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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

June 3, 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 have worked tirelessly to enrich the Roadrunner experience for students and their colleagues,” said Will Simpkins, Ed.D., vice president for Student Affairs. “Their contributions to our University community and their commitment to excellence deserve celebration.”

Tanya Greathouse, Ph.D.Faculty winner – Tanya Greathouse, Ph.D., associate professor, Social Work

Nominated by Jess Retrum, Ph.D., associate professor and chair, Social Work, who wrote:

“Dr. Greathouse has been a faculty member in our department for many years who has advocated for support of students and faculty to grow in the areas of diversity, equity and inclusion. As a clinician for many years before becoming a faculty member, she has a keen eye for understanding her colleagues’ and students’ needs, while also pushing them to their ‘learning edge.’ She is the lead faculty for our graduate program’s Privilege, Oppression and Power course, among others, that focuses on how we can make change on the personal, group, community and political levels. Last summer, Dr. Greathouse agreed to become our diversity-and-inclusion coordinator to serve as a leader of diversity-and-inclusion practices. She is responsible for continued programming and monitoring of implementation of goals and objectives of departmental diversity-and-inclusion initiatives. She serves in the role with great integrity and passion and creates brave supportive spaces that benefit all our faculty, but importantly of late, our BIPOC faculty, staff and students.

“There are many faculty members in our department who deserve a shoutout for their tireless passion around this work and are making a real difference in our students and community, but I wanted Dr. Greathouse to know how much we appreciate her grace and leadership in this area.”

Tanya, thank you for continually working to build an inclusive and welcoming environment at MSU Denver. Thank you for pushing yourself, your department, your students and MSU Denver as a whole toward excellence.

Gabe ChristieStaff winner – Gabe Christie, instructional-accessibility manager, Center for Teaching, Learning and Design

Nominated by Heather Blevins, coordinator of communications and outreach, Financial Aid, who wrote:

“Gabe has assisted me and my department to ensure that all (online) documents are 100% accessible to our students. Gabe has continued to be a resource to our department as we have reviewed all of our outreach PowerPoints and materials. We are appreciative of his expertise as we move our staff training onto Canvas, and we are thankful that he and his team assisted all of our faculty last summer to make the transition from Blackboard to Canvas possible! Gabe, you truly are invaluable to this institution – thank you for EVERYTHING you do for MSU Denver!”

Gabe, you are a Roadrunner rock star. Thank you for devoting your time and innovation to helping MSU Denver pivot and thrive during the pandemic and beyond.

Rowdy giving thumbs upStudent-employee winner – Kaelin Messex, Crew in Blue member and member of the student advisory board

Nominated by Thuy Phan, executive assistant to the vice president for Student Affairs, who wrote:

“You may already know Kaelin as she is a team member of the Crew in Blue who greets many of us at the Jordan Student Success Building Welcome Desk with her friendly and pleasant demeanor. Kaelin holds a plethora of institutional and campus knowledge as she assists and redirects the many inquiries that arise. Most notably, while most of us have been working remotely during this pandemic, Kaelin along with her team has been keeping the JSSB doors open to serve those on campus. Kaelin is dedicated, helpful, reliable, resourceful and supportive.

“Lastly, Kaelin also serves on the vice president for Student Affairs’ Student Advisory Board and ensures that the student voice and experience is at the center of the dialogues taking place. Not only does she elevate the student voice, but she also brings an authenticity to the conversations. She has been a true asset, and we appreciate her student advocacy in this space.

“We will miss seeing Kaelin at the Welcome Desk as she is embarking on her student-teaching adventures; however, we thank her so much for serving the Roadrunner community!”

Kaelin, thank you for offering Roadrunners and visitors to the JSSB a friendly face. Your warm and helpful nature will no doubt take you far in this next chapter of your career. Best of luck in your student-teaching experience, and stay rowdy!  

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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