Good, Meade receive campus honors in Steamboat Springs
Susan Good, professor of occupational safety at Colorado Mountain College’s campus in Steamboat Springs, has been teaching for the college for more than 30 years with enthusiasm that has never waned.
“It’s interesting work,” said Good. “Every day is different, and we have great students.”
Good was named this year’s full-time Faculty of the Year for the college’s campus in Steamboat Springs.
Every year, each of Colorado Mountain College’s seven campuses, as well as the college’s department of online learning, can nominate adjunct and full-time instructors for the Faculty of the Year award. From those honorees, senior administrators then select a collegewide award recipient in each of the two categories.
Kathy Kiser-Miller, dean of academic affairs in Steamboat Springs, noted that part of Good’s success is rooted in how much she enjoys training students to make a difference in the lives of others. Student nominations cited Good’s willingness to engage with them on a personal, individualized level and her patience in helping them understand new ideas.
In addition to maintaining a lively classroom, Good reaches beyond the walls of the college with corporate training sessions in emergency first aid for the broader community. “She is a gem for our campus, college and community,” said Kiser-Miller.
Good’s colleague, Cindy Meade, earned the Steamboat campus adjunct Faculty of the Year Award for her dedication to the nurse aide program. “The success of this program would not be possible without Cindy,” Kiser-Miller said. “One hundred percent of the students in her first class passed the state exam, which is testimony to her effectiveness as a teacher.”
Unorthodox, hands-on approach makes instructor stand out
Good’s expertise in emergency medicine and occupational safety is indisputable. Even more importantly, according to her students, she knows how to transfer that knowledge through a hands-on approach to teaching.
Nearly all the assignments in Good’s classes involve active, peer-driven components. To teach her anatomy class, she removes the organs from the classroom model and scatters them on student tables and chairs. Before learning from the book, students are challenged to join forces to sort out the puzzle pieces. “The organs only fit one way,” said Good. Once students have a literal, physical grasp of the organs, she finds it’s easier to move on to complex ideas about them.
In her highly successful medical terminology class, she replaces the typical vocabulary lists with actual post-operative reports from physicians. “It’s totally unorthodox,” she said. But when students learn to understand medical terms in context, the information tends to stick. “The terminology is embedded in everything we do,” Good said.
She particularly enjoys reaching students who might not have an opportunity to attend college otherwise. “We’re in a remote location,” she said. “A lot of students are anchored here.” Being able to attend classes nearby, she asserts, helps provide more local care and improves the health of the community.
The proof of Good’s active learning model can be found in the success of her students. Many go on to pursue four-year nursing degrees, and others become paramedics, EMTs, physician assistants, wilderness first responders, ski patrollers and firefighters.
“I get to train people to be heroes,” Good said, “and they are.” One of her greatest rewards is hearing from former and current students about the ways they’ve used information from her classes to save and change lives. “The stories my students bring back, they just light me up.”
Compassion for students translates into capable, caring treatment for patients
Meade, named Steamboat’s adjunct Faculty of the Year, was stunned when she learned she’d earned the award. Her response was: “How does somebody get an award for something they love to do?”
Meade teaches courses in the nurse aide program, a one-semester certificate program designed for students wanting to pursue a hands-on health care career. “I’m very passionate about teaching my students how to care for patients in a loving and kind manner that saves their dignity and respect,” she said.
But what Meade finds most gratifying is the transformation she sees in her students when they succeed. “I had a few students who weren’t sure they could complete the program,” she said. “When they did, with good grades, and then passed the certification, they felt like they could do anything.
“It’s such a great job,” she said, noting how much she enjoys working with a variety of students, from 17- and 18-year-olds to working students pursuing second careers and lifetime learners in their 70s. “Getting an award, on top of everything else, was just unbelievable.”