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Celebrate Women’s History Month by celebrating outstanding Roadrunners

Not keeping up with RED? You’re missing tons of great stories on female leaders making a difference in their communities and beyond.

By Lindsey Coulter

March 27, 2019

Lt. Gen. Laura Richardson speaking into microphoneThe contributions and accomplishments of women are central to many of the great stories found in RED. Already this year, RED has highlighted women who educate, communicate, lead, protect, write, advocate and code — and even one who drains 3-pointers on the basketball court while carrying a 3.95 grade-point average.

As we celebrate the last few days of Women’s History Month 2019, don’t miss these fantastic stories about the Roadrunners and community partners making their marks.

Just keep swimming

Meet trailblazing U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Laura Richardson, a Metropolitan State University of Denver alum, as she reflects on the value of struggle, her rise to the top levels of the military and what it takes to make a great leader.

No room in the C-suite?

More than 80 percent of the hospitality industry’s workforce is female, as are more than two-thirds of students in collegiate hospitality programs. Yet women continue to battle for equality when it comes to promotion to the C-suite. Get to know two Roadrunners leading the industry and how they are changing the game for future women leaders.

What is the color purple?

Melina Abdullah, Ph.D., a co-founder of Black Lives Matter and the University’s 2019 Rachel B. Noel Distinguished Visiting Professor, offers four steps for action-oriented womanist leadership. The social theory, inspired by author Alice Walker, is based on the experiences of black women and holds femininity and culture equally important.

Bound to educate

Student Idalee Nunez plans to teach elementary school in the town of Tlajomulco de Zúñiga, Mexico, after completing her degree in early-childhood education. Her experiences in TRIO High School Upward Bound, run out of MSU Denver’s Center for Urban Education and open to high school students from five Denver Public Schools, helped pave the way.

Balancing basketball and biochemistry

MSU Denver women’s basketball standout Jonalyn Wittwer balances immunology and inbounds plays, and parasitology and pick-and-rolls — while maintaining one of the deadliest 3-point shots in the region. Learn more about this impressive Roadrunner, who was recently recognized as the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference’s Academic Player of the Year.

Shattering the cybersecurity glass ceiling

At the recent Air Force Association’s CyberPatriot youth cybersecurity competition, an all-girls squad from Jefferson County’s D’Evelyn Junior/Senior High School tackled outdated operating systems, users without a password and unsecured media files with ease. Read more about these talented techies and their MSU Denver coaches.

Reflections on a career in water

Trina McGuire-Collier joined Denver Water at age 27 and spent the next 25 years working her way up the pipeline from media-relations coordinator to director of communications and marketing. Learn about her journey and how her experience at MSU Denver prepared her for success.

Third-gen teacher speaks kids’ language

2015 graduate Jacqueline Lujan gives her kindergarten students “wild curiosity and a passion for learning” by reaching them where they are. Learn how Lujan’s experiences in MSU Denver’s Elementary Education Post-Baccalaureate Licensure program helped her become a skilled, effective educator.

Then, check out the RED archives for powerful stories about women in Congress (including alum Gloria Tanner), the success of our women’s volleyball program, how our own fearless leader, President Janine Davidson, Ph.D., went from flying C-130s to soaring as a Roadrunner and more.

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