NHS Points of Pride
School of Biological Sciences
- The School of Biological Sciences conducts an Annual Graduate Student Research Symposium each spring as part of the NHS Research Celebration and the UNC Academic Excellence Week activities. During this symposium, each graduate biology student gives an oral presentation of their research project and progress to date. The format of the symposium is formal and matches that of any national or regional scientific conference. Since 2011, the symposium takes place in the University Center to highlight it as an example of academic excellence. A poster session was added in 2011 to enable our undergraduate researchers to spotlight their achievements and to emphasize the School’s commitment to research excellence for both undergraduate and graduate students. Attendees include faculty, graduate students, undergraduate students, and administrators from across the UNC campus as well as family, community members, alumni, and Board of Trustee members.
- Dr. Robert Reinsvold, Associate Professor of Biological Sciences, is the PI on a $1.2 million grant awarded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The Noyce Scholarship and Noyce Internship Programs support and prepare UNC mathematics and science majors who are pursuing careers in secondary teaching to teach in high-need school districts, especially in rural areas. The five-year grant began Fall 2010.
- Dr. Steve Mackessy, Professor of Biological Sciences, earned a $50,480 bioscience grant from the Colorado Office of Economic Development & International Trade to further test and analyze purified compounds found in snake venoms as anticancer drugs. The grant will provide support for undergraduate and graduate students to work on the project. Mackessy’s lab is one of a few worldwide conducting biochemical analysis of venoms from a select group of “harmless” rear-fanged snake species.
- Dr. Teresa Higgins, Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences, is one of the Co-PIs of the Mathematics and Science Teaching (MAST) for English Learners (EL) grant; a 5 year, $1.8 million grant awarded from the U.S. Department of Education. Other team members: PI – Dr. Elizabeth Franklin, Co-PI’s – Dr. Lori Reinsvold, Dr. Youngjin Song and Dr. Jenni Harding-DeKam.
- Dr. Mark Thomas, Associate Professor of Biological Sciences, was awarded a prestigious National Institutes of Health (NIH) AREA (R15) grant. The grant titled Dopamine Modulation of Rhythmic Properties in Mouse Prefrontal Cortical Neurons is a three year, $380,000 is to explore how the neurotransmitter, dopamine, regulates rhythmic activity in the frontal lobes of the brain. This activity is known to be important for normal “working” memory processes involving the frontal lobes, and is impaired in schizophrenic subjects.
- Dr. Susan Keenan, Associate Professor of Biological Sciences and the School Director, continues to work on a five year $1.3 million grant from the NIH in collaboration with the Rocky Mountain Regional Center of Excellence and Dr. Brain Geiss (CSU). The group recently submitted a provisional patent describing anti-flaviviral compounds. Infection by flaviviruses such as dengue, yellow fever, and West Nile are a major socio-economic as well as medical problem worldwide, yet effective antiviral therapeutics to treat flavivirus infection are not currently available.
- Faculty and Graduate Students from the School of Biological Sciences were among the volunteers who helped organize the National Park Service and National Geographic Society’s 24-hour BioBlitz. The 2012 Blitz took place in Rocky Mountain National Park and identified 489 species: 89 species of birds, 12 mammals, 1 fish, 1 reptile, 289 plants, 12 fungi, 78 insects, and 7 other invertebrates in the mountain environments of the 418-square-mile park.
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
- The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry received an award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) Scholarships in Science, Technology and Mathematics program. The funds are being used to support community college transfer students and help them succeed in chemistry. At least thirty-five scholarships will be awarded over four years.
- The University of Northern Colorado Chapter of the American Chemical Society Student Affiliates is very active in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. This group of students provides chemical demonstration shows, organizes philanthropic events, and hosts seminars on topics relevant to all students. Their efforts last year were recently recognized by the American Chemical Society national office through an Honorable Mention Chapter Award. This group has been recipients of recognition for their activity in outreach, education, and philanthropy eight times over the previous 10 years.
- Dr. James Schreck, emeritus faculty member of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, was recently recognized for his accomplishments in Chemistry by the American Chemical Society. He was appointed as a Fellow of the Society.
