Adams State retirees share dedication to their profession


Dr. Teri McCartney, Dr. David Mazel, Dr. Christine Keitges, Dr. Margery Herrington

Dr. Teri McCartney, Dr. David Mazel, Dr. Christine Keitges, and Dr. Margery Herrington were honored at the annual Retirement Dinner.

The Adams State University Student Union banquet rooms were abuzz as hearty greetings passed between current and former colleagues at the annual Retirement Dinner, on April 21.

Organized by the Office of Alumni Relations, Director Lori Laske invited the recent retirees to future events. "You will always be a part of the Adams State family."

President David Svaldi expressed appreciation for the 2014 retirees: Jeff Cook, Facilities Services equipment mechanic II; Sharon Furukawa, instructor of mathematics, Dr. Margery Herrington, professor of biology; Dr. Christine Keitges, professor of music; Dr. David Mazel, Department Chair of English, Theatre, and Communications; Dr. Teri McCartney, professor of counselor education.

Herrington teaches during the academic year and spends summers at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, assisting with research on the upper gastrointestinal tract. Dr. Tim Armstrong, professor of biology, said he admires Herrington's passion for teaching and her commitment to "world-class" research. "She is a testament to hard-work and the pursuit of knowledge through science."

As a scientist and professor, Herrington teaches biology courses to many students including nursing majors. Outside the laboratory and classroom, she performs with the Music Department's percussion ensembles. "I have had many fine years at Adams State."

Working one-on-one with music students, encouraging them to reach their full potential in vocal performance, Keitges won the admiration and loyalty of students and fellow professors. Dr. Tracy Doyle, Music Department Chair, said: "Chris is really special and so student-centered."

Keitges returned the compliment:  "My music colleagues and I are partners in educating our students. My students inspire me."

Nostalgic memories always swirl through conversations during the annual event. This year the connection ran deep for Mazel '85 '87 and McCartney '87 '92. Their Adams State story began in a classroom – as students. Both earned doctorates, returned to their alma mater and became leaders on campus.

Traditionally, one representative introduces the retiree and speaks to their accomplishments. Mazel received accolades from over ten, representing all areas of the English, Theatre, and Communications Department. His colleagues expressed appreciation of Mazel's gentle leadership, support, wit, ideas, and dedication to students. "David challenges me to think creatively," said Dr. Carol Guerrero-Murphy, professor of English. She noted his "superb" teaching in and out of the classroom.

Along with recognizing his friends in attendance, Mazel spoke wistfully of those who have passed Dr. Brooks Haynie, Dr. Stuart Hilwig, and one of his first professors, Dr. Jodine Ryan. "I am proud to be a part of the Adams State story."

McCartney's professional career at Adams State includes serving as director of the Counseling and Career Center and associate provost for Graduate Studies. "So many people have touched me in so many ways…and made a difference in my life."

Twenty-four years ago, McCartney started her master's degree in counselor education, chair of the department Dr. Susan Varhely said: "I am genuinely proud to have Teri as a friend."

"It feels like I am leaving home," added McCartney.

Cook and Furukawa were unable to attend the dinner.