A photograph taken during May’s commencement ceremonies at Colorado Mountain College Leadville says it all. Darren Brungardt, assistant professor of mathematics, and math tutor David Robinson stand together in their caps and gowns, smiling broadly.
Brungardt is this year’s full-time Faculty of the Year at CMC Leadville and Chaffee County, and Robinson has been named the campus’s part-time Staff of the Year. Through their teaching and guidance, these two play significant roles in the many successes that CMC students experience.
“He makes my math students better,” said Brungardt about Robinson. “He cares so much about our students. Students know this and seek him out to do better in their classes.”
Going the extra mile
Darren Brungardt earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mathematics, and a second master’s in human performance and physical education. The latter degree serves him in his role as the coach for the CMC Leadville Running Club – and as he coordinates the college’s new cross-country running team. Expertise in coaching works when teaching mathematics, too.
“Darren is more coach than lecturer,” wrote Marc Thomas, CMC Leadville assistant dean of instruction in his nomination for the award. “While he has earned two graduate degrees, Darren’s excellence does not come primarily from textbooks. It comes from reflection, research and an inherent awareness of effective practice.”
David Robinson lives in Buena Vista, and travels to CMC Leadville to tutor students at the Learning Assistance Center there. He is a former engineer for Lockheed Martin, or as Brungardt puts it, “He is a rocket engineer! He can help any student in math.”
Putting students first
Laurie Eanes and Beverly Lauchner also create successes in their interactions with CMC students. Eanes, the campus coordinator of enrollment services, received this year’s local full-time Staff of the Year award. Lauchner, who teaches culinary arts, was named adjunct Faculty of the Year for the campus.
“Laurie puts students first, always,” said Rachel Pokrandt, CMC vice president and Leadville and Chaffee County campus dean. “She gives constant support and encouragement to all of our students.”
In nominating Eanes, student Eric Hanson wrote about her efficient, effective manner. “She has demonstrated excellence by being a leader who is easy to talk to and really listens to what you have to say,” he wrote. “She’s always in a good mood and makes things a lot easier to understand, with how organized she is.”
Assistant Dean of Instruction Thomas noted Lauchner’s commitment and skill when she coordinated a culinary program at the campus.
“She designed a curriculum and activities for our campus’s new culinary program that offered a rich student experience for high school students who completed their basic culinary certificate this year,” he said.
Every year employees and students at each of Colorado Mountain College’s campuses and locations nominate adjunct and full-time faculty members for Faculty of the Year awards. Staff are also acknowledged with part-time and full-time Staff of the Year awards.