X

Kathy Wellborn Outstanding Teaching Award: Dr. Cathleen Hartney

“My path to teaching at FLC has been non-traditional,” Dr. Cathleen Hartney, senior lecturer in the Fort Lewis College Biology Department, explains. “My degree is a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, not a PhD. I was (and still am) a practitioner, a veterinarian, who had always dreamed of teaching as that other thing I might love to do.”

After 14 years as a vet, she decided to giving teaching a shot. Her sister, Ann, was part of the Writing Program at FLC and helped her get a foot in the door on campus teaching a couple of composition classes. Eventually, she moved into the Biology Department and today she is the winner of the 2017-18 Kathy Wellborn Outstanding Teaching Award.

An exceptional teacher goes beyond the curriculum and the grades. It’s about caring for the students and doing the little things to help them succeed in and out of the classroom.

“I had a student in one of my comp classes, a thoughtful, hard-working young woman, who, though I didn’t know this at the time, was struggling,” she recalls. “One morning, at the start of class, she was not in her usual seat. No one in the class knew why she was not there. When she did come in, late, which was unusual for her, I exclaimed ‘There you are!’ and told her we’d been expecting her as she never missed a class. That was it, class went on.  

“Several years later, I ran into her working in a local business, and she gave me a big hug and thanked me, telling me that it was this moment that kept her at FLC, at a point when she was seriously doubting her choices. It was the fact that someone had noticed she wasn’t there. Someone knew her. Someone cared whether or not she was in class. This awakened me to the fact that even the smallest things we do as teachers may have impacts we never know about. I don’t always do or say the right thing, but I am always trying.”

She’s been trying, and succeeding, and that compassion and caring has come back to her during the challenging times in her life.

“In 2013, I had to take family leave during the spring semester while my sister, Ann, who had led me into teaching at FLC and who had taught me by example what it means to be a truly ethical teacher, was dying of breast cancer. The day I came back to work, at this most terrible time in my life, I opened my office door and discovered, taped to the wall, a giant paper heart, covered with messages of support from students and colleagues. I cannot express in words how much that meant to me. I love being part of this FLC community.”

Number of views: 28313

Tags: biologyaward

Name:
Email:
Subject:
Message:
x
Photographer goes where no one has caved before [PHOTOS]

Photographer goes where no one has caved before [PHOTOS]

First ascents tend to capture popular imagination. But not many people get known for their first descents. So photographer Stephen Eginoire recognizes just how rare it is that he gets to be the first human being to step into caves unseen by human eyes or trod by human feet in Grand Canyon National Park.

Exercise Science cohort learns on the ropes

Exercise Science cohort learns on the ropes

This fall, the Exercise Science Learning Community traveled to Farmington, New Mexico, for a half-day high ropes challenge. There, the students practiced teambuilding exercises with the same peer group that takes several core classes together as a cohort.

Professor’s interactive map illustrates national monument proposal

Professor’s interactive map illustrates national monument proposal

The recent announcement by the Department of the Interior that it proposes to reduce the size of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments in Utah is one of the most high-profile changes to public lands in recent history. And Jon Harvey, assistant professor of Geosciences, is helping the public and his students understand those changes through interactive GIS maps.

RSS
12345Last