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Locally, nationally and globally, MSU Denver faculty and staff continue to make their mark.

By Lindsey Coulter

October 23, 2018

Two MSU Denver students throwing balloons in the air.In addition to Faculty Citings, the Early Bird shines a spotlight each month on the accomplishments of Metropolitan State University of Denver faculty and staff. Whether recognizing awards, honor-society inductions, grant submissions or personal and professional accomplishments that embody the MSU Denver mission, we want to celebrate those adding to the vibrancy of our campus community.

National and local awards

Annjanette Alejano-Steele, associate dean, College of Professional Studies, was one of four runners up for the 2018 Thomas Ehrlich Civically Engaged Faculty Award. The annual award recognizes faculty for exemplary leadership in advancing student civic learning, conducting community-based research, fostering reciprocal partnerships, building institutional commitments to engagement and enhancing higher education’s contributions to the public good.

Department of Human Services affiliate faculty member Janine Vanderburg was recently honored with the 2018 Mayor’s Diversity and Inclusion Award for her work with the Denver Commission on Aging. For three decades, Janine Vanderburg has led consulting firm Joining Vision and Action, which has helped thousands of individuals and organizations involved in community and social change to strategize, hear from community, fundraise, develop leadership and evaluate impact. In 2018, she launched Change the Narrative in Colorado, a statewide strategic-communications campaign to shift public perceptions about aging and ageism.

Congratulations to the faculty, staff and students of the MSU Denver Precision Flying Team. The team recently competed in the 2018 Region One competition for the National Intercollegiate Flying Association at Rocky Mountain College in Billings, Montana. Roadrunners won multiple individual awards as well as third place overall.

Roadrunners in the media

Assistant Professor of Physics Azure Avery, Ph.D., was profiled by the University of Denver for her work with carbon nanotubes, her collaboration with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and how she’s preparing students for success.

Samantha Borrego, academic advisor and retention specialist, and Courtney Matsumoto, coordinator, academic advising, Advanced Manufacturing Sciences Institute, were each quoted in a recent article published in Diverse Issues in Higher Education. The article focused on the importance of Hispanic-serving institutions internationalizing their campuses, advocacy for DREAMers and collaborative partnerships between minority-serving institutions for Hispanic-student success.

International impacts

China Printing BiennaleMartin Mendelsberg, affiliate faculty, art, together with five students in the Communication Design program, exhibited posters in Beijing during September’s China Printing Design Biennale. Two of the student posters were also projects from a previous course taught by Shawn Meek, assistant professor of communication design. 

Coordinator of International Student Support Aubrey Winbigler helped launched the International Student Welcome on Sept. 15 in collaboration with Community College of Denver, the University of Colorado Denver and the University of Denver. The event provided an opportunity for international students from across the city to make connections, learn about resources and get to know the city.

Dr. Harvey Milkman, Ph.D., professor emeritus, psychology, has been invited to speak at the annual dinner of Fundación Tiempo de Juego, a Colombian organization that empowers communities through the use of Social Cohesion Methodology. Milkman was selected for his brain-chemistry research work, which has had signification impacts on efforts to curb youth substance abuse in Iceland.

Trustee continues commitment to education

Trustee Michelle Lucero, Esq., chief administrative officer and general counsel for Children’s Hospital Colorado, recently joined the Boettcher Foundation Board of Trustees. The organization supports funding for a number of grants and scholarships to help Colorado youth attain in-state education.

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