Our faculty are exceptional educators who specialize in student success. They uphold the mission and values of the College and keep up to date on advancements and trends in their fields so that your curriculum is relevant and of the highest quality. You’ll see for yourself how we take extra time to help dedicated students achieve their goals. Below are just a few of our amazing professors, but you can hear from them directly on our blog and see them on video in our faculty profiles.
Faculty, Art & Design
Girard is the lead for both graphic design and web design. He teaches a full spectrum of classes in those areas, including beginning and advanced graphic design, typography, history of design, technology courses and painting. He joined CCA in Fall 2011 after nearly a decade as a professional graphic designer in Rochester, N.Y.; Cedar Falls, Iowa; and Santa Barbara, Calif. Girard contributed four featured works to the major design publication “Design Fundamentals of Color.” He has a BA in painting and graphic design from the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, Iowa, and a MFA in graphic design from the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York.
|Alice C. Gilbert
A former CCA student and graduate of Aurora’s Gateway High School, Gilbert earned her AA at the college on her way to a Math/Computer Science and Women’s Studies degree at the University of Denver, She later was hired full-time at CCA in December 2009 after five years as an adjunct to coordinate the Math section of the ACE Department. Gilbert is the first full-time developmental education Math instructor in the college’s history and now teaches an array of pre-college classes in that subject. Prior to joining CCA, Gilbert worked several years in the corporate world managing a Tech Support department for a computer company in Boulder and tried several home businesses before deciding to change her career trajectory towards teaching.
Faculty, World Languages
Part of the Performing Arts and Humanities department, Martin-Mejia has served in her current role since Fall 2008, working with adjunct instructors in the American Sign Language, Chinese, Japanese and Spanish translation and interpretation prefixes. Martin-Mejia’s duties include administration, pedagogy, classroom observation and ensuring that courses meet department standards. She also teaches all levels of Spanish, and has a lengthy history within that discipline. Prior to joining CCA, Martin-Mejia was part of the faculty at the University of Texas-Arlington, served as an adjunct at Metro State University and was an instructor at Tarrant County College in Fort Worth, Texas. She also simultaneously earned a masters degree in Latin American studies from Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va., while teaching Spanish as a graduate teaching assistant. Martin-Mejia has a second masters in teaching Spanish as a Foreign Language from Universidad Antonio De Nebrija in Madrid. She also earned a bachelor’s in Spanish Literature from Universidad Complutense de Madrid.
Faculty, English & Communication
A native of Beech Grove, Ind., Pickett taught sixth grade for eight years before moving to Denver. She joined CCA in Fall 2010, teaching Reading and English courses and also serving as Academic Concurrent Enrollment Coordinator. She recently began a pilot project that incorporated study skills and reading strategies into a Biology III course. That work will continue in Fall 2012 in addition to her beginning reading instruction in other content area courses. Pickett obtained her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Manchester (Ind.) College and a master’s in education in Curriculum Development and Instruction from Indiana Wesleyan University.
Lead teacher for both anatomy and physiology, Francis also has supervisory duties in that capacity in addition to her coursework in those subjects. She joined CCA as an adjunct in 2010 and was hired full-time two years later. Prior to joining the college, Francis served as a visiting professor at Metro State College in Denver, teaching dynamics of health, medical terminology and pathophysiology. She also spent time as director of clinical services at a Denver cancer rehabilitation facility and as clinical director at Rocky Mountain Cancer Rehabilitation Institute in Greeley. Francis has earned three degrees from the University of Northern Colorado, including a master’s and doctorate in exercise science with an emphasis in cancer rehabilitation and a bachelor’s in special education.
Department Chair, Emergency Medical Services
A former clinical coordinator at the college, Lattone joined CCA full time in 2008. She teaches a variety of paramedic coursework, including cardiology, medical and trauma emergencies and pharmacology. She also has editing responsibilities for a major medical publication relating to simulation studies. Lattone is a former field supervisor for Rural Metro in Aurora with varied responsibilities related to the running of 15-person shifts. She also served as a field paramedic from 1999-2007 in Aurora and Tacoma, Wash. Her educational background includes a bachelor of science degree in biology from Cornell in Ithaca, N.Y., and paramedic certification from Tompkins Cortland Community College in Dryden, N.Y.
