Metropolitan State University of Denver’s Roadrunner Shoutout series has returned from a summer hiatus in a new monthly format to highlight the excellent and important work happening at all levels of the University. Nominations are still being accepted and encouraged. The Early Bird is especially in need of faculty member and student employee recognition.  

This month, the series celebrates three inspirational members of the University community who were awarded the honor in person at the latest President’s Cabinet meeting.  

“Actions speak louder than words, which is why I am grateful for the opportunity to present this month’s Roadrunner Shoutout awards in person,” said President Janine Davidson, Ph.D. “These winners have shown real initiative in upholding the University values, and I cannot thank them enough for their continued leadership.”   

President Davidson headshot.

Faculty winner — Ann Diker, Ph.D., professor of Nutrition 

Nominated by Rachel Sinley, Ph.D., chair of Nutrition, who wrote: 

“Dr. Diker has served as the lead instructor for Introduction to Nutrition for the past several years. In this capacity, she has served as a mentor for dozens of full-time and affiliate faculty members who teach this course. The Department of Nutrition offers over 20 sections of the course every semester, and Dr. Diker updates and prepares the course each semester for all sections. She also wrote an open-educational-resource textbook for the course, which saves students hundreds of dollars each semester. As this is a General Studies course, her work has impacted thousands of students over the years. Her work as lead instructor is considered service to the Department and is so appreciated by faculty, staff and students. This Shoutout is long overdue!” 

Staff winner — Caitlin Hoppel, director of Prospect Management and Analytics for University Advancement 

Nominated by Shelley Thompson, associate vice president of University Advancement, who wrote: 

“Caitlin is working exceptionally hard to identify enough interested donors to ensure that our $75 million Roadrunners Rising Campaign is a total success. She supports every single fundraiser in our division so that their work and activity are guided by data. She makes us all smarter on a daily basis. She is also incredibly responsive. For example, we have three donor visits with high-level prospects that came up with very little notice. She has turned the research around in 24 hours or less, and it is high-quality work. 

“Caitlin is also a great colleague across campus. She answered the call to serve on the Workday Implementation group as a representative of our division. 

“Finally, she does all this while pursuing a graduate degree here at MSU Denver. She is driven, smart, curious, loyal and such a fantastic team player. We are lucky to have her, and I would be very happy to see her receive this recognition.” 

Student-employee winner — Rae Richards, Training and Development student coordinator for the College Assistance Migrant Program 

Nominated by Evelynn Guzman de Leon, M.Ed., director of CAMP, who wrote: 

“I have had the pleasure of supervising amazing student employees for over seven years at MSU Denver, but I have to say Rae is a unicorn. 

“Rae was a CAMP scholar their first year and now serves in the role of student coordinator for Training and Development for CAMP, a role in which they go above and beyond to support our team. I am immensely grateful for their thoroughness, thoughtfulness and, most important, their passion for guiding our staff toward professional and personal growth by creating thoughtful training and reflection opportunities for us all. I am also grateful for them always keeping me on my toes and reminding me of things I said I would get done but have not done. 

“I sincerely enjoy working with Rae, because no matter their personal struggles on any particular day, they come into work and make the place shine with their personality, passion, kindness and high spirits and make sure that the office works like a well-oiled machine! Thank you, Rae, for all that you do for CAMP. I have so much respect and admiration for you, and I know soon you’ll be graduating and moving on to do amazing things in your career as well.” 

To nominate outstanding employees for the Roadrunner Shoutout award, please complete the form on the Roadrunner Shoutout webpage. Describe  how the nominee is making an impact through great teaching, service to students or innovation. Winners will be selected each month and invited to receive the award in person at the President’s Cabinet meeting, followed by a feature in the Early Bird and a shoutout on social media.