Departmental Action Teams
Director of Teaching Excellence
Instructional Innovation and Engagement
Karen Falkenberg is the Director of Teaching Excellence with the Institute for Learning and Teaching at Colorado State University. She co-directs the Instructional Innovation & Excellence team which is responsible for faculty and instructor support through a wide variety of programs, services, partnerships, and initiatives. She has over 40 years of experience in STEM, education, and leadership beginning with her work as a research chemical engineer. Her education research has focused on educators’ creativity and innovation, learners’ self-efficacy and cultural competencies, and facilitating change in higher education. Karen has numerous accomplishments that include receiving a patent for solar cell technology, co-authoring Facilitating Change in Higher Education: The Departmental Action Team Model (2020), and acting as a contributing author to the National Academy of Engineering’s publication Technically Speaking: Why all Americans need to know more about technology (2002). She is a co-author of numerous peer reviewed journal articles, has consulted extensively, has facilitated change efforts and new initiatives for decades, has led numerous high performance teams, and has designed and presented countless presentations, workshops, and retreats. Karen was faculty member at Emory University before joining TILT, was the Undergraduate Education Director for the Center for Behavioral Neuroscience (a national Science and Technology Center) and acted as a consultant to His Holiness the Dalai Lama to infuse STEM into the traditional Buddhist curriculum; Karen has taught over 1000 practicing and pre-service teachers, and has individually coached or mentored over 150 emerging leaders. She honors and cultivates relationships. In her spare time, she loves to lift weights, take spin classes, be outdoors, garden, learn about anything, and coach others on nutrition, mindset, lifestyle and wellness. Gratitude and joy fills her life.
Courtney Ngai completed her graduate work at University of Massachusetts Boston, and previous work at UMB includes research into understanding and characterizing how students classify and differentiate substances. Courtney also worked on a collaboration with science and chemistry teachers affiliated with Boston Public Schools to assess and foster students' chemical thinking. Outside of research, Courtney volunteers for i-Trek, a nonprofit organization seeking to increase diversity in STEM by providing underrepresented students with research opportunities. Currently, Courtney serves as both a facilitator and researcher for DATs at CSU.
Senior Instructional Designer
Instructional Innovation and Engagement
Chris Geanious has worked with TILT at CSU as an Instructional Designer since January 2012 working with faculty redesigning and enhancing face-to-face courses as well as designing professional development for faculty; all in a team environment. In addition to this work, Chris is involved with the integration of 3D printing technologies into courses as well as in the development and integration of mobile apps for academic use. Chris has been supporting faculty and students in higher education for over 20 years. His MEd course work was focused in Curriculum and Instruction and he also worked on a NSF funded project involving developing Environmental Science curriculum in a simulation environment. Chris’s areas of expertise include instructional design, multi-media production, advanced instructional technology, online learning and active learning strategies. Chris has worked with the NSF funded Departmental Action Team project co-facilitating departmental teams across the CSU campus and co-authoring a book and six journal articles on facilitating change in Higher Education. Chris is also Co-PI on a USDA grant with CSU Design and Merchandising working on the implementation of 3D design and spatial visualization pedagogies into their undergraduate curriculum.