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University Relations

Volume 55, Issue 3

March 20, 2009

March 20, 2009

Three CU Professors Named
2009 President’s Teaching Scholars

DENVER—Three University of Colorado faculty members, one from Denver and two from Colorado Springs, have been named President’s Teaching Scholars for 2009.

This year’s honorees are Lonnie Johnson, chair of the periodontics division at the University of Colorado Denver School of Dental Medicine; Andrea O’Reilly Herrera, a University of Colorado at Colorado Springs professor of English and ethnic studies; and Paul Harvey, a UCCS history professor.

The President’s Teaching Scholars program honors faculty who excel in teaching, creative work, scholarship and research. Including this year’s honorees, 73 faculty members from all three CU campuses have received the designation since 1989.

“I am honored to announce this year’s President’s Teaching Scholars. They are dedicated to classroom teaching, research and service to the broader community,” said CU President Bruce D. Benson. “The CU community is inspired by their outstanding work, their commitment to students, and their pursuit of excellence in all areas of their professional lives.”

The scholars will serve as ambassadors for teaching and research on their respective campuses, and develop individual, departmental and campuswide projects to assess classroom learning. Their goals include student mentoring, cultivating teaching and engaged learning opportunities, and integrating research into teaching.

Johnson is a tenured full professor of dentistry and periodontics at the UC Denver School of Dental Medicine, and has taught and conducted research at the university for 23 years. Currently, he is studying the oral health of Lakota and Alaska Native populations and how overall oral health relates to cardiovascular disease in those indigenous groups. Through a collaborative grant, he is also working with the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes to investigate periodontal disease in insulin-dependent children and young adults.

“Lonnie’s ability to organize and quickly solve complex organizational problems makes him a valuable contributor. Both of these research endeavors seek to answer real-life questions about significant clinical problems,” said Johnson’s nominator, Donald J. Kleier, who chairs the school’s department of dental medicine. “Altogether, his research focus and significant participation in our classroom and clinical curriculum provide him with a platform on which to challenge students in their creative thinking.”

For her part, O’Reilly Herrera is a tenured full professor who transferred to Colorado Springs from the State University of New York, or SUNY, in 1998 to found the Women’s and Ethnic Studies, or WEST, program at UCCS and to teach in the campus’s English department. Her academic work has ranged from Jungian analysis of the poetry of T.S. Eliot to multiracial identity, women’s studies, creative writing, U.S. Latino literature, and the Cuban diaspora, among many other themes of self identity.

“I can honestly tell you that there is no one who has made a bigger impact on the intellectual life on campus than Andrea,” said UCCS geography and environmental studies Professor Thomas P. Huber, who nominated O’Reilly Herrera for the President’s Teaching Scholar recognition. “We in Colorado can tend toward the provincial in our view of the world. Andrea came here in a blaze of energy and dragged us, pushed us, and cajoled us into a more whole worldview way of looking at race, gender and ethnicity, and our position in this complex place we call the United States.”

Harvey is a tenured full professor of history at UCCS, and has taught history and humanities courses in the CU system since 1996. He specializes in U.S. history, with special emphasis on the religious, cultural and racial history of the American South, and has written four books on the region that include those and other richly textured themes. Currently, he is working on three other books, including one titled “Religion, Race and American Ideas of Freedom: From the 17th Century to the Present.”

“Paul Harvey has been a spectacularly successful teacher and a pioneer generally in the field of race, religion and American history,” said Harvey’s nominator, Professor Robert Sackett, who chairs the UCCS history department. “Starting from work specifically in Southern history, he has broadened his scope through the course of his scholarly career, and with his forthcoming works, especially “Religion, Race and American Ideas of Freedom,” his contributions should only grow in influence.”


University of Colorado
Boulder • Colorado Springs • Denver

For Immediate Release

Deborah Méndez-Wilson
University Relations
1800 Grant St., Suite 800
Denver, CO 80203
Phone: 303-860-5627
Cell: 303-968-9392
Fax: 303-860-5610


The University of Colorado is a three-campus system with four locations: the University of Colorado at Boulder, the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and the University of Colorado Denver’s Downtown Campus and Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora. Nearly 54,000 undergraduate and graduate students are pursuing academic opportunities on CU campuses. CU is a premier teaching and research university, and is ranked sixth among public institutions in federal research expenditures by the National Science Foundation. Academic prestige is marked by the university’s four Nobel laureates, seven MacArthur “genius” Fellows, 18 alumni astronauts and 19 Rhodes Scholars. For more information about all of the CU campuses, go to

For more information about this year’s President’s Teaching Scholars, go to Paul Harvey, Andrea O’Reilly Herrera, and Lonnie Johnson. Click here to learn more about the President’s Teaching Scholars program.

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