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All out success

Two students and a faculty member received Outstanding Leadership Awards from First Year Success.

By Rachel Bruner

February 28, 2017

Students Blayne Backer (B.A. human development ’18), Kelani Olsen (B.S. criminal justice and criminology ’20) and English Affiliate Professor Lorna Hutchison each received the Outstanding Leadership Award.

Each semester, First Year Success honors one outstanding student, a peer mentor and a faculty member with the awards, which this year’s honorees received at FYS’ recently-held Scholars Recognition Breakfast.

Backer’s nomination described him as a classmate whose uplifting spirit, positive attitude and mentoring has helped other students understand that it’s okay to be nervous about public speaking.

Olsen‘s nominator described her as a model student: a leader, hard worker, helpful, self-reflective, motivated, committed, intelligent and humble.

Hutchison was described as caring and always positive, and she does whatever it takes to make sure students have the tools to learn well. (Read a recent article, FYS water-focused English composition class, about her from last semester.)

Backer, an FYS peer ambassador, said that his job has opened many doors for him. “Perhaps the best part is that the job has made me break out of my shell and make so many new friends,” Backer said. “It has made me feel like I am truly living the college experience.”

The event is held at the end of every semester to recognize students for working hard. All first-year students who took FYS classes and earned a 3.0 GPA or above in their first semester also receive awards.

“It is important that students feel appreciated so that they continue to stay motivated and thrive during their college career at MSU Denver,” said Chelsea McIntosh, FYS event coordinator.

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