Our Outstanding Committees – Summer Institute

Introducing the Our Outstanding Committees series. Throughout the next 12 weeks you will be introduced to each of RMASFAA’s 12 committees, the committee members and find out all that they accomplished this year. This is week 4 of the series.

The 2015 Summer Institute Committee was Totally Tubular!


As this year’s Summer Institute Chair I would like to commend the committee and faculty for doing exceptional work and providing an outstanding experience for all of our attendees.  Our theme this year was 80’s music and each class had a lot of fun with their chosen band/color.  Summer Institute is a long week and it takes a significant group of talented people to make it happen each year.  This year was no exception, the team was fantastic!

The Registration Chair was Angie Zeorlin from Wichita State and her Vice-Chair was Kelly Bauer from Front Range Community College.  They organized all the registration information people were asked, every question being important in order for us to provide the best experience to the attendees.  Angie was also responsible for sending all the great emails everyone received before the event…the 80’s band pictures she included were so much fun!

The Site Chair was Christy Jensen from the Colorado School of Mines and her Vice-Chair was Michael Nguyen from the Metropolitan State University of Denver.  They really did a great job of coordinating communication with the campus and organizing a lot of the logistics for getting attendees to their classes and events.


The Entertainment Chair was Katie Nelson from Black Hills State and her Vice-Chair was Nikki Powell from Pratt Community College.  They were responsible for pretty much anything fun that happened after classes were done for the day.  From the opening Hungry Hippos game to the closing lip-sync air band skits, Entertainment works hard to make sure people have a great time.

This year’s Faculty Dean, Valerie Curtin from University of Montana Helena, and her Co-Dean (HA!), Sara Vancil from the University of Kansas did a phenomenal job with establishing a truly excellent faculty to teach this year.  Val dealt with some unusual curveballs with faculty turnover and last minute adjustments, but with Sara’s support, they made sure each class went smoothly and everyone had what they needed for the week.

The reason we have Vice positions is because the volunteer commitment is two years.  This is in order to ensure people have some exposure to how things went the year prior to them actually taking over the position and duties.  There tends to be a lot of moving parts with Summer Institute and having “last year” that you can reference that you were a part of is super helpful.

The Faculty this year were so much fun to work with, every one of them a true superstar in their own right, but when they paired up to teach together the students really benefitted from some outstanding instruction and real-life examples of how other shops work.  This year we had 9 classes:

Jenny Leigh Adler from Colorado State taught with Lois Madsen from Kansas Wesleyan.  Their band was Motley Crue and of course their class color was black!

Christal Williams from Johnson County Community College taught with Susan Stephenson from Eastern Wyoming College.  With the color purple, the only band they could have selected was Prince and The Revolution.

Vicki Kucera from Central Community College taught with Jill Robinson from BYU.  They went with a band that started in the 70’s but certainly had hits in the 80’s, REO Speedwagon.  Their class color was silver.

Linda Crook from Red Rocks Community College taught with the most eclectic bunch—the Committee!  Her teaching partner had to withdraw right before the week started and we were all happy to pitch in and help the New Kid On The Block with her color teal.

Kathy Blau from Garden City Community College taught with James Broscheit from University of Northern Colorado.  They had Eddie Money and the color green to work with.  Kathy joined us for her financial aid swan song as she was retiring only weeks after this year’s Institute!  We wish her well and much relaxation!

Janet Riis from Carroll College taught with Brenda Hicks from Southwestern College.  They certainly had the beat with the Go-Go’s as their band and orange for their color.  Their class won this year’s participation challenge at the end-of-week banquet dinner!

Sally Schuman from Colorado Mesa University taught with Joe Donlay from Colorado State.  Simple Minds says it all…but that was also their band!  They had maroon as their color and won the totally-made-up-award for ‘Most Austere’ decorations in their classroom.

Regina Carver from Weber State taught with Starla Russel from Western Dakota Technical Institute.  They certainly had Heart…as their band!  And their color was hot pink, which made for fun decorations!

Penny James from Nebraska Methodist College of Nursing taught with Sharon Kienow from Northern State University.  They must have selected their band first because they picked one of the most 80’s bands out there in Journey, and their color was yellow. They taught the Director Track, which is a great resource for both new and soon-to-be or aspiring directors in our field.

As you can see, a strong, dynamic and pretty large group goes into putting on an event like Summer Institute.  I was privileged to be a part of it this year, I am always humbled by how awesome the people in RMASFAA are and can’t wait to continue my role as ‘Past Chair’ next year!

And if you’re curious to see who the folks are in this post or to see evidence of how much fun we had at this year’s Institute, please check out the RMASFA facebook page!  You can ‘like’ the page or individual pictures, but please do take a moment to browse through the pictures and posts to get a feel of what the week is like for everyone.  We hope to see you there next year!


Rob Drybread


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