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2020-2021 Staff Senate Candidates

The following members of the MSU Denver staff are tentative candidates for the 2020-2021 MSU Denver Staff Senate.  Watch for your ballot the week of June 8th, 2020!

Officers

President:


(not up for election this year)

Vice President:


Margaret Thulson, Academic Affairs (Academic Affairs Division)

BIO:

Since joining the MSU Denver community in Fall 2014, I have been a proud advocate for staff representation and inclusive leadership. Like many students, my path at MSU Denver has been zig-zaggy: starting at the front desk in the School of Education Student Teaching Office and landing in my current role as Assistant to the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs. I've had the privilege of serving on multiple university committees and engaging in conversations with constituents across all levels. Because of my history and close work with Faculty Senate, I feel that I am uniquely positioned to contribute to growing collaboration and strengthening the staff voice at the table. I represented the Academic Affairs unit on Staff Senate this past year and look forward to the opportunity of serving on behalf of my peers in a larger capacity.

Outside of work, I’ve been spending my hours at home baking, reading horror mysteries, and learning new crafts.


VISION STATEMENT:

Through my work in the Faculty Affairs Office and with Faculty Senate, I’ve had the pleasure of not only working closely with faculty, but the opportunity of sharing my perspective in rooms where a staff voice is not always present. I’ve found that though our concerns are often shared, conversation can feel one-sided or antagonistic, most often unintentionally. As the Staff Senate continues to grow, I am interested in opportunities to help facilitate positive dialogue between the groups and present a unified voice at the university. When we are able to stand united on one-side, with the difficult decisions on the other, it is my hope that the uncertain future may start to feel a little less daunting.


Jeremy VanHooser, Office of Diversity (President/Strategy Division)

BIO:

Jeremy VanHooser is a lifelong roadrunner from his first day at Force Elementary School, to graduating and now working here at MSU Denver. He has worked at MSU Denver since 2014 in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, currently serving as the Diversity Coordinator. Jeremy serves on many committees across the University, from the Policy Council, Professional Development Conference Committee, and the MLK Peace Breakfast Committee. This last year he has severed as the Vice President of the Staff Senate leading the policy discussions within the Senate chairing the policy and bylaw review committee. Jeremy continues to focus on issues of equity and inclusion across the campus, working to improve campus climate and culture.   He thinks, "Why not make MSU Denver as inclusive and welcoming to all, so we have someplace worth returning to one day."

Outside of his work on campus, When Jeremy is not in a meeting or volunteering in some capacity, he is at home with his dog, Hermes, or out watching the latest movie. Jeremy is motivated to create spaces more just and equitable for all of us, on campus and in the greater community.

 
VISION STATEMENT:

I am excited to continue my work with the staff senate as Vice President seeing and helping this group come to fruition has been a pleasure and honor over the last year. As a staff, we are here to support our fantastic and diverse students, and often we forget to take care of ourselves. My vision is to advocate for our staff and ensure that we do not neglect ourselves. Staff must be represented in all shared governance meetings so that we can advocate for our colleagues across the university.  I think this can be done by working across the University to make real and meaningful changes to improve our campus culture so that all staff and students can succeed at MSU Denver.


Secretary:


(not up for election this year)

Treasurer:


Diane Yee, Campus Recreation (Student Affairs Division)

BIO:

I’ve been the Director of Campus Recreation since October 2017, though many know me through my work on various groups and committees across campus. Currently I am the treasurer of the Staff Senate, and a member of the Budget Recommendation Committee, Compensation Subcommittee, Student Affairs Leadership Team, President’s Advisory Council for Culture & Workplace, Student Employee Supervisors Support Group, Professional Development Conference Committee and AHEC Access to Campus Buildings Group. Employee engagement is highly important to me so in addition to getting involved, I ensure others are taking the time to connect. I am a mentee turned mentor for the BEEP Mentoring Program and help organize annual events such as Roadrunners Gives Back Day, Bike to Work Day, Staff Senate picnics (formerly Rowdy Roundup) and the Student Affairs Summer Social. Additionally, I created and still manage, both the Lunch Buddies Program and MSU Denver Faculty/Staff Facebook group.

In my spare time I enjoy traditional and non-traditional sports such as volleyball, snowboarding, Spikeball, lawn bowling, air hockey and axe throwing. And since the stay at home order I’ve been spending a lot of time on jigsaw puzzles, biking and fishing. Though presently on hiatus through the pandemic, I look forward to putting more time into the volunteer organization I founded called Denver Greeter, where visitors are connected with locals to give them an insider’s perspective to this amazing city.


