CELT Learning Catalyst Fellows

CELT Learning Catalyst Fellows

CELT is dedicated to the enhancement of student learning. The CELT Learning Catalyst Fellows are instructional faculty who “catalyze”—stimulate, promote, motivate, encourage—student learning and are willing to talk about how they do it. CELT recognizes a Learning Catalyst Fellow from each of the seven Academic Colleges each year. Fellows share their strategies and techniques with others in their College and at the annual CELT Conference.

2014-2015 Learning Catalyst Fellows


Sarah Anderson

College of Humanities and Fine Arts

 International Languages and Literatures

Sarah Anderson teaches courses in Spanish and Latin American Studies and has prepared over ten classes for these programs. In her teaching practice she creates a lively and stimulating environment by incorporating popular culture, music, and food.  She demonstrates a personal investment in her students by evaluating the effectiveness of her lessons and modifying them in response to her students’ needs. Her courses involve collaborative assignments and peer editing as well innovative pedagogies and technologies like the flipped classroom. One of her students wrote in a nominating letter that “she is creative, intentional, and devoted.” She stays after class to talk, and is responsive to subtle cues that students are struggling, always in a caring and open manner. Another wrote, “Her mentorship and guidance have been a large factor in my decision to peruse my teaching credential. I could not have asked for a better mentor. She leads by example, while patiently teaching the skills future teachers need to be successful.” 



Dawn Clifford

College of Natural Sciences

 Nutrition and Food Science

Dawn Clifford has been teaching at Chico State since 2007. Her department chair writes that catalysts “must be master teachers in the classroom, engage students with diverse learning styles, promote critical thinking skills and be mentors and advisers of the highest quality. Dr. Clifford fits this description.”  In her teaching statement she explains that she catalyzes learning by ensuring that students feel respected and encouraged. To better serve her students, Dr. Clifford created a stimulation center in 2012 containing life like mannequins for medical nutrition students to experience and practice acute care, and developed a peer led mentoring program. She received a 2014 “Outstanding Dietetics Educator Award” from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. A previous student of hers writes that she is “the kind of professor every student should have a chance to learn from: personable, kind, sincere, and intelligent.”


Kasey DeAtley

College of Agriculture

Kasey DeAtley is a new faculty member who practices active engagement of students in and out of the classroom. In her thoughtful statement of teaching philosophy she writes that “students must be equal partners in the learning process.” In addition to her outstanding teaching record, she has developed extracurricular learning opportunities for her students, including establishing an animal science academic quadrathalon team. One of her nominating letter notes her passion for research and involving students in applied research, as illustrated by her mentoring a student to a win in the statewide CSU student research competition in May 2014. In addition to her teaching practices she is the co-adviser to the Young Cattlemen’s Association, and mentored a student to win a statewide CSU student research competition in May 2014. Another of her students writes “Because of her experience and integrity, students are eager to perform to her standards. She somehow manages to be a cattle rancher, a professor, an adviser, and manage/conduct research studies, as well as countless other activities to further her knowledge; all of this knowledge she passes on to her students.


Kathleen Grabriel

College of Communication and Education

Special Education

Kathleen Gabriel received no less than 10 nominating letters from current and past students. She is a nationally recognized scholar who has written a book on methods for engaging and supporting underprepared college students. Her classroom teaching practice is creative, motivating, and encouraging. One of her colleagues writes, “Dr. Gabriel demonstrates how knowledge in the field is created, organized, and linked to other disciplines by: connecting what her students have learned in the class before, what is in their textbooks, and what they have observed in local schools.” Professor Gabriel has been known to spend her weekends meeting with students at coffee shops going over lesson plans. She stands as a clear role model for these future teachers and current teachers. A former student writes “Every day someone tells me something one of my students cannot do. Every day I tell them five things that students can do, and ten ways they have grown. Dr. Gabe not only teaches that philosophy but she models it every day. Even as an accomplished student, knowing her belief in me, I worked harder for her than I ever have for any professor. I am a testament that Dr. Gabriel is a learning catalyst.”


Lyndall Ellingson 

College of Behavioral and Social Sciences 

Health and Community Services

Lyndall Ellingson aims to “create a learning climate where students feel seen and respected as learners, and teachers” while also staying an active learner in the classroom herself. She has very high standards and helps students meet them. Students say they have “heard her classes are hard and might not want to take them” but leave her classroom with a great sense of accomplishment. In her teaching practice she strives to show students the real world relevance of what they are learning. She uses new case studies in epidemiology every semester to make it current and relevant. In a support letter her Dean noted that she is “not only an excellent teacher, she is community-minded, and has a strong desire to be of service.” As a learning catalyst Ellingson will share her template for creating case studies in behavioral and social science disciplines.  A previous student writes “I truly appreciate Ellingson’s ability to turn a dry topic into something interesting. Dr. Ellingson allows her students to participate and pursue topics that interest them. She is a magnificent professor and has pushed me to my limits.


Valerie Singleton 

College of Behavioral and Social Sciences 

Child Development

Valerie Singleton teaches a foundational course in the Child Development program that is also a valued course in the Diversity Studies pathway, as well as teaching and supervising students in the Child Development Lab. She also teaches a sophomore-level curriculum course and an online senior-level course. The chair of her department writes that “Val has been an inspirational source of motivation for our students as well as faculty since joining our ranks as an adjunct faculty member. The enthusiasm and optimism she brings to her role in overseeing our students in their internship placements has been inspirational and contagious.”  Professor Singleton seeks out learning communities and becomes vital in them. She has emerged as a leader in multiple campus settings, and now serves on the Academy e-Learning Advisory Board and is the Lecturer Support Coordinator for her college. She wants to bring her innovative and collaborative passion to CELT though the development of partnered teaching and learning opportunities across disciplines.