Every year employees and students at each of Colorado Mountain College’s campuses nominate adjunct and full-time faculty members for the Faculty of the Year Award. eNews is publishing profiles of the honorees throughout the week. Today’s profile features Roaring Fork Campus honorees Derek Johnston and Klaus Kocher.
Educators Derek Johnston and Klaus Kocher have been named 2015 full-time and adjunct, respectively, Faculty of the Year for Colorado Mountain College’s Roaring Fork Campus, which has locations in Carbondale, Spring Valley and Glenwood Springs. Both teach photography through the college’s Isaacson School for New Media.
Johnston received over a dozen nominations, from students, alumni and colleagues. Comments range from “extremely knowledgeable, extremely patient” to “he has the precision of a chemist and the practiced, nuanced eye of an artist.” Another photo faculty member, Seth Andersen, wrote in his nomination: “Derek takes a small two-year program and puts it on par with what students could expect to receive from a big four-year school, and more. We have students from other BIG art schools that have . . . come here for our excellent program. The value you get in two years of Derek’s program is simply incredible when you stack it up next to other schools.”
Johnston’s leadership in the Help Portrait program, as well as his students’ regular honors in the international College Photographer of the Year competition were also mentioned as reasons for him to receive the award.
Kocher also received more than a dozen nominations, from current and past students and peers. In nominations he was cited for his “infectious positivity” and teaching with “radiant energy and charisma,” while at the same time holding his students to the highest of expectations. One of his former students, Andrea Holland, said, “Few if any student of Klaus will tell you that his classes are easy. Rather he demands excellence from each of us. Without sugarcoating it, he will remind his students throughout a semester that photography is a competitive field and only those who apply themselves have a good chance of success.”
Complete list of Colorado Mountain College 2015 Faculty of the Year Honorees:
Collegewide and Edwards full time: Carol Koch, Spanish
Collegewide and Edwards adjunct: Cynthia Bell, business
Aspen adjunct: Steve Stefferud, emergency medical technician
Breckenridge and Dillon full time: Joyce Mosher, English and communication
Breckenridge and Dillon adjunct: Mark Palz, written communication
Carbondale, Glenwood Springs, Spring Valley full time: Derek Johnston, photography
Carbondale, Glenwood Springs, Spring Valley adjunct: Klaus Kocher, photography
Leadville and Buena Vista full time: Roger Coit, emergency medical services and outdoor education
Leadville and Buena Vista adjunct: Danielle del Castillo Shelton, geography
Online learning full time: Kimberly Harding, science
Online learning adjunct: Erin Donovan, anthropology
Rifle full time: Dave Ruffley, history
Rifle adjunct: Gretchen (Greta) Jorgensen, science
Steamboat Springs full time: Steve Craig, mathematics
Steamboat Springs adjunct: Lee Cox, mathematics