Skip to main content Skip to main content

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 Josie Lavender

October 7, 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.

“I’m grateful to all the community champions we have on campus who are so invested in the success of their fellow Roadrunners,” said Michael Benitez, Ph.D., vice president for Diversity and Inclusion. “This week’s winners have gone the extra mile to help build a more equitable and inclusive learning environment at MSU Denver.”

AnnJanette Alejano-Steele, Ph.D.Faculty winner – AnnJanette Alejano-Steele, Ph.D., interim associate vice president for the Office of Graduate Studies

Nominated by Annie Butler, professor and chair of Human Services and Counseling, who wrote:

“AJ has been instrumental in providing advocacy, support and organization to the Office of Graduate Studies. Her energy and tremendous work ethic are highly appreciated. AJ continues to step up when and where she is needed, campuswide. She embodies the Roadrunner spirit!”

AJ, thank you for supporting Roadrunners at all levels of their MSU Denver journey and for your excellent and enthusiastic leadership. Congratulations on your Shoutout!

Nahum KisnerStaff winner – Nahum Kisner, executive director for Student Support and Retention

Nominated by Eric Silva, program director for Pathways to Possible, who wrote:

“Nahum has been shouldering the weight of getting the Pathways to Possible grant up and running for the past six months and supporting the rest of the Student Support and Retention team throughout the process. He prioritizes making himself available to support his team and always keeps student needs at the center of his perspective. As a supervisor, Nahum consistently goes above and beyond to make sure the needs of his supervisees are advocated for and never hesitates to take something off of someone else’s plate. Nahum is the definition of a team player and a true advocate for our community. We are fortunate to have the opportunity to work with him.”

Nahum, thank you for your student advocacy and for taking on challenges with grace and vision. You are a true leader, and we are grateful to have you on our team as we strive for excellence.

Rowdy giving thumbs upStudent-employee winner – David Kern, learning assistant in Mathematics and Statistics and Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

Nominated by Nursen Konuk, Ph.D., assistant professor of Mathematics and Statistics, who wrote:

“I have been fortunate to work with David in the last two semesters. David has done exemplary work in supporting our students and his fellow learning assistants both academically and mentally. He cares about his peers and devotes a considerable amount of time and effort to building relationships with students and helping them develop a sense of belonging. Students feel comfortable reaching out to him, sharing their questions and concerns. He not only provides resources and answers for students, but he helps to connect them with the right people and resources to address their questions and concerns. He also has been an invaluable team member for me as an instructor. He provided insightful input about our students’ learning, well-being, and how I might support them. He also supported my teaching in several ways and helped me grow as an instructor.”

Also nominated by Gabrielle L. Katz, Ph.D., professor of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, who wrote:

“David serves as a Peer Learning Assistant in my introductory Physical Geography class. His role is to support student learning by promoting active engagement with the course material, critical thinking and problem-solving. David does such a wonderful job working with students! His professionalism, attention to detail, commitment to teaching and learning, and genuine curiosity about the Earth system all make him an invaluable assistant. My own work is definitely made easier and more enjoyable by our collaboration, and the student experience is certainly enhanced. David is studying to become a middle-school teacher, and I know he will do an excellent job in that role!”

David, you are already making strides as an educator. Thank you for investing your time, knowledge and compassion in the classroom as you continue to learn and grow. We are proud to have a Roadrunner like you in the MSU Denver community. (Since we couldn't find a photo of you, here is one of Rowdy applauding your achievement!)

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

Edit this page