Faculty Awards


2022 LAS Awards

LAS Outstanding teaching Awards

Gina Baldoni-Rus, Sr. Instructor of English
LAS Outstanding Teaching Award (Instructor Category)
Remarks by Dean L. Lynn Vidler at the 2022 LAS Awards Ceremony.

It is with great pleasure that I announce Gina Baldoni-Rus as the recipient of the 2022 Outstanding Teaching Award in the Instructor Category.
The Committee was extremely impressed with every aspect of your dossier. Your nomination letter was exceptionally strong, and your teaching philosophy was extremely comprehensive. The supplementary materials you turned in were appreciated for their attention to detail and quality of presentation. Committee members noted that it was a joy attending your classroom. Some of the wonderful things they observed were the clear structure of your class session, effective use of technology, and your attentiveness to every student. It was clear that your concern for students extends beyond the classroom. One of your students writes, “Mrs. B took the time to adjust her office ours in order to meet her students’ needs.” Besides your deep commitment to students’ success, you have also been a supportive mentor to your colleagues. As one of your fellow instructors writes, “To call her generous in her guidance would be an immense understatement.” Your nominator sums up your many accomplishments as follows: “Taken as a whole, Ms. Baldoni-Rus’s work demonstrates that she is truly an exemplary faculty member: a stunning teacher in the in-person and online classroom and an unparalleled colleague who enables those around her to develop [their] teaching practices in meaningful ways.”
Congratulations Gina and we appreciate your continued service to our students and this college.
Jennifer Kling, Assistant Professor of Philosophy
LAS Outstanding Teaching Award (Tenure Track Category)
Remarks by Dean Ly. Lynn Vidler at the 2022 LAS Awards Ceremony.

It is with great pleasure that I announce Dr. Jennifer Kling as the recipient of the 2022 Outstanding Teaching Award in the Tenure Track Category.
Committee members were deeply impressed with how you have demonstrated teaching excellence both in the classroom and beyond. Your nominator writes, “Her [teaching] style can only be described as a dizzying, yet utterly coherent display that alternates between lecture, dialogue with students, brief videos, group discussions, and student presentations.” And committee members who observed you teach were inspired by this “dizzying style.” Your ability to foster your students’ interest in the subject matter came through in their exceptionally strong engagement in class, with some students even keen to stay back after the class period. A committee member said that attending Dr. Kling’s class reminded them why it is such a privilege to serve on the Teaching committee. Unsurprisingly, your students have many wonderful and positive things to say about her. One of them writes, “Her classes are engaging because her own interest in the subject is infectious.” Besides inspiring your students in the classroom, you have also made significant contributions to your department and beyond. To quote your nominator, thanks to you, the philosophy department now offers “desperately needed … courses on gender, race, and popular culture.” Additionally, the committee also greatly appreciated you many outreach activities. Events such as Philosophy in the City and the UCCS Chapter of Ethics Bowl, which you run, demonstrate your teaching effectiveness beyond the classroom.
Congratulations Jennifer on being selected an outstanding educator and thank you for your dedication to our students and our college.
Mark Paglia, Lecturer in Communication
LAS Outstanding Teaching Award (instructor Category)
Remarks by Dean L. Lynn Vidler at the 2022 LAS Awards Ceremony.

It is with great pleasure that I announce Mark Paglia as the recipient of the 2022 Outstanding Teaching Award in the Lecturer Category.
The committee was especially impressed with the impact you have had on your students’ careers. Your students are indeed fortunate to work with someone who brings a wealth of industry experience to the classroom. It was apparent to committee members who observed you teach that your students were deeply engaged with the course material and that they were extremely excited to be in the classroom. A number of your students deeply appreciate your investment in their success both inside and outside the classroom. One of your students eloquently summed up your many excellent qualities as a teacher as follows: “Mark is a one of a kind teacher who is entirely focused on guiding students authentically and organically into the film business. He is practical and personal on what he can offer them. He has an unmatched dedication to his students, and is prepared to help them overcome the various obstacles in reaching their own goals. He is also deeply passionate about creating a pathway into the world of filmmaking that for most students is entirely inaccessible.”
Congratulations Mark and thank you for your service to our students and college.
Leslie Rapparlie, Sr. Instructor of English
LAS Outstanding Teaching Award (Online Teaching Category)
Remarks by Dean L. Lynn Vidler at the 2022 LAS Awards Ceremony.

It is with great pleasure that I announce Leslie Rapparlie as the recipient of the 2022 Outstanding Teaching Award in the Online Instruction Category.
The committee was deeply impressed with various aspects of your dossier. Your teaching philosophy makes it amply clear that you have successfully adapted your assignments to an online environment. Your attention to developing a student community in a virtual setting is also highly commendable. One of your students noted that even while she was in an online class she did not feel distant from you. Besides your strong commitment to your students, your nominator also points out how you became a resource for your colleagues when everybody had to transition overnight to remote instruction in spring 2020—“She fielded questions, led meetings, crafted resources, and made every effort to help her fellow faculty transition.” Echoing this comment, another recommender writes, “Ms. Rapparlie has served as an invaluable resource for online instruction and engagement within the freshman seminar and has graciously provided faculty professional development to all online faculty teaching within GPS.” Committee members who accessed your Canvas site felt that it was “phenomenally” well-organized and lined up wonderfully with your teaching goals. And finally, as the creator and chair of the “Creative Writing Visiting Author Series,” you have had visible impact beyond the classroom. Thanks to your efforts, your students and other members of the campus community have interacted with some of the finest creative minds of our time.
We all congratulate Leslie and appreciate her service to our students and the college.

LAS Outstanding Research Award

Andrew Lac
LAS Outstanding Research Award
Remarks by Dean L. Lynn Vidler at the 2022 LAS Awards Ceremony.
The LAS Research Committee, made up of faculty from the Arts & Humanities, Natural Sciences, and Social Sciences received numerous applications from highly deserving candidates this year. After a thorough review and an in-depth discussion of your dossier, letters of support, and the impact of your research, the Committee determined that you are the most deserving candidate.
In the words of the committee:
Dr. Lac has been an incredibly productive scholar, publishing 74 research articles, 8 book chapters, an influential textbook, and receiving over 5,000 citations of his work. He publishes in high impact journals, has numerous works currently in review, and remains very active in his discipline. He has also received 3 externally-funded grants and has 2 more under review. He was the recipient of an Early Career Award from both the American Psychological Association and from the National Institute of Health. His research on addictive behaviors reaches beyond academia with clinical applications. Dr. Lac involves students in his research with dozens of co-authored publications and conference presentations. Dr. Lac received strong letters of recommendation for this award, with comments about his innovative contributions, novel research methods, theoretical contributions, and rigorous analysis. His impacts transcend academia to include coverage in popular media such as the BBC and Slate. His accomplishments are impressive.
Congratulations, Dr. Lac for being named the winner of the 2022 Outstanding Research Award.