Colorado Institute of Technology Names Patrick Burns, Associate Vice President, Its 2005 Catalyst Award Winner

The Colorado Institute of Technology has honored Patrick Burns, Colorado State’s associate vice president for Information and Instructional Technology, with the 2005 Catalyst award for his vision and leadership in higher education in Colorado.

The award recognizes Burns for his work promoting technology education and collaboration, helping to position Colorado as a national leader in information technology.

Burns, who is also the director of Academic Computing and Networking Services and oversees 150 people, received the award largely because of his work on two projects:

      –     He has spent the past year working closely with the East Central Board of Cooperative Educational Services to expand and equalize educational opportunities for K-12 students in rural schools in eastern Colorado. He helped define a distance learning system that will link 18 rural Colorado school districts from east of Denver all the way to the Kansas border. The first-of-its-kind network is scheduled to be completed in November; the first classes and a teacher training program will be offered starting in the spring.

      –     Burns also worked on the Colorado Grid Project, or CoGrid, a statewide computing network that assists Colorado education and industry with access to high-performance computing. The project helped the university secure a grant from the agriculture and homeland security departments to follow livestock movements. Sun Microsystems and Hitachi donated equipment for the project.

"Pat is an essential part of the university and a visionary who is helping to keep Colorado at the forefront of advanced technology," said Provost and Senior Vice President Tony Frank. "He is deserving of this very prestigious award."

The Colorado Institute of Technology recently honored him at an event in Broomfield.

"To achieve innovative ways of accomplishing new tasks requires leadership, technical expertise, a willingness to work collaboratively and a strategic vision in integrating today’s technologies and applying them to real-world problems. Dr. Burns possesses these qualities, and uses them to the best advantage of Colorado," said Midge Cozzens, Colorado Institute of Technology president and chief executive officer. "Additionally, Dr. Burns’ active involvement with CIT has served to further foster CIT’s efforts to position Colorado as a leader in Technology Development and Homeland Security education and research nationally and in Colorado."     

Burns was nominated by David Van Sant, executive director of the East Central BOCES, and John Picanso, the state’s chief information officer.

"This is recognition of the outreach we do at Colorado State," Burns said. "The university’s role as a state land-grant institution is to make things better for Colorado and to use technology to move society forward."

Burns joined Colorado State University as an assistant professor of mechanical engineering in 1978. He became a full professor and stayed in the department until 1998 when he was appointed director of ACNS. He obtained his doctorate in mechanical engineering from the University of California-Berkeley. He and his wife, Marcia, have three boys.

The Colorado Institute of Technology, initiated by Gov. Bill Owens in 2000, is a nonprofit partnership of technology industries and higher education that defines needs and aligns collective resources to meet those needs.