College Awards

2009-10 College Awards and Retirees

Outstanding Teacher - Dr. Brian Butki - Health and Exercise Science
Nancy Hartley and Brian Butki

Brian Butki serves as a special assistant professor and director of the Youth Sports Camps and CSU activity program. His duties also include carrying a large teaching load. Dr. Butki has a natural gift for teaching and he uses creative ideas in the classroom that appeal to students with diverse learning styles. He brings real life examples to his teaching and he is passionate about engaging students in the learning process. He has an amazing ability to really get to know his students, even in large lecture courses. His enthusiasm for teaching and genuine desire to see students succeed is evident in student comments such as, “I have yet to meet another instructor in my educational career who can match his passion and charisma for teaching.” And “He pushes his students to fulfill their potential and expects nothing less.” And one final comment, "His willingness to teach, mentor, and serve others makes him an effective, engaging, and outstanding teacher."

Outstanding Advisor - Dr. Karen Kaminski - School of Education
Nancy Hartley and Karen Kaminski

As a faculty member in the Adult Education and Training program, Dr. Kaminski has been advising students for ten years. The program has a blended delivery model with online and face to face interactions with students from across Colorado and the United States. To effectively engage these students, Dr. Kaminski begins by getting to know who they are as people. Many distance students in graduate programs are full time working professionals and Dr. Kaminski starts by finding out what their goals and desires are in attaining a degree; what their fears and anxieties are related to learning at a distance; and what strengths and abilities they feel they are bringing to the program. This doesn't happen in a fifteen minute telephone call but through extended conversations. One student commented, "Dr. Kaminski's ability to challenge me to think beyond the constraints and confines of my current professional environment helped me to develop not only academically but personally and professionally. She serves as a role model for excellence in education."

Superior Faculty Service - Dr. Carole Makela - School of Education
Nancy Hartley and Carole Makela

Over her forty year career, Carole Makela has served on many levels. On the University level, she has continued to play a leadership role on the University Faculty Council. She is a member of the Council’s Executive Committee and chair of the University Curriculum Committee, the most demanding committee assignment within faculty council. She also chairs the College Curriculum Committee, and serves on many committees within the School of Education, most recently taking on the role of interim director. In 2006, she was recognized with the Distinguished Service Award from the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences for her outstanding service nationally. Chair of the Faculty Council Richard Eykholt says, "I know of nobody who is more willing to donate her time to important service activities. I can always count on Carole to step up when something important is needed. One of these days, Carole will decide to retire. When she does, we will need to find half a dozen people to fill all of her various roles."

Superior Staff Service - Barb Ball - Occupational Therapy
Barb Ball and Nancy Hartley

Barb Ball serves as the financial officer and assistant to the department head in OT, but she does so much more! Barb plays a lead role in planning and carrying out events; supervises and provides excellent leadership to support staff; and manages the budgets of the OT grants, centers and research laboratories. Department Head Wendy Wood says, "The sheer number of activities and projects to which Barb has made valuable contributions, and her ability to coordinate a wide range of responsibilities, is astonishing. But more impressive is how she conducts herself. No matter the challenge, Barb remains unflappable with her sense of humor and integrity intact. She accepts greater responsibilities and increasingly more complex challenges gladly and with poise and generosity of spirit. Her work is consistently characterized by keen attention to detail and high standards of excellence. She is an incredibly hard worker who doesn't hesitate to go beyond the call of duty to get the job done well."

Tenure-Track Faculty Teaching Excellence - Dr. Ellyn Dickmann - School of Education
Ellyn Dickmann and Nancy Hartley

Ellyn Dickmann teaches students in the Educational Leadership doctoral program, and also the Principal Licensure program. In her teaching, she draws on her considerable experiences in public education, and her passion for the learning process. She holds students to the highest of academic standards, while building rapport with each. Students recognize her considerable investment in their learning and are subsequently compelled to reach for the high standards which she establishes for them. Her colleague in the School of Education, Rod Lucero, writes, "There are several words that come to mind when describing Dr. Dickmann; caring, intelligent, ambitious, motivated, hard-working, and collaborative. She does a great job of speaking to a variety of students while commanding respect and establishing high expectations. Dr. Dickmann's energy coupled with her personable demeanor earns her a positive reputation among students."

