2021 All-College Awards Virtual Ceremony
Outstanding Teacher Award - Jody Drager, Education
The Outstanding Teacher Award honors an excellent teacher who exhibits superior and sustained performance in teaching that impacts student learning. On-campus and Extension faculty, with five or more years of experience in the College, with undergraduate, graduate, and/or off-campus teaching, are eligible for this award.
Jody Drager, Education
Jody serves as an instructor, career development coordinator, and school district liaison in the Center for Educator Preparation – where she devotes much of her time to mentoring teacher candidates. Jody has been instrumental in delivering professional development on co-teaching to teacher candidates, cooperating teachers, student teacher supervisors, practicing teachers, and principals. She teaches courses that are integrated in the schools, such as at a STEM elementary school where her innovation for effective teaching has taken these courses to an entirely new level. Teacher candidates are now delivering a consistent math intervention, after analyzing data, and targeting their instruction to meet students’ identified needs.
Jody has also integrated an online platform to engage teacher candidates with innovative tools to communicate with families, monitor student success, and build relationships with mentor teachers and peers.
One student wrote, “Jody Drager has touched my life so deeply and so personally in the past two years, and I am forever grateful to have had the opportunity to learn from her and with her… She always makes me feel like I’m not just a face in the classroom. I matter to her… All of her students do…”
Outstanding Adviser Award - Tami Boday, Health and Exercise Science
The Outstanding Adviser Award recognizes a faculty member or administrative professional staff member with five or more years’ experience in the College, who excels in undergraduate or graduate student advising and mentoring, demonstrates a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, and excellent support based on the quality of student advising evaluations.
A 1998 alumna of the department, Tami returned as an academic success coordinator in 2013. A mentor, leader, and educator, Tami exemplifies what it means to be an adviser at CSU who makes an impact on student success. She is unquestionably the go-to person in the department for faculty, administrators, and fellow Academic Success Coordinators. Her ability to juggle multiple responsibilities and do them all at a consistently high level led to her being named Assistant Director of Advising in 2017. She serves as the adviser to the HES Residential Learning Community which has more than 100 students in Corbett Hall. She organizes all aspects of recruitment, acceptance, and program planning and implementation to enhance students’ sense of community and belonging.
Tami is also an integral part of the Student Success Initiatives at CSU including coordinating department efforts with faculty and the Office of Student Success. She does all of this while advising more than 240 students.
One student wrote, “Tami was the best adviser and mentor I could have had. She guided and supported me academically but also personally to be the best I can be. If it weren’t for her, I may not have graduated from CSU. She was always there with arms wide open ready to help me with whatever I needed. I am beyond grateful!”
Outstanding Engagement Award - Marisa Bunning, Elisa Shackelton, Jessica Clifford, and James Peth, Food Science and Human Nutrition
The Outstanding Engagement Award is given to a faculty member, administrative professional member, or CHHS faculty/admin pro-based program team, with five or more years of experience in the College, who exemplifies the land-grant mission of developing and promoting partnerships, particularly in service to high-needs communities, and collaborations between campus and external partners for the benefit of the community, state, nation, and/or world.
Marisa, Elisa, Jessica, and James are part of the Extension team that provides the public with important evidence-based, food-related information that helps people make nutritious food choices, practice safe-food handling, and promote active living. The team has received 11 national and regional awards since 2016. As an example, in 2020, the team was the recipient of first-place honors at the national and regional level from the National Extension Association for the development of a mobile-friendly, home food preservation toolkit called Preserve Smart. In 2019 alone, the team developed 73 fact sheets which generated 435,000 page views. The Preserve Smart website and app, along with the team’s Food Source Information Wiki, generated almost 200,000 page views.
The team has formed partnerships with multiple entities, including state agencies and Extension agents in the field. They have also been instrumental in training students as the next generation of collaborative educators and engagement specialists.
One student wrote, “The Extension staff are kind and incredibly knowledgeable mentors. They caringly nurture student employees while encouraging them to take on challenges and practice innovation. I am deeply grateful to them for providing me a safe place to learn and grow into the professional I am today.”
Superior Faculty Service Award - Amy Martonis, Social Work
The Superior Faculty Service Award is given to a faculty member, with five or more years of experience in the College, who has made significant service contributions to the College, University, professional, or other off-campus organizations.
