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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

April 22, 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 prime examples of MSU Denver’s CADRE values,” said Christine Márquez-Hudson, vice president of Advancement and executive director of the MSU Denver Foundation. “When challenges arise, these Roadrunners have responded with leadership and innovation to ensure the success of students, faculty and staff.”

Jason RiceFaculty winner – Jason Rice, Food Services Lab coordinator, School of Hospitality

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

“Jason Rice is a phenomenal Roadrunner. As Food Services Lab coordinator in our School of Hospitality, Jason might have been foiled by an entire year of remote learning. Not so. Jason pivoted when the pandemic hit and took MSU Denver’s culinary learning to a whole new place. For months, he’s been the lead chef of Rogue Kitchen, an ‘innovative and exciting cooking demonstration show,’ which started last June. Not only can students learn from Chef Rice, but he’s taken his culinary show to the community.

“Advancement has had the opportunity to partner with Chef Rice to use his skills and technology to engage donors during this difficult time too. Chef Rice helped us with a remote cooking lesson for our partner CampExperience, a network of 5,000 women from across metro Denver who are working to raise money and awareness for MSU Denver all year. Under Chef Rice’s expert instruction, women in homes across Denver put together tangy tacos and a fabulous and fancy peach-pastry dessert while ‘doing good and having fun.’ In February, and with only two weeks’ notice, Chef Rice helped pull together a charcuterie board and wine tasting for the leaders of our upcoming comprehensive fundraising campaign. All virtual, it was a wonderful way to kick off this multiyear effort and engage our volunteers, who will be spending many hours helping to raise money for priority initiatives across campus.

“Thank you, Chef Rice, for your skills, ingenuity, energy and partnership!”

Jason, your ingenuity and forward-thinking approach to instruction have helped so many Roadrunners thrive in a challenging year. Thank you for your hard work.

Maggie ThulsonStaff winner – Maggie Thulson, assistant to the vice provost, Faculty Affairs

Nominated by Lisa Lanford, office manager, Academic Affairs, who wrote:

“Maggie Thulson has been working for MSU Denver for several years now in different capacities. She is one of the best co-workers ever. She is the kind of woman who makes you feel that you belong right away. She has a warm ease about her that makes one feel that there are no bad questions and that she will always help when needed. She is strong, supportive, selfless, systematic, succinct, smiley, savvy, stylish and sassy-smart. Maggie understands how things work at the University and is not afraid to roll up her sleeves to get the work done. She supports so many University, student, staff and faculty endeavors, and we are all fortunate to have Maggie on our Roadrunner team!!”

Also nominated by Ann Sanders Madison, executive assistant to the vice provost, Academic Affairs, who wrote:

“Maggie Thulson, vice president of the Staff Senate and assistant to the vice provost of Faculty Affairs, is the person people go to on campus to get things done. Faculty and staff rely on Maggie for information and answers. She is supportive of her co-workers and is a genuine pleasure to work with; she is always quick to volunteer to assist in any way that she can. Maggie brings a feeling of stability and efficiency that is an asset to any project she works on. Maggie is a dedicated Roadrunner who deserves praise and recognition.”

Also nominated by Bill Henry, Ph.D., vice provost, Academic Affairs, who wrote:

“Maggie is an invaluable part of the Academic Affairs leadership-support team. She is conscientious and detail-oriented, and her friendly demeanor makes her a resource that faculty and staff are comfortable with. In my role as interim provost, I came to rely on Maggie to manage an array of issues related to policies and procedures affecting faculty. I cannot think of anyone on staff who deserves this recognition more than Maggie.”

Maggie, the patience, care and dedication you bring to work daily is inspirational. Thank you for supporting the MSU Denver community, and take pride in the fact that your efforts are so widely recognized and appreciated.

Rowdy giving thumbs upStudent-employee winner – Elliot Liveoak, esports coordinator, Campus Recreation

Nominated by David Lamothe, assistant director of sports, Campus Recreation, who wrote:

“Elliot first got involved with Campus Recreation as a participant in the department’s Intramural Esport programming. As a volunteer, he was vital in the planning and facilitation of Campus Recreation’s first major esport tournament in the Tivoli Turnhalle during fall 2019. Since then, Elliot has continued to be involved with esports at MSU Denver and was elected president of the University’s official Club Esports team. His leadership and recruitment efforts led to the growth of the team and have increased their success ‘on the field.’ He also offers personal mentoring and coaching to aid the skill development of every team member. He is a true leader who really understands the needs and desires of those he inspires.

“Having worked to make competitive gaming a reality at the University by helping get the Club Esports team off the ground, Elliot’s knowledge of the industry was evident, and Campus Recreation brought him on as a student employee to increase the department’s reach and effectiveness. Elliot has since utilized his skills to bolster Campus Recreation’s esports program by getting more students interested and involved in casual and intramural tournaments as well as club-level competitive play where students get the chance to represent the University across the nation. His passion for making gaming, both casual and competitive, accessible and enjoyable by any and all who wish to play is highly admirable. Elliot is a superstar employee who will continue to use his abilities to identify, organize and manage all levels of esports on our campus to increase student engagement and to make MSU Denver a hub for this exploding industry.”

Elliot, thank you for investing your time and talent into offering new opportunities to your fellow Roadrunners. MSU Denver is all about community, and you’re helping make that community even stronger. (Since we couldn't find a photo of you, here is one of Rowdy celebrating 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, CADRE, Excellence, Roadrunner Shoutout

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