Two College of Business faculty were among this year’s Best Teacher Awards winners, an annual honor that recognizes Colorado State University teachers who go above and beyond to support, motive and inspire their students.
The six 2023 award recipients include the management department’s Paulo R. Borges de Brito and Chris Henle.
Paulo R. Borges de Brito
For Brito, an adjunct faculty member in the management department, the most rewarding part about teaching is seeing his students graduate and find success.
He was nominated for the award by Maria Velazquez Marin, who received a bachelor’s degree from the College of Business in 2021.
“Professor Brito is always willing to help his students and demonstrates an enthusiastic attitude toward teaching,” she said. “He is always available for his students, made us want to keep learning as much as possible and was the best teacher I ever had in college.”
By focusing on listening and inclusion, Brito aims to create opportunities that allow marginalized students and communities to succeed and thrive.
“I am honored by this award that I was not expecting to get,” Brito said. “I think it means students are watching you and showing an appreciation for you even when you think you might not be doing a great job in some teaching moments. I think it also validates you’re on the right path with the tools you use to empower students.”
Brito has organized and contributed articles to two award-winning books broaching the subject of social, economic and environmental synergies for sustainable development. His current research focuses on the business opportunities created by the bioeconomy.
He’s been interested in teaching ever since he was a child, when he was frequently cast as a teacher in the games of pretend that he would play with his cousins. Even then, he saw teaching as an important way to contribute to society.
“I had this strong sense of wanting to do something to help society since a young age,” Brito said. “Also, many professors during my school years made me think about pursuing this role. I admired several of the professors I had and thought I would like to be one of them.”
Now, as a teacher, Brito works to enable his students to develop critical minds, empowering them for their future careers and changing society for the better.
“For me, knowledge is power!” he said.
One of the most rewarding parts of Henle’s work as a professor is when former students reach out years after graduation to share how a class she taught or advice she gave them made a difference in their lives and advanced their careers.
That’s why this award means so much to her.
“It is a great honor to be recognized by former students,” said Henle, who teaches courses on human resource management. “It is hard to know in the moment if you are making difference, so awards like this are a great way to affirm that what you are doing in the classroom is making a difference.”
Henle was nominated for the award by Cayla Begley, a junior in the College of Business.
“Professor Henle is 100% committed to CSU and, more importantly, its students,” Begley said.
“Seeing a woman who has so much real-life experience inspired me to continue in this field. I look up to this professor and how Chris has helped me create the building blocks for a future career.”
Since Henle began teaching at CSU 13 years ago, she has been part of a team that has built an HR concentration with a nationally certified curriculum, high job placement rate and nearly 100% pass rate for the national certification exam in HR. Students have gone on to hold prominent HR positions at companies such as Google, Lockheed Martin and Woodward, and the student chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management regularly achieves national recognition for its activities.
Henle’s research, which is focused primarily on counterproductive work behaviors, has been published in many academic journals, including Academy of Management Journal. She is an adviser of the student chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management.
As a first-generation student, Henle knew little about how college worked. The mentorship, encouragement and support that she received from her teachers in high school and college was essential.
“Ultimately, these investments set me up for getting accepted into graduate school and allowed me to become a professor,” she said. “These teachers changed the course of my life, and I want to be able to do the same for others.”
An award ceremony recognizing this year’s top teachers will be held 5:30-8 pm Mar 28 in the Lory Student Center Theater. Tickets are available online.
About CSU’s College of Business
The College of Business at Colorado State University is focused on using business to create a better world.
As an AACSB-accredited business school, the College is among the top five percent of business colleges worldwide, providing programs and career support services to more than 2,500 undergraduate and 1,300 graduate students. Faculty help students across our top-ranked on-campus and online programs develop the knowledge, skills and values to navigate a rapidly evolving business world and address global challenges with sustainable business solutions. Our students are known for their creativity, work ethic and resilience—resulting in an undergraduate job offer and placement rate of over 90% within 90 days of graduation.
The College’s highly ranked programs include its Online MBA, which has been ranked the No. 1 program in Colorado by U.S. News and World Report for six years running and achieved No. 16 for employability worldwide from QS Quacquarelli Symonds. The College’s Impact MBA is also ranked by Corporate Knights as a Top 20 “Better World MBA” worldwide.