Amy fills multiple service leadership roles in the School. She serves as the Assistant School Director and leader of the Administrative Team, Director of the Master of Social Work program and Distance Graduate Programs, Chair of the Admissions Committee, and Chair of the Curriculum Committee. Amy is the keystone of the School, moving it forward with a clear sense of where to go and how to get there… using her effective communication skills and knowledge of colleagues’ strengths to work collaboratively on challenging problems and opportunities.
Amy’s curriculum redesign of the new Master of Social Work program used best practices of alignment between accreditation standards, course learning objectives, course content, and course assessment measures. A collaborative project using a Canvas assessment integration was awarded the N. Preston Davis Award for Instructional Innovation. Substantial growth in program options under her leadership has led to growth in students and a rise in the MSW program’s national rankings to be among the top 15% of MSW programs at public Universities. Amy is also a leader in promoting social justice and equity, implementing a new application review process.
One of Amy’s nominators wrote, “I am consistently inspired by her strong, clear leadership and her deep commitment to serving our School, our students, and the larger University.”
Faculty Excellence in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Award - Susana Muñoz, Education
The Faculty Excellence in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Award recognizes a faculty member, with five or more years of experience in the College, for outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion with an emphasis on ameliorating inequities by developing or applying social justice initiatives.
Susana’s academic and scholarly work is guided by a personal and professional commitment to just and equitable educational access for historically underrepresented groups. With dozens of publications and presentations in high impact venues, she has established a reputation as a leader in the field of Higher Education, particularly in the areas of access, equity, and college persistence for undocumented Latinx students. Her work has garnered accolades and awards from prestigious professional organizations, and she has also been recognized with awards by her colleagues at CSU.
As the Program Coordinator of the Higher Education Leadership doctoral program, she has led substantive program changes to create a social justice-centered program that has grown increasingly competitive and diverse. Susana worked with her colleagues to revise the curriculum such that all courses are built on pillars of equity, justice, and transformational leadership.
She has also made significant contributions to the promotion and enhancement of inclusion and equity in the College through her prior service as a member of the College’s Diversity and Equity Advisory Committee.
One nominator wrote, “Dr. Muñoz clearly exemplifies excellence in diversity, equity and inclusion as she draws on her significant scholarship and professional experience to ameliorate inequities through social justice initiatives in the School, College, and across CSU.”
Superior Staff Service Award - Laurie Biela, Health and Exercise Science
The Superior Staff Service Award is given to a staff member, with five or more years of experience in the College, who demonstrates outstanding achievement in performing their responsibilities, including efforts to create a climate of support for all in the unit.
Laurie serves as the Manager of Research Operations for the Human Performance Clinical Research Lab, where she oversees laboratory safety training and regulatory compliance, major facilities projects, infrastructure improvements, and security enhancements. Laurie implemented a lab-wide safety program that was adopted across the entire campus. She was recognized by CSU for her progressive work in creating a culture of safety, accountability, and compliance with regulatory agencies.
Laurie has been especially involved in CSU’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. She trained her staff to test asymptomatic, essential CSU employees during the “stay-at-home” and “safer-at-home” orders, collecting samples from more than 500 CSU employees. In August, she was asked by the Vice President for Research Office to train and manage student workers to perform more than 5,000 COVID tests as students returned to campus. This effort was outside of her normal job duties and required her to contribute to planning meetings, recruit staff, provide proper disinfection and PPE best practices, manage testing sites, and troubleshoot issues.
Her nominators wrote, “Laurie sustains excellence in all she does and has enhanced a culture of safety and security for all, not only in Health and Exercise Science, but across the entire campus.”
Tenure-Track Faculty Teaching Excellence Award - Leah Scolere, Design and Merchandising
The Tenure-Track Faculty Teaching Excellence Award recognizes a tenure-track faculty member (not yet tenured) for outstanding contributions in teaching during their period of appointment at Colorado State University. The intent of the award is to recognize a newer member of the faculty who demonstrates excellence in teaching.
