The University of Colorado Staff Council (UCSC) recently presented the 2022 Staff Excellence Awards, honoring 11 exceptional employees across the system.
The Oct. 7 event at the Hilton Denver Inverness honored two staff members from each campus and from system administration (a tie resulted in three award recipients from CU Denver). The annual recognition, presented to employees who go above and beyond their job duties and consistently surpass expectations, includes a plaque and a $250 award, presented by a member of each campus’s leadership team.
The 2022 honorees are:
Orton currently serves as the health care manager for the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at CU 5280 OB-GYN. With over 18 years of experience, she is passionate about women’s health and proud to be part of an organization that allows the opportunity to provide diverse, purposeful, compassionate care to patients in the community. As a leader, she is grateful to be surrounded by a resilient, authentic, supportive team of colleagues who are committed to mentoring new generations in delivering exceptional patient care. She is a lifelong Colorado resident who enjoys hiking, camping and fishing with her family.
Hope was born and raised in Brigham City, Utah, and graduated from Brigham Young University with a bachelor’s degree in family history. She started at CU in February 2005 and joined the School of Pharmacy Distance Degrees and Programs in June 2013. She is in her all-time favorite job as an academic student adviser because she loves helping students. Above all, she is grateful for the mentorship of Sarah King, academic services coordinator, who shared her knowledge on how to be the best adviser. She lives in Brigham City, Utah, with her supportive husband and two children.
Jones (he/him) serves as the assistant director of first-generation programs and enrichment within the Center for Inclusion and Social Change (CISC), where he manages the First-Generation Scholars Program and leads the Men of Excellence initiative, a cross-campus collaborative that enhances the men of color experience at CU Boulder through programming geared toward academic support, community building and career readiness. He prides himself on carrying out his work and building relationships with an intentional mindset and spirit. Originally from North Carolina, he earned his bachelor’s in sociology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and master’s in college student personnel from Bowling Green State University. As a first-generation college student, Jones understands the value of helping students find their sense of belonging on campus and is committed to creating equitable opportunities for success and growth. In his spare time, you can find him working out, playing basketball or watching “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”
Hutchinson (she/her) is a residence hall director in Bear Creek. One of her favorite aspects of the role, in addition to the eclectic job responsibilities, is supporting her students (residents and staff) and being a part of their journey. She was born and raised in Connecticut and moved to Colorado in August 2016. To help with the transition from family and friends, she adopted a fluff named Luna, an Australian Shepherd Mix, with tons of energy. Hutchinson is a self-proclaimed extroverted introvert who is always seeking the silver lining in any situation. She enjoys listening to music, reading books, journal writing, midnight drives and going to the movies. Her top love languages are quality time and words of affirmation and her top five strengths are adaptability, harmony, empathy, positivity and restorative. She values vulnerability, consistency, creativity, humor and spontaneity.
Burkart is the director for First Year Experience and Family Connections at UCCS. Driven by helping students to find their place and reach their goals, she takes pride in developing, coordinating and implementing initiatives to help students and their families navigate the college journey. In her 15 years at UCCS, she founded the Parent and Family Programs (now Family Connections) sub-unit; implemented and maintains the Starfish system; established a peer coaching program; and designs and coordinates a variety of enrollment and persistence outreach campaigns for the Division of Student Affairs, among many other initiatives. She currently serves on numerous committees including, but not limited to, Retention and Graduation, CRM Governance, Enrollment Marketing, Salesforce Student Support Network, and Learning Communities committees. Outside of work, you can find Burkart spending time with her family, spending time outdoors, co-leading a Girl Scouts troop or crafting. She holds a master’s in student affairs in higher education and a bachelor’s in forestry with a business concentration from Colorado State University.
Garland is a senior academic adviser and co-chair of the Winter Giving Project at UCCS. She has enjoyed advising and supporting students in higher education for 16 years, with the past seven years spent at UCCS. Garland enjoys supporting students through the challenges and successes of their educational journeys, as well as watching them grow into emerging professionals during their time on campus. When she is not on campus, she can be found adventuring around Colorado or traveling with her children and granddaughters.
Evans is the undergraduate research adviser and program coordinator for the Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities at CU Denver. She assists students in their research journeys from finding a mentor or research opportunity to developing and succeeding in independent inquiry. She holds a bachelor’s in international studies from Colorado State University and earned her master’s in social sciences from CU Denver in May 2022. Her research focuses on the communication dynamics of multicultural populations. As an interdisciplinary researcher, Evans is passionate about expanding access to undergraduate research across disciplines and draws from her background in intercultural communication training to provide individualized student advising.
Kelly joined CU Denver in 2014, beginning by working in the Lynx Center and New Student Orientation. In 2018, she joined the registrar’s office as an associate registrar. Kelly enjoys being able to work face-to-face with students to assist them in their academic journey and being able to work on the back end of things to make students’ journeys as seamless as possible. She is a native Coloradan and first-generation college student who grew up in southwest Denver. She earned a bachelor’s from Colorado State University and master’s in leadership for educational organizations in higher education from CU Denver. Kelly shares life with her husband, two little girls and her dog.
Miles (she/her/hers) serves as the Peer Advocate Leaders program coordinator and will begin her new role as assistant director of student engagement at CU Denver on Nov. 1. An alumna of CU Denver and the University of Northern Colorado, Miles’ career focus is developing student leaders and supporting students through transitions. She is currently back in the classroom pursuing a master’s degree focusing on educational geography in urban environments.
Osan (she/her) joined CU system administration in fall 2020. In her role as a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) specialist, she works collaboratively with administrative and campus partners to develop and implement initiatives designed to enhance the success, personal development and retention of CU’s community and to further CU’s commitment to developing a just, inclusive, equitable and supportive environment. Throughout her career, Osan has worked in a variety of settings focused on social justice, DEI, empowerment, education, community building and prevention. She previously led crisis response and advocacy services at a nonprofit focused on interpersonal violence. Her previous experience also includes teaching youth and adults as well as working in the post-secondary educational access space. She holds a bachelor’s from the University of Texas at Austin, a master’s in social work in management, policy and evaluation with a professional certificate of DEI from the University of Michigan, and a certificate in human resources management from Cornell University.
Scott serves as a director of communications and outreach for Employee Services and University Information Services at CU system administration. Since joining CU in 2013, she has worked to develop strategies, tools and events to ensure CU’s faculty and staff take full advantage of the excellent benefits and resources available to them. She and her team are working to roll out a new, easy-to-use resource soon, and are very excited to share it with the CU community. In her free time, she enjoys traveling with her husband, attending concerts and standup comedy shows, weightlifting and cycling – and a long list of podcasts that make those last two items infinitely more enjoyable.