Ready to find out what MSU Denver can do for you? We’ve got you covered.
MSU Denver University Advancement is focused on growing relationships, raising philanthropic support and advancing the reputation of the University.
Our team is made up of the offices of Alumni Relations and Giving, Development, Corporate and Foundation Relations, Advancement Services and the MSU Denver Foundation. Together, these divisions engage alumni, donors and friends of the University, and secure private gifts from individuals, foundations and corporations.
Christine Márquez-Hudson is the Vice President of University Advancement and the Executive Director of the MSU Denver Foundation responsible for providing strategic and operational leadership for Metropolitan State University (MSU) Denver’s fundraising efforts. In this role, Christine oversees a team of more than 30 staff members working to advance the University’s fundraising, alumni engagement, and donor relations. She also serves as the primary liaison with the Foundation Board of Directors and oversees the effective stewardship and distribution of MSU Denver Foundation’s assets.
Prior to joining MSU Denver, Christine was president and chief executive officer of The Denver Foundation, the largest and most experienced community foundation in the Rocky Mountain West. Her 30-year career includes serving as CEO of Mi Casa Resource Center and several years as a nonprofit consultant, direct service provider, and teacher.
Christine has won numerous community awards for her leadership, including 9News Leader of the Year, LatinasFirst Trailblazer Award, the Colorado Women’s Chamber’s Top 25 Most Powerful Women, and Girl Scout’s Woman of Distinction. She has served on many community boards, commissions and committees. Currently, she is a Colorado Trust trustee, a Denver Museum of Nature and Science board member, and a member of The Women’s Forum of Colorado.
Fallon joined MSU Denver in January 2014, bringing over a decade of experience in higher education since 2004. In her current role, she provides vital executive support to the MSU Denver Foundation Board of Directors and the Executive Director of the Foundation/Vice President of University Advancement. Fallon also serves as a liaison for Board members’ interactions and communications with university employees and acts as the primary contact for the VP and the Division, handling their affairs, including interfacing with community leaders and their staff.
Both Fallon and her daughter take pride in being Roadrunners. As a single parent and a first-generation college graduate, Fallon profoundly recognizes the life-changing influence of MSU Denver. She considers it a true honor to contribute to the university’s mission of delivering high-quality and accessible education that empowers students from all backgrounds to achieve their utmost potential.
Liz Rowland | Office Manager for University Advancement
Phone TBA | [email protected]
Liz joins the team after 20 years of experience as the Business Office Manager for the YMCA of Metro Denver. Currently, she works as the Operations Manager for a nonprofit, Early Milestones Colorado. She is excited to go from preschoolers to college students.
She is an advocate for families, teachers, and children. Liz has served as Vice President of the Convention for Colorado State PTA for 10 years and is a former President of Jeffco District PTA.
Liz has spent her career perfecting administrative operational functions. She is excited for her new adventure with MSU Denver, she is especially looking forward to working with a fun cohesive team and mentoring our student to become tomorrow’s professionals.
In her free time, Liz enjoys traveling with her family, especially now that her boys are grown. Liz and her husband are on a mission to stay at every bed and breakfast in Colorado. She enjoys reading, hiking, and laughing with friends and family.
Shelley Thompson is the Associate Vice President of University Advancement at Metropolitan State University of Denver. In this role, she leads a development team of 11 people to channel and celebrate the generosity of individual donors who wish to drive change through personal philanthropy.
Shelley brings decades of major gift fundraising experience from such organizations as Denver Center for the Performing Arts, the Women’s Foundation of Colorado, Denver Health and the Foundation for Colorado Community Colleges. In addition, she has raised millions in charitable funds, aiming to create a more just and equitable community.
She has volunteered on numerous boards of directors, including Mi Casa Resource Center and Cleo Parker Robinson Dance, and served one term as a member of the Englewood School Board. Shelley is also a member of the Leadership Denver Class of 2015, the Denver Museum of Nature & Science President’s Leadership Council and the International Women’s Forum of Colorado.
Shelley has a Bachelor of Arts in Politics and Government from the University of Puget Sound and a Master of Arts in Political Science from the University of Colorado.
