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The pandemic has required creativity and hard work to continue helping students reach their goals.

Each year, the Colorado Community College System honors some of its best and brightest faculty and staff members from colleges across the state. This year’s four honorees from Front Range Community College have worked especially hard to meet students’ needs during the COVID pandemic.

“I’m continually impressed with how creative and resourceful our employees are being to help our students navigate the challenges of this year,” said FRCC President Andy Dorsey. “Each of our winners plays a critical role in helping FRCC enrich lives through learning.”

Fifty-six employees from across the 13 CCCS schools were honored this week as part of the statewide system’s annual Commitment to Excellence Awards. The winners were lauded for their contributions to the overall success of their college, our students and our communities.

FRCC Employee Award Winners

Outstanding Faculty Member: Susan Faltinson

Susan came to Colorado 27 years ago, fresh off earning a master’s degree in clinical social work. Through a job as a camp director, she was reintroduced to sign language and got hooked. She completed FRCC’s Interpreter Preparation Program (IPP), and has now been teaching at the college for 17 years.

Susan eventually became director of the IPP program, which she says has been one of the “toughest and most rewarding adventures in my professional career.” Susan has led her team and program through many changes—and colleagues say she is “always professional and well loved by students.” Her students will tell you that Susan makes them feel heard—and important. “She never falters in her support for us.”

Outstanding Instructor: Laura Wally

Laura started as a student at FRCC in 1999. She went on to Colorado State University, where she earned a graduate degree in chemistry. She came back to FRCC as an academic tutor, then became an instructor in 2015. Laura’s students describe her teaching as “unparalleled.” “Her enthusiasm radiates around the room and provides a very positive learning environment.”

Laura says chemistry “lights [her] fire because it’s absolutely everywhere and learning about it helps people understand the world around them.” She enjoys challenging students to think about hard concepts and how we all interact with chemistry every day—and it works. “Laura instilled me with the confidence to go forth with a degree—and do great at all things chemistry!”

Outstanding Administrative/Professional Employee: Heather Frost

Heather lets her bright light shine on everyone she works with—a true mentor to both students and colleagues. As tutor & supplemental instruction coordinator at our Boulder County campus, coworkers describe her as a sensitive team builder. “She treats tutors, student experts and fellow employees respectfully as people of dignity and full members of FRCC.”

Heather uses her theatre expertise to help people she works with find their passions—and implement them in creative ways to make their work more satisfying and meaningful. Her deep personal connections with students—and her heartfelt guidance—help them to achieve and let their own lights shine. In Heather’s words: “I’m honored to be a part of our students’ development. I’m literally training the future leaders I wish to follow.”

Outstanding Classified Employee: Janet Clark

Described as the “heart of the Larimer campus,” Janet has been working at FRCC since 1990. Her positions have evolved throughout the years, but no job title effectively describes her exceptional work. As administrative assistant to the instructional deans, she builds course schedules, helps make sure faculty get paid on time, and you can depend on her to accomplish additional duties willingly.

Janet’s attention to detail in a demanding position keeps things running smoothly in a busy environment. Despite having no formal college education, she has always been a lifelong learner—and she truly enjoys seeing the results of her work when students graduate. Colleagues describe her as an integral team member. Janet’s mantra: “Integrity and honesty in all things.”

See all the honorees in the 2021 Commitment to Excellence Awards program.

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About Front Range Community College

FRCC offers more than 100 degree and certificate programs from locations in Boulder County, Larimer County, Westminster, Brighton, and online. FRCC is a member of the Colorado Community College System.

About the Colorado Community College System

The Colorado Community College System (CCCS) is the state’s largest system of higher education, serving 138,000 students annually at 13 colleges and 39 locations across Colorado. Our open access mission ensures all Coloradans who aspire to enrich their lives have access to quality higher education opportunities.

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