Outstanding faculty, staff and students were recognized at the 2017 Campus Awards Ceremony April 26 in Berger Hall.
Photos and brief descriptions of the award winners follow:
Leann Morgan, Outstanding Teacher Award
Leann Morgan, associate professor, College of Education, was recognized by students who noted her humor, flexibility and innovation in the classroom. Current students noted her passion for her career and for helping students as well as her abilities to relate, engaging students both inside and outside of the classroom. Former students also praised her teaching, mentorship and compassion and said they are trying to model their own careers in her example. Morgan’s Faculty Course Questionnaire glows with praise.
Cerian Gibbes, Faculty Award for Excellence in Research
Cerian Gibbes, assistant professor, Geography and Environmental Studies Department was recognized for publishing 15 peer-reviewed articles, presenting at more than 35 international, national and regional conferences, and being an active campus mentor. Two of her students continued to graduate programs at Johns Hopkins University and University of California, Santa Barbara. Curtis Holder, professor, Geography and Environmental Studies Department, who nominated Gibbes, said, “Dr. Gibbes is an internationally renowned expert on geospatial perspectives on human-environment relationships. She is a prolific scholar and an excellent example of what we expect from a university professor.”
Molly Mulligan, Campus Sustainability Award
Molly Mulligan, electronic resources acquisition professional, Kraemer Family Library, founded Team Green, the Kraemer Family Library’s sustainability committee. She led efforts to improve the library’s recycling and composting practices and helped to analyze its energy efficiency. Mulligan championed efforts to obtain three Green Action Fund grants that purchased bike locks for students, reusable book bags and two fitness stations that allow students to walk or bike while studying. Mulligan educates others about sustainable practices and lives out the mission by biking to work almost every day from her home in Manitou Springs.
Nayda Benitez, Ron Wisner Human Spirit and Leadership Award
Nayda Benitez, junior, School of Public Affairs, is passionate about serving undocumented families. Benitez, born in Puebla, Mexico, intends to support underserved communities through legal advocacy as an attorney. In addition to being part of the Chancellor’s Leadership Class, an El Paso County Teen Court case manager and an intern with the El Pomar’s Student Leadership Experience, Benitez received several scholarships. They include the Chancellor’s Leadership Class Scholarship, UCCS Honors Program Scholarship, El Cinco de Mayo, Inc. Scholarship, MyRights Immigration Law Firm Scholarship, Urbanities Leading the Pikes Peak Region Scholarship, and the Boettcher Foundation Opportunity Scholarship.
Dallas Strawn, Outstanding Instructor Award
Dallas Strawn, senior instructor, College of Education, spent the past 48 years as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, curriculum director, assistant superintendent, superintendent and university instructor. His philosophy, as well as his actions, embody integrity, purpose, and a desire to advance academic growth and personal development in his students. Colleagues praised Strawn’s servant leadership approach. His nomination letter included this statement, “Dallas’ rapport with his students is inspiring, always supporting, always encouraging. His knowledge and experience in education is always evident in his classes. Yet he shares his expertise with no ego. He doesn’t desire to take credit for his accomplishments even though they are amazing.”
Emily Skop, Faculty Award for Outstanding Contribution to Diversity and Inclusiveness
Emily Skop, professor, Geography and Environmental Studies Department, was recognized for her extensive contributions to education and awareness on issues of inequality, diversity and justice. Kee Warner, associate vice chancellor for inclusion and academic engagement, Academic Affairs, wrote in her citation, “Skop challenges her students to analyze assumptions on divisive issues in an environment of respect and understanding.” She was awarded the Distinguished Scholar Award in Ethnic Geography by the American Association of Geography earlier this year. She founded the Global Intercultural Research Center which supports global intercultural faculty pursuits through both internal information exchange and advocacy as well as through external project development and funding.
Laura Chandler, Garrett Swasey Outstanding Staff Award
Laura Chandler, administrative assistant, Psychology Department, is a mentor, friend and coach. Colleagues note that students look up to Chandler and that she is a “go to” person within their department. Chandler routinely exceeds what is expected of her and offers compassion, kindness and enthusiasm to those she serves. Michael Kinsley, professor, Psychology Department, said, “Laura’s exceptional job commitment and betterment of the Psychology Department are evident in so many ways that most people take for granted. Above and beyond her job description, Laura has instituted a number of wonderful, community building changes in the department.”
