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2015 ELITE Pilot Cohort

Dr. Jessica Anderson, College of Professional Studies

Image of Jessica AndersonDr. Jessica Anderson is a naturopathic physician and affiliate faculty for MSU Denver. She owns and operates a general practice in the Cherry Creek/Wash Park area, utilizing her curiosity and creativity to treat the cause of an individual's complaints. She is enthusiastic about bringing her philosophy of Doctor as Teacher to the classroom, recognizing the unique needs of her students as well as attending to the collective personality of a classroom.

Dr. Anderson has special interest in working with people suffering from autoimmune conditions, furthering her involvement in the ITP Program at MSU Denver, and educating Colorado communities about the benefits of naturopathic health care.

Away from doctoring and teaching, Jessica takes every opportunity to plan vacation and travel-from a weekend camping trip or a month-long stay in Southern India, she's happiest with the freedom to explore new terrain and cultures.

Dr. Barbara Barclay, College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

Image of Barbara BarclayDr. Barb Barclay, MSW, began teaching at MSU Denver as an affiliate in 2001 after teaching in a joint social work program at the University of Sioux Falls and Augustana College in South Dakota. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Social Work serving as Lead Faculty for Generalist Practice II and III at the undergraduate level and will add the role of Online Coordinator for the department this fall.

Barb’s scholarship and action research focus is developing (revising) online (blended) practice courses that reflect best practices for teaching, assessment, and learning in an online environment. In 2005, Barb developed online (hybrid) practice courses for the first fully online BSW Program in the country at MSU Denver (MSCD at the time). It was this activity that launched Barb’s interest and study of how student’s best learn in an online format and corresponding online pedagogy strategies.

She is married, has three grown sons and six grandchildren. She loves hiking, quilting, yoga, and travel. She is excited for an upcoming trip to New Zealand at the end of fall semester.

Dr. TJ DeCino, College of Professional Studies

Image of TJ De CinoCapitalizing on skills & knowledge acquired while completing undergraduate work in computer science and business administration in the late 1970s, Dr. De Cino built a 20+ year career as an information systems engineer designing, building, & managing business computer information systems in the corporate marketplace.

Living through the roller coaster ride of the late 1990s IT bubble, Dr. De Cino left the corporate IT world to focus on graduate studies. While completing graduate work, he taught undergraduate computer science & network information systems courses at local colleges, acting as the Department Chair for several years.

Dr. De Cino took his current position in the early 2001 as the manager of the aviation simulation technology laboratories (the World Indoor Airport) at the Metropolitan State University of Denver Aviation & Aerospace Science Department. During the past 15+ years he reorganized & expanded the simulation, computer-based training, and virtual learning technology resources to now include $18+ million worth of high-technology virtual training & aviation simulation equipment.

During the past decade, Dr. De Cino earned another Bachelor of Science degree (Aviation Technology), and an Ed.S. in Educational Computing Technologies. In early 2016, Dr. De Cino completed his dissertation report and defense for his Ph.D., focusing on pilot training and learning with glass flight deck technologies. Dr. De Cino also holds private pilot - single engine aircraft certificate.

Dr. Ann Diker, College of Professional Studies

Image of Ann DikerHi! My name is Ann Diker and I am an Associate Professor and Chair of the Nutrition Department at Metropolitan State University of Denver. I am a Registered Dietitian with doctoral and masters degrees in Human Nutrition from Colorado State University and bachelors degrees in Accounting and Business from Briar Cliff University in Iowa. I have taught at Metropolitan State University of Denver since 2001. I also have experience in breast cancer research, qualitative evaluation, and nutrition education with low-income populations.

Robert Farmer, College of Professional Studies

Image of Bob FarmerBob has 5+ years’ experience, as a professor teaching at the university level. He has earned the Quality Matters Certification in 2015. He is the 1st Place Winner of Best Case Award - International CHRIE Journal Case Competition 2014. As well, he has 28+ years of Domestic and International Corporate Business Development/Human Resources/Employee Motivation experience working with 298 of the Fortune 500 Companies throughout his corporate business career. Bob’s focus has been on motivating individuals and teams to exceed and sustain superior performance in a diverse set of Quality Improvement Cross-Functional Disciplines. Bob functions as a Coach, Mentor, and Trainer facilitating continuous improvement services within major domestic and international corporations including …Public and Private Corporations, Leading Non-Profit Organizations, Healthcare Facilities, Utilities, Oil and Gas Organizations, and Governmental Entities.