Pamela Colbert joined the University Advancement office as the Development Assistant in September 2019. She is a first-generation graduate of MSU of Denver in May 2019 with a B.S. in Human Services with a concentration in Nonprofit. She has 14+ years of experience in office management and customer service working in the for-profit sector along with 6 + years of fundraising in the nonprofit sector.
Pamela is a native of Michigan who enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughters traveling, attending events, and knitting. She has a strong personal commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Selene Figueroa is the Director of Donor Relations at Metropolitan State University of Denver. Joining in January of 2024, Selene brings over ten years of experience working to elevate community through fundraising and programmatic development. She leads the Donor Relations team in ensuring that our network sees the impact that their generosity is making on the MSU Denver Community.
Selene has the honor of serving on several boards across the Denver Metro area, including the Denver Urban Debate League, the Latina Initiative, and as the treasurer of the Latinas First Foundation. She believes in supporting community change by removing barriers and increasing access to resources. She and her husband run a small consulting firm to support fundraising, educational access, and equitable program structure for non-profits and debate teams across the U.S.
Selene is a first-generation graduate, holding a Bachelor of Arts in Law and Society from the University of Denver.
Steve Galpern is Principal Gifts Officer at MSU Denver. He joined the University Advancement team in 2011 after having worked in development at Mile High United Way. In January 2024, he accepted the promotion to his newest role after securing the largest gift in University history, previously serving as Senior Director of Development. He has a 20+ year track record working with nonprofit, public sector and for-profit businesses in the Denver metro area in a variety of capacities.
At MSU Denver, Steve is primarily responsible for raising money for the Department of Hospitality, Tourism and Events as they transition into a school within the College of Professional Studies. He also serves as the primary development liaison for the One World One Water Center for Urban Water Education and Stewardship.
Steve played an important role in developing the Rita and Navin Dimond Fellowship program, funded by a major gift from the Dimond Family. He was also instrumental in helping the Tivoli Brewing Company return to its ancestral home on the Auraria Campus as part of creating two beer industry operations bachelor’s degrees.
Caitlin Hoppel joined MSU Denver University Advancement as the Director of Prospect Management and Analytics in March 2021. She is committed to accessible, actionable insights and brings over five years’ experience in analytics and content management. A data enthusiast, she looks forward to supporting the fundraising team through identifying and organizing engaged donors to welcome or reintroduce into the Roadrunner network.
Caitlin is a Pennsylvania native and earned her undergraduate degree in marketing and international business from Villanova University. Her global experiences, from studying and working across Scandinavia, southern Europe and Japan, inspired her to work toward a more informed and connected world.
In her free time, Caitlin loves spending time with her two dogs, visiting new local restaurants and playing Nintendo (especially Pokémon).
Diana joined the University Advancement team in March 2022 after working as the Assistant Director of the Center for Multicultural Engagement and Inclusion. In her position as Assistant Director of Donor Relations, Diana supports fund management and strategic donor engagement activities. Diana is passionate about creating opportunities to increase access and inclusion of historically underrepresented and marginalized student populations in higher education.
Diana is a first-generation graduate of MSU Denver with a Bachelor of Science in Management and a Master of Arts in Counseling with a concentration in Higher Education and Student Affairs from the University of Colorado Denver.
Genevieve joined MSU Denver in December 2023, bringing with her 15 years of fundraising experience. Whether it is her work with families and individuals, corporate social responsibility programs, or foundation work, she brings passion and gratitude to every piece of philanthropy she supports. In her current role, Genevieve has the honor of leading the major gifts team and working with donors to the university.
She has served on many committees and boards over the years including Colorado Planned Giving Roundtable, Colorado Funders for Inclusiveness and Equity, Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy, Community Shares of Colorado, and The Gathering Place. She enjoys exploring the city with her son, baking, and weekends in the mountains.
She holds an BA in English from Hanover College, an MPA in Nonprofit Management and an MA in Philanthropic Studies from Indiana University, and a Certificate in CSR from CU Denver.
Julieta Joined MSU Denver in September of 2022 as the Development Assistant. In this role she provides administrative support to the Development team and the Associate Vice President of University Advancement. Prior to joining MSU Denver, Julieta worked at the Consulate General of Mexico, where she served as Consular Foreign officer.
