Professor Toni Zimmerman named University Distinguished Teaching Scholar at Colorado State University

Colorado State University today named Toni Schindler Zimmerman as a University Distinguished Teaching Scholar. Zimmerman is a professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies. She directs the Marriage and Family Therapy program at the university.

The designation as a University Distinguished Teaching Scholar remains with the recipient until he or she leaves the university. Scholars are chosen in an open process that begins with the selection of nominees by departments throughout campus.

"Dr. Zimmerman is a dedicated educator and researcher who has traveled the world teaching students and been actively engaged in advancing the quality of teaching and mentorship within her field," said CSU Interim President Tony Frank. "The title of University Distinguished Teaching Scholar is reserved for those exemplary faculty who balance scholarship with a commitment to student learning and the advancement of innovative and effective teaching practices. Educators like Toni Zimmerman transform lives, and we are proud to recognize her among the most accomplished, master teachers on our faculty."

Zimmerman’s nomination for a position among fellow distinguished teaching scholars includes an impressive 46 letters of support from former students, current faculty and staff and academicians from as far away as Israel and South Africa. Notably, one letter of support is from Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Zimmerman, who joined CSU’s faculty in 1991, established the Marriage and Family Therapy program as a national leader. The program oversees the Center for Family and Couple Therapy, which provides high-quality therapy services to families, couples, individuals, adolescents and children from across northern Colorado. Therapy students in the program receive more than 600 hours of hands-on training through the center.

"This is a well deserved honor for Toni," said CSU Interim Provost Rick Miranda. "She has dedicated her life to research and education and is a tremendous asset to any student who is lucky enough to be in her class."

Among much recognition, Zimmerman was named an outstanding teacher by the College of Applied Human Sciences. She also has been recognized with the Margaret B. Hazaleus Award from the Women’s Caucus for her service to women and is the recipient of the Colorado Marriage and Family Therapist of the Year award by the Colorado Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.

Zimmerman also has contributed significantly to research examining which relationship advice in popular self-help books is effective and which is not. She is an authority on how gender and diversity shape family relationships and the role of power dynamics in couple and family therapy. Zimmerman also has developed a social justice curriculum for children that emphasizes fairness and respect.

Current University Distinguished Teaching Scholars are Pattie Cowell, Kate Kiefer and Mike Palmquist, Department of English; Ken Barbarick, Department of Soil and Crop Sciences; Rich Feller, School of Education; Paul Kennedy, Department of Mathematics; Stephen Thompson, Department of Chemistry; Ray Whalen, Department of Biomedical Sciences; Douglas Hoffman, Department of Marketing; and Nancy E. Levinger, Department of Chemistry.

The Department of Human Development and Family Studies is part of the College of Applied Human Sciences.