CMC names 2015 Alpine Campus Faculty of the Year
Steamboat Springs — Steve Craig didn’t envision beginning a teaching career until he had a couple of decades of engineering under his belt, but then, he found Colorado Mountain College.
“It just sort of fell into my lap, and it was a good fit,” said Craig, who began his career as a software engineer in Boulder after graduating from the University of Colorado before moving to Steamboat Springs.
Now in his 18th year at the school, Craig said he’s taken on a role not only as a math and engineering professor, but as a mentor to students at a pivotal point in their lives.
I enjoy “just connecting with the students and helping them find their way, and that’s the greatest thing about teaching, when you see students work up to their potential and see them do amazing stuff,” Craig said. “I’m a mentor for them.”
Craig is CMC’s Alpine Campus 2015 Faculty of the Year honoree, along with adjunct mathematics professor Lee Cox.
“He made me want to do my very best work, for him as well as myself,” said Zack Greenberg, a current student who nominated Craig
“He helps students, because he is genuine in wanting to become invested in students’ academic success,” added Tia Valles, a former student.
Craig said he sets clear expectations and then pushes students to succeed.
“I set high standards, but then I’m very accessible, and they realize I’m there for them,” Craig said. “There’s just a good rapport between me and the students.”
Outside of class, Craig helps co-direct the SCREAMBOAT Chamber of Horror haunted house and organize broomball games for students.
Craig was also recognized as an Alpine Campus Faculty of the Year honoree in 2008 and was selected that year as a collegewide award recipient by senior administrators.
Craig said he was surprised and grateful to again be chosen.
“It’s a huge honor,” he said. “There are so many amazing things happening at CMC with so many different instructors. It was a really nice surprise.”
Fellow mathematics instructor and first-time adjunct honoree Cox has taught at CMC intermittently since 1992, and while she’s held other teaching jobs off and on, she’s always returned to the Alpine Campus.
Cox said her years of mathematics teaching experience give her a special advantage in the classroom.
“I’ve been teaching math for a long time, so if one explanation doesn’t work, I have other tricks in my bag that I pull out,” said Cox, who is also a ski instructor at the Steamboat Ski Area.
Former student Aaron Wesche, who nominated Cox, said the firm foundation in math he received from Cox “catapulted me forward compared to my peers in higher math classes.”
Cox said she enjoys a profession that both involves math and helps keeps her feeling young.
“I think teaching keeps you young, because you’re surrounded by young people all the time, and I also enjoy mathematics,” she said.
Cox and Craig were two of 15 educators honored across seven campuses and the online learning department.
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