Friends of the Libraries volunteer ambassadors play an important role in guiding and planning Friends of the Libraries intitiatives and activities. Learn about our current ambassadors or become a Friend.CU Boulder Friends of the Libraries volunteer ambassadors

Ruth Carmel Kahn

Ruth has been a volunteer with the Friends of the Libraries for over 26 years. She has been president of the Friends of the Libraries Board and played an integral part in the development and continued success of the Friends of the Libraries organization. Before retiring, Ruth was a teacher where she specialized in French, speech, English and journalism. She was also involved in running Kahn’s Ladies Wear with her husband.

When asked about what she enjoys most about being a volunteer with the Friends of the Libraries she stated “associating with the other board members and volunteers.” Ruth’s primary responsibilities with the Friends of the Libraries includes supporting the CU Boulder University Libraries System and educating the public about the University Libraries content available to everyone.

Ruth has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of New Mexico and a certificate at the graduate level from the Sorbonne, Paris, France. Ruth also has a Secondary Teacher’s Certificate.

Ann Chrisbens  

"I joined the Friends of the Libraries board in the early nineties while working in Norlin Library. I tutored and taught at The Learning Center now called Academic Access where we taught freshmen writing to second language students in the Norlin basement. I have degrees from Kansas State University and CU. I taught English in Boulder Valley Schools for ten years while getting a masters from CU in Curriculum and Instruction and a masters in Teaching English as a Second Language before working at the Learning Center. I love Norlin and supporting the Libraries and most of all I have enjoyed the association with the people on the Friend's board while working on our several Treasures each year. Frank Chrisbens and I have been married for fifty-five years and have had the privilege of living in Boulder for forty plus years. We also have the good fortune of having our three children and their families in the area. My interest, of course, lies in literature so I spent time with my book clubs, in Bible study and playing bridge. I recently joined Intercambio an organization whose mission is improving immigrant lives through English education and uniting communities across cultures. I am tutoring a young woman in the English language."

Martha Sue Campbell

Martha joined the Friends of the Library in 1986. She graduated from Boulder High School in June 1945. In the fall of 1945 she began working in the Government Documents Division as a student assistant until a full-time permanent employee position came available. She started that position in 1948 and then retired August 31st, 1988. She enjoys meeting Friends of the Libraries members and her primary responsibility with the Friends of the Libraries is to promote the Libraries. She attended CU for one year, 1945-1946. One of Martha’s notable accomplishments took place in the fall of 1993 when she initiated the sale of ornaments featuring CU’s buildings. With the profit of the ornaments an endowment was formed for the Romantic Poets Collection for the libraries. Martha is single and lives with her twin sister Marie. She loves antiques. Martha is also active in the First Presbyterian Church, Boulder, The Church Library and the Book Nook. She loves gardening.

Suan Tan Schnell

Suan joined the Friends of the Libraries Board in 2006. She was in the education field before retiring, teaching secondary and tertiary education. She was the chair of the English department for a premier school and helped develop curriculum and training of teachers for ESL. Suan then became director of program development for some 2000+ seniors (50 and above). She helped develop programs for continuing education including computer literacy, counseling and social programs for community development.

Before this, Suan was director of volunteers working with 500 individuals training them to volunteer in 40 departments at Hilo hospital. What Suan enjoys most about volunteering with the Friends of the Libraries is meeting and making new friends who all love their work in CU or serve as volunteers. One great aspect is that she also has the opportunity to get to know members of the community who support the library. Suan believes it is the mission of the Friends of the Libraries to promote the library as a collection of materials that preserve history and point the way to new paths for the future of knowledge and research.

Suan graduated with honors from Singapore University with a BA in both English and Sociology. She has a Master’s Degree from Washington University in St. Louis in Sociology and Education. She has a background in social work via peer counseling through mental health services in Boulder. She teaches seniors computer literacy believing that this new form of illiteracy limits seniors in multiple ways. She also enjoys passing on craft and sewing skills to foreign nationals that come to Boulder as spouses of international students and often find time lies heavy on their hands. She helps international visitors who come to Boulder meet with professional counterparts through the Boulder Council for International Visitors.

Suan was a realtor in the early 70’s and worked as the non-academic director of students for the Economics Institute. For many years she was a cross-cultural trainer for American businessmen who would travel to Australia, England, China, India and the Middle East. Suan came to the U.S. as a Fulbright Scholar. She feels her most rewarding work has been being wife and mother to her family which comprises of Russell Schnell, Ph.D., Ryan Schnell, Ph.D., and Alicia Schnell, MBA and MSW. In her spare time she enjoys international cuisines and crafts like stitchery, crochet, tatting and knitting. She really enjoys travel, reading and spiritual growth.

Joan Knaub

Joan Knaub began her term on the Friends of the Libraries Board in 1997. She was in the teaching industry before retiring. She enjoys the brownies that Martha Campbell brings to the volunteer meetings. She believes her primary responsibility with the Friends of the Libraries is to highlight the wonderful attributes of CU Boulder and its Libraries. She went to Simpson College, Indiana University and the University of Colorado, graduating with a Bachelor’s, Master’s and a degree in Education. Joan enjoys playing bridge and free writing as well as sleeping late.

Cynthia Grubb

I was honored when the Friends’ Board asked me to join in 2003 after funding for my position as liaison between the CU Boulder Foundation and Libraries ended.  Since then I have enjoyed being part of this wonderful and fun group of people (think of them as family). I enjoy most our coming together to help Dean Williams in any way we can to promote CU Boulder Libraries. My work experience (mainly secretarial/administrative) has been in nonprofits, i.e., Denver Museum of Nature and Science, University of Utah Anthropology Department, CU Boulder and the American Indian Science and Engineering Society. In addition to employment with several other companies, I worked for an infrared consulting firm in Munich, Germany.

I am a graduate of CU in piano pedagogy. Classical music, in particular piano repertoire, has been my life-long love. I have taught piano through the years and am still teaching my grandchildren. I enjoy playing two-piano music, accompanying soloists and joining string quartets. Sometimes we work up programs to present to friends.

On a personal note, I have three children, 12 grandchildren; they all live in this area and I happily spend time with them. I remarried 21 years ago and add my husband’s four children and eight grandchildren to the above list. My husband, an English electrical/electronics engineer, continues to do consulting work with his colleagues at NOAA.  We share many similar interests including classical music, reading, gardening, walking, biking, hiking and traveling.