Her international experience from working and studying abroad helped her develop strong beliefs in equality. She beliefs that everyone should have equal access to education and be integrated no matter where they come from. She is thrilled to work for MSU Denver because she feels part of an institution that aligns with her values and mission.
Julieta has a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from the University of Colorado Denver. She is passionate about traveling and learning from different cultures around the world. In her spare time, she teaches Spanish and she likes to learn other languages, she also enjoys cooking, reading and watching movies.
Abe Sanchez is the Associate Director of Development at the Development Office, where he assumed his role in July 2023. With a career spanning both the higher education sector and the tech industry, Abe brings a diverse skill set and a track record of impactful contributions.
Having spent six years in higher education, Abe’s foundation was laid with his graduation from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Colorado, Denver. This educational journey ignited his passion for driving positive change within academic institutions. His recent experience at Microsoft’s Enterprise Sales office, specializing in cloud and systems infrastructure, has further enriched his expertise.
Outside of his professional pursuits, Abe is an avid music enthusiast. With a deep love for music, he frequently immerses himself in concerts during the summer months, exploring local artists and venues. This passion for music reflects his vibrant personality and his ability to find inspiration in diverse experiences. Currently pursuing a Masters of Information, Communication, and Technology from the University of Denver, Abe’s unique blend of experience equips him to play a pivotal role in advancing the Development Office’s philanthropic initiatives and building valuable relationships with key stakeholders, including esteemed Deans across departments.
Yvonne serves as the Scholarship and Fund Manager for Donor Relations. She is responsible for implementing strategic management and stewardship of the scholarship program. She is also responsible for supporting donor engagement and stewardship efforts across the University, assisting in nurturing long-term, meaningful relationships that foster long-term engagement and investment in MSU Denver.
A native of Colorado, Yvonne received her B.A. in Anthropology at Metropolitan State University of Denver, focusing on archaeology and the social-cultural anthropology of peoples from North, Central, and South America. Her experience and travels in the Americas have given her a deep appreciation for how important equality and diversity is in this global world. She firmly believes that diversity breeds innovation and if we are willing to listen and learn from others who do not exactly think or look the same as us, the growth opportunities are unlimited.
A staunch supporter of educational equality and access for all, Yvonne is proud to work for her alma mater in managing the awarding and disbursement of private scholarship funds to students, while making sure we honor our scholarship donor’s intent.
Gwen joined the MSU Denver Advancement team in December 2016 after working for more than 15 years in higher education and non-profit fundraising in Texas, Virginia, DC, and northern New Mexico.
In her position as Senior Director of Development, Gwen supports fundraising for the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences and has had the opportunity to work across campus and in support of numerous academic and student-support areas.
Gwen has a B.A. In Art History from the College of Santa Fe and a Master of Arts in Art History from the George Washington University in Washington, DC. She stays very busy with her kids – Georgia and Henry – hiking, skiing, and exploring this beautiful state.
Zacary Tardiff | Executive Director, Corporate and Foundation Relations
303-605-7742 | [email protected]
Zacary J. Tardiff joined the MSU Denver Advancement Team in January 2022 as Director of Development, Corporate Relations and was elevated to Executive Director, Corporate and Foundation Relations in September 2023. In his role, he assists the University’s administrative and academic leadership to identify, research, and secure funding from private grant-making organizations and he builds opportunities for innovative, mutually beneficial relationships with corporate partners. In doing so, he helps design and implement fundraising strategies across campus and creates positive partnership and investment experiences between MSU Denver and corporations and foundations.
Zacary hails from New Jersey and was a first-generation college student, graduating from West Virginia University with an undergraduate degree in Sport Management (2008) and Master of Business Administration (2011). He brings over 13 years of higher education and nonprofit experience to serve the Roadrunner community.
Zacary relocated to Colorado in 2016 with his wife and they love raising their children here. In his free time Zacary is an avid golfer and amateur chef.
Joshua Harris | Corporate and Foundation Relations Manager
303-605-7768 | [email protected]
Joshua Harris joined the MSU Denver Advancement Team in January 2022 as the Donor Relations Coordinator and is honored to now serve as the CFR Manager in Corporate and Foundation Relations.