VISION STATEMENT:

I was honored to be the successful write-in candidate for the Treasurer position in the Staff Senate’s inaugural year. Through managing a $1.5M budget as the Director of Campus Recreation, I’ve gained the transferable skills, experience and institutional knowledge to properly manage the Senate’s budget and navigate its associated formalities. After a year of building the relationships and understanding the expenses, I’m excited for an opportunity to launch into a full, 2-year term. As the Staff Senate representative of both the Budget Recommendation Committee and Compensation Subcommittee, I know there is still a lot of work to be done especially in this unprecedented time. I make certain staff voices and concerns are communicated before decision making, and that information is shared to our constituents as it relates to fiscal wellbeing.

My vision for the Staff Senate is to ensure that all staff (administrative, classified and student) are familiar with the Senate and how we can support a fair and efficient work environment.

I’m interested in employee engagement, process improvement, activities, forms (both creating and completing) and Excel pivot tables. If re-elected, I will continue to bring these to the Staff Senate. Through my myriad of committees, I’ve made a lot of connections and gathered just as many concerns. Despite my short tenure, I have a good pulse on this campus and how we can improve it for the staff of this University.

 

Division Senators

One senator shall be elected to represent each division and college/school by their respective division and college/school.   In the event that a candidate wins both a Division Senator position and an At-Large Senator position, they will be elected to the Division position, and the At-Large position will go to the At-Large candidate with the next highest vote total.  


Academic Affairs:


No candidates.

Administration, Finance and Facilities:


Anna-Liisa Breit, ITS Client Services

BIO:

Anna-Liisa joined MSU Denver 3 years ago and has been the ITS Service Desk Manager for the past two years.   She leads a team of full-time and student employees that are the first to respond to IT inquiries and incidents.  This vantage point allows her to see the interconnectedness of the university’s systems and the ways that the community interacts with them.  Her team strives to improve customers’ success with and access to technology.

The people in front of the computers are what’s most important, now more than ever. Anna-Liisa implemented an augmented writing platform within ITS that empowers managers to write thoughtful and inclusive job descriptions to candidates from every background. She has revamped the hiring, on-boarding and mentorship of student employees at the Service Desk and seen them achieve academic and professional success. 

Prior to joining MSU Denver Anna-Liisa worked for non-profit organizations in the Denver-Metro area. Her current home-bound hobbies include gardening with her wife and seeking out new music with her teenage daughter.  She has a BA from Washington University in St. Louis.


Molly Dougherty, Office of the Controller

BIO:

My name is Molly Dougherty. I have a BS in accounting and I’m currently working on my Masters in Accounting. I am a fourth generation Colorado native. I have been in higher education for three years and at MSU since February 2019.  I am the Corporate Card Administrator in the Office of the Controller. I am happy to be part of the MSU Denver team and honored to be nominated for a position on the staff senate.


Sarah Harman, CAVEA

BIO:

Hi, I appreciate having been nominated to the Staff Senate ballot! I’m a lifelong learner and inveterate problem-solver. I enjoy distilling complex conversations to become increasingly accessible, resonant, and meaningful to a wide range of audiences. 

At MSU Denver for five years now, I’ve also worked in community development, technology and media, and strategic communications. My current tasks at MSU Denver include improving our shared data environment and managing CAVEA’s venue, program and services that bridge campus to the broader community. On nights and weekends I’m also a student, slowly chipping away tuition bills and a thesis that looks at elections and our current national political discourse. 

Collaboration, mutual understanding, and investment in better community futures are important to me because we’re all in this together. With your support, I’d look forward to bringing these passions to my service on Staff Senate.


James Reyes, Office of the Bursar

BIO:

My names is James Reyes, and I have had the privilege of serving on Staff Senate for the past year. I have enjoyed serving as the AFF Senator throughout this time. I believe I can continue to make an impact within Staff Senate, with my ideas and with my experience. Should I be elected, I will continue to represent my peers professionally and diligently as best I can. It is my hope to continue building on this great group of individuals.

 

Advancement:


No candidates.

College of Business:


Donelyn Jones, Department of Marketing


BIO:

With thirty-six years of experience in higher education, Donelyn Jones’ professional career encompasses academic advising, financial aid counseling, student development, program development, administration, leadership, and teaching. As a professional educator, she is dedicated to student achievement, graduation, and overall student success. While she is not an MSU Denver Alum, she has dedicated 34 years of service to Metropolitan State University of Denver. She commits her time and energy in helping student achieve their full potential in pursuit of their academic, career, and personal goals. As an administrator and strategist, she is actively involved in and holds leadership positions on several councils, committees, and boards of directors, such as The African American Affairs Council, The Dr. MLK Jr., Peace Breakfast Committee, and Met Media. Her professional career, skills, and talents expand outside the higher education arena in her capacity as an educational consultant to community organizations and the Denver Chapter of the NAACP, to name a few. In her current role of Marketing advisor for the College of Business, Donelyn shares her knowledge to help others create academic and career pathways that inspire a life of purpose, passion, and personal fulfillment.

