Best of the best: Six outstanding teachers to be honored

CSU will honor its very best teachers March 27 at the annual Best Teacher Awards banquet in the Lory Student Center Theater.

This year’s winners include representatives from five colleges. Nominations are accepted from students, faculty and alumni, and winners are selected by a committee of students, faculty and staff, and alumni.

The Best Teacher Awards are sponsored by the CSU Alumni Association. Tickets, which include dinner and dessert, are $15 for Alumni Association members, $20 for non-members, and $5 for students.

Jon Firooz
Jon Firooz

Jon Firooz

College of Business, Department of Marketing

Jon Firooz (B.S., ’96) is a lecturer in the College of Business. He received a bachelor’s degree in computer science with a minor in mathematics from CSU. Firooz teaches undergraduate courses in sales management and marketing strategy and graduate courses in business systems and processes. He has held several executive positions in marketing, corporate development and research and development at Hewlett-Packard and other organizations. Firooz has been awarded several U.S. patents and was recognized on multiple occasions for being in the top 1 percent of all managers within Hewlett-Packard. After serving at HP, he spent four years working in the water industry as vice president of marketing for a local scientific instrumentation manufacturer.

“He is humble in his teaching and mentorship despite his vast expertise and wisdom that he has to offer. I have seen Jon go above and beyond for his students in ways that I have not seen from any other professor.”

– Sydney Correll (’19)

Michael Humphrey
Michael Humphrey

Michael Humphrey

College of Liberal Arts, Department of Journalism and Media Communication

Michael Humphrey (Ph.D., ’17) is a journalist who is also a digital storytelling researcher and teacher who offers classes in digital storytelling and audience engagement, and entrepreneurial journalism and analytics. He also researches how life stories emerge on social media. Humphrey was recently named a Visiting Scholar at the Oxford Centre for Life Writing at Wolfson College, and will spend time there applying the writing of Hannah Arendt and Adriana Cavarero to key questions of social media and self. Before receiving his M.A. from New York University and Ph.D. from CSU, Humphrey wrote stories for The Kansas City Star and founded 1000 Stories, a life-story writing program sponsored by Kansas City metro-area libraries. His writing has also appeared in Salon, National Catholic Reporter, True/Slant, The New Yorker and other outlets.

 “He is dedicated to building meaningful relationships with students, and he works tirelessly to make sure every one of them succeeds.”

– Sydney Paul (’20)

Dawn Mallette
Dawn Mallette

Dawn Mallette

College of Health and Human Sciences, School of Education

Dawn Mallette (Ph.D., ’00) is an assistant professor in the School of Education and Center for Educator Preparation. She coordinates the family and consumer sciences program, advises all FCS students, teaches two courses, and supervises student teachers. She also teaches a general teacher education methods course and coordinates a professional development school at Poudre High School as part of the CEP program. Mallette also serves as associate director for online degrees and distance programs in the School of Education. Her research and service interests focus on teacher preparation, teacher professional development and curriculum development. She has received numerous awards and recognition for her strong commitment to teaching and her profession, including the Superior Faculty Service Award and the 2017 Family, Career and Community Leaders of America National Distinguished Service Award.

“Not only has Dawn inspired us to be great teachers, she has inspired us to spread the love of education to everyone. I could not have asked for a better person to walk into my life to help me choose a career and build the passion I now have for Family and Consumer Sciences.”

– Kelsey Mauch (’11)

Matthew Rhodes
Matthew Rhodes

Matthew Rhodes

College of Natural Sciences, Department of Psychology

Matthew Rhodes received his Ph.D. in cognitive psychology from Florida State University in 2004. After completing postdoctoral training at Washington University in St. Louis, he joined CSU’s Department of Psychology in 2006. Rhodes’ research focuses on memory, metacognition and evidence-based approaches to learning and training, all of which he attempts to translate into the classroom. He has published numerous scholarly articles and serves on the editorial board of four major journals in his field, including as associate editor at Memory and Cognition. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and the Association for Psychological Science, and has received several awards for teaching and student mentoring. Rhodes has also authored a book on learning, A Guide to Effective Studying and Learning: Practical Strategies from the Science of Learning (2019; Oxford University Press), with fellow faculty members Anne Cleary and Edward DeLosh.

“Dr. Rhodes’ accomplishments as a teacher and mentor are indisputable; however, it is his sincerity that distinguishes him from other professors. His selfless dedication to the achievement of undergraduate students sets him apart.”

– Addison Babineau (’18)

Christopher Snow
Christopher Snow

Christopher Snow

Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering

As an MIT chemistry student originally interested in molecular nanotechnology, Christopher Snow became a dedicated undergraduate researcher in computational structural biology. He completed a Ph.D. in biophysics in 2006 at Stanford University, where he was a Howard Hughes Fellow studying the biophysics of protein folding. Before arriving at CSU, Snow was a Jane Coffin Childs Fellow and a KAUST Research Fellow in the laboratory of recent Nobel Laureate Frances Arnold. Snow also spent time at the California Institute of Technology developing software for computational protein engineering, designing libraries of cellulase enzymes and studying protein recombination using crystallography. Since coming to CSU in 2011, Snow has continued to pioneer computational protein engineering methods and research in the use of engineered protein crystals as molecularly precise scaffolds for diverse application areas.for

“It is difficult to summarize all that Dr. Snow does for his students – his giving seems incalculable. Perhaps, however, what distinguishes Dr. Snow most is not what he does, but how much he cares.”

– Peter Meyer (’20)

Allison C. White
Allison White

Allison White

College of Liberal Arts, Department of Political Science

Allison White has been an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science four years. She studied politics as an undergraduate at Occidental College and social sciences as a master’s student at University of Chicago, and received her Ph.D. in government from the University of Texas. White teaches classes ranging from authoritarianism around the world to Russian politics, plus research methods. She also serves as the assistant director of international studies, an interdisciplinary program within the College of Liberal Arts. In collaboration with The Institute for Learning and Teaching, White will begin co-facilitating a course for faculty called Entering Mentoring, designed to train faculty mentors in the principles of effective mentorship.

“Dr. White puts her heart and soul into each class, asks students if they need more time in office hours to better understand the topic at hand, and creates the healthiest, safest, and most amazing environment for a student who battles the everyday challenges that college throws at them.”

– Anthony Laurita (’19)