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‘Take a class from Bennett and hang on – it’s a magical ride’

By Carrie Click

Colorado Mountain College Aspen students, faculty and staff have selected Bennett Bramson as the CMC Aspen Adjunct Faculty of the Year for 2016-17. Photo Charles Engelbert

Colorado Mountain College Aspen students, faculty and staff have selected Bennett Bramson as the CMC Aspen Adjunct Faculty of the Year for 2016-17. Photo Charles Engelbert

ASPEN – Bennett Bramson is a magician – in more ways than one.

He’s literally a practicing professional magician, though it doesn’t end there. He’s also a magician in the classroom, so much so that he was recently named the Colorado Mountain College Aspen campus adjunct Faculty of the Year for the popular, interactive business courses he teaches.

Each year, students, staff and faculty of Colorado Mountain College nominate outstanding faculty members from each of the college’s seven campuses and the online learning department.

This isn’t the first time Bramson has been singled out for “(fill-in-the-blank) of the Year” accolades. Aspen Board of Realtors named him Realtor of the Year in 2012, and in 2013, Pitkin County gave him the Greg Mace Award for Volunteer of the Year – the same year he was named the Town of Basalt’s Citizen of the Year.

According to Rick Johnson, assistant dean of instruction at Colorado Mountain College’s Aspen campus, “Bennett uses his magic to draw students into deeper topics, using magic as a metaphor and a teaching tool.”

Teaching inside, outside classroom

A Miami Beach native, Bramson has lived in the Roaring Fork Valley since 2002. His background includes real estate, book authorship, entrepreneurship, volunteering, business consulting and nonprofit leadership.

It’s Bramson’s educational expertise that Colorado Mountain College recognizes with his most recent award. With three degrees – an associate degree in communications, a bachelor’s degree in education and a master’s degree in public administration – and teaching experience at the middle, high school and collegiate level that goes back to 1975, he is well-prepared to create memorable learning experiences for his students.

Fulan Li is one of the students who nominated Bramson for CMC’s faculty award.

“He is responsible, creative, and he cares about students,” Li said. “He has inspired me to have a greater sense of community service.”

Johnson has seen Bramson teach, inside and outside of the classroom.

“Students in his business classes are out in the field experiencing ‘the business of business’ and learning hands-on through real-life exploration of what it means to be in business in the local economy,” Johnson said. “Take a class from Bennett and hang on – it’s a magical ride.”

‘Greatly honored’

For Bramson, receiving an award acknowledging his teaching also recognizes his ability to teach younger students. In addition to the classes he teaches at the campus in Aspen, he teaches CMC’s concurrent enrollment classes at Basalt High School, in which students can simultaneously earn high school and college credit.

“I am so greatly honored to have been selected as the Aspen campus adjunct Faculty of the Year,” said Bramson. “It is even more gratifying because it is voted on by the students. I’m proud to have the opportunity to serve as an educator at CMC – a phenomenal institution of higher learning.”

Colorado Mountain College Faculty of the Year named

Every year employees and students at each of Colorado Mountain College’s campuses can nominate adjunct and full-time faculty members for the Faculty of the Year Award.

From those campus-level honorees, senior administrators then select a collegewide award recipient in each of those two categories, representing the span of the college’s 12,000 square miles.

Faculty honorees for this year are:

Collegewide and Edwards full time: Jennifer Wing; communications

Collegewide and Rifle adjunct: Cory Allen; English

Aspen adjunct: Bennett Bramson; business

Breckenridge and Dillon full time: Sharon Aguiar; English as a Second Language

Breckenridge and Dillon adjunct: Hana Forest; English as a Second Language and math

Carbondale, Glenwood Springs, Spring Valley full time: Gretchen Lamb; veterinary technology

Carbondale, Glenwood Springs, Spring Valley adjunct: Natasha Williams; computer information systems

Edwards adjunct: Rich Tarmey; business

Leadville and Buena Vista full time: Kent Clement; outdoor recreation leadership

Leadville and Buena Vista adjunct: Jake Mohrmann; natural resource management

Online learning full time: Louis Beatty; computer information systems

Online learning adjunct: George Cornwall; biology

Rifle full time: Nephi Thompson; science

Steamboat Springs full time: Alex Krolik; mathematics

Steamboat Springs adjunct: Christopher Harnden; full-time college counselor, adjunct psychology faculty

As fall semester begins, look for more stories in eNews about Faculty of the Year recipients.