CSU–Pueblo recognizes outstanding faculty, staff for 2006-07

Outstanding faculty and staff leaders at Colorado State University – Pueblo were honored at a recognition luncheon held on Tuesday, April 24. President’s Leadership Program Director Shelly Moreschini was recognized as the 2007 Outstanding Professional Employee, while Department of Nursing Administrative Assistant Katie Cadena-Priebe was the Outstanding Classified Employee. Carol Loats, professor of history and coordinator of the Women’s Studies program, earned the top faculty honor for Excellence in Teaching.

Moreschini is credited with developing the President’s Leadership Program into a model for the statewide organization, Colorado Leadership Alliance, to admire and monitor. Since she became director in 2004, she has developed bridge-building programs between the University and the Pueblo community, nurtured relationships with the community’s non-profit organizations, and fulfilled the goals of PLP in spite of financial limitations, organizational restructuring, and changes in the statewide system of leadership programs. She is a leader among leaders and a product of the University’s Mass Communications department who brags on the department and University in every possible venue. Other finalists for the Professional Employee Award were Geri Koncilja, media specialist in the Instructional Technology Center, and Assistant Budget Director Lorna Davis.

The Outstanding Classified Employees were selected from among 13 nominees by a panel of community leaders. Would those judges who are here with us today, please stand: Joan Acosta; Director of Operations, PEDCO; Al Spinuzzi, Vice President Commercial Loans, Pueblo Bank and Trust; and Connie Frost, Financial Services Representative, SunWest Educational Credit Union.

Cadena-Priebe was described by her four nominators as the “heart” of the Nursing Department, for being able to do all things, and all things at once. According to nominators, Katie is always is prepared with “answers to questions, forms to fill out, or a shoulder to cry on.” She is a “comforting mother figure to students, friend to faculty, and a resource to the campus and community.“ She is known by her signature phrase, ‘You are my favorite,’ and she works every day to make each individual she meets feel that they are. The runner-up for the Outstanding Classified Employee Award was Veronica Trujillo, program assistant in the office of Auxiliary Services.

Loats, assistant professor of history and coordinator of the women’s studies program, was characterized as someone who is regularly involved in improving her pedagogy for the benefit of her students. Since she was hired in 1993, Loats has taught the World Civilization Sequence as well as courses in women’s studies. In addition to improving her own teaching, she has been an advocate of high teaching standards across campus and in the community. She has encouraged young women at risk in the high schools to continue their education and become aware of their choices through coordination of an annual conference. In the classroom, she finds activities that allow her students to “develop a comfort level with hearing his or her own voice.”

The 2007 Faculty excellence Award in Scholarly/Creative Activity was presented to Dr. David Lehmpuhl, associate professor of chemistry, for a record of scholarship over the last nine years that includes 8 peer-reviewed publications in highly respected chemistry journals, 25 research presentations at national or regional professional conferences, more than $1.4 million in externally funded grants, serving as an invited reviewer for chemistry journals, and acting as a research mentor to 16 undergraduate chemistry majors and thesis advisor for 7 graduate students.
An analytical chemist with specialization in environmental and nanoscience, Lehmpuhl executes research in some of the most cutting-edge and expensive areas of lab-based studies, making his accomplishments all that more impressive, given this University’s scarce resources. He has lent his expertise to the community by acting as one of several lead faculty for the comprehensive water quality research project affiliated with Fountain Creek and the Arkansas River and helping to secure $200,000 in support from the Lower Arkansas Water Conservancy District.

The 2007 University Award for Faculty Excellence in Service was presented to an individual whose service as a chair and faculty member “has always been characterized by quiet wisdom, interpersonal warmth, and a strong sense of what is worth doing and doing well.” Dr. Bill Sheidley, professor and chair of the department of English and Foreign Languages, has served admirably this year as co-chair of the Higher Learning Commission Accreditation Study, coordinating the efforts of nearly 100 individuals in a critical analysis of the University’s performance over the past decade and setting goals for the future. His efforts were rewarded with praise by the visiting team for the report’s clarity, honestly, and comprehensiveness. Among his service to various campus committees and task forces, he has played a central role as a member of the University’s Strategic Planning Oversight Committee, including writing the extensive annual reports about the University’s strategic accomplishments and actions for the upcoming year.

The recipient of the award for Faculty Excellence Award in Advising has demonstrated that the needs of the students are his top priority. The nomination letters for Dr. Jeff Piquette, assistant professor in the Teacher Education Program, were accompanied by the signatures of more than 30 students in support of his nomination. Piquette normally advises more than 50 liberal studies students plus 15 more education students completing science majors. Dean Hector Carrasco says Piquette has a reputation for taking the time to know his students, their career aspirations, and helping them solve their problems and make subsequent decisions about their futures. As co-sponsor of the Teacher Education Association, which involves more than 50 percent of

teacher education students, Jeff has led the group in service, professional, and leadership development activities and mentoring projects.

The following faculty members were honored as the top faculty member in their respective colleges for the 2006-07 academic year:

Dr. Ruth DePalma, undergraduate coordinator for the department of nursing,
College of Education, Engineering and Professional Studies

Dr. Bill Sheidley, chair of English and Foreign Languages, College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Dr. Abhay Shah, professor of marketing, Hasan School of Business

Dr. Brian Vanden Heuvel, assistant professor of chemistry, College of Science and Mathematics

Karen Pardue, Instructional Technology Librarian, University Library

Also honored at the luncheon were recent retirees of the University and individuals who received national recognition for their service or accomplishments during the past academic year.
University Service Awards also were presented to employees achieving milestones of service from five to 30 years. Assistant Budget Director Lorna Davis and Jesus Ramirez, Physical Plant, were recognized for 30 years of service to the institution.

Colorado State University - Pueblo is a regional, comprehensive university emphasizing professional, career-oriented, and applied programs. Displaying excellence in teaching, celebrating diversity, and engaging in service and outreach, CSU-Pueblo is distinguished by access, opportunity, and the overall quality of services provided to its students.