Dr. John U. Trefny served Colorado School of Mines for 29 years, beginning as an assistant professor of physics in 1977 and culminating in his appointment as Mines’ 15th President in 2000. John retired from this position in the summer of 2006. Prior to his appointment as President, Dr. Trefny served for nearly five years as Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty at Colorado School of Mines. He also served Mines as Professor of Physics and Head of the Department of Physics. Dr. Trefny has been active in pre-college education, serving for many years as Coordinator of Teacher Enhancement Programs at Mines. During this time, he and his colleagues developed the largest college-based program in the State of Colorado for the professional development of K-12 teachers in science and mathematics.
Dr. Trefny received his undergraduate education at Fordham University and his Ph.D. In Physics from Rutgers University. Subsequently he held appointments at Cornell University and at Wesleyan University before joining CSM. He has published widely in various fields of condensed-matter physics including amorphous materials, liquid and solid helium, high- and low-temperature superconductivity, and photovoltaics. He was recognized by the School in 1983 with the “Brown Innovative Teaching Award” and in 1984 with the “Amoco Outstanding Teaching Award.” He has also received the “Excellence in Science Teaching Award” (1992) and the “Friend of Science Education Award” (1990) of the Colorado Association of Science Teachers.
In addition to serving as an advisor to the Golden Civic Foundation, John currently serves on the boards of the Foundation for the Colorado Community College System, the Red Rocks Community College Foundation, the International Center for Appropriate and Sustainable Technology and WorldDenver. In addition, he serves on committees for several local schools and Colorado non-profit organizations.