Since she joined the faculty in 2017, Leah has significantly shaped student experiences in the Interior Architecture and Design program and strengthened program outcomes and reputation in her role as Program Coordinator. She has managed improvements to the Design Scenario experience, Internship program, and student organizations and resources. She leads program faculty meetings towards ensuring curricular outcomes align with program accreditation standards and student success. She took on responsibility for setting up the new Design Library in the Nancy Richardson Design Center, as a student-run resource that sponsors industry events. She includes the voices of underrepresented design professionals in her teaching through invited lectures, course readings, and case studies.
Leah engages students in service-learning projects with the community and industry partners, such as her studio class’s design of the Freeberg Family Library and Parent Resource Center in CSU’s Early Childhood Center. She employed effective and creative instructional approaches that provided learning opportunities for both the students in the class and the ECC teachers participating in the visioning process.
One student wrote, “There are many professors who impacted my life during my time at CSU, but none more than Dr. Scolere. She was an amazing mentor to me, and for that I can’t thank her enough.”
Non-Tenure-Track Faculty Early Career Teaching Award - Rick Perry, Health and Exercise Science
The Non-Tenure-Track Faculty Early Career Teaching Award recognizes a faculty member (NTT) for outstanding contributions in teaching since the appointment to Colorado State University. The intent of the award is to recognize a newer member of the faculty who demonstrates excellence in teaching.
Since joining the faculty in 2019, Rick has shown unparalleled commitment to student success and development. He embodies all of the traits that we work to instill upon our students: passion, empathy, leadership, and a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. His energy and ability to connect with students and motivate them to excel in all aspects of their personal, academic, and professional lives is remarkable.
Rick has implemented creative ideas for service learning and community engagement. For example, he developed a successful program where undergraduate students enrolled in the Theory of Health Behavior class taught group fitness to the incarcerated population at the Larimer County Community Corrections. The goal was for students to take their new knowledge regarding health behavior and actively apply it to an underserved population through regular fitness classes.
He has participated in several University service opportunities including the Faculty Institute for Inclusive Excellence. He is currently creating a manual of inclusive language for HES professionals, and as a result of the pandemic, he co-created a Virtual Health Educator packet with a focus on working with clients in a virtual format.
One student wrote, “Dr. Perry is by far my favorite professor I’ve ever had at CSU, and in all my prior schooling. He is enthusiastic about teaching, and knows how to make learning fun.”
Non-Tenure-Track Faculty/AP Scholarly Excellence Award - Chrissy Chard, Health and Exercise Science
The Non-Tenure-Track Faculty/AP Scholarly Excellence Award recognizes a non-tenure-track faculty member (or Administrative Professional with a research appointment) for outstanding contributions in activities such as original and theoretical research, creative works, model development, research synthesis, policy research, and other forms of scholarly endeavor during their period of appointment at Colorado State University.
Chrissy has demonstrated extraordinary commitment to research and scholarly activity, along with her teaching, mentoring, and engagement activities as an instructor in the School of Public Health. Her scholarly work has been focused on health promotion among youth, particularly young people of color and girls. She co-founded Smart Fit Girls, a program that promotes physical activity and positive body image and self-esteem among girls. Her achievements in research and community engagement have been supported by two competitive grants. In the past two years, she has been the PI or Co-PI on grants totaling over $200,000.
To date, Chrissy has published 14 scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals including several prestigious journals. She has also taken working with the community members a step further. One of her recent publications was published in the Journal of Park and Recreation Administration with nine young women as co-authors.
One nominator wrote, “Dr. Chard is exceptional in a number of important ways; her many activities exemplify the idea of scholarly excellence, and I am certain she will continue her trajectory of both excellence and servant-leadership in teaching, research, service, and entrepreneurship that has characterized her career to date.”
Tenure-Track Faculty Scholarly Excellence Award - Samantha Brown, Social Work
The Tenure-Track Faculty Scholarly Excellence Award recognizes a tenure-track faculty member (not yet tenured) for outstanding contributions in activities such as original and theoretical research, creative works, model development, research synthesis, policy research, and other forms of scholarly endeavor during their period of appointment at Colorado State University.
Sami has an innovative program of research that is at the nexus of prevention science, developmental psychopathology, and social work practice. Specifically, her work focuses on exposure to early adversity, especially the consequences of child maltreatment, the pathways by which early adversity influences children’s development, and how this knowledge base can serve as a foundation for effective family-oriented interventions, especially from a mindfulness perspective. Her research also integrates a human rights-based approach to advance the right to equitable health and well-being.
