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Staff Directory

Office of Development


Position Role:
Full-Time Staff

Office Location:
JSSB

Office Number:
410E

Campus Box Number:
14

Directory Profile

Bio:

Christine Márquez-Hudson is the Vice President of University Advancement and the Executive Director of the MSU Denver Foundation at Metropolitan State University of Denver. In this role, she is responsible for providing strategic and operational leadership for the University’s fundraising efforts and guides a team of more than 30 staff members working to advance university fundraising, alumni engagement and donor relations. She is also the primary liaison to the Foundation Board of Directors, and oversees the stewardship and distribution of MSU Denver Foundation’s assets.

Prior to joining MSU Denver, Christine was president and chief executive officer of The Denver Foundation, the largest and most experienced community foundation in the Rocky Mountain West. Her 20+ year career in the nonprofit sector includes serving as a nonprofit consultant, direct service provider, teacher and in three foundations as a program officer, project manager and capacity builder.

Christine is the recipient of numerous community awards for her leadership, including 9News Leader of the Year, Latinas First Trailblazer Award and Girl Scout’s Woman of Distinction. She is proud to have been a contributing member of many community boards, commissions and committees. Christine currently serves on board of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science and as a member of The Women’s Forum of Colorado.



Position Role:
Full-Time Staff

Office Location:
JSSB

Office Number:
410

Campus Box Number:
14

Directory Profile

Bio:

Fallon has been with MSU Denver since January 2014 and has over ten years of professional experience in higher education. In her current role, Fallon provides executive support to the MSU Denver Foundation Board of Directors and the Executive Director of the Foundation/Vice President of University Advancement. She also serves as a liaison for Board members’ interactions and communications with employees of the University and acts as the primary contact for the VP and the Division and their affairs, including interfacing with community leaders and their staff.

Fallon graduated from Red Rocks Community College, is a certified holistic health practitioner, and attends classes at MSU Denver where she is working toward a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. 



Position Role:
Full-Time Staff

Office Location:
JSSB

Office Number:
410

Campus Box Number:
14

Directory Profile

Bio:

Brett Befus joined MSU Denver as the Associate Vice President of University Advancement in May 2018. He serves on the senior leadership team as a leader in driving and overseeing the transformational, major and planned giving fundraising activities at the University. 

Prior to arriving at MSU Denver, Brett served for over six years in various development roles at the University of Wyoming, including Director of Principal Gifts, Director of Corporate Development and as a unit-based fundraiser for the School of Energy Resources, the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and the College of Law. He has extensive experience in planned giving and is a member of the Colorado Planned Giving Roundtable. 

Brett is a licensed attorney in the State of Wyoming and worked for the 5th Judicial District in Cody. He was also previously employed in a variety of roles in the intercollegiate athletics industry.

Brett has a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Wyoming, an M.S. in Sport Management from West Virginia University and a J.D. from the University of Wyoming. In his spare time, he enjoys outside activities that range from golf to cross-country skiing and travel. Brett and his wife, Dr. Mary Katherine Scott, an Honors Faculty Member teaching online and study abroad courses, live in Denver. 



Position Role:
Full-Time Staff

Office Location:
JSSB

Office Number:
410

Campus Box Number:
14

Directory Profile

Bio:

Steve Galpern is Senior Director of Development at MSU Denver. He joined the University Advancement team in 2011 after having worked in development at Mile High United Way. He has a 20+ year track record working with nonprofit, public sector and for-profit businesses in the Denver metro area in a variety of capacities.

At MSU Denver, Steve is primarily responsible for raising money for the Department of Hospitality, Tourism and Events as they transition into a school within the College of Professional Studies. He also serves as the primary development liaison for the One World One Water Center for Urban Water Education and Stewardship.

Steve played an important role in developing the Rita and Navin Dimond Fellowship program, funded by a major gift from the Dimond Family. He was also instrumental in helping the Tivoli Brewing Company return to its ancestral home on the Auraria Campus as part of creating two beer industry operations bachelor’s degrees.



