Ziyao Ma

Ziyao Ma, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the Department of History at Metropolitan State University of Denver. His areas of expertise include the history and cultures of East Asian nations (China, Japan, Korea, Luchu), and his academic interest focuses on the political and intellectual history of Late Imperial China. 

In addition to teaching, Ma’s doctorate dissertation, “Instituting Ideas: The Reclamation of Scholarly Subjects in the High Qing (1723-1795)” revolved around Qing institutions and their ventures of conveying ideology in the eighteenth century. 

Before joining MSU Denver, Ma taught East Asian Studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston.  

Ma received his doctorate in East Asian Studies from Princeton University and master’s from Columbia University. 

Charlie Buckley

Charlie Buckley, Ph.D., is an associate professor in the School of Education at Metropolitan State University of Denver.  Her areas of expertise include inclusive education, supporting students with disabilities including those with significant support needs and autism, and those using alternative and augmentative communication. Buckley focuses on advancing inclusive education practices in public schools and higher education.   
Beyond teaching, Buckley co-created the Social Communication and Engagement Triad for the Colorado Department of Education.   Additionally, she co-authored and submitted an article titled, “Using a Social Model to Guide Individualized Education Program Development and Change Educational Paradigms to Be Critically Inclusive,” published in the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Journal and is available in the National Library of Medicine online database. 

While at MSU Denver, Buckley led the establishment of the Autism Significant Support Needs Certificate Program at the School of Education. She played a significant role in creating the inclusion strand within the Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction program. She holds a certificate of clinical competence in Speech-Language Pathology from Colorado State University. 

Buckley earned her Ph.D. in Special Education from the University of Northern Colorado and her Master’s of Science in Communication Disorders from Colorado State University.  

Jeff Loats

Jeff Loats, Ph.D., is the director of the Center for Teaching, Learning and Design. at Metropolitan State University of Denver. He joined MSU Denver in 2008 as an assistant professor of Physics. He has taught courses from across the physics curriculum, including a senior-level course on nuclear and particle physics, as well as general studies courses such as the Physics of Nature and Physics of Music.

Loats became the director of the Center for Teaching, Learning and Design in 2018. In this role, his areas of expertise include the impact of generative AI in higher education, scholarly teaching, research-based instructional strategies, and active engagement.

Loats has won multiple teaching awards and has presented on teaching and technology to a wide variety of audiences. He was the keynote speaker at the 2014 Teacher-Scholar Forum at MSU Denver and was a featured speaker at the Lilly West Conference on College and University Teaching in March 2012.

Loats earned his Ph.D. in Nuclear Physics from Oregon State University and his bachelor’s degree in Physics from Fort Lewis College.

Megan Lazorski

Megan Lazorski, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Metropolitan State University of Denver and joint appointee at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Her areas of expertise include the study of special metal complexes, understanding how these materials convert light energy into other forms of energy. This work involves the use of lasers and other scientific instruments to learn how these materials respond to light under different conditions. Her major research area centers on the examination of photoactivity of materials when hit by light to understand their behavior for potential commercial applications in products like solar panels.

Lazorski’s teaching practice focuses on inorganic chemistry and the advancement of diversity in STEM, with a particular emphasis on supporting students and scientists from underrepresented/minoritized (URM) backgrounds. This work led Lazorski to form a group of colleagues who’ve created two post-baccalaureate Bridge Experience programs for students from URM groups in STEM. Lazorski is also a co-author of “Changing the Charge: Electrostatic Effects in Pd-Catalyzed Cross-Coupling” and “1FLO: Electron Counting and Electrostatic Effects in Palladium Carborane Complexes.” Both works are featured on the Virtual Inorganic Pedagogical Electronic Resource.

Lazorski’s professional experience includes serving as the faculty associate for curriculum in the College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences, and she has taken on the role of chair of the curriculum committee in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Additionally, she maintains affiliations with several notable professional organizations, including the American Chemical Society, Inter-American Photochemical Society, and the Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science.

Lazorski received her doctorate of Chemistry from Colorado State University and a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry and Studio Art from the College of Wooster.

Arturo Jimenez

John Masserini

Tom Cech

Tom Cech, M.A., is the founding director of the One World One Water Center for Urban Water Education and Stewardship at Metropolitan State University of Denver. He retired from the University in 2021. Cech’s areas of expertise include water resources management and development, water education, water history, water law and water policy.

Cech was the executive director of the Central Colorado Water Conservancy District in Greeley for nearly 29 years. He also taught undergraduate and graduate level courses on water resources at University of Northern Colorado and Colorado State University for 11 years before joining MSU Denver in 2011. Cech received the Education and Public Service award in 2016 and the Diane Hoppe Leadership award in 2018.

As an expert source, he has authored/co-authored several published books including “Principles of Water Resources: History, Development, Management and Policy,” “Introduction to Water Resources and Environmental Issues” and “Colorado Water Law for Non-Lawyers.”

Cech received a master’s in community and regional planning from University of Nebraska, Lincoln and a bachelor’s in math education from University of Nebraska at Kearney.