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Awards / Honors

2014 Best Teacher Award winners

April 11, 2014

Each year, students and alumni have an opportunity to recognize the positive impact a Colorado State University teacher has had on their lives. From numerous nominations, six teachers were selected by a committee.

This year's Best Teachers will be recognized at an awards dinner on Monday, April 28, at 6:30 p.m. at the Drake Centre. For tickets and additional information, visit the Alumni Association.

2014 Best Teacher

(6 images)

Antonette Aragon, School of Education

Courtenay W. Daum, Department of Political Science

Rosemond Desir, Department of Accounting

Lisa Dysleski, College of Natural Sciences Learning Community

Yerachmiel Gorelik, Department of Philosophy

Mike O'Reilly, Department of Construction Management


Best Teacher Award recipients

Antonette Aragon, Ph.D., School of Education, College of Health and Human Sciences

"She has a way of teaching that encourages self-discovery, growth, and personal insight." ~ Tegan Waters ('14)

"She is the best role model for the teacher I hope to become." ~ Preston Gillis III ('16)

Antonette Aragon's research, teaching, and service are grounded primarily in the intersections of diversity, equity, and educational opportunity and change. As an activist for positive change in society, she is a Latina teacher-scholar passionately teaching critical multicultural education, feminist theory, critical race theory, and social justice, emphasizing understandings of self, intercultural awareness, and systemic and structural inequality. She believes teachers and educators in democratic schools must develop academic excellence, critical thinking, and positive engagement opportunities for all students.

Aragon has taught a variety of students from different age levels and programs including high school students, undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, master’s and Ph.D. students, urban and suburban students. Her expertise is displayed in multiple peer-reviewed publications, as well as numerous national, international, regional, and local conference papers, and invited presentations or guest teaching. 

Courtenay W. Daum, Ph.D., Department of Political Science, College of Liberal Arts

"She believed in me more than I believed in myself. She struck the perfect balance of accessibility and challenge, ensuring her students could fully understand the material while also daring us to think outside of the box." ~ Kellen Wittkop ('13)

Courtenay W. Daum is an associate professor. Her research interests include organized interest mobilization and litigation in the courts, feminist legal theory, and gender and politics.

Daum's current research includes a long-term project on the litigation and lobbying techniques used by proponents and opponents of same-sex marriage across different political institutions in the states. At CSU, Daum teaches a variety of classes, including American Constitutional Law and U.S. Civil Rights and Liberties. She received her Ph.D. from Georgetown University.

Recent publications include: State of Change: Colorado Politics in the Twenty-first Century; From the Myth of Formal Equality to the Politics of Social Justice: Race and the Legal Attack on Native Entitlements; and At the Intersection of Social Media and Rape Culture: How Facebook, Texting and Other Personal Communications Challenge the "Real" Rape Myth in the Criminal Justice System (forthcoming). 

Rosemond Desir, Ph.D., Department of Accounting, College of Business

"His priority was to ensure that every student in the class be given the best education possible and always hold him/herself to a high set of teaching standards." ~ Maria Zavala ('15)

Rosemond Desir is an assistant professor, teaching financial accounting to undergraduate students and advanced managerial accounting in the Masters of Management Practice (MMP) program. He received his Ph.D. in accounting from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and his M.B.A from Fordham University. Prior to studying at the University of Massachusetts, Desir worked as a senior accountant for Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, a business analyst for Home Box Office (HBO), and a senior financial analyst for Merrill Lynch.

Desir's research focuses on financial accounting issues and economic consequences of accounting regulations. His research work has been presented at leading academic conferences including the Financial Accounting and Reporting Section (FARS) and the American Accounting Association (AAA) annual meeting. His research also has been published in leading accounting journals, such as Accounting Horizons, Auditing: A Journal of Practice and Theory, among others.

Lisa Dysleski, Ph.D., Assistant Director, College of Natural Sciences Learning Community, College of Natural Sciences

"She has the perfect balance of humor and science while lecturing." ~ Jeff Seligman ('15)

"I have always been inspired by Lisa's commitment to making sure every student has the opportunity to learn." ~ Jeff Shearer ('13)

Lisa Dysleski joined the dean's office as the assistant director of the College of Natural Sciences Learning Community in the summer of 2013. Prior to that, she was a faculty member with a senior teaching appointment in CSU's Department of Chemistry, teaching general chemistry and serving as the department’s key academic advisor.

Originally from New Jersey, Lisa received her bachelor's degree from the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia, with a double major in chemistry and performing arts, and her Ph.D. in chemistry from Colorado State University. 

Yerachmiel GorelikDepartment of Philosophy, College of Liberal Arts

"He is the most dedicated teacher I have ever met." ~ Daniel Brown ('16)

"Rabbi Gorelik has not stopped inspiring me from the moment I met him eight years ago." ~ Ashley Mills ('09)

Yerachmiel Gorelik is a lecturer in the philosophy department, teaching classes on the philosophy of traditional Judaism. Rabbi Gorelik comes from a long line of rabbis, teachers, and community leaders, and is the only orthodox rabbi in Fort Collins.

Rabbi Gorelik is rabbi and director of the Rohr Chabad Jewish Center of Northern Colorado in Fort Collins. He also serves as the faculty advisor of the Chabad Jewish Student Association at CSU. In 2012, Rabbi Gorelik received the Outstanding Faculty Advisor Award at CSU. 

Mike O'ReillyDepartment of Construction Management, College of Health and Human Sciences

"There are many reasons why Mike O’Reilly is often call ‘the best teacher you'll ever have’ by students in the CM program." ~ Steve Kenyon ('14)

"[O'Reilly] has consistently been a source of guidance, support and encouragement for any questions I may have." ~ Kayla Boos ('14)

Mike O'Reilly is an assistant professor, teaching courses on structures, and a licensed professional engineer in Colorado. Prior to teaching, he practiced engineering for 14 years as a structural engineer with the Naval Facilities Engineering Command in Charleston, S.C., and for a small engineering firm in Fort Collins.

Prior to engineering school, O'Reilly worked in construction and had unusual jobs such as furniture frame patternmaker and tugboat deckhand. His extensive real-world experience with engineering translates well into the classroom and brings expertise and credibility into his courses. He graduated with his bachelor's from Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University and his master's from the University of South Carolina.

Congratulations to this year's Best Teacher Award recipients!

Contact: Beth Etter
Phone: 491-6533