- Dr. Robin Macaluso, Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, was recently awarded a grant by the Petroleum Research Fund to fund her research on light-emitting diodes.
- Michael Mingroni, an undergraduate major in Chemistry and Biochemistry, recently completed a research experience offered through the University of Florida. He was one of eight students from across the country chosen to participate in research in Strasbourg, France, in summer 2012. He will present the results of his research on porphyrin synthesis at the National American Chemical Society meeting in New Orleans in March 2013.
Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
- Dr. Graham Baird’s structural geology students are researching various ways of pressing new technologies and methods into service in order to ask new questions. Miles Wentlant (undergraduate, geology) is investigating the structural effects of melting snow on sand dunes; Adam LeWinter (graduate student) is experimenting with Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) equipment to see if the technology can effectively map structural features by analyzing slight variations in return strength.
- Dr. Emmett Evanoff’s field research programs in the Badlands South Dakota and the Bighorn Basin of Wyoming during the summer of 2012 employed the field skills of Ross Kononen (graduate student), Justin Little (undergraduate secondary teaching), and Miles Wentland (undergraduate, geology). Publications and presentations are in process for completion this year.
- Byron Straw, Geology instructor, Dr. Cynthia Galovich, Physics Program Coordinator, and Dr. Steve Mackessy, Professor of Biological Sciences collaborated on a successful grant to the National Science Foundation (NSF) to acquire subsurface sampling equipment for UNC. We look forward to getting a Ground-penetrating Radar (GPR) unit by next year. Principal Investigator Andrew Creekmore is from UNC’s Anthropology Department.
- Dr. Steven Anderson, Professor of Earth Sciences, and his graduate student Adam Lewinter are collaborating with the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory to better understand the active crater and lava lake at Kilauea volcano. Using a laser mapping system called LiDAR, they are measuring the detailed topography of the volcano every few months to look for unstable sections of the crater walls that could create rockfalls into the lava lake. These rockfalls into the lava lake have already resulted in large explosions, forcing the closure of a popular road and tourist area in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. This research was featured in the summer of 2012 on a British Broadcasting Cooperation special series called “Volcano Live” that was watched by over 4 million viewers in Europe.
- Anderson is also working with researchers from the University of Pittsburgh and the Kamchatkan Volcano Observatory to study two active volcanoes in Russia. Using thermal cameras on the ground and on satellites, they are studying the explosive Shiveluch and Kizimen volcanoes. Anderson spent 3 weeks in August studying these volcanoes in the field, and recently published a paper on the eruptions of Shiveluch in the Geological Society of America Bulletin.
School of Human Sciences
- Dr. Deanna Meinke, Associate Professor of Audiology and Speech-Language Sciences, received the Natalie Stukas Hearing Conservation Award from the Illinois Academy of Audiology. The award recognizes achievements in clinical practice, consumer education, product development, or research in the area of hearing conservation.
- Dr. Jill Bezyak, Assistant Professor of Human Rehabilitative Services, was awarded a $678,000 long-term training grant from the Rehabilitation Services Administration, Department of Education that will support students in the MA, Rehabilitation Counseling Program. The grant is designed to increase the number of qualified rehabilitation counselors available to serve individuals with disabilities.
- Dr. Kathy Fahey, Professor of Audiology & Speech-Language Sciences, was awarded the 2011 Distinguished Service Award by the Scottish Rite Foundation of Colorado. The award recognizes Dr. Fahey’s contributions in time and/or talents that significantly improved care of children in the RiteCare programs that address early language and literacy development, as well as speech and language disorders.
- Led by Dr. Jamie Erskine, Professor of Dietetics, students in the Dietetics program initiated and maintained the Dietetics Student Community Garden and collaborated with the Realizing Our Community (ROC) program to assist with other community gardens in Greeley. The gardens provided Burmese refugees in Greeley the opportunity to grow fresh vegetables.
- UNC hosted the annual conference of the National Institute for Native Leadership in Higher Education (NINLHE), Changing Times: Innovative Approaches to Serving Native Students in Higher Education. Dr. Liz Gilbert, Associate Professor of Community Health, serves on the NINLHE board and was instrumental in bringing the annual conference to UNC. UNC Trustee, Dee St. Cyr, a member of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska and the chair of the board of directors of the Rocky Mountain Indian Chamber of Commerce, delivered a keynote address.
