MSU Denver

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

To submit a nomination, please fill out this form in its entirety.

Individual Award Winners

Dave Bourassa (Program Manager for Student Engagement, Travel, Professional Development)

In addition to evolving his program to address holistic professional development to keep it relevant during the pandemic, Dave has been a pillar of support for the entire CMEI team. Most recently, he’s stepped in to help co-advise TSAC and SACAB and has provided each group with tremendous wisdom and on-point advisement. Dave has also prioritized his own personal and professional development and has showed up as a leader among his peers who actualizes his commitment to equity and justice in his daily work. THANK YOU for all that you are doing for our community and students, Dave! – Dr. Braelin Pantel

Dave took up change and new challenges deliberately to enhance and further develop collaborations and relationships with campus partners, customer service, and program delivery. His dedication, contributions and positive attitude as he steps in to advise the Student Advocacy Council is immensely selfless and above and beyond as a student affairs’ professional. Thank you, Dave for all your work. – Dr. Thanh Nguyen

Nominated by Dr. Braelin Pantel and Dr. Thanh Nguyen

Johana Guzman (Office Manager and Admin Assistant | Orientation, Transfer and Retention)

Johana, a proud MSU Denver alumni and the Administrative Assistant and Office Manager for OTR, is the backbone to our office – ensuring all of the behind the scenes work that is necessary to produce impactful programming for our students goes off without a hitch. From training and supporting student leaders and creating an inclusive and welcoming environment for staff to ensuring our budgets are organized and technical systems are up and running to welcoming new roadrunners, she keeps us organized and operating on all cylinders.  Thanks for continuing to fill our buckets – now we want to fill hers with our deepest appreciation and recognition for all the work she does for OTR! – Dr. Megan Scherzberg

Johana is consistently supporting our office in every aspect. She is the logistics QUEEN and we could not function without her. She is also an incredible supervisor to a 5-person student employee team on top of her other responsibilities and handles things with finesse. – Horacio Borja

Nominated by Dr. Megan Scherzberg and Horacio Borja

Diana Ibarra (Assistant Director of Events, Graphic Design and Social Media | CMEI)

Diana has worked tirelessly this semester to ensure students received (and continue to receive) the warm welcome back to campus that they deserve. As co-chair of the Virtual Engagement Coalition, she provided valuable feedback and insight into how it would be best to redesign the entire VE website with the web migration, while also planning a successful (despite almost stormy) in-person Convocation and other events (will it be in person, virtual or hybrid? So many questions!). I know she’s busy and behind the scenes a lot, but I want her to know that I see her and appreciate the work she does. – Amanda McClure

Diana provides co-curricular programming to help increase students’ sense of belonging and community as they persist throughout their higher education journey. In her capacity as our Assistant Director, I am privileged to observe her impact the lives of the students that she supervises daily and the various partners and colleagues who she works with day in and day out. Diana displays a unique ability to advocate, encourage, support, engage, motivate and care for our students, colleagues, and institutional partners as she leads them with compassion and energy. – Dr. Thanh Nguyen

Nominated by Amanda McClure and Dr. Thanh Nguyen

Nahum Kisner (Executive Director of Student Support & Retention | Classroom to Career Hub)

Nahum has been and continues to be a role model supervisor within our division. His patience and focus on his team’s well-being knows no limits. Throughout the struggles of the pandemic and this fall semester, Nahum has never waivered in prioritizing his team’s needs, or in seeking to build a culture that values equity over equality.

Nominated by Eric Silva

Camelia Naranjo (Associate Director of Peer Mentoring | Classroom to Career Hub)

Working for Camelia and the Peer Mentoring Department has been a wonderful experience. Camelia is a great boss who works hard and supports her staff in any way she can. Thank you, Camelia for everything you do!

Nominated by Jackie Alderete

Adrienne Perucca (Associate Director of Admissions Systems and Data | Admissions))

Adrienne Perucca has an unwavering pursuit to constantly redefine processes to make the new student experience smoother. This is evidenced by the fact that Adrienne has played an integral role in the monumental task of moving the transfer intake, posting and transfer credit evaluation workflow into Slate. She has spent countless hours building, configuring, testing and validating rules to make the first of two Slate Transfer project live with great success! – Marlynn Rocha-Vasquez

Adrienne has been the main engine behind the Slate Transfer projects. She is so open, cheerful, and flexible when it comes to making changes and embracing new ideas. She is always thinking about and managing projects to improve the student life cycle. – Camden Farmer

Nominated by Marlynn Rocha-Vasquez and Camden Farmer

Group Award Winners

Transfer Automation Team

 (Adrienne Perucca, Marlynn Rocha-Vasquez, Manny Escarcega, Camden Farmer)

This phenomenal crew of folks have completely redesigned and rebuilt the transfer evaluation process in the last several months of 2021.  The go-live date for this first phase was October 14th and we have already experienced efficiencies, improved communication, streamlined processes, etc.  This group of experts and amazing humans have changed the landscape of transfer at MSU Denver.  This work will continue; however, they should be recognized for their insane amount of work, passion, and dedication to this project. – Connie Sanders

