Six Colorado State University teachers will be honored Friday as the university’s best, thanks to nominations by students and alumni.
Each year, the Colorado State University Alumni Association and the Student Alumni Connection recognize outstanding educators with Best Teachers Awards.
"The Best Teachers Awards program provides a unique opportunity for students to express their appreciation for those who have positively impacted their academic and personal lives," said Rebecca Lang, past president of the Student Alumni Connection.
The 2007 Best Teacher Awards program will be at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 16 in the North Ballroom of the Lory Student Center. Tickets are $5 for students and $20 for others.
Glory Burns, College of Business
Glory Burns teaches finance and oversees the Summit Student Investment Fund, a course that teaches students how to invest in the stock market.
She has a law degree from the University of Puget Sound, a master’s in business from the University of Denver and a bachelor’s from the University of Colorado.
"Glory made it very clear that her goal was to teach us materials that will apply to real-world applications and how to function in a professional atmosphere as professionals and not students," said Rick Gerk, finance student. "Glory helped break down barriers that many associate with undergraduate classes such as group work and team-building activities."
Rebecca Sloan, finance and marketing student, said, "I really enjoyed Glory’s class. Her enthusiasm was contagious. She made analyzing stock interesting, exciting and fun."
Pamela Coke, Department of English
Pamela Coke is an assistant professor of English education and serves as the sponsor for Colorado State’s chapter of the National Council of Teachers of English.
Coke has been with the English department since 2002. Her work includes instructing, researching and tutoring teachers. She received her doctoral degree in language, literacy and culture from the University of Iowa.
"Pam constantly reminded us that we aren’t just reading literature. Everything in those books is something that people have to deal with in everyday life, and we need to figure out how to respond to those situations," said Laura Allen, English student. "Without saying so, she reminded us that we can’t just read books; we have to accept that sometimes we’re forced to live them, and we need to respond, guide and help as much as possible."
Kaitlin Guidarelli, another English student, said, "She is more than an educator; she is a model of professionalism and integrity. Dr. Coke is someone I aspire to emulate in my teaching career."
Jeffrey Miller, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition
Jeffrey Miller is an assistant professor and program coordinator in the Restaurant and Resort Management Program. He is also the winner of this year’s College of Applied Human Sciences Tenure Track Faculty Member of the Year Award.
Miller has certification as an executive chef and culinary educator. He has more than 20 years experience in the food service industry and received his doctoral degree from Colorado State’s School of Education in 2006.
"Dr. Miller is fair, honest and fun to have in class. His lectures are informative, relatable and interactive," said a resort and restaurant management student.
April Mason, dean of the College of Applied Human Sciences, said, "Dr. Miller knows his students as more than just a number. He takes the time to get to know each student and seems to cater to their individual needs."
Lori Peek, Department of Sociology
Lori Peek is an assistant professor in her second year at Colorado State. She teaches courses in race and ethnic relations, contemporary sociological theory, the sociology of disasters and qualitative research methods. She received her doctoral degree in sociology from the University of Colorado in 2005.
Peek’s research focuses on the study of vulnerable populations in disasters. Her recent projects include an exploration of identity formation processes among second-generation Muslim-Americans after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, a study of children’s experiences in Louisiana following Hurricane Katrina and an examination of the relocation experiences of Katrina evacuees who now live in Colorado.
"You can tell right away that she is really passionate about her field. She also has a lot of energy. When a professor has a lot of energy, it energizes the class," said Seth Nerenberg, sociology and criminology student.
Leah Bundgaard, sociology student, said, "Dr. Peek is very sincere and listens to every opinion, has no bias, and really wants people to make a difference in the world. Dr. Peek teaches us how to help each other."
Edouard Thai, Department of Foreign Languages and Literature
Edouard Thai has served for 40 years at Colorado State. Thai is retired and teaches as an adjunct faculty member.
"He’s funny and he makes class fun while motivating us to learn. He also talks about current events and helps us to learn vocabulary that is relevant to today’s society," said a French student.
Doug Woody, former student and professor at the University of Northern Colorado, said, "Professor Thai has been an outstanding model of teaching, learning and scholarship since my first university class on the first day of my undergraduate career at CSU."
Chief Dexter Yarbrough, Colorado State University’s Chief of Police
Chief Yarbrough has been the Chief of Police since 2003, providing law enforcement services to a population of 40,000. He also is an adjunct faculty member, teaching criminal justice courses in the sociology department.
Yarborough has a master’s in public administration from the Illinois Institute of Technology and a bachelor’s in law enforcement administration from Western Illinois University.
"Chief stands out because he makes a connection with his students, commits to their learning if they are willing to put in the effort and sacrifices his own time to set up hands-on activities for his students to apply the things learned in class," said sociology student Brandon Berzoza.
An open-options student said, "Chief shows a lot of heart in each lecture and makes sure that every student does the best they possibly can and really challenges us to be the best. He makes us want to do well."
For more information about the Best Teacher Awards program or for tickets, call 800-286-2586 or visit www.csualum.com.