Position Role:
Full-Time Staff

Office Location:
JSSB

Office Number:
410

Campus Box Number:
14

Directory Profile

Bio:

Gwen joined the MSU Denver Advancement team in December 2016 after working for more than 15 years in higher education and non-profit fundraising in Texas, Virginia, DC and northern New Mexico.

In her position as Senior Director of Development, Gwen primarily supports fundraising for the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, the Department of Aviation and Aerospace Science, Advanced Manufacturing Institute (AMSI), as well as funding opportunities in concert with the University’s effort to achieve Hispanic Serving Institution (H.S.I.) status.

Gwen has a B.A. in Art History from the College of Santa Fe and a Master of Arts in Art History from George Washington University in Washington, DC. In her free time, Gwen stays very busy with her two kids, husband and their rambunctious dog. Her favorite way to spend a weekend is to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors in Colorado, especially hiking and skiing.



Position Role:
Full-Time Staff

Campus Box Number:
14

Directory Profile

Bio:

Nicholas Kinney joined MSU Denver as the Director of Development for the College of Business and Athletics Department in September 2018. His role combines fundraising efforts for the College of Business and the Athletics Department to grow and create opportunities for MSU Denver students.

Prior to becoming a Roadrunner, Nicholas worked for nearly four years as the Assistant Athletic Director for Annual Giving in the United States Air Force Academy Athletic Department. While completing his Master’s Degree at Northwestern University, he served as a Tournament Sales Associate for a Champions Tour PGA Tournament in Chicago and worked various internships in the Northwestern Athletics and Advancement Departments. Before attending Northwestern, he was the Assistant Director of Media Relations for Wyoming Cowboy and Cowgirl Athletics.

A native of Wyoming, Nicholas earned an undergraduate degree in history from the University of Wyoming. He earned his Master’s Degree in Sports Administration from Northwestern University. The son of educators, Nicholas strongly believes in the upward mobility education and higher education provides, while striving to make the lives and experiences of students the best they can be. Nicholas and his wife, Sarah, reside in Aurora.



Position Role:
Full-Time Staff

Office Location:
JSSB

Office Number:
410

Campus Box Number:
14

Directory Profile

Bio:

Originally from Omaha, Nebraska, Kyle Backlund moved to Denver in 1998 and graduated from MSU Denver in 2001 with a degree in Fine Arts, emphasis in Sculpture. He has worked in the Denver nonprofit sector for more than 10 years and was thrilled to return to campus in 2016 when he joined the MSU Denver University Advancement staff as the Associate Director of Planned Giving. 

Kyle enjoys reconnecting alumni to MSU Denver and helping donors write their legacies through estate gifts that support students and programs at the University. 



Position Role:
Full-Time Staff

Office Location:
JSSB

Office Number:
410

Campus Box Number:
11

Directory Profile

Bio:

Allyssa Joseph is a refreshing, yet focused, donor-centric development officer with a diversified six-year career in non-profit development. She has a successful track record in major gifts fundraising, as well as managing every facet of an annual fund and its society giving operations.

Proficient at working with staff, faculty, volunteers and key institutional leaders, Allyssa has raised $1.4 million in support of students in need at two institutions over the course of her career. She is highly skilled at building relationships with all constituencies which reflects both a personal and professional commitment to spreading a culture of philanthropy among humankind.

Allyssa is passionate about education because she believes it is the pathway to life transformation. The transformative values, diverse student population and entrepreneurial spirit of MSU Denver are what ultimately guided her decision to join the fundraising team in 2015. She holds a B.A. in Business, Marketing, from Upper Iowa University. 



Position Role:
Full-Time Staff

Office Location:
JSSB

Office Number:
410

Campus Box Number:
14

Directory Profile

Bio:

Steven Hartman began his career with MSU Denver as a student caller in the Reach-a-Roadrunner Call Center in June 2016 and, after graduating with his bachelor’s degree in theatre in December 2017, joined University Advancement as a full-time staff member.

