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Honors Council Description and Members

The MSU Denver Honors Council is a council of faculty, staff and student members that includes: faculty representatives from each of the Colleges and the School of Education, the Honors Program Director and Associate Directors, the Program Coordinator, at least one student representative, and a staff member from Student Services. All members of the Honors Council are voting members. The Honors Council participates actively in the development and administration of Honors Program policies and curriculum and serves as an advisory board to the University Honors Program Director. The council meets on a monthly basis throughout the academic year.

Members of the Faculty Honors Council stand together outside of the Honors House


Megan Hughes-Zarzo, PhD
Honors Program Director


303-615-1158



mhughe47@msudenver.edu

Position Role:
Full-Time Staff

Office Location:
NP

Office Number:
1033-202

Office Hours:

Please contact Dr. Hughes-Zarzo for all appointments. 

Campus Box Number:
64


Directory Profile



Jennifer O'Dell
Honors Program Coordinator


303-615-1154



jlutes1@msudenver.edu

Position Role:
Part-Time Staff

Office Location:
NP

Office Number:
1033-201

Office Hours:

Jennifer is in the office 7:30-4:30 M-F, please contact to set up appointments. 

Campus Box Number:
64


Directory Profile



Jennifer Bolton, PhD
Honors Program Associate Director & Professor in Nutrition


303-615-1289



jbolton3@msudenver.edu

Position Role:
Faculty

Office Location:
WC

Office Number:
240

Campus Box Number:
33


Directory Profile

Bio:

My name is Jennifer Bolton, PhD, RDN. I am a Registered Dietitian with a PhD from Colorado State University. This is my 16th year teaching at MSU Denver.

I love hiking, skiing, cooking, and doing anything outdoors with my family and friends.

I teach Maternal and Child Nutrition, Introduction to Nutrition, and Medical Nutrition Therapy I and II.



Philip Bernhardt, PhD
Honors Program Associate Director & Associate Professor of Secondary Education


303-615-0191



pbernhar@msudenver.edu

Position Role:
Full-Time Staff

Office Location:
WC

Office Number:
132F

Campus Box Number:
21


Directory Profile

Bio:

Dr. Philip E. Bernhardt is an Associate Professor of Secondary Education and Associate Director of the Honors Program. From July 2013 - August 2017 he served as the founding Chair of the Department of Secondary and K-12 Education and Educational Technology. Dr. Bernhardt has spent almost two decades working in public schools, including eight years as a secondary social studies teacher working in co-taught classrooms. He also has experience as an AVID teacher and has coached soccer and basketball at a number of high schools in the Washington, DC area. Dr. Bernhardt regularly presents at national and regional conferences on topics that include the barriers to higher education, academic tracking, teacher professional development, curriculum design and assessment, teacher education program design and teacher preparation, induction, and mentoring.

 

In summer 2018, Dr. Bernhardt was appointed as co-chair of a 3-year Association of Teacher Educators (ATE) task force focusing on Effective Clinical Practice, and in fall 2016 was selected by ATE to be a Clinical Practice Fellow. From 2016-2018 he served as Co-Author & Senior Research Associate of a National Science Foundation Noyce Scholars grant and starting from in fall 2018 will serve as Chair of Colorado's State level ACT organization. Dr. Bernhardt has published articles in numerous journals including The Journal of Educational Research and Practice, American Secondary Education, The Community School Journal, Current Issues in Education, The Qualitative Report, The Field Experience Journal, and Educational Leadership.

 

Dr. Bernhardt recently had a chapter published in Teaching Social Studies: A Methods Book for Methods Teachers and he is currently working on chapter in Murawski, W. W., & Scott, K., (Eds.), What Really Works with Universal Design for Learning and co-editing a text on preparing mentor teachers and university-based educators to effectively support teacher candidate learning. Dr. Bernhardt earned his M.A.T in Social Studies Education from Boston University and received his Doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction from George Washington University in Washington, DC. He currently holds a Colorado Professional Teaching License in Social Studies Education (7-12). 

