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

Destiny Candeleria (Call Center Coordinator | Enrollment Management)

Since joining MSU Denver less than 3 months ago Destiny has been instrumental in rebuilding the call center team. The amount of effort and quality she has put into building out financial aid training for student staff, and the training of staff has resulted in cutting training time in half. We’re fortunate to have Destiny at MSU Denver. – Nick Grissom

Destiny is an outstanding individual, she came in as a temporary Call Center Coordinator in Fall 2021, to support the call center. She was hired to supervise the Financial Aid queue but stepped up to support the Department by assisting in all 3 queues. Destiny comes to work with a smile every day and does not let the low staffing get in her way of getting work done. Destiny’s positive outlook and leadership in the Call Center has helped maintain morale for the student employees and Financial Aid staff. – Karlett Eguiluz

Nominated by Nick Grissom and Karlett Eguiluz

Matt Kring (Associate Director of Student Support and Retention | C2 Hub)

Matt has, for many years, been my ‘go to’ for tricky student matters related to advising. His knowledge of institutional policy (and people) is top notch and anytime I refer a student to him I know that the student will get comprehensive and compassionate support. He will see the issue through to resolution 100% of the time, and take ownership of some of the ‘hot potato’ issues no one else wants to touch. Bravo to Matt for being such a solid colleague and for working diligently to support students in need.

Nominated by Dr. Braelin Pantel

Oanh Luong (Program Assistant | CMEI)

Oanh Luong is a dedicated, reliable, and committed member to the CMEI team. She is relied on for her attention to detail, consistent follow-through and execution, and performs her work with such precision and accuracy. Oanh is a servant leader who puts others first and is continuously striving for excellence, staying up to date with university financial, personnel, and management related processes. She is extremely hard-working, honest, caring, patient, and especially calm and collected even when under pressure to perform.

Nominated by Dr. Thanh Nguyen

Ruby Matheny (Industry Navigator | C2 Hub)

As a proud Roadrunner through and through, Ruby has held several roles at the university and has demonstrated a true commitment to enhancing the student experience for all MSU Denver students. She continuously steps up to lead new programs and initiatives with a spirit of innovation and curiosity. She continues to grow into her position as industry navigator and stepped in to support a critical vacancy. Her friendly and supportive approach uplifts the spirits of so many around her. – Adrienne Martinez

Ruby stepped in at a critical time when we lost our Internship Process Coordinator to another opportunity during the middle of the fall semester.  Ruby helped students finish the fall and register for the spring. She covered these duties until we were able to hire a replacement last month. – Tim Meeks

Nominated by Adrienne Martinez and Tim Meeks

Amanda McClure (Communication and Social Media Manager | Student Affairs)

Amanda is a key player in SO MANY initiatives and projects within the Student Affairs branch. While her role is not always recognized, her efforts to share information with students strategically and effectively is a huge part of our overall success. Amanda takes on a ton of projects and always does a spectacular job, even when she needs to pivot/adjust unexpectedly. She definitely deserves this recognition! – Katie Joyce

Amanda has been assisting the Registrar’s office with ensuring that all the registration communications for Spring 22, Summer 22, and Fall 22 are sent to students.  She has been not only sending the communications but also creating the content.  She has been such a valued partner for our office and we are so very thankful for her help. – Connie Sanders

Nominated by Katie Joyce and Connie Sanders

Estéfani Peña-Figueroa (Student Success Specialist | Immigrant Services)

Estefani has taken on a number of challenging projects, stepping into her role as full-time professional staff after graduating from MSU Denver in fall of 2020. She has mastered her transition from student to full-time staff with grace, patience, and lots of hard work!

Nominated by Gregor Mieder

Eunice Reyes (Equity and Career Success Coordinator | C2 Hub)

Eunice joined Dave Bourassa and myself in managing a little program that overnight turned into a 200K program, perhaps a week into her position. Eunice’s essential support has kept us organized, focused, and efficient. She has also guided our evaluation strategy through a justice, equity, diversity and equity lens, assuring that we provided assistance to the students with the most need. I feel fortunate to collaborate and work hand in hand with Eunice as I have had the opportunity to learn so much from an outstanding higher education professional. – Waleska Rivera-Shon

Eunice has drastically improved the communication, outreach, and representation of the C2Hub to neighboring Universities, students, and staff/faculty. Eunice quickly and professionally develops trainings, programming, and direct strategies of operation within our department. Since she has joined, I have felt more confident with the communication and operation of our department. – Eboni Nash