As Development Associate, he works closely with gift officers to schedule appointments, prepare for donor visits and facilitate stewardship efforts.

In his free time, Steven enjoys watching movies, is an avid bird watcher, reading comic books and spending time with friends and family. 



MSU Denver Foundation


Position Role:
Full-Time Staff

Office Location:
JSSB

Office Number:
410

Campus Box Number:
14

Directory Profile

Bio:

Steve DeVisser is Chief Finance & Operations Officer and Chief Strategic Business Analyst of the MSU Denver Foundation and MSU Denver University Advancement, and works with team members of financial and advancement services operations. He joined MSU Denver in 2010. 

Steve has worked for a variety of not-for-profit organizations such as the Colorado Symphony, Tennyson Center for Children, Florence Crittenton and the Archdiocese of Denver since 1989. He helped lead these organizations in the areas of financial management, fundraising, planning and operations. 

Steve is a native of Colorado and a Colorado Mesa University alum, where he earned his B.S. in accounting. He is a certified public accountant. Steve is a steadfast Colorado Rockies fan, enjoys traveling and has a great fondness of animals. 



Position Role:
Full-Time Staff

Office Location:
JSSB

Office Number:
410

Campus Box Number:
14

Directory Profile

Bio:

Michael Schiffmacher started with MSU Denver in January 2002. He has held a handful of positions in various offices including Bursar’s Office Supervisor (2002-2007), Accounting Services COFRS and Fixed Asset Accountant (2007-2010), Foundation Accountant (2014-2016) and Business Analyst (2016-2018). Michael is an MSU Denver alumnus, earning his B.S. in Management with a concentration in Finance.

In his current role as the Foundation’s Business Analyst, Michael manages many of the Foundation’s business functions including the development of financial forecasts, account management, budgeting and other financial analysis. Michael is also responsible for process development and improvement projects, analysis of opportunities, and for providing general guidance and educational opportunities for both internal and external constituencies.

Michael is an avid outdoorsman and particularly enjoys skiing and mountain climbing. He has climbed all 58 Colorado ‘14ers’ and countless other state and country highpoints.



Position Role:
Full-Time Staff

Office Location:
JSSB

Office Number:
410

Campus Box Number:
14

Directory Profile

Bio:

Anthony Sisneros was born and raised in Westminster, Colorado, and started as a student employee with MSU Denver in August 2006. He graduated from MSU Denver with a B.A. in Political Science and is currently working on a second bachelor’s degree in accounting. He enjoys watching football and traveling, and is an avid outdoorsman, spending time both hunting and fishing. As the Foundation Accountant, he serves as the initial source of financial information for the Foundation and is responsible for department financial statements, sales tax remittance and annual tax forms, and cash disbursements.



Advancement Services


Position Role:
Full-Time Staff

Office Location:
JSSB

Office Number:
410

Campus Box Number:
14

Directory Profile

Bio:

Jerry Gibson joined MSU Denver as the Data and Services Coordinator in October 2013. Previously, he worked at the Denver Art Museum as the Gift Processing Specialist and the Denver Museum of Nature and Science as a Membership Associate. In his current role, Jerry provides information and reporting on alumni and donors to University Advancement and partners from across campus. He is also responsible for maintaining the alumni and donor database.

Jerry is originally from Colorado Springs and received his B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Colorado, Boulder. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, hiking, watching movies and spending time with his kids.



Position Role:
Full-Time Staff

Office Location:
JSSB

Office Number:
410

Campus Box Number:
14

Directory Profile

Bio:

Originally from Nebraska, Jacintha moved to Colorado to enjoy beautiful landscapes and earn her M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Denver. She has over 20 years of experience working in non-profit organizations, taught as an adjunct instructor at Iowa Western Community College and spent several years teaching children and adults fine arts.

As the Gift Processing Specialist, she processes donations, registrations, tax receipts, financial reports and performs a variety of other duties to support University Advancement fundraising.

