Today @ Colorado State has been replaced by SOURCE. This site exists as an archive of Today @ Colorado State stories between January 1, 2009 and September 8, 2014.

Awards / Honors

2012 Best Teacher Award winners

March 19, 2012

CSU's Alumni Association is proud to announce the 2012 Best Teacher Award recipients.

Each year, students and alumni have an opportunity to recognize the positive impact a CSU teacher has had on their lives. From 100 nominations, six teachers are selected by a committee.

This year's Best Teachers will be recognized at an awards dinner on Monday, April 2, at 6:30 p.m. in the Lory Student Center Main Ballroom. For tickets and additional information, visit the Alumni Association.

2012 Best Teachers

(6 images)

Brett Kaysen, Department of Animal Sciences

Jared Orsi, Department of History

Molly Eckman, Department of Design and Merchandising

Lumina Albert, Department of Management

Eric Aoki, Department of Communication Studies

Sven Egenhoff, Department of Geosciences


Best Teacher Award Recipients

Lumina Albert, Ph.D., Department of Management, College of Business

Lumina Albert is an assistant professor in the Department of Management. Her research seeks to extend knowledge of ethical behavior, work-family enrichment, coping responses to stress, and interpersonal behavior in organizations. Her current work focuses on intergroup trust, work-family experience, behavioral ethics, and social justice in organizations. As part of her doctoral dissertation, Dr. Albert conducted research on the work-family experience in the Department of Psychology at Stanford University. She then continued her research as a post-doctoral fellow at Stanford in the Department of Psychology and the Graduate School of Business. She was awarded the American Association of University Women Post-Doctoral Fellowship Award (2006-2007). Dr. Albert's post-doctoral research has been published in the Journal of Business Ethics and presented in the 2009 annual meeting of the Society for Interpersonal Research and Theory. Besides teaching and research at CSU, Dr. Albert is the faculty advisor for International Justice Mission (Student Chapter), an international human rights organization that secures justice for victims of slavery, sexual exploitation, and other forms of violent oppression, and has also served as a consultant with organizations such as Procter & Gamble, International Justice Mission, and Child Relief & You on issues ranging from strategic public relations to organizing social marketing campaigns.

From the nominations:

“Professor Lumina creates an atmosphere of respect that encourages learning. She is caring and patient with students during discussions, but also adamant about staying on topic and schedule. She uses a variety of methods in class appeal to all types of learners (audio learns, visual learners, etc.)” – Travis Miller (’12)

“What Lumina was good at demonstrating was the connections of the teaching to real-world scenarios, mainly showcasing leading styles with major figures within the business world.” – Mason Grimes (’12)

“Dr. Albert went above and beyond to help me and other students. She devoted time outside of class to expand on the material, had an open door policy for anyone that needed to talk, and took a genuine interest in her students’ lives.” – Ranai Loken (’12)

Eric Aoki, Ph.D., Department of Communication Studies, College of Liberal Arts

Eric Aoki is an award winning teacher-scholar of interpersonal, co-cultural, and intercultural communication in the Department of Communication Studies at Colorado State University. Dr. Aoki was awarded the College of Liberal Arts Excellence in Teaching Award (at the rank of associate professor and assistant professor) in fall 2011 and fall 2001. He also was awarded the 2009 Colorado State University Multi-Ethnic Faculty Distinguished Service Award.  Dr. Aoki recently returned from a research symposium in January 2012 in Kigali, Rwanda where he co-presented at the SIT international symposium on Conflict, Memory, and Reconciliation. He is published individually and alongside exceptional co-authors (Professors Ott & Dickinson) in Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, Rhetoric and Public Affairs, Howard Journal of Communications, Journal of GLBT Family Studies, Women’s Studies in Communication, and the Western Journal of Communication. He received a National Communication Association Award for his co-authored publication titled, “The Politics of Negotiating Public Tragedy: Media Framing of the Matthew Shepard Murder” in Rhetoric and Public Affairs. Dr. Aoki likes to oil paint, play tennis, and be an uncle to his two cool nieces. 

From the nominations:

“As someone who is typically more reserved, my classroom approach was typically ‘absorb, reflect, determine thoughts/opinions....then share on paper.’ Dr. Aoki called me out on this and told me that if I wanted to earn a good mark in his class for the semester that I would have to verbalize my thoughts IN class, not OUTSIDE of it. By taking me outside of my comfort zone I discovered my inner voice, and my classroom contribution was just as valuable as the contributions of my peers. I have carried these lessons with me 10+ years later and will be forever grateful.”

“The classroom environment was a forum for sharing, collaboration and really a celebration of our differences in an effort to better understand different people, cultures, communication styles, struggles and passions.” – Mike Branam (’00)

Molly Eckman, Ph.D., Department of Design and Merchandising, College of Applied Human Sciences

Molly Eckman is a professor in the Department of Design and Merchandising in the College of Applied Human Sciences. After 10 years in corporate retailing, she received her M.S. from Iowa State University and her Ph.D. from the University of Maryland. She teaches courses on international retailing, retail math, textile and apparel economics and trade, and social responsibility in the global apparel supply chain. Her research interests include the effect of culture on consumer behavior and business practices, internationalization of retailing, and social responsibility in global apparel production. She has given presentations in Turkey, and done study tours in Guatemala, Hong Kong, Thailand, and Uzbekistan, among other countries. Dr. Eckman won an Outstanding Teaching Award from the College of Applied Human Sciences in 2011 and the Jack E. Cermak Advising Award in 2002.