 

College of Letters, Arts and Sciences:


Gregory Singer, Professional Advising

BIO:

I am Greg Singer, Academic Advisor and Retention Specialist for the Department of Psychological Sciences. Over the past year, we've made significant progress in the Staff Senate towards creating a body that can really improve staff involvement in governance and decision-making on campus. If re-elected, I plan to focus on issues that affect all of us, including pay equity and improving the structure of staff committees. One of my goals for this year is to craft a policy governing committee work ensuring that all of our work is meaningful.

 

College of Professional Studies:


Amanda Campbell, Department of Social Work

BIO:

It has been an honor to serve as Senator for the College of Professional Studies during the 2019-20 academic year, and I am excited to seek re-election in this role. This year our Staff Senate has built a foundation to be able to represent our staff and student employees, and I think that the impact of our collective work is just beginning. Elevating the voices of our staff and student employees is critically important to the effective functioning of the university, enabling it to meet its mission of serving students and positively impacting the community. This is more important now than ever as we are all faced with how to cope with the challenges of the pandemic and its impact on our MSU Denver community. I look forward to being a part of these conversations and finding additional ways to ensure decision making is transparent and inclusive.

I have worked at MSU Denver since 2013, serving in multiple roles within the Department of Social Work including affiliate faculty, clinical field faculty and Assistant Director of Field Education. I bring a unique perspective to this position from having served in both faculty and administrator roles which enables me to advocate in a nuanced way for the staff perspective. As a social worker, I look forward to collaborating with others across the university to amplify the voice of our staff and advocate for policies and decisions that will foster a culture of inclusion, respect, and recognition. Thanks for your support!


Katrina McLaughlin, Electrical Engineering Technology Department

BIO:

You might know me as Kate. I have been with MSU Denver since 2014in the Engineering & Engineering Technology Department, where I supervise the EET labs. I have taught physics and astronomy at NAU, RRCC, & CCD, and Intro to EET here. / I’d like to serve on the Staff Senate because I think my prior experience in both Faculty & Staff roles gives me a good perspective and awareness of the challenges faced by both. Staff positions, like my current role as Laboratory Coordinator, are integral to the smooth function of the University, though there are often over-looked since we play a supporting role. For this reason, I believe that Staff Senate is vitally important in University shared governance, and I’d like to be a part of it to make issues affecting us are addressed while maintaining the University’s focus on students.

 

President's Office/Strategy:


John Kietzmann, Athletics

BIO:

John Kietzmann is entering his tenth year at MSU Denver when the 2020-21 academic year begins.  He is currently the Interim Director of Athletics after previously serving as the Associate Director of Athletics for External Operations.  He oversees marketing, promotions and special events, along with media relations.  Kietzmann's marketing efforts were instrumental in the men's basketball team setting its season attendance record in 2013-14. He was also named vice chairman of the NCAA Committee on Athletics in 2019-20.

He joined the Roadrunners during the fall of 2011 after nearly six years in the athletics department at Black Hills State, where he spent his last two years as assistant athletic director.  Kietzmann began his time at BHSU supervising and coordinating all marketing promotions and creating new marketing strategies for the Yellow Jackets.  He oversaw all aspects of fundraising for athletics at BHSU.  After a promotion in 2009, he added the responsibilities of media relations, sports information and special event planning to his duties.

Prior to his time at Black Hills State, Kietzmann spent eight years in the athletic department at Colorado State. He began as a sports information intern and became a full-time employee in 2001 in the media relations department.

Kietzmann graduated from Rocky Mountain High School in Fort Collins in 1997 and from Colorado State with a bachelor's degree in business administration in 2001. He holds two master’s degrees from Creighton and CSU-Global.  He completed all but his dissertation for his doctorate in interdisciplinary leadership at Creighton.


