Outstanding Teacher Award - Leann Kaiser
The Outstanding Teacher Award honors an excellent teacher who exhibits superior and sustained performance in teaching that impacts student learning.
Leann Kaiser began teaching in the School of Education in 2008. Her teaching experience includes on-campus and online instruction, which require being able to plan and facilitate courses using very different methods. Her course evaluations are among the best in the School. In a School filled with exemplary teachers, Leann stands out.
In addition to excelling in her teaching, she advises many of the Adult Education and Training Masters students, co-coordinates the program, and is involved in service at all levels.
One student wrote: “On a scale of 1-5, I would give Dr. Kaiser a 10 if I could. She is the model of an effective online course facilitator. Her support during challenging times, her encouragement throughout the semester, and her presence throughout the discussion threads made me feel like she was always thinking about ways to foster our learning. This is one of the best courses I’ve taken in my master’s program so far, mostly because Dr. Kaiser is such as an exemplary instructor.”
Outstanding Adviser Award - Susan Lynham
The Outstanding Adviser Award recognizes a faculty member or administrative professional staff member, who excels in undergraduate or graduate student advising and mentoring.
Susan Lynham serves as a faculty member and adviser for students in the Organizational Learning, Performance, and Change Ph.D. Program. She cares deeply about her advisees and wants to see each person succeed. She empowers others to achieve their best and moves her advisees from a place of self-doubt to a place of self-confidence and belief in their own abilities.
Susan works as an advocate to find funding to help graduate students publish and present at conferences, and she helps students network with others in the field, positioning them for success. She knows when to lead, when to guide, and when to step away to allow one to find their own footing.
One student wrote, “Dr. Lynham is her advisees’ biggest cheerleader. After some time working with Dr. Lynham, one believes they can fly, undoubtedly because they know that if they fall, she will be there to catch them.”
Superior Faculty Service Award - Mehmet Ozbek
The Superior Faculty Service Award is given to a faculty member who has made significant service contributions to the College, University, profession, or other off-campus organization.
Mehmet Ozbek serves as acting department head, associate professor, graduate program coordinator, and chair of the CM Tenure and Promotion Committee, in addition to serving on many more committees at all levels.
His passion for graduate education motivated him to introduce major program changes in the CM master’s degree. He also worked tirelessly to start a collaborative Ph.D. program with the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and his efforts have led to increased enrollment in CM graduate programs.
In addition, Mehmet is highly regarded for his service to the construction management field, serving on the editorial board for two top journals, while continuing to be a reviewer for more than 20 journals and multiple conference proceedings. He also serves on four national committees related to construction.
Mehmet developed and volunteered to co-teach a service-learning class, which engaged at-risk, high school students for which he was recognized with two University awards. One nominator said, “Mehmet’s impact on society will extend long after he retires from the field of education.”
Superior Staff Service Award - Kara Johnson
The Superior Staff Service Award, is given to a staff member who demonstrates outstanding achievement in performing his or her responsibilities.
Kara Johnson serves as the Career Development Manager for the College, providing caring and impactful services to many CSU students, alumni, faculty, and instructors. She teaches cutting-edge strategies on job searches, networking, interviewing, and resume development. In addition, she conducts mock interviews with students, often the first formal interviews students have experienced.
Kara serves as a guest speaker in many of the College’s senior seminars, capstones, and internship classes, providing valuable presentations and interactive sessions for students. Students report they feel much more prepared and confident in their search strategies and preparation for jobs, graduate school, or internships because of her guidance and mentorship. An instructor wrote, “Kara is compassionate, kind, and student-centered in her approach.”
Kara also serves as the adviser to the Dean’s Leadership Council. One member wrote, “Kara is an outstanding adviser who encourages and mentors students to grow into leaders. She sees potential in students and fosters success with her commitment, wisdom, and leadership.”
Outstanding Engagement Award - Christine Fruhauf
The Outstanding Engagement Award is given to a faculty member, administrative professional, or a program team who exemplifies the land-grant mission of developing and promoting partnerships and collaborations between campus and external partners for the benefit of the community.
Christine Fruhauf serves as a professor, coordinator of the Gerontology Interdisciplinary Minor, and director of HDFS Extension Programs. Engagement deeply and fundamentally infuses all that she does.
Christine’s research program focuses on issues of family caregiving in a variety of contexts. She studies diverse experiences, such as grandparents raising grandchildren, and caregiving in vulnerable groups such as LGBT older adults. She has established herself over the past several years as a national and international expert and leader in these areas.
