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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

February 18, 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 excellent nominations is a great reminder that our employees as well as our students choose MSU Denver because of our mission and sense of community,” said Michael Benitez, Ph.D., vice president for Diversity and Inclusion, who selected this week’s winners. “This week’s winners are helping make MSU Denver a more welcoming and inclusive campus for all.”

Ofelia Schepers, Ph.D.Faculty winner – Ofelia Schepers, Ph.D., assistant professor, Elementary Education and Literacy

Nominated by Kathryn Young, Ph.D., associate professor, Secondary Education, who wrote:

“Ofelia Schepers hit the ground running as an assistant faculty member in Elementary Education. She connects her research to her teaching to her service in myriad ways. When she joined the faculty, she used her expertise in Teacher Secondary Traumatic Stress to help lead the Trauma Informed Practices curriculum-integration project in the School of Education. This work quickly dovetailed into two co-authored books about Trauma Informed practices that have been accepted for publication. She is deeply committed to equity in and outside of the classroom and uses her passion as co-chair of the Diversifying the Teacher Workforce Committee. Dr. Schepers is a great colleague and a great leader.”

Ofelia, thank you for the passion and energy you bring to your role as an educator and for helping advance such important research. You set a great example for our students.

Estefani Peña FigueroaStaff/administrator winner – Estefani Peña Figueroa, program assistant, Immigrant Services

Nominated by Katrina Chaffin, affiliate faculty, Health Professions, who wrote:

“Estefani is committed and passionate about her work with immigrants and undocumented individuals. She goes out of her way to provide support and resources to students. In addition, she has been interning with us at Prime Health to research health care services and resources available in the Denver community. She goes above and beyond to ensure she is learning about the resources available and in turn providing that information to others in the community.”

Estefani, you are doing such important work. Thank you for your dedication to helping provide opportunities for immigrant and undocumented Roadrunners and for continuing to grow and learn as a professional.

Rowdy giving thumbs upStudent-employee winner – Ruth Alvarez Luna, program assistant

Nominated by Tisha Townsend, TRIO SSS scholar advisor, who wrote:

“This student staff member has been a really great addition to our team. Not only is Ruth great at her job, but she consistently displays consideration and kindness toward others. She is very thoughtful about the work she does both in and out of TRIO SSS. We have had a number of very good conversations as she has acclimated to online life on campus in her first semester at MSU Denver right after high school. She has been thoughtful and deliberate about exploring her career path, and it has been great to have those conversations with her. I am so excited to have her on our team!”

Ruth, adjusting to university life can be a challenge, but it sounds like you are thriving. Thank you for the positive attitude and perspective you bring to the TRIO SSS team. Be sure to add this recognition to your résumé. (Since we couldn’t find a photo of you, here’s one of Rowdy celebrating your accomplishment!)

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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