Presidential Teacher Award recipients announced

(05-09-2011)

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Dr. Richard Goddard, Dr. Renee Beeton, Armando Valdez, and Dr. Carol Guerrero-Murphy

Adams State College professors Dr. Renee Beeton, assistant professor of chemistry; Dr. Richard Goodard, associate professor of anthropology; Dr. Carol Guerrero Murphy, professor of English, and Armando Valdez, assistant professor of management and health care administration, received the Presidential Teacher Award, recognizing outstanding undergraduate teaching, advising, and mentoring.

Completing her fourth year at Adams State, Beeton said: "This was an award that I saw as a long-term goal for my teaching, not something I would win so early in my teaching career." She developed the course, Introduction to Forensics Chemistry. "I had a blast learning how to shoot guns, touring the police department with local detectives, taking fingerprints, and acting out crime scenes." Beeton serves on the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) working team and this summer will facilitate a workshop for the FastTrack summer scholars program. "I hope to develop the leadership and facilitation skills necessary to continue this work on and off campus."

Starting Adams State in the fall of 2002, Goddard set a goal to recreate an anthropology program, which is now offered as a minor. "There are few schools with a better location to have an active anthropology and archaeology program." He founded the international recognized Adams State Archeology Field School, which operates each summer providing technical training for archaeologists. He believes Adams State's faculty includes a number of highly educated and professional professors who demonstrate concern for high quality teaching. "To be numbered among those only adds to the honor and prestige associated with this award."

After hearing the news, Guerrero-Murphy thanked her two grown children for teaching her so much about caring, teaching, and patience. Her 16 years at Adams State include nine years as chair of the English, Theatre, and Communications Department. Guerrero-Murphy helped grow the creative writing and women's studies programs and believes in working for fairness on campus. Helping to recruit guest authors and speakers pleases Guerrero-Murphy because she believes teaching happens as importantly outside of the classroom as in it. She is a published author. "I think my writing gives me authenticity and credibility as a teacher."

Adams State undergraduate students nominate professors for the Presidential Teacher Awards and a student committee chooses the recipients. "Helping my students achieve their academic and personal life goals is central to my role as a professor." When Valdez first arrived at Adams State, he worked with a team to expand the agribusiness emphasis and became instrumental in the development of the FARM@ASC (Furthering Agriculture in the Rocky Mountains) Program. He and a colleague created the Health Care Administration Program. Valdez serves on the Cultural Awareness and Student Achievement (CASA) committee, dedicated to celebrating cultural diversity; and the Communications Board.

The award recipients were honored at the annual Employee Celebration Ceremony on April 27.