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July 2018 Newsletter

Class Notes

Teresa Castaneda

To say that award-winning artist and MSU Denver alumna Teresa Castaneda (art '90) is passionate about art is an understatement. Her love for creating began before prior to joining the MSU Denver Art Department at the age of 15 and only grew from there.

A recycling activist and founder of ReArranging Denver - a zero use self-sustaining project that has engaged over 50,000 people, connecting communities to their local business and neighboring cities through creative reuse workshops, installations and events - Castaneda has been bringing her excitement for found-object art to burgeoning artists around Denver for more than ten years. 

She was named a Westword Colorado Creative in 2017, participated in the National Endowment for the Arts 50th Anniversary celebration, has been a featured MSU Denver alumni and, most recently, shared her story in an Americans for the Arts blog post.

Learn more about Teresa and her art on her blog,

Are you a Roadrunner transforming lives? We want to hear about it. If you would like us to feature your story in an upcoming newsletter, email 

LearnOn Transforms Lives Continued...

Serendipitously, LearnOn was offering a class about career transitions.

"I registered and attended class semi-begrudgingly," admits Kate. "I gave myself all of the reasons in the world why I "couldn't" go to class. 1. It was wintertime 2. I was already working full-time  3. To get to class after work I would have to pass within a BLOCK of home....and JUST KEEP WALKING! Pure torture! 4. I already had a bachelor's degree and, really, shouldn't that be enough learning for the rest of my life?"

Ultimately, none of the excuses made a difference, and Kate found that consistently attending class was a game-changer.

"Our instructor, Dr. Bridgette Coble (Director of the Office of Career Services), was profoundly committed to helping each student succeed," Kate says. "At the end of the course, I mentioned to her that I had realized that the field of Human Resources was a career track that interested me."

Life has a way of surprising us when we least expect it and sometimes the pieces just fall into place - as they did for Kate when she discovered that the HR department on campus was hiring.

"I interviewed, toured the office, met the team and started in a classified hourly position within two weeks," she says. "Since then, I have joined the team as a full-time administrative employee and continue to benefit from that privilege every day!"

So often, we stand in our own way. Looking something different but ignoring the path that will lead to it. When we overcome our own resistance, when we get out of our own way, amazing things can happen. Transform your own life today and take a LearnOn class at MSU Denver!

Class Notes

Nothing “Bugs” Alumni After 25 Years

It was easy for Hercules ‘Eric’ Papadeas (B.S. management ’79) to choose to attend Metropolitan State University of Denver – between the affordable tuition and added benefit of living at home, the price was right! What followed was five fun-filled years making friends and racing between buildings in true Roadrunner spirit to take business classes that would turn an ambitious young man into an entrepreneur.

These days, Papadeas asks the residents of Tempe, Arizona, to pester him before ‘they’ pester them. From ants to roaches and even scorpions, he has spent the last 25 years protecting home and commercial properties from the threat of infestation and in April 2018, his business, Pest’R Us Exterminating will be celebrating their 25th anniversary.

Congratulations to alumni Hercules ‘Eric’ Papadeas on 25 years of success and transforming lives!


Thank You for Your Service, Master Chief Daniel M. Jeffords

Master Chief Daniel M. Jeffords (B.S. marketing ’89) was honored in a special retirement ceremony at U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Savannah on September 22, 2017.

After enlisting in the Air Force in 1982, at the age of 20, Jeffords completed tours at Myrtle Beach AFB, King Salmon Air Base and Lowry AFB. In 1986, he separated from active duty and entered the Air National Guard, transferring to Buckley AFB and advancing to the rank of Staff Sergeant while simultaneously working on completing his undergraduate degree at MSU Denver.

In August 1990, Jeffords was recalled to active duty for Operation Desert Shield/Storm, serving as the unit’s NCOIC. In January of 1991, upon completion of his tour, he found his “calling” in the Coast Guard and entered boot camp at Cape May, trading in his rank of Staff Sergeant for that of Seaman. After graduation, he served as a mess cook and the Master Helmsman on the USCGC Madrona; a 180-foot buoy-tender moored at Base Charleston.

During his career, Master Chief Jeffords accrued over 3,500 flight hours in the Coast Guard’s C-130 aircraft. His awards include: The Coast Guard Commendation Medal, 2 Coast Guard Achievement Medals, Air Force Achievement Medal, 6 Coast Guard Commandant's Letter of Commendation Ribbons, the Coast Guard Presidential Unit Citation, and many more.

In June of 2014, Jeffords took over as Command Master Chief at Air Station Savannah where he served until September 2017.

Master Chief Daniel Jeffords, we are thankful to you for your service to our country – you truly embody the Roadrunner spirit!

If you would like to be featured in our "Class Notes" section of the Roadrunner Report, email If your story is chosen, we will send you an MSU Denver Alumni goodie bag!

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