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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 Josie Lavender

December 9, 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.

“This week’s winners stood out to me among the list of driven professionals because of their vibrant Roadrunner spirit,” said Will Simpkins, Ed.D., vice president for Student Affairs. “I would like to personally thank these Roadrunners for their commitment to empowering others and building an equitable learning environment for MSU Denver students.”

Kristy Lyons, Ph.D.Faculty winner – Kristy Lyons, Ph.D., associate professor of Psychological Sciences

Nominated by Braelin Pantel, associate vice president for Student Engagement and Wellness/dean of students, who wrote:

“Kristy has been working with Student Affairs this semester on an important initiative to better understand the experience of students who are parenting. While several staff members have been in discussion about this work for some time, thanks to Kristy’s leadership and action-oriented approach we are now collecting data that will assuredly shape important work at the University to promote student parents’ success. Armed with the data that she’s been instrumental in collecting, we plan to develop sound strategies to promote student parents’ retention and graduation from MSU Denver. Kristy is a collaborative and thoughtful colleague. She’s also a rock-solid communicator whose commitment to our students is inspiring!”

Kristy, thank you for applying your research skills and academic passion in the classroom and on a University scale. You are an inspiration!

Fallon HandStaff winner – Fallon Hand, executive administrator for the Foundation Board and vice president of University Advancement

Nominated by Melinda Olivarez, assistant secretary to the Board of Trustees, who wrote:

“Fallon is one of the hardest-working, most reliable and dedicated colleagues I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. She is a consummate professional who gives 110% all day, every day. From being the primary and central point of contact for the Office of University Advancement and the Foundation Board to managing procurement for UA to planning, coordinating logistics and staffing up to 24 Foundation Board meetings and the Foundation Board retreat each year, Fallon supports UA and the Foundation Board in countless ways and does so efficiently and with a positive attitude and a smile. She is the best counterpart I’ve had in my entire career and my favorite Roadrunner on campus.”

Fallon, your ability to successfully manage so many critical responsibilities is invaluable and greatly appreciated. Thank you for your steadfast support and leadership.

Kendall Taylor-WrightStudent-employee winner – Kendall Taylor-Wright, teaching assistant in Art

Nominated by Summer Trentin, Ph.D., associate professor of Art, who wrote:

“Kendall is my teaching assistant in World Art I and brings so much energy, knowledge and perspective to the classroom! At the beginning of the semester, Kendall took it upon herself to organize study and review sessions for students and set up a list of study buddies willing to share their notes with those who missed class.

“As a Center for Multicultural Engagement and Inclusion Equity Peer Leader and a member of the Honors Program and Urban Leadership Program, Kendall is able to share knowledge of University events and serve as a resource for students interested in further involvement and leadership within the University. Furthermore, her involvement with social justice, equity and inclusion brings a critical perspective to class discussions, which is especially important in problematizing the historically Euro-centric field of art history.

“Kendall’s energy, leadership and organizational skills leave me in awe, and my students and I are so fortunate to have her as a TA this semester.”

Kendall, thank you for investing your time, talent and expertise into supporting your fellow Roadrunners. Be sure to save this glowing nomination to show off to future employers.

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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