Skip to main content Skip to main content


Congratulations to outstanding programs and educators, staff leaders and inspiring alumni.

By Josie Lavender

April 28, 2021

MSU Denver sign on buildingIn addition to Faculty Citings, the Early Bird shines a spotlight each month on the accomplishments of Metropolitan State University of Denver faculty, staff and University partners.

As our campus community continues to navigate teaching, learning and operating online to reduce the spread of Covid-19, it’s great to be reminded of the true impact of MSU Denver students, faculty and staff.

If we missed an award, accolade or opportunity to celebrate an accomplishment big or small, please email us at


Applause for alumni


Ground control to alumna Magens Orman: You’ve really made the grade. Orman works behind the scenes on NASA’s Mars rover project as a manufacturing engineer at Sierra Nevada Corp. When she began her education at MSU Denver in 2008, she was a Fine Arts major, but Orman found her path to space through an elective science class that changed her life. After discovering her passion for space, she got involved with multiple student organizations including the Orbital Mechanics Club, the Student Commercial Spaceflight Federation and SEDS, which helped to nurture her love of aerospace. She is currently acting secretary of the Colorado Space Grant Advisory board to the University of Colorado Boulder and treasurer of the MSU Denver Alumni Board.


English alumna Kali Fajardo-Anstine continues to garner critical acclaim for her fiction. Her debut short-story collection, “Sabrina & Corina,” was a finalist for the prestigious National Book Foundation’s top fiction picks. Now, Fajardo-Anstine is one of 18 writers to receive the prestigious 2021 Writer of Great Promise Literature Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Catch up with Fajardo-Anstine on RED.


Fantastic faculty


Every year, the American Educational Research Association sanctions a Social Justice Dissertation Award to recognize exemplary research on social-justice issues within education. This year, MSU Denver’s own Sandra Leu Bonanno, Ph.D., assistant professor in the School of Education, received the honor. Congrats!


Spectacular staff


Adrienne Martinez, Ph.D., has fostered student engagement, equity and inclusion at MSU Denver since 2018 as the executive director of college-to-career initiatives and now as associate vice president of Classroom to Career Initiatives. Her relentless dedication to improving higher education can be seen throughout many phases in her career development. She has achieved a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a doctorate in Philosophy and implemented robust career-development programs in her current and previous roles. Most recently, Martinez was recognized by the Denver Business Journal as a 40 under 40 pick. Give it up for this inspirational community leader.


Prestigious programs


Achieving accreditation is a revered and rigorous process. Higher-education institutions must prove that they are capable of preparing students for a successful future by implementing a mission-driven plan that aligns with the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. After years of evaluation by the AACSB, MSU Denver is proud to announce an extension of Business accreditation.


Not only have the faculty and staff at MSU Denver’s College of Business quickly pivoted to provide virtual support during the pandemic, but they have changed the perception of sales for aspiring business students. Every year, the Sales Education Foundation compiles a comprehensive list of university sales-education programs worldwide. This year, MSU Denver placed in the foundation’s Top Universities for Professional Sales Education list as well as the sales-competition section. Thank you, Roadrunners, for helping to uphold our CADRE values.


No debate about it


MSU Denver’s Debate Club last October won an honorable mention at the national Schuman Challenge. In March, it registered another top performance in the Transatlantic Dialogues hosted by George Washington University and the Ecole de Guerre. Two Roadrunners played critical roles on the top three teams: José Flores was on the first-place team, and Matt Wicks was on the third-place team. Learn more about the rejuvenated Roadrunners Debate Club on RED.

Topics: Kudos

Edit this page