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2020 Faculty & Staff Awards

2020 Faculty & Staff Awards

The 2020 Faculty & Staff Award recipients have distinguished themselves in their teaching and service to the students of Fort Lewis College. Congratulations to this year’s award recipients and thank you for your incredible work and dedication!

Susan Bettger, Excellence in Service Award

Custodial Supervisor for Student Housing and Conference Services

The Excellence in Service Award celebrates the contributions of employees often completing responsibilities “behind the scenes.” This staff member has consistent excellence in the performance of duties, stepping in where needed and maintaining a positive approach to their work.

Susan Bettger has shown exemplary work and service to FLC as Custodial Supervisor for Student Housing and Conference Services, and even more so during the recent coronavirus crisis. Her colleagues and campus residents know her as helpful and kind, leading by example and going above and beyond to ensure the well-being of students and her employees.

"Susan’s dedication to her team, to the SHCS department, and to the FLC students is well-known. Her leadership style inspires everyone around her to give their best effort. Susan’s bravery and selflessness during the crisis has helped to keep our custodians safe. Residents adore her and her door is always open for them to ask questions or request resources. Susan’s dedication to our residents has resulted in a better community for all of us to be a part of."


Dugald Owen, Ph.D., Alice Admire Outstanding Teaching Award

Professor of Philosophy

The Alice Admire Outstanding Teaching Award recognizes excellence in classroom teaching that includes a demonstrated success in interpersonal relationships with students, showing genuine concern for their personal and social development along with their academic progress.

Dugald Owen, Ph.D., joined FLC in 1990. According to his colleagues, he has a thirty-year record of taking student ideas seriously and is intellectual mentor to his students. Owen has taught a variety of courses including contemporary moral issues, Chinese philosophy, logic, ancient and medieval philosophy, philosophy of science, philosophy and feminism, theory of knowledge, and the philosophy of art, to name a few.

"Dugald’s teaching was student centered before “student centered” were buzz words in academia. Dugald is a really good listener, which translates into a teaching style that is focused on nurturing students’ own curiosity, creativity, and careful thought. His deep philosophical curiosity combined with his authentic interest in students’ ideas, helps students to feel validated and safe as they explore new ideas. As such, his classrooms are discussion-driven, inclusive, and engaging."


Emma Salazar, Maria Cristina Grabiel y de la Guardia Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Award 

Academic Services Coordinator, TRIO

Named after Maria Cristina Grabiel y de la Guardia, a staff member at Fort Lewis College from 1998 – 2009, this award acknowledges a staff member who demonstrates superior leadership and commitment to the enhancement, development and sustainability of diversity, equity, and inclusive excellence across campus, and is a catalyst for change regarding DEI across campus. Maria Cristina Grabiel y de la Guardia led the college and greater Durango community in DEI efforts. Grabiel cultivated a sense of pride and was an ally among students and saw every interaction with colleagues as a teachable moment to foster inclusive and equitable practices in our community. She would encourage all recipients of this award to “continue committing random acts of kindness and seek opportunities to encourage and support social justice.” 

Emma Salazar joined FLC in 2011 and has been integral to DEI efforts not only on campus, but across the Durango community. In her work, she empowers individuals traditionally underrepresented and marginalized, and simultaneously educates others about privilege. Emma is a close and invaluable mentor to students and employees alike, guiding them to have healthy and respectful conversations.

"Emma is passionate about making a difference, promoting social justice, and empowering others. She strongly demonstrates the ability to build trust and mutual respect with our students and her authenticity isn’t just refreshing, it is essential to helping others understand cultural competency. She has a powerful drive to create a more equitable and just society where teaching moments abound. She has opened our eyes to the types of privilege we take for granted, the kinds of barriers people of privilege fail to acknowledge, and the unrecognized biases we should examine in ourselves."


Carolina Alonso, Ph.D., Ginny Hutchins Teaching Award for New Faculty

Assistant Professor of Borders & Languages, Sociology & Human Services, and Gender & Sexuality Studies

The Ginny Hutchins Teaching Award for New Faculty nominations are recommended by tenured faculty and must include input from students. Only teaching is considered for this award and criteria includes excellence in course development and delivery, excellence in student advising and mentoring, and creative, innovative endeavors or initiatives in instruction. 

Carolina Alonso, Ph.D., is in her fourth year at FLC, where she has taught Modern Languages, Sociology, Gender & Sexuality Studies and is now full time in the new major of Borders & Languages. The span of her instruction demonstrates her unique teaching ability and depth of knowledge. Alonso’s research interests include U.S. Latinx Literature, Latin American Literature, gender and sexuality studies, and queer theory.

"Beyond being well-loved in the classroom, Dr. Alonso is much sought after as an advisor and mentor. Students constantly fill her office to discuss issues of identity, or to learn more about the topics she teaches, or to speak Spanish. She has taken on issues of food security through the Sociology Grub Hub and has grown access to food for students through collaboration with the Manna Soup Kitchen and SNAP programs. She is also serious about working with students’ emotional and social well-being by advising students of color."