- The UNC Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology Clinic which serves as a clinical education and training site for students in the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs in Audiology and Speech-Language Sciences, as well as providing clinical services for children and adults in northern Colorado, earned an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.
- Over the past four years, the TACE Region 8 project has been involved in developing a community of practice among rehabilitation professionals, the Summit Group, which has the goal of advancing program evaluation and quality assurance in state vocational rehabilitation agencies. TACE staff members have co-hosted Quality Assurance and Program Evaluation conferences and developed webinars to support this goal. The Summit Group has been cited as a model community of practice by the Rehabilitation Services Administration.
- The Gerontology program co-sponsored and implemented the Rocky Mountain Conference on Aging, held in Loveland, Co, Spring 2012. The conference topic was “Strengthening Practices and Systems to Support Grandfamilies”, and was attended by professionals, grandparents, academics, caregivers, and UNC faculty and students.
- Dr. Susan Collins, Assistant Professor of Gerontology, was appointed to the Weld County Adult Resources for Care and Help (ARCH) advisory committee in spring 2012.
- UNC hosted the RSVP Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast in March 2012. Over 200 RSVP volunteers age 55 and older were honored by UNC students, Gerontology faculty, RSVP staff and NHS staff. RSVP is sponsored by UNC, through the College of Natural and Health Sciences, School of Human Sciences.
- Two School of Human Sciences students were awarded Research Excellence Awards in conjunction with UNC’s 2011 Research Day. Kayla Howerton (Faculty Mentor: Dr. Deanna Meinke), Audiology and Speech-Language Sciences, was recognized with the Top Undergraduate Poster Award for her presentation on “Youth Recreational Firearm User’s Shooting Habits, use of Hearing Protection Devices and Self-Assessed Auditory Status.” Mindy Stewart (Faculty Mentor: Dr. Alena Clark), Dietetics, was recognized with the Top Undergraduate Oral Presentation Award for her presentation, “Voice Your Health: Determining Elementary School Students’ Perceived Hinders and Helpers to a Leading a Healthy Lifestyle.”
- ASLS Alumna, Amy Nelloms, who is in the Au.D. program at the University of Illinois, has been selected for the Minority Student Leadership Program of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. The program includes focused educational programming and activities that build and enhance leadership skills and an understanding of how the association works.
School of Mathematical Sciences
- Dr. Jodie Novak, Professor of Mathematical Sciences, and colleagues received a $400,000 Supplemental Grant as an extension of their $5 million, five-grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The original grant supported the Mathematics Teaching and Learning Center at UNC. The Supplemental Grant will support authorship of a book and the organization of a conference to disseminate the findings of the Math TLC project in support of mathematics teacher leaders.
- Dr. Steven Leth, Professor of Mathematical Sciences, was awarded a grant from the American Institute of Mathematics to support the research of his team of international collaborators. Dr. Leth is working on non-standard analytic approaches to problems in combinatorial number theory.
- Dr. Tensia Soto-Johnson, Associate Professor of Mathematical Sciences, has been named Associate Treasurer of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) starting in February 2013. Dr. Soto-Johnson also serves on the Board of Governors of the MAA as a Governor-at-Large for Minority Interests. In 2012, Dr. Soto-Johnson was awarded the Distinguished Service Award from the MAA in recognition of her substantial contributions to the MAA at the regional and national levels.
- The School of Mathematical Sciences is serving as the host institution of the Conference on Research in Undergraduate Mathematics to be held in Denver in February 2013. Dr. Gulden Karakok, Assistant Professor of Mathematical Sciences, is serving as the local organizer. The conference is sponsored by the Special Interest Group in Undergraduate Mathematics Education of the Mathematical Association of America. Two other SMS faculty members, Dr. Michael Oehrtman (Associate Professor) and Dr. Tensia Soto-Johnson (Associate Professor) are on the Program Committee for the conference.
