By Nancy Genova, acting CEO of Colorado Mountain College’s West Garfield Campus
I’m often asked what sets a community college apart from other educational options. Aside from the obvious affordability, flexibility, and responsiveness to community needs, we have a special secret that deliver true value to our students: our faculty.
We have recently hired some incredible new full-time faculty at Colorado Mountain College who bring new energy to learning, enhancing the great work already being done by our other full-time and adjunct instructors. Even taught by new-to-us faculty, their classes are full this fall.
Nephi Thompson is our new science instructor, an assistant professor of biology and chemistry. A native of western Colorado, he earned a bachelor’s in physics and zoology from Brigham Young University and a master’s in medicinal chemistry from the University of Utah. He’s also completed significant coursework toward a doctorate in science education from the University of California, San Diego. He enjoys camping, hiking, rock climbing, serving in his church and spending time with his family.
Tracy White is an assistant professor of mathematics, receiving a bachelor’s in mathematics from Oakland University in Rochester, Mich., and a master’s in applied math from CU-Boulder. Another faculty member who understands what our part of the state offers, she likes caving, hiking and camping.
Erin Beaver is an assistant professor of communications and humanities, for both our West Garfield Campus and the Roaring Fork Campus. She has a bachelor’s in English/education from the University of Dayton and a master’s in English from the University of South Dakota. In addition to reading and writing, Erin likes hiking, camping, traveling and playing with her dogs.
In addition to these new faculty, an administrator who’s been with the college for a number of years moved back into the classroom this fall because she missed working with students. Kristin Georgine was previously the instructional chair for developmental education here at the campus, and before that oversaw developmental studies throughout all 12,000 square miles of our service area. But her love for teaching lured her back into the classroom after a faculty member retired here in Rifle, and she’s so excited to be back teaching students.
These instructors round out the educational expertise our students already benefit from, through faculty members like Michael Reyelts who teaches English as a second language, and Jon Prater in process technology, and Adrian Rippy-Sheehy in real estate, not to mention our adjunct instructors, who bring a broad and refreshing range of real-world experience to our campus.
Our faculty are really committed to providing quality learning for the people living in our communities. And that is what we’re all about.