stepped onto the University of Northern Colorado’s campus in Greeley in 2006, they both felt an immediate connection to the school. Lindsey, hailing from Palisade, Colorado, knew she wanted to teach, and Casey, also from Colorado, wanted to study political science.

When Lindsey (’10, ’14) and Casey (’10) Goodman stepped onto the University of Northern Colorado’s campus in Greeley in 2006, they both felt an immediate connection to the school. Lindsey, hailing from Palisade, Colorado, knew she wanted to teach, and Casey, also from Colorado, wanted to study political science. 

“I stepped on campus at UNC, and it felt like home,” Lindsey said.  

Once enrolled in classes, they found faculty within the College of Humanities and Social Sciences who would become lifelong mentors.  

Lindsey with her advisor, Fritz Fischer, Ph.D., professor of History, and Michael Welsh, Ph.D., professor of Psychological Sciences, and Casey with his advisor, Brook Blair, Ph.D., Director, Life of Mind and professor of Political Science and International Affairs.  

With UNC’s small class sizes and attentive faculty, Lindsey and Casey found themselves with mentors who they would learn from repeatedly throughout their time at UNC. 

“My professors have seen me grow as an academic,” Lindsey said of faculty who taught her as both an undergraduate and graduate student at UNC. “They bolstered my love of learning and of history.” 

Casey and Lindsey both got jobs working on campus (which is how they met) and got involved beyond the classroom—Casey with the Model Arab League and Lindsey with the Visitor’s Center and the Phi Alpha Theta Honor’s Fraternity.  

After graduation they started their lives together. While Lindsey taught special education, then history, and Casey went into business, they both knew one thing—within 10 years they wanted to give back to UNC. It was at about that 10-year mark they started planning and reached out to Alumni Relations and said they wanted to contribute to the university in a meaningful way.  

“The [donor] experience has been incredibly easy, and we were encouraged to figure out a way that meant something to us individually,” Casey said. “We were able to do that in a way that was fulfilling to both of us.” 

For Lindsey, that meant establishing a scholarship to support students, for Casey, it meant sponsoring an annual speaker series. 

While Lindsey was doing her student teaching she had to move back home to the Western Slope because she couldn’t afford to work full-time as an unpaid teacher and still pay rent. So, in 2022 she worked with UNC’s Development team to establish a student scholarship: the Goodman Teacher Scholarship designated specifically for students who are studying History Secondary Education during their required semester of student teaching. 

Dakota Baer (’23), was facing a similar hardship as she was trying to work full-time, go to school, avoid student debt and be successful in her final semester of student teaching.  

“The Goodman Teacher Scholarship has given me hope and provided that final push to get through this next semester, which will be one of the hardest I have taken,” Baer said. “I never wanted student debt and with this scholarship, I can finish my degree without having to overload or stress myself out more. This will in turn help me to finish strong!” 

Lindsey treasures the letters from the scholarship recipients. She has always hoped to have an impact on her students through teaching and now, she can impact students even more directly through the scholarship.  

“We wanted to give people opportunities that we had when we were here,” Lindsey said. “It was always a goal for us to give back to UNC.” 

Around the same time, Casey reconnected with his mentor and former advisor, Brook Blair, to sponsor an annual speaker series to bring relevant and timely speakers and authors to UNC. The inaugural event in the Goodman Speaker Series will take place April 5 and features Alexander Cooley and Daniel Nexon,co-authors of America’s Exit from Hegemony:The Unraveling of the American Global Order. Their talk will explore the book’s themes of how and why the U.S.-led order is fundamentally transforming and discuss international relations through the lens of social science theory. 

Cooley is the Claire Tow Professor of Political Science at Barnard College and Director of Columbia University's Harriman Institute, Nexon is a professor at Georgetown University, with a joint appointment in the Department of Government and the School of Foreign Service. 

Creating this series is important, Casey said, because it brings opportunities to UNC that students might not have otherwise.  

“[UNC] played such a big part in our lives,” he recalls. “UNC is the size where you can figure out who you are through the interactions with professors and the relationships you can build.” 

Casey and Lindsey both reminisced about the experiences they had at UNC, including when Casey studied abroad in China and they attended a congressional debate on campus, all of which impacted their worldview. 

“Humanities makes us better, more well-rounded humans,” Lindsey said.  

Both credit their UNC education and humanities focus with their success. Casey is a regional manager at Tesla, and Lindsey taught special education then history for many years before taking a respite to raise their young children.  

“A lot of the lessons we learned (at UNC) …have helped me navigate the ins and outs of my career,” Casey said. “It shaped how I approach the world in general. So much of your success today is dependent upon how well you can navigate and interact with people. Through my time in the humanities…I learned how to articulate and interact with people who have differing opinions.” 

When thinking about where their son, 7, and daughter, 3, might attend college someday, both Casey and Lindsey want it to be a place where they can get 1:1 attention, exposure to differing ideas and opinions, and make a difference.  

“The experience I got at UNC…had a big impact on shaping my success,” he said.

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