In his role, Joshua manages a portfolio of corporate and foundation prospects as well as focuses on key administrative support, acting as a liaison between CFR and campus partners. Joshua also manages the post-award process and is proactively working towards greater communication with campus partners regarding funding opportunities and grant reporting requirements.
Joshua is a graduate of Southeastern Oklahoma State University, where he earned a B.A. in Musical Theater Performance and a B.A. in Acting and Directing.
Mandy Malachowski joined the MSU Denver Advancement Team in December 2020 as Assistant Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations and was promoted to Director of Development, Foundation Relations in 2021. In this role, she builds meaningful relationships with foundation partners to support both the University’s and the community’s mutual goals. She supports the team through grant-writing and proposal development, prospecting, pipeline development, and closing meaningful gifts.
Originally from New England, Mandy is passionate about education and supporting students in innovative and creative ways. She received her undergraduate degree from Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts and her Master of Arts in Sociology from the University of Colorado, Denver. She has leveraged her social science background to become an avid problem solver and relationship-builder. She brings over 8 years of experience in the non-profit and corporate sectors.
When she isn’t going to school or fundraising, you can find Mandy reading a good novel, going to see live music, skiing blue cruisers, or rock climbing.
Tori Meyers joined MSU Denver as Interim Director of Grants in February 2018. In this role, she works with staff and faculty to identify grant opportunities; conducting research; and developing grant proposals for submission to foundations, corporations and other funding entities.
Tori brings 15+ years of public and private grant writing experience to MSU Denver across many types of non-profits and has served in volunteer capacities on community boards over the years.
She loves to spend time with her family and get out to bike, hike and ski when she isn’t working on grants.
Ally Veneris | Director of Development, Corporate Relations
Phone TBD | [email protected]
Ally Veneris joined the MSU Denver Advancement Team in November 2023 as Director of Development, Corporate Relations but has been at MSU Denver since 2021. In her role, Ally works with campus stakeholders and corporate partners to build meaningful relationships and create opportunities for holistic corporate engagement on campus. Her previous experience working on the Industry Partnerships team in the MSU Denver Classroom to Career Hub gives her a strong understanding of workforce development needs in Colorado and how MSU Denver plays an important role in meeting those needs.
Originally from Colorado Springs, Ally received her Bachelor’s degree in International Studies and English from the University of Denver. After starting her career in higher education in Boston, Ally moved to New York City, working in both higher education, city government, and ultimately earning a Master’s degree in Urban Policy from The New School. She is fascinated by education policy, loves talking workforce development strategies and is a passionate advocate for creating equitable and inclusive education and economic opportunities for all.
In her free time, Ally loves to cook, hang out with her two dogs Shaq and Kobe, and watch football and visit craft breweries with her husband.
Jamie Hurst is originally from California and started with MSU Denver in December 2013. Previously, she worked at Upper Iowa University as the Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations after working in college athletics for nearly a decade at Upper Iowa, Iowa State University and Indiana State University. Jamie earned her J.D. from Hamline University School of Law, M.A. in Sport Management from Indiana State University, a B.S. in Public Relations from MSU Denver and B.A. in Religious Studies/Human Development from the University of California, San Diego where she was an NCAA Division II softball student-athlete. As the Assistant Vice President for Strategic Planning, Jamie provides leadership, vision and direction to the Alumni Relations and Annual Giving teams while also serving as the Executive Director of the Alumni Association. Jamie also serves as an affiliate faculty member in the Human Performance and Sport department where she teaches Legal Liability in Sport. In her spare time, she is an avid Roadrunner Softball fan, loves all things baseball, enjoys playing guitar and woodworking. She and her wife live in Westminster and enjoy the Colorado outdoors with their two dogs, Copper and Scotch.
Evann Coad | Assistant Director of Annual Giving
Evann Coad joined the MSU Denver Alumni Relations and Giving team in August 2022. He is originally from Indiana and graduated from Indiana University in 2013 with a B.A. in Public Policy. As assistant director, he assists the executive director in the design and execution of strategic communications for alumni, donors and friends of the university.
Evann began his career in Advancement as a caller for the IU Foundation Telefund while a student at Indiana University. Over the course of his career he has also worked for the University of Colorado, University of North Florida, and served as a marketing specialist for the Wounded Warrior Project. As a first-generation college graduate, he is passionate about university fundraising and connecting students with the financial means to complete their education.