- Each year the School of Mathematical Sciences hosts the state-wide UNC Math Contest for students in grades 7-12. A first round is administered to individual students at their local schools in October. The top scorers on the first round are invited to the UNC campus to participate in the Final Round in January. The contest has been running for twenty years and was founded by Dr. Richard Grassl, Emeritus Professor. Dr. Ricardo Diaz, Professor, is the current director of the UNC Math Contest.
- Dr. Oscar Levin, Assistant Professor of Mathematical Sciences, has reinstated the School of Mathematical Sciences' Math Challenge Problem. This is a problem that everyone is welcomed to attempt. New problems can be found every two weeks at http://www.unco.edu/NHS/mathsci/Challenge/.
- The research of Dr. Igor Szcyrba, Professor of Mathematical Sciences, on computer modeling of traumatic brain injuries has gained the attention of Intel as a tool to manufacturing football helmets that help prevent brain injuries. Dr. Szczyrba is among a select group of university faculty researchers whose modeling is being used in high-powered supercomputers to predict the brain’s reaction to on-field hits.
- Adam Wilson, a Physics and Mathematical Sciences alumnus and his colleagues at Sphero, have brought to market a robotic ball that can be controlled by a phone application.
School of Nursing
- On October 6, 2012 the School of Nursing celebrated its 50th Anniversary. Over 400 alumni and friends gathered in Gunter Hall to share stories and recognize the accomplishments with over 4200 alumni. In 1927, when UNC was still the Colorado State Teacher’s College, a small group of individual’s formed a program that prepared nurses to become educators. Later, in 1962, the University was approved to offer a Bachelor’s in Science in Nursing (BSN) program. The first five students graduated in 1965. Since its inception, the School of Nursing has grown to serve over 1000 students a year, in a variety of programs including a BSN (traditional and accelerated, second degree options), RN-BSN, Masters of Science degrees with Family Nurse Practitioner and Clinical Nurse Leader options, a Doctor of Nursing Practice program and a Ph.D. in Nursing Education program. Alumni of the program have been providing health care services locally, regionally and globally for over five decades, with leaders in education, policy, administration, clinical practice, scholarship and service. The School has maintained its excellent reputation through carefully designed curriculum, partnerships with clinical agencies across the region and outstanding education and scholarship.
- In Spring 2012, the founders of the nursing honor society, Zeta Omicron Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International joined with current members and new inductees to celebrate its 30th Anniversary. Zeta Omicron President Mary Jo Stanley shared the history and the accomplishments with over 100 guests. Dr. Phyllis Drennan, former Dean of Nursing and STTI member donated a diamond-studded Sigma pin to the chapter members.
- National Institute of Nursing Education and Scholarship (NINES) co-sponsored the International Nurse Educators Conference in the Rockies: In July 2012, over 500 nurse educators from across the nation joined in Breckenridge, Colorado to discuss educational issues as clinical simulation, teaching strategies, evidenced-based practice, the nursing shortage, faculty issues and research in education. Twelve School of Nursing faculty members presented their scholarship, participated in educational offerings and certified nurse educator courses.
- First Post BSN-Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) students admitted: In the fall of 2012, the School of Nursing admitted its first class of Post BSN-DNP students. The DNP is the highest level of clinical education offered for advanced practice nurses. Led by Dr. Rhonda Squires, PhD, APNR, FNP-BC Program Coordinator, twelve new students will participate in the program that prepares them as Family Nurse Practitioners and clinical experts. Students participate in clinical and theory courses, as well as individual preceptorship rotations of over 1000 hours in primary care health settings.
- First Masters of Science Clinical Nurse Leader program begins: In the fall 2012, the School of Nursing admitted its first class of the MS-Clinical Nurse Leader program. Under the leadership of Dr. Kathleen Dunemn, PhD, APRN, CMN-BC, 12 students were admitted and will be prepared to be advanced leaders at the micro-level of the health care system. Students receive advanced education in leadership, quality and safety management, evidenced-based practice and research. Students integrate their clinical rotations in health care systems, including acute care settings.
- UNC Student Nurses Association very active in Community Outreach: On September 28, 2012 student nurses and faculty volunteers coordinated Greeley’s Project Connect. Project Connect provides free health care services to those without care in the Weld County region. Over 15 faculty and 100 students participated in this great event, providing screening, immunizations, breast examination and other health services.
