Meet our Student Employees & Supervisor of the Year!

The University of Denver’s 2,200+ student employees form the backbone of the University, gaining important professional development experience while supporting the entire community. In recognition of their outstanding contributions and achievements, the University coordinates an annual selection process and works with a committee of faculty, staff, and students to choose our undergraduate and graduate Student Employees of the Year. This year, for the first time, we are also recognizing the hard work and impact of our student employee supervisors as well!

In an indication of just how important the student employment relationship can be, we had 70+ incredibly strong nominations this year! These nominations showed just how much our student employees and supervisors have shown up for one another across a string of incredibly difficult years, displaying incredible teamwork skills as they navigated not only the ongoing crisis of a global pandemic, but also issues of societal injustice, leadership turnover, and personal challenges.

The Student Employment team invites all student employees, supervisors and supporters (including family and friends) to celebrate virtually with us as we honor our Student Employees of the Year, Caris Fox and Susan Cossa, and our Supervisor of the Year, Emily Schosid, and recognize all of this year’s nominees!

Registration for the virtual celebration event on April 7th from 1:00 to 2:00 pm MT is now open!

Check out nominee spotlights on our Instagram throughout National Student Employment Week, April 4 – 8!


A young Black woman in a mock turtleneck and sunburst earrings smiles at the camera

Caris Fox is an undergraduate student double majoring in English and political science and minoring in history. For the past three years, Caris has worked as the program and research assistant at the Interdisciplinary Research Institute for the Study of (in)Equality (IRISE) at the University of Denver. While in this position, Caris led The Remember X research project, tasked with assessing the effectiveness of current diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives in providing a safe and empowering campus experience for community members with marginalized identities. She is the current host for the IRISE Podcast, The Rage Podcast, conversing with scholars and community activists who engage contemporary political discourses on racial inequality. Dedicated to community organizing and community care, Caris has worked at the Blue Bench, a rape crisis center in Denver, to facilitate conversations with groups across demographics about the importance of consent, healthy relationships, and combatting sexual violence in the community. She has also facilitated community-based conversations about the intersectionality of race and sexuality, Black mental health and wellness, and education equity.

Caris was nominated by her supervisors Cheri Colter and Tom Romero for her work as Program and Research Assistant at IRISE:

“Caris stands out among her peers as extremely intelligent, mature, creative and passionate about the important work of IRISE on campus. She takes initiative at the highest level and has independently developed core programs of IRISE over the past 3 years while amplifying our work across campus. After a year of work study, she was promoted to a graduate assistant role despite being only a junior at the time. Caris’ skills, maturity and professionalism far exceed the expectation for a student employee and she is a valuable member of our IRISE community!”


A smiling Black woman with long hair in front of a flowering bush

Susan Cossa is a PhD student at the University of Denver’s Josef Korbel School of International Affairs. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in Economics and Government (dual major) at Smith College. Susan is a Mozambican national who has studied in South Africa and the United States. This multinational experience has shaped her perspectives on the global political economy, her primary area of study. Susan’s research focuses on the political economy implications, for African countries, of engaging with China. Susan’s work aims to illuminate the causes of slow development in African countries and explore practical solutions to improve development and, ultimately, alleviate poverty. In the years to come, Susan looks forward to conducting field research in Southern Africa (primarily in South Africa, Mozambique, and Angola) to explore how citizens of these countries are impacted by Sino-Africa relations.

Susan was nominated by her supervisor Keith Gehring for her work as a Teaching Assistant in the Josef Korbel School of International Studies:

“Susan is the most professional GTA I have worked with. She has a deep respect for the role and in providing the highest quality support in teaching our students. Her guidance to students is always objective and clearly stated while offering insights into how each student can improve. […] Through this award, it is my hope that the wider community will also have the privilege of knowing Susan as I have and all the great work she has done.”


White woman with red hair and a beanie squints into the camera while smiling.Emily Schosid is a sustainability marketing professional who has been working in environmental education, engagement, and communications since 2007. She has worked with a variety of different clients, from public universities to small startups, private colleges to city governments. She is passionate about teaching people how to live a smart and sustainable life, one personal decision at a time. When she’s not working on changing the world, Emily can be found riding her turquoise bike around town, wandering up and down mountains with her dog Banjo, reading beautiful works of fiction, or writing for any number of publications.

Emily was nominated by many of her student employees, including Doni Clemons, Isabela Galarza Gonzalez, Kayla Fatemi-Badi, and Jenna Wyatt, for her work as the Sustainability Program Coordinator managing graduate student team leads and undergraduate interns:

“Emily has a unique ability to show up as her “whole” self, which encourages the entire team of over 40 students and staff members to be themselves and value the individual contribution they bring to the collective and to our work. She has an open door policy and makes herself available as a supervisor and mentor whenever she can. Her generosity of time, spirit and resources makes it easier for our entire team to mirror her and be more supportive and collaborative with one another.”


Congratulations as well to our other nominees this year! Check out nominee spotlights on our Instagram throughout National Student Employment Week, April 4 – 8!


Undergraduates Graduates Supervisors
Gabriela (Gabbie) Berger Surya Teja Bhagavatula Sophia Cisneros
Benjamin Dossett Itchel Cardenas Cheri Colter
Jarob Heffner Caley Concannon Timothy Downs
Colin Hoatson Katherine Connolly Denis Dumas
Fiona Koshy Eileen Cullen Bridget Farrell
Cate Lull Thomas (Tommy) Hadeed Michelle Fryer
Hannah McDonald Claire Harris Brian Gearity
Sophia Mellsop Anne Holland Arielle Giddens
Elizaveta Skorohod Kieran Hubber Jordan Hernandez
Abby Walker Will Hultzapple Roo Hiremath
Alyssa Zinn Phoebe Iguchi Shelbi Imo
Virginia Johnson Megan Jarrad
Katie Landsbaum Anthea Johnson
Genet Leist Hanna Kinney
Rosie Levenson Maddy Kuhl
Rudolph Leyba Corinne Lengsfeld
Jillian Lopez Alex Martinez
Yanxin Bill Luo Chase McNamee
Brigid Magdamo Ashley Mercer
Mark Meziere Brian Michel
Mahaila Nieslanik Meghan Montelibano-Gorman
Yolanda Ortiz Sarah Perske
Audrey Pirzadeh Jamie Polliard
Chase Remme Suha Rabah
Katherine Reutzel Janet Redwine
Alex Rubin Paul Riola
Alida Soileau Brian Schreckinger
Jacob Sorber Alex Vaassen
Kati Stemple Jeremy Vera
Monica Sutherland Yutang Xiong
Bennett Urian
Emily Vulcano
Ashley Wendt


By Elise Goss-Alexander
Elise Goss-Alexander Assistant Director of Student Employment