In his free time, he enjoys hiking, reading, tinkering with his PC, and spending time with his wife, his son and their two shepherd mixes, Otto and Ruby.
Jesse Drewes (’22) | Alumni Engagement Coordinator
303-605-5082 | [email protected]
Jesse Drewes is a Colorado Native and joined the Roadrunner family in 2020 as a student in the Human Performance and Sport department studying Sport Management. In 2022 he joined MSU Denver’s University Advancement team as a student intern for Alumni Relations. In his role as an intern, he focused on the efforts to successfully run the Colorado Rockies 50/50 Raffle program in partnership with the Colorado Rockies. He was brought on full-time in 2023 after graduating from MSU Denver with a B.A. in Sport Management. His current role is within the Alumni Relations Team as the Alumni Engagement Coordinator. In his new role he looks to grow the love and support for MSU Denver among all MSU Denver Alumni.
As a proud MSU Denver alum and a first-generation college graduate he hopes to share his story to inspire the students behind him and show how a college degree can lead to many opportunities.
Jesse enjoys his free time spending time with family, friends, and watching any and all sporting events.
Heather Holzbauer-Schweitzer is originally from Minnesota and joined MSU Denver Alumni Relations and Annual Giving team in February 2022 as the Engagement Associate. She graduated from Winona State University in 2014 with a degree in Therapeutic Recreation.
Heather began her career in higher education in 2015 as the coordinator of adapted sports and events at the University of Central Oklahoma where she ran the largest multi-sport, multi-disability sporting event in the nation – the UCO Endeavor Games. Heather left higher education to pursue her career at the Oklahoma City Veteran’s Medical Center where she provided exercise, leisure education and adapted sport opportunities to veterans.
Heather and her family relocated to Colorado in June of 2021, where she returned to working in higher education. In her free time, Heather enjoys gardening, hiking, drinking craft beer and watching rugby with her husband and two dogs, Bruiser and Zoelle.
Jane Karger, originally from Pittsburgh, PA, joined MSU Denver as the Assistant Director of Alumni Engagement in 2021. She works to create platforms and opportunities for alumni to connect with each other, support each other and welcome them back to campus to engage with current students, faculty, and staff.
Before she joined the Roadrunner community, Jane spent her career in athletics, working to foster a team environment, support the campus community and develop student athletes on and off the field through the women’s lacrosse programs. She spent time at as the head women’s lacrosse coach at Drew University and an assistant coach at Princeton University, the University of Connecticut, Central Connecticut State and Mount St. Mary’s University.
Jane graduated from Mount St. Mary’s University with a B.A in Education and German and earned a MA in Educational Psychology from the University of Connecticut. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her two Newfoundland dogs, Riggs and Minnow, going on adventures with her family and traveling to new places.
Ruby Matheny | Assistant Director of Alumni Engagement
Ruby Matheny is a proud first-generation college graduate and MSU Denver alumna. She has a passion for equity, inclusion, and community building which she channels into her work in higher education. While Ruby studied Political Science and Philosophy in her undergrad, she remained determined to positively shape the world through high-impact practices in higher education.
Ruby has worked in new student orientation, data, internship management, relationship management, life design, diversity and equity/antiracism, and career development. Ruby is a mom, an avid reader, audiophile, writer, artist, camper, exercise enthusiast, and is always looking to contribute to the relief of suffering in the world.
Bre Milnes is originally from Illinois and joined MSU Denver Alumni Relations in April 2015. As the Senior Director of Advancement Communications and Annual Giving, she leads the effort to communicate strategically with our alumni, donors and friends of the University. Other duties include leading the direct marketing and call center operations for the office of Alumni Relations & Giving.
Bre began her career in higher education as a marketing coordinator and assistant softball coach at Kirkwood Community College in 2009.
She earned an M.S.Ed. in Sport Performance and Leadership, and a B.S. in Sport Marketing and Administration from Northern State University. In her free time, she enjoys skiing and hanging out with her dog Scout and cats watching true-crime television shows.
