Published: Nov. 9, 2021

Chancellor Phil DiStefano has announced the recipients of the 2021 Employee of the Year awards. The annual awards are presented to CU Boulder staff in recognition of their outstanding contributions to the operations and success of CU Boulder.

This year, 25 outstanding employees were nominated by their colleagues for their exceptional service and contributions. The nominees were representative of the many areas our employees support––from student affairs to frontline service workers, this year’s pool was diverse, committed and reflected the best of our campus.

Please join the chancellor in congratulating this year’s award recipients: Laura Arroyo, Eldred Foster, Teresa Hernandez and Lynne Howard.

Laura Arroyo

Arroyo is the assistant vice chancellor for transitions and academic partnerships in the Division of Student Affairs. Over the last year, she led a large portfolio of critical support units, which included: Housing Administration, the Children’s Center and Off-Campus Housing and Neighborhood Relations.

In her role Arroyo directed all housing operations, assignments and services for approximately 10,000 students, implemented new procedures in response to the pandemic, and led her teams through their efforts to support student and family safety. Additionally, she navigated and managed the transition of the CU Children's Center out of Student Affairs and into Finance and Business Affairs. Arroyo exemplifies inspired leadership through her commitment to collaboration and is committed to student success and supporting student learning and development.

Said one nominator, “Laura embodies the University of Colorado Creed. She acts, at all times, with the highest level of honor, integrity, accountability and in a positive manner in every interaction with community members––whether students, colleagues or family members.”

Eldred Foster

Foster serves as a residential care and response manager in Housing and Dining Services. With more than 15 years of experience at CU Boulder, Foster’s expertise and institutional knowledge were called upon over the last year when he was tasked with monitoring COVID-19 protocols and supporting the residence hall students who tested positive for COVID.

As his nominators shared: “Eldred came in person to work on campus every day during COVID and single-handedly took the lead to support on-campus resident students who tested positive for COVID and needed to move into isolation halls. Eldred coordinated support for these students who were not only experiencing distress from their health but also feeling alone and scared. He was the one to greet them and help them settle into their spaces.”

Foster understood that not all of our students had the means to make the transition to isolation housing smoothly, but he worked to make sure that all students had access to food, transportation and other necessities. Throughout the pandemic, he put our students first and created a more comforting and safe experience for them.

Teresa Hernandez

Hernandez serves as the diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) recruitment program manager in the Department of Human Resources. Through her work, she strives to advocate for underrepresented populations. She serves as lead for a “student to career” pipeline program, which helps students from marginalized populations have access to career resources and guidance. She has also led the development of online resources to promote inclusive search processes and has delivered training and leadership for the campus in faculty and staff hiring. She strives to educate and inform others on DEI initiatives and recruitment/retention best practices

In addition to her work in human resources, in 2020 Hernandez was named co-chair of the campus IDEA Council. The IDEA Council is the representative body comprised of student, staff and faculty charged with prioritizing the recommendations in the Inclusion, Diversity, and Excellence in Academics (IDEA) Plan.

One nominator stated, “Teresa shows passion and dedication to diversity and inclusion work, including in her regular role as HR's DEI search and outreach program manager and through her work with the IDEA Council. DEI work by its nature requires ethical practices and behaviors, and Teresa sets the example for others on how to work in the DEI space with fairness, sensitivity, caring and leadership.”

Lynne Howard

Howard serves as the coordinator for the Boulder Faculty Council (BFA). Tasked with overseeing and managing the operations of the BFA, she has expanded and gone beyond her written job description to become a valued campus resource. Her attention to detail, recognition of potential problems and adept handling of delicate policies and issues have aided her in building the trust and respect from colleagues across campus.

As shared by her nominators: “From the development of the Honor Code Advisory Board to the shepherding of multiple DEI deliberations within the BFA, Lynne has made faculty governance more robust on this campus, not only making things run well but also critically analyzing existing faculty engagement and encouraging us to do better.”

Lynne’s ability to work with all facets of the campus population––from students to faculty to administration––reflect her passion, her compassion, and her commitment to her work at CU.