Lakewood, CO—Red Rocks Community College Foundation is proud to award the 2014-2016 Swede Johnson/Coors Endowed Teaching Chair to Art faculty member, Berndt Savig. As the 20th Endowed Teaching Chair, Savig joins an exclusive group of faculty recognized for their excellence in teaching and commitment to Colorado students. The 20 Endowed Teaching Chair faculty members are unique among their peers in the Colorado Community College System, as this premier program is the only one of its kind at a Colorado Community College.
“Berndt has been a major force at RRCC, encouraging students and employees alike to expand their creativity,” said Dr. Michele Haney, President of Red Rocks Community College. “We are so fortunate that he chose to be a faculty member at Red Rocks.”
Savig is a working artist in addition to his teaching. His professional experience leads to excellence in the classroom. He helps his sculpting students formulate and realize their ideas, while providing them with tools that will assist them in continuing the critical thinking and creative process long after they have left the classroom. Savig says his teaching philosophy is to “strive to be an encouraging, informative and inspiring model for my students.”
Students agree, saying he is “one of my favorite professors,” and “one of the best instructors I have ever had.” Savig’s students have nothing but praise for his abilities, but his classes aren’t all fun and games. Art offers interesting challenges and explorations to RRCC students. Savig’s commitment to students is clear from his reviews, where students express gratitude for his experience as well as his willingness to help them understand the material and the media.
Savig, who received his MFA from the University of Southern Mississippi in 2002, has assisted students at RRCC appreciate and think critically about their work and artwork since 2005. “It was an unexpected pleasure to receive the endowed teaching chair award,” said Savig after receiving the award. He added that “this award will enable me to pursue the development of a more diverse sculpture program, in traditional methodology as well as integrating new technology into the studio setting.”
As the 2014-2016 Endowed Teaching Chair, Berndt Savig will receive a three-year salary enhancement of $5,000 per year and $2,500 per year for professional development. This highly selective award was initiated in 2001 when the Mike Leprino Family Foundation and Coors Brewing Company endowed the first two Teaching Chairs. It has continued through service commitments by the RRCC community and the RRCC Foundation’s Board of Directors.
Craig Faulhaber of the Math Department and Dr. Kelly Worden of the Biology Department are also being honored as finalists. They will each receive $2,500 in professional development funding to encourage their hard work and dedication to teaching RRCC Students.
The Red Rocks Community College Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to supporting the students, faculty, and staff at the college in their pursuit of excellence. The Foundation was established in 1993 with the vision of helping students of all income levels have access to higher education. Since its inception, the Foundation has given more than $3.5 million dollars in scholarships to RRCC students and $3 million for other RRCC programs. The Foundation also provides mini-grants to faculty and staff, awards for outstanding faculty, and support for other worthwhile initiatives.
About Red Rocks Community College: Established in 1969, Red Rocks Community College delivers high-quality, affordable education programs leading to two-year degrees or professional certificates. The college serves over 14,000 students per year online and at two campus locations in Lakewood and Arvada. www.rrcc.edu.