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University of Colorado Denver College of Liberal Arts and Sciences


CASMIC - Faculty Bio


Larry Armenta

is the Director for the Center for Pre-Collegiate and Pipeline Programs. He provides leadership and guidance for middle and high school programs as well as the Denver Transfer Initiative in collaboration with the Community College of Denver. He is the PI for the Upward Bound federally funded "Power Up" program and Co-PI for the NSF STEM "Reach Scholars Program" in collaboration with the College of Engineering and Applied Science.

Carole G. Basile

is an Associate Professor in the School of Education and Human Development. She is Co-PI/Director for the Rocky Mountain Middle School Math and Science Partnership, a $12.5M NSF funded research project. Dr. Basile is a former Associate Dean of Teacher Education with research efforts in teacher education, professional development schools, teacher leadership, environmental education, and interdisciplinary learning. Dr. Basile is currently working with multiple projects: RMMSMSP, Northeast Front Range MSP, SKILL, PLASMID, Colorado STEM Network, Transforming Experiences, and WIRED.

Lynn Bennethum

is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences at University of Colorado Denver. Currently, she is conducting research regarding the modeling of porous materials (soils, cartilage, drug-delivery polymers). She has received an NSF grant to develop (real-world) application projects for math classes designed for engineers, and is studying the effects of this project's incorporation on the interest of students taking math. Additionally, she has helped to develop a course for the Rocky Mountain Middle School Math and Science Partnership (Math Modeling Course) and is a mentor for the GK-12 Transforming Experiences Project.

Leo P. Bruederle

is Chair of the Department of Biology in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. He previously served as Associate Chair of Undergraduate Studies in Biology and as Acting Associate Dean of the College. Dr. Bruederle maintains an active research program involving undergraduate and graduate students, with whom he investigates the evolution of species-rich plant genera and the conservation biology of rare or threatened plant species. He has also been active in the development and promotion of undergraduate research opportunities.

Neil-Yin Chang, Ph.D

joined the Civil Engineering Department at UCD in Fall 1975 as an Assistant Professor. He was promoted to Full Professor in 1985 and, subsequently, served as Chair of Civil Engineering Department for six years from early 1990s. He has taught many undergraduate and graduate civil engineering curses. He has also been very active in promoting the engineering education for minority students. His research interest has evolved from oil shale mechanics during the period of oil embargo of 1970s, to soil dynamics, earthquake-induced soil liquefaction, seismic soil-structure interaction for high rise buildings on piles, expansive soil foundations, and winter roadway maintenance and has published many technical research papers.

RaKissa Cribari

received her B.S. in Mathematics at CSU-Pueblo and her Masters in Mathematics and Ph.D. in Mathematics Education from the University of Northern Colorado. She has taught mathematics courses for UNC, Metro State College, University of Denver, and UC Denver over the past 8 years. Dr. Cribari's research area focuses on culturally responsive teaching. She has worked on the RMMSMSP Grant and the Northeast Front Range Mathematics/Science Articulation Team since 2007.

Tod Duncan

is a Senior Instructor in the Department of Biology at the University of Colorado Denver. He teaches classes in General Biology 1, Infectious Diseases, General Microbiology, Virology and The Biology of Cancer. Prior to his instructional role at UCD, he was a postdoctoral researcher at Cancer Research UK, London and later at the University of Colorado Boulder where he worked on regulation of the cell cycle, DNA repair mechanisms and drug discovery projects using biochemical and genetic tools. His interests in educational research stem from observation of the challenges experienced by students transitioning from High School to General Biology 1, and the impact this critical juncture has on student success in the freshman year of college. Specifically, he has interests in the development of active learning tools for the large classroom, curriculum alignment, design and implementation of unique assessment tools and the dissemination of constructivist learning theory.

Michael "Mike" Jacobson

is currently Professor & Chair of the Department of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences at the University of Colorado Denver (UCD). He received his undergraduate training at the State University of New York @ Brook completing his B.S. and secondary teaching certification in 1975. He completed his M.S. and Ph.D. at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia in 1977 and 1980 respectively, concentrating on Combinatorics and Graph Theory. From 1980 - 2003, he was a faculty member at the University of Louisville, attaining the rank of Professor in 1988, and serving as department chair for seven years, and Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences for five years during his time in Louisville. While in Louisville, he worked on numerous projects with teachers in the Louisville area. In 2003, Dr. Jacobson was recruited to the University of Colorado Denver as Department Chair. He is presently co-pi with Doris Kimbrough on the NSF funded "RM-MSMSP", where he has overseen the development and instruction of eight courses particular aimed at providing Middle School teachers with a challenging mathematical curriculum. In addition, he is co-pi on the Colorado Department of Education "Professional Learning Access in Science & Math through Internet Delivery" (PLASMID) with the intended purpose of developing on line versions of several of the RM-MSMSP courses for Middle School teachers in rural districts. Recently, he was awarded a $2.9M NSF funded GK12 "Transforming Experiences" grant to provide science and mathematics graduate students with the opportunity to become acquainted with K-12 education, with the primary purpose of increasing the number of Higher Education professionals able to work within the P-20 realm.

In addition, he has over 120 published research publications, three edited volumes, actively supervises doctoral students in the mathematical sciences and has held research funding in the mathematical sciences with the National Science Foundation, Department of Defense and the Office of Naval Research.

