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Three UNC Faculty Members Receive Awards from Colorado Association of Science Teachers

Colorado Association of Science Teachers presented three awards to UNC faculty members

November 16, 2018

On November 9 at the Colorado Science Conference in Denver, the Colorado Association of Science Teachers (CAST) presented their Distinguished Service Award to Rob Reinsvold, Ph.D., and Lori Reinsvold, Ph.D., as well as their Excellence in Elementary Science Teaching Award to Neva Nardone. The three are faculty members at the University of Northern Colorado.

CAST’s mission is to support, stimulate and improve science education for students of all ages in Colorado. The CAST service award recognizes distinguished service to the field of science education in Colorado.

Detailed bios for all three award winners are below:
Rob ReinsvoldOver the past 30 years, UNC Professor of Biological Sciences Rob Reinsvold has taught over 8,000 students. One of his primary roles is the coordinator of Secondary Teacher Preparation Program for the School of Biological Sciences where he’s proud to be a “teacher of teachers.” After recognizing the need for more K-12 teachers in Colorado, he helped create the Colorado Center for Rural Education with Harvey Rude and Lori Reinsvold. 

Also, he contributed to the development of a new collaborative teacher preparation program between UNC and Colorado School of Mines; led additional efforts to recruit and retain new science and mathematics teachers through several nationally funded Noyce Scholarship programs; and successfully secured over $4 million in federal and state funding to address the teacher shortage problem. He has also organized and delivered professional development opportunities for working teachers within Colorado and across the nation in both science content and science pedagogy. 

But his specific biological expertise is in mycology (study of fungi) where he often returns to forests in pursuit of elusive Colorado mushrooms.

“I am surprised and humbled to have received this award since I know there are so many individuals that have made significant accomplishments to promote quality science education within our state — especially Lori,” said Rob Reinsvold.

Lori ReinsvoldFor almost 30 years, Associate Director of the Mathematics and Science Teaching (MAST) Institute and UNC Alumna Lori Reinsvold has collaboratively worked with school district and higher education leaders to improve science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education in Colorado.

Through her extensive grant experience, she has focused on helping K-16 science educators to improve student learning in science classrooms—with a particular focus on underserved students. She supports educators through the MAST Institute at UNC, the Colorado Center for Rural Education and the Colorado Science Education Network. She collaborates with UNC STEM directors to identify and develop funding projects to support the recruitment and retention of students in STEM areas.

Recently, this work has led to a Colorado Department of Higher Education grant funded project, the LEAP (Learning through Engaging & Authentic Practices) Program, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute funded project, Improving Classroom Culture as a Pathway to STEM Inclusive Excellence.

“I know many science educators across Colorado who make significant contributions and deserve this recognition, so I am honored to receive this award from my peers across the state,” said Lori Reinsvold.

Neva NardoneAs a Colorado District 38 fourth grade teacher and UNC adjunct professor in the Master’s of Education science course, Nardone believes that an exceptional education is delivered through engagement, problem solving, creativity, and by cultivating a fun learning environment. She holds an M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction from California Polytechnic State University, and a B.A. in Elementary Education from Southern Utah University. She’s active as a Space Foundation Teacher Liaison, a presenter at Challenger Learning Center’s summer STEAM Boot Camps and Colorado Science Conferences, and a lead team member for eleSTEMary, a monthly teacher workshops in STEM. 

Nardone started a STEM Club at her school where students are challenged and supported in team building, coding, experimenting, team competitions, rocketry, etc. She is also the organizer of her school’s highly anticipated annual STEM Day which exposes K-6th grade students to a variety of scientists, engineers, health care professionals and skilled community members. Teaching is Neva’s passion and it gives her a sense that she is making a difference in the world one student at a time.


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