Brown, Kelso, and Schilling receive ASC's first Presidential Teaching Awards

(04-08-2008)

"Good students know good teaching when they see it," according to Adams State Provost, Dr. Michael Mumper. So last fall he appointed a group of outstanding undergraduate students to recognize professors who excel in undergraduate teaching, advising, and mentoring.

Presidential Teaching Award recipients with the student selection committee: from left, recipient Gene Schilling, Ryan Laverdiere, recipient Eva Brown, Jonie Coulson, Crystal Sebastian, Heather Wood, recipient Dr. Kim Kelso, and Kayla Lanou. Not pictured is committee member Leslie Widger.

Following a thorough selection process, Adams State's first Presidential Teacher Awards were presented Saturday night to Eva Brown, instructor and coordinator of distance degree program in sociology; Dr. Kim Kelso, chair of the psychology department; and Gene Schilling, professor of art.

"We have an enormously talented and hard working faculty here; these people exemplify teaching excellence," Mumper said at the award dinner.

All three professors fought back tears as they accepted their awards, which include a $1,500 stipend to support professional development and the opportunity to teach a special Presidential Teacher Course next year.

Crystal Sebastian, a senior majoring in art and history, said Kelso "doesn't just teach, she educates to ensure student success.

"Dr. Kelso lives for teaching. It takes mind and guts to be a teacher, but it takes heart to be a great one. She is an asset to the campus and community."

Kelso said, "It is a true honor to be recognized by the students, people I see every day. That makes this special."

Introducing Brown, Jonie Coulson, a senior majoring in business and psychology, said "Meeting her is an experience. With her southern charm and quick wit, Eva Brown captivates and engages her students and colleagues. She reaches out to mentor students. She invites you to view the world differently."

Brown in turn thanked her faculty colleagues for their support, calling them "jewels."

Ryan Laverdiere, a senior sociology major, said Schilling "loves and cares deeply about students.

"Gene Schilling got a tingle the first time he taught a class; that tingle has never left him."

Schilling dedicated his award to all his fellow faculty members. "You really deserve it." He recalled one of his most influential professors at University of Nebraska, who died in a car accident a couple years ago. "I never got to tell him, 'thank you.' So think about those people who have taught you, find them, and tell them 'thank you.'"

Forty-five of the college's 111 full-time faculty members were nominated by students for the award, and six finalists were selected in February. The three additional finalists were Dr. Robert Astalos, assistant professor of physics; Dr. Stephanie Gonzales, assistant professor of sociology; and Armando Valdez, assistant professor of business.

The committee, recommended by department chairs, also included Kayla Lanoue, a freshman geology/earth science major; Leslie Widger, a senior accounting major, and Heather Wood, a junior majoring in math/computer science and exercise physiology. The student group interviewed each finalist and observed them teaching.

Emeritus Faculty, Tenure & Promotions Announced

Saturday's dinner also recognized Adams State faculty who were recently promoted, awarded tenure, and awarded Emeritus status.

"This is a new tradition in which we honor the faculty in various stages of their careers who make Adams State special," said Dr. David Svaldi, Adams State president. "They don't just teach, they're involved. They attend plays, sporting events, and concerts and help plan for the college's future."

Four Adams State faculty members will retire this year with Emeritus Professor status: (from left) Dr. Neil Rudolph, Dr. Randy Newell, Julie Campbell, and Carl Coolbaugh.

Four faculty retiring from the college this year were granted Emeritus Professor status: Julie Campbell, assistant professor of management; Carl Coolbaugh, assistant professor of accounting; Dr. Randall Newell, professor of accounting; and Dr. R. Neil Rudolph, professor of chemistry.

Those who earned tenure include: Dr. Stephen Aldrich, assistant professor of mathematics; Dr. Barbara Andrews, associate professor of counselor education; Dr. Joyce Centofanti, assistant professor of art; Roger Eriksen, assistant professor of art; Dr. Richard Goddard, assistant professor of social studies; Dr. Stephanie Gonzales, assistant professor of sociology; Dana Provence, assistant professor of art.

Faculty recently promoted to full professor include Dr. Tim Armstrong, biology; Dr. Matthew Ikle, mathematics; Dr. Joel Judd, teacher education; and Dr. John Taylor, theatre. Those promoted to associate professor include Dr. Stephen Aldrich, mathematics; Dr. Barbara Andrews, counselor education; Dr. Joyce Centofanti, art; Roger Eriksen, art; Dr. Richard Goddard, social studies; Dana Provence, art; and Dr. Steve Weiss, psychology.

By Julie Waechter