Award Winners

Image of Leorah McGinnis

Leorah McGinnis

Research Associate/Lab Manager

Department of Biology, Hoke Lab

Leorah is a superstar for her department and lab.  It’s not just the fact that she runs a very organized and efficient lab, but she is revolutionizing how the public interacts with it!  She is utilizing social media to create a new stream of communication to the public and has attended an international conference for this new technique.

In addition, she is creating a comic book about the lab’s research that will be part of an NSF proposal.  She ingeniously recruited an art student to illustrate this, which gives the student artist invaluable experience AND saves money for the lab!  Her attitude on inclusiveness is very apparent as she volunteers on the Biology Action Team, with the Student Disability Center, is on the Women & Gender collaborative committee, and mentors undergraduate researchers in the department.

Leorah also helped create a Biology values and practices document based on the CSU Principles of Community that is a guiding document for the department.  As if this wasn’t enough, she also published a story of nonfiction in 2018!

Image of Darragh Heaslip 

Darragh Heaslip

Manufacturing & Process Development Manager

Infectious Disease Research Center

Darragh is a multi-tasker and Ram in every sense.  In the last year, he’s pulled double duty managing the Process Development team coordination along with his normal manufacturing team for BioMARC.

This is in addition to developing technical aspects of contract quotes for both departments, which is paramount for gaining client business!  Darragh might be best known for his ability to see the best in people and create welcoming cultures for everyone.

By lending his leadership to other departments, creating internship classes for students and contributing in Microbiology classes all outside his day job, Darragh truly demonstrates an AP star.

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Missy Hein

Accounting and Budget Analyst

College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences Finance Office

Missy Hein has touched every part of this University and you don’t even realize it.  This amazing colleague has devoted countless hours helping others in the financial realm of CSU to be better organized and provide better information across the campus financial community.

Missy has assisted CSU in the implementation of eThority and now WebFocus, both of which are system-wide reporting tools that enhance all our roles in some fashion and enable CSU to effectively manage our $2 Billion budget!  Navigating uncharted waters with these tools, Missy has guided CSU every step of the way and, BTW, this is completely above and beyond her dedication and day job at CVMBS where she is a treasured leader there as well!

She does it all with an amazing personality that welcomes everyone and builds bridges with every business unit on campus.   Her energy is contagious and her adventures are envious….next up is a trip to Iceland!

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Sarah Wernsing

Academic Success Coordinator (ASC)

College of Liberal Arts (CLA)

If we were to follow in Sarah’s footsteps of getting a MFA in poetry, a haiku about her might be:

Involved excellence

Innovative adviser

Helps Dreamers to dream

Ok – now you know why we are not pursuing that J  We’re not that good…

Luckily for us, Sarah Wernsing is. In addition to her day job and raising three children and volunteering in the local school district.

At her ‘day job,’ Sarah consistently goes the extra mile in advising for her students, has helped throughout the CLA – restructured Orientation video for incoming students; designed an advising Canvas shell, presented at the New Faculty Orientation, and she helps with commencement every semester. With fellow advisor Joanna Doxey, Sarah proposed, designed, and now teaches a class to help Liberal Arts students transition from college to career.

Outside of her advising role, Sarah has been part of a new undocumented-student advising support group and took the initiative outside of her job to create the Dreamers United Fund, that has so far distributed over $6000 of assistance to students, found affordable housing options,  has collaborated with Poudre School District, CSU Admissions, and Front Range Community College to  educate the community about student issues related to being undocumented.

Image of Deb Misuraca

Deb Misuraca

Undergraduate Academic Adviser

School of Biomedical Engineering

“Deb is awesome!” In addition to this student comment, Deb reflects her awesomeness in the many facets of her work and in balancing family life. In addition to a full advising load, she continuously goes the extra mile in student service, supports fellow admin professional advisers, and works tirelessly with the biomedical student professional organization.

Deb also collaboratively created an education abroad program where CSU students spend a week building and fitting prosthetics for underserved populations in Quito, Ecuador. This program not only provides amazing hands-on experiences, but students received technical elective credit.  Several of these students hatched a senior design project out of the summer experience as well (this is a big deal in engineering).

