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.

Kelly Brough.

Id like to congratulate this weeks winners on their exceptional leadership and innovation,” said Kelly Brough, chief strategy officer in the Presidents Office. Its talented individuals like these who are the cornerstones of the bold and empowering future were working to build here at MSU Denver.

Faculty winner — Bethany Fleck Dillen, Ph.D., professor of Psychological Sciences

Nominated by Matt Watson, associate director of Executive Communications in University Communications and Marketing, who wrote: 

“Bethany has served as the faculty trustee since the pandemic began, representing the faculty voice on the board during one of the most challenging times to teach, research,Bethany Fleck Dillen, Ph.D. engage students and do all the extra things that make MSU Denver faculty world-class. She recently led an honest discussion of faculty morale at a board meeting and provided guidance for ways to acknowledge and support faculty.  

“In addition to her trustee duties and her course load as a professor, Bethany has provided her expertise to the community in RED stories and a talk at last year’s TEDxMSUDenver, where she shared her research on mother’s guilt and her own personal experiences navigating parenthood during the public-health crisis. She goes above and beyond during a difficult time to do so!” 

Bethany, thank you for your exceptional leadership in and out of the classroom. The way you have supported students and co-workers and generously shared your expertise is commendable. 

Staff winner — Michael Nguyen, director of Enrollment Management and interim Financial Aid systems director

Nominated by Connie Sanders, registrar, Registrar’s Office, who wrote: 

“Michael may be the most dedicated team member of MSU Denver Student Affairs that I have ever worked with. He is smart, hardworking, empathetic, passionate, system-minded, and people-focused. For the last several months, he has been assisting Financial Aid on top of his role. Despite not being in Financial Aid for several years, he has beenMichael Nguyen. one of the main role players in ensuring that students are receiving their funds and the team remaining intact. Financial Aid is extremely under resourced right now, and many key roles are vacant. However, Michael has been able to step in and provide a level of support that has kept the department afloat and continuing to serve students. Not only is Michael a Banner and tech guru, but he also cares deeply about his peers and the FA and EM (Enrollment Management) team he supports. He is consistently checking in on others to make sure that they are feeling included, valued, and supported. Michael is an INCREDIBLE asset to MSU Denver! We LOVE you, Michael, and couldn’t do this thang without you.” 

Michael, your commitment to the Roadrunner community has been deeply impactful. Thank you for all your hard work to keep MSU Denver thriving.  

Student-employee winner — Mari Valadez-Palomino, student lead in Admissions

Nominated by Marlynn Rocha-Vasquez, director of Internal Operations in Admissions, who wrote: 

“Mari has worked tirelessly since the campus went remote to ensure that students have a friendly face to welcome them. She was one of a few student staff who came in every day when campus was closed to help guide students with how to connect virtually with offices and/or provide them with resources.Mari Valadez-Palomino.

“Mari has been a pillar of support for the entire Office of Admissions with her unwavering can-do attitude. Mari steps up and provides campus tours on a whim. She is also responsible for training and supporting our student leaders. THANK YOU for all that you are doing for our community and students, Mari!”  

Mari, we are so grateful that you’ve chosen to invest your time and talent with MSU Denver. Be sure to save this recognition for your portfolio to highlight what an amazing asset you are. 

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.