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.

Fall 2022 Individual Award Winners

Loriann Ankele-Garcia (Degree Audit Coordinator | Registrar)

In Fall 2022, a significant policy change occurred to allow students to double dip General Studies in more than one area. This was essentially a complete rebuild of the degree audit system, Degree Works. Loriann independently poured in thousands of hours researching, testing, and building all new coding for programs at MSU Denver.

Nominated by Connie Sanders

Jackie Bullard (Accountant | Financial Aid & Scholarships)

Jackie is the glue that holds everything together for our Financial Aid office and Student Affairs’ teams. She is able to meticulously track many scholarship and aid budgets and provide necessary info to serve students at the drop of a hat. She works tirelessly to support everyone and expects no fanfare or recognition in return. She supported me through a critical time in supporting the distribution of HEERF funding and is a key cog in the day to day operations of the University. – Matthew Kring

Jackie goes out of her way to train other employees and share her institutional knowledge. She has been a hard-working employee for several years at MSU Denver and continues to go out of her way to help other employees, even those that work in different areas of the office. – Leah Martinez

Nominated by Matthew Kring and Leah Martinez

Karlette Equiluz (Assistant Director | Financial Aid)

Since I got to MSU Denver, Karlett has been truly amazing and has supported many Spanish speaking families. Karlett is the only Spanish speaker in financial aid and supports many offices on campus to provide information in Spanish to families, students and community members! – Carina Hernandez-Solis

Karlett came to MSU Denver during the pandemic and took it upon herself to learn the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships. She scheduled training sessions with her colleagues and is always continuously looking to expand her knowledge to ensure that we are providing the most accurate and timely information to the students we serve. Karlett will answer questions that come her way and if she does not know the answer, she will work to ensure she finds you that answer. – Destiny Candelaria

Nominated by Carina Hernandez-Solis and Destiny Candelaria

Sonia Falcón (Director | Student Care Center)

Sonia goes above and beyond to support students and provide them long term accessibility and care. She’s also extremely skilled at connecting and provides amazing leadership to our team.

Nominated by Taryn Gawronski

Jermaine Gunnells (Assistant Director, Brother to Brother | CMEI)

Jermaine is incredibly passionate about the work and issues affecting male-identified students. Due to the impact that Jermaine has made at MSU Denver having started 10 months ago, male-identified students of color are receiving the co-curricular experience while pursuing their academic journey instilled in sense of belonging and servingness. Without Jermaine’s leadership and vision, the B2B Program and students in his area would be greatly affected. Through the leadership and student engagement programs that Jermaine leads for B2B, male-identified students of color receive a well-rounded co-curricular experience that help retain and graduate them on time. Thank you for all that you do Jermaine!

Nominated by Thanh Nguyen

Chris Harder (Financial Analysis Manager | Student Affairs)

Chris Harder has been a phenomenal mentor and support figure when it comes to all things budget related. As a new employee and young professional entering the world of budget management, his guidance has been critical to my growth and success. I don’t know what I would do without him! – Andrew Ortiz-Martinez

I continue to be so appreciative of Chris. He repeatedly shows up to support so many different efforts across Student Affairs and MSU Denver. Chris is incredibly resourceful and empowers others by sharing his knowledge. He never worries about being honored or acknowledged; he truly just wants to serve our students and staff. He believes in others and the goals at hand. Chris is why it is so great to work in Student Affairs. He is such a caring and supportive colleague. Anyone who has worked with Chris would tell you the same. – Salina Blea

Nominated by Andrew Ortiz-Martinez and Salina Blea

Angie Moreno (Assessment & Evaluation Manager | Student Affairs)

Angie has been such a phenomenal coach to our whole division in growing our assesment skills and competency. She gladly provides coaching (Scholarship Support, Career Engagement teams), coordinates needs assessments (First-Gen) and even led a division-wide training series this Spring. Angie’s approach to growing our competencies is kind, warm, and still raises the bar for excellence.

Nominated by Lauren Koppel

Eboni Nash (DEI Recruiting Manager | Industry Partnerships)

Eboni Nash’s vision and leadership have elevated MSU Denver’s diversity, equity and inclusion efforts throughout her time with the institution. Her work with the COMPASS mentorship program, Career Trek Job Shadowing program, To Affinity and Beyond, DEI Retention and Recruitment Community, and more, have allowed for students and employers to come together in further developing themselves holistically. Her commitment and dedication to supporting our community is admirable as she continues to thoughtfully innovate and grow equity-founded programs to ensure success for our students, staff, faculty and employer partners. 