Colton Lee, Office of the President

BIO:

My name is Colton Lee. I am a soon to-be graduate from here, MSU Denver! My degree will be a B.A. double-major in Philosophy and an I.D.P. of Americanist Studies, with a minor in Psychology. This will be after I earned my A.A. in Philosophy from the institution from which I transferred, Community College of Aurora, which is near where I was raised. In my time as a student on the Auraria campus, I have worked at the Auraria Library, Supplemental Instruction, the MSU Denver Writing Center, the MSU Denver Honors Program, and as Assistant to the Government Affairs Coordinator in the Office of the President. My clubs and activities have included Philosophy Club, Women’s Philosophy Club, D-Phi, Linguistics Club, serving as President of Student Honors Council, and various academic conferences including presenting and speaking at Honors conferences and Women’s Philosophy conferences. I have completed the MSU Denver Honors Program with Highest Honors, and I am on track to graduate Magna Cum Laude.


Cory Phare, Marketing and Communications

BIO:

Cory Phare is currently an at-large Staff Senator and speaker to the Staff Senate Executive Committee. With his role as Staff Writer with Strategy, Marketing and Communications, he has a unique cross-institutional opportunity to serve as dot-connector and tries to gain insight into what matters to every individual he interacts with. He's got a varied background that ranges from being an academic advisor to working with start-ups, in educational consulting and as a professional musician. In addition to writing self-congratulatory third-person bios, he enjoys a wide range of creative pursuits and hitting PAWS on things to spend quality time with his furry copilot, Waffle.


Johanna Snow, Marketing and Communications

BIO:

Johanna is a proud alum of Metropolitan State University of Denver, graduating in 2008 with a degree in Journalism and Digital Media. She returned to work at the university in 2018 for the President’s Office and Strategy, Marketing and Communications. She is involved with a variety of projects ranging from the Strategic Plan to President's Cabinet and honored to be nominated for Staff Senate. Johanna is currently a part of the Strategic Planning, turned Futures, Team and looking forward to how the Staff Senate can work to shape the future of MSU Denver.  (also no relation to Jon)

 

School of Education:


Brian Gunther, Office of the Dean

BIO:

Brian served as School of Education Senator in the Staff Senate's inaugural year and made a variety of contributions to the senate, including establishing and chairing the Staff Senate Communications Committee and later being elected as one of two Speakers of the Staff Senate and serving on the Staff Senate Executive Committee.  

Brian's expertise lies in process management, and he has a broad understanding of many components across our university structure from the perspective of an academic unit.  This broad view, paired with his detail orientation and ability to identify impacts of change, results in a unique perspective that has contributed to several important, impactful decisions at every level of the university.  

Brian is excited about the prospect of continuing and advancing the important work of the Staff Senate in 2020-2021.

 

School of Hospitality, Events and Tourism:


James Webb, Office of the Dean

 
BIO:

As an employee and alumnus of the School of Hospitality, Jimi Webb is dedicated to hospitality students.  Whether it is creating virtual experiential learning opportunities for them, guiding them into their new career, or just making funny videos, he takes joy in creating a welcoming culture for the students to thrive in, both on campus and online.
 
 

Student Affairs:


Salina Blea, Classroom to Career Hub

BIO:

Salina Blea (pronouns: she/her/hers) is the Assistant Director of Student Employment and Equity programs for the Classroom to Career Hub (C2 Hub). She has worked at MSU Denver for five-and-a-half years within the Student Affairs division holding such positions as Office Manager for the former Applied Learning Center and Undergraduate Research Program Coordinator. Prior to her tenure at MSU Denver, she worked in human services and retail management. Ms. Blea was born and raised in Colorado. She is the first in her family to attend college and a proud MSU Denver alumna. She received her undergraduate degree in history, Master of Arts in history at Regis University and she is currently working on her EdD in Leadership for Educational Equity at CU Denver. Ms. Blea is passionate about higher education equity and working towards fostering inclusive environments for both students and staff. When she is not working or working on her dissertation, she enjoys playing drums, camping, traveling and trying new breweries.


Samuel Britz, Enrollment Call Center

BIO:

Samuel Britz is a biology student who has been involved in his community for years. Beginning in high school with serving in Student Government for three years, he developed a desire to try to understand what the needs of his community are, and how he can help initiate measures to help meet those needs. Samuel is an incoming Senior and plans to graduate in Spring of 2021.


Kathleen Jewby, Met Media

BIO:

As Creative Director and Production Manager of Met Media, Kathleen Jewby’s role is finding innovative solutions and executing ideas effectively. Examples of this work can be seen in the materials of the Professional Development Conference and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Peace Breakfast, which she been a member of both committees for over six years. The conference had a 49% increase in attendance the first year of her involvement based on her engagement plan. These are two of the many ways she has worked to build MSU Denver’s culture.


