Jeff Myers, D.V.M., is not only the central figure of the veterinary technology program at Colorado Mountain College Spring Valley. For
2018-19, he is CMC’s college-wide full-time Faculty of the Year.
Each year, students, faculty and staff throughout the college’s seven campuses, central administrative offices and online learning department nominate exceptional college employees. Out of those, administrators select four college-wide awardees: one full-time faculty, one adjunct faculty, one full-time staff and one part-time staff.
This was the year for the college to honor the veterinarian-turned-college-professor and vet tech program director.
Myers graduated with his doctor of veterinary medicine from Colorado State University, and operated two veterinary practices in the Roaring Fork Valley before joining CMC in 2001.
Heather Exby, vice president and campus dean at CMC Spring Valley and Glenwood Springs, said in nominating Myers that students appreciate his teaching style. “Students say they love the way he incorporates real-world lessons and applications into his lectures; he brings learning to life in the lab,” Exby said. “Jeff challenges his students to achieve their best while ensuring CMC provides an outstanding and safe place to learn.”
A teacher’s teacher
The college selected Julie Walpole to receive the college-wide adjunct Faculty of the Year honor for 2018-19. She has been one of the original architects of CMC’s teacher education program, developing and advocating for the program.
Additionally she teaches an introductory education course and multicultural education at CMC Rifle, and is a mentor to students in the program.
Tinker Duclo, interim vice president and campus dean at CMC Rifle, sees the impact Walpole has on her students. One of Walpole’s students shared that “Julie is a role model of what doing all you can, teaching all you know, and learning from others can do for the community.”
‘Advocate for our students’
The college also honors exceptional staff members every year. This year, CMC named as Staff of the Year Jenn Besser, who is a full-time college counselor from CMC Breckenridge and Dillon, and Kevin Cote, who works part-time as the learning lab coordinator at CMC Vail Valley in Edwards.
Besser began working at CMC in 2016. According to Dave Askeland, vice president and campus dean at CMC Breckenridge and Dillon, the college counselor quickly improved the student experience at his campus.
“In a few short years, Jenn has become an indispensable member of the student services team,” Askeland said. “Jenn has a tremendous work ethic, is organized and efficient, and is an outstanding advocate for our students.”
Cote has had a similar effect on students at the Edwards campus. Marc Brennan, CMC Vail Valley’s associate dean of academic and student services, said that Cote transformed the campus’s learning lab and redesigned tutoring at the campus so it’s more effective for students. Students agree.
“With the help of Kevin and the tutoring lab, I was able to make the Dean’s List last semester,” said student Matt Pyron. “I hope to repeat this again this semester.”