Her work utilizes best practices in community-engaged research, and she blends this with a strong ability to engage partners and work together to address issues in the community. She has received multiple state and national awards for her work.
Christine is active on advisory boards both locally and nationally related to aging, and she worked with community partners to launch the Larimer County Alliance for Grandfamilies in 2007. In addition, in 2016 she was asked to join the Provost’s Engagement Council and has been extremely effective in adding to the dialogue on campus about engagement.
Tenure-Track Faculty Scholarly Excellence Award - Gloria Luong
The Tenure-Track Faculty Scholarly Excellence Award recognizes a faculty member, who is not yet tenured, for outstanding contributions in original and theoretical research, creative works, or other forms of scholarly endeavor.
Although early in her career as an independent researcher, Gloria Luong has already made significant and outstanding contributions to the field of adult development and aging.
Her research has greatly contributed to a more detailed understanding of adults’ reactivity to daily stressors and how individuals regulate their emotions in response to them. She has also examined how social interactions and relationships change with age, and the implications of these changes for individuals’ health and well-being.
Her contributions have been published in the top journals of the field and in 2017, she was selected as a Butler-Williams Scholar by the National Institute on Aging. In 2018, she received a 5-year Mentored Research Scientist Development Award grant from NIH. In addition, the American Psychological Association awarded her the Springer Early Career Achievement Award.
One nominator wrote: “Gloria is a very successful and immensely productive early career researcher who has contributed important insights to the understanding of adult development and aging and who will continue doing so in the future.”
Non-Tenure-Track Faculty Early Career Teaching Award - Danielle Willis
The Non-Tenure-Track Faculty Early Career Teaching Award recognizes a faculty member, who is not on the tenure track, for outstanding contributions in teaching that impacts students learning.
Danielle Willis teaches several different classes in Social Work and in each one, she has shown innovation in teaching, which has resulted in some of the highest student course evaluations in the School.
Her commitment to teaching excellence and dedication to student growth has led her to integrate unique, applied learning exercises in each class. For example, in a course on Social Work and substance abuse, she worked to redevelop classroom content to bring it up to date with current treatment strategies and issues.
She is a licensed addiction counselor and she brings presenters into the class from the community to discuss their roles in agencies such as the Drug Task Force. In addition, community members often bring participants to discuss their stories of recovery. Students love this class and it is one of the most highly attended electives in the School.
One student wrote, “Danielle does a great job of holding students to a high standard, communicating her expectations, but also being accommodating and understanding. She is an awesome professor to have.”
Non-Tenure-Track Faculty or Administrative Professional Scholarly Excellence Award - Melissa George
The Non-Tenure-Track Faculty or Administrative Professional Scholarly Excellence Award recognizes a faculty or staff member, who is not on the tenure track, for outstanding scholarly work that has positively impacted his or her discipline during that person’s career.
Melissa George is a passionate, innovative, and highly productive Research Scientist and the Associate Director of the Prevention Research Center. Her research program focuses on promoting health and well-being, especially mental health, for children and families.
Since arriving in 2015, she has published 16 peer-reviewed articles in excellent journals along with two book chapters. She has 10 more papers under review and multiple others in various stages of advanced preparation.
Her work has been funded by a number of grants totaling $3.4 million, including serving as PI on two competitive grants from the Colorado Health Foundation. She has also contributed significantly to the development of many tools and nonscientific publications and white papers that are accessible to schools and communities.
One nominator wrote, “Melissa’s work is grounded in fundamental principles of community and social justice and she works tirelessly to support and nurture systems that address inequities for children and families based on mental health needs. She approaches all that she does from the perspective of promoting optimal health and wellbeing for all.”
Outstanding Senior Award - Kiri Michell
The Outstanding Senior Award recognizes a college graduating senior for outstanding performance including academic achievement, leadership, research, service, or creative endeavors.
Kiri Michell, Food Science and Human Nutrition
Kiri Michell is majoring in nutrition and food science with a concentration in dietetics and nutrition management and a minor in Gerontology.
She has excelled both inside and outside the classroom during her time at CSU. She has maintained a high GPA and has worked as a research assistant in the Functional Foods and Human Health Research Laboratory since 2016.