When Deb sees a need, she generates a solution – whether that is developing a hands-on experience in a career area of student interest, creating a comprehensive program guide for prospective and current students, effectively reorganizing various academic advising processes, or continuing to be a strong social justice advocate.  She is a remarkable example of doing more with less and doing so in about 20 hours per week.  Congratulations, Deb!

Image of Neely Bucknell O’Connor 

Neely Bucknell O’Connor

Academic Success Coordinator (ASC)

College of Liberal Arts

In addition to working with the Philosophy department (where she serves as the primary key adviser), she also works in Communication Studies, and Journalism and Media Communication, Neely has gone out of her way to support her departments, especially taking on multiple roles while others were away for extended periods.

Neely has been highly involved with volunteer-based campus committees, ranging from advising syllabi to Canvas development to being the SSC Campus administrator for her College. She has availed herself of numerous professional development opportunities through CSU, and presented at the regional advising conference on Planned Happenstance Career Theory. She actually co-developed this with Sarah Wernsing, showing once again, that collaboration and going the extra mile are definite themes here J

In 2018, Neely created a business where she provides education, motivation, and practical tools for college women with depression and anxiety. As her business continues to grow, Neely has been able to bridge the gap between her love of education and her passion for mental health advocacy, serving students through various online media and her first eBook, “The Mental Health Toolbox.” Thank you for all you have done, and continue to do for our students and our community.

Image of Lorie Humphrey

Lorie Humphrey

Career Counselor

College of Business Career Management Center

As part of the COB Career Mgmt Center, Lorie has proven herself as a leader, collaborator and team player.  She has a strong rapport with students, faculty and staff and contributes to multiple student initiatives.  One such initiative was the development, implementation and launch of a new mentoring software that initially recruited first-generation students to provide them with an opportunity for a strong professional mentoring connection.  Lorie presented this program at the all college meeting in Fall 2018, strengthening the partnerships between the University Career Center, the alumni office and the development office to promote and provide long-term sustainability of the program among the alumni base and employer partners.

Prior to the piloting of the software, there was a testing phase.  CMC staff and the student advisory board devised a testing strategy based on Harry Potter characters.  I wonder who got to be Dumbledore?  It was fun and generated enthusiasm for the project, which will officially launch in Fall 2019.  Her practical, yet creative approach to her work and attention to detail are very helpful in executing these comprehensive programs.

Image of Brian Hayes

Brian Hayes

Program Coordinator, Key Explore Community

Collaborative for Student Achievement

Brian’s investment in our students and CSU’s Land Grant mission never seems to waiver.  He is constantly collaborating with campus and community partners to expand the Key Communities’ network of support.  He is not afraid to network on and off campus to find useful resources that can benefit CSU students.  Brian’s professional life finds him involved with freshman move-in, the Annual Community Challenges, the Key Dodgeball tournament and he also advises the United Men of Color Organization.  In his spare time, he coaches youth basketball and hosts tournaments around the Fort Collins Community.

Brian is a mentor for both his students and administrative staff.  His support for folks who identify as underrepresented is immeasurable.  His resourcefulness in all he does is inspiring.

Image of Heather Reimer

Heather Reimer

Associate Director

Central Receiving

Heather is an innovator.  She goes above and beyond to bring value-added services to her department and CSU.  As manager of the student-run bike shop, Spoke, she helps students with their bike-related problems. However, this is not the entirety of her dedication to her job.  She just completed a 2-year term as the co-chair of the Campus Bicycle Advisory Committee.  She is a certified instructor for the League of American Bicyclists. She created #RamsRideRight and has elevated the campus-wide need for increased bicycle enforcement by helping CBAC engage police officers in #RamsRideRight.

She volunteers to lead bicycle tours for employees and professional development institute and supports Bike to Work Day.  Her commitment to CSU and alternative transportation led her to work with CSU athletics to host the first ever Bike-in-game at the new stadium.  She has creatively supported the unique needs of campus to include a sponsored Bike Valet, a mobile trailer with lockers and supervises volunteers on game day.