Her research endeavors… have resulted in a strong early-career publication record, with 33 journal articles, 13 as lead author, more in press or under review, and 4 book chapters. Many of her publications have appeared in journals with high impact factors, such as Child Abuse and Neglect, Child Maltreatment, and Prevention Science.
She has actively and successfully pursued grant funding to support her research, including an impressive NIH K01 award. To date, her external awards total over $900,000, and she serves mainly as the principal investigator of these externally funded projects.
One of her nominators wrote, “Dr. Brown is one of the most positive and motivated early career researchers with whom I have had the pleasure of working. I have no doubt that she will become an outstanding clinical researcher in the short-term… and in the long-term – a world-class scholar.”
Outstanding Senior Award - Jordan Acosta, Health and Exercise Science
The Outstanding Senior Award recognizes a CHHS graduating senior for outstanding performance including academic achievement, leadership, research, service, and/or creative endeavors. Student must be an undergraduate student graduating in the academic year the award is bestowed (must have intent to graduate in the current academic year – Fall, Spring or Summer term).
Jordan Acosta, Health and Exercise Science
Jordan has made a huge impact as a student, varsity athlete, and member of the CSU community. She is a leader both on and off the field, as a starting outfielder on the softball team, and also serving as a member of the Student Athlete Advisory Council. She is the group’s representative to the Mountain West Executive Council, where she helps make a difference in the lives of student athletes. She is also a part of the leadership team for Rambition, whose mission is to advocate for and celebrate women in sports. Jordan has acted as a catalyst for action around social justice. After last summer’s unrest, she implemented a “Black Lives Matter” t-shirt campaign throughout Athletics, energizing the community.
Jordan has been a high-achieving student academically, maintaining a 4.0 GPA in the Honors Program, while taking some of the most challenging science classes in the major. She volunteers in Dr. Brett Fling’s Sensorimotor Neuroimaging Laboratory, working on research projects focused on individuals with neuromuscular diseases like multiple scleroses. Jordan will continue to do research in the lab next year while she pursues her master’s degree.
One nominator wrote, “I have never had a more motivated, intelligent, well-rounded, bold thinker, and doer than Jordan…I am beyond impressed with her commitment, professionalism and leadership.”
Undergraduate Student Excellence in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Award - Leah Young, Human Development and Family Studies
The Undergraduate Student Excellence in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Award recognizes an Undergraduate Student for contributions towards enhancement of diverse and inclusive excellence in the undergraduate experience.
Leah Young, Human Development and Family Studies
Leah embodies and strives to promote qualities of diversity, equity, and inclusion at CSU. She is a first-generation and Honors Program student who has maintained a strong GPA while pursuing a pre-health concentration.
Mentoring has been a significant part of Leah’s service. As a sophomore in Key PLUS, she served as a Key Community mentor and then last year was selected for the HDFS Peer Mentoring Program. Juniors and seniors in the program volunteer to mentor first-year students, who also identify as first-generation or students of color, as they transition to College.
Leah’s involvement and promotion of diversity, equity, and inclusion extends to other roles well. She served as a TA for the Cognitive and Language Development course and volunteered at the Poudre Valley Health and Family Center where she contacted patients for health screenings and provided general information about health-related topics. Additionally, she’s been involved in the Black African American Cultural Center and United Women of Color. She also works as the Family Program Coordinator in Aggie Village.
In her career, Leah hopes to focus on mental health counseling, especially for those in marginalized communities.
One nominator wrote, “It is clear that Leah is driven by a high degree of personal integrity to succeed academically and professionally while preparing to serve diverse populations with equity and justice.”
Outstanding Graduate Student Award - Reagan Miller, Human Development and Family Studies
The Outstanding Graduate Student Award recognizes a CHHS graduate student for outstanding performance in research, outreach/engagement, and/or creative endeavors.
Reagan Miller, Human Development and Family Studies
Reagan is a third-year student in the Applied Developmental Science Ph.D. program and 2020-21 recipient of one of the two inaugural College of Health and Human Sciences Dean’s Fellowships.