Faculty, Political Science
An adjunct since 2008, Pace was hired to the full-time staff for the Fall 2012 semester. He teaches all the Political Science courses, encompassing American Government, Comparative Government, International Relations, Introduction to Political Science, and State and Local Government. Prior to joining CCA, Pace taught Comparative Politics at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va., and was a lecturer at the University of Colorado in Boulder. His educational background includes three Political Science degrees: a doctorate from the University of Denver, a masters from Virginia Tech and a bachelor of arts from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.
A full-time CCA instructor since Fall 2009, Feres teaches a full slate of English, Reading and Composition courses in the pre-college preparatory area. He spent more than five years prior to joining the college as an adjunct teaching pre-college curriculum at Suffolk County (N.Y.) Community College. His educational background includes both a Masters and a Bachelor’s in English from Stony Brook (N.Y.) University, with an additional Secondary English certification.
A Writing and Literature instructor for 15 years, McClelland-Fieler served as an adjunct instructor for five years at CCA before becoming full-time faculty. She teaches four sections of English 090 for the Academic Enrichment Department and one of Introduction to Literature. Prior to joining the college, McClelland-Fieler taught English at the Rocky Mountain Hebrew Academy in Denver and Charles Wright Academy in Tacoma, Wash. She also was previously an ESL instructor at the Berlitz Language School in Denver and Cincinnati and taught Composition at Miami (Ohio) University, where she earned her master’s degree in English / Creative Writing. McClelland-Fieler has a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Cincinnati.
Department Chair, English as a Second Language
Two English as a Second Language programs fall under Tombari’s guidance: College Prep and Community. He oversees a staff of about 36 full-time and adjunct faculty in both areas, which span basic, intermediate and advanced level students. Tombari also teaches grammar, composition and reading. He joined CCA in 2009 after a dozen years directing an educational program at the non-profit Spring Institute for Intercultural Learning. One of his career highlights came from 1993-95 as a member of the Peace Corps in Choibalsan, Mongolia. Tombari has a master’s degree from the University of Colorado-Denver in Applied Linguistics. He has steep experience in three diverse spoken languages: Italian, German and Mongolian.
Affiliated with the college since 1998, David supplements his teaching responsibilities with oversight of the philosophy department. Those tasks include the hiring of faculty, scheduling, supervision of staff and conducting workshops. David’s classes have touched upon philosophy, ethics, logic, philosophy of religion, environmental ethics, and comparative religion. Prior to joining CCA, David spent 20 years as a painter in the Denver/Boulder area, worked at the University of California-Santa Barbara and served as radio host. He has earned two master’s degrees from Denver Seminary, the latest in Philosophy of Religion, with honors. He also earned a bachelor’s in geology from UC-Santa Barbara.
A full-time staff member since 2008, Hirsh joined CCA four years earlier as an adjunct and has since taught most of the courses within the anthropology discipline. That course load includes cultural anthropology, physical anthropology, forensics, archaeology and Indians of North America. She spent time teaching field studies abroad in Costa Rica in Mexico from ’08-’10, helping students explore the relationship between culture and environment in joint exercises with members of the biology field. Hirsh herself has studied in Kenya in addition to her educational background at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J., where she earned a master’s in anthropology, and the University of Georgia in Athens, Ga., where she was a double major in psychology and anthropology.
Director, Colorado Film School
A founder of the Colorado Film School, Lahey’s work has appeared on most national broadcast and international cable outlets and created professional training programs in film and video for CCA and several other institutions. He holds a bachelor’s of arts in Philosophy and a master of fine arts in Film, Writing/Directing from Columbia University in the City of New York. During his career, he has directed
directed such actors as Margaret Whitton (Major League, The Man Without A Face), Olek Krupa (Burn After Reading, Home Alone 3, Behind Enemy Lines), Zoe Tamerlis Lund (Bad Lieutenant, Ms. 45), Julian Beck (Cotton Club, Poltergeist II), and Will Patton (Remember the Titans, Armageddon, The Postman). In 2008-09, his work for clients earned three Telly Awards, and a National Business Association Stevie Award. A video collaboration with Andrew Skeels (Colorado Ballet), in a presentation of his choreography Parched at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver, led to his video Parched Platte that was presented at the H2O On Film festival, an international, juried exhibition in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont. Lahey’s more recent work for clients, CCA and the State of Colorado have yielded five more Telly Awards.