Tenure-Track Faculty Scholarly Excellence - Dr. Benjamin Miller - Health and Exercise Science
Benjamin Miller and Nancy Hartley

Ben Miller was appointed assistant professor in 2007 and is also a faculty affiliate in the Center on Aging. Since his arrival, Dr. Miller has set up a number of collaborative research projects which address various aspects of human aging, metabolism, and chronic disease. He is supported by a prestigious $600,000 NIH grant, and his outstanding publication record includes 25 peer-reviewed manuscripts and three peer-reviewed book chapters. Journals publishing his research include the best in the fields of physiology and biology including the Journal of Physiology and the Journal of Applied Physiology. Barry Braun in the Department of Kinesiology at U Mass writes, "Dr. Miller's work is already highly regarded by his peers. He has a strong national and international reputation that is more representative of a well-established, productive senior professor. In my opinion, there is no young scientist doing research in the area of exercise metabolism who is making a bigger impact than Dr. Miller."

Outstanding Senior - Terrance Unrein - Construction Management
Nancy Hartley and Terrance Unrein

As part of his substantial leadership contributions, Terrance Unrein served as the President of the Construction Management Student Board of Directors. In this capacity, Terrance oversaw the other ten CM clubs; promoted Building Information Modeling and Virtual Design Construction interactive workshops; pioneered department open forums for students with department head Mostafa Khattab; oversaw the creation of the CM Student Club website; and obtained over $9000 from the ASCSU funding board to bring in the Dale Carnegie High Impact Presentation 3 Night Seminar. Terrance served as the captain of the Design Build student competition team this year which competed in Reno. Terrance excels in all of his leadership and volunteer activities while maintaining a 3.9 GPA. As a member of the Dean’s Leadership Council and a scholarship recipient, Terrance has on numerous occasions successfully represented the College with donors and alumni, thanking them at various events for their contributions. He serves as a strong ambassador for CSU and an exceptional representative of the student body.

Outstanding Senior - Jessica Pratt - School of Social Work
Nancy Hartley and Jessica Pratt

Jessica Pratt has been a full-time student while juggling the demands of motherhood, work responsibilities, volunteer work for several local organizations, a TA position for faculty, and an advocate position for single mothers. She has managed these many roles and responsibilities while maintaining a 3.6 GPA. Jessica describes herself as a “volunteer junkie” because she has been volunteering in the community for many years. Among other volunteer roles, she helps women who are victims of domestic violence as part of a domestic abuse response team and advocates for war victims in Uganda, even travelling to Washington, DC last year to lobby for support. Jessica also has instilled this commitment to volunteerism in her ten year old son by involving him in many community events. In 2007, she started a small business called Who Cares? She sells tee shirts and handbags that feature a message about a social issue, such as poverty. Up to half of the profits from the sales go to a non-profit organization. Jessica will be honored this spring with the Alumni Association Albert C. Yates Student Leadership Award.

Friend of the College - Bill Bialek - Project Manager, Saunders Construction Company
Bill Bialek and Nancy Hartley

A 2002 Construction Management alumnus, Bill served as the Project Manager for the $5 million renovation of the industrial sciences building, which was recently transformed into the Preconstruction Center. The renovation was made possible by 170 organizations – companies who are typically in competition with each other who came together to contribute labor, materials, and funds in support of our students. For Bill, this meant he was supervising not only his fellow Saunders Construction employees on the job site, but also dozens of workers from different, and competing, companies. Bill was able to foster a contagious spirit of collaboration and excitement. He overcame many challenges to meet deadlines and stay on budget: a difficult thing to do on a traditional project, much less this unique collaboration. When walking through the now finished facility, one can see examples of Bill’s dedication. From the concrete picnic tables in the courtyard that he moved from another construction site, to the creative use of original 1892 wooden floor joists in special ways throughout the building, Bill’s passion for the project was clear. The College is ever grateful to Bill, for his creative ideas and leadership which resulted in a world class facility for generations of students who will follow in his footsteps.