Brandi Rideout joined MSU Denver as the Assistant Director of Alumni Programs in 2015. As the current Director of Alumni Relations, she creates the best possible environment for students to succeed in life. Through innovative programming and networking events, Brandi hopes to create a legacy of engaged alumni who can always count on their Alma Mater for support. She is also an affiliate faculty member in the Human Performance and Sport Department.
Prior to becoming a Roadrunner, Brandi spent over 10 years dedicated to developing student-athletes. She helped create the best possible environment for them to succeed athletically and academically as the Assistant Athletic Director for Student-Athlete Services and SWA at Upper Iowa University, Director of Student-Athlete Services at the University of Maine, and the Assistant Basketball Coach at Colby College.
Brandi graduated from the University of Maine at Farmington with a B.S. in community health education and earned a MEd in higher education administration from Upper Iowa University. As a first-generation college student, she passionate about higher education and the opportunities that can develop as a result of obtaining a degree. She brings positive energy and a great attitude to any situation and is always looking for ways to grow and learn.
Brandi enjoys spending her free time skiing and hiking with her dog, Zion, and was the proud winner of her 7th-grade spelling bee.
Andy Schlichting | Director of Advancement Marketing and Communications
Andy Schlichting returned to MSU Denver in January 2022 after previously spending over six years in the athletics department. As the Director of Advancement Marketing and Communications, he leads the digital communications efforts with alumni, donors, and friends of the University.
Prior to his current role, Andy spent nearly 13 years working in marketing and communications, including over 11 years in college athletics. He began his professional career at MSU Denver in February 2009 and served as the Sports Information Director for the athletics department until 2015, leading the external communications and digital media for the Roadrunners, while assisting with the marketing team. He served in a similar role at the University of Colorado Boulder from 2015 to 2021, while managing all the digital communications for the athletics department through social media and the Buffs’ website.
Andy left collegiate athletics in October 2021 to accept a position at MYR Group Inc., a publicly traded electrical construction company, as the Proposal Coordinator in the marketing department. In his role at MYR Group, he wrote proposals for construction project bids and assisted with graphic design and video production.
A native of Chaska, Minn., he earned his B.S. in Sports Management with a minor in Business Administration, along with his M.S. in Education from Southwest Minnesota State University. He also competed in football at SMSU, earning all-region and all-conference honors as a punter and backup wide receiver. In his free time, Andy enjoys any outdoor activity, including hiking, running, skiing, and climbing, and learning foreign languages.
Lynne Winter (’17) | Associate Director of Advancement Communications
Lynne Winter joined the Roadrunner family in 2013. As a student employee, she worked as a teaching assistant, tutor and for the Reach-a-Roadrunner Alumni Call Center. In April 2017, she joined the University Advancement staff full-time to combine her adaptive range of writing skills with her passion for supporting the future of students and programs at Metropolitan State University of Denver.
For more than two years, she has shared stories of lives transformed with alumni, donors, faculty, staff and the community through Metropolitan Denver Magazine, Early Bird articles, the Your Gifts at Work newsletter and bi-monthly alumni newsletters. She cultivates and edits content for stewardship and fundraising publications, project proposals, donor acknowledgment letters, alumni newsletters and more, in support of MSU Denver University Advancement’s mission to secure private financial support for the University.
Lynne graduated from the University of Colorado at Denver with a B.A. in English and earned a B.S. in environmental science from MSU Denver in 2017. In her free time, she enjoys reading comic books, planning vacations to Disney destinations, and watching movies (particularly Marvel) with her husband, 8-year-old Border Collie mix, Sully, and her son who is currently earning his Ph.D. in medical physics in Wisconsin.
Jessica Fernandez | Senior Director of University Events
303-605-5083 | [email protected]
Jessica Fernandez is the Sr. Director of University Events, leading the newly created department in overall strategic development and execution of university level and Presidential events. She will also play a critical role in planning and implementing tactics for internal and external audiences to advance MSU Denver’s visibility, grow engagement and inspire giving.
A Southern California native, Jessica graduated with a B.A. in Political Science with a Journalism certificate from Loyola Marymount University in 2011. Over the past 12 years, she has worked in the nonprofit, association and higher education sectors in cities which include Los Angeles, Washington, DC, Orange County and now Denver. She is excited to take what she’s learned in those experiences and apply them as she serves the Roadrunner community.