Assistant Professor, Colorado Film School
Not only the current Head of Acting for the Screen, Boulgakova has created and developed the acting program at the Colorado Film School since joining the staff in 2003. Boulgakova has taught all the core acting courses necessary for both a CCA certificate and Associate of Applied Science in Film Media Video and Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film and Video Production with Regis University. Those courses include: Understanding the Actor’s Process, Acting for the Screen, Screen Actor Improvisation, and Screen Performance Workshop. Additionally, Boulgakova has created an actors' database both at CCA and through Facebook; hosts biannual open auditions for use in college and community productions; and teaches private community acting classes for children and adults. Boulgakova’s credits also include acting in student films; directing two shorts; serving as casting director in numerous film projects; and directing a play and running director’s workshop courses at CU-Denver as part of the CFS program. Boulgakova earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in Acting for Theater and Film from -- and worked as an actor at -- the prestigious Moscow Art Theatre. She also did commercials, television, feature films and modeling in her native Russia before coming to the United States.
Assistant Professor, Film/Video Media
Chadwick is an assistant professor of Film Video Media Production/Post Production for CCA and The Colorado Film School. He teaches Production One, Post-Production One, Production Two, Post-Production Two, and Screenwriting. Originally from Denver, and a graduate of Gateway High School in Aurora, Chadwick has worked professionally in a wide variety of jobs on the set and in the film industry and augments his CFS role as a freelance producer and editor in Denver and Los Angeles. He is the writer, director and/or editor of over 80 documentary videos distributed nationally and broadcast around the world and has also produced and directed a number of Independent short films, exhibited in many film festivals across North America and Europe. He holds an M.F.A. in Film Production from the University of Southern California School of Cinema Television and a B.A. in English from Colorado College.
Department Chair, Social Sciences
One of the longest-tenured faculty at CCA, having joined the college part-time in 1995 and full-time two years later, Hunt’s department includes anthropology, geography, history, political science, psychology and sociology. He oversees a staff of about 46 full-time and adjunct instructors and teaches courses in U.S. history and on the history of North American Indians. Hunt previously served as interim dean of Humanities, Fine Arts and Social Sciences, which morphed into his current position. Prior to joining CCA, he was an adjunct history professor at Aurora’s Columbia College and a graduate part-time instructor at the University of Colorado. He spent 20 years as a museum curator and director in Colorado, South Dakota, Montana and Wyoming and was instrumental in setting up Wings Over The Rockies Air and Space Museum in Denver. Hunt’s educational background includes a doctorate in history from CU, a master’s in museum studies from Cooperstown (N.Y.) Graduate Programs and a B.A. in history from the University of Wyoming.
Back for his second stint with CCA, which began in May 2012, Atencio teaches 16 classes in the Diesel Power Mechanics area related to introductory diesel service and repair, which eventually can lead to a nine-month associate’s degree. Atencio was an instructor from 2007-09 at the college, and during that time, also served as a instructor for General Service Technician classes at Pickens Technical College. Atencio has been Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certified since 1977. He spent three decades working in various automotive shops, including 25 for Midas. Atencio also is a General Motors School of Product Service Certified Technician and has been a dealership mechanic.
Having joined CCA in Fall 2012, McMichael brings seven years of higher education experience at both the undergraduate and graduate level. With CCA, McMichael serves as a full-time faculty member within the School of Business and as the primary faculty advisor to all Business students. This academic year she will teach Introduction to Business and Business Communications. Her teaching style is very interactive and includes a collaborative approach to learning. Prior to joining CCA, McMichael led Master of Business Administration and Master of Accountancy programs at Rider University in Lawrenceville, NJ where she also taught undergraduate business courses. Her professional strengths include teaching, student advising, professional student development, and curriculum development at both the undergraduate and graduate level. Her educational background includes a B.S. in Economics from Radford University in Virginia and an MBA from Webster University in Fort Stewart, Georgia.
