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Year in Review 2017-2018


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“When I joined CU Denver in early 2016, my first order of business was to listen. A shared vision for the future of the university emerged through a series of collaborative forums and conversations with faculty, staff, students and members of the Denver community. Together, we defined five strategic priorities to help us get there: student success, scholarly excellence, community impact, inclusive culture and financial sustainability. What a privilege it is for me to work toward advancing these priorities alongside the dedicated members of our campus community. Each success story on these pages is a reflection of our goals brought to life, our vision realized and lives transformed.” —Chancellor Dorothy Horrell

STRATEGIC PRIORITIES. EXTRAORDINARY SUCCESS STORIES. UNSTOPPABLE FUTURES.

HELPING STUDENTS REACH THEIR HIGHEST POTENTIAL. CU Denver joined the Education Advisory Board’s Student Success Collaborative, along with 475 colleges and universities. We are working together to improve student outcomes and the student experience including using predictive analytics to provide targeted intervention and proactive, strategic care to support our students.


Where dreams become degrees. Daniel Ramirez could see the CU Denver campus from the bleachers at his nearby high school. It was less than two miles away. But for the son of Mexican immigrants, the distance to college felt far greater. Ramirez, a star athlete, had a passion for learning and dreamed of becoming a doctor to combine his love for science with his interest in physiology. When he landed a full-ride scholarship to CU Denver to pursue a pre-health program, the distance between dreaming and doing was suddenly erased.

“I wasn’t supposed to beat the odds, but everything clicked here. CU Denver feels like home.” Today, Ramirez is a semester away from graduation and is preparing for medical school. He is a first-generation college student and, with his degree in hand, his aspirations can be realized, and a lifelong path for success lies ahead.

STRATEGIC PRIORITY: STUDENT SUCCESS TURNING DEGREES INTO CAREERS. This spring, 1,989 students earned diplomas, entering the workforce or pursuing advanced studies with the valuable asset of a high-quality CU Denver degree. SHARING INSIGHTS AND INSPIRATION. A record 238 undergraduate students showcased their passions and scholarly skills at the Annual Research and Creative Activities Symposium on projects ranging from plastic safety to sunscreen bans. They presented their work to an audience of peers, faculty, family and visitors. STAYING AHEAD OF THE CURVE. Students gain a competitive edge and valuable hands-on experience thanks to 1,000+ internships awarded annually at local businesses, nonprofits and government entities.

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Where innovation hits the field. Liquid crystal elastomers may not elicit the same excitement as a touchdown, but they could change the future of America’s favorite sport. In fact, the NFL is banking on the new application of this shock-absorbing material, developed by Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering Chris Yakacki, to make football safer. With funding from the NFL and the State of Colorado, Yakacki’s breakthrough technology is revolutionizing the traditional foam used in helmets. And it’s giving his students handson experience in how research translates into innovative products that can change the future.

“My goal has always been to develop real-world technology at CU Denver. I want to give our students a sense of why engineering research is meaningful and impactful.” With concussions and long-term brain injuries plaguing athletes from recreational players to the pros, Yakacki’s work proves that scholarship and research can have huge impact from the classroom to the playing field and beyond.

STRATEGIC PRIORITY: SCHOLARLY EXCELLENCE MINI SCHOOLS PROVIDE BIG LEARNING OPPORTUNITY. Always wanted to be an architect or an expert in public health? CU Denver’s Graduate School gives members of the community a chance to explore their passions through “mini schools.” These free sessions are presented by CU Denver faculty and enable the public to get a taste of topics including global affairs, social and political sciences, arts and architecture and public health. More than 200 people expanded their minds through eight sessions offered last year. CONTINUALLY LEARNING. Our faculty’s love of learning never wavers. This year, many took part in the inaugural ThinqStudio. As Faculty Explorers and Fellows, they used this digital workshop to discover new approaches to teaching and exciting new resources and tools for online education. POWERING OUR STATE. Professors from the School of Public Affairs received a National Science Foundation grant, building on research to explore alternatives and discuss options related to energy development in Colorado.


CU DENVER ATTRACTS TOP TALENT. THESE NEW DEANS JOIN OUR ROSTER OF EXTRAORDINARY LEADERS TO INSPIRE STUDENTS AND ELEVATE LEARNING. Nan Ellin, PhD Dean of the College of Architecture and Planning “The university should be an engaged citizen, not an ivory tower,” says Dr. Nan Ellin, the new dean of CU Denver’s College of Architecture and Planning. CU Denver’s embrace of this ideal is much of what attracted Dean Ellin to her new role. Prior to joining CU Denver, Ellin was the founding dean of the College of Architecture, Planning and Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Arlington where she was instrumental in the unification of two schools into one college. In just her first year at CU Denver, she has led the college to create a new strategic vision: to ignite evolution that enriches places for people and the planet through advancing the fields of architecture, planning, landscape architecture, historic preservation and urban design. Dean Ellin has also initiated a robust internship and mentorship program for students to prepare them for their professions, helped facilitate the university’s largest to-date planned gift, and guided renovations of key educational spaces including new fabrication and gallery space. Going forward, Dean Ellin is leading the call to “Imagine a Great Region (and Build It)” to inform and inspire projects in the city and region.

