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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 Lindsey Coulter

November 5, 2020

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.

“I was touched by these three nominations because they spoke to the nominees’ commitment to community,” said President Janine Davidson, Ph.D. “Doing the best we can and being the best we can for each other, for our students and for this institution – that’s Roadrunner spirit.”

Arthur Thomas, Ph.D.Faculty winner – Arthur Thomas, Ph.D., lecturer, Journalism and Media Production

Nominated by Brandon Wheeldon, student, who wrote:

“Finding a direction with a career and degree can be very tough. I am completing my Individualized Degree Program and have been trying to fill the classes needed after some of my required classes were no longer available.

“My passions are history, communication and film. I had never taken a law class before, and I found that I am pretty good at it. Professor Thomas can take your passions and degree interest and help you find your path. He offers unwavering support even through the current pandemic, online-learning stresses and personal-life struggles. He makes his class fun, educational and just tough enough to challenge you to become better.

“Professor Thomas breaks down communication law in a way that challenges students to look at the hard questions that may face people when dealing with comms law and copyright law issues. His way of teaching helps reinforce your understanding of the laws through book materials, online lectures and through 1:1 meetings. His passion for teaching is clear and is there for us regardless of what we have going on. His ability to make you feel part of the team and part of the process ensure that you don’t feel left out or forgotten.

“Overall, Professor Thomas exemplifies and embodies what a professor should be: caring, strong ethos and leadership.”

Arthur, it’s always wonderful to read such rave reviews directly from students. Your extra attention and support through the COVID-19 pandemic in particular is commendable. Thank you for finding new and creative ways to connect students with content.

Samantha BorregoStaff/administrator winner – Samantha Borrego, coordinator, First Generation Initiatives

Nominated by Michele McKinney, MSU Denver Champions, who wrote:

“Sam has elevated first-generation students at MSU Denver by seeking and implementing an array of effective and innovative programs and services to engage students. Her work enables students to have a voice, confidence, guidance and aspirations to create their own path for success. Although she has a team of dedicated staff and students who help her, she has emerged as a true leader to enrich first-gen student services and engagement. Last year, she hosted an inaugural first-gen dinner for students and families that had more than 300 attendees. This is a testament to the trust students have in her and that her programs are well-thought-out and meaningful. Her team is always willing to partner the best they can, knowing they have quite a full plate. She is incredibly professional, pragmatic, well-spoken, and has the students’ best interest in mind all the time. Sam is a champion for MSU Denver’s first-gen students, and her light shines on the entire University’s reputation.”

National First-Gen Week is a great time to highlight Sam and her incredible work to engage first-generation-to-college students. The programming, events and services she and her team provide are exceptional. Our students and our entire University community are better for her efforts. Thank you, Sam.

Ryan TalleyStudent-employee winner – Ryan Talley, administrative assistant, Office of Academic Affairs

Nominated by Lisa Lanford, office manager for the Office of the Provost and Academic Affairs, who wrote:

“Ryan Talley has worked for the Office of Academic Affairs since spring of 2019, and I have been Ryan’s supervisor for over a year now. His work in the office before COVID-19 was exemplary, especially in the area of customer service. His calming voice and mannerisms make visitors and callers feel heard and respected, and he always uses his critical-thinking skills to resolve any issues.

“Ryan has been helping Erica Buckland Anderson, associate director of Curriculum and Catalog, with a large project since he came to work with us and, according to Erica, has been instrumental in the progress that we have made. He not only worked diligently on this project but also helped with training incoming student employees (and his supervisor). His work has been excellent and much appreciated!

“When we first began hearing about COVID-19 in early March, Ryan was invaluable in keeping our office germ-free. He diligently cleaned and sanitized our two larger conference rooms after each meeting throughout the days that he worked. This cleaning also included all common areas in our office. I have been wanting to give him a ‘shoutout’ for this since we switched to remote learning and remote work. I truly believe that without Ryan, we would have seen more instances of infection stemming from interactions in JSSB Suite 330.

“Ryan is a senior in the Aviation and Aerospace Science program and is on campus a couple of days a week now, working on the final courses before graduating in spring 2021. Once we started to settle into our online roles, Ryan gladly accepted the task of collecting the incoming mail for Academic Affairs and the Provost Office on a weekly basis. He makes sure that all employees are notified if they have received important incoming mail. This involves professionalism and sound decision-making, which Ryan demonstrates all the time.

“Ryan is our lead student employee, and he is a great role model to our other student employees. Ryan has been described as thoughtful, positive, cheerful, kind, and as the type of student employee who looks for opportunities to support the office team.

“I have supervised hundreds of student employees over the years, and I have never had such a conscientious, hardworking, respectful, intelligent and capable student employee as Ryan. I am sure the entire Office of Academic Affairs will agree with me when I nominate Ryan for this President Davidson’s Roadrunner Shoutout.”

During times of uncertainty and constant change, it’s critical to have team members who are focused on a common goal and on maintaining the course. Ryan, your reliability, generosity, professionalism and willingness to go above and beyond are so appreciated. You are a great role model indeed.

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.

Team Nominations:

As Roadrunner Shoutout of the Week highlights individual winners, please contact your President's Cabinet representative to submit nominees for a President's Team Award.

Topics: Award, Excellence, Roadrunner Shoutout

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