Nominated by Waleska Rivera-Shon and Eboni Nash

Leslie Rodriguez (Associate Director | Veteran and Military Student Services)

As the only full-time staff member during the busiest time of the year for the Veteran and Military Student Services Center, Leslie quite literally held down the fort, landed the plane, and saved the ship. In addition to ensuring the certification of benefits and records for nearly 1000 veteran and military connected students, she oversaw a highly successful Veterans Graduation Ceremony and numerous other events and programs. She led a team of 8 work-study employees and two temporary staff members in providing academic, professional, and personal support for student veterans and continually updating campus partners on multiple Veterans Administration policy changes.  Picture the image of a soldier carrying a team member to safety through a dangerous landscape.  But instead of one person, imagine them carrying three people at once.  Under fire.  Through a minefield.  Safely.  That is what Leslie did.

Nominated by Joseph Foster

Brandy Schooler (Asst. Registrar of Transfer Evaluation and Prior Learning | Registrar)

Camden Farmer described Brandy’s work with awe, sharing that “Brandy has been the sole driving force behind growing MSU Denver’s Prior Learning Assessment program. She is masterful at building relationships with students and faculty to make the connections needed to help students further their academic career. She cares deeply about the success of all students, but specifically the non-traditional, quintessential Roadrunners who seek MSU Denver for the flexible options we offer.

Nominated by Camden Farmer

Brandon Terry (Operations Manager | Financial Aid)

Brandon has been such a huge supporter for Pathways to Possible this year and always makes himself available to clarify a process or dig into a specific student situation. His kindness, unending patience, and investment in demystifying the Financial Aid process for both students and staff have made him a tremendous resource for our program. We are so thankful for all the times he has gone above and beyond. – Eric Silva

Brandon is an incredibly dependable coworker, he is always willing to help you find an answer and problem solve with you. Brandon brings perspective to every conversation and looks for new ways to approach problems we face regularly. – Karlett Eguiluz

Nominated by Eric Silva and Karlett Eguiluz

Group Award Winners

Financial Aid Scholarship Team

(Jake Beaudrie, Kelly Findley and Paul Morales)

Thank you scholarship partners! This group not only does awarding and scholarship management, they also support data dives for scholar yields (DSF), process improvement deep dives with HR, the distribution of HEERF funding, training staff on financial aid and scholarship requirements, and scholarship promotion/outreach. Thank you all!

Nominated by Lauren Koppel

C2 Hub Industry Partnership Team

(Alyssa Marks, Tim Meeks, Tennille Hamler, Ally Veneris, Leah McFail, Rosie Cockey, Eboni Nash, Ruby Matheny, Nicole Magloire and Cassie Mullin)

This team works together and supports each other to accomplish extraordinary things. In just this past year they have significantly expanded MSU Denver’s reach in Colorado by bringing onboard over 1000 new partners while initiating new high impact programs such as COMPASS, Cybersecurity Certification Clubs, Presidential Internships in DC, Construction Talent Accelerator in addition to scaling existing programs such as Earn and Learn and Puksta. The creativity, passion, teamwork and commitment to student success is incredible and this comes to life in the career fairs and employer events they host that are life changing for students as they find their first career related job earning the most anyone ever made in their family. The recent pivot back to in person Career Fairs was a huge success and exceeded student and employer participation goals. Their collaboration with faculty is establishing trust and forging new partnerships on grant applications with industry partners. What an incredible team!

Nominated by Maluwa Behringer

Past Winners


2021 Fall – Dave Bourassa (Program Manager for Student Engagement, Travel, Professional Developoment), Johana Guzman (Office Manager and Admin Assistant | Orientation, Transfer and Retention), Diana Ibarra (Assistant Director of Events, Graphic Design and Social Media | CMEI), Nahum Kisner (Executive Director of Student Support & Retention | C2 Hub), Camelia Naranjo (Associate Director of Peer Mentoring | C2 Hub), Adrienne Perucca (Associate Director of Admissions Systems and Data | Admissions)

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)


2021 Fall – Transfer Automation Team (Adrienne Perucca, Marlynn Rocha-Vasquez, Manny Escarcega, Camden Farmer), Pathways to Possible Team (Angela Groves, Jesus Yanez-Ruiz, J.T. Kendall, Rachael Durham, Stephanie Lee)

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)