Click on a faculty or staff member's name to view bio and UCCSTeach courses.
Dr. Tom Christensen is a Professor in the Department of Physics and Energy Science at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. He is serving as co-Chair of the Department and Co-Director of the UCCSTeach program. Tom has taught a wide variety of courses and has won both the college and campus-wide teaching awards. His research interests are in experimental surface and thin film physics. He conducts workshops and short courses on a variety of topics in vacuum and thin film technology.
UCCSTeach courses: UTLS 3040 - Research Methods
In addition to co-directing the UCCSTeach program, Pat currently serves as an Assistant Professor in the College of Education (Math and Technology Education). Prior to joining the UCCS faculty, Pat worked as a researcher at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Virginia. He also worked as a high school math teacher in the Pittsburgh area. His primary research interests include curriculum and instruction in early childhood and secondary mathematics education, instructional technology in mathematics learning environments, and intelligent tutoring systems.
UCCSTeach courses: UTED 2020 - Classroom Interactions
Before joining UCCSTeach, Jason served as a middle and high school science teacher for 11 years. He spent six years in Brevard County, Fla., teaching integrated science. While there, he worked as an education consultant with NASA-Kennedy Space Center to develop and design a launch simulation curriculum for middle school students. Additionally, Jason was part of a district level initiative that promoted the integration of technology in the science classroom. After relocating to Colorado in 2007, Jason taught another four years in Montrose County. During that time, he was actively involved in several school and district level programs to improve technology use in the classroom as well as incorporating more reading and writing strategies across the curriculum. Upon leaving the classroom, Jason worked as an education specialist with the Space Foundation in Colorado Springs, Colo. Here, he was responsible for developing and delivering space themed lessons to students and teachers. Jason received a bachelor's degree in secondary science education from Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, Fla., and a Master's in education leadership from Mesa State College in Grand Junction, Colo. He is currently working on his Ed.D. in Adult Education from Jones International University in Centennial, Colo.
UCCSTeach courses: UTED 1010 - Step 1: Inquiry Approaches to Teaching, UTED 1020 - Step 2: Inquiry-Based Lesson Design, UTED 4710 - Project-Based Instruction, UTED 2010 - Knowing and Learning, UTLS 3030 - Perspectives on Math and Science
Robert "Bobby" Gagnon has a diverse education background. He has a Master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Space Studies from the University of Colorado Colorado Springs, and his thesis was focused on Project-Based Learning. He has eight years in the classroom in elementary education, which helps him bring a unique perspective to the UCCSTeach program. He has teaching experience at the elementary, middle, high school, and university levels, including being an adjunct professor for the University of Colorado Colorado Springs, Regis University, and Colorado State University, Pueblo. He currently serves as the science supervisor for the UCCS Alternative Licensure Program. Mr. Gagnon's broad experience includes serving as a Space Education Specialist at the Space Foundation in Colorado Springs. During this time, Mr. Gagnon created two Master's level science content courses for educators. He was program director of the Space Foundation's Teacher Liaison program, which has over 250 educators from 43 different states. He has provided trainings in educational content and concept all over the country.
UCCSTeach courses: UTED 1010 - Step 1: Inquiry Approaches to Teaching, UTED 1020 - Step 2: Inquiry-Based Lesson Design, UTED 4710 - Project-Based Instruction, UTED 4730 - Apprentice Teaching
April Lanotte returns to Colorado and UCCS after spending two years as an Einstein Educational Fellow at NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate in Washington, DC. With a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction with a Space Studies emphasis from UCCS, and a Master’s degree in English Literature with a non-fiction science writing emphasis from Colorado State University, April brings a diversity of experiences to UCCSTeach. In addition to teaching at UCCS, April continues to support education at NASA-Langley Research Center and writes curriculum for the Challenger Center for Space Studies. During her 15+ years of experience in K-12 and higher education, April has worked to help everyone see that they, too, are a part of the exciting math and science that is happening all around them. Classroom teaching experiences in Calexico, CA; inner-city Pittsburgh, PA; Simla, CO; and Colorado Springs has shaped her interest in giving students of all backgrounds access to cutting edge science and technology, and for helping students bridge the transition between their K-12 educational experiences and a successful college career.
UCCSTeach courses: UTED 1010 - Step 1: Inquiry Approaches to Teaching, UTED 2020 - Classroom Interactions, UTED 4720 - Reading in the Content Area
Vickie Newkirk is the UCCSTeach Program Coordinator with the College of Education and the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. Vickie spent the past 11 years working in administration at the middle school level and prior to that worked as a legal office administrator in Arizona for 20 years. Vickie combines her legal background and administrative work with her love for education in the Program Coordinator position to continue to build the UCCSTeach Program. She looks forward to taking on the challenge of making the UCCSTeach Program one of the best and considers it an awesome opportunity to be part of developing the next generation of secondary math and science teachers. Vickie earned her BS in Information Technology in 2004 from the University of Phoenix, Southern Colorado Campus.
Curtis Turner has worked in education for the past 20 years at basically all levels Pre k – Community College. Curtis holds Bachelor’s degrees in Mathematics and Science from West Texas A&M University and a Master’s Degree from the University of Colorado @ Denver in Educational Leadership. He worked for six years as a full time Math and Science teacher at the middle and high school levels. Curtis then served for nine years as Principal in a small K-12 school district in rural Colorado. Most recently he served as an academic Dean for Lamar Community College but has continued to teach classes while working as an administrator. Curtis has developed district level curriculum in math, science and literacy and has done extensive curriculum work in Developmental Mathematics for the State of Colorado Community College System (CCCS). In May of 2012 he completed a temporary appointment to the Mathematics Core Implementation Team for CCCS. Curtis is passionate about education and in particular mathematics education. He has seen first-hand the struggles of the first year teacher who is ill-prepared and has a strong desire to impact pre-service preparation for math and science teachers in the state of Colorado.
UCCSTeach courses: UTED 1010 - Step 1: Inquiry Approaches to Teaching, UTED 1020 - Step 2: Inquiry-Based Lesson Design, UTED 2010 - Knowing and Learning, UTLS 3040 - Research Methods
For more information about UCCS Teach, contact Program Coordinator Vickie Newkirk at firstname.lastname@example.org or 719-255-3446.