Social Work instructor selected for CSU Best Teacher Award

Marie Villescas Zamzow (B.S., ’95) is a 2017 recipient of the Best Teacher Award given by the Colorado State University Alumni Association.

Zamzow has taught in the School of Social Work at Colorado State University for the past four years, and specializes in social welfare policy, child welfare, clinical work with families and groups, and diversity. In her classes, which include bachelor’s- and master’s-level classes, she facilitates learning, critical thinking, and social work leadership and discussions on “how we can each be responsible to help create change – social, environmental, or economic change – to create social justice.”

Marie Villescas Zamzow
Colorado State University Social Work instructor Marie Villescas Zamzow teaches her Social Welfare Policy class.

Zamzow leads and has served on several community committees, including the Diversity and Human Rights Committee, the Curriculum Committee, the Small Systems Committee, the Social Committee, and is the CSU faculty assigned to the student organization, Social Work in Action.

Her inspiration for teaching?

“My father,” she said. “Before retiring, he spent his life educating the children who struggled to learn. He was always patient and kind and inspiring to his students. He taught children that other teachers had given up on. He is a first-generation Mexican American and grew up in a time of rampant discrimination. He was the first in his family to go to college, and he received his bachelor’s degree and several master’s degrees. He taught me to value my Mexican heritage and to stand up for people who needed an advocate. He also taught me that education was the single best way to fight injustice and create a positive future.”

Her philosophy on teaching?

“Know who you are, and bring your best self into the classroom.”

About the program

The Colorado State University Alumni Association recognizes outstanding Colorado State University educators each year with Best Teacher Awards.

The teachers are nominated by students and alumni and are selected by a committee comprised of faculty, students, and members of the Alumni Association Board of Directors.

Best Teacher Awards Dinner

Current awardees and their nominators are invited to the Best Teacher Awards program where the award recipients will be honored.

Wednesday, April 26, 5:30-8 p.m.

Lory Student Center Theatre, CSU campus, Fort Collins

Click here for more information and to register.