CSB alumna Colette Peters featured speaker for Renaissance Series presentation

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January 4, 2013

Colette Peters, CSB alumna and first female director of the Oregon Department of Corrections

Colette Peters, a 1993 College of Saint Benedict graduate and the first female director of the Oregon Department of Corrections, will be in-residence at CSB from Jan. 21-22, 2013 and will serve as the 2013 Renaissance Series speaker.

She will discuss her experiences leading the Department of Corrections at 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 21 in room 204, Gorecki Dining and Conference Center, CSB. The event is free and open to the public.

While in-residence at CSB, Peters will participate in classroom visits, "Lunch with a Leader" with students involved in the S. Nancy Hynes Institute for Women's Leadership and breakfast with psychology students.

As director of the Oregon Department of Corrections, Peters manages some 4,300 employees with a two-year budget of $1.4 billion. Those employees oversee about 14,000 inmates in 14 correctional facilities.

Peters received a bachelor of arts degree in psychology from CSB in 1993, as well as a master of criminal justice from the University of Colorado in 1997. She has also served as a juvenile counselor in Iowa, worked at a halfway house in Minneapolis and as a victim's advocate with the Denver Police Department. 

In 2004, Peters began serving as the Oregon Department of Correction's public administrator and was promoted to assistant director. She then was given a second title as inspector general, serving as an adviser to Max Williams, who then ran the Corrections Department. In 2008, Peters and her husband returned to Minnesota, but moved back to Oregon in 2009, where she was chosen to head the Oregon Youth Authority. She served in this position until being named head of the Department of Corrections in February 2012.

Serving the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University, the Renaissance Series was established by CSB President MaryAnn Baenninger in 2006 to bring speakers to CSB who "demonstrate the diversity of opportunities available for women and men and . . .  to encourage them to broaden their horizons in every respect, particularly in areas that are less traditional for the respective genders."

Past speakers include Anne-Marie Slaughter, foreign policy expert, professor and author; Vandana Shiva, world-renowned environmental thinker and activist; Anousheh Ansari, the first female private space explorer; Annie Griffiths Belt, National Geographic photographer; and Sylvia Nasar, author and economist.

This event is sponsored by the CSB Renaissance Speaker Series, the CSB President's Office and the S. Nancy Hynes Institute for Women's Leadership.