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BRAVO! Awards are given in recognition of staff members in the Student Affairs branch who go above and beyond to meet students' needs and fulfill the MSU Denver mission.

The Office of Student Affairs recently introduced BRAVO! Awards to recognize both individual staff members and groups of team members who have gone above and beyond at MSU Denver. Nominations are open throughout each term with winners being announced at each semester's Student Affairs Kickoff event.

To submit a nomination for this current semester (announced at the Fall 2020 Student Affairs Kickoff), please fill out this form in its entirety. 


Congratulations to our most recent BRAVO! Award winnersSpring 2020 BRAVO! Award Winners

Back row: Dr. Will Simpkins, Joshua Gabrielson, Scott Bergman, Dr. Braelin Pantel, Rita Case, Morgan Raleigh, Ali Houghton, Alyssa Marks; Front row: John Babcock, Marlynn Rocha-Vasquez, Erica Quintana-Garcia, Adrienne Perucca, Dr. Ally Garcia


Recognized for their work during the Fall 2019 term were:

John Babcock (Associate Director | Orientation, Transfer and Retention): John took on a leadership role with the Housing Task Force and turned what could be perceived as a daunting task into a positive, professional development opportunity. In addition to his full-time job, he spent a considerable amount of time coordinating the task force. He did a great job of managing a complex process on a very short timeline and ultimately developed workable, realistic options for the University to address the challenges of affordable student housing that also encompasses the reality of housing insecurity and homelessness experienced by many of our students. Nominated by Dave Haden

Scott Bergman (Coordinator |Orientation, Transfer and Retention): Scott created the College Works and Academic and Career Excellence (ACE) program with the goal to help students with a high risk of not retaining after their freshman year to stay connected to MSU Denver. This scholarship gave 23 students – the majority of whom were Pell-grant eligible, first generation, and students of color – the opportunity to build a sense of belonging in the community through workshops, mentorships and guidance while receiving full tuition for up to six credits over the summer after their freshman year. Scott gives 110% to the programs he’s involved with and the students they serve, and he works diligently, creatively and passionately to support access, equity and inclusivity through his work. Nominated by Megan Scherzberg

Josh Gabrielson (Associate Director | Admissions): Josh and his team offered to assist the Transfer Evaluation team in the Office of the Registrar this fall and, considering most students who contact us about their transfer credit evaluation were anxious and frustrated, this was a substantial lift off of our already over extended staff. Josh knows how critical the interaction and response is to transfer students and he understands the barriers that transfer students are experiencing. In addition to creating and strengthening relationships within the three transfer teams at MSU Denver: faculty, staff and external partners, he continues to serve as a strong and passionate advocate for this population. Nominated by Connie Sanders

Alyssa Marks (Program Manager | Classroom to Career Hub): Alyssa has been absolutely stellar in her role first as internship coordinator and then as the navigator for civic engagement and public service career pathways. It’s often difficult to embrace the ambiguity of transition and change but Alyssa consistently demonstrates her commitment to the MSU Denver mission and to student success. In a time where “change is”, Alyssa’s adaptability and vision for a new way is a remarkable asset. Nominated by Adrienne Martinez

Dr. Braelin Pantel (Associate Vice President | Dean of Students/Student Engagement & Wellness): Braelin is strong, intentional, critical and thorough, and welcomes differences of thought while championing issues regarding access and inclusion. She is constantly processing about improvement relating to race, racism and whiteness, and I am in awe of her ability to connect, lead and serve so many at this institution. She allows me to show up as my authentic self and share true feelings and thoughts while feeling trusted, supported and valued under her supervision. Nominated by Dr. Ally Garcia

Erica Quintana-Garcia (Director | Student Engagement & Wellness): Erica was tasked with opening and operating the new Student Care Center and has exceeded in every way. Beyond the daily functions of increasing case management and director duties, Erica also manages the Roadrunner Food Pantry, which has seen increase in usage and donations. She has also been tasked in the adaptation and operation of the Single Stop Program and the First Star Program, all without major additions in funding or staffing. Erica has handled all of this with patience, extreme dedication to the students and a forward-thinking approach. She is absolutely crucial to the team, department and MSU Denver. Nominated by Thomas Ragland

Admissions Team (Marlynn Rocha-Vasquez, Adrienne Perucca and Morgan Raleigh): In collaboration with several key staff members in ITS, this group worked tirelessly in a few short months to develop and implement a new auto-admit process in Slate based on self-reported academic information from students. This is a truly remarkable achievement considering they had to not only get Banner and Slate sharing information, but had to adjust many of our procedures, communications and websites to reflect the new process. The new process is a real game-changer though, as it enables us to turn around admissions decisions in a few short days, so students no longer have to wait weeks – and sometimes months – to hear back from us. Nominated by Vaughn Toland

Writers of the TRIO, Veteran & Military Student Services and CAMP Grants (Rita Case, Faith Fitzgerald, Dr. Ally Garcia, Evelynn Guzman de Leon, Ali Houghton, Raquel Jiménez, Eric Silva, Tisha Townsend): This group has diligently been preparing for the submission of a grant for the continuation of the CAMP and TRIO SSS programs AND applying for two new grants – a STEM TRIO opportunity and a Veteran TRIO opportunity. Due to the nature of the work and the timing of the grant submission window, they have been volunteering their time – nights, weekends and even a dedicated writing day of the break – to get the best application in on behalf of MSU Denver to support our students. We know #TRIOworks (and CAMP does too!), so this work is an incredibly valuable endeavor for our colleagues. Nominated by Dr. Braelin Pantel

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