Civil and environmental engineering Professor Darrell Fontane has been named a University Distinguished Teaching Scholar by Colorado State University.
Fontane, who joined CSU in 1983 as a tenure-track assistant professor, is recognized for his talents and excellence in teaching and mentoring undergraduate students as they conduct research. He has also received multiple teaching awards given by CSU students and administrators.
Since 1997, Fontane has served as a full professor in the department. Since 2002, he’s also served as an associate department head for undergraduate studies.
The title of University Distinguished Teaching Scholar is conferred upon the most outstanding faculty members for the duration of their association with the institution. Only 12 persons may hold the UDTS title at any one time, exclusive of any retired faculty members.
“Dr. Fontane has taken his passion for teaching and applied it to our curriculum,” said Engineering Interim Dean Steve Abt. “He’s been a driving force in the College of Engineering, demonstrating extraordinary dedication and skill in teaching in its many forms, including classroom excellence, distance education, and the development of new teaching tools.
“Dr. Fontane’s energy and enthusiasm are contagious, and he makes improvements to his classroom each year, refusing to see boundaries,” Abt said. “He’s taken his expertise in Excel and PowerPoint, for instance, to make his classes more dynamic by using animation and humor. He empowers and challenges students to go beyond what they’ve been taught, and students routinely cite Dr. Fontane as one of their favorite teachers.”
In addition to being a productive faculty member in research and graduate student communities, Fontane also serves as the director of the International School for Water Resources focusing on training opportunities and research, Abt said.
Fontane’s areas of teaching and research are water resources decision-support systems, computer-aided water management, integrated reservoir water quantity and quality management, and Internet-based education and training. He leads research efforts in Brazil and Korea.
“Dr. Fontane has made remarkable contributions to CSU in teaching and represents the best qualities a distinguished scholar should have,” Abt said. “He’s also one of the most generous people I know, actively helping students and faculty, while being extremely productive in all areas of his academic life.”
Since 1982, Fontane has received four teaching awards from CSU’s Chapter of Chi Epsilon, the civil engineering honor society. He’s received college awards, including the George T. Abell Outstanding New Teacher, Faculty Teaching Award and Abell Outstanding Faculty Teaching and Service Awards. He also received the Board of Governors Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award, the Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Jack E. Cermak Advising Award from the university.