Ketzenbarger named adjunct faculty member of the year |

Ketzenbarger named adjunct faculty member of the year

Gary Ketzenbarger

Dillon – Gary Ketzenbarger was named adjunct (part-time) faculty member of the year for Colorado Mountain College’s Summit County Campus.Ketzenbarger, who teaches tai-chi, comparative religion, philosophy and the arts, public speaking and English composition, gets just as excited as his students when he teaches.

One of his students, Elizabeth Skrzypczak, was excited to be able to nominate her professor for the award. “I couldn’t wait to nominate Gary Ketzenbarger,” Skrzypczak said. “He made me realize that I could learn. I’ve been a waitress for a long time. I went back to school so I can do something that is more intellectually challenging.” “I don’t believe students are challenged often enough,” Ketzenbarger responded. “They’re brighter than they’re given credit for. If you set high standards and engage them in the passion of learning, they’ll really come through.”

Cherri DeSantis had no idea who Ketzenbarger was when she signed up for her first class with him.”He’s such a fascinating person, and so interesting and makes class so challenging I signed up for everything he teaches except tai-chi,” DeSantis said. “One of his teaching techniques is the ‘Wall of Shame’ in English comp. If you have grammatical or structural errors in a sentence, he puts it on the board. Then the class discusses it. Even though he doesn’t identify the student, you work very hard not to have your sentences on that board.”

It not only teaches the other students, the student whose work is being examined always remembers the mistake. “I systematically feel out how a student will learn best,” Ketzenbarger said. “I think it’s mostly intuitive. Sometimes I give lectures. Sometimes I use examples. “In Philosophy of Arts, I literally bring in art, sculpture, music or pieces of poetry. Then we talk about their reaction and what makes it good art versus bad art. I do a lot in that class with psychological and psychoanalytic perspective to look more deeply into motives behind creativity. Whatever it takes to get the light bulbs to go on.”

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