Teaching Philosophy

Each of my experiences as an educator, learner, and researcher has been influenced by my beliefs about teaching. First, I am guided by a belief in the importance of education. I am a lifelong learner who believes research, experience and interaction with others are fundamental to the educational process. My goal is to help students learn by exposing them to new ideas, encouraging them to continuously seek out new knowledge and pushing them to critically examine the information they encounter each day. Second, my philosophy is shaped by how I understand the teaching process. Teaching is an extremely challenging profession that requires a tremendous amount of time, commitment, energy, flexibility and planning. Critically examining my own teaching strengths and challenges has inspired me to experiment with different pedagogical strategies and seek out advice from more experienced educators. For me, an effective teacher is one who is respectful, reflective, demanding, approachable, supportive and open to change.

 

My understanding of the learning process is the third component of my teaching philosophy. Learning is a lifelong endeavor and each day we have multiple opportunities to access knowledge and pursue different ways of thinking. I believe we learn by example and through discovery. As a beginning teacher I quickly learned the power of cognitive and affective modeling and the importance of encouraging students to try new things. This perspective can be summarized by an ancient Chinese proverb: “Tell me, I forget. Show me, I remember. Involve me I understand.” Because we are influenced by our surroundings, I believe learning is also a result of the interaction between and among personal experience, relationships with others and the various social, historical and temporal contexts in which we are embedded.

 

Finally, I believe we learn from our mistakes. Some of my most important learning experiences resulted from mistakes. 



Rebecca Forgash, PhD
Honors Program Associate Director & Associate Professor of Anthropology


303-615-0425



rforgash@msudenver.edu

Position Role:
Faculty

Office Location:
CN

Office Number:
106K

Campus Box Number:
28


Directory Profile

Bio:

I am a cultural and linguistic anthropologist whose research focuses on international dating and marriage between U.S. military personnel and local people in Okinawa, Japan. I involve students in my research and am always on the lookout for motivated individuals who are interested in obtaining research experience related to anthropology and Japan. More generally, my interests include gender, intimacy, and the family; globalization and identity; ethnographic research methods, discourse analysis, and cross-cultural communication. At MSU Denver, I teach a variety of cultural and linguistic anthropology courses, including courses on Japanese culture and society. I also direct the MSU Denver Ethnography Lab and MSU Denver's Japan Study Abroad program, scheduled next for summer 2019. 

Educational Biography
Ph.D., 2004, University of Arizona, Anthropology
B.A., 1992, Duke University, Anthropology and Comparative Area Studies
Certificate, 2001, Inter-University for Japanese Language Studies, Yokohama, Japan
Certificate, 2000, Japanese FALCON Program, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

Teaching Philosophy

Education can and should be a transformative experience. In the classroom, Anthropology’s focus on studying human ideas and behavior across diverse social and historical contexts challenges students to confront what they think is “normal.” Ultimately, the goal is for students to recognize that their own view of the world is just one of many well-organized, equally sophisticated approaches to life. Teaching and learning are most successful in classrooms characterized by mutual respect and curiosity, in which persons from different backgrounds and life experiences feel they can safely share their ideas, opinions, and questions with one another. As an instructor, I employ a variety of pedagogical techniques and assessment methods, including carefully planned and well-organized lectures, individual research projects and presentations, group projects, and plenty of discussion. Additionally, I create opportunities for students to gain first-hand experience with anthropological data-gathering methods. 

Current/Selected Projects

Intimacy across the Fencelines: Sex, Marriage and the U.S. Military in Okinawa. Forthcoming from Cornell University Press. Based on ethnographic research conducted in Okinawa, Japan since 2001, the book features the stories and experiences of U.S. servicemen and their local Okinawan spouses and examines the simultaneously repressive and creative power of military "fencelines" in communities that host U.S. bases.

Director, MSU Denver Ethnography Lab.
The Ethnography Lab, established in Spring 2011, is a research and training facility dedicated to the documentation and analysis of human culture. Digital recording equipment and computer work stations equipped with transcription and qualitative data analysis software are available for faculty and student use. 

Program Director, Japan: Culture, Communication, and Identity Study Abroad Program, MSU Denver. This program includes stays in Tokyo, Kyoto, and Okinawa. Topics include Tokyo-centricity, the urban/rural contrast, and hegemonic and marginalized Japanese identities. 