From the nominations:

“Professor Eckman is committed to teaching students valuable lessons that are needed both in and outside of the classroom and necessary to succeed in future careers. Not only was I prepared for assignments and exams, but I've recently run into a conflict of interest at the workplace with social responsibility. I was able to recall concepts like 'the vicious cycle' and incorporate what I have learned about responsible sourcing and workers rights into my actual job." – Amy King (’11)

“My favorite part of being in Molly Eckman's classes was her teaching style and the real world experience she could share. Her calm demeanor and patience, ability to explain even the most difficult of topics, and skill set allowing her to put topics in a real world context were crucial to my success in the program.” – Allyson Bailey-Todd (’05)

Sven Egenhoff, Ph.D., Department of Geosciences, Warner College of Natural Resources

Sven Egenhoff, associate professor, was born in Germany, and raised in Germany, Iran, and Argentina, which helped shape his career path as a geologist. For his master’s degree at Heidelberg University in German, he studied the Italian Dolomites, and for his doctorate from Technische Universität in Berlin, Germany he did a basin analysis in southern Bolivia. For five years, Dr. Egenhoff was a lecturer at Technische Universität Bergakademie in Freiberg, Germany before coming to Colorado State University in 2006. Dr. Egenhoff’s areas of expertise are understanding sedimentary processes in carbonates and shales, and applying depositional models to characterize oil and gas reservoirs and to reconstruct fossil habitats of long extinct animal groups such as graptolites.

From the nominations:

“He almost always seemed like he had fun giving his lectures, which made the class a lot more interesting and entertaining. When he gives his lectures on carbonates, he lights up.”

“Sven has the ability to show encouragement, constructive criticism, and positive reinforcement all at the same time.” – Allison Mast (’12)

“It is clear that he is not there to just teach because he is required to in order to pursue his research. He truly values teaching and empowering students. He is not there to merely ensure his students learn a list of facts about the subject; his love for this field of study is so apparent that it just spills over in class!” – Allison Jackson (’12)

Brett Kaysen, M.Agr. (B.S. ’97, M.Agr. ’03), Department of Animal Sciences, College of Agricultural Sciences

Brett Kaysen is an instructor in the Department of Animal Sciences, primarily teaching undergraduate courses, including a 200 level livestock practicum course and a senior level capstone course on swine systems. Mr. Kaysen is also the interim undergraduate teaching coordinator, overseeing the coursework and requirements of students pursuing a bachelor’s degree in animal science.  Mr. Kaysen was born in Denver, Colo. and raised east of Brighton on a small swine operation. While growing up, he was an active 4-H member and successfully competed in livestock shows at many levels and many events. Mr. Kaysen participated on livestock judging teams throughout his undergraduate career at Northeastern Junior College and at Colorado State University.  He currently serves on the Colorado Pork Producer’s Council and the National Junior Swine Association Youth Advisory Board. He lives on a small farm in Nunn, Colo. with his wife, Tara, and daughters Landry and McKinley.

From the nominations:

“Brett clearly defined the responsibility I have as a future animal scientist to use my knowledge to benefit the world in every way I can, even if it is small. Through his passion, commitment, and knowledge, I was inspired to analyze my part in a large network.”

“Dedication, commitment, and excellence are not just cliché terms with Brett Kaysen; they are the fundamental characteristics he lives by.” – Hannah Larson (’13)

“He is fair and understanding, allowing you to have confidence in your performance. His humor makes you laugh and enjoy the class thoroughly. To Brett Kaysen I am not a number, I am a student with goals and the drive to succeed and I know that he will support me one hundred percent.” – Celeste Samra (’14)

Jared Orsi, Ph.D., Department of History, College of Liberal Arts

Jared Orsi is associate professor of history at Colorado State University, specializing in environmental and borderlands history. A graduate of the University of California at Davis, he holds an M.A. from Northwestern University and a doctorate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. At CSU he teaches U.S. and Mexican history and in 2003 won an Excellence in Teaching Award from the College of Liberal Arts. Dr. Orsi’s favorite class is a summer field course, in which he and the students spend a week following Zebulon Pike’s 1806-1807 route across Colorado. He is the author of the prizing-winning book Hazardous Metropolis: Flooding and Urban Ecology in Los Angeles (University of California Press, 2004), as well as numerous articles and book chapters. In 2008-2009, he was the Ray Allen Billington Distinguished Visiting Professor at Occidental College and the Huntington Library. Currently he is writing a biography of Zebulon Pike, under contract with Oxford University Press.

From the nominations:

“Dr. Orsi is always willing to learn about each individual student's abilities and then build from their strengths and address their weaknesses in order to help them learn. He makes this dedication clear by including thoughtful comments on student writing, no matter how large or small the assignment.” – Nichelle Frank (’12)

“He truly believes in the potential of his students, and he does literally EVERYTHING he can to help them reach it. He plants the seeds for impressive academic goals that go beyond the wildest dreams of his graduate students, and then looks us in the eye with great pride when we've grasped them.” – Nina Ehrlich (’11)

“Everyday in Dr. Orsi's class promised to teach me something new. Every assignment, every activity, every question had a clear purpose: to teach us how to think like historians. I left class every day feeling exhausted because my brain worked so hard.

“He's always examining his lessons, assignments, and techniques for areas of improvement. He's willing to experiment with new pedagogical techniques, embrace new technology, and solicit feedback from students about whether it worked.” – Kayla Steele (’12)

Congratulations to this year’s Best Teacher Award recipients!

Contact: Beth Etter
Phone: (970) 491-6533