Rosalinda Linares, Outstanding New Staff Award

Information Literacy and Research Services Librarian

The Outstanding New Staff Award recognizes a staff member who has been at FLC less than three years and has contributed significantly to their office or department. While achieving excellence in their duties, they’ve also made significant improvements to processes and demonstrated passion and commitment to FLC and its mission.

Since joining FLC in 2018, Rosalinda Linares has enhanced and led conversations and activities centered around diversity, equity, and inclusion. Rosalinda continually looks for ways students can meaningfully engage in the educational experience, teaching them real-world research skills. She also has created and led pursuits that actively involve faculty and staff, including Staff Council, FLC History Committee Boarding School History, and Faculty & Staff of Color Group.

"Rosalinda is passionate about working in a majority minority-serving institution. She is engaged in several deep studies that will have real impact on the ways that we understand and serve minority students, as well as all students. Her work towards inclusion impacts all students, her work in diversity serves all faculty and staff, and her work in relation to addressing equity concerns makes for a better institution for all. In these ways, Rosalinda’s voice is representative of so many due to the person she is, the relationships she has built with others on campus, and the research she so passionately pursues."


Jen Rider, Ph.D., Achievement Award

Director of Teaching & Learning Services

The Achievement Award is given to a faculty, staff, or administrator with a superior record of competence, resourcefulness, and dedication; noteworthy involvement in activities that serve to advance academic, athletic, intercultural, Honors, or intramural programs; evidence of creative achievement, significant research, technical training, or professional growth; significant, innovative work that has broadened the College’s service to the students and community; and demonstrated leadership in education, social and professional programs.

Jen Rider, Ph.D., has led and advised many teams across campus, providing guidance on distance education, teaching continuity of online courses, new program design, and digital accessibility. With Jen’s leadership and expertise, students and faculty smoothly and successfully transitioned instruction online during the coronavirus pandemic.

"Since her tenure began as the Director of Teaching & Learning Services, Jen has positioned herself as a valuable asset to our campus, including all constituencies from students to faculty, to staff and administration. Jen consistently demonstrates her superior record of competence, resourcefulness, and dedication to keeping our students at the center and our programs and courses at the forefront of technology. There is not a single department on campus who has not benefitted from her expertise, her contributions, and her willingness to help. Her influence on each of us has been nothing short of profound – she communicates her belief in one’s ability and will drop whatever she’s doing to lend a hand."


Veronika Furst, Ph.D., Roger Peters Distinguished Professor Award

Professor of Mathematics

The Roger Peters Distinguished Professor Award was created in 2008 to honor Dr. Peter’s long and productive career of scholarly achievement and exemplary service. Dr. Peter’s was an active scholar throughout his career who also maintained a commendable record of service. The recipient of this award is, likewise, honored for their excellence in all facets of their career – teaching, scholarship, and service. This award represents the best levels of achievement in our faculty: excitement and enthusiasm for one’s pedagogical philosophy; theory and practice both in and out of the classroom; extensive service and leadership to students, colleagues, and the community. This award honors a career culmination.

Veronika Furst, Ph.D., has been part of the faculty at FLC since 2007. She is a dedicated teacher, creative in her approach to teaching and inspiring to her students. She has a consistent and highly productive record of scholarly publications, and she has served her department and the college with passion and commitment throughout her career at FLC. 

"Dr. Furst has taught an astounding number of distinct courses in her 13 years at Fort Lewis College – 25 in all. Many of these she designed herself, many are part of the program she inherited when she arrived, but in all of them she has engaged students’ attention and generated passion for mathematics. Students at all levels attest to her personal energy and endless willingness to enable them to succeed."


Melissa Stordeur, Outstanding Staff Award

Graduate Studies & Outreach Coordinator, Teacher Education Department

The Outstanding Staff Award is awarded to any classified or exempt staff member who has performed service during each of the past three years. This award considers excellence in the performance of duties; successful interpersonal relationships with the public, peers and supervisors; sincere concern in developing and progressing to performance that is outstanding; contributions to the growth and development of Fort Lewis College as an institute of higher learning; and demonstrated commitment to college and/or community service.

Melissa (Missy) Stordeur joined FLC in 2013, helping launch and administer the College’s first graduate program. She now manages five Teacher Education master’s programs and strengthens alumni relations with graduates. According to her colleagues, she embodies the dedicated and warm student-centered approach of FLC.

"Missy has been the lynchpin for the successful design, marketing, and advising for the Teacher Education Department’s new graduate programs. Her genuine, personalized support for Fort Lewis graduate students has contributed to students’ retention, completion, and career success. [Colleagues] have commented on her constant smile, friendliness, and genuine caring and responsiveness; some current and former students have commented that this is part of what brought them to FLC and kept them here. Her combination of attention to detail and big-picture program-level programmatic thinking has made our new programs successful."



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