Department Chair, Mathematics
One of the longest and richest histories at CCA belongs to Gray, who not only graduated from the school in 1994 but also worked two stints in the cashier’s office prior to joining the Math department. Gray began as a part-time faculty in 2002, teaching classes ranging from Pre-Algebra to Calculus III, before getting hired full-time two years later. He was promoted to chair of the Math department in ’06 and continues to teach two classes per semester. Gray also coordinates the Student Success Awards and won the Dr. Linda and Roger Bowman Faculty Award in 2010, an honor that encompasses both teaching and college service. Gray’s pre-CCA career as an employee was marked by his attending Rangeview High School and a pair of trips to China, where he gained functional knowledge of the country’s difficult language.
As coordinator of the psychology department, Dale is charged with scheduling, training and curriculum responsibilities. She also oversees a staff of about a dozen adjuncts in addition to teaching duties that have included courses in general psychology, human sexuality, psychology of gender, child development, human growth and development, and social psychology. Dale worked as a child and family therapist for a community mental health center and a non-profit and as a crisis counselor for the Denver Police Department prior to joining CCA in 2007. She was hired full-time the following year. Dale earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology with an emphasis in women’s studies from Colorado State University in Fort Collins and a master’s in psychology from Regis University in Denver.
An adjunct for about six years, Harrell joined the full-time staff in Fall 2012. She currently teaches General Biology and is the lead instructor for Biology for non-majors, the latter both online and on campus. Harrell previously taught Microbiology and Anatomy and Physiology courses at the college. Prior to joining CCA, Harrell earned a PhD in Pharmacology from the University of Michigan. She has a bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Dickinson College in Carlisle, Penn.
Interim Department Chair, Computer Science
After watching everyone else have all the fun, Burkhart decided to return to the classroom as full-time faculty in the CIS area in the fall 2013 semester. A CCA employee since January 2010, Burkhart was hired as the director of online learning which included instructional technology. Her role included system administration of the learning management system, as well as supervising instructional design staff. Burkhart regularly contributes to the instructional technology community by presenting at conferences and participation in professional groups. Prior to joining the college, Burkhart spent nine years as a professor of Business Technology and Graphic Design and a Faculty Development Specialist at Dodge City (Kan.) Community College. She spent nearly three years as manager of information systems at a corporation that owns numerous Midwest car dealerships and for many years was a small business owner. Her educational background includes three degrees from Fort Hays State in Hays, Kan. – bachelor’s and masters degrees in Business Administration and a second masters in Instructional Technology.
Primary Instructor, Emergency Medical Services
Charged with teaching the nighttime paramedic program, Cowan’s coursework covers pharmacology, cardiology, trauma, medical emergencies and other areas. She started at CCA in 2007 as an adjunct and became a full-time faculty member two years later. Prior to joining the college, she served for 11 years as a paramedic in Northglenn and Arvada. She also was a park ranger for 41/2 years at Jackson Lake State Park in Orchard, Colo. Cowan earned a BS in forest resources from Oregon State University in Corvallis, Ore.
An adjunct for 3 1/2 years, O’Dell was hired to the full-time staff for the 2013 spring semester. She teaches General Psychology I and II and Abnormal Psychology after previously leading courses on Human Sexuality, Human Growth and Development, and Child Development. O’Dell has a masters in Clinical Psychology from the University of Colorado-Denver, a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Wyoming in Laramie, and associate degrees in Liberal Arts and Psychology from Casper (Wyo.) College.
Hired in August 2012 on the full-time teaching staff, Stone’s background is rich in developmental math experience, having taught such courses since 2002 at Front Range Community College before arriving at CCA. She will be teaching Pre-Algebra with Fundamentals of Math, as well as beginning and intermediate Algebra in her new role. Stone also holds a professional teaching license in Colorado to teach secondary math, which she used to kick-start her career as a substitute teacher and paved her way to her future endeavors as a math instructor in the CCCS system. Stone holds a bachelor’s degree from Metro State University in Mathematics and also a master’s in Education with an emphasis in Secondary Mathematics from the University of Denver. Prior to her math career, she was a painter and art therapist, having earned two degrees in Art and Art Therapy from Hastings (Neb.) College and Leslie College in Cambridge, Mass., respectively.