Manny, Adrienne, and Marlynn have worked tirelessly with Camden and ITS to help automate and streamline the transfer eval process to help improve the overall transfer process and experience for students.  Specifically, they have collaborated to launch the first deliverables of the project on October 14th, which included posting/intaking of college transcripts as well as a new transfer credit workflow in Slate.  They have done all of this while continuing to develop new features and reports in Slate to support the Admission’s Office as well as helping to support the Slate related needs and requests of OGS and the graduate programs, and Innovative and Lifelong Learning. – Vaughn Toland

Nominated by Connie Sanders and Vaughn Toland

Pathways to Possible Team

(Angela Groves​, Jesus Yanez-Ruiz, J.T. Kendall​, Rachael Durham, Stephanie Lee)

Being part of a brand-new team that is building a brand new program is no easy adjustment, but they’ve all maintained positive attitudes and built a team culture that they can be proud of. They’ve been instrumental in helping the program grow and building strong relationships with the student participants. The program wouldn’t be thriving without their energy and effort, and I look forward to seeing what they will continue to build as a team.

Nominated by Eric Silva

Dean of Students Office

(Dr. Braelin Pantel​, Derrick Clopton, Grey Gorman​, Josh Oakland​, Kailey Kaminsky​, Katie Joyce​, Nick Pattelli​, Shane Borah​, Thomas Ragland)

This team has dedicated themselves to creating and managing the COVID-19 testing compliance system for students. They have reached out and helped students navigate their responsibilities with care and a commitment to helping students remain in class. They have adapted quickly to creating a new and complex system, but with the student always top of mind.

Nominated by Elise Krumholz

Past Winners


2020 Spring – Melissa Miller (Associate Registrar of Records and Registration | Registrar’s Office), Thanh Nguyen (Interim Director | Center for Multicultural Engagement and Inclusion), Eric Silva (Assistant Director | TRIO Student Support Services), Pam Ansburg (Interim Director of Faculty Engagement | Classroom to Career Hub), Amanda Ryder (Associate Director of Admissions | Admissions), Maluwa Behringer (Director of Industry Partnerships | Classroom to Career Hub)

2020 Fall – Juan Gallegos (Director | Center for Multicultural Engagement and Inclusion), James Ross (Assistant to the Registrar & Special Projects Manager | Registrar’s Office), Cathy Hehr (Industry Navigator | Classroom to Career Hub), Dave Lamothe (Assistant Director of Recreation & Leadership | Campus Recreation), Aubrey Winbigler (Coordinator of International Student Support | Registrar’s Office), Chaz DeHererra (Student Success Navigator | Classroom to Career Hub)

2019 Fall – John Babcock (Associate Director | Orientation, Transition and Retention), Scott Bergman (Coordinator | Orientation, Transfer and Retention), Josh Gabrielson (Associate Director | Admissions), Alyssa Marks (Program Manager | Classroom to Career Hub), Dr. Braelin Pantel (Associate Vice President | Dean of Students/Student Engagement & Wellness), Erica Quintana-Garcia (Director | Student Engagement & Wellness)


2020 Spring – Student Affairs Communications Team (Jeremy Coleman, Amanda McClure, Su Ann Tan, Asia Wesley), Admissions Front Desk and Crew in Blue (Victor Mata, Maribel Palomino Valadez, Andrea Garcia-Portillo, Diana Flores | Jessica Burkett, Brian Bogere, Caleb Gardner, Crystal Alcocer, Cole Parsa, Haley Gyurko, Kaelin Messex, Jorge Jimenez, Carolina Devora, Allys Lejarazo Duenas), Diversity Facilitators (Adrienne Martinez, Ali Houghton, Ally Garcia, Alyssa Marks, Bessie Nolan, Brandy Schooler, Chris Harder, Eric Silva, John Babcock, Kathleen Jewby, Lauren Koppel, Meher Noorulamin, Raquel Jimenez, Regina Burkhart, Ruby Matheny, Salina Blea)

2020 Fall – Health Center at Auraria Team (Kyle Garrity, Linda Hilliker, Lisa Lasswell, Richard Miccio, Ruben Zorrilla, Shawna Tonick, Sonja Coleman-Harris, Stephen Monaco, Steven Caveney, Susan Louch, Tamara Wristen, Tifany Andrade, Yvonne Olson-Sage, Alyssa Labate, Amy Markese, Anna-Lisa Greenwade, Clinton Hartz, Cynthia Ortiz, David Esslam, Debra Shuman, Denys Frolkov, Elias Gonzalez, Elle Heeg-Miller, Gia Valente, Hang Nguyen, Jeffrey Uszacki, Joshua Pasley, Julie Wagner, Justin Hauxwell, Kajuan DeVan Hernandez), Student Care Center (Alicia Milanowski, Erica Quintana-Garcia, Jesse Wooldridge, Miguel Huerta, Peter Concepcion)

2019 Fall – Admissions Team (Marlynn Rocha-Vasquez, Adrienne Perucca and Morgan Raleigh), 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 Jimènez, Eric Silva and Tisha Townsend)