Lisa K. Johansen

is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology. She teaches molecular biology and biotechnology for undergraduate and graduate students at UCD. Dr. Johansen runs the Biotechnology Certificate Program that is designed to prepare students for careers in research. In addition, she has a collaboration with Virginia Tech's Partnership for Research and Education in Plants (PREP). Through PREP Dr. Johansen visits local Colorado high schools that are designing research experiments to study the affects of environmental stresses on plants she uses in her research program.

Doris R. Kimbrough

is an associate professor of Chemistry at the University of Colorado Denver. Although trained as a physical organic chemist, her primary research interests lie in the field of chemical education. She is currently the Principal Investigator and Co-Project Director of the NSF-funded Rocky Mountain-Middle School Math and Science Partnership (RM-MSMSP) and is Co-PI for the Professional Learning Access in Science and Math through Internet Delivery (PLASMID). She teaches chemistry courses in both projects. She graduated with her bachelor's degree in chemistry in 1980 from the College of William and Mary in Virginia and her doctorate in physical organic chemistry in 1986 from Cornell University under the direction of Barry K. Carpenter. She worked briefly in industry and joined the faculty at UC Denver in the fall of 1986.

Karen Koellner

is working with RMMSMSP project.

Nathan Kurtz

is a full time instructor for the math department of the University of Colorado Denver. He is working with the Rocky Mountain Middle School Math and Science Partnership, a $12.5M NSF funded research project, and the PLASMID project, a $600,000 funded research project. His interests lie in teacher education, online teaching, online course development, undergraduate education, Graph Theory, and Combinatorics. He is currently pursuing his PhD in Graph Theory and Combinatorics.

John Lanning

is currently a Professor of Chemistry and Assistant Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate Experiences at the University of Colorado Denver (UCD). He received his Chemistry undergraduate degree from Iowa State University in 1968 and his Ph.D. University of Tennessee (Knoxville) in Analytical Chemis�try in 1972. From 1973-1974, he did his Postdoctoral research at Ohio State University in Clinical Electrochemistry and began his professorship in Chemistry at UCD in 1974. Along with Carole Basile and Charles Ferguson, John initiated and is actively involved in research dealing with the high non-completion rates of science, mathematics and engineering students in first-year science and mathematics classes. At present, John is also on the Colorado Board of Directors for Advancement via Individual Determination (AVID) which deals with the development and promotion of liberal arts undergraduate student mentors. John has formerly served on Colorado Partnership for Educational Renewal Board of Directors, Colorado I Have A Dream, and represented UCD on state-wide committees dealing with undergraduate curriculum, transfer credit, articulation agreements, and teacher licensure. John Lanning was an original member of the Colorado on Higher Education Committee GE-25 Council dealing guaranteed transfer of general education credit between Colorado public institutions of higher education.

Mike Marlow

is helping with the RMMSMSP project.

Robin L. Michaels, Ph.D

is an Assistant Professor in the School of Medicine. She is an active member of the NIH-funded Rocky Mountain Taste and Smell research consortium in the SOM. She teaches in and is a Block Director of over 430 hours of medical curriculum in Phases 1-4, receiving the Chancellor's Teaching Award in 2006. In addition, she serves on the Student Promotions and Medical Admissions committees and is on the steering committee of the Carnegie President's Teaching and Learning Collaborative. Dr. Michaels is actively involved in high school outreach and mentoring programs in the Denver Metro community.

Dr. Deanna Iceman Sands

is a Professor and the Associate Dean of Research and Leadership Education in the School of Education and Human Development at the University of Colorado Denver. She coordinates the Ph.D. program in Educational Leadership and Innovation (EDLI) and serves as an advisor and one of the lead faculty for the Urban Schools Doctoral Research Lab. Dr. Sands? prior professional experiences included teaching across infant, elementary, secondary and post secondary settings with students who have significant support needs as well as those with hearing and/or vision disabilities. Her research agenda combines issues of quality of life, self-determination, curriculum, assessment, and voice for students with and without disabilities. Dr. Sands has served as a principal investigator on several externally funded research, teaching and model demonstration grants. She served as a site professor in Adams County District 14 in conjunction with her teaching and service to the Initial Professional Teacher Education program, with an emphasis on dual licensure in general and special education.

Randall Tagg

is currently chair of the UCD Department of Physics and is co-director of the Community Prototyping Lab. He received his physics undergraduate degree from Caltech in 1977 and his Ph.D. from MIT in 1984. Following this he did postdoctoral work in the Center for Nonlinear Dynamics at the University of Texas in Austin, joining the physics faculty at UCD in 1990. Randy has engaged in several initiatives to promote new methods of learning science and of involving students of all levels in active research. These include freshmen seminars on international applications of physics, participation in the "E-2020" program to engage teachers and their classrooms in energy-related research around the State of Colorado, and now a new venture to engage students in prototyping for small businesses at the Community Prototyping Lab: a collaboration with the non-profit organization Micro Business Development and Arlen Meyers, MD at the School of Medicine. He is the architect of a new certificate in the Scientific Foundations of Technical Innovation based on curriculum development originally funded by the National Science Foundation and further supported by the UCD Office of Academic Technology and Extended Studies.Tagg is also involved with RMMSMSP and Northeast Front Range MSP.