CRJ Program Coordinator, Paralegal
Oversight of the Paralegal and Criminal Justice departments, including its curriculum, scheduling, hiring and supervision, fall under Uchner’s auspices. She teaches a variety of classes spanning the spectrum of both disciplines, including constitutional law, criminology, judicial functions, methods of criminal justice research, introduction to law, and legal research and writing. She began her CCA career in 2005 after nearly 15 years as a prosecutor in Colorado’s 18th Judicial District and the Attorney General’s Office. Uchner also served as a lawyer in private practice. Her educational background includes a bachelor’s of science degree from Arizona State University and a Juris Doctor from the University of Wyoming.
Department Chair, Science
Affiliated with CCA for about two decades, Jackson-Carter is one of the longest-tenured staff at the college. As the Science Department Chair she oversees about 20 full-time and adjunct faculty. She’s taught all five of CCA’s Chemistry courses, including current classes in General Chemistry and Organic Chemistry. Jackson-Carter also has been a longtime member of the state’s faculty curriculum committee as CCA’s general-education representative. Jackson-Carter has previously helped secure two major initiatives in concert with late CCA faculty Dr. Todd Bergren: the creation of the Science Resource Center on the Lowry campus and acquisition of $430,000 in grand funding to infuse molecular biology curriculum into Colorado high schools. Prior to joining CCA, Jackson-Carter was manager of a geochemistry lab in Lakewood and a chemist for a pharmaceutical company. Her graduate work was in Mechanistic Organic Chemistry at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, Conn., and has a BA in Chemistry from the University of Colorado-Boulder.
Department Chair, Early Childhood Education and Education
A 25-year veteran of the Denver Public Schools system, Turner joined CCA in 2009 and oversees a staff of about 12 adjuncts whose duties are to develop and advance current and future teachers. Most of Turner’s employees work in some capacity within the K-12 framework in the Denver area and forward the best practices they use in the real world daily and implement them into a classroom setting. Turner’s duties also include ensuring that students are prepared to meet the laws and policies set forth by the Colorado Department of Human Services’ child-care division and keep apprised of license requirements. Turner’s duties with DPS included both system responsibilities and work with individual schools, concluding her tenure as an itinerant teacher in charge of an 18-school territory. She has served as lead teacher in charge of DPS’ reading and language program and possesses vast experience working with the deaf and training staff to aid the hearing impaired. Turner earned her B.A. at Fontbonne University in St. Louis and Master of Science diploma at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.
|Rachel Blue Ankney
Ankney began her academic career in 2002 after earning her MFA in Poetry from Old Dominion University, working there as a full-time assistant professor of English. Ankney spent the next six years at Tidewater Community College in Virginia Beach, Va., teaching such courses as creative writing, American literature and developmental writing. She then joined CCA, where, outside of the classroom, she created and implemented the school’s Safe Zone program and has run several workshops for colleagues. Ankney is a published author well known in the Denver writing community.
Starting as an adjunct in spring 2008, Hattar joined the college full-time just over three years later. She teaches two introductory biology courses as well as microbiology. Hattar also serves as administrator for CCA’s science club. She earned her master’s at the University of Colorado in biology and a bachelor of science degree in biological chemistry from Tulane University in New Orleans.
Director, Computer Science Department
Owning more than 46 years of experience in the information technology field, Woods brings that wealth of practical knowledge into his role at CCA. He’s taught all of the UNIX classes, covering administration, fundamentals and programming; network security; principles of information security; and computer forensics. He also oversees about 15 staff and adjuncts in his director’s role. Prior to joining the college full-time in 2011, and before that spending nearly eight years as an adjunct, Woods was a consultant and configuration expert for large-scale UNIX database services and related technology. He’s also served as president of a small Denver financial accounting software firm, a database administrator for the state of Washington’s licensing department, and programmer at the Pentagon during his stint in the U.S. Army. Woods has a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Colorado and holds several industry technology certificates, including UNIX administration, data warehousing and hardware storage.