In her spare time, Jacintha enjoys writing and reading books, spinning designer yarn and watching football.



Position Role:
Full-Time Staff

Office Location:
JSSB

Office Number:
410

Campus Box Number:
14

Directory Profile

Bio:

Lora Hansen has served in a variety of positions at the University and is a proud MSU Denver alumna. In her current role as the Director of Scholarships, she works with donors, faculty and staff to provide scholarships to deserving students. Lora enjoys reading, traveling and spending time with family and friends.



Position Role:
Full-Time Staff

Campus Box Number:
14

Directory Profile

Bio:

Jesse Aerni joined MSU Denver in October 2018 after moving to Colorado from Portland, Oregon. Previously, he worked at Portland Community College as the Foundation Events Specialist and prior to that as Associate Director of Annual Giving at Lewis & Clark Law School.

A proud data and process nerd, stemming from his time earning a B.S. in Accounting at Linfield College, his role combines this passion for data with his love of supporting fundraising efforts that benefit students. As the Advancement Information Services Coordinator, he provides technical services in email administration, event processing, information services, web content, reporting, training and other data needs.

In his spare time, Jesse enjoys hiking, backpacking, bouldering, volunteering and seeing plays (especially musicals).



Donor Relations & Advancement Special Events


Position Role:
Full-Time Staff

Office Location:
JSSB

Office Number:
410

Campus Box Number:
11

Directory Profile

Bio:

Traci McBee Rowe joined MSU Denver in February 2017 following a five-year career as the Assistant Director of Major Gifts and Major Gifts Officer at Regis University, and a seven-year career as the Associate Director of Alumni Networks and Coordinator of Alumni Networks with the Colorado State University Alumni Association. Her current role melds together her many years of volunteer and event management with fundraising and relationship development. A native of Colorado, Traci earned a BS in Business Administration from CSU and a Master of Nonprofit Management degree at Regis. As a first-generation college graduate, Traci combines her passion for access to education with a focus on demonstrating impact when communicating with donors. She and her husband Mike spend a lot of time tailgating for CSU football and Rapids soccer, traveling as often as possible, or being attacked by their dog Glarus and cat Buffy while doing yoga.



Position Role:
Full-Time Staff

Office Location:
JSSB

Office Number:
410

Campus Box Number:
11

Directory Profile

Bio:

Lynne Winter joined the Roadrunner family in 2013. As a student employee, she worked as a teaching assistant, tutor and for the Reach-a-Roadrunner Alumni Call Center. In April 2017, she joined the University Advancement staff full-time to combine her adaptive range of writing skills with her passion for supporting the future of students and programs at Metropolitan State University of Denver. 

For more than two years, she has shared stories of lives transformed with alumni, donors, faculty, staff and the community through Metropolitan Denver Magazine, Early Bird articles, the Your Gifts at Work newsletter and bi-monthly alumni newsletters. She cultivates and edits content for stewardship and fundraising publications, project proposals, donor acknowledgment letters, alumni newsletters and more, in support of MSU Denver University Advancement’s mission to secure private financial support for the University.  

Lynne graduated from the University of Colorado at Denver with a B.A. in English and earned a B.S. in environmental science from MSU Denver in 2017. In her free time, she enjoys reading comic books, planning vacations to Disney destinations, and watching movies (particularly Marvel) with her husband, 8-year-old Border Collie mix, Sully, and her son who is currently earning his Ph.D. in medical physics in Wisconsin.  

 

 



Position Role:
Full-Time Staff

Office Location:
JSSB

Office Number:
410

Campus Box Number:
14

Directory Profile

Bio:

Yvonne Smith is a Program Assistant for Donor Relations. She is responsible for supporting donor engagement and stewardship efforts across the University, assisting in nurturing long-term, meaningful relationships that foster long-term engagement and investment in MSU Denver.

