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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.

By Lindsey Coulter

January 28, 2021

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.

“Reading these award nominations gives me and the Senior Leadership Team such a wonderful insight into the excellent work happening at every level of this University,” said President Janine Davidson, Ph.D., who selected this week’s winners. “Each of this week’s winners brings their best to their role, and I hope all Roadrunners join me in celebrating them.”

Eric James, Ph.D.Faculty winner – Eric James, Ph.D., associate professor, Communication Studies

Nominated by Nicole Aganon, student, who wrote:

“In my years at MSU Denver, Dr. James is by far one of my favorite professors. He is an ideal professor and a great boon to MSU Denver. He would enter our classroom each day with this quiet confidence. He had such a soothing, relaxed demeanor, which was felt and passed on to his students. That meant a lot to me. I would feel panicked at times, but when he was calm, how could I stay panicked?

“At the same time, he displayed excitement and passion about sharing his knowledge. He always displayed pleasure and appreciation for the work we put forth, and when offering criticism, it always felt truly helpful and like he was invested in our growth and success. He was open to give any help that we needed or assist in any of our ventures.

“I felt so utterly comfortable with Dr. James, and I am so grateful to have been under this tutelage several times over my seven years at MSU Denver. Thank you, Dr. James. I hope you do realize the impact and impression you make on your students, even us older students, each day.”

Eric, thank you for bringing such genuine enthusiasm into your classroom and for making your students feel relaxed, welcome and ready to learn. It’s clear your demeanor and instruction have both made a lasting impact.

Angelica MorenoStaff/administrator winner – Angelica Moreno, Student Affairs assessment and evaluation manager

Nominated by Thuy Phan, executive assistant to the vice president for Student Affairs, who wrote:

“Angie Moreno is a true asset to MSU Denver! She joined the Student Affairs team after the onset of Covid-19 and has already made an impact. She has created student and staff surveys that were curated with intent and care that provide MSU Denver with a realistic pulse and a lens into the experiences of students and staff during this challenging time. In return, this data provides University leaders with the information needed to make smart and informed decisions when it comes to planning what’s to come. The Fall 2020 Student Impact Survey response rate was over 3,000 students (amazing!).

“Angie is organized in her work, strategic, collaborative, but most important, she has a true understanding of how to incorporate justice, diversity, equity and inclusion into her daily thinking – personally and professionally. I highly value her expertise in this area as she is always willing to share resources and engage in dialogue to help me learn more on how to be anti-racist.”

Angie, joining the University community in such an unusual year likely had its challenges, but this glowing nomination shows that you immediately connected with your work and the MSU Denver mission. Thank you for the energy and perspective you bring to our campus.

Kalin PenaStudent-employee winner – Kalin Peña, band assistant, Department of Music

Nominated by David Kish, DMA, professor and director of bands in the Department of Music, who wrote:

“In over 20 years of teaching (including 15 years at MSU Denver), I have supervised dozens of work-study students as they worked to support the band program in the Department of Music. These duties range from managing a library of over 1,200 pieces of music to rehearsal-room preparation before each rehearsal and concert. Without question, Kalin is one of the finest band assistants that has ever helped me. He is proactive, reliable and trustworthy. He takes the position seriously, always striving for the highest-quality product. Kalin is sensitive to the needs of colleagues and is equally adept at taking a leadership role or being a member of a team. These are qualities that will surpass his work-study role. They are characteristics that will propel him into a widely successful career in music education.”

Kalin, congratulations on this well-deserved award. You bring a wealth of wonderful qualities to your role; take pride that your hard work and commitment are noticed and appreciated.

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, Roadrunner Shoutout

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