Affiliated with CCA since 2006, Welliver joined the college full-time in 2011. She regularly teaches composition and literature and also has led a graphic literature course. She joined the staff after spending time as a graduate student and teaching assistant at East Carolina Universtiy in Greenville, N.C., where she earned her master’s degree in literature. Welliver has a BA in writing, rhetoric and culture from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Wash.
A faculty member at CCA in part- and full-time roles since 2008, Jović teaches two calculus courses, pre-calculus, introduction to statistics, and math for liberal arts. He’s also the concurrent enrollment coordinator for the math and science departments. Prior to joining the college, Jović taught a range of math courses at three local high schools - Aurora Central, Northglenn and Bishop Machebeuf, and at Front Range Community College in Westminster. He has master’s and bachelor’s degrees in geology from the University of Zagreb in Zagreb, Croatia. He also earned a master of science and completed all his classwork towards his doctorate in environmental engineering from the Colorado School of Mines in Golden.
Department Chair, Art and Design
Wakefield has been instrumental in redesigning the Art and Design curriculum to introduce five core concepts: drawing, design, technology, marketing and creativity. He oversees a staff of about 21 full-time and adjunct faculty while teaching drawing, painting and creativity courses. Wakefield was a guiding force in taking an on-campus gallery from the idea stage to completion, as the Donna Moravec Gallery opened its doors in Spring 2012. The site plans to host three shows per semester, featuring a mix of works by professionals, students and community groups. Outside of the classroom, Wakefield is a professional illustrator currently working on picture books. He’s previously contributed artwork to several children’s stories and educational books. Prior to joining CCA in August 2010, Wakefield taught at the Art Institute of Salt Lake City and directed a non-profit art gallery and community arts center in Logan, Utah. He has three fine arts degrees: a bachelor’s from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, an associate from Ricks College in Rexburg, Idaho and a master’s from Utah State college in Logan, Utah.
Department Chair, English & Communication
A former adjunct teaching developmental and college-level composition, Reichel became a full-time instructor in the spring of 2006 and English chair the following fall. His primary duties in his current position include oversight of about 25 full- and part-time faculty, scheduling for English, communication and literature courses, curriculum development, and a role in college assessment. Prior to joining CCA, Reichel served as supervisor of the correspondence department at Openheimer Mutual Funds, a section primarily charged with answering inquiries from advisors and shareholders. His professional career began as a sportswriter for the Idaho Falls (Idaho) Post Register. He owns a master’s in English from the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley and a BS in journalism from the University of Colorado.
One of the longest-standing members of CCA’s community, Achziger joined the college as an adjunct in 1995 and became full-time faculty a dozen years later. Achziger teaches literature, creative writing, composition and AcE courses. She is also the head of the textbook committee. Prior to joining CCA, she taught at Arapahoe Community College in Littleton; in junior high and high schools in three Utah cities – Centerville, American Fork and Bear River; and at Utah Valley Community College in Orem. Achziger also teaches workshops as part of the National Writing Project, helping today’s educators become better writing instructors. She earned her bachelor of science degree in physical education/English from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, and has a master’s of education in writing from Utah State University.
Theatre Director / Coordinator, Performing Arts
The college’s Theatre Director, D’Angelo has been director, creator and producer of seven plays since joining CCA in 2008, including Glimpses, Portraits of the Soul, Romeo and Juliet, and Anonymous. D’Angelo also has served as instructor for numerous courses, ranging from Voice and Articulation and Styles of Acting, to Acting I and II, Musical Theatre, and Theatre Appreciation. In 2011, she was named Faculty of the Year by CCA and Outstanding Faculty by the Colorado Community College System. Prior to joining the college, D’Angelo taught K-through-8 drama at a Denver charter school; served as a guest artist at Ithaca (N.Y.) College; and ran her own local business teaching children’s theatre. Her educational background includes a bachelor of fine arts in Musical Theatre from Ithaca College and a Master of Fine Arts in Contemporary Performance from Naropa University in Boulder.
