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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

March 11, 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.

“Based on these great nominations, this week’s winners are team players who have really taken the idea of inclusive leadership to heart,” said Todd Thurman, director of Athletics. “On behalf of all the senior leadership team, I congratulate these outstanding Roadrunners.”

Barbara DeckerFaculty winner - Barbara Decker, lecturer, Social Work

Nominated by K Scherrer, Ph.D., associate professor and program director, Social Work, and Jessica Retrum, Ph.D., associate professor and chair, Social Work, who wrote:

“We have known Barbara since she began teaching for our department full-time in 2016. She has been one of the most compassionate, dedicated and hardworking faculty who pours herself into supporting students and meeting them where they are at. Barbara has taken leadership in developing new core courses for our program, provided support to affiliate faculty teaching in areas of her content expertise and cultivated a sense of care and community for our undergraduate students.

“In addition to her intentionality in teaching, Barbara also does an excellent job of attending to issues of inclusivity in her work with students. Barbara’s 29-year career as a social-work practitioner before taking the role of full-time instructor here at MSU Denver focused on providing support to students with disabilities at the secondary and postsecondary levels, supporting first-generation, underserved students as they accessed postsecondary education, coordinating evaluation research and implementing grants at nonprofit organizations. This experience provides her rich experience to bring into the classroom. Her commitment to inclusivity is evident in the classroom.

“We often hear directly from her students as well as faculty peers that Barbara is an excellent instructor. If that isn’t evidence enough, she was voted BSSW (Bachelor of Science in Social Work) Faculty Member of the Year, Department of Social Work, two years in a row (2016-2017 and 2017-2018) by the BSSW student body.

“When we moved online, Barbara was one of the first faculty to reach out and seek all the support she needed and reach out to students as well, to ensure they had what they needed to succeed. Moreover, even though she is not released for service, every year she has been at MSU Denver, Barbara dedicates herself to civic-engagement activities at the University level. I don’t know how she finds the time.

“In summary, Ms. Decker is an extremely gifted instructor and valued colleague who contributes a great deal to our department, University and students. She is a model MSU Denver instructor who ‘gets’ and is deeply dedicated to MSU Denver students.”

Barbara, thank you for helping to build a culture of equity and inclusion at MSU Denver. Your hard work and dedication have impacted many and are deeply appreciated.

James Ross with dog LucyStaff winner – James Ross, assistant to the Registrar and special-projects manager

Nominated by Brandy Schooler, prior-learning specialist, Registrar, who wrote:

“James’ role doesn’t allow for him to work one-on-one with students often, but he takes such amazing care of all of the employees within the Registrar’s Office so that we may focus on our students with less stress and greater ease. James has a constant smile, even when you know he has a lot on his plate. He is always courteous and helpful. James goes above and beyond to take care of things for all of us, even when those things don’t necessarily fall under his purview. At times, employees that are not student-facing are sometimes not considered for this type of award, but I would like to recognize how important his role is within our office and how his hard work in the end helps us give the best care to our students!”

James, the joy and passion you bring to work is contagious. Thank you for being a stand-up Roadrunner.

Allyson HaleStudent-employee winner – Allyson Hale, marketing assistant, Campus Recreation, first-generation student and Social Work major

Nominated by Jordan Morgan, facility operations and marketing specialist, Campus Recreation, who said:

“Allyson has been a utility player for Campus Recreation. She has an immense passion for connecting with students. She is flexible in her work and strives to accommodate whatever her department needs. During the pandemic, she has shined. She assists with creating and posting content on social media. She helps form manuals for new employees, gives input on new programming and even monitors a virtual engagement platform. She has helped many different positions over the course of a year and has never complained ... only asked, ‘How can I help?’ She aims to develop and gain as much experience as she can and keeps a supporting attitude around her peers.”

Allyson, thank you for being such an invaluable team member. Your reliability, generosity, professionalism and willingness to go above and beyond are so 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, CADRE, Excellence, Roadrunner Shoutout

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