Reagan is studying mindfulness-based interventions for the prevention and treatment of mental health difficulties such as depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress disorder in adolescents who face major stressful life experiences. Her work seeks to address critical gaps in the research. One is that behavioral interventions must be adapted to, and developed in collaboration with, communities. Reagan has taken a lead role on a study testing the implementation of a mindfulness-based intervention delivered within an after-school mentoring program, Campus Connections. This work has strong potential to inform a template for the integration of evidence-based, mindfulness interventions in a multitude of community settings.
Reagan’s contributions have resulted in co-authorship on 3 published, peer-reviewed journal articles, an additional 2 first-authored articles under review, and another 6 co-authored manuscripts under review. This productivity is quite impressive, and directly reflective of her work ethic, hands-on efforts, intellect, and creativity.
Her nominators wrote, “Reagan is on the path to be an excellent, independent scientist-practitioner who will make incredibly important contributions to the field.”
Graduate Student Excellence in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Award - Sarah Grace Hafen, Social Work
The Graduate Student Excellence in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Award recognizes a Graduate Student for contributions towards enhancement of diverse and inclusive excellence in the graduate experience.
Sarah Grace Hafen, Social Work
Fluent in Spanish, Sarah Grace is an advocate for equity and inclusion, especially with Latinx groups. She serves as the Latinx program coordinator for the Fort Collins Bicycle Co-op and as an intern in the Immigrant and Refugee Center of Northern Colorado. In these positions, she has conducted community outreach to the Latinx community, provided bilingual services and translation for clients, and assistance with immigration issues.
On campus, Sarah Grace has been a leading advocate for social justice. In the wake of anti-Black racist incidents in the U.S., she organized the MSW Anti-Racism Action Group. This entailed marshalling fellow students to meet with the Social Work faculty and staff to create an action plan. She leads a peer group book discussion and biweekly anti-racism action items.
As a graduate research assistant, Sarah Grace has been collaborating with Dr. Elizabeth Kiehne (Kee Nee) to amplify marginalized voices in the policy sphere, with a focus on immigrant rights and immigration policies. Their collaboration has resulted in several manuscripts in progress or under review.
One nominator wrote, “Sarah Grace is a fierce advocate for the rights and protections of vulnerable or overlooked groups…She is committed to actively dedicating her life to securing a more just and equitable society.”
Friend of the College - Tom Biedscheid, CSU’s Assistant Vice President for Enrollment and Access
This award was created to recognize those individuals who have supported the college in extraordinary ways.
Tom Biedscheid, CSU’s Assistant Vice President for Enrollment and Access
Tom has served as a key collaborator for the School of Education over the past year in order to support our work creating pathways to teaching for students at CSU. On a large scale, he works to reduce and eliminate systemic barriers to entry and retention at CSU for students who have been traditionally underrepresented in higher education. His lens, perspective, and vision have been invaluable in the advancement of our work focused on developing structures to support a long-term effort to diversify the teaching force at both the systemic and individual level. For example, during the 2019-20 academic year, Tom played a key role in supporting the Center for Educator Preparation in launching a pilot initiative to support students of color in their student teaching experience. The compliment to the systems level collaboration is Tom’s commitment to individual student retention and success when students experience financial barriers or hardships.
In working with Tom, it has been striking to see how he simultaneously maintains focus on systems level change and individual student support. He is a true friend of the School of Education, the College, and an advocate for educational equity.
Friend of the College - Dan Kozlowski, Assistant Director for Remodel and Construction Services, in Facilities Management
This award was created to recognize those individuals who have supported the college in extraordinary ways.
Dan Kozlowski, Assistant Director for Remodel and Construction Services, in Facilities Management
Over the course of the past decade, Dan Kozlowski has been critical to the success of more Facilities projects in the College of Health and Human Sciences than are possible to count. Dan is the College’s “go to” contact to discuss the best solutions of our design and build needs. He is a visionary in his field and is always willing to talk through our ideas, big or small, finding solutions that meet our needs and exceed expectations. From large-scale building renovations to those that involved a smaller scope and footprint, Dan has managed each with the same care, thoughtfulness, and commitment to ensuring the work is done well, on time, and on budget. More recently, Dan and his team were integral to the College’s move to a hybrid online and face-to-face learning environment in the fall 2020 semester. Dan and his team worked tirelessly with the College, nights and weekends, to ensure our spaces were safe and ready.