Samuel Jay, PhD
Honors Program Associate Director & Assistant Professor in Speech Communication


303-615-0631



sjay@msudenver.edu

Position Role:
Faculty

Office Location:
CN

Office Number:
120J

Campus Box Number:
34


Directory Profile

Bio:

I teach and research practices of governance, or how people are guided towards making 'good' decisions. In particular, I am interested in the roles of sports and digital technology in that process. My wife, Catherine, and I have two daughters, Iris (2.5 years old) and Odette (1 year old). I am an avid University of Iowa and Chicago Cubs fan. 



Cynthia Sutton, PhD
Professor | Management


303-615-0138



suttoncy@msudenver.edu

Position Role:
Faculty

Office Location:
AD

Office Number:
525 G

Campus Box Number:
78


Directory Profile

Bio:

Dr. Cynthia L. Sutton was raised in Boulder, Colorado and attended classes at Metro State College (now University) prior to completing a B.S. in Business Administration (with a concentration in Marketing) and an M.S. in Management at Colorado State University (CSU; Fort Collins, Colorado). Her Ph.D. in Administrative Management (with an emphasis in Human Resource Management) was awarded by Arizona State University (Tempe, Arizona).

Dr. Sutton also was employed by several organizations (e.g., Hewlett-Packard and COBE Laboratories) and consulted for various organizations (e.g., Colorado State Forest Service and I/N Tek—a steel mill).

In 2000, Dr. Sutton left a tenured position at Indiana University South Bend (IUSB) to join the Management Department at MSU Denver.

In addition to teaching for IUSB and MSU Denver, she has taught at Arizona State University, CSU, and the College of St. Francis. Dr. Sutton teaches Organizational Management and Human Resource Management.

In recognition for her teaching skills, Dr. Sutton has received several university-wide teaching awards from Indiana University and a President's Performance Award for Teaching-related Service from MSU Denver.

Professional Affiliations

She also has served in various leadership roles. While pursuing her undergraduate degree at CSU, she held several offices in the Delta Delta Delta sorority including Chapter President. Her recent leadership roles have included the Vice President of the Faculty Senate, Chair of Faculty Senate’s Teaching Excellence Committee, and Chair of the Management Department Curriculum Committee. She is the continuing Chair of the School of Business Scholarship Committee, and Course Coordinator for MGT 3000. She serves as one of the advisors to the student Management club.


Professional Affiliations

Mentoring new and inexperienced faculty members is another passion as well as continued participation in her professional organizations. For instance, she chaired the Board of Directors of the Midwest Academy of Management (MAM) for three of the six years she served on the Board.

At the national level, she is actively involved in the prestigious Academy of Management chairing and presenting at sessions. She is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and Mile High SHRM (Denver chapter of HR professionals).


Research Areas/Interests

Much of Dr. Sutton’s research addresses job values, performance appraisals, assessment centers, romance in the workplace, learning styles, and generation-related differences of employees.Dr. Sutton has published in various outlets including The Academy of Management Executive, The Journal of Leadership Studies, Journal of Business and Psychology, Journal of Quality Management, Public Personnel Management, and professional organizations. Several of her manuscripts have received Outstanding Paper Awards.



Sarah Schliemann, PhD
Lecturer | Environmental Science Program


303-615-0396



evenstad@msudenver.edu

Position Role:
Faculty

Office Location:
SI

Office Number:
SI 2050

Campus Box Number:
22


Directory Profile

Bio:

I hold a PhD in Forest and Wildlife Ecology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and a Master’s degree in Environmental Science from the University of California, Santa Barbara. I have over 15 years of years of teaching experience and 10 years of research experience in ecology, earth science, and educational pedagogy.

Teaching Philosophy

My expertise is in environmental science and ecology, but I have a very broad background and am comfortable teaching classes in a variety of subject areas. Since beginning my work at MSU Denver in the fall of 2011, I have taught 12 different classes: Landscape Ecology, Mountain Environments, Food, Farms, and the Environment, Wetlands, Soil Resources, Environmental Field Studies, Introduction to Environmental Science, Oceanography, Integrated Natural Science, Integrated Earth Systems, Weather and Climate, and Physical Geography.