Faculty, Computer Science
Affiliated with the college since August 2006, Dillon became a full-time instructor two years later. He’s regularly taught Microbiology, General Biology I and Medical Terminology, and has also previously fronted several classes in Anatomy and Physiology. Dillon is in charge of the college’s Biotechnology area. He serves as co-chair of the Health and Wellness Committee and is an advisor with the Colorado Space Grant Consortium. Prior to joining CCA, he did research at the University of Colorado’s Anschutz Medical Campus, working on the early stages of a breast-cancer drug, and at Northwestern University in Chicago, working in Endocrinology. Dillon earned a master’s degree from Loyola (Chicago) University in Biology and a bachelor’s in Pre-Medicine from the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind.
A 24-year veteran instructor at both two- and four-year institutions, Graham is teaching, or will teach, Public Speaking, Interpersonal Communication and Intercultural Communication at CCA. She joined the college in August following a dozen years as adjunct Communication faculty at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, Calif., and Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, Calif. Graham also spent a decade coaching intercollegiate speech, debate and theatre. Her educational background includes a bachelor’s degree in Communication from Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, Calif., and a master’s degree in Speech Communication from California State University-Fullerton.
Faculty, Astronomy & Physics
Since 2006, Andersen has taught Physics and Astronomy. His current classes include Engineering Physics, Physics for Health Sciences, and Stellar and Extragalactic Astronomy. Andersen also is director of the college observatory and as affiliate director for the Colorado Space Grant that secures funding for students to attend NASA training programs. He previously taught Solar System Astronomy at the college. Prior to joining CCA, he worked at the University of Houston in a variety of teaching roles and was part of a scientific team that created a radiation measuring tool that appeared on the Mars Odyssey spacecraft. Andersen previously was part of the Physics and Astronomy faculty at the Alabama School of Math and Science in Mobile, as well. His educational background includes a B.S. in Physics, a B.S. in Mathematics, and an M.S. in Physics all from New Mexico Tech, and a Ph.D. in Physics (with Astronomy specialization) from The University of Alabama.
Department Chair, Business
Currently the coordinator for the areas of Accounting, Economics, and Business Statistics for the School of Business, Karras began teaching at CCA in 2011, and became a full-time faculty member in 2012. Prior to joining CCA, she worked for many years in corporate accounting for companies such as CH2M Hill, Shea Homes, and ProBuild. In those roles, she trained and supervised staff accountants and managed many aspects of the accounting work cycle. At CCA, Karras has taught Business Statistics and Accounting Principles. Starting this year, she will also transition to managing CCA’s Tax Help Colorado site, which will provide a great opportunity for students to learn to prepare taxes and to serve the community. Karras has a BA with a double major in Mathematics and Economics from Carleton College in Northfield, MN, and an MBA with an emphasis in Public Accounting from the University of Denver. She also holds an active CPA license in the state of Colorado.
Associate Professor, Film/Video Media
CCA’s 2011-12 Faculty of the Year, Hicks’ main area of emphasis is in the writing/producing arena and his teaching calendar reflects that screenwriting and producing emphasis. Hicks also has been active out of the classroom since joining the college in Fall 2010. He began CCA’s screenwriting club, Fade In, and serves as a faculty advisor. He started an event called “Shorts Bash” as a venue for film-school students that he hopes will become an annual tradition and created the Colorado Film School screenwriting award. Hicks and Dr. Peggy Norwood were the first two CCA faculty members to introduce the use of iPads into the curriculum to gauge the educational effectiveness of integrating the technology into courses. The two faculty presented their findings as featured speaks at two conferences: Conference Colorado Learning and Teaching with Technology (COLTT) and WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET). Hicks has over 100 professional credits in motion picture, television and commercial production, including the development of projects with the former head of 20th Century Fox and president of William Morris Agency, and has worked alongside numerous Academy Award winning producers, directors, actors and cinematographers. He served in 2012 as director of the Vail Film Festival screenwriting competition.
More Community College of Aurora faculty profiles to come!