Bob is a professor and lecturer for a variety of university undergraduate and Master’s Programs in the Rocky Mountain Region. He is regularly engaged as a Motivational Speaker and as a Continuous Improvement Facilitator. Bob’s international business experience includes: The United States (All 50 States)-Europe-The Pacific Rim-Asia-Australia-Russia-Africa-Plus Numerous Additional International and Domestic Destinations. He has conducted business “on-the-ground” in 68+ Countries.

Bob’s academic accomplishments include: Professor at Metropolitan State University of Denver (2011- 2015), Graduate Master’s Program at University of Denver (2010)-Focus: Organizational Leadership – e-Learning, Traditional Training and Development (4.0 GPA), Graduate Studies at Washington University – St. Louis, Missouri (1978 -1980)-Focus: Finance – Psychology – Business Development, and Undergraduate Degree from Rockhurst University – Kansas City, Missouri (1970)-Focus: Finance – Marketing – Psychology.

Dr. Jeff Forrest, College of Professional Studies

Image of Jeff Forrest

Dr. Jeff Forrest is Chair of the Aviation and Aerospace Science Department at Metropolitan State University of Denver. Dr. Forrest has been involved with designing and managing applied and basic research projects within the domains of aviation, aerospace, and Earth science for over 30 years. He holds graduate degrees in aeronautical management science (MAS), aerospace systems management (MA), and information science (Ph.D.). His doctoral work addressed the implementation of data-mining aviation safety information sharing systems. Jeff has also served as a co-PI in several State of Colorado and NASA aerospace related grants. He is published in the areas of aviation security, aviation management, information sharing systems, and human factors in simulated flight environments. Dr. Forrest is currently co-authoring a new textbook on emergency response operations applied to commercialized air and space transportation systems. Jeff established the Academy of STEM and Undergraduate Research program at MSU Denver, which developed into the ongoing Undergraduate Research Program at MSU Denver. He also developed and currently manages educational programming in aerospace commerce and the multidisciplinary Aerospace Systems Engineering Technology program at MSU Denver. Jeff holds numerous FAA pilot certifications and ratings, including serving as pilot in command of jet, glider, and seaplane flight operations. Dr. Forrest is currently leading the development and educational programming for unmanned aeronautical systems (UAV/UAS) at MSU Denver. As a member of the Colorado Aeronautics Board, Dr. Forrest champions efforts in STEM education and aviation and aerospace commerce throughout Colorado.

Janos Fustos, College of Business

Image of Janos Fustos

Janos T Fustos is a professor in the Computer Information Systems Department. His teaching assignments are in the business-computing field including web page development, website administration, and information systems security.

Tamara Goldstein, College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

Image of Tamara GoldsteinTamara Goldstein, D.M.A. University of Colorado/Boulder, M.M. The Juilliard School, B.M. Indiana University/Bloomington, enjoys a diverse career as a chamber musician, teacher, and soloist. She is currently Associate Professor and Director of Keyboard Studies at Metropolitan State University of Denver and Artistic Director/Founder of Piano Celebration, Denver’s annual festival, in February. Since 1999, Tamara has been on the collaborative piano staff assisting strings at the Aspen Music Festival during the summer seasons.

An avid chamber musician, Tamara has collaborated in duo recitals with such renowned artists as Leone Buyse, Jesse Levine, Judith Christin, Marianne Gedigian and members of the Atlanta, Cleveland, New York, Boston, Baltimore and Colorado Symphonies. She has received high praise for the 2008 CD “It’s All Relative” with members of the Denver Brass and the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra as well as “American Spirit” recorded with the St. Martin’s Chamber Choir. Recent highlights included a return tour to Japan with the Denver Municipal Band Ensemble to commemorate the 50th anniversary of sister cities Denver and Takayama, and recitals of the complete Brahms Sonatas with violinist Justin Bruns (Assistant Concertmaster, Atlanta Symphony). She spent several recent months in New England where she taught master classes at Sarah Lawrence College, New England Conservatory Pre-College and at The Longy School of Bard College, and performed numerous community concerts throughout the Boston area.