Friend of the College - Dr. Russell Risma - Physician, CSU Hartshorn Health Center
Nancy Hartley and Russell Risma

Dr. Russell Risma’s contributions have been essential to the success of research and outreach programs in the departments of Health and Exercise Science and Food Science and Human Nutrition for over 10 years. During this time, Dr. Risma has served as medical director on a number of grants conducted by faculty members of both departments, has supervised hundreds of exercise stress tests as part of the Heart Disease Prevention Program, and has been called upon on countless occasions for everything from IV placement to clinical judgment about prospective research participants’ eligibility for studies. His willingness to help is exemplified by his cheerfully showing up in the Gifford Building or the Human Performance Clinical Research Laboratory early on a Saturday to help with some important research procedures. Dr. Risma’s service has always been characterized by professionalism, grace, and a servant’s heart. His focus has always been on what is best for the client or research study participant. We are also grateful to our colleagues in the Hartshorn Health Center who have allowed Dr. Risma to serve in this role. Dr. Risma will be retiring from the University in May and he will be sorely missed by so many in our college, as we view him as simply irreplaceable.

Friend of the College - Teri Suhr - Benefits Manager, CSU Human Resource Services
Nancy Hartley and Teri Suhr

Each November, CSU employees go through open enrollment and refine our benefits choices. For most of us, we do this activity and then don’t think much about it unless there is a significant life event. As with most situations in a complex organization, these events often have ripple effects – for example, a maternity leave brings joy to a family but also challenges to administrators. Teri Suhr is honored today as friend of the college because she is a calm and supportive voice in a process that can be daunting, with rules that can sometimes pose challenges. Our college has dealt with many situations such as protracted illnesses that needed Teri’s insight, experience, and compassion. Some have been very complicated situations, and she has approached all of them with warmth, creativity, and the goal of creating the most positive outcome for all involved. She has made herself available to employees, to staff, to leadership of the College, and most importantly, to family members of affected employees. Our College is all about people. Thus, it is truly fitting to honor Teri’s role in supporting the people in this College, and at CSU, as they navigate the twists and turns of life.

Retiree - Dr. Francoise Smith - Food Science and Human Nutrition
Nancy Hartley and Francoise Smith

Dr. Smith joined Food Science and Human Nutrition as a research associate in the year 2000. She is an internationally known Research Scientist who served as the Program Director and Co-Principal Investigator on the NIH-funded Program Energy. This on-going project is an innovative science education enrichment program dedicated to the prevention of obesity and type 2 diabetes in elementary schools with large Hispanic populations. As a gifted scientist and educator, Dr. Smith worked tirelessly to create challenging classroom experiments and learning activities, drawing upon her 35-year career in basic research focusing on the neuro-endocrine regulation of body weight and food intake. During her career, she and her colleague, Dr. Art Campfield, authored over 50 original research publications in premier journals including the New England Journal of Medicine, Nature, Science, Cell, and the American Journal of Physiology. Her bright smile, probing questions, and creative style of teaching will be greatly missed by her colleagues and the many college and elementary students she has inspired.

Retiree - Dr. Gary Geroy - School of Education

Dr. Gary Geroy, professor of human capital and economic development, joined CSU in 1989. He has worked internationally with the E.U. and several nations and enterprises regarding human and social capital development strategies. He has published over 200 articles and papers, co-authored 3 books, and received seven international awards for his research. He has been the founding chair of several scholarly and research organizations, including the University Council for Research in Human Resource Development which evolved into the Academy of Human Resource Development. In 1989, Dr. Geroy developed the master’s and Ph.D. in Human Resource Development, now called Organizational Performance and Change, and it was nationally ranked as one of the top five programs in 1993. Dr. Geroy is a master puppeteer and writes and performs programs for young children in support of reading, and fire safety. He has received numerous national and regional service recognitions – including the City of Fort Collins and Poudre Fire Authority “Citizen Partner of the Year.” In retirement, Dr. Geroy and his wife plan to travel extensively, and to do research for the second and third novels in the trilogy of his mystery-adventure series.