- UNC's School of Nursing has been selected to be a Jonas Nurse Leaders Scholar Program, and Ann Nielsen, a student in the school's doctoral program and a faculty member at Oregon Health and Sciences University, has been selected as the Jonas Scholar to receive a $10,000 scholarship award. Nielsen, who has an interest in strategies to develop clinical judgment and helped design OHSU's programs to prepare the 21st century nurse, will also receive mentoring through the program and attend the Jonas Center for Nursing leadership program in Washington, D.C., next year. The award will be distributed over the next two years. Her leadership mentor is Dr. Kathy LaSala and her research mentor is Dr. Kathy Lasater. The Jonas Center for Nursing was developed to improve nursing recruitment and diversity, and to promote innovation through grant programs.
- Dr. Phyllis Drennan was awarded the 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award from the University of Colorado College of Nursing. This award recognizes the lifetime nursing achievements Dr. Drennan. Dr. Drennan began her nursing practice in 1948 upon graduation from the Jennie Emundson Memorial Hospital School of Nursing. She earned her BS in 1960, her MS from the University of Colorado in 1961. She also earned a certificate in institutional supervision and teaching from the University of Colorado. Dr. Drennan practiced nursing in Colorado and Illinois, taught in several schools in Colorado and several mid-western states. Dr. Drennan was the Dean of the School of Nursing at the University of Colorado from 1974 to 1981. During Dr. Drennan’s time at UNC, she was instrumental in starting Zeta Omicron Chapter. Zeta Omicron Chapter makes an annual monetary award “The Phyllis Drennan Award” to an outstanding UNC nursing graduate student. Following her time at UNC, Dr. Drennan was Dean and Professor at the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Nursing and as an assistant division director at the University Hospital and Clinics. Dr. Drennan has been recognized for her contributions to Nursing and Nursing Education by the following: University of Missouri – Columbia; Zeta Omicron Chapter of STTI; University of Colorado School of Nursing to name just a few. Dr. Drennan remains an active volunteer in many organizations in Colorado.
- Dr. Chris Tanner, an alumni of UNC School of Nursing (’69 BSN) was named the Dean of the Oregon Health and Science University, School of Nursing. Dr. Tanner is a national expert on nursing education, including a research focus on development of expertise in clinical judgment and the impact of different educational models on the development of skill in clinical judgment. She has been actively engaged in creating educational solutions to the nursing shortage, including ways to increase enrollment and prepare a new kind of nurse in the context of rapid changes in the nursing practice environment and rapidly evolving health care needs. The Oregon Consortium for Nursing Education (OCNE) was launched in 2003, as a partnership among OHSU and several community colleges, designed to incorporate best practices in teaching and learning with a shared curriculum that focuses on emerging foci of care.
Department of Physics and Astronomy
- Undergraduate physics students Rob Shiely, Maurice Woods III, Jordan Aken, and Jessica Trujillo won the grand prize at the 2012 Colorado Space Grant Symposium for their project: “The Lazarus Project: Developing a Robust Framework for Future Robotics Research.” Maurice Woods III, Aaron Adamson, Motoaki Honda, Casey Kuhns, and Rob Shiely won their session and received the interdisciplinary award for their project: “Reentry Experiment SAT-X: Developing an Optimal Atmospheric Reentry Vehicle for the Rocket SAT-X Program.”
- Physics professor Dr. Ruwang Sung and students Rachel Bennet and Joe Gasteiger comprised the only faculty-student team selected to participate in a 10-week, summer 2012 research program at the National Renewable Energy Lab in Golden. Their participation was sponsored by the Department of Energy through the Visiting Faculty Program. They conducted research on the effects of chemical treatments on the performance of quantum dot solar cells.
- The Physics program had a strong presence at the American Association of Physics Teachers Meeting in Philadelphia in July, 2012. Physics faculty members Drs. Wendy Adams, Richard Dietz, Cynthia Galovich, Courtney Willis and Matt Semak, and student Zach Armstrong were contributors. Wendy Adams led two workshops on methods for teaching the physics of sound and music.
