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Faculty

Scott Kerkmans

Instructor

Man smiling with a beer mug in his hand‌Specialty: Craft Beer
Courses: Beer Styles and Service, Beers of the World, Brewery Operations, Sensory Analysis of Beer

Scott Kerkmans currently teaches several beer related classes within the Brewing Industry Operations program, which he oversees. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, he directs the beer industry programs as well as professional relations with the beer industry. As one of the first five Certified Cicerones in the world, Kerkmans is an expert voice in the world of craft beer and an advocate for beer education both at the professional level and in higher education. Kerkmans was a professional brewer for more than four years (most recently at Alaskan Brewing) and sold beer for a major beer distributor in over 80 on-premises accounts. A Nationally Certified Beer Judge since 2005, Kerkmans serves as judge at the Great American Beer Festival annually. He helped found Draft Magazine and educated their editorial staff before being hired by Starwood Hotels as their Chief Beer Officer.

Kerkmans designed Starwood’s online training and education program for staff, used in more than 140 hotels, while also choosing beers used in Starwood’s hotel restaurants, hosted beer dinners and PR events around the world. Kerkmans is a leading professional educator for beer distributors, retailers, beer lovers and brewers with his company Beer Conscious Training, where he has created eLearning, Video and In-person professional development courses. He is also the founder of Colorado Craft Beer Week and currently focuses his research on sensory analysis of beer.


Michael Wray, Ph.D.

Professor, Restaurant Management

‌Specialty: Beer, Wine, Food and Beverage Pairing
Courses: Beer and Spirits, Beverage Fundamentals

Michael Wray, Ph. D. has provided instrumental input into the vision for a public/private partnership that led to the creation MSU Denver’s hotel and hospitality learning center (HLC) and complementary laboratory classrooms. Wray has developed key partnerships with community and civic leaders for major events and charities such as Food for Thought-Denver and the Denver Food and Wine Festival. He recently developed the framework for the brewery partnership with the Tivoli Brewing Company, leading to $7 million facility enhancements to the Tivoli student union, establishing integrated learning laboratories for students studying brewing.

Wray worked with the development office to establish an advisory board to provide input into program development resulting in a pilot degree program in Brewing Industry Operations along with a minor. He worked with industry advisors and campus faculty to develop ten new courses in this program to include the course design, resource development, and instructor coordination. Wray holds multiple credentials in food and beverage including; Sommelier Diploma, Certified Wine Specialist, Master Certified Food Service Executive and Certified Culinary Instructor. 


Helene Ver Eecke, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Biology

Specialty: Extreme Microbiology, Fermentation
Courses: Fermentation Science

Helene Ver Eecke, Ph.D. teaches biology and is a founding member and intercollege-liaison of the brewing operations programs at MSU Denver. Ver Eecke has been involved in the programs’ conceptualization and actualization, including co-developing the fermentation science course curriculum. To further prepare for these tasks she has shadowed at various fermentation facilities and quality assurance laboratories including Avery Brewery, Breckenridge Brewery, New Belgium Brewery, and UC Davis. As an avid home-brewer, she’s excited to further foster collaborations with the brewing community and expand brewing operations programs at MSU Denver.

As a specialist in extreme microbiology, her work has been featured in NASA Magazine, Science Daily and PNAS. Ver Eecke served as senior microbiologist for an industrial fermentation company where her skills of screening, cultivating, and optimizing microbes were expanded to large scale processes. Ver Eecke has been a professor of biology at numerous institutions and is currently a tenure-track professor at MSU Denver. She teaches General Microbiology, Microbial Ecology, and Fermentation Science, and is the faculty coordinator of General Microbiology. Ver Eecke’s research lab at MSU Denver is used to study various projects including brewing, bioremediation and extremophiles.


Andrew J. Bonham, Ph.D. 

Associate Professor, Chemistry

MSU Denver Professor Andrew Bonham‌Specialty: Biochemistry
Courses: Brewing Science

Andrew Bonham has experience in grant administration, curriculum development, biochemistry research, and biochemistry teaching. Bonham is an assistant professor in the MSU Denver department of Chemistry, where he is director of the Biochemistry major program. He is co-PI on an active NSF-funded educational grant, Denver Metro Chem Scholars, which provides financial support and cohort-building activities for financially-limited students who intend to pursue graduate careers in chemistry. Bonham has an educational career focus on both biochemistry and effective pedagogy.

Bonham regularly teaches courses in biochemistry, senior experience in chemistry, and biological chemistry. Bonham maintains and leads an active research program at MSU Denver, currently with 6 undergraduate students engaged in bio-sensor design and optimization experiments. As a seasoned home-brewer, Bonham has provided input in the design and structure of fermentation courses for brewing operations programs at MSU Denver.


Ethan Tsai, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Chemistry

Specialty: Organic Chemistry
Courses: Quality Analysis of Brewing

Ethan Tsai is an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry, specializing in materials chemistry and soft matter physical chemistry.

He’s served as the master chemist for two startup companies, including a partnership with Eastman Kodak to develop next generation high efficiency passivating tinting film filters; and worked in established chemical industry with three years at 3M developing next generation adhesive technologies.

The research of the Tsai Research Group focuses on the relationship between molecular structure and super molecular structure, and explores new liquid-crystalline morphologies that have potential semiconductor properties for industrial applications ranging from photovoltaics to static field mitigation.


Cynthia Onken-Glimm

Affiliate Faculty 

‌Specialty: Beer, Wine, Food and Beverage Pairing
Courses: Beers of the World, Beverage Fundamentals

Cynthia Onken-Glimm helped develop the Beers of the World class, launched in the fall of 2013, and has taught the class during the summer of 2014.

Onken-Glimm is a Certified Beer Server through the first level of the Cicerone exam. As a beer enthusiast, she is very passionate about our program and its future. Onken-Glimm is a certified wine specialist and teaches Wine Fundamentals, New World and Old World Wine, Wine and Food Pairing, Food Fundamentals as affiliate faculty since 2008.

She also teaches Wine Fundamentals level I and II courses for the International Sommelier Guild.


Bruce Warner, J.D.‌

Affiliate Faculty

Specialty: Beer and Wine 
Courses: Beers of the World

Bruce Warner has a Sommelier Diploma from the International Sommelier Guild and has taught several courses at MSU Denver including Beers of the World, Wine Fundamentals, Wines of the Old World and Wines of the New World.

As a Cicerone Certified Beer Server, currently studying to become a Certified Cicerone, his knowledge was fundamental in the development Beers of the World curriculum and was the first to teach its inaugural course.


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