Community college honors teachers
SUMMIT COUNTY – When many people look to the heavens they simply see glittering stars. Dr. G. Siegfried Kutter sees more – he sees universal theories. And when Colorado Mountain College recently announced the recipients of its Faculty of the Year awards, they named astronomy professor Kutter as a star in his own right.The local campus selected him as part-time (adjunct) faculty of the year, and director of culinary education Kevin Clarke as its full-time faculty of the year. Kutter’s honor was elevated to an even higher level when he recently learned that he was one of two faculty selected for that distinction not just for his campus, but collegewide. The other recipient of the adjunct award is Elaine French, an arts professor at the Vail-Eagle Valley Campus.
Each of the college’s seven campuses across north-central Colorado can nominate one adjunct and one full-time faculty member, and then senior administrators select a collegewide recipient from each of those two categories. Dr. Bob Spuhler, president of the college, noted that naming both a scientist and an artist gave a left-brain, right-brain balance to this year’s honors.Kutter already knew he’d been named as the local campus’ choice among part-time faculty, but he and his students were surprised when an entourage, led by president Spuhler, entered his astronomy class to announce the collegewide award.
“Siegfried Kutter is just the type of instructor the college wishes to attract because he challenges students, cares for them and seeks ways to improve the quality of his courses. He has a passion for astronomy,” Spuhler said.Clarke’s honor just one in a string of manyFrom soup to nuts, stirring up exciting culinary careers is what accomplished chef Kevin Clarke does best. As the director of culinary education at Colorado Mountain College’s Summit Campus, Clarke has seen his profession make a stunning evolution from simple cooking to culinary art.
CMC recognized Clarke’s dedication with the Summit Campus Faculty of the Year award for full-time faculty. So what motivates him to teach? “I love the teaching aspect. I will be the first to admit I am not the sit-at-a-desk administrative type, but I enjoy the teaching and ability to interact with students. A chef has to teach staff every day anyway; now I get to do training, but not at 11:30 at night. I like helping people learn, and seeing student’s light bulbs go off in class.”Receiving his campus’s full-time faculty of the year award is just one more honor capping a year of kudos. This fall, students in his culinary arts program took third place in the state’s championship for post-secondary culinary schools, and he was named Colorado Culinary Educator of the Year at the American Culinary Federation’s Colorado Chefs Association competition in Denver.
Clarke passed up two other careers to head the CMC program. “I have an A.A.S. in culinary arts from CMC, so I am a graduate from my very own culinary school,” he said. But he also has a bachelor of science in business administration and is a board-certified attorney. “According to my friends I am very good at this, so 13 years later I am still doing it,”he said.
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