Two CVMBS alums named best teachers at CSU

Dr. Anna Fails and Dr. Noa Roman-Muniz, both alumnae of the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, and CSU faculty members, will be honored at the 2022 CSU Best Teacher Awards. Each year, students, faculty, and alumni nominate teachers who’ve inspired them and made an impact in their lives for the Best Teacher Awards.

Anna Fails (D.V.M., ’87; Ph.D., ’99)

Dr. Anna Fails

Fails is an assistant professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences, teaching both veterinary and human biology.

She began her doctoral studies at CSU in 1994 and began teaching in the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program in 1998. She earned her Ph.D. in 1999. That same year, she developed a graduate-level human neuroanatomy class where she remains the coordinator and sole lecturer.

Fails originally intended to become a veterinary practitioner but didn’t find it as rewarding as she’d hoped. Though she never intended to become an educator, her doctoral studies required her to take on a teaching assistant role. During this time, she discovered her desire to pass along knowledge and instill a love for learning and thought teaching might be a good fit.

After 27 years filled with meaningful interactions with students and inspiring the next generation of educators, she knows she made the right decision.

“Dr. Fails inspires me by how enthusiastic she is about the content she teaches. She is always a ball of energy and it makes class so much better. She expects us to work and study hard, but she also reminds us to keep doing the things we love.”
– Liz Patton, graduate student (’25)

Noa Roman-Muniz (M.S., ’04)

Dr. Noa Roman-Muniz

Roman-Muniz is a professor in the College of Agricultural Sciences Department of Animal Sciences. She grew up in Puerto Rico and earned her D.V.M. from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 2001, and her M.S. in clinical sciences from CSU in 2004.

She began teaching at CSU in 2008, served as the Extension dairy specialist for 11 years, and, in 2019, she was named the director of undergraduate programs for the department.

She currently oversees the curricula for animal and equine sciences programs and supervises academic advising for more than 700 undergraduate students. She believes in creating inclusive learning spaces where students are encouraged to ask why, foster their curiosity, and develop their passions.

Her research, teaching, and outreach activities are focused on the intersection of human and animal health and productivity on dairy operations. Throughout her time as an educator, she has enjoyed developing and facilitating educational opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students, as well as livestock caretakers and farm supervisors.

“Dr. Noa does everything to the fullest, working her hardest to support her students and set them up for success. As a Puerto Rican woman, she is someone I see myself in and has become my role model. She is extremely smart and compassionate, and I strive to be more like her every day.”
– Miranda Zuvich, student (’22)

best teacher award graphic

The 2022 recipients of the Best Teacher Awards, representing six colleges, will be celebrated March 30 at the Best Teacher Awards banquet. Organized by the Colorado State University Alumni Association, event tickets are available – $5 for students, $15 for Alumni Association members, and $20 for nonmembers. Tickets include a plated dinner and dessert.

Best Teacher Awards 
Wednesday, March 30, 5:30-8 p.m.
Lory Student Center Theater
500 University Ave.
Fort Collins, Colo.

Get tickets here

Best Teacher Roll Call

The College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences is home to 11 recipients of the award, which began in 1996.

1997 Dwight Bennett, D.V.M.

1998 Mark Frasier, M.S., Biomedical Sciences

2002 Erica Suchman, Ph.D., Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology

2008 John Walrond, Ph.D., Biomedical Sciences

2015 Marie E. Legare, D.V.M., Ph.D., Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences

2016 Tod R. Clapp, Ph.D., Biomedical Sciences

2018 Dean Hendrickson, D.V.M., Ph.D., Clinical Sciences

2020 Brian Geiss, Ph.D., Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology

2020 William H. Hanneman, Ph.D., Toxicology