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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 29, 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.

“What makes MSU Denver a leader in higher education is the people. From student employees to staff and faculty, the Roadrunner community is filled with passionate and forward-thinking leaders,” said Michael Benitez, Ph.D., vice president for the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

Adriana Nieto, Ph.D.Faculty winner – Adriana Nieto, Ph.D., chair and associate professor, Chicana/o Studies

Nominated by Chalane Lechuga, Ph.D., associate professor, Department of Chicana/o Studies, who wrote:

“I’d like to nominate Dr. Adriana Nieto for this recognition. As chair of our department, she has been a steady but fierce leader who has prioritized our health, safety and well-being, while ensuring that the work of our department gets done. This year has been particularly difficult for our small department. Not only have we had to navigate the pandemic, but our roots in community engagement and social justice have called us to greater action given recent (and ongoing) attacks on our BIPOC communities. In addition, as women of color, we are often called upon to take up the slack in caring for our children, students and community. This often means little if any time for self-care and certainly no time for accolades or recognition. Yet these types of recognition are important and matter. Dr. Nieto derives this recognition for her steadfast commitment to students, our department, MSU Denver and the larger Denver community. We are lucky to have her!”

Adriana, thank you for investing your time, patience and heart into the MSU Denver community. You have made such a positive impact on the lives of so many Roadrunners.

Ally Garcia, Ed.D.Staff winner – Ally Garcia, Ed.D., assistant dean of the Center for Equity and Student Achievement and director of TRiO Student Support Services

Nominated by Matt Watson, writer, Strategy, Marketing and Communications, who wrote:

“MSU Denver supports a bill in the Colorado legislature that would make standardized tests optional for our admissions process, a key equity achievement that would make higher education even more accessible. Not only did Ally interview for a RED story on the issue, but she identified students for the story and gave compelling personal testimony to the House Education Committee. She works every day to ensure that TRiO students who are the most likely to get left behind by the American education system are successful at MSU Denver, and now she’s going above and beyond to support a University priority and fight for opportunity for all Coloradans.”

Ally, thank you for being an advocate for students and working to enhance the Roadrunner experience. MSU Denver is lucky to have a leader like you.

Rowdy giving thumbs upStudent-employee winner – Maxwell Cooper, assistant, Music

Nominated by Peter Schimpf, Ph.D., department chair, Music, who wrote:

“Max has been absolutely essential to the Department of Music this semester. Since our program has started using the building at 800 Kalamath, Max has been a leader in helping manage the space, supporting faculty, students and our community partners in a variety of ways. He is dependable and responsive and demonstrates a strong sense of responsibility.”

Max, thank you for your contributions to MSU Denver in and out of the classroom. It is inspiring to see students helping their fellow Roadrunners succeed. (Since we couldn't find of photo of you, here is one of Rowdy applauding 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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