Steamboat sustainability professor named CMC’s faculty member of the year |

Steamboat sustainability professor named CMC’s faculty member of the year

Carrie Click/Special to Steamboat Today

Tina Evans' junior high school English teacher, Mrs. Harmon, taught her young student the power of good storytelling. Mrs. Jensen, Evans' junior high school social studies teacher, instilled in the adolescent girl a commitment to social justice. And through significant works of literature, Evans' high school English teacher Mr. Smalley introduced her to other cultures, both past and present.

"These windows opened by my teachers powerfully influenced my life," said Evans, who now holds a doctorate and is a sustainability studies professor at Colorado Mountain College Steamboat Springs. "They've made me a lifelong seeker of knowledge and understanding. I want to create important openings for my students by encouraging them to be curious and committed to a meaningful and ethically grounded life journey."

Evans received Colorado Mountain College's college-wide, full-time Faculty of the Year award during the college's 50th anniversary year. Brad Moore, who teaches theater at Colorado Mountain College Spring Valley at Glenwood Springs, received CMC's college-wide adjunct Faculty of the Year honors.

Each year, students, staff and faculty at Colorado Mountain College can nominate one outstanding full-time and one adjunct faculty member from each of the college's seven campuses and the online learning department. From those honorees, senior administrators then select a college-wide award recipient in each of the two categories, who then represent their peers across the span of the college's 12,000-square-mile service area.

Steamboat faculty kudos

CMC Steamboat Springs instructors were held in high regard during this year's Faculty of the Year selection process. In addition to Evans, Jimmy Westlake, a well-known and longtime astronomy and chemistry professor from Steamboat Springs, was named the college's full-time online Faculty of the Year. 

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And humanities faculty Larry McCoy was named CMC Steamboat Springs campus adjunct Faculty of the Year.

Westlake, a veteran astronomer who is retiring this year, is known for his far-reaching ability to reach students.

"Turning people on to the wonders of the universe, hearing people exclaim, 'Wow! No way!' when I first show them Saturn or the moon through a telescope — that's what gets me out of bed every morning for another day of teaching," Westlake said.

'A force to be reckoned with'

"This award isn't just for me," said Evans. "This is great for our sustainability studies program and all who contribute to it."

Evans is an integral member of those contributors. Last year, she received a national sustainability award from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. Her journal article, "Finding Heart: Generating and Maintaining Hope and Agency through Sustainability Education," appeared in the November 2015 issue of The Journal of Sustainability Education.

Becky Edmiston, CMC Steamboat Springs associate professor of biology, co-advises the campus's beekeeping club and team-teaches permaculture design with Evans.

"Tina is a force to be reckoned with," she wrote in her award nomination for Evans. "She cares so much about preparing our students for meaningful lives and careers and makes sure that her classes and the program as a whole do that. She continually goes above and beyond."

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