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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

March 18, 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.

“It’s clear these Roadrunners have a genuine love of learning and of sharing their knowledge with others,” said David Fine, J.D., general counsel and secretary to the Board of Trustees, who selected this week’s winners. “That spirit of inclusivity and collaboration is what makes MSU Denver such a great place to study and work.”

Sophia Cherry, Ph.D.Faculty winner – Sophia Cherry, Ph.D., laboratory instructor, Chemistry

Nominated by Megan Lazorski, Ph.D., assistant professor, Chemistry, who wrote:

“Dr. Cherry is delightful. She is energetic, fun, intelligent and committed to serving her students. She has taken extensive measures to modify the general chemistry laboratories in order to continue providing safe, effective, and fun learning experiences for the students in one of the most difficult times in history. Her energy and humor are contagious, and I am so glad she is my colleague!”

Sophia, thank you for creating such a warm, welcoming and engaging learning environment for your students, and thank you for extending that Roadrunner spirit to your faculty community. MSU Denver is lucky to have you.

Gwen EstridgeStaff winner – Gwen Estridge, concurrent enrollment specialist, Innovative and Lifelong Learning

Nominated by Jessica Buckmaster, concurrent enrollment manager, ILL, who wrote:

Gwen works tirelessly with our high school partners to ensure that concurrent/dual enrollment students complete the enrollment process. She manages all student enrollment for classes held at our partner high schools. The accuracy of this process requires great attention to detail and communication. She always follows through without errors and continues to excel as the program grows in bounds. She greatly assisted her supervisor in coordinating the changing decisions schools had to make in the fall and aligning their plans with MSU Denver’s capabilities and needs for online delivery. She was flexible as changed plans changed again and kept up with the moving targets.

“Gwen also organized virtual program information sessions for our ASCENT students to ensure that they were ready for the start of the Fall semester and were fully informed about their online classes and health regulations for in-person classes on-campus. She supports this cohort of students and always makes them priority.

“Gwen’s enthusiasm for the job comes through in all she does. She has a positive attitude that makes her a pleasure to work with and is one of the reasons she is so well liked by her coworkers and students. She is a joy and I am proud to be on a team with her. I see her enthusiasm and positive attitude reflected by our high school and school district partners and students in their interactions with her. Her heart is big and warm, and our students know that she truly cares for them through her actions. She makes students comfortable and gives them encouragement, which is evident when they decide to continue with MSU Denver after they graduate high school.”

Thank you, Gwen, for everything you do to help students and MSU Denver succeed. Your passion for your work and for the University’s mission is inspiring and deeply appreciated.

Dylan PochStudent-employee winner – Dylan Poch, undergraduate researcher and teaching assistant, Chemistry & Biochemistry

Nominated by Andrew Bonham, Ph.D., professor and chair, Chemistry and Biochemistry, who wrote:

“Dylan is an excellent example of a Roadrunner student-scientist. While pursuing his chemistry degree, he has helped other students as a teaching assistant and a learning assistant, giving back to the community and sharing the learning experience. But most impressively, he has managed his coursework and work helping others all while pursuing active biochemistry research with me. In that work, Dylan has learned to plan and collaborate with Dr. Honda's medical research lab at National Jewish Health, pushing forward work to create better medical diagnostics for serious bacterial lung disease. In this work, he has learned principles of bacterial culture, advanced purification and characterization techniques of biomolecules, and has retained an optimistic spirit and determination despite setbacks and challenging projects. His work thus far has been published in the Rowdy Scholar and in the proceedings of the national meeting of the American Society for Biochemistry & Molecular Biology. He is a great young scientist and an example of the Roadrunner spirit.”

Dylan, thank you for being such a dedicated student and for sharing your enthusiasm and knowledge with your fellow learners. Congratulations on your growing list of recognitions and accomplishments!

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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