A native of Colorado, Yvonne received her B.A. in Anthropology at Metropolitan State University of Denver, focusing on archaeology and the social-cultural anthropology of people's from North, Central and South America. Her experience and travels in the Americas have given her a deep appreciation for how important equality and diversity is in this global world. She firmly believes that diversity breeds innovation and if we are willing to listen and learn from others who don’t exactly think or look the same as us, the opportunities for growth are unlimited.  

A staunch supporter of educational equality and access for all, Yvonne is proud to work for her alma mater and support the fundraising arm of the University to raise needed funding for our students.



Position Role:
Part-Time Staff

Office Location:
JSSB

Office Number:
410A

Campus Box Number:
11

Directory Profile

Bio:

Ashlae Shepler is a critical thinker with a playful sense of humor, her experience makes her an adaptable player in creating content and keeping it organized. 

Originally from Indiana, Ashlae finished her B.F.A. in studio art photography at Miami University in Ohio, where she had planned to continue teaching and creating artwork professionally. However, after moving to Texas and completing her M.F.A. in photography and inter-media design at Texas Woman’s University, she found more opportunities to flex her talents with freelance photography, design, web developing, and marketing and started the brand, Tilt Shift Productions. 

After landing in Denver in 2014, Ashlae continued to split her time among art and photography non-profit organizations, including local arts and cultural events in Denver, and her design production work, including Metropolitan State University of Denver. When she is not compulsively working on creative projects, she most likely traveling across the beautiful western landscape to hike, bike, and seek delicious local foods.



Alumni Relations and Giving


Position Role:
Full-Time Staff

Office Location:
JSSB

Office Number:
410

Campus Box Number:
11

Directory Profile

Bio:

Jamie Hurst is originally from California and started with MSU Denver in December 2013. Previously, she worked at Upper Iowa University as the Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations after working in college athletics for nearly a decade at Upper Iowa, Iowa State University and Indiana State University. Jamie earned her J.D. from Hamline University School of Law, M.A. in Sport Management from Indiana State University and B.A. in Religious Studies/Human Development from the University of California, San Diego where she was an NCAA Division II softball student-athlete. As the Assistant Vice President for Strategic Planning, Jamie provides leadership, vision and direction to the Alumni Relations and Annual Giving teams while also serving as the Executive Director of the Alumni Association. In her spare time, she is an avid Roadrunner Softball fan, loves all things baseball, enjoys playing guitar and woodworking. She and her wife live in Westminster and enjoy the Colorado outdoors with their two dogs, Rowdy and Copper.



Position Role:
Full-Time Staff

Office Location:
JSSB

Office Number:
410

Campus Box Number:
11

Directory Profile

Bio:

Brandi Rideout joined MSU Denver as the Assistant Director of Alumni Programs in 2015. As the current Director of Alumni Relations, she creates the best possible environment for students to succeed in life. Through innovative programming and networking events, Brandi hopes to create a legacy of engaged alumni who can always count on their Alma Mater for support. She is also an affiliate faculty member in the Human Performance and Sport Department. 

Prior to becoming a Roadrunner, Brandi spent over 10 years dedicated to developing student-athletes. She helped create the best possible environment for them to succeed athletically and academically as the Assistant Athletic Director for Student-Athlete Services and SWA at Upper Iowa University, Director of Student-Athlete Services at the University of Maine, and the Assistant Basketball Coach at Colby College. 

Brandi graduated from the University of Maine at Farmington with a B.S. in community health education and earned a MEd in higher education administration from Upper Iowa University. As a first-generation college student, she passionate about higher education and the opportunities that can develop as a result of obtaining a degree. She brings positive energy and a great attitude to any situation and is always looking for ways to grow and learn. 

Brandi enjoys spending her free time skiing and hiking with her dog, Zion, and was the proud winner of her 7th-grade spelling bee. 



Position Role:
Full-Time Staff

Office Location:
JSSB

Office Number:
410

Campus Box Number:
11

Directory Profile

Bio:

Bre Milnes is originally from Illinois and joined MSU Denver Alumni Relations in April 2015. As the Director of Annual Giving, she primarily focuses on direct marketing and call center operations for the office of Alumni Relations & Giving.

