Erjavec and Seilheimer to be honored at Colorado State University – Pueblo Gala May 17

Erjavec and Seilheimer to be honored at Colorado State University – Pueblo Gala May 17

PUEBLO – Patty Erjavec, president of Pueblo Community College, and long-time biology faculty member Dr. Jack Seilheimer, will be honored with President’s Medallions for Distinguished Service as part of the 2013 President’s Gala on Friday, May 17 in the Occhiato University Center (OUC) Ballroom. Donors underwrite the evening’s expenses, guaranteeing that all proceeds directly benefit future generations of CSU-Pueblo students through scholarships and programs.

The 2013 President’s Gala will feature the sights and sounds of the University’s 80 years with music by the Pueblo Symphony.  Tickets for the 2013 President’s Gala are $125 per person or $1,500 for a corporate table of 8. Information on tickets, sponsorships, and corporate tables is available through the CSU-Pueblo Foundation, 719-549-2380 or at

As part of the 2013 President’s Gala, Erjavec and Seilheimer will receive President’s Medallions for Distinguished Service, which recognize individuals who set high standards of ethics and values to serve as examples for CSU-Pueblo students and the campus community as a whole through their profession, exceptional service, and/or contributions to humanity. Recipients support the University’s continual progress toward future goals and achievements and/or make significant contributions as an advocate of post secondary education. A President’s Medallion for Distinguished Alumni Achievement also will be awarded, but will be announced at a later date. 

Erjavec will receive the President’s Medallion for Service to Education for her generous contributions of time, talent, and resources to CSU-Pueblo, the State Board of Colorado Community Colleges and Occupational Education, and now Pueblo Community College. Throughout her career, she has sought to provide educational opportunities to the citizens of Colorado and improved teaching and learning environments both for faculty and students.  A Pueblo native, Erjavec became the first woman president of PCC on June 1, 2010. She oversees PCC’s main campus in Pueblo as well as its Fremont Campus in Canon City and its Southwest Colorado Community College East Campus in Durango and West Campus in Mancos/Cortez.

Erjavec, a 1979 graduate of CSU-Pueblo, was instrumental in the college adopting a number of initiatives aimed at enhancing student success and growth as well as customer service. These included establishing a President’s Leadership Program that includes an articulation agreement with CSU-Pueblo, supporting Phi Theta Kappa with new scholarship dollars to aid student participation, adopting a learning philosophy of "Building a Culture of Learning & Student Success at PCC," forming a Retention Project Team, developing a Customer Solution Center to enhance customer service, and expanding services to veterans. Prior to coming to PCC, Erjavec worked 11 years at El Pueblo … an Adolescent Treatment Community, including the last nine as its President and CEO.  During that time, she spent seven years on the State Board of Community Colleges and Occupational Education, two of those years as chairperson.

Seilheimer, who joined the CSU-Pueblo family in 1963, will receive the President’s Medallion for Service to the University. Seilheimer started his career as a biology professor and assistant football coach in 1963 just as the University was transitioning to a four-year institution. He became one of the biggest supporters of the athletics program. Even after giving up assistant coach duties to focus on teaching, he continually supported athletics, taking in as many basketball and football games as he could, and later applying that support as the faculty athletic representative. As the faculty athletic representative, he helped student-athletes navigate the balance between classes and competition while acting as a mediator between student-athletes, coaches, and professors. He retired last spring after an astounding 50 years of services to the university and was inducted into the University’s Athletics Hall of Honor last fall. He remains an adjunct faculty member in his retirement.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Western Michigan University and a doctoral degree in zoology from the University of Louisville.  His research interests include limnology, freshwater plankton systematic, ecology, environmental science, and zoology.

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.