Humanities Chair
Brian Yates

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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.

Dr. Marjorie Berman

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Heather Kroger


Heather Kroger: Everything about human culture fascinates.  That we create language, as well as other symbols and representations, to express and make connections fosters the cultivation of community.  My passion strongly lies in the medium of moving images, film, but cannot be comprehended nor shared without understanding the context of content.  The Humanities as an interdisciplinary practice provides me the tools and insights to begin a path to understanding.  With an undergraduate degree in film production, I grasped the concept of form, medium, as a window to observe human culture.  But it was my graduate degree in humanities that allowed me to move beyond the window-portal into greater participation.  What began as an armchair observing position has theoretically upgraded my armchair into a time traveling portal.  I can now dive into the past, teleport to futures, and travel the globe.  All to discover and wonder what is human culture and why does it fascinate. It is all of this and more that I, as faculty, work on bringing to the classroom to share with my students as we explore and discover other cultures as well as our own.

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Courtney Osborn


Hello, I'm Courtney Osborn. I am currently lucky enough to teach world mythology at Red Rocks Community College, in addition to English composition and the occasional literature course. I also teach at MSU Denver and tutor in the Red Rocks Writing Center. As a Colorado native, I love that I am able to be part of the community here at Red Rocks. My bachelors is in English and History from the University of Northern Colorado and my Masters is in Literature from the University of Colorado at Denver. My favorite mythological figure is either Demeter or Tiamat.

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Brian Yates

Brian has a BA in History from Yale University and an MA from Villanova University. He also teaches Spanish courses in the World Language Department and Literature courses in the English Department. When not at work, he is an avid guitar player and bike rider.

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Sandra McRae Sajbel

Sandra McRae Sajbel is a full-time faculty member of the English department and occasional instructor in the Humanities (World Mythology). She earned her M.A. at the University of Colorado-Boulder and her B.A. at Colorado State University. She studied in Bordeaux, France, and was a Fulbright Scholar in Germany before its reunification. A published author, poet, and editor, Sandra was a freelance copywriter and marketer for many years. She loves the aetiological aspects of mythology and longs to visit Iceland. She writes poems from her dreams and thinks you should too.