Metropolitan State University of Denver’s Roadrunner Shoutout of the Week series highlights the excellent and important work happening at all levels of the University. Nominations are still being accepted and encouraged, especially for faculty members and student employees.     

This week, the series celebrates inspirational members of the University community.

Faculty winner — Melissa Masters, Ph.D., RDN, graduate-program director and professor of Nutrition

Nominated by Rachel Sinley, chair and associate professor in the Department of Nutrition, who said: 

“Dr. Masters has been faculty in the Department of Nutrition at MSU Denver since 2014 and has served as the Nutrition graduate-program director since 2019. In her role as a faculty member and program director, Dr. Masters continuously demonstrates support and dedication to students. She has worked to create programs that support our graduate students, including the teaching-assistant and resident-assistant program and graduate scholarship program, as well as working to establish a holistic review for admissions to our Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics Program. Dr. Masters constantly seeks new opportunities to create efficiencies with the program and ensure that it is sustainable. She is also  Co-Principal Investigator of the Department’s Post-Baccalaureate Opportunities for Hispanic Americans Program, which supports diverse students as they pursue education and careers in nutrition and dietetics. Dr. Masters is an advocate for all of our students, and we are so thankful to have her in our department!” 

Masters was also nominated by Charisma Martinez, manager of student services in the Department of Nutrition, who said: 

“I am nominating Dr. Masters for her incredible service and commitment to students, faculty and staff! As graduate-program director, Dr. Masters teaches our NUT 5000 Introduction to Graduate Studies course. In this course, she fosters a sense of community among our new graduate students and assists each student with developing a degree-completion plan. Dr. Masters is also a resource to the faculty for graduate-curriculum questions. She has led curriculum evaluation and development for both the MSND (Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics) and graduate-certificate program. She has also been an amazing resource to the Office of Student Services staff! She is always available for questions and collaborates with each staff member on graduate enrollment-management strategies. I am so grateful to work alongside Dr. Masters! Thank you, Dr. Masters, for always being someone we can count on!”

Melissa, thank you for your willingness to go the extra mile to enhance the Roadrunner experience for students and coworkers. You are an inspiration. 

Staff winner — Tanner Wilde, instructional-design support specialist in the Center for Teaching, Learning and Design

Nominated by Jeff Loats, Ph.D., professor and director of the Center for Teaching, Learning and Design, who said:  

“Within the Center for Teaching, Learning and Design, Tanner has been the keystone of our Instructional Support Group for the start of the spring 2022 semester. Two new staff members have joined him this semester, so along with his supervisor, Todd Wolfe, he has the responsibility of carrying forward the knowledge and understanding of that work all while helping faculty get their spring 2022 courses off the ground and flying. He deserves a Shoutout for sure, as reflected in the messages from his colleagues.” 

Also nominated by Todd Wolfe, instructional media and support manager in the Center for Teaching, Learning and Design, who said: 

“Tanner has played a key role in building the Instructional Design Support team and CTLD’s Ready website. The huge amount of quality content found both on Ready and in drop-in hours are good examples of Tanner’s important contribution to the University. He has played an integral role in helping the University through these challenging times.” 

Additionally nominated by Alex McDaniel, associate director of Instructional Design in the Center for Teaching, Learning and Design, who said: 

“Tanner shows a compassionate calmness for faculty and staff who visit CTLD Drop-In Support. They are reassured with the knowledge and experience Tanner provides. His expertise goes beyond the how, to the why of using a tool that impacts teaching and learning. When not providing support and assistance during drop-in hours, he is constantly creating tutorials and Canvas Spotlights for the Ready website, and truly offers full-time support for faculty and staff. Tanner’s dedication has a continuing positive impact on the quality of education at MSU Denver.” 

Also nominated by Jennifer Whitton-Trujillo, junior course developer for the Center for Teaching, Learning and Design, who said: 

“I have worked with Tanner for over a year, and during that time, he has served as both mentor and partner in collaboration. He is an expert in Canvas, Yuja, MS Teams, as well as a variety of third-party tools. Above that, he excels at problem-solving the most complex and confusing issues for our faculty members. The training videos and written materials that he develops are both professional and accessible and help faculty members navigate teaching tools and design practices.” 

And nominated by Abby Kerr, junior course developer for the Center for Teaching, Learning and Design, who said: 

“Tanner is an amazing asset to the CTLD. Starting as a student worker, he quickly took initiative, in a pandemic to provide faculty support within our department. As an employee, he works tirelessly to provide instructional support to faculty through virtual support hours, recording and revising tutorials, and developing Canvas Spotlights for faculty. His patience and continual dedication to MSU Denver’s mission elevates our department.” 

Lastly, nominated by Marit Smith, instructional design support specialist for the Center for Teaching, Learning and Design, who said: 

“Tanner has been very patient and attentive in training us (the new instructional-design support specialists). He also has demonstrated empathy and adaptability in working with faculty on calls, so hes been a great mentor!” 

Tanner, the overwhelmingly positive feedback from your co-workers is just a partial reflection of the impact you have had on the MSU Denver community. Thank you for all your hard work and forward thinking. 

This week’s winners were selected by Andrea Smith, associate vice president of Strategic Communications.  

Andrea Smith.

“Dr. Masters has shown outstanding dedication to her students while driving new programs and efficiencies. Tanner’s colleagues cited his crucial role in helping navigate the pandemic-induced uptick in remote-instruction needs, his problem-solving skills, initiative, mentorship, patience and compassionate calmness,” said Smith. “Melissa and Tanner embody the spirit of the Roadrunner, and we’re grateful they continue sharing their time and talent with our community.” 

To nominate a staff member, faculty member or student employee of the University community for the Roadrunner Shoutout of the Week award, please complete the form. 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.