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Awards / Honors

2013 Best Teacher Award winners

April 15, 2013

Each year, students and alumni have an opportunity to recognize the positive impact a Colorado State University 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 15, at 6:30 p.m. in the Lory Student Center Theatre. For tickets and additional information, visit the Alumni Association.

2013 Best Teachers

(6 images)

Jane Choi, Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture

Michael Gross, Department of Management

Gretchen Irwin Casterella, Department of Computer Information Systems

Seung Hwan (Mark) Lee, Department of Marketing

Greg Luft, Department of Journalism and Technical Communication

Brian Tracy, Department of Health and Exercise Science

Best Teacher Award Recipients

Gretchen Irwin Casterella, Ph.D., Department of Computer Information Systems, College of Business

"I love the energy I see in students -- the sparks of intellectual curiosity and interest in the topic, the smiles when they solve difficult design problems, the insightful questions they ask, and the confidence they build over the course of the semester." ~ Gretchen Irwin Casterella

Gretchen Irwin Casterella is an associate professor in the Department of Computer Information Systems at Colorado State University.    

She holds a Ph.D. and a Masters of Science in Information Systems from the University of Colorado.

Her primary research interest is in systems development, specifically in understanding how individuals learn and master tools, technologies, and approaches for systems analysis and design (e.g., database query formulation, object-oriented modeling, and agile development).

Her research has appeared in Communications of the ACM, the Journal of MIS, the Journal of the AIS, IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication, and Human-Computer Interaction.

Jane Choi, M.L.A., Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, College of Agricultural Sciences

“What started out as a process of simply giving advice to my peers gave way to more critical lessons applied in offices and academic settings. Although getting here wasn’t a straight path, it’s the most wonderful career choice I could have made.”  ~ Jane Choi

Jane Choi is an assistant professor of landscape architecture at Colorado State University with an extensive background in academia and professional practice.  

She earned her B.F.A. from Parsons School of Design and her Master of Landscape Architecture from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, attaining the highest design honors at both institutions. Prior to joining the faculty at CSU, she was a lecturer and design critic at Harvard in the landscape architecture program and advanced multi-disciplinary design studios. 

Professionally, she has served as principal designer on domestic and international projects for the renowned landscape architecture firms Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates and Martha Schwartz Partners.

In 2004, she and her husband, Scott Carman, co-founded c2 | studio, an award-winning practice that has been widely published and exhibited, and was recently selected as one of three finalists in a national competition to re-design a portion of Denver’s City Park.

Michael A. Gross, Ph.D., Department of Management, College of Business

"My third grade teacher was the first teacher to inspire me to be an educator and at age eight. I knew I would become a professor for my life's work." ~ Michael Gross

Michael A. Gross is an associate professor in the Department of Management at CSU. He teaches negotiation and conflict management at the undergraduate level and in the graduate and executive programs as well as courses in organizational behavior and human resource management.  

He is the 2013 program chair, Conflict Management Division, Academy of Management, a 2012 dean's scholar for excellence in research at the College of Business, and was recently elected to the executive board of the International Association for Conflict Management.

He earned his Ph.D. at Arizona State University. His current research interests focus on conflict with managing experience design, trust and trust repair, conflict and verbal aggression, and personality and abusive supervision.

He has published 18 articles in academic journals and has given 30 research presentations at international and national conferences. He serves on five editorial review boards.

Seung Hwan (Mark) Lee, Ph.D., Department of Marketing, College of Business

"To this day, I get excited about teaching in front of the classroom. When it is a Friday, I get anxious and can't wait until I get back into the classroom the week after." ~ Seung Hwan (Mark) Lee

Seung Hwan (Mark) Lee is an assistant professor of marketing at CSU.

He earned his Ph.D. from the Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario. He completed his M.B.A. at the University of Windsor, Ontario, in 2006. 

Lee's primary research interests are in the consumer behavior discipline, specifically focusing on the structural dynamics of social networks and their impact on consumers.

His research has appeared in the Journal of Consumer Research, the Journal of Consumer Psychology, the Journal of Business Ethics, and others. Currently, he teaches an undergraduate level course on buyer behavior.

Prior to joining CSU, he taught Principles of Marketing at the University of Western Ontario where he was awarded the university-wide Excellence in Teaching Award.

Greg Luft, M.A. ('79), Department of Journalism and Technical Communication,College of Liberal Arts

"I discovered that CSU presented more interesting career choices than a gas station, chicken farm, or highway construction site, where I fixed truck tires, picked eggs, and shoveled sand to help pay for college." ~ Greg Luft

Greg Luft, department chair of the Department of Journalism and Technical Communication, grew up on a farm near Platteville, Colo., graduated from Valley High School in Gilcrest in 1974, and from CSU in 1979 with a degree in technical journalism.    

He later attended graduate school at American University in Washington, D.C., where he studied public affairs reporting. Luft was a general assignment and investigative reporter, photojournalist, and news anchor for radio and television stations in Cheyenne, Wyo.; Fort Myers, Fla.; Washington, D.C.; Tulsa, Okla.; and Denver.

He has been teaching television news, video production, and documentary storytelling at CSU since 1988.

His daughter, Emily, graduated from the journalism and technical communication program at CSU in December 2012, and Greg Jr. started at CSU last fall as a percussion major.

Brian Tracy, Ph.D. (B.S., '88, M.S. ,'91), Department of Health and Exercise Science, College of Health and Human Sciences 

"I feel like my life has come full circle since my undergraduate experience here." ~ Brian Tracy

A third-generation native Coloradan from Westminster, Brian Tracy received a B.S. from CSU in exercise and sport science with a minor in anatomical science, followed by an M.S. at CSU in exercise physiology. 

He completed a Ph.D. in the kinesiology department at the University of Maryland, College Park, and then a postdoctoral fellowship in the laboratory of Roger Enoka at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

He was hired as an assistant professor in the Department of Health and Exercise Science at CSU in 2003 and is now an associate professor. His laboratory conducts research into the neural control of muscles and physical function in the aging and diseased human neuromuscular system with funding from the National Institutes of Health and from industry and private sources.

He teaches undergraduate level classes in neuromuscular aspects of human movement and in anatomical kinesiology, and graduate level advanced neural control of movement. He engages in significant extramural outreach in the form of community-based lay seminars and neuroscience education outreach for children of all ages.

Congratulations to this year’s Best Teacher Award recipients!

Contact: Beth Etter
Phone: (970) 491-3591