27 November 2018
Two UCCS employees, one alumna and one university partner were selected for the 2018 Mayor’s Young leader Award.
Five people under the age of 40 who live or work in Colorado Springs are selected each year to receive the award. Recipients are recognized for their contributions to the community. Several recipients this year represented the university; among them were two employees, one alumna, and one university partner.
Winners related to UCCS were Aisha Ahmad-Post, Ian Ratz, Erin Miller and Jeff Fin.
The award is broken into five categories that each represent different contributions candidates can make in order to be considered. The summary of the award on the Colorado Springs government website said that award recipients are chosen based on the impact they make in their field and in our community.
The categories include Community and Economic Impact, Creativity Industry, Education, Sports and Wellness, and Technology. The diversity of these categories allows the mayor’s office to recognize young professionals from an array of different backgrounds and goals.
The Creativity Industry award was presented to the director of the Ent Center for the Arts Aisha Ahmad-Post.
Ahmad-Post was recognized for connecting the surrounding community to the arts through organizing events, assembling art shows, and creating a board that advises on community outreach.
Ian Ratz was awarded the Sports and Wellness Mayor’s Young Leader Award for his work as assistant director of Sport Management Student Services.
As reported by Communique, Ratz has overseen an enrollment growth of 75 percent in the Sport Management Program and more than 350 student internships with 115 sport organizations. Ratz is active in helping students break into the sports industry. Ratz is also involved in sports administration on campus. In his personal bio for his UCCS profile Ratz says, “I look forward to networking with Sport professionals in our community to establish relationships with the intention of opening doors for our students to succeed.”
Ratz said he was humbled by the award.
“It was definitely a surprise, but I was proud to be recognized in that way,” said Ratz. Ratz said that the award helps validate what he and his team are doing and that he knows that the work he does is helping.
Students are the most important part of Ratz work. He focuses on helping students gain access to the sports community and helps them forge careers.
Founder and managing director for the Center for Technology Research and Commercialization Erin Miller won the Technology Award this year.
Miller, a UCCS alumna, has been working on making Airforce Technology more effective and accessible. Mayor Suthers describes her winning as accredited to “her commitment to bringing innovative ideas from the private sector to the Air Force has laid a foundation for C-TRAC and Air Force CyberWorx to redefine how the Air Force views and resolves issues.”
The Community and Economic Impact Award was given to Jeff Finn, vice president of the Nor’wood Development Groups.
Finn was recognized for his part in creating UCCS Downtown. Over the last year, Finn has also been recognized for being involved on 250 million dollars worth of downtown Colorado Springs projects. These include US Olympic buildings, permanent supportive housing and a building and construction committee.
Each of these recipients displayed unique contributions to the Colorado Springs community and were ultimately representatives of UCCS’ overall value of community support.