Bre began her career in higher education as a marketing coordinator and assistant softball coach at Kirkwood Community College in 2009.

She earned an M.S.Ed. in Sport Performance and Leadership, and a B.S. in Sport Marketing and Administration from Northern State University. In her free time, she enjoys skiing and hanging out with her cats watching true-crime television shows. 



Position Role:
Full-Time Staff

Office Location:
JSSB

Office Number:
410

Campus Box Number:
11

Directory Profile

Bio:

Katie Mnichowicz joined MSU Denver as Alumni Engagement Coordinator in May 2018 and is now the Assistant Director of Alumni Giving. 

With over three years of experience working in higher education in student support and student programming, she oversees the Reach-A-Roadrunner Alumni Call Center  and the Student Alumni Association, bridging the gap between students and alumni, and raising funds for scholarships. She also manages all social media accounts for Alumni Relations and Annual Giving.

In her free time, Katie enjoys watching sporting events, disc golfing, hiking, running, biking and skiing.



Position Role:
Full-Time Staff

Office Location:
JSSB

Office Number:
410

Campus Box Number:
11

Directory Profile

Bio:

John Wiltse joined MSU Denver as Administrative Assistant III with University Advancement in 2011. He is responsible for a myriad of duties that support the strategic plan of MSU Denver University Advancement, including mailings, letters/correspondence, meeting minutes, document processing and preparation for entry into Raiser’s Edge Software, and Travel Authorizations and Corporate Card responsibilities. John is the first line of contact for those calling and visiting the Office of Alumni Relations.

Before working for MSU Denver, John worked for Mountain States Imaging as a data encoder/document preparer, at Arapahoe Community College as a data specialist and at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center as administrative assistant III. He is a highly motivated and educated individual with a genuine thirst for learning about new processes and customer service experiences.

John graduated with a B.A. in behavioral science from MSU Denver in 2008 and earned his M.A. in adult education and training from the University of Phoenix in 2010. In his free time, John enjoys watching science fiction films and television shows. He is a massive Dr. Who fan and looks forward to the day he can attend a convention.



Corporate & Foundation Relations & Grants


Position Role:
Full-Time Staff

Office Location:
JSSB

Office Number:
410

Campus Box Number:
14

Directory Profile

Bio:

Megan Conklin joined the MSU Denver Advancement Team in May 2018 as Executive Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations.  Prior to becoming a Roadrunner, she spent five and a half years at the University of Denver doing similar work.  In her role, she assists the University’s administrative and academic leadership to identify, research, and secure funding from private grant-making organizations and she builds opportunity for innovative, mutually beneficial relationships with corporate partners.  In doing so, she helps design and implement fundraising strategies across campus and creates positive partnership and investment experiences between MSU Denver and corporations and foundations.

A native of Northeastern Pennsylvania, Megan was a first-generation college graduate, receiving her undergraduate degree from the Pennsylvania State University and her Master of Social Work from the University of Maryland at Baltimore.  She has over 12 years of experience in not-for-profit program development and fundraising, which began with a graduate-level internship at Maryland’s Legal Aid Bureau.

Megan loves living in Colorado; she lives to run, ski, bike, and hike with her son, Toby, and their dog, Kona.



Position Role:
Part-Time Staff

Office Location:
JSSB

Office Number:
410

Campus Box Number:
14

Directory Profile

Bio:

Tori Meyers joined MSU Denver as Interim Director of Grants in February 2018. In this role, she works with staff and faculty to identify grant opportunities; conducting research; and developing grant proposals for submission to foundations, corporations and other funding entities.

Tori brings 15+ years of public and private grant writing experience to MSU Denver across many types of non-profits and has served in volunteer capacities on community boards over the years.

She loves to spend time with her family and get out to bike, hike and ski when she isn’t working on grants.