The College of Natural Sciences at Colorado State University celebrated excellence in education with the Teaching and Mentoring Awards on Dec. 3. The awards recognized outstanding faculty, staff, and graduate students who foster the learning and discovery in the College.
In addition to the Teaching and Mentoring Awards, the program featured patent awards and a lecture by Professor Laureate Deborah Garrity. In spring 2018, Garrity, a professor in the Department of Biology was awarded the Professor Laureate alongside Ernest Chavez, a professor in the Department of Psychology.
Dr. Jack Cochran Family Professorship in the College of Natural Sciences
This award is due to a generous donation by Dr. Jack Cochran. Earlier this year, Dr. Cochran provided a significant gift to establish the Dr. Jack Cochran Family Professorship in the Natural Sciences at Colorado State University. It is the first College of Natural Sciences Professorship, and the first time it has been awarded. The holder of the Professorship receives significant funding for their work for 3 years.
Dr. Sangmi Pallickara is an Associate Professor in Computer Science and was selected as the first recipient of the Dr. Jack Cochran Family Professorship. Her research interests are in the area of Big Data for the sciences with an emphasis on issues related to predictive analytics, storage, retrievals, and metadata management. Her research cross cuts data science and data engineering especially in the context of voluminous, high-velocity data. Her projects have been deployed in agricultural sciences, atmospheric science and meteorology, environmental monitoring, and epidemiology.
Dr. Pallickara teaches at both the undergraduate and graduate level and has received funding from Google and Amazon for her courses. She is also engaged in education outreach and organizes a week-long summer STEM camp for 11th grade women in Fort Collins.
Faculty Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching and Mentoring Award
Ben Prytherch is an instructor and undergraduate advisor in the Department of Statistics. He has been devoted to undergraduate success since his work as a GTA in the MS program here at CSU. He is recognized not only for his enthusiasm as an instructor, but also as an influence in the development of statistics curriculum, coursework, and student support resources.
Faculty Excellence in Graduate Teaching and Mentoring Award
Delphine Farmer is an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry whose research focuses on instrument development and atmospheric chemistry. Farmer is highly involved in mentoring as a graduate advisor, and is also recognized for her innovative teaching style. She actively engages students in data analysis, literature reviews, and opportunities to both design and perform environmental chemical analyses.
Early Career (Pre-Tenure) Faculty Excellence in Teaching and Mentoring Award
Jessica Hagman is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mathematics. Since joining the CSU faculty in 2014, Hagman has already taught courses from the 100- to the 400-level to considerable acclaim and has advised undergraduate students on their honors theses. She has developed and taught a one-credit training course for first-year graduate students to discuss instructional issues, observe each other’s teaching, and collaborate on implementing changes based on student feedback.
Graduate Student Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching and Mentoring Award
Pam Lundeberg is a doctoral student in Applied Health Psychology and an instructor in the Department of Psychology. Lundeberg studies health promotion and focuses on increasing physical activity and healthy eating behaviors. She has taught 17 undergraduate psychology classes at CSU (in addition to 7 courses at Front Range Community College), and has independently managed 350 students and a team of teaching assistants. Additionally, she is advising an Honors thesis project, is a mentor through Mentoring Undergraduates to Graduate School Success (MUGSS), and is advising the CSU chapter of the National Society of Leadership and Success.
Annalise Maughan is a doctoral student working with Professor Jamie Neilson in the Department of Chemistry. As a graduate student, Maughan has mentored five undergraduate students, providing support and guidance for their research projects, while allowing them to explore their own ideas. This has proven to be a very successful approach as her advisees have not only enjoyed success presenting their research at CURC, but three of these undergraduate students have also published articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals.
Charlie Vollmer is a doctoral student in the Department of Statistics. As a graduate student teaching assistant, he has introduced a “flipped-classroom” approach to introduce the R statistical programming language, as well as redesigned course material to promote a better understanding of foundational concepts. He has also helped to update and develop material for the Masters of Applied Statistics “bootcamp,” which prepares students for the program through a rapid review of mathematical concepts. Vollmer has also served as a graduate student mentor supporting graduate students, a distance master’s student, multiple undergraduate students, and even one high school valedictorian.
Dean’s Recognition Award
The Dean’s Recognition Award recognizes the efforts of Administrative Professional and State Classified employees to go above and beyond their roles to create a positive effect on the College.
Jannine Mohr serves as Senior Associate Legal Counsel, focusing on employment and general litigation matters. In addition to her work with the Office of General Counsel, she teaches a graduate level law course, serves as the attorney member of the commission from the 4th Congressional District, serves as a member of the Community Advisory Board for KUNC Radio, and serves on the President’s Commission on Diversity and Inclusion at CSU. Mohr has extensive legal experience, and was also appointed the Chair of the Colorado Limited Gaming Commission by Governor Hickenlooper.
Meagan Taverner joined CSU in 2015 as an administrative assistant in the Department of Biology and became the office manager in 2016. In her role as office manager, she serves as the assistant to the department chair, oversees the department support staff, and manages the hiring of faculty, administrative professional, and state classified staff. She is described as exceptionally well organized and her first priority is that people in the department are being well taken care of.