Colorado State University’s Best Teachers Honored Feb. 18

Six of Colorado State University’s finest teachers were honored during the fifth annual Best Teacher Awards program at 7 p.m. Feb. 18 in the second-floor ballroom of the Lory Student Center.

Award winners include David Allen, associate professor of political science; L.S. Fan, professor of economics; Tom Field, associate professor of animal sciences; Brian Jones, physics instructor; Rajinder Ranu, professor of bioagricultural sciences and pest management; and Bob Richburg, professor in the School of Education.

The awards program is sponsored by Colorado State’s Alumni Association and the Student Alumni Connection. Best Teachers are nominated by students and alumni.

David Allen, associate professor of political science

Allen first came to Colorado State in 1987 after receiving his doctorate from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and after teaching briefly at Mercyhurst College in Erie, Pa. Allen has made his mark as an associate professor in the department specializing in public law and research methods. Allen’s first book dealing with environmental injustice in the United States is forthcoming. He is a published poet.

His professional career is highlighted by his wide span of political advisory roles to the governors of the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Allen has served as a consultant to NASA, the United States Navy, the Department of the Interior and General Electric.

Allen’s real-life political knowledge is considered an asset to all of his students.

L.S. Fan, professor of economics

Fan has been leaving impressionable marks on Colorado State students for the past 30 years. His courses in macroeconomics and development curriculum have been foundations for undergraduates and graduates in the Department of Economics. A well-respected adviser, he was honored with the university’s Cermak Advising Award in 1990.

Fan, a distinguished senior scholar in the department, has published two books, seven book chapters and some 56 journal articles. His career was celebrated in his nomination for listing in Who’s Who in Economics.

Fan’s early work involves incentives systems and the microeconomic decisions of individual economic decision-makers, while his recent work reflects his expertise on the Pacific Rim economies. His 1998 sabbatical leave was based on his reputation as a scholar in the area of Pacific Rim and Taiwanese economies. During the semester, Fan emerged as a scholar in the current Asian economy and that work is providing the basis for his continuing research and classroom activity.

Tom Field, associate professor of animal sciences

Field, a true Ram supporter, is originally from Gunnison, Colo. He graduated from Colorado State with bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees and has been in the Department of Animal Sciences for the past 20 years He is an associate professor in beef cattle management systems and a teaching coordinator for the department. He advises 60 undergraduate students and has been honored many times for his outstanding teaching at Colorado State.

Field also has contributed greatly outside the university community as both a frequently published author and an educational speaker on topics related to beef cattle and teaching. He co-authored two books, "Beef Production and Management Decisions" and "Scientific Farm Animal Production." He continues to dedicate himself to research in genetic use and consumer acceptance with the ultimate goal of improving the profitability and sustainability of beef production. Field is considered to be a true asset to Colorado State not only as a great professor, but a true Ram fan who teaches the fight song to all of his classes.

Brian Jones, physics instructor

After undergraduate studies at Case Western Reserve University and graduate studies at Cornell University, Jones taught at Kenyon College in Ohio and Waterford Kamhlaba United World College in Swaziland before coming to Colorado State in 1989. Since that time, he has re-designed the undergraduate laboratory curriculum in the Physics Department and has published five laboratory manuals that cover a wide range of laboratory courses.

He also developed the Little Shop of Physics, a popular traveling hands-on science outreach program that has been enjoyed by more than 100,000 students throughout Colorado and neighboring states.

Jones teaches a wide range of undergraduate courses and works to bring to the university environment the expertise and enthusiasm he has gained from working with K-12 students. He has given many workshops on campus and around the state and nation on making instruction more hands-on, engaging and interactive, and has received several grants to improve laboratory instruction at the university and to develop instructional materials for K-12 teachers.

Jones is an active member of the American Association of Physics Teachers and is a past president of the Colorado/Wyoming section of the organization. In 1998, he was awarded the Faculty Undergraduate Teaching Award by the College of Natural Sciences and the Provost’s N. Preston Davis Award for Instructional Innovation.

Rajinder Ranu, professor of bioagricultural sciences and pest management

Ranu, who was born and raised in India, received his DVM from Panjab University and a doctorate in microbiology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1971. Ranu’s excellence was first recognized while he was conducting a Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Biochemistry Department at the University of Chicago School of Medicine. While there, he was awarded a special Fellowship by the National Institute of Health and a Young and Talented Investigator Award by the Chicago Chapter of the American Cancer Society. In 1974, Ranu went to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as part of the Harvard University-MIT Program in Health Sciences and Technology. At MIT, Ranu initiated research on translational regulation of gene expression. Ranu began his career at Colorado State in 1979 as a teacher of undergraduate and graduate molecular biology and genetics courses. Ranu’s studies have shifted to plant molecular biology/biotechnology and plant DNA viruses. His studies have led to cloning of a variety of plant genes and the development of technologies for DNA sequencing. Ranu has been widely published and is currently working on a chapter for an Internet encyclopedia.

Bob Richburg, professor in the School of Education

Richburg, a "teacher of the teachers," received a bachelor’s in history from Grinnell College, a master’s degree in history from the University of Southern California and a doctorate in social science education and curriculum development from the University of Colorado.

His career at Colorado State includes fifteen years of teaching and, for the past 10 years, he has been with Project Promise, an award winning teacher preparation program.

Richburg’s long list of certifications, fellowships, society memberships, honors, consultations and publications parallel his personal attributes that make him beloved by so many. Richburg’s educational career has garnered the highest kudos from his students, who have themselves become teachers.