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Congratulations to Roadrunners Who Soar winners

Celebrate the dozens of MSU Denver employees honored at Thursday’s event.

By Stacy Dvergsdal, Lindsey Coulter

August 11, 2020

Roadrunners Who Soar logoThe second annual Roadrunners Who Soar Awards Ceremony on Thursday celebrated outstanding employees from every corner of the Metropolitan State University of Denver campus. Honoring individuals and teams, the awards recognized Roadrunners who embody the MSU Denver mission and values and who are dedicated to supporting student and University success.

Each award celebrated individual faculty, staff and student employees (as well as teams) who go above and beyond to make MSU Denver a richer, more innovative and more successful university – and a place where students as well as employees can thrive. Awards were presented by President Janine Davidson, Ph.D.; Will Simpkins, Ed.D., vice president, Student Affairs; Michael Benitez, Ph.D., vice president, Diversity and Inclusion; Bill Henry, Ph.D., interim provost; and Vicki Golich, Ph.D., emeritus provost.

Each winner will receive a certificate as well as a complimentary celebratory drink from the Tivoli Brewing Co. The Team Roadrunner statue was designed by Ted Shin, professor, chair and interim Lockheed Martin Endowed Director of the Advanced Manufacturing Science Institute. Industrial Design students Ryan Wearp and Matthew Odean designed the Soar Award and the Chair Excellence Award statues, respectively. Thank you to the School of Hospitality and Marriott SpringHill Suites Downtown for presenting each individual Soar Award winner with a complimentary one-night staycation.

Thank you to all who joined in the livestream and to all who nominated and supported this event. To view the event recording, please visit the Roadrunners Who Soar webpage.

Congratulations to the following award winners:

Soar Award: Samantha Borrego, coordinator, First-Gen Initiative

Soar Award: Kevin Hammons, lecturer, Human Services and Counseling and the Fire and Emergency Response Administration program (retired)

Soar Award: Taylor Hase, supplemental instruction specialist for Undergraduate Studies

Soar Award: Mary Alice Sawaya, Ph.D., professor, Nursing

Soar Award: Dorothy Shapland, Ph.D., assistant professor, Education

Soar Award: Diane Yee, director, Campus Recreation

Soar Award: Vicki Golich, Ph.D., provost emeritus


Team Roadrunner Award: Office of the Bursar, Cashier and Perkins Loan staff and student employees

Team Roadrunner Award: The Center for Advanced Stem Education team

Team Roadrunner Award: Learning Management System Committee


Chair Excellence Award: Dan Lair, Ph.D., chair, Communication Studies


The Golich Awards

  • Overall Staff Excellence Awards
    • Administrator category winner: Michael Nguyen, director of enrollment-management systems and operations
    • Classified category winner: Joe Morales, equipment manager for the Department of Human Performance and Sport
    • Student employee category: Mario Noriega
  • Student Employee of the Year: Samantha Chavez, head welcome-desk worker for the Department of Social Work
  • Student Employee Supervisor of the Year: Kayla Duensing, welcome-desk coordinator for the Department of Social Work.
  • Outstanding Professional Advisor Award: Amber Paugh, senior academic advisor in the School of Education
  • Outstanding Faculty Advisor Award: MB Krueger, professor and director of Choral Activities in the Department of Music
  • Outstanding Mentor for Undergraduate Research: Siva priya Santhanam, assistant professor of Speech, Language, Hearing Sciences
  • LGBTQ Student Resource Center Advocate Award: Elise Krumholz, coordinator for Student Conflict Resolution Services
  • Excellence in Online Teaching Award: Linda Sundbye, Ph.D., professor, Mathematics
  • Open Educational Resources Used in a Course Award: Samuel Jay, Ph.D., associate professor of Communication Studies
  • Open Educational Resources Used in a Course Award: Brooke Woolman, Ph.D., lecturer, Chemistry and Biochemistry
  • Open Educational Resources Promotion on Campus Champion: Ellen Metter, former Auraria Research Support Librarian and Library OER Lead (retired)

Topics: Events, Excellence

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