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.

Spring 2023 Individual Award Winners

Nate Tuthill (Interim Associate Director of Peer Mentoring | C2 Hub)

Nate has done an amazing job getting the Career Peer Mentor program going and has provided many of our students with career services that they might not have otherwise used. Nate has stepped up during the transition time in the peer mentoring office. – Katrina Suthers

During the transition of finding an Associate Director of Mentoring for the Peer Mentor office, Nate has not only served as the interim, but also served as the only full-time staff member for multiple weeks. Nate has maintained all office operations, events and programs while supervising 30+ student staff. The Peer Mentor program has been an incredible resource for students and Nate’s continued effort in improving and growing the program is truly impressive. Nate’s work in supporting students in their personal, professional and academic success is impressive and truly is something to recognize.  -Eunice Reyes

Nate has been a consistent and innovative leader within the Peer Mentoring office. Nate is constantly providing support, guiding students, and lending a hand when necessary. When faced with adversity, Nate leverages his strengths to overcome such obstacles, even when it is edging his capacity limits. Such a deserving individual! – Eboni Nash

Nate has managed the transition into Interim Director of Peer Mentoring gracefully. Nate has continued to support his peer mentors and students while also managing the leadership transition within peer mentoring. Nate is always showcasing his leadership and working with his students to enhance leadership skills within peer mentoring. – Alaura Ward

Nate is always level headed in the midst of challenges. Since Nate has been here at MSU, the Peer Mentoring program was in the midst of a lot of changes and Nate handled it with so much positivity, insight and intent. It’s a pleasure working with Nate and can’t wait to have our programs collaborate even more this next academic year! – AG (Angela Groves)

Nate stepped into running a program with a very larger student staff during staffing transitions. In short, Nate was completely outnumbered by the 45+ students he supervised that do a lot of outreach to students. Nate has done an amazing job at running the Peer Mentor program that supports student retention. I’m honored to nominate him for a BRAVO award. – April Peterson

Nate has done incredible work with the Peer Mentors and the Peer Mentoring program during the transition from Camelia’s departure. Despite numerous vacancies on Nate’s team, Nate has since taken on the role as Interim Associate Director of Peer Mentoring while also providing supervision to the Peer Mentors student staff and Katrina Suthers. – Andrew Ortiz-Martinez

Nate has seamlessly led the Peer Mentoring team, especially during big transitions (Camelia’s departure and Katrina’s absence as the admin support). The students look up to Nate as a mentor and I couldn’t think of a better person in this role! – Asia Wesley

Nominated by Katrina Suthers, Eunice Reyes, Eboni Nash, Alaura Ward, AG (Angela Groves), April Peterson, Andrew Ortiz-Martinez, and Asia Wesley

Haley Halkidis (Marketing and Outreach Coordinator | Campus Recreation)

Haley is brand new to Higher Ed, Campus Rec and only came to Colorado in August! Since then, Haley has totally popped off. Our social media has grown and our Campus Recreation participation numbers have more than doubled! Haley is an outstanding Roadrunner, who always puts students first. – Luna Boydstun

Haley’s marketing prowess has exponentially elevated Campus Recreation’s reach to both current and prospective students. Haley’s natural leadership abilities and creative ideas has led to new programs and projects such as the Decompression Lounge, Rec-olution and student-led docu-series “The Spotlight.” In spite of Haley’s short 8-month tenure not only at MSU Denver but in higher education, Haley’s dedication to student development is already evident among her marketing team and the Exercise Science course that she mentors. – Diane Yee

Haley is willing to provide an open and safe environment for her employees. Haley is willing to learn about others’ experiences and apply that in order to create an environment for everyone. – Kaylin Perea

Haley is in her first year at her department, and has completely revolutionized the whole department. Haley brings great energy, ideas, and has shaped my time at MSU Denver as a student and an employee. – Aidan Rose

Haley has gone above and beyond as a manager and as a friend. Haley always takes the time to provide listening ears and creates an environment where everyone can feel safe to speak. Haley goes above and beyond her expectations by always providing her best work and support to all of Campus Recreation staff and students. – Paul Guzman

Nominated by Luna Boydstun, Diane Yee, Kaylin Perea, Aidan Rose, and Paul Guzman

L Benton (Assistant to the Executive Director | Financial Aid)

L is an essential member of the team because she provides support and takes the initiative to represent the OFAS and EM division. In such a brief period of time, L came in and reconnected and reignited initiatives to (re)create our team with other essential departments within EM and student affairs. L exhibited intellectual, life/work, and cultural diversity in her leadership. Thank you, L, for your commitment, creativity, and effort! We’re grateful for you! – Kerline Eglaus 

L has become an individual I always look forward to seeing when I see her down the hall from the VPSA Office. Not only does L have such an uplifting and contagious soul, but L is someone that can tackle whatever you throw at her. Even though L supports Kerline, she’s also been assisting Dr. Long Huynh since his assistant position has been vacant since the beginning of November 2022. – Elise Rarang

Nominated by Kerline Eglaus and Elise Rarang

Catharine Ingram (Associate Director of Operations and Programs for | C2 Hub)

Catharine has been covering multiple positions in their absence and search, as well as streamlining processes within our department. Catharine is a true ally, thought partner, and incredible mentor to work alongside. I feel more confident in my position, having Catharine on my team! – Eboni Nash

Catharine is thoughtful, organized, resourceful, caring, and so fun to work with. Having Catharine on the team has made us better at processes and recording systems so that we’re working smarter and not harder. It’s an honor to work with Catharine and to know her… Catharine is also an amazing baker! -Nicole Magloire

Catharine is an incredible asset to her team. Catharine is revolutionizing the way we use Career Link, has been such a support for our events, and is a wonderful thought partner. Thank you for all you do, Catharine! – Ally Veneris

Nominated by Eboni Nash, Nicole Magloire, and Ally Veneris

Dr. Cynthia Baron (Assistant Vice President | CESA)

Cynthia often has to take on multiple difficult or urgent situations, navigate complicated processes, and be a visible and strong leader on campus. Despite the many duties of her role, Cynthia never fails to be there for staff in CESA and beyond, advocating for the well-being of staff and implementing a healthy culture of professional growth and shared decision-making. Cynthia is a powerful role model to many and does so with a consistently friendly and personable demeanor.

Nominated by Gregor Mieder

Kelly Findley (Associate Director of Scholarships | Financial Aid)

Kelly Findley has been instrumental in ensuring that the Scholarship team runs the best it can, and that students are not left waiting in their need for scholarship aid. Every process on the team has been influenced in some way by the diligence and care that represent Kelly’s work in the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships. Kelly is a genuine advocate for our team and is exemplary of what it means to be a leader.

Nominated by Don Holtzen

Sarah Kaup (Senior International Admissions Specialist | Admissions)

Sarah has been with us for a little over a year and during this time she has quickly established herself as fin-tastic member of the team! Specifically, Sarah has completely revamped and improved the admission process and communication for international students. Sarah has also collaborated with others on campus and worked tirelessly to help build a stronger campus community for international students. Sarah is currently spearfishing…I mean spearheading…a welcome video to help recruit new international students. In addition, Sarah is collaborating with the ISS team to plan events and improve the onboarding experience for new int’l students. And lastly, Sarah has done all this while dealing with a tidal wave of applications (spring 2023 apps were up 155% and fall 2023 apps are currently up 206%). Sarah is truly a shining pearl of the Student Affairs sea. – Vaughn Toland

Since Sarah joined the university a year ago, she has made tremendous improvements to the international admissions process and communications, ensuring that students have the support and clarity they need to navigate a complicated system. With a change to our application fees, the number of international applications more than doubled, as did the number of inquiries and admissions documents needing processing. While we searched for solutions, Sarah went above and beyond, adjusting her schedule to ensure that the students going through the admissions process weren’t negatively impacted. Additionally, Sarah has collaborated across campus to help improve the student experience for our international students, including coordinating a welcome video and working with the ISS team to improve new student onboarding and increasing the number of events and student engagement opportunities for international students. This recommendation is longer than 3 sentences (sorry!), but it only scratches the surface of what Sarah has done to benefit the students at MSU Denver. I am so grateful to have the opportunity to work with her. – Amanda Ryder

Nominated by Vaughn Toland and Amanda Ryder

Derek Bowers (Earn and Learn Program Coordinator | C2 Hub)

The way Derek has grown the Earn and Learn program is incredible. Derek is also always an amazing resource when it comes to data too, which is so so valuable! Derek is always willing to help, with any question or task, big or small. What a star!

Nominated by Ally Veneris

Group Award Winners

Veteran and Military Student Services Team (aka LL Cool J. Team)

(Junior Moreno, LaChaune DuHart, Leslie Rodriguez)

Grab your red Kangol bucket and pay tribute to the unmatched excellence of the real LL Cool J. Leslie Rodriguez, LaChaune DuHart, and Junior Moreno who provided double platinum service to the nearly 1000 veterans and military connected students who attended MSU Denver in the past year. From ensuring flawless certification of VA educational benefits –to the tune of over six million dollars in direct tuition payments to the university – to providing the deepest bluest wrap-around educational, professional, military, and community resources and support, these three did it all. Talk about bigger and deffer.

Nominated by Dr. Joseph Foster

Spanish Speaking Compensation Team

(Carina Hernandez-Solis, Evelynn Guzman De Leon, Horacio Borja-Duran, Karlett Christie, Tyrell Allen, Waleska Rivera-Shon, and Asia Wesley)

I want to take a moment to thank the Spanish-speaking compensation task force members for their authenticity, compassion and dedication to this work. As you all can imagine, trying to come to a consensus on a “one-size fits all” approach for compensating a skill when there are so many variables to everyone’s work can become a bit daunting. This group continues to impress me by pushing each other for the right approach, challenging ideas and perceptions, and coming to a consensus that is best for the overall work, not the individual. While our work is challenging, I appreciate all the time this team has given on a project that will make a long-standing impact on Student Affairs Spanish-speaking staff for years to come. I appreciate you all!

Nominated by Emily Willan

Office of Admissions High School Outreach & Recruitment Team

(Erin Ulrich, Ashly Carrera, Citlalith Medrano, D Chiu, Hannah Skalbeck, Hector Susano, Itzel Perez Galicia, Landon Lopez, and Rosaisela Hernandez)

The Admissions’ Counselors, specifically the High School team, is extremely determined and passionate for our students. I have seen them work tirelessly (including long drives, after hours, and early mornings) to recruit, engage, and support incoming First-Time-To-College students. They all have been so supportive in my onboarding process too. – Rosaisela Hernandez

The High School Outreach team has been a pivotal part of increasing application numbers and bringing all that MSU Denver has to offer to thousands of prospective students. Our high schol outreach team has been working tirelessly to make sure incoming Roadrunners have the support they need as they transition into college including connecting them to the various support programs/offices. I am so grateful for the work they have done and will continue to do. – Ashly Carrera

Nominated by Rosaisela Hernandez and Ashly Carrera

Office of Admissions Transfer Team

(Charita Thompson, Melissa Powers, Diana Flores, Jeff Cox, and Alyssa Sexton)

The Transfer Admissions Team has done an incredible job of connecting with students where they are, including tabling at Amazon warehouses to promote our Amazon partnership, and collaborating across campus to improve the transfer admissions experience, like working with the communications team to improve our website and partnering with academic departments for MSU Denver Days at Colorado Community Colleges in the Denver metro area. Additionally, the Transfer Admissions Team have worked to strengthen our partnerships, increasing the number of engagement opportunities for our SEED Grant students and improving our Bridge to Bachelors program. This team is incredible!

Nominated by Amanda Ryder

Enrollment Call Center

(Nick Grissom, Ed Porfilio, Destiny Candelaria, and Bryan Garcia)

The Enrollment Call Center operates dynamically to provide effective phone, text, and chat customer service to current and prospective students and parents. Because of their efforts to lead and manage the needs of our campus community and student personnel, our students and parents are much more confident in their ability to complete financial aid, registrar, and admissions tasks. Thank you for everything you have done for our office, campus, and students/parents. Your hard work does not go unnoticed. – Kerline Eglaus

The Enrollment Call Center Team has done a tremendous job rebuilding and stabilizing call center operations. The Enrollment Call Center Team have demonstrated their commitment to helping our students and community by providing excellent service and guidance to our callers. – Nick Grissom

Nominated by Kerline Eglaus and Nick Grissom

Spring 2023 Service to Students Award Winner

Dr. Gail Bruce Sanford (Executive Director of Counseling Center | SEW)

Dr. Bruce-Sanford is immensely invested in the mental health and support of the entire MSU Denver student body, staff, and faculty. At the drop of a hat, Dr. Bruce-Sanford is ready to adjust the Counseling Center schedules to meet the needs of the community (e.g., offering grief resources for campus personnel loss). Dr. Bruce-Sanford is also invested in representing the student body within the staff that she hires and is intentional about the quality of services offered at the Counseling Center. – Maira Birrueta

Dr. Bruce-Sanford has been with the Counseling Center for 26 years. Dr. Bruce-Sanford is an amazing administrator and supervisor, and a huge factor in why I took a job here. Dr. Bruce-Sanford is retiring this summer and I feel that it is really important to recognize how much she has contributed to making the Counseling Center what it is today. Thank you. – Lisa Boyum

Dr. Gail Bruce-Sanford is an outstanding leader; on a daily basis, she exemplifies providing focused quality mental health services for the students of MSU Denver and faculty when the need arises. It is extremely difficult for Dr. Gail Bruce-Sanford to say ‘no’ and she never done so during my time here in the Counseling Center. Dr. Gail Bruce-Sanford continues to work endless hours into the late night and early morning hours to ensure requests of her are completed in a thorough and timely manner. Dr. Gail Bruce-Sanford understands the true meaning of creating a ‘diverse and inclusive’ work environment which clearly is shown in the completely diverse staff here in the Counseling Center. Dr. Gail Bruce-Sanford is truly one of the best leaders I’ve had the pleasure of working for and I am respectfully appreciative. – Tamaura Waller

Gail has exemplified inspiring and competent leadership and a genuine, life-long commitment of service and dedication to the welfare of all members of our MSU community and beyond. Gail’s impact is unwavering and undeniable and her contributions too numerous to mention succinctly over her 20+ year career at MSU. As a relatively new staff member, Gail has inspired excellence and devotion in assuming my duties in ways that few leaders have. I strongly believe Gail is a role model to our community and very deserving of this award. – Andrew Sia

Nominated by Maira Birrueta, Lisa Boyum, Tamaura Waller, and Andrew Sia

Past Winners


2022 Fall – Loriann Ankele-Garcia (Degree Audit Coordinator | Registrar), Jackie Bullard (Accountant | Financial Aid & Scholarships), Karlette Eguiluz (Assistant Director | Financial Aid), Sonia Falcón (Director | Student Care Center), Jermaine Gunnells (Assistant Director | Brother to Brother), Chris Harder (Financial Analysis Manager | Student Affairs), Angie Moreno (Assessment & Evaluation Manager | Student Affairs), Eboni Nash (DEI Recruiting Manager | Industry Partnerships), Jon Nguyen (Tuition Classification Officer | Admissions), Thuy Phan (Executive Assistant, Vice President for Student Affairs | Student Affairs), Deserea Richards (Program Coordinator, Native and Indigenous Student Support | CESA), Ally Veneris (Industry Navigator | Industry Partnerships)

2022 Spring – Destiny Candeleria (Call Center Coordinator | Enrollment Management), Matt Kring (Associate Director of Student Support and Retention | C2 Hub), Oanh Luong (Program Assistant | CMEI), Ruby Matheny (Industry Navigator | Industry Partnerships), Amanda McClure (Communication and Social Media Manager | Student Affairs), Estéfani Peña-Figueroa (Student Success Specialist | Immigrant Services), Eunice Reyes (Equity and Career Success Coordinator | C2 Hub), Leslie Rodriguez (Associate Director | Veteran and Military Student Services), Brandy Schooler (Assistant Registrar of Transfer Evaluation and Prior Learning | Registrar), Brandon Terry (Operations Manager | Financial Aid)

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)


2022 Fall – Visits, Events and Communications Team in Admissions (Rene Haro-Sipes, AlyshaRowzee, Jill Schmidt), Restorative Justice Coalition (Elise Krumholz, Kim Myers, Thomas Ragland, Grey Gorman, Lindsey Gilbert, Jesselin Nicholson-Lopez, Jasmine Villalobos-Valles)

2022 Spring – Financial Aid Scholarship Team (Jake Beaudrie, Kelly Findley, Paul Morales), C2 Hub Industry Partnership Team (Alyssa Marks, Tim Meeks, Tennille Hamler, Ally Veneris, Leah McFail, Rosie Cockey, Eboni Nash, Ruby Matheny, Nicole Magliore, Cassie Mullin)

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)