Instructional Innovation and Engagement
Director of Teaching Excellence
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.
Director of Instructional Technology
Katy Little received her Bachelor’s in Journalism and Mass Communication (2001) and Master’s in Library and Information Science (2003) from Kent State University. She has worked in the field of higher education for more than 20 years for institutions including the Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine, Kent State University and Weston Distance Learning, Inc. Currently, she is the director of instructional technology for Colorado State University’s The Institute for Learning and Teaching (TILT), where she supports instructors and graduate teaching assistants in becoming effective teachers. In her spare time, she enjoys reading and watching her children’s many sporting events.
Tonya Buchan is an Instructional Designer with the Institute for Learning and Teaching at Colorado State University (CSU) and received her MS. Ed in Curriculum and Instruction from Purdue University. Tonya started her career in higher education in 1997 and has held a variety of roles including online instructor, instructional technology consultant, grant program manager and instructional designer. Tonya enjoys creating faculty development experiences as well as partnering with instructors to integrate research-based educational practices using the CSU Teaching Effectiveness Framework and educational technology into course design and teaching.
Director of Professional Development and Co-Director, CSU Center for Mindfulness
Debora A. Colbert, Ph.D. serves as the Director of Professional Development for The Institute for Learning and Teaching (TILT) and a Co-founding Director of the Center for Mindfulness at Colorado State University. Debora collaborates and facilitates with faculty to develop high quality programs for faculty and students using research based teaching and learning theory and practices for student success. Dr. Colbert earned her Ph.D. in Education and Human Resource Studies, specializing in both Organizational Performance and Change and Higher Ed Leadership. She has over 20 years of experience in the field of Higher Education. Debora enjoys spending time outside of TILT with her family, gardening, practicing yoga and mindfulness, hiking, and playing with her grandchildren to keep her inner child alive and well.
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.
Learning Technology and Analytics Program Manager
Stan joined Colorado State September 2014 and is currently serving TILT as the Learning Technology and Analytics Program Manager. In addition to working with learning analytics and the Unizin data platform, he has worked on a variety of projects including Ximera, open educational resources, Pressbooks, eTexts, Gradescope, and the APLU adaptive courseware grant. He also serves on the Classroom Review Board. Prior to CSU, he was at Purdue University working with faculty to leverage active learning strategies to redesign courses through the Purdue IMPACT program. Stan has graduate degrees in Educational Technology, Mathematics Education, and most recently a Masters in Computer Information Systems from the College of Business at CSU. He has worked in Higher Education for over 20 years in instructional design, information technology, learning management systems, and project management while also teaching a variety of courses in Mathematics, Statistics, and Education.
Barb Maynard works with TILT’s assessment team to use data to inform TILT programs, and co-coordinates a project to make accurate closed captions available on course videos. Before joining TILT, Barb earned degrees in Animal Behavior and Zoology and worked in science writing and watershed protection.
Andy Swanson joined Colorado State in January 2021. Prior to his work at Colorado State, he was a freelance editor working in Vietnam and a former accessibility technology specialist. Andy received his Master’s in Political Science: European and International Governance from Vrije Universiteit Brussel and has worked in higher education since 2012.
Justin Switzer earned his bachelor’s degree in Psychology in 2007 from Colorado State University and has been working in higher education at CSU since 2008. As an Instructional Designer, he works with digital media and Canvas, and he appreciates simple yet thoughtful design.
Jennifer Todd is dedicated to student engagement and learning, and has been an Instructional Designer at TILT since Janurary 2017. She spent the first 20 years of her instructional experience in the classroom with students – and out of the classroom training teachers in best instructional practices. She is passionate about students taking responsibility for their learning, and the ways in which, we, as instructors can promote and encourage such a classroom culture. Her expertise lies in learning to write and writing to learn in all subject areas – as well as supporting students in reading and making sense of difficult text. Prior to CSU, Jennifer taught at an Expeditionary Learning School and was part of a team that opened a nationally acclaimed arts high school in Santa Ana, California.