Tamara has served as guest recitalist, workshop presenter, and official accompanist at the '04-06-08-10-12 Suzuki Association (SAA) National Conferences in Minneapolis, the '06 Suzuki Method World Convention in Italy, and as presenter at both MTNA and CMS National Conferences. She is an active board member of Colorado Federated Music Clubs and frequent adjudicator for local and national competitions. Tamara has been a concerto soloist with many Denver-area orchestras and was pianist for the Colorado Chamber Players from 1995-2005. She has taught as Instructor of Music Theory at the University of Colorado at Boulder, and served as accompanist for Central City Opera, Colorado Opera Troupe, Colorado Children’s Chorale, and the Colorado Symphony Chorus. Principle piano teachers have included Angela Cheng, German Diez and Abbey Simon, as well as collaborative studies with Mutsumi Moteki.

Christian Itin, College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

Image of Christian ItinIs Chair and Professor of Social Work at Metropolitan State University of Denver. He is a faculty emeritus at Humboldt State University. He is the past President of the Association for Experiential Education. His scholarship and research is primarily focused on the philosophy of experiential education and its application to many forms of experiential practice (adventure-based, animal assisted, expressive, service learning, etc.). He has a specialized expertize in adventure and wilderness therapy. He is an international presenter on these topics and has authored numerous articles related to his expertise. He has been teaching online since 2004 and has taught online since arriving at MSU Denver. He launched the online MSW program at Humboldt State and has been actively involved in the development of MSU Denver’s online BSW and MSW program.

Melissa Masters, College of Professional Studies

Image of Melissa MastersI am currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Nutrition. I started teaching at MSU Denver in the fall of 2014. Prior to that I taught at Weber State University in Ogden, UT for two years. I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with a doctoral degree in Nutrition and a master's degree in Nutrition and Health Sciences from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Nutrition is a fascinating field of science. I was drawn to the field after spending 3 years majoring in the fields of engineering and nursing. Spending time in the hospital during clinical rotations in nursing school provided me with an opportunity to see the ill effects of unhealthy lifestyle choices. The preventative nature of nutrition is what initially drew me to the field. The many intriguing aspects of nutrition (such as the influence of diet on gut bacteria) is what enticed me into graduate school and my current role as a professor.

Christine Odell, College of Professional Studies

Image of Christine OdellI started my career as a Certified Athletic Trainer in 1992 and worked in a variety of athletic training settings (Division II athletics, professional cycling and physician office) before becoming a full time educator.

I have been teaching here at MSU Denver since 2004 and have been the director of the Athletic Training Program since 2007.

My teaching philosophy revolves around teaching students how to incorporate the bigger picture into patient care – trying never to let my students forget that they are working with people who have many needs beyond just returning to an active lifestyle.

Dr. Emily Ragan, College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

Image of Emily RaganI have been an Assistant Professor in the Chemistry Department since Fall 2013. My PhD is in the field of Biochemistry from Kansas State University, where I studied proteins involved in insect immune response. I enjoy teaching General Chemistry and Biochemistry courses and have taught at Kansas State University, the University of Tulsa, Dominican University of California, and several community colleges. My current research is focused on learning more about iron transport and uptake in insects.

Sharon Tessier, College of Professional Studies

Image of Sharon TessierI am active in my community. I volunteer at my children’s school, sit on the Health and Human Services board along with the Public Art Committee, US 36 commuting solutions, Affordable Housing Advocacy Task Force, and Broomfield’s 2015 Comprehensive Plan Task Force Committee. In 2013, I was blessed to win a local election for Broomfield City Council, a nonpartisan Council that supports Broomfield’s Best Interests.

I am dedicated to the practice of Yoga, I run and bike regularly. I believe that these practices help me handle stressful situations.

My biggest accomplishment are my two children and wonderful husband of 20 years. We love to hang out, especially when we are backpacking and camping in Colorado. Being outdoors reminds me to be committed to being grounded and centered in my work and my life, for the two are one in the same.

Jennifer Weddig, College of Professional Studies

Image of Jennifer WeddigI am a Registered Dietitian with a PhD from Colorado State University. This is my 15th year teaching at MSU Denver.

I love hiking, skiing, cooking, and doing about anything outdoors with my family and friends.

I teach Maternal and Child Nutrition, Introduction to Nutrition, and Medical Nutrition Therapy I and II.