Without Dan’s leadership and willingness to go above and beyond, our college would not have been in a position to hold in-person classes in August. The College owes Dan a debt of gratitude, and we are lucky to have him in our corner, and very fortunate to be able to call Dan our friend.
Friend of the College - Jan and Bill Beitz, Volunteers and supporters of Health and Exercise Science and Design and Merchandising
This award was created to recognize those individuals who have supported the college in extraordinary ways.
Jan and Bill Beitz, Volunteers and supporters of Health and Exercise Science and Design and Merchandising
Bill and Jan bleed green and gold, and CHHS is fortunate to call them loyal and generous friends of our College. From the time Bill earned his business degree from CSU in 1966, he and Jan have remained involved across campus, through volunteerism, as CSU parents, by cheering on Rams athletes, and through philanthropic gifts to directly support our students. In our College alone, Jan and Bill have served as loyal sponsors of the HES Homecoming Race for over a decade. In 2007, Bill led the initiative to create the Attack Pack Scholarship Endowment in HES as way to honor a group of heart attack survivors, many of whom participate in the Adult Fitness program. Jan and Bill also donate to the Avenir Museum of Design and Merchandising, and Jan volunteers her time with Fashion FUNdamentals each summer, sharing her sewing skills and time with DM’s STEM summer camp for underprivileged youth.
When essential workers at CSU needed to be on campus at the beginning of the pandemic, Jan hand-sewed masks for CSU employees, and connected us to sewing guilds and community members in the local sewing community who joined the cause. We couldn’t ask for better ambassadors for our University than Jan and Bill Beitz and I’m thrilled to honor them with the Friend of the College Award.
Friend of the College - Gene and Carol Vaughan, Alumni and supporters of Health and Exercise Science
Gene and Carol Vaughan, Alumni and supporters of Health and Exercise Science
Gene and Carol Vaughan both received degrees from our college – Carol earned her bachelor’s in Health and Physical Education in 1971; and Gene earned his B.S. in Health and Physical Education and Teacher Certification in 1970, followed by his master’s in Physical Education two years later. The Vaughans have been supporting our college for 35 years with impactful investments in their home department of HES. Through their generosity, along with sponsorships through their company RE/MAX Alliance, Gene and Carol have been longtime sponsors of the annual Homecoming Race and have given generously to the Human Performance Clinical Research Lab and the Heart Disease Prevention Program. Perhaps some of you have taken a ride in the Re/Max hot air balloon after the race in years past! The Vaughans help underwrite the annual scholarship fund for Youth Sports Camps, helping to ensure that no child is turned away from this impactful, fitness-oriented program for youth in our community. Gene and Carol made an especially meaningful and lasting gift five years ago to dedicate the Gene and Carol Vaughan Courtyard to former HES department head, the late Gay Israel. The Vaughans continue to elevate not only our college, but our entire campus, through partnerships with Real Estate programs and Ram Athletics. Thank you, Carol and Gene – we are proud to call you Friends of our College!
Inaugural Lifetime Friend of the College - Mary Ontiveros, recently retired CSU Vice President for Diversity
Mary Ontiveros, recently retired CSU Vice President for Diversity
For decades, Mary has been a stalwart supporter of multiple CHHS initiatives related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. For example, she was involved in the Multicultural Curriculum Infusion Project that began in 1993 and was housed in the College of Applied Human Sciences. In 2012, she was the catalyst for reimagining the Infusion Project as the Faculty Institute for Inclusive Excellence, which was launched with four facilitators (two of whom were in our College: David MacPhee and Louise Jennings) and which included a large number of participants from our College as well as other colleges.
As Vice President for Diversity, she also has supported applied research and community engagement that supports endeavors related to diversity, equity, and inclusion, in part to create a more inclusive campus climate and in part to promote more town-gown partnerships. She has been a stalwart and longtime friend to the College, always generous with time and effort, as she has help us on our journey to become our better selves and a more welcoming and equitable community. It is with great pleasure and respect that we award Mary Ontiveros with the inaugural Lifetime Friend of the College Award.