University of Colorado Denver College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) faculty and staff were honored April 23 during the dean's reception. Dean Dan Howard said it was only "fitting that near the end of the merit season we publicly recognize some of the truly outstanding faculty, staff and students in the college."
Those honored, along with brief comments from nominators:
Teaching Excellence Awards
Mitchell M. Handlesman, psychology. Allison Bashe wrote, "Being in class with Dr. Handelsman feels like magic. He has no magic wand, but he has magic phrases – phrases like active learning and interactive assessment: phrases that at first might seem like mysteries to his students. Then, suddenly, you realize that you know something that you did not know before. You realize that you are learning how to learn."
Chad Kautzer, philosophy. A former student wrote, "It is because of professors like him that students get motivated to continue their education and hopefully have a positive influence in the world."
Rafael Moreno, geography and environmental sciences. Department Chair Brian Page wrote, "Rafael has excelled at developing new courses and brought experiences, knowledge, technologies, and approaches previously unavailable on our campus. He has developed new courses and expanded the technological capabilities of the interdisciplinary FAST GIS lab."
Teaching Excellence Awards, Nontenure-Track Faculty
Russell S. Kellogg, instructor, economics. Student Katie Dolara wrote, "Not only does Russell have an effortless ability to cohesively and articulately present the subject matter, but he does so in a way that holds the attention and catalyzes the curiosity of his students ... (and is) a testament to his knowledge base, teaching style and investment in the classroom."
Gary A. Olson, instructor, mathematics and statistical science. Chair Mike Jacobson wrote, "I have witnessed the passion and enthusiasm that he brings to his work with the Graduate TAs ... Gary has a deep and extensive knowledge of the material he is presenting, displays incredible patience and preparation to make clear the mathematical message at all levels."
Faculty Service Award
Leo P. Bruederle, associate professor, integrative biology. Associate Chair Timberley Roane wrote, "Evident in his outside service activities, Leo clearly believes that the influence of higher education should be felt beyond its campus walls. Consequently, Leo's service to professional organizations and the community are equally outstanding. In addition to serving as reviewer for scholarly manuscripts and grant proposals, Leo serves on the Colorado Rare Plant Conservation Initiative Committee; volunteers at the Denver Botanic Gardens; is an active participant in, organizing several workshops for, the Colorado Native Plant Society and the Colorado STEM Network; and is the editor for Aquilegia, Newsletter of the Colorado Native Plant Society."
Research and Creative Activities Awards
Jan Mandel, professor, mathematical and statistical sciences. His influence in his field is noted by Jeffrey Anderson of NCAR: "Dr. Mandel has become a recognized researcher in this field during the last few years. He has brought new mathematical insight to the field that has led to a series of important papers."
Steven G. Medema, professor, economics. In his tribute to Medema's efforts in transforming the Journal of the History of Economic Thought during his tenure as its editor, Bradley Bateman wrote, "Steve is respected as a scholar, an editor and an elder statesman of the discipline despite being a young man.... Steve has become someone who has the reach and ability to look across the whole of the history of economic thinking."
Barbara J. Walkosz, associate professor, communication. Communication Chair Stephen Hartnett wrote, "Dr. Walkosz has developed a systematic research program that focuses on health communication, public health and the behavioral sciences. Her research speaks to questions of enhancing the public good, thus supporting UCD's mission to become a first-rate research institution and a good community partner."
Outstanding Faculty Achievement Award
Robert Damrauer, professor, chemistry; special assistant to the provost; dean of the graduate school, UC Denver Downtown Campus. Sally Pusede, Berkeley Graduate Student, wrote, "If Dr. Damrauer were a merely superb professor, steering me to academic success in a field in which I had no prior interest would be exemplary enough. Yet, in all sincerity, he additionally caused me to imagine that I might attach my ambitions to helping others. He showed me that being a chemist could also mean being many other things."
Provost's Award for Excellence in Practices Related to Nontenure-Track Faculty
The department of psychology, chaired by Peter Kaplan, received this "best practices" honor. Three nontenure-track faculty work in the department; Kaplan commented on each of the educators:
Allison Bashe: "Allison has played a central role in the conceptualization, approval and implementation of the Ph.D. program in clinical health psychology. She has gone above and beyond the call of duty in mentoring students and serving UCD and the community."
Kevin Everhart: "Kevin is the hardest working psychology instructor in Denver; he can and will teach any course, anytime. He has also been instrumental in providing top quality clinical training and supervision to our Ph.D. students."
Joan Bihun: "Joan is passionate about education. Her courses in research methods/statistics and human development are in high demand, even though they are among the most rigorous in the department."
Outstanding Staff Award
Beverly Andes, course and curriculum coordinator. Tammy Stone wrote, "The respect and high regard with which Beverly is held in this college is demonstrated by the 12 letters of support from the departments that were received for her nomination. Without exception, these letters praise her for her hard work, dedication and her grace and charm. CLAS is a better place because of her presence."