- Dr. Jan Chaloupka and his collaborators at San Diego State University published two papers: “Experimental Realization of the Devil’s Vortex Fresnel Lens with a Programmable Spatial light Modulator,” in Applied Optics and “Measuring the Topological Charge of Ultrabroadband, Optical-Vortex Beams with a Triangular Aperture” in the Journal of the Optical Society. There is growing interest in optical vortices because of applications to trapping and rotation of particles, micromechanical machining, storage of quantum information, and microscopy.
School of Sport and Exercise Science
- UNC Graduate Program Ranks Top 5 Worldwide: The Sport Administration graduate program at the University of Northern Colorado earned a top 5 worldwide ranking from the leading publication covering the international sport business community. UNC is one of only two U.S. universities to make the top 5 in SportBusiness International magazine’s first-ever ranking of sport management courses around the world. To be eligible for consideration in the rankings, graduate programs had to focus on covering the sport business in its entirety and, at a minimum, offer curriculum for no fewer than three consecutive years. Course providers were asked to supply data on graduates employed after completing the program and other facts and figures, including course length and student demographics. Alumni also were surveyed about the quality of teaching and support in career placement in the sports industry. At UNC, 30 graduate students enroll annually in Sport Administration, which has been offered as a graduate program since 1988. Within three months after earning their degrees, nearly eight out of 10 graduates are employed full time in the sports industry. UNC graduates currently working in the sector have taken positions in the NBA, NFL, Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer, the U.S. Olympic and Paralympics, and in numerous college athletic departments. Sport Administration faculty include Drs. David Stotlar, Dianna Gray and Linda Sharp. They teach program courses on sport management, law, ethics, marketing, finance and public relations. For more information about the program, visit http://www.unco.edu/nhs/ses/ms_sa.htm
- University of Northern Colorado has been a leader in preparing physical education students in Colorado for more than 75 years. The program prepares students for leadership roles in the design and delivery of physical and activity programs in schools and other settings. Academic programs in the School of Sport and Exercise Science are widely recognized for excellence by the American College of Sports Medicine, National Strength and Conditioning Association Physical Education, American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, Commission of Accreditation on Athletic Training Education.
- UNC’s Rocky Mountain Cancer Rehabilitation Institute (RMCRI) is the only comprehensive cancer rehabilitation facility of its kind. The Institute provides individualized prescriptive exercise and dietary intervention in the recovery of cancer treatment-related symptoms. RMCRI was established in 1996 at the University of Northern Colorado in the College of Natural and Health Sciences. RMCRI is located in the Ben Nighthorse Campbell Center, a state-of-the-art rehabilitation facility. In addition, RMCRI provides on-going basic and clinical research for the purpose of alleviating cancer treatment related symptoms.
- The Sport Marketing Research Institute (SMRI) enriches the learning experience of graduate students studying sport administration by conducting field research for sport enterprises. Toward this end, the SMRI provides high-quality research opportunities for both graduate students preparing for careers in sport management and organizations interested in the business of sport. SMRI recently completed a 3-year project with the United States Olympic Committee assisting the Sport Nationals Governing Bodies with building data bases and refining their marketing strategies.
- Dr. David Hydock, Assistant Professor of Sport and Exercise Science, has received a $421,000 Mentored Research Scholar Grant from the American Cancer Society. The grant titled “Doxorubicin Treatment and Skeletal Muscle Function: Effects of Exercise” is a three year project that will investigate the effects of endurance training and resistance training on the muscle weakness and fatigue associated with the chemotherapy drug doxorubicin. In addition, molecular mechanisms of doxorubicin-induced muscle dysfunction and fatigue will be examined with an additional focus on how the mechanisms are affected by exercise. Dr. Reid Hayward, a professor in the School of Sport and Exercise Science, is the mentor for this project.
- Sara Morfitt, a student in the Athletic Training, B.S. degree program, received the 2011 Big Sky Conference Football Officials Student Athletic Trainer Award.
Mathematics and Science Teaching (MAST) Institute
- Dr. Lori Reinsvold, Director of Technology, and Lori Ball, Program Administrator, of the Mathematics and Science Teaching Institute received Friend of Science Awards from the Colorado Association of Science Teachers at the group's annual conference on November 18, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. The awards recognize individuals' contributions to science education in the state.