Martin Dunn, PhD Dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Science “I am so impressed by the students here, their passion and their sense of purpose. With this and the university’s setting in the thriving city of Denver, the sky is the limit,” says Dr. Martin Dunn, the new dean of CU Denver’s College of Engineering and Applied Science. Dunn joins the college from Singapore University of Technology and Design, built in partnership with MIT, where he oversaw the design and operation of the research and innovation enterprise. His resume also includes positions with Boeing Company, Sandia National Laboratories and the National Science Foundation, as well as department chair and faculty in mechanical engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder. Dunn kicked off 2018 with a unique human-centered design approach to create a shared vision for the college and a strategic plan to realize it. This involved a listening tour with employers and consultation with globally recognized experts on strategies to position the college with a student-centered focus, pointing it toward tomorrow’s technologies and industries, and enabling it to educate the engineer of the future, ready to thrive in an uncertain, fast-changing world.

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STUDENT COMMONS REPURPOSING


Where first, we listen. Antwan Jefferson’s students aspire to help others. They want to be teachers, family therapists, social workers and community leaders. As a clinical assistant professor in the School of Education and Human Development, Jefferson challenges his students to become immersed in Denver’s urban neighborhoods. He trains them to listen to one another across ethnic, gender and class lines. His work in inspiring the helpers of tomorrow pays forward his passion for looking out for the poor and marginalized in local communities.

“I have learned to listen to conflicting arguments without jumping to judgment, and I strive to teach my students to do the same.” Jefferson is bringing together teams from around the country to engage in community-based research that supports justice in affordable housing, schooling, immigration policy and other issues of concern, encouraging new collaborations and producing new scholarship and practitioner tools that support a more educated public.

STRATEGIC PRIORITY: COMMUNITY IMPACT AMPLIFYING IMPACT THROUGH RESEARCH. Music contributes to the tapestry of life. Michael Seman, the College of Arts & Media’s director of creative industries research and policy, is proving that it can also transform local and state economies. Seman is gathering data on the economic impact of the music industry in our community, and his research is forming the basis of Denver’s Music Strategy Initiative, designed to position Denver as a global music city. FROM CHALLENGE TO OPPORTUNITY. Nine Colorado towns, each facing different challenges, benefit from the brainpower of graduate students in the School of Public Affairs. From historic preservation issues to housing and mobility problems, CU Denver students are helping towns like Monument and Idaho Springs turn problems into more promising futures. EXPANDING OUR FOOTPRINT. CU Denver is serving the broader community by bringing its faculty and staff expertise to the South Metro area via a speaker series launched by CU South Denver. Located in Lone Tree, CU South Denver serves the fastest growing area of the Denver metro region with credit and non-credit professional development, executive education and professional degree program offerings.

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Where diversity creates community. There is a tenderness in Leah Porter’s voice when she speaks about her mother. Growing up in Malaysia, Porter was one of five girls and, with her mother’s support, was the first in her family to graduate from high school. She had plans to continue her education, but societal pressures led her down a prescribed path.

“A girl in Malaysia is taught two things in life—find a husband and take care of family. Deep down, though, my desire for school never went away.” Porter married, moved to the U.S. and had two daughters. But her mother’s death in 2011 reignited her drive to pursue her education. After graduating from community college, Porter came to CU Denver and discovered a diverse and understanding support system that encouraged her to forge her own path. She chose to study business and is now inspiring her own daughters to pursue their passions. And her hard work has not gone unnoticed – she was named the 2018 Student Leader of the Year and is a Reisher and McNair Scholar. When she graduates, she wants to pursue a career in higher education administration to help other first generation students fulfill their dreams as she has done.

STRATEGIC PRIORITY: INCLUSIVE CULTURE HELPING FAMILIES CHANGE THEIR DESTINIES: 50 percent of CU Denver freshmen are the first in their families to attend college. Earning a baccalaureate degree not only changes their lives, but the lives of future generations. CREATING A PLACE FOR ALL: The Center for Diversity and Inclusion opened this year to provide programs and support to cultivate a more welcoming campus for all. PROUD TