Colorado Mesa University

The Maverick : Fall 2018

The Maverick magazine is a great way to stay in touch with current events at your alma mater, old classmates and the bright future of Colorado Mesa University.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 22 of 35

21 FALL 2018 • VOLUME 8.1 COLORADO MESA UNIVERSITY D i st i n g u i s h e d F a c u lt y A w a r d B y nature, teachers are givers. For Paula Casey the reward that comes from helping others is only half of the reason she loves being an educator. "The ultimate reward in teaching is knowing that you've helped someone become successful on their own path in life," said the 2018 Distinguished Faculty awardee who is a speech instructor at Colorado Mesa. "But what also exhilarates me is learning fascinating things from my students — things they reveal in their speeches," Casey said. "I'm constantly coming home, telling my family, 'Did you know…' or somebody will ask me how I know something and I'll say, 'Oh, I heard it in a speech one time'." The 1983 Central High School graduate is the daughter of two educators. Her mother, Irene Phillips, taught kindergarten and her father, Dean Phillips, was a professor of math and engineering at CMU when it was Mesa Junior College back when a slide rule was an essential tool. "So I basically grew up on the Mesa campus and by the time I graduated high school I was ready to go far, far away," she said with a laugh. "I wound up at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, majoring in computer science but decided it probably wasn't for me when I got to Calculus II." That's when Casey, a member of her speech and debate team in high school, switched to speech communication, earning a spot on the first-ever debate team from Northern Arizona to qualify for nationals. She went on to earn a postgraduate degree in secondary education and a master's in rhetoric. Her proudest accomplishment as a 20-year teacher at CMU is developing a class called Essential Speech, a class taken by every student as one of the university's Maverick Milestone classes. "Essentially, students use their speech skills to share the interesting things they learned in the Maverick Milestone classes," she said. "As of this fall we offer 26 sections of Essential Speech and it's been extremely rewarding to watch it grow and see how much students get from that class." • PAULA CASEY Hometown: Grand Junction Age: 53 Profession: Colorado Mesa University Instructor of Speech Most Memorable Book: I can't name just one. Favorite Place Visited: Kauai, Hawaii Hobbies: Travel, animals and children Proudest Accomplishment: Giving students the skills and confidence to use their voices to communicate when they want or need to in their lives. FOR THE LOVE OF TEACHING Paula Casey has spent the last 20 years positively influencing students' lives and futures By Dennis Taylor

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

view archives of Colorado Mesa University - The Maverick : Fall 2018