In her free time, she enjoys going on adventures with her pup Harper Grace, volunteering with child advocacy nonprofits, getting back into tennis and checking out all the beautiful places Denver has to offer.
Brenna Brown is the Associate Director of Events in University Advancement’s Office of University Events at MSU Denver. In this role, Brenna is responsible for the production of Commencement, University Signature events, and elevating the visibility of the University. Brenna assists with strategic planning and the creation of annual goals/metrics.
Toby moved to Colorado from Virginia in Oct. 2020. He oversees, maintains, and services the CAVEA theater (room 420 4th floor JSSB). He meets with internal and external clients wishing to use the theater and helps design their event with them. Toby also runs production during client meetings, ensuring that their event or meeting will be executed as smoothly as possibly. In addition, he assists David Sharman with other University events ongoing throughout campus and also provides support to presidential level university events that are managed by the Office of University Events.
He is a people person – he loves to meet people and hear their experiences, listen to their stories, and learn from them. In a genuinely curious manner, people watching is one of his favorite activities. He values staying active and does so by biking, hiking, running, or anything else he is in the mood to do. Toby is a lifelong sports enthusiast. He loves participating in them, watching them, analyzing them, discussing them, etc.
Toby started at MSU Denver as a contractor in September 2021 and was honored to be offered a full-time position in October 2022. As the AV/IT Technician, he is thrilled to play a part in this university’s purpose and collaborate with this community towards making a positive change!
Born and raised in Colorado, Ned’s childhood of secret decoder rings in cereal boxes led to a fascination with world languages and various forms of communication. Later, living many years in Europe, he developed multi-lingual proficiency and an appreciation for new approaches to systems and solutions. Ned enjoys combining organization and design to create simplified and sustainable structures, crafted between sips of the occasional espresso.
David Sharman is the Associate Director of Operations for the Office of University Events. He has over fifteen years of event management experience, production, and design. Additionally he holds high-level creative aptitudes in illustration, digital art, design, photography, video and music. He joined MSU Denver in 2015, starting out with ITS, providing technical assistance in classrooms.
Soon after he began supporting various events on campus and helped pave the way for hybrid / synchronous classrooms. Currently he and his team support an average of 16 MSU Denver events per month / ~200 events per year, ranging from the Monthly President’s Cabinet, Board of Trustees, Welcome Back & Spring Update livestreams to MLK Peace Breakfast & Visiting Professorships. David spends his free time writing novels, cooking, and enjoys listening to every genre of music.
Courtney West | Assistant Director of Event Marketing and Communications
Courtney West joined MSU Denver in January 2024, as Assistant Director of Event Marketing and Communications. She is a University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, Carlson School of Management graduate. Her college experience, being greatly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, increased her passion for higher education and ultimately drew her to this position, where her training and interests are perfectly combined.
Courtney brings with her traditional marketing experience, alongside non-profit and event execution. She assists in planning and implementing university events as well as their associated marketing strategies. She delights in data-backed marketing campaigns and well-executed events. In this role, she is excited to leverage her prior experience to inform the implementation of compelling event marketing, which will ultimately enrich the experiences of students, alumni, staff, faculty, and the greater Denver community.
Michelle’s keen organizational skills and a fondness for public higher education lead her to the MSU Denver University Advancement team in May 2022. She supports a dedicated team with the data and tools they need to effectively engage and steward MSU Denver’s alumni, supporters, and stakeholders. She provides leadership and planning for gift management, data integrity and analysis, reporting, and training.
Growing up in Southeastern Wisconsin, Michelle learned early the phrase, “Be good to your neighbor.” It was part of her community’s DNA to organize grassroots fundraisers for families experiencing crises and buy from businesses that care and serve. This ethic translated first to a liberal arts degree earned through service learning in nonprofit management at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a master’s in library and information science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, which inspired and prepared her for her professional journey to help others through philanthropy.
Michelle’s advancement services experience bridges positions in higher education, the nonprofit sector and corporate social responsibility. She’s an enthusiastic advocate for the power of philanthropy and its impact and ability to transform communities, people, and institutions. Michelle volunteers and travels in her free time.
