Coughenour named CC Innovative Educator

By: Lisa S. Icenogle
Photo of campus with the words "Innovative Educator."

Casper College adjunct instructor Sheri Coughenour was recently named the Casper College Innovative Educator of the Year for 2020-2021 through the Wyoming Innovations in Learning Conference.

Coughenour first taught for the college as an adjunct in the business department starting in 1994 in various capacities but mainly for the business department. She also taught for the computer science department as needed between 2002 and 2018 and the Teaching with Technology course for the education department from 2008-2014.

David Siemens had nothing but praise for Coughenour: “Have you ever watched an Olympic gymnast perform an acrobatic series on the floor exercise and think to yourself how easy they make it look? That is our Sheri, the pro athlete of Casper College digital education. Sheri is a warm and welcoming presence in our faculty community who, without even knowing it, serves as an inspiration to other educators,” he said.

According to Siemens, director of the Digital Learning Center at Casper College, Coughenour communicates best practices and online learning pedagogy with passion and patience. “Sheri’s courses flow with ease because the student is at the forefront of her well-thought-out course design. She possesses a kind of magic that captures the attention of even the most technology-averse students,” said Siemens. “In her courses, you will find a robust instructor presence; Sheri seems to intuitively foresee when students need a pick-me-up before they know themselves and which digital tools will lend the most useful educational strategy,” he noted.

Siemens said that the criteria for the award include “ … inspiring passion and commitment from his or her students; using available technology to enhance varied learning styles, participating in ongoing professional development opportunities, and communicating best practices and pedagogy of online learning.”

“Sheri is not only an admirable instructor, but she also serves as a mentor and coach to faculty. She surpasses our institutional standards of quality digital courses by implementing even more sophisticated quality matters rubric standards. Sheri Coughenour is a brilliant educator whose unique, innovative, and socially meaningful contributions to digital education are highly esteemed,” Siemens added.

Coughenour received a bachelor’s in general business management, another in business education, and a master’s in education, all from the University of Wyoming.

Each year an innovative educator is selected by their respective institutions, including the Wyoming community colleges, the University of Wyoming, and the Wyoming Department of Education. According to Wyoming Innovations in Learning, those recognized “ … are talented academics who are accomplished in their craft; skilled practitioners impacting the lives of learning throughout Wyoming and beyond.”

Past Casper College Innovative Educator of the Year winners have included Jill Hughes, English instructor; Todd Jones, agriculture instructor; and Kaela Bretz, paramedic technology instructor.

Media contact: Lisa S. Icenogle

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