Popular fitness instructor named faculty of year at CMC

Linda Loeschen

Linda Loeschen was named 2014 adjunct Faculty of the Year for the Colorado Mountain College campus in Aspen.

Linda Loeschen likes to keep moving and to help others do the same thing, even if it’s early in the morning.

“I danced since I was three, so it just kind of evolved from there,” she said. “Keeping moving is the answer to staying fit, flexible and strong. And I love moving to music.”

That active outlook has helped to make her Colorado Mountain College dance and fitness classes among the most popular at the Aspen campus, where she has taught for 40 years. She was chosen as this year’s adjunct (part-time) Faculty of the Year at the campus.

Each year, students, staff and faculty of Colorado Mountain College can 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.

Morning classes help with motivation

The secret to feeling good is to be in good shape, Loeschen said, but the key is finding a physical activity that’s fun.

“My Monday through Wednesday classes start at 7:40 and on Friday at 7:25,” she said. “I just love getting up early for those classes, knowing I will get to be doing something fun.”

However, Loeschen added, it’s more than fun – it’s serious, too.

“I’m serious about form and discipline,” she said. “I’m very serious about that, so there is some hard work.”

Margaret Maxwell, who was on the faculty of the year selection committee at the campus, said she has always admired Loeschen’s willingness to help, and her devotion to her students.

“Through the years, there are many students who religiously take her classes,” Maxwell said.

Loeschen’s willingness to change her teaching style and content to meet the needs of her students was one characteristic that now-retired instructional chair Eileen Hinchliffe cited in her nomination of the instructor. In response to student surveys, Hinchliffe explained, Loeschen became certified in Pilates.

“Her positive approach and outstanding teaching record, along with her continuing education, keep her on top of her game,” Hinchliffe wrote.

Loeschen has taught six classes each semester for more than a quarter century. Those classes, Hinchliffe said, had more than 55 students a semester.

Maxwell noted Loeschen’s “significant” background as a dancer helps make her a popular and effective fitness instructor.

“CMC has been good to me,” Loeschen said. “They work hard to keep the prices as reasonable as they can.”