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. 

Michael Benitez Ph.D.

“It’s exciting to see so many movers and shakers working here at MSU Denver,” said Michael Benitez, Ph.D., vice president of Diversity and Inclusion. “This week’s winners have gone above and beyond to build a more inclusive and equitable Roadrunner community.” 



Faculty winner – Devon Wright, Ph.D., assistant professor of Africana Studies

Nominated by Benitez, who wrote: 

Devon Wright, Ph.D.

“I am pleased to nominate Dr. Devon Wright for Roadrunner Shoutout of the Week. Since arriving at MSU Denver, Dr. Wright has made it a central focus of his to assure that students gain the critical and analytical skills that prepare them to succeed both inside and outside of the classroom. I have particularly appreciated Dr. Wright’s connection to the Denver community. He makes it a priority to assure that students in his courses not only learn about issues of race and social movement in the classroom but from community leaders who lead racial-justice work in Denver and the broader local communities. Since his arrival at MSU Denver, Dr. Wright has been instrumental to the success of the Black World and Umoja conferences, successfully built relationships with community spaces such as the Denver Black Cultural Center and become a go-to scholar in the community for conversations on the Black experience, pop culture and social movements. 

Devon, thank you for your commitment to Roadrunners and for being such a great example of MSU Denver’s CADRE values in action.  

Staff winner – Elizabeth Parmelee, Ph.D., associate vice president of Undergraduate Studies

Nominated by Will Simpkins, Ed.D., vice president for Student Affairs on behalf of the entire Student Affairs Leadership Team, who wrote: 

Elizabeth Parmelee, Ph.D.

“You have been recognized by the Student Affairs Leadership Team (Braelin Pantel, Kathryn McFarland, Adrienne Martinez, Emily Willan, Thuy Phan and myself) for your outstanding contributions to our work at MSU Denver! Thank you for being an awesome member of our team, leading by example and going above and beyond! 

“We are so thankful for how you showed up with support during our Tiger Team meetings. You helped us eliminate countless emails to advisors regarding services to students, helped remove barriers and volunteered to reach out to students (on a Friday on a holiday weekend, no less!) for that last enrollment push. Your positive, engaging ‘can do’ attitude helped us with the enrollment success we see today. Again, we thank you for your partnership and collaboration as we continue to find new ways to bring students back. 

“Thank you for being a collaborative partner.” 

Elizabeth, thank you for sharing your time, energy, expertise and talent to improve processes and make MSU Denver more successful. Well done!  

Student-employee winner – Elliotte Enochs, peer-mentor tutor, Pathways to Possible

Nominated by Rachael Durham, student-success coach in Student Services, who wrote: 

Elliotte Enochs.

“Elliotte has been a great addition to the Pathways to Possible team this year! Elliotte meets students where they’re at and consistently outreaches students who may need additional academic or peer support. Elliotte also designed and led a workshop on gender inclusivity for students and has taken the initiative to lead professional-development trainings for student staff members. Elliotte’s advocacy for gender inclusivity has made a positive impact on our program and campus, and our team is stronger because of them!” 

Elliotte, MSU Denver is lucky to have an inspiring and compassionate Roadrunner like you on the team. Thank you for investing your time and skills into enhancing the Roadrunner community. (Since we couldn’t find a photo of you, here is one of Rowdy applauding your achievement!)

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.