Research

Over the last three years, I have supervised numerous students conducting research projects on topics ranging from aquatic chemistry to plant community health and stability. In my discipline-specific research, I investigate large-scale ecological processes including biogeochemistry, plant community dynamics, and plant-soil interactions. I am also interested in K-12 teacher education and pedagogy. I am currently working on three research projects. 1) I am investigating carbon cycling in the alpine ecosystem in Rocky Mountain National Park. 2) I am assessing water quality in the South Platte River as it flows through the metro area. 3) I am working with faculty from the School of Education to assess K-12 teacher attitudes about writing in science.



Mandi A. Schaeffer Fry

Mandi Schaeffer Fry, PhD
Assistant Professor | Mathematics


303-615-0754



aschaef6@msudenver.edu

Position Role:
Faculty

Office Location:
SI

Office Number:
3033

Campus Box Number:
38


Directory Profile

Bio:

My name is Mandi Schaeffer Fry.  As of August 2014, I am an Assistant Professor of Mathematics (tenure-track) at Metropolitan State University of Denver!  

In 2013, I finished my Ph.D. in the Department of Mathematics at the University of Arizona under the direction of Pham Huu Tiep. In my time as a graduate student, I was a National Physical Science Consortium Fellow.  I defended my dissertation on April 3, 2013.  During the 2013-2014 academic year, I was a visiting assistant professor (postdoc) in the Department of Mathematics at Michigan State University.



Bill D. Herman, PhD
Associate Dean | College of Business


303-605-5907



bherman6@msudenver.edu

Position Role:
Faculty

Office Location:
AD

Office Number:
540C

Campus Box Number:
13


Directory Profile

Bio:

A native Coloradan and former debate champion, Dr. Herman has taught at Colorado State, Hunter College CUNY (where he earned tenure and promotion to Associate Professor), NYU, and Fordham University. His research has won several awards and been published in highly competitive journals in both communication and law. He is the author of The Fight over Digital Rights: The Politics of Copyright and Technology (2013, Cambridge).

 

Teaching Philosophy

public speaking, business communication, media industries, audience measurement, media policy, internet and society.

Research

media law and policy, copyright law, net neutrality, privacy and big data, teaching diversity and inclusion

Education

PhD,  Communication,  University of Pennsylvania ,  Philadelphia, PA,  With honors.  2009.

MA,  Speech Communication,  Colorado State University,  Fort Collins, CO,  2002.

BA,  Philosophy,  Colorado State University,  Fort Collins, CO,  Cum laude.  1999.



Dr. Rey Hernandez

Rey Hernández-Julián, PhD
Professor | Department of Economics


303-615-0649



rherna42@msudenver.edu

Position Role:
Faculty

Office Location:
AD

Office Number:
540-C

Campus Box Number:
77


Directory Profile

Bio:

Rey Hernández-Julián (PhD Economics, 2005) is a professor of economics. After receiving tenure, he became chair of the University's Curriculum Committee until 2013. Throughout his entire time at MSU Denver, he has remained academically qualified, publishing peer-reviewed journal articles on the economics of education, religion, demography, and health. Of these, 2 have been published in the last 2 years. He has also had over 15 conference presentations. Dr. Hernández-Julián has served as a referee for several journals, serves as a Peer-Reviewer for the Higher Learning Commission, the regional accreditation agency, and is a FINRA arbitrator. His professional activities since the fall of 2013 can be summarized as: -8 refereed journal articles -2 refereed journal articles in the last 2 years -Over 6 conference presentations, including one at a highly-selective NBER conference. 



Vida Melvin, PhD
Assistant professor | Biology


303-615-0239



vmelvin@msudenver.edu

Position Role:
Faculty

Office Location:
SI

Office Number:
2062

Campus Box Number:
53


Directory Profile

Bio:

My lab applies genetics and cell biology to study developmental processes. Students can learn molecular biology techniques, including nucleic acid purification, PCR (RT-PCR and qPCR), cloning, in situ hybridization, genetic modification and microinjection.



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