She has volunteered with many campus and local organizations including the Larimer County Food Bank, Early Childhood Center, and FoCo Café. Her greatest service to campus, however, has been her tireless campaign to reduce food and nutritional insecurity among her fellow students.
Her sophomore year, she started a “FREEdge” program at CSU. The word is a combination of “free” and “fridge” and the FREEdge stores food in a secure location providing individuals with access to food at no cost. She has continued to lead this project and over the past year has garnered more than 700 lbs. in local produce donations and has offered six workshops that involve cooking, community resources, and tours of local farms.
In addition, Kiri has received several scholarships, including being selected as a Puksta Scholar, a merit-based scholarship program with a mission of community service and civic engagement.
One nominator wrote: “The level of commitment Kiri has to helping others through public service is truly extraordinary. She is an outstanding student and a natural leader, and without a doubt will make substantial contributions in her educational programs, community work, and career.”
Outstanding Graduate Student - Sarah Prendergast
The Outstanding Graduate Student Award recognizes a CHHS graduate student for outstanding performance in research, outreach/engagement, and/or creative endeavors.
Sarah Prendergast, Human Development and Family Studies
Sarah Prendergast is considered by her nominators to be one of the top graduate students they have encountered throughout their careers. Her research is focused on resilience in high-risk families and innovative approaches to promoting family strengths and children’s adjustment through policy initiatives and intervention programs.
She has a strong commitment to a career as a policy researcher, with a focus on low-income families and children who are at risk for maltreatment or limited school readiness. She has multiple research publications, all of which are in high-impact journals. She has taken a lead role in collaborating on an NIH grant that examines the long-term impact of the DARE to be You program.
In 2017, Sarah was awarded a prestigious national Doris Duke Policy Fellowship on child maltreatment, which provides support while she works on her dissertation and which links her to an important network of policy mentors.
Her nominators wrote: “Sarah is a student who has a combination of talent, passion, commitment, and motivation that inspires our confidence in knowing that she will make a difference.”
Friend of the College - Jeff Dodge
This award was created to recognize those individuals who have supported the college in extraordinary ways.
Jeff Dodge, Writer and Senior Public Relations Specialist, CSU Department of Public Relations
Jeff Dodge is a stalwart partner for the College, always going above and beyond to tell our story. Jeff is a talented writer and a great listener with the ability translate the most important pieces of research grants, exhibits, engagement programs, or student experiences into compelling stories accessible to all – valuable skills for such a diverse college as Health and Human Sciences.
Jeff always makes himself available to help out no matter how busy he is. He assists with media strategy and publicity for important initiatives of the College – just a few examples include:
- the Nancy Richardson Design Center,
- Health and Exercise Science Human Performance Clinical Research Lab expansion,
- the Ramskeller Teaching Brewery opening,
- Campus Connections program recognition,
- Avenir Museum exhibits,
- CM Cares projects,
- the School of Education School Leadership Institute,
and more. He has written many outstanding stories profiling exciting research and engagement from across our units.
When the communications team in the college was shorthanded for several months, Jeff stepped up to fill the void, volunteering on multiple occasions to take on extra writing projects or assign stories to External Relations interns. Our thanks go out to Jeff Dodge for his outstanding dedication to promoting our College’s achievements.
Friend of the College - Beth Walker
This award was created to recognize those individuals who have supported the college in extraordinary ways.
Dean Beth Walker has demonstrated exemplary service through her understanding of the hopes and dreams of our College and her contributions that align with our College’s values, needs, and culture.
Her leadership has initiated new industry partnerships between the Fermentation Science and Technology program in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition and the Beverage Business Institute and entrepreneurship programs in the College of Business.
She also promoted a partnership between Business and Fermentation Science students to create “Stalwart Golden Ale” at Odell Brewing for the College of Business’s 50th Anniversary. In addition, she has been a meaningful advocate for the Nancy Richardson Design Center and the newly established certificate in Design Thinking.
She has fostered engagement between the RDC and the College of Business’s Institute for Entrepreneurship by encouraging a Business faculty member to teach the inaugural offering of Introduction to Design Thinking. She has also collaborated on efforts to explore opportunities for the Poudre School District and the CSU teacher education program to partner on educational initiatives around design thinking.
Dean Walker has served as a terrific ambassador for the College by showcasing it to its best possible advantage while she served as Chair of the Search Committee this spring for a new College dean.
Our appreciation to Dean Walker for the many outstanding ways she engages and promotes collaborations with our College.