Kleier named Colorado Professor of the Year

November 19, 2015

Kleier Named Colorado Professor of the Year

Regis University’s Catherine Kleier, an associate professor and chair of the Biology Department, has been named the 2015 Colorado Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, better known as CASE.

The award is part of the U.S. Professors of the Year Awards Program, which recognizes dedicated educators who have had a profound impact on the lives of students and contributed significantly to undergraduate education.

Kleier called the honor quite meaningful and said it only bolsters her motivation to help students excel.

“The award will inspire me to keep trying new teaching methods and new ways of engaging students in the classroom,” she said.

It’s a fitting honor for Kleier, who takes quite seriously Regis’ focus on student learning, said Tom Bowie, academic dean of Regis College, the university’s liberal arts college. Kleier, who has taught at Regis since 2004 and is known for expertise on topics including ecology and conservation biology, brings to the classroom an unparalleled enthusiasm that excites students and a commitment to integrating education with experience.

“Cath meets the students where they are, and yet always challenges them to engage more fully, to think more critically, to integrate ideas more completely,” he said.

Teaching is a passion, Kleier said.

“I was drawn to teaching because I enjoy watching students understand complex material,” she said.  “I love it when students finally understand a concept that was difficult, and I’ve helped them do that … and when they’re genuinely thankful that I’ve helped them. That’s just so fulfilling.”  

Kleier’s recent accolades include a Fulbright award in 2013 and the Regis College Faculty Lecture of the Year in 2014.

She joined other U.S. Professors of the Year Awards Program winners from around the country Nov. 19 for a ceremony in Washington, D.C.

Regis University, inspired by its Jesuit, Catholic heritage, has been committed to academic excellence, personal development and community engagement since its founding in 1877. Based in Denver, Regis provides a values-based liberal arts education offering professional certifications and degree programs at the undergraduate, graduate and doctoral levels.