Amber Mozet, Center for Multicultural Engagement & Inclusion

BIO:

My name is Amber Mozet (she/her/hers) and I am a proud alumna of MSU Denver.  My current position is the Assistant Director for Equity & Student Leadership in the Center for Multicultural Engagement & Inclusion (CMEI), where I happily expend time and energy in building and cultivating relationships with our students, student employees, faculty and staff.  I want your support to become the Staff Senator for Student Affairs or a Senator At-Large, to ensure that your voices continue to be heard.  I promise to either create space for you to share your comments/concerns or to bring them up for you.  We bring a beautiful variety of educational, professional and personal experiences to MSU Denver and I want to honor that.


Camelia Naranjo, Classroom to Career Hub

BIO:

Camelia has worked professionally in higher education for 14 years primarily supporting first-year and first-generation students achieve their academic and personal goals. She has held multiple positions within Student Affairs developing student support programs. As an MSU Denver alum and first-generation student she is passionate about serving the MSU Denver student population in achieving their academic, career, and personal goals. 


At-Large Senators

Twelve At-Large Staff Senators shall be elected by the university staff.  These senators represent the interests of all MSU Denver staff.  The 12 candidates with the highest vote totals will be elected to these positions.  In the event that a candidate wins both a Division Senator position and an At-Large Senator position, they will be elected to the Division position, and the At-Large position will go to the At-Large candidate with the next highest vote total.

Salina Blea, Classroom to Career Hub (Student Affairs Division)

BIO:

Salina Blea (pronouns: she/her/hers) is the Assistant Director of Student Employment and Equity programs for the Classroom to Career Hub (C2 Hub). She has worked at MSU Denver for five-and-a-half years within the Student Affairs division holding such positions as Office Manager for the former Applied Learning Center and Undergraduate Research Program Coordinator. Prior to her tenure at MSU Denver, she worked in human services and retail management. Ms. Blea was born and raised in Colorado. She is the first in her family to attend college and a proud MSU Denver alumna. She received her undergraduate degree in history, Master of Arts in history at Regis University and she is currently working on her EdD in Leadership for Educational Equity at CU Denver. Ms. Blea is passionate about higher education equity and working towards fostering inclusive environments for both students and staff. When she is not working or working on her dissertation, she enjoys playing drums, camping, traveling and trying new breweries.


Ellen L. Boswell, Office of Institutional Research (Administration, Finance and Facilities Division)

BIO:

A dedicated Roadrunner for over 40 years, Ellen attended college as a first-generation low-income student who earned her bachelor’s degree from MSU Denver in 1977. After graduating, she transitioned from her part-time job in the Budget Office to work full-time in Institutional Research. Her work at the university now spans 38 years, where she has served in various roles, from grassroots to Director. Ellen works as a data detective who closely examines and develops how data is presented, ensuring that IR provides accurate information in response to the needs of the university. A seasoned soccer player on the side, Ellen loves taking her granddaughter to many of the sporting events to cheer on MSU Denver. Ellen treasures their time together, which also doubles as an opportunity to introduce higher education to the next generation and pass on that same Roadrunner spirit.


Catherine Break, Office of International Studies (Academic Affairs Division)

BIO:

Catherine graduated from the University of South Florida with a degree in Humanities and a Certificate in Italian Studies. She has participated in 3 study abroad programs in Italy (twice) and Spain. She also lived in Turin, Italy with a host family for several months. She has traveled to France, the Netherlands, Costa Rica and Australia (two of her absolute favorites). Catherine has a passion for exploring other cultures and chose a profession in Study Abroad in order to assist students with their international endeavors.  She has held numerous study abroad positions at the University of Central Florida, the University of Florida, CU Denver, and the University of Wisconsin.  She has been with MSU Denver for almost 4 years and is thrilled to be working with Roadrunners. She thoroughly believes that a study abroad experience enriches every plan of study and is eager to help MSU Denver students discover their next adventures. Catherine is also very enthusiastic about Colorado because of her love of nature and the outdoors.  She is very happy to be a part of MSU Denver and looks forward to serving on the staff senate. 


Anna-Liisa Breit, ITS Client Services (Administration, Finance and Facilities Division)

BIO:

Anna-Liisa joined MSU Denver 3 years ago and has been the ITS Service Desk Manager for the past two years.   She leads a team of full-time and student employees that are the first to respond to IT inquiries and incidents.  This vantage point allows her to see the interconnectedness of the university’s systems and the ways that the community interacts with them.  Her team strives to improve customers’ success with and access to technology.

