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

February 25, 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 are true rock stars” said Christine Márquez-Hudson, vice president and executive director, University Advancement and MSU Denver Foundation. “Through the difficulty and uncertainty of the past year, they have continued to excel in their roles by building relationships, driving important conversations and making sure our students have every opportunity to succeed.”

Jessica Retrum, Ph.D.Faculty winner – Jessica Retrum, Ph.D., chair and associate professor, Social Work

Nominated by Ann Obermann, Ph.D., assistant professor, Social Work, who wrote:

“Dr. Jessica Retrum has been an amazing leader since Covid-19 started and George Floyd’s death. Despite unpredictable schedules, changing rules, campus access, and political and civil unrest, Dr. Retrum has provided a consistent, transparent, compassionate and upbeat presence. I want to highlight her flexibility, willingness to listen, transparent communication and ability to put one step in front of the next. Dr. Retrum has regularly communicated with the department with any upcoming changes, asked for feedback, and is transparent about the decisions made and actions taken. She is willing to listen to faculty and staff and changes her mind or direction when needed. She consistently consults and works beside the full department leadership team, making decisions that are well-informed and shared. It may be a small thing, but Dr. Retrum follows through on appointments, is available to consult at any time, supports emotions and organizes a way forward. She is tireless in representing our department, and her pride for social work and MSU Denver has never been clearer. She protects faculty time and still demands quality for our students. Partnerships with faculty, staff and students in our department have driven a path forward toward anti-racist practice and education. Dr. Retrum is clear in our department mission, social-work values and her own compassion and ethics that we need to do things differently to be anti-racist. Dr. Retrum listens and asks for input on all important aspects of our programs, including community-stakeholder input and the Council of Social Work Education. In a difficult time, some leaders stumble, but Dr. Jessica Retrum has shown up strong, willing to listen and ready to move forward.”

Jessica, thank you for the time and energy you’ve dedicated to supporting the MSU Denver community. Your compassion and tenacity are deeply appreciated.

Jamie Hurst, J.D.Staff winner – Jamie Hurst, J.D., assistant vice president, Strategic Engagement

Nominated by Christine Márquez-Hudson, vice president of Advancement and executive director of the Foundation, who wrote:

“Jamie Hurst is one of our University’s top Roadrunners for so many reasons. Since her arrival around 8 years ago, Jamie has developed and led the team that launched our alumni engagement and annual giving program. Through her exemplary leadership, Jamie has developed one of the best alumni programs in the nation in record time. One of the team’s projects, the Mug Club, was recently recognized by CASE as the world’s best alumni program, winning the organization’s Platinum Award. That’s right, the WORLD’S best. This is just one example of the creative, innovative work Jamie leads her team in developing. I also appreciate how Jamie problem-solves. Thanks to her, we have implemented a number of software systems and database improvements to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of our alumni- and donor-outreach strategies. She is constantly stepping up to the plate to provide leadership and Advancement representation across campus, like serving on various selection committees, the Strategic Planning Team and the Roadrunners Safe Return committee. As if this weren’t enough, Jamie finds time to teach and take classes. A former attorney, she is currently teaching a course on legal liability. Jamie is an all-around rock star, a problem-solver and a collaborator. She is absolutely deserving of this recognition!”

Jamie, thank you for being such an inspirational leader. Your ambition and forward-thinking attitude truly embody the Roadrunner spirit.

Citlalith MedranoStudent-employee winner – Citlalith Medrano, student ambassador, Roadrunner Ambassador Program, Admissions Office

Nominated by Amanda Ryder, associate director, Admissions, who wrote:

“When the University pivoted to a remote working environment, our RAP ambassadors had to quickly pivot, too. Instead of meeting with students in-person at their high school’s Future Center, Citlalith began brainstorming ways we can reach students where they are. Over the last several months, Citlalith has tried numerous ways to engage with her students and high school counselors, including offering virtual game sessions, individual meetings, group meetings, presentations and panels. Additionally, she recognized the importance of videos to help students through their next steps and stepped out of her comfort zone to create four how-to videos to assist new students through their first (and often confusing) steps as a Roadrunner, including how to sign in to their MSU Denver account for the first time and how to authenticate their sign-in with the Microsoft Authenticator App. Citlalith went above and beyond learning new video-editing software and becoming our resident expert through the technical processes. Additionally, she has been a source of positivity and excitement in the Office of Admissions. Even when dealing with the disappointment of not getting to meet with students in-person or hosting an online event that no one attends, she bounces back and thinks about what to try next. I am so grateful for the opportunity to work with her and truly can’t imagine this year without her.”

Also nominated by Erin Ulrich, Admissions counselor, who wrote:

“Citlalith has never stopped exceeding the expectations of a student employee. We work closely together to support prospective students throughout Denver Public Schools, and Citlalith can always be counted on to bring a smile to any task. Citlalith builds relationships with her school counselors and students easily and fosters connections that help our applicants to feel safe and excited about the thought of coming to MSU Denver. She successfully rekindled high school networks/relationships that had previously experienced some difficulty, ultimately rebuilding trust and promoting a positive working relationship between high schools and MSU Denver. She has done an amazing job. She can relate to our students in meaningful ways and openly shares her own student experience to positively engage prospective students in the MSU Denver application process. Citlalith gives her all to every task she completes and brings a great deal of creativity and passion to the table. She regularly advocates on behalf of her students to make sure their needs are being met as best as possible. Whether completing the application or learning about financial aid, Citlalith can be counted on to provide excellent counsel to her students. In the face of virtual learning, Citlalith jumped right in to brainstorm new ways of reaching students with a larger caseload. From creating helpful how-to videos to hosting celebratory game nights, Citlalith has gone above and beyond to show her commitment to excellence as a student employee. She truly exemplifies the amazing MSU Denver student body and represents MSU Denver with dignity and enthusiasm every day. I love getting to work with Citlalith, and I’m so excited to see where her passion takes her in the world.”

Citlalith, thank you for generously investing your talents, time and passion in your role with MSU Denver. We are grateful to have a Roadrunner like you.

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, CADRE, Excellence, Roadrunner Shoutout

Edit this page