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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

May 13, 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.

“Reading these glowing nominations is a reminder of how much amazing work happens behind the scenes at MSU Denver,” said Cathy Lucas, vice president of Strategy and External Affairs, who selected this week’s winners. “Roadrunners have such a spirit of generosity and community, and this week’s winners truly embody those qualities.”

Josh MartinFaculty winner – Josh Martin, Ph.D., associate professor, Chemistry

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

“Dr. Martin is a quiet person, and in my opinion, this has caused him to be significantly underrecognized for his extensive, dedicated work at MSU Denver. Josh has been a powerhouse for excellence in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and one of the keystones for the success of MSU Denver. I share many students with Dr. Martin, and I often hear them talk about how much they love his challenging and engaging courses. It is clear that the students have profound respect for Dr. Martin and his knowledge of chemistry.

“Not only have I seen the impact Dr. Martin has on our students, but he has also had an incredible impact on the department as the chair of the CHE curriculum committee, does excellent work on several other CHE committees and serves as a dedicated mentor to our new faculty members. He is known for his impeccable planning and for the crucial analytical eye he brings to departmental processes and programs.

“Finally, Dr. Martin does an incredible amount of work for the University community by serving on the Faculty Senate, the Faculty Senate Academic Policy subcommittee and the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences Curriculum Committee. Last but not least, Dr. Martin has an incredible understanding of, and commitment to, diversity, equity and inclusion practices on campus. This work has led Dr. Martin to the Universitywide Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee and the Faculty and Staff Recruitment and Retention Subcommittee. I honestly cannot say enough good things about Dr. Martin. He has been a wonderful mentor, colleague and friend the entire time I’ve been at MSU Denver, and I want him to get all of the recognition he deserves!”

Josh, thank you for your support of students, your leadership within the faculty community and your work to make MSU Denver an even stronger institution. Your extra efforts bring so much value to your department and to the University.

Jerrid OatesStaff winner – Jerrid Oates, associate director, Athletics

Nominated by John Kietzmann, associate director of Athletics for marketing and promotions/external relations, who wrote:

“Jerrid has worked tirelessly over recent months to prepare facilities for MSU Roadrunners Athletics for competition. This has included everything from making adjustments for Covid-19 health orders to the removal of snow on the baseball and softball field to prepare for games. Now, as we prepare to allow fans back to our venues, Jerrid is setting MSU Denver up for success by creating a safe environment that everyone can enjoy.”

Athletics is such an important part of the MSU Denver experience. Thank you, Jerrid, for supporting our student-athletes and fans and for ensuring a safe experience for all.

Jose Puente PuenteStudent-employee winner – Jose Puente Puente, Sociology student tutor, Department of Sociology and Anthropology; family leader, Office of First-Generation Initiatives

Nominated by Jill Scott, laboratory coordinator, Department of Sociology and Anthropology; Samantha Borrego, coordinator of First-Generation Initiatives; and Gesemia Nelson, Ph.D., associate professor of Sociology, who wrote:

“Jose has been an outstanding employee across a variety of positions in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology over the past few years, starting as a front-desk assistant and student coordinator for recruitment to the department’s then-Academic Advisor Samantha Borrego. When she became the coordinator of First-Generation Initiatives, she hired Jose as a family leader in their office. Through excelling in his Sociology coursework and collaborative interactions with classmates, faculty and staff, Jose was also hired as a student tutor for the course Social Statistics. This course is viewed as one of the most challenging in the Sociology major, but through Jose’s patience, dedication, generous giving of time and excellent communication and explanatory abilities, he has helped many students not only succeed but shine in the course. Jose excelled at in-person tutoring prior to the pandemic but became even more invaluable when the course and tutoring pivoted to the virtual environment. He has maintained a flexible attitude and good-natured sense of humor and jovialness that puts students at ease when feeling stressed and anxious by the current learning environment.

“Not only does Jose willingly take on the new challenges put to him by his student-employment positions, but he completes them to the highest level of quality. In the First-Gen Office, Jose has served as a family leader to a cohort of students where he modeled what it looks like to be a successful college student and helped them build relationships with one another as a first-gen family. Jose helped with mentoring students and facilitating workshops, and he even assisted in creating the workshops used by his peers in the program. He also helped make lasting programmatic changes, which allowed First-Gen to recruit and retain even more students. From his coursework to the students he tutors to his First-Gen family, through his leadership, Jose builds a sense of community wherever he goes. Jose is caring, dedicated, responsible, generous and intellectually curious, and our offices would not be the same without him.”

Jose, thank you for investing so much time and energy to ensure the success of your fellow students. We often speak to the legacy our faculty and staff, but student employees like you can leave an equally powerful mark on an institution. Thank you for sharing your gifts and talents with the MSU Denver community.

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: Roadrunner Shoutout

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