2015 Best Teacher Award winners announced

Each year, students and alumni have an opportunity to recognize the positive impact a CSU teacher has had on their lives. From numerous nominations, six teachers are selected by a committee.

This year’s Best Teachers will be recognized at an awards dinner at 5:30 p.m. Monday, April 20, at the Lory Student Center Theatre.

Raoul F. Reiser II, Ph.D. (Ph.D. ’00)
Department of Health and Exercise Science
College of Health and Human Sciences

Raoul F. Reiser II entered academia to be a researcher, but developed a passion for teaching after seeing “the light turn on” for students as he helped them understand difficult concepts in the classroom or laboratory. He’s a firm believer in teaching solid fundamentals, and engages students in these basics through the use of vivid, creative, and innovative examples.

Reiser helps students develop their own passions in his courses at Colorado State University, including anatomical kinesiology, biomedical principles of human movement, and muscle and joint mechanics. He earned his B.S. from Cornell University in mechanical engineering (’91), an M.A. in exercise science from the University of Texas, Austin (’93), and his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering (’00) from CSU. Reiser currently serves as assessment director for the department of health and exercise science, and plays an integral role with several CSU programs including, the Center on Aging, Colorado Injury Control Research Center, and Human Performance Clinical/Research Laboratory.

Mark Fiege, Ph.D.
College of Liberal Arts

Mark Fiege doesn’t like classrooms without windows, which is fitting for a professor specializing in the relationship between our past and our environment who enjoys sharing his love of books, ideas, writing, and landscapes with his students. He has taught American history, the history of the American West, and environmental history at Colorado State University since 1994. A Washington state native, he holds degrees from Western Washington University (B.A. ’81), Washington State University (M.A. ’85), and the University of Utah (Ph.D. ’94).

Fiege is the author of The Republic of Nature: An Environmental History of the United States (2012) and other works. From 2008 to 2013, he was William E. Morgan Chair of Liberal Arts at CSU. This spring, he is the Wallace Stegner Chair of Western American Studies at Montana State University.

Karen Gebhardt, Ph.D. (M.A. ’03, Ph.D. ’11)
College of Liberal Arts

Karen Gebhardt, special assistant professor in the economics department at Colorado State University, has a passion for teaching. She instructs large introductory courses in macro and microeconomics; small honors sections of these core principles courses; upper-division courses in public finance, microeconomics, and international trade; as well as a graduate course in teaching methods. She is an early adopter and strong advocate for technology in the classroom because she sees the difference it makes in student engagement and learning. Gebhardt has taught online courses since 2005 and coordinates her department’s online program. She also supervises and mentors the department’s graduate teaching assistants and adjunct instructors.

She is the author of The Economy Today, The Macro Economy Today, and The Micro Economy Today (14th edition, with Bradley Schiller). Before joining CSU, she worked as an economist at the USDA/APHIS/WS/NWRC, where she researched the interactions of humans and wildlife.

In her free time, Gebhardt enjoys rock climbing and camping in the Colorado Rockies and beyond.

Marie E. Legare, D.V.M., Ph.D.
Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences
College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences

Marie Legare has been a part of the Colorado State University community for 15 years and is currently an associate professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences specializing in toxicology and pathology. Throughout her time at CSU, Legare has created classroom environments where students feel welcome and free to engage with their professor and their peers. As an educator, she’s rejuvenated by the “a-ha” moments when everything falls into place for a student. Legare has taught a variety of courses, including toxicological pathology, industrial and occupational toxicology, and environmental toxicology. She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Montana State University (’79, ’83) and her D.V.M. and Ph.D. from Texas A&M University (’91, ’95).

In her free time, Dr. Legare is learning the cello and is a fan of a good science fantasy book.

Brenda K. Miles
School of Social Work
College of Health and Human Sciences

Brenda K. Miles is an instructor and director of the undergraduate social work program (BSW program) at Colorado State University. She received her master’s degree in social work from the University of Tennessee (’77) and has worked in child development, medical education, day activity for adults with developmental disabilities, and state and agency administration. She was also a faculty member at Vanderbilt University Medical School. During her time at CSU, Miles has taught organizational practice, group practice, individual and family practice, developmental disabilities, practicums, and field seminars. Keenly interested in agency program development and administration, she has served on several agency boards, most recently, on a task group developing standards for school social workers for the state of Colorado. She is also a member of the selection committee for awards for special education excellence in the Poudre School District.

Eric Milholland, Ph.D. (B.S. ’97, B.S. ’06, M.S. ’10, Ph.D. ’15)
Food Science and Human Nutrition
College of Health and Human Sciences

Eric Milholland is an instructor and alumnus of the hospitality management program at Colorado State University. He graduated from CSU in 1997 with a B.S. in psychology and a second major in technical communications. After working in private industry for the next seven years in both management and logistics, he returned to CSU to pursue a second B.S. in hospitality management.

After graduating summa cum laude in 2006, he began an interdisciplinary graduate program in food science and human nutrition and education. During this time, he served as a graduate teaching assistant and special appointment faculty member in hospitality management. Milholland earned his master’s degree in 2010 and will complete his Ph.D. in education this spring. His research interests include classroom response systems, and his areas of academic emphasis include food principles and applications, food-service production, food and beverage cost control, and event planning.