The people in front of the computers are what’s most important, now more than ever. Anna-Liisa implemented an augmented writing platform within ITS that empowers managers to write thoughtful and inclusive job descriptions to candidates from every background. She has revamped the hiring, on-boarding and mentorship of student employees at the Service Desk and seen them achieve academic and professional success. 

Prior to joining MSU Denver Anna-Liisa worked for non-profit organizations in the Denver-Metro area. Her current home-bound hobbies include gardening with her wife and seeking out new music with her teenage daughter.  She has a BA from Washington University in St. Louis.


Samuel Britz, Enrollment Call Center (Student Affairs Division)

BIO:

Samuel Britz is a biology student who has been involved in his community for years. Beginning in high school with serving in Student Government for three years, he developed a desire to try to understand what the needs of his community are, and how he can help initiate measures to help meet those needs. Samuel is an incoming Senior and plans to graduate in Spring of 2021.


Lara Bruce, Department of Social Work (College of Professional Studies)

BIO:

Lara Bruce, MSW, joined MSU Denver in October 2018 as the Child Welfare Stipend Coordinator in the Social Work Department. In this capacity, Lara supports both bachelors- and masters-level social work students who are interested in a career in public child welfare work in Colorado. From recruitment into the social work program to post-graduation employment support, Lara builds relationships with students throughout the life cycle of their MSU Denver experience. In her role, Lara works with both internal and external university stakeholders and community members to meet the needs of the program and Colorado’s child welfare workforce. This includes sitting on a statewide stipend program committee and regularly meeting and engaging community partners in this work. 

Lara will bring a unique perspective to the Staff Senate due to her current position being externally grant funded by the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS). Due to this, she will bring specific considerations and support to the Senate with this population of staff in mind. In addition, due to the collaborative nature of her work, Lara has built relationships with a variety of staff and student supports across campus. Her general philosophy is to value the unique perspectives of all involved in any effort and to ensure that all voices are heard and respected throughout the process.


Amanda Campbell, Department of Social Work (College of Professional Studies)

BIO:

It has been an honor to serve as Senator for the College of Professional Studies during the 2019-20 academic year, and I am excited to seek re-election in this role. This year our Staff Senate has built a foundation to be able to represent our staff and student employees, and I think that the impact of our collective work is just beginning. Elevating the voices of our staff and student employees is critically important to the effective functioning of the university, enabling it to meet its mission of serving students and positively impacting the community. This is more important now than ever as we are all faced with how to cope with the challenges of the pandemic and its impact on our MSU Denver community. I look forward to being a part of these conversations and finding additional ways to ensure decision making is transparent and inclusive.

I have worked at MSU Denver since 2013, serving in multiple roles within the Department of Social Work including affiliate faculty, clinical field faculty and Assistant Director of Field Education. I bring a unique perspective to this position from having served in both faculty and administrator roles which enables me to advocate in a nuanced way for the staff perspective. As a social worker, I look forward to collaborating with others across the university to amplify the voice of our staff and advocate for policies and decisions that will foster a culture of inclusion, respect, and recognition. Thanks for your support!


Chaz Deherrera, Student Success Program (Student Affairs Division)

BIO:

As an academic navigator, I have had the privilege of cultivating relationships with many of our Roadrunner community. If elected, I intend on representing and serving the frontline professionals who are quintessential to our university. In this unprecedented moment in time for our community, I plan to leverage the full weight of this body to protect and give agency to our staff because that I believe that when we are stuck in the metaphorical mud, we will rise stronger than ever if we do this together. My broad and diverse relationships in this institution lends to my efficacy if given the honor of serving for you in this institutional body.


Brian Gunther, Office of the Dean (School of Education)

BIO:

Brian Gunther is a longtime classified employee of MSU Denver in the School of Education.  He served as School of Education Senator in the Staff Senate's inaugural year and made a variety of contributions to the senate, including establishing and chairing the Staff Senate Communications Committee and later being elected as one of two Speakers of the Staff Senate and serving on the Staff Senate Executive Committee.  

Brian's expertise lies in process management, and he has a broad understanding of many components across our university structure from the perspective of an academic unit.  This broad view, paired with his detail orientation and ability to identify impacts of change, results in a unique perspective that has contributed to several important, impactful decisions at every level of the university.  

Brian is excited about the prospect of continuing and advancing the important work of the Staff Senate in 2020-2021.


