Conifer-based adjunct online Faculty of the Year receives collegewide honor

Even though Colorado Mountain College has some of the most stunning campuses in the country, placed at some of the state’s most picturesque mountain towns, some students never even set foot on campus.

Even still, they are fortunate to be learning online from some of the college’s best faculty – including two who have recently been honored as Faculty of the Year for online learning. One of these instructors was also named for two years running as full-time Faculty of the Year for a physical campus, and the other just learned she is this year’s adjunct Faculty of the Year for the entire seven-campus college.

Online learning effective, rigorous at CMC

Robert Cartelli

Robert Cartelli was named 2014 full-time online learning Faculty of the Year for Colorado Mountain College, as well as for the college’s campus in Summit County.

Expectations are high for students in Dr. Robert Cartelli’s online business and marketing classes at Colorado Mountain College.

“But those expectations are in tune with what my students can expect to see once they hit the marketplace,” Cartelli said.

Chosen as CMC’s online learning full-time Faculty of the Year, Cartelli also teaches classes in Breckenridge and Dillon, where he was named the full-time Faculty of the Year both this year and last year. Diane van Os, who teaches online paralegal and criminal justice courses, was chosen as the adjunct (part-time) Faculty of the Year for online learning.

Each year, students, staff and faculty of Colorado Mountain College 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 collegewide award recipient in each of the two categories, representing the span of the college’s 12,000 square miles.

Students ‘can’t be afraid’

Cartelli has taught at CMC for the past eight years and said his approach is to make sure that each student, “once they walk across that stage [to receive their diploma or certificate] can’t be afraid at what might be coming at them at 100 mph, from 360 degrees and 24/7.”

“I want to take a more practical point of view and help them have that mindset so they’re not afraid to dive right in,” he said. “Most businesses pay you to be a problem solver, to see a problem no one else sees and solve it. So they can’t be afraid to roll up their sleeves and dive in.”

Karen Kaemmerling, instructional chair for online learning, said Cartelli is an excellent teacher “because he’s always willing to go the extra mile to help a student. For me, he’s also always open to criticism and to making changes on the fly. He’s also open to what he can do to make his classes interesting and engaging.”

Cartelli also said he tries to take the best approach from teaching in class and online and apply it to whatever forum is involved.

“What I do here is similar to what other teachers do,” he said. “We all try to find our own means to deliver a great learning experience.”

‘Tech geek’ likes to see students blossom

Diane Van Os

Diane van Os, who lives near Conifer, was named 2014 adjunct online learning Faculty of the Year for Colorado Mountain College.

Van Os has taught at Colorado Mountain College for four years and, as a student herself, was impressed at how effective online courses could be.

After helping place two of her paralegal students with law firms, Van Os said attorneys at those firms were very pleased at the knowledge the students had learned in her classes.

“The most rewarding thing is watching students just blossom and see them really grasp knowledge,” she said. “And I’m kind of a tech geek, so I prefer the online teaching.”

Not all that knowledge is gained strictly online, however. “I took 42 of my students to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science to get a better idea of tort reform and how it relates to public institutions,” Van Os said.

Kaemmerling, who worked with Van Os at Colorado Community Colleges Online for 10 years and nominated her for the award, said the instructor has often volunteered to take on extra projects and to help other instructors. She added that Van Os is “incredibly organized” and often shares with her peers the technology she adapts for her classes.

In her nomination of Van Os, Kaemmerling wrote that one student “referred to Diane as a ‘great teacher’ with 17 exclamation marks.”

Colorado Mountain College Faculty of the Year for 2014

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.

Honorees for 2014 are:

Collegewide and Carbondale, Glenwood Springs, Spring Valley full time: Gary Ketzenbarger; theater

Collegewide and online learning adjunct: Diane van Os; paralegal and criminal justice

Aspen adjunct: Linda Loeschen; fitness

Breckenridge and Dillon full time: Robert Cartelli; business

Breckenridge and Dillon adjunct: Jeremy Deem; history, outdoor studies, sustainability studies

Carbondale, Glenwood Springs, Spring Valley adjunct: Phil Halliwell; science

Edwards full time: Liz Owen; emergency medicine and paramedics

Edwards adjunct: Randy Simmonds; psychology

Leadville and Buena Vista full-time: Jason Gusaas; ski area operations

Leadville and Buena Vista adjunct: Jenna Nale; biology

Online learning full-time: Robert Cartelli; business

Online learning adjunct: Diane Van Os; paralegal, criminal justice

Rifle full time: Bob Von Achen; English, literature

Rifle adjunct: Shauna Kocman; process technology

Steamboat Springs full time: Tim Baldwin; emergency medical services

Steamboat Springs adjunct: Betsy Frick; geology