Border to retire as CU Boulder Graduate Teacher Program director

By Staff

Laura L. B. Border

Laura L. B. Border, director of the CU Boulder Graduate Teacher Program (GTP), will retire Sept. 1.  With her retirement, she leaves an unparalleled legacy of educational and professional development for graduate students on the campus.

A reception honoring Border is set for 3 p.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 31, at the tent on the south terrace of the University Memorial Center. A cash bar (beer and wine) will be available.

Border, a Colorado native, holds three degrees from CU Boulder – bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate in French. She taught French as an instructor for several years, then, in 1985, became the coordinator of the Graduate Teacher Program. When the program was moved to the Graduate School in 1988, she became the founding director.

Her tireless efforts have resulted in the training of 15,000 graduate students through workshops, colloquia, conferences and individual consultations. She has overseen the creation of three different teaching and professional development certificates, most notably the Certificate in College Teaching, which has been completed by over 500 graduate students.

Border collaborated with the University Libraries to develop the Provost’s Fellowship to encourage graduate students to become academic librarians. Through a series of grants, Border established the Collaborative Preparing Future Faculty Network, bringing college and university faculty on the Front Range together to discuss the preparation of future faculty for roles on their campuses.

In 1992, with funding from the chancellor, she developed the Lead Network, which places lead graduate teachers in 45 departments to assist with the preparation of graduate students to teach. Over the last 25 years, Border has trained a total of 800 lead graduate teachers, now established as leaders in higher education, business, government, industry and the arts.

In 2006, the dean of the Graduate School selected Border to be the campus Leader for CU Boulder’s participation in the NSF-funded Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning (CIRTL) Network, an initiative developed to improve STEM graduate student teaching. 

In recognition, the Graduate Teacher Program has received two national awards, including the 1998 award from the National Association of Graduate and Professional Students and the TIAA-CREF Theodore M. Hesburgh Award for Exceptional Faculty Development Programs in 2005. The GTP also has been awarded over $1 million in grants to support projects on graduate student teaching and professional development.

With her retirement, Border leaves behind a legacy of integrity and dedication to graduate students and their educational and professional development.