Taylor Hase, Undergraduate Studies - Supplemental Instruction (Academic Affairs Division)

BIO:

Taylor is the Interim Coordinator of Supplemental Instruction (SI) and has been with MSU Denver since September 2018. She has worked in education for over a decade and has held multiple roles dedicated to supporting student success and tackling educational inequities. Prior to joining MSU Denver, she worked for Florida SouthWestern State College where she supported students through financial counseling, academic advising, and career development. Her passion for student success began during her undergraduate degree at Florida State University and transformed into a passion for educational equity once she graduated and began teaching 8th grade mathematics in Atlanta, Georgia. She believes that our ability to support students is heavily dependent on how well we work as a team and leverage the strengths of others. The Staff Senate provides that opportunity on a large scale, creating a space where staff members can collaborate, share ideas, and have their voice heard. Taylor had the privilege of being a Senator-At Large this past year and representing her colleagues; she is excited to return as a Senator for the 2020-2021 year and looks forward to increasing her impact!


Donelyn Jones, Department of Marketing (College of Business)

BIO:

With thirty-six years of experience in higher education, Donelyn Jones’ professional career encompasses academic advising, financial aid counseling, student development, program development, administration, leadership, and teaching. As a professional educator, she is dedicated to student achievement, graduation, and overall student success. While she is not an MSU Denver Alum, she has dedicated 34 years of service to Metropolitan State University of Denver. She commits her time and energy in helping student achieve their full potential in pursuit of their academic, career, and personal goals. As an administrator and strategist, she is actively involved in and holds leadership positions on several councils, committees, and boards of directors, such as The African American Affairs Council, The Dr. MLK Jr., Peace Breakfast Committee, and Met Media. Her professional career, skills, and talents expand outside the higher education arena in her capacity as an educational consultant to community organizations and the Denver Chapter of the NAACP, to name a few. In her current role of Marketing advisor for the College of Business, Donelyn shares her knowledge to help others create academic and career pathways that inspire a life of purpose, passion, and personal fulfillment.


John Kietzmann, Athletics (President/Strategy Division)

 
BIO:

John Kietzmann is entering his tenth year at MSU Denver when the 2020-21 academic year begins.  He is currently the Interim Director of Athletics after previously serving as the Associate Director of Athletics for External Operations.  He oversees marketing, promotions and special events, along with media relations.  Kietzmann's marketing efforts were instrumental in the men's basketball team setting its season attendance record in 2013-14. He was also named vice chairman of the NCAA Committee on Athletics in 2019-20.

He joined the Roadrunners during the fall of 2011 after nearly six years in the athletics department at Black Hills State, where he spent his last two years as assistant athletic director.  Kietzmann began his time at BHSU supervising and coordinating all marketing promotions and creating new marketing strategies for the Yellow Jackets.  He oversaw all aspects of fundraising for athletics at BHSU.  After a promotion in 2009, he added the responsibilities of media relations, sports information and special event planning to his duties.

Prior to his time at Black Hills State, Kietzmann spent eight years in the athletic department at Colorado State. He began as a sports information intern and became a full-time employee in 2001 in the media relations department.

Kietzmann graduated from Rocky Mountain High School in Fort Collins in 1997 and from Colorado State with a bachelor's degree in business administration in 2001. He holds two master’s degrees from Creighton and CSU-Global.  He completed all but his dissertation for his doctorate in interdisciplinary leadership at Creighton.
 
 
Colton Lee, Office of the President (President/Strategy Division)
 
 
BIO:

My name is Colton Lee. I am a soon to-be graduate from here, MSU Denver! My degree will be a B.A. double-major in Philosophy and an I.D.P. of Americanist Studies, with a minor in Psychology. This will be after I earned my A.A. in Philosophy from the institution from which I transferred, Community College of Aurora, which is near where I was raised. In my time as a student on the Auraria campus, I have worked at the Auraria Library, Supplemental Instruction, the MSU Denver Writing Center, the MSU Denver Honors Program, and as Assistant to the Government Affairs Coordinator in the Office of the President. My clubs and activities have included Philosophy Club, Women’s Philosophy Club, D-Phi, Linguistics Club, serving as President of Student Honors Council, and various academic conferences including presenting and speaking at Honors conferences and Women’s Philosophy conferences. I have completed the MSU Denver Honors Program with Highest Honors, and I am on track to graduate Magna Cum Laude.
 

Charisma Martinez, Nutrition Master's Program (College of Professional Studies)

 
BIO:

My name is Charisma Martinez and I am the Academic Department Coordinator for the Department of Nutrition. In 2017, I graduated from MSU Denver with a Bachelor of Science in Human Nutrition and Dietetics. I am running for an At-Large Senator position because it is a great way to stay involved with the MSU Denver community. During the 2019-2020 academic year I held an At-Large Senator position on MSU Denver’s Staff Senate and I would love to continue in this position.  As an At-Large Senator, I will commit to representing my colleagues and voicing any issues of concern. Thank you for considering!
 

