April 22, 2020

Century College Psychology faculty member Dr. Jessie Breyer-Peterson was one of seven recipients of the 2020 Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees Educator of the Year awards. This system-wide honor acknowledges consistently superior professional achievement as a college teaching and service faculty.

The 2020 Educator of the Year award recipients were chosen from forty-two (42) Minnesota State college faculty selected by campus committees as 2020 Outstanding Educators. Only four (4) two-year college faculty system-wide received the Educator of the Year award. Selection criteria includes teaching strategies and materials, content expertise and professional growth, assessment of student learning and performance, as well as service to students, the institution, and the Minnesota State system.

The Awards Committee was impressed with Dr. Breyer-Peterson’s instructional strategies, as well as her use of formal and informal assessment to inform teaching. Specifically, her use of assessment to create more equitable outcomes for underserved students and adjustments to her instruction for her current students.

“Dr. Breyer-Peterson consistently goes above and beyond, meeting individually with her students to assess their individual needs, and recognizing how learners can experience materials differently, noted Century College President Angelia Millender. “Her students benefit greatly from her genuine passion for student success, and she is committed to teaching her students the content of her discipline and preparing them to be successful professionals. Dr. Breyer-Peterson has provided a valuable and unique service to her students, and the Century College community at large, in creating and implementing mental health first aid courses. Her grant writing for and managing of mental health first-aid training was extended to four (4) additional Minnesota State colleges for faculty, staff, and community members.”

Dr. Breyer-Peterson has a true passion for teaching psychology and educating people about mental health. She has been a full-time faculty member at Century College since 2011 and currently teaches General Psychology, Developmental Psychology: Lifespan, Abnormal Psychology, and Internship in Psychology. She also coordinates the Mental and Behavioral Health Worker certificate and the psychology internship. In addition to teaching, Dr. Breyer-Peterson is the director of Century College’s Mental Health First Aid grant project, which provides free mental health training to students, employees, and community members. This grant project has trained over 1,000 people to be more aware of mental health symptoms and learn how to effectively assist individuals in getting the help they need.

In addition, Dr. Breyer-Peterson is also a Licensed Psychologist, and has provided psychotherapy in a variety of settings, including community mental health centers, hospitals, and the VAMC. She has published several research articles in peer-reviewed journals which have been cited over 200 times. She is the recipient of several awards for teaching and research, including the Minnesota State Board of Trustees Outstanding Educator Award in 2017; the SAGE Teaching Innovations Award in 2017; the Minnesota Psychological Association Award for Outstanding Teaching of Psychology in 2014; and the International Durand Jacobs Award in 2011. Dr. Breyer-Peterson also serves on the Board of Directors of the Minnesota Center of Suicidology.

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