Alexandra Fontes | Accounting and Operations Coordinator
303-605-5141 | [email protected]
Alexandra Fontes joined the Foundation as the Accounting and Operations coordinator in February 2023. She is a first-generation graduate of MSU Denver in December 2017 with a B.S. in Biochemistry. She has 6+ years of experience in bookkeeping and is hoping to receive a second bachelor’s in accounting. Ale is passionate about being a resource to first-generation students and helping them succeed and open the path to others they may know.
Although Denver has been home to Ale most of her life, she has spent most summers and winter breaks in her second hometown in Chihuahua, Mexico. She enjoys spending time with her family, volunteering, and cooking with her mom and three sisters.
When she isn’t with her family, you can find Ale and her two daughters in a local ice cream shop enjoying treats with their group of friends.
Erin Jeavons | Data Manager
303-605-5491 | [email protected]
Erin joined the MSU Denver University Advancement team in the Spring of 2023. She comes to MSU with over 10 years experience working with relational databases in both the corporate and non-profit sectors. She has a passion for transforming data to tell a story and drive a mission. As the Data Manager she is responsible for maintaining the accuracy of donor data while supporting the University Advancement team and campus partners through that data.
Erin is originally from northern Indiana and has called Denver home for over 12 years. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Saint Mary’s College and a Master of Social Work from Indiana University.
She enjoys spending time with her husband, exploring Denver’s food scene, and is an avid reader and bird watcher.
Lawrence joined the MSU Denver University Advancement team as the Gift Administrator in May 2019. Prior to becoming a Roadrunner, Lawrence served as both the Assistant Director of Annual Giving and then the Associate Director of Gift Administration at the University of Northern Colorado. He has more than five years of fundraising experience in higher education. As the Gift Administrator, he processes all of the gifts that pass through the MSU Denver Foundation.
Lawrence is originally from Cincinnati, Ohio and began his philanthropic career as a student caller in college. He earned his B.A. in Liberal Arts and his M.A. in Applied Psychology from the University of Cincinnati (UC).
In his free time, Lawrence enjoys drumming, playing Pokémon GO, going on hikes and watching true crime shows.
Michael Schiffmacher started with MSU Denver in January 2002. He has held a handful of positions in various offices including Bursar’s Office Supervisor (2002-2007), Accounting Services COFRS and Fixed Asset Accountant (2007-2010), Foundation Accountant (2014-2016) and Business Analyst (2016-2018). Michael is an MSU Denver alumnus, earning his B.S. in Management with a concentration in Finance.
In his current role as the Foundation’s Business Analyst, Michael manages many of the Foundation’s business functions including the development of financial forecasts, account management, budgeting and other financial analysis. Michael is also responsible for process development and improvement projects, analysis of opportunities, and for providing general guidance and educational opportunities for both internal and external constituencies.
Michael is an avid outdoorsman and particularly enjoys skiing and mountain climbing. He has climbed all 58 Colorado ‘14ers’ and countless other state and country highpoints.
Anthony Sisneros was born and raised in Westminster, Colorado, and started as a student employee with MSU Denver in August 2006. He graduated from MSU Denver with a B.A. in Political Science and is currently working on a second bachelor’s degree in accounting. He enjoys watching football and traveling, and is an avid outdoorsman, spending time both hunting and fishing. As the Assistant Controller, he serves as the initial source of financial information for the Foundation and is responsible for department financial statements, sales tax remittance and annual tax forms, and cash disbursements.
Shannon Strande (’21) | Gift Specialist
303-605-5780 | [email protected]
Shannon Strande (she/her/hers) joined University Advancement in 2019 as the Financial & Advancement Services Assistant when she was still a student. After graduating from the University in the spring of 2021 with a B.A. in Sociology and a minor in Linguistics, she was hired full-time as the department’s Accounting and Data Coordinator.
Shannon has six years of higher education experience, loves being on the Auraria Campus and is a proud Roadrunner dedicated to the MSU Denver mission of making a difference in our students’ lives and the community.
Student Success Building Fourth Floor, Room 410
890 Auraria Parkway Denver, CO 80204
For gifts and other correspondence:
Metropolitan State University of Denver
Campus Box 14, PO Box 173362
Denver, CO 80217-3362