Katrina McLaughlin, Electrical Engineering Technology Department (College of Professional Studies)

 
BIO:

You might know me as Kate. I have been with MSU Denver since 2014in the Engineering & Engineering Technology Department, where I supervise the EET labs. I have taught physics and astronomy at NAU, RRCC, & CCD, and Intro to EET here. / I’d like to serve on the Staff Senate because I think my prior experience in both Faculty & Staff roles gives me a good perspective and awareness of the challenges faced by both. Staff positions, like my current role as Laboratory Coordinator, are integral to the smooth function of the University, though there are often over-looked since we play a supporting role. For this reason, I believe that Staff Senate is vitally important in University shared governance, and I’d like to be a part of it to make issues affecting us are addressed while maintaining the University’s focus on students.
 

Amber Mozet, Center for Multicultural Engagement & Inclusion (Student Affairs Division)

 
BIO:

My name is Amber Mozet (she/her/hers) and I am a proud alumna of MSU Denver.  My current position is the Assistant Director for Equity & Student Leadership in the Center for Multicultural Engagement & Inclusion (CMEI), where I happily expend time and energy in building and cultivating relationships with our students, student employees, faculty and staff.  I want your support to become the Staff Senator for Student Affairs or a Senator At-Large, to ensure that your voices continue to be heard.  I promise to either create space for you to share your comments/concerns or to bring them up for you.  We bring a beautiful variety of educational, professional and personal experiences to MSU Denver and I want to honor that.
 

Camelia Naranjo, Classroom to Career Hub (Student Affairs Division)

 
BIO:

Camelia has worked professionally in higher education for 14 years primarily supporting first-year and first-generation students achieve their academic and personal goals. She has held multiple positions within Student Affairs developing student support programs. As an MSU Denver alum and first-generation student she is passionate about serving the MSU Denver student population in achieving their academic, career, and personal goals.
 

Cory Phare, Marketing and Communications (President/Strategy Division)

 
BIO:

Cory Phare is currently an at-large Staff Senator and speaker to the Staff Senate Executive Committee. With his role as Staff Writer with Strategy, Marketing and Communications, he has a unique cross-institutional opportunity to serve as dot-connector and tries to gain insight into what matters to every individual he interacts with. He's got a varied background that ranges from being an academic advisor to working with start-ups, in educational consulting and as a professional musician. In addition to writing self-congratulatory third-person bios, he enjoys a wide range of creative pursuits and hitting PAWS on things to spend quality time with his furry copilot, Waffle.
 

James Reyes, Office of the Bursar (Administration, Finance, and Facilities Division)

 
BIO:

My names is James Reyes, and I have had the privilege of serving on Staff Senate for the past year. I have enjoyed serving as the AFF Senator throughout this time. I believe I can continue to make an impact within Staff Senate, with my ideas and with my experience. Should I be elected, I will continue to represent my peers professionally and diligently as best I can. It is my hope to continue building on this great group of individuals.
 

Gregory Singer, Professional Advising (College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences)

 
BIO:

I am Greg Singer, Academic Advisor and Retention Specialist for the Department of Psychological Sciences. Over the past year, we've made significant progress in the Staff Senate towards creating a body that can really improve staff involvement in governance and decision-making on campus. If re-elected, I plan to focus on issues that affect all of us, including pay equity and improving the structure of staff committees. One of my goals for this year is to craft a policy governing committee work ensuring that all of our work is meaningful.
 

Johanna Snow, Marketing and Communications (President/Strategy Division)

 
BIO:

Johanna is a proud alum of Metropolitan State University of Denver, graduating in 2008 with a degree in Journalism and Digital Media. She returned to work at the university in 2018 for the President’s Office and Strategy, Marketing and Communications. She is involved with a variety of projects ranging from the Strategic Plan to President's Cabinet and honored to be nominated for Staff Senate. Johanna is currently a part of the Strategic Planning, turned Futures, Team and looking forward to how the Staff Senate can work to shape the future of MSU Denver.  (also no relation to Jon)
 

Chivonne Torres, Professional Advising (College of Letters, Arts and Sciences)

 
BIO:

Chivonne Torres is the current professional advisor for Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. She has worked in higher education for over 16 years, 13 of which have been at MSU Denver. She has a strong desire to work toward leveling the playing field to aid in student success. She considers MSU Denver home and wants to contribute time and effort to make the most positive work environment possible.
 
 

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