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Congrats to our Roadrunner Shoutout of the Week winners

These exceptional faculty, staff and student employees are shining examples of dedication, innovation and excellence.

November 19, 2020

Nominations continue to roll in for Metropolitan State University of Denver’s Roadrunner Shoutout of the Week awards, highlighting the excellent and important work happening at all levels of the University. This week, we celebrate three members of our University community who inspire students and their colleagues.

“As we enter the season of giving, these nominees stood out for their generosity and service to students and mission,” said Christine Márquez-Hudson, vice president of University Advancement, who selected this week’s winners.

Michelle BaumFaculty winner – Michelle Baum, Ph.D., associate professor, Journalism and Media Production

Nominated by Jamie Hurst, J.D., assistant vice president of Strategic Engagement, who wrote:

“As a staff member, affiliate faculty member and student at MSU Denver, I am immersed in just about all the facets of this University regularly. But I want to take this time to recognize a faculty member from the perspective of being a student at this great University. I have been taking classes in the Journalism and Media Production program for about three years and have benefited from the expertise of many faculty but none more than Michelle during this semester as a student in her public relations writing class.  

Michelle's expertise and competency are second to none. Her years' experience in the field are not only valuable as a teaching tool, but also create credibility that elevates conversations from theoretical to practical.
Beyond her expertise, her empathy and overall demeanor as a teacher set her apart. Not only is she constantly aware of the changes all her students are facing in light of COVID-19, she is intentional about making sure students experience their education in the ways that speak best to them. To say it in the words of President Janine Davidson, Ph.D., Michelle meets us where we are. I have had hundreds of professors across my academic career, and she is the first that actively, intentionally and openly asks for feedback and works to make improvements on her teaching style (throughout the semester) in response to how students are comprehending her content. Her desire is not simply to teach; it is to ensure her students learn.

This approach makes her uniquely situated to not only be a content expert, but also a mentor to her students. Indeed, she was just awarded by PRSA Colorado as Mentor of the Year, an award that correctly acknowledges her impact on students and the incredible opportunity we are afforded as we begin breaking into this industry.
As I mentioned, I wear many hats on this campus and have had the privilege to work with hundreds of incredible Roadrunners. But Michelle rises above in so many tangible ways, and her contribution to our university, our students and the PR industry demands to be acknowledged.”

Michelle, thank you for sharing your deep industry knowledge with students and for striving to be the best possible educator. During a time when it’s never been more challenging to give 100% effort, it sounds like you consistently go above and beyond to ensure student success.

Vitaliy KrutikovStaff/administrator winner – Vitaliy Krutikov, assistant bursar

Nominated by Thenat Berta, collections advisor, who wrote:

"Vitaliy has been such a dependable boss. Working virtually has brought so many new things that our office must get used to, but Vitaliy is always willing to go above and beyond for his employees. He always helps us when we need it, and he is always kind and motivating towards his employees.”

And nominated by Carolena Diaz, collections advisor, who wrote:

“Vitaliy Krutikov is the epitome of what it takes to lead a team effectively and efficiently. Vitaliy sets everyone up for success right from the beginning. Not only does he take the time away from his work to sit down with you and explain everything, he is always available for the dozens of questions that pop up down the road. With a positive attitude and never-ending patience, he is truly the most wonderful example of a leader I've encountered. I am truly fortunate to be a part of a team that is led by such a wonderfully kind person.”

Leadership is so important especially as our teams are physically scattered. Vitaliy, thank you for being so caring, communicative and tuned into your team’s needs.

Shannon StrandeStudent-employee winner – Shannon Strande, financial and advancement services assistant, University Advancement

Nominated by Rachel Bates Wilfahrt, former director of prospect management and analytics, who wrote:

“It has been an honor and a pleasure to work with Shannon. After joining University Advancement, Shannon has not only been an amazing student employee, but an amazing employee and a critical member of the team. She is brilliant, hard-working, and balances daily tasks with impactful short- and long-term projects with grace and a critical attention to detail. I have been impressed with both her willingness to learn new things and her ability to learn complicated tasks quickly. She frequently exceeds any expectations I could have ever set for her and does all this while in her senior year at the University and focusing on her coursework as well. I look forward to cheering her on in the incredibly successful career I know she will have.”

Shannon, what a glowing letter of recommendation for your future career endeavors! Thank you for being such a valuable asset to the University Advancement team while also prioritizing your education.

To nominate outstanding employees for the Roadrunner Shoutout of the Week award, please complete the form on the Roadrunner Shoutout of the Week webpage. Tell us how your nominee is making an impact through great teaching, service to students or innovation. Winners will be selected each week and profiled in the Early Bird on Thursdays. Winners will also get a shoutout on social media.

Topics: Award, Excellence, Roadrunner Shoutout

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