History Faculty

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Toni Nicholas
Office 2632

Toni Nicholas joined RRCC as a full-time History faculty member in 2011 after serving as an adjunct instructor for two years. She received her B.A. in History from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro with a Russian Studies Minor and in 2002 she was awarded her Master’s in History from the University of Vermont, specializing in the early Soviet period. Since joining RRCC Toni has introduced several new courses into the curriculum, including Women in World History and The Holocaust and Genocide in the 20th Century. An advocate of student-centered learning, she believes that not all learning needs to take place in a classroom and each semester she can be found organizing multiple activities for her students outside of the classroom including participation in volunteer activities, bringing guest speakers to campus, participating in open forums and hosting film screenings on relevant topics. A passionate believer in the benefits of service learning, she was a driving force behind the creation of RCC’s new Center for Community Engagement and Service-Learning and is currently serving as co-coordinator of the Center. She spends most of her free time watching her kids sporting events and teaching them to be thoughtful and empathetic change makers, although she looks forward to one day having the time again to read her ever growing mountain of books.

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Chris Howell
Office 2636

My passion is teaching and learning about past civilizations. I love the adventure of exploring the past with students and coming back with knowledge, wisdom and understanding for the present. I too am a community college student and the learning environments in the courses above are designed with us in mind! I offer a mix of blended classrooms (online & face-to-face) and flexible schedules meant to provide the modern student with opportunity to take ownership in and practice agency upon their career pathways.

Past travels, projects, and careers in the public, private, and academic sectors help me advise students on education goals as well as realistic results.  We are all products of our past and can gain valuable skills and knowledge from the study of the past. This study empowers us to create a better future for ourselves and our world. Nothing is more satisfying than hearing from a past student who has achieved future success partly because of their experience at our community college!

Drawn from the proverbs of ancient Confucian and Greek thought is the following:
“To hear is better than not knowing. To see is better than listening. To do is to understand.”

Thus you will find all of my course offerings have multiple paths to the same destination via opportunities for real world practice through in-class activities, field trips, and study abroad experiences.

Linnie Pawlek

Marjorie Berman

Don Cygan

Don Cygan is an adjunct instructor in the History Department. He is a graduate of Norwich University in Vermont (MA ’16 in History), as well as Denver University (MA ‘96 in Business Communications), and the University of Northern Colorado (BA ’86 Journalism). Cygan worked as a newspaper reporter and freelance writer for eight years and then taught social sciences in K-12 schools at the secondary level for almost 20 years. He was born in Houston, Texas, and served in the U.S. Army in Central America and during Operation Desert Storm. He is also an author, and has written numerous newspaper and magazine articles, as well as the World War II book No Silent Night: The Christmas Battle for Bastogne (NAL 2012). He lives in Evergreen, Colorado with his wife and two dogs, and enjoys travel, running, skiing, as well as writing, reenacting, and reading history.

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Joyce Buckland

I LOVE history! I am a 5th generation Colorado native, with a Master's in US and Early Modern Europe; specialist in American West/Colorado. I am 55, and I have one daughter, Erica, who is 29. I have been at RRCC for almost 9 years as an adjunct instructor. I love telling stories! Every day, I get to share knowledge and tales with my students and help them to grow and discover that history does not have to be that ‘old, boring class.’ The great thing is my students teach me new things every day as well. I have published many articles over the years and recently, I have done a couple of book reviews for Western Historical Quarterly. I am a contributor to the newly revised Colorado: a Historical Atlas, by Tom Noel (2015). I am in the early stages of research on a 1920 cold case murder in Boulder, Colorado, and I hope to write a book eventually about Colorado cold cases.

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Katy Ordway


Katy Ordway has been teaching at Red Rocks Community College since 2005.  She received her M.A. in Colorado history in 2004 and is very active volunteering for History Colorado as a historic performer, portraying various key female figure in Colorado history such as Baby Doe Tabor and Molly Brown

Dan Donalson

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Kevin Eades

Kevin Eades is new to Red Rocks Community College, where he is currently teaching 20th Century World History.  He has also taught USA History as well.  Kevin earned a Masters in Arts at Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, LA, and a Masters of Business Administration at Millsaps College in Jackson, MS.  Also, he completed Ph.D. work at the University of North Texas in Denton, TX.  Kevin has been published in North Louisiana History and the Journal of South Texas.  A student of railroad history, he has delivered numerous talks on railroads in the Texas area and presented a case paper at the Business History Conference in 2013.

Cassandra Eagan