Mykinthia Ebron, Student Achievement Award
Mykinthia Ebron, senior, Communication Department, embodies exemplary leadership and service to others, according to Tina Collins, executive assistant, Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Success. She is active in student government and the Black Student Union. Additionally, Ebron lead an initiative to provide free parking to students seeking services at the UCCS Counseling Center. Collins described Ebron as one “who thinks beyond her own future to how to help others achieve the future they want.”
Nicole Chung, Student Achievement Award
Nicole Chung, senior, Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Beth-El College of Nursing, was noted for professionalism as well her perseverance, according to Tina Collins, executive assistant, Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Success. Chung volunteers with the Bachelor of Science in Nursing Association, serves as a nursing student mentor, is a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success and acts as the community service director for the Beth-El Student Nurses Association. She was the speaker at the 2015 Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Beth-El College of Nursing and Health Sciences Scholarship Reception.
Shae Thomas, Student Employee of the Year
Shae Thomas, senior, Molecular Biology, served as student assistant to both the departments of Languages & Cultures and Anthropology since spring of 2016. She will graduate in May with a bachelor’s degree in molecular biology and a double minor in chemistry and American Sign Language.
Additionally, Thomas volunteers as a Girl Scout leader, mentors ASL students, and is mother to two girls, Aurora, 7, and Aliza, 3. She received the Daniel’s Fund Boundless Opportunity Scholarship for two years and the Karen Possehl Women’s Endowment Scholarship for five years.
“I have held a student employee position throughout my entire college career,” Thomas said. “Student employment has allowed me to both work and go to school at the same location, which is wonderful. I didn’t want to go to school during the day and work at night because I would miss my children too much. I love that student employment automatically works around my school schedule and allows me to have my evenings at home with my family.”
Alumni and Friends Award, Jim and Janet Gallogly
Jim Gallogly, psychology 1974,and his wife, Janet, donated $1.5 million to support a new faculty chair in the College of Engineering and Applied Science, $1.8 million in student scholarships and $1 million to dedicate an events center. The Gallogly Events Center and the Gallogly Recreation and Wellness Center bear the family’s name.
Jim Gallogly is the retired chief executive of LyondellBasell, Houston. Following his UCCS graduation, he earned a law degree from the University of Oklahoma and had a successful career in the petroleum industry. He credits Janet with the couple’s success.
Alumni and Friends Award, Margery Gallogly
Margery Gallogly, mother of Jim Gallogly and nine other children, also received an Alumni and Friends Award.
Margery Gallogly and her late husband, Tommy, raised 10 children, seven of whom graduated from UCCS. Tommy Gallogly, following his retirement from the Air Force, earned UCCS degrees in 1970 and 1973. He later was a teacher and coach in Academy School District 20. The Gallogly Events Center was dedicated in 2010 in Tommy Gallogly’s memory. Margery was recognized for her encouragement of her family and other young people to grow and achieve goals. A Karen Possehl Women’s Scholarship endowment is named in her honor.
Chancellor’s Award, Joe Wehrman
Joe Wehrman, associate professor, College of Education, was recognized for his research, teaching and service to the university. Among his accomplishments are implementing an addictions track that allows students to be certified addiction counselors, coordinating a clinical mental health counseling track and a counseling and leadership track in partnership with the United States Air Force Academy. He also received awards for teaching, use of technology and student mentorship from the College of Education. One of his nominators praised his “courage and tenacity to bring structure and best practices to thousands of counselors around the globe.”
Special Chancellor’s Award, Gary Reynolds
Gary Reynolds, associate vice chancellor campus planning and facilities management, Administration and Finance, was recognized for his 10-year UCCS career during which he led more than $300 million in new construction, including the under construction Ent Center for the Arts.
Reynolds plans to retire from the university in January 2018, following the Ent Center’s opening.
Thomas F. McLaughlin Award, Morgan Evans, Zach Berhost
The McLaughlin award is presented annually to the top senior male and female student-athlete who excels as an athlete on the court or on the course, as a student in the classroom, and as a team leader. It is named for the former public information director for the campus.
Morgan Evans, a senior setter on the volleyball team, was noted for setting campus records on the court and in the classroom. She is third in career assists, second in career assists per set, fourth in season assist records and was a member of the All-RMAC teams in 2016 and 2017. She made the RMAC Academic Honor Roll in fall 2016.
Zach Berhost, a member of the men’s golf team, was a member of four RMAC championship teams, a member of two NCAA regional teams. He scored a team low score of 68 the last two seasons.
— Photos by Savannah Waggoner, Joanna Bean, Jeff Foster and Jared Verner