Nominated by Eunice Reyes

Jon Nguyen (Tuition Classification Officer | Admissions)

Jon tackles the responsibility of navigating students through the tuition classification process at both the undergrad and grad level (a team of one). He has mastered how to diffuse escalated situations and exhausts all possible in-state tuition possibilities that a student can leverage to be granted in-state tuition. In addition to working with underrepresented groups like ASSET and DACA students gain in-state tuition, he is the consummate team player always anticipating the needs of others. If you need him to run a microphone around the room during kick-off events or set up a room ahead of meetings – Jon is your guy and all while keeping a positive disposition. I am thankful to work with Jon. 

Nominated by Marlynn Rocha-Vazquez 

Thuy Phan (Executive Assistant, Vice President for Student Affairs | Student Affairs)

Every person in Student Affairs has in one way or another been touched by the care, focus, and attention to detail that embody Thuy Phan’s work at MSU Denver. She thoughtfully plans events that bring us together to form bonds and build community. She makes sure that folks have the resources they need to excel in high level meetings. But most importantly, Thuy role models what it means to be an educator. Thuy will often say that our student advisory board meetings are her favorite meetings (sorry to everyone else, including me!). She truly loves our students and creates opportunities for them to thrive. Student Affairs would not be the family I believe us to be were it not for Thuy Phan.

Nominated by Will Simpkins

Deserea Richards (Program Coordinator, Native and Indigenous Student Support | CESA)

Deserea has been a tremendous addition to the Student Affairs team this fall in helping to determine needs and establish and build out programming to support our Native-Indigenous identified students with compassion and care. She has been a key advocate and has worked to establish key partnerships across campus and in the community to cultivate opportunities and resources for students. Her perspective has been critical in helping to foster a sense of belonging and an affirming community for Native-Indigenous students at MSU Denver. It has been a pleasure and honor to work with her and learn from her as we grow in this space as an institution to be more equitable and just.

Nominated by Cynthia Baron 

Ally Veneris (Industry Navigator | Industry Partnerships)

Ally has been a phenomenal addition to the Industry Partnerships Team and to the elevation of MSU Denver all around. Her work to get to know our students and provide them connections with opportunities for development and employment has been inspiring. Cybersecurity is a growing field and Ally has helped to make sure MSU Denver’s name is in the front of these conversations across Colorado. – Alyssa Marks

Ally has paved the way for cybersecurity and IT students to get a more equitable and streamlined access to career opportunities through C3. She has also gone above and beyond to recruit mentors for the COMPASS mentoring program, as well as supported with the planning and execution of many on campus events. – Eboni Nash

Ally is such a rockstar. She has done such a great job building relationships with faculty and employers in her area of focus. She is a great model for our team on how to build and sustain relationships and it’s a pleasure to work with her! – Nicole R. Magliore

Ally was essential in the creation of the Cybersecurity Certification Club (C3), which provides an opportunity for our students to obtain vital IT certifications beyond a 4 year degree. She obtained $10,000 for pilot C3 from Comcast in Spring of 2022 to get the IT Fundamentals certification and obtained an additional $10,000 from Comcast in August for 10 students to get A+ certification starting in September. In September, we were awarded $24,000 from Comcast for an all Women Cohort of 8 students to get their IT Fundamentals certifications. – Tim Meeks

Nominated by Alyssa Marks, Eboni Nash, Nicole Magliore and Tim Meeks

Group Award Winners

Visits, Events and Communications Team in Admissions

(Alysha Rowzee, Jill Schmidt and Rene Haro-Sipes)

Alysha, Rene and Jill have all started with the university in the last six months and have done some amazing work in that short time frame. The three of them, collectively and individually, have greatly improved our communications (emails, texts, etc.) going out to prospective students, website, admissions social media presence as well as our campus visit events, such as Open House. They are also super responsive, positive, efficient and are great at keeping their cool under pressure, which is no easy task as they get a lot of last minute requests. I am extremely grateful to have them on the team!

Nominated by Vaughn Toland

Restorative Justice Coalition

(Elise Krumholz, Kim Myers, Thomas Ragland, Grey Gorman, Lindsey Gilbert, Jesselin Nicholson-Lopez and Jasmine Villalobos-Valles)

The Restorative Justice Coalition is doing sustained and deliberate work to build a restorative and community-centered culture on campus to prevent, address and resolve harm. This group has been leading community building circles across the institution, looking deeply at our policies and changes, and engaging in unlearning racism and the ways it shows up on our campus. I’m grateful for the commitment to this work they’re showing to building a more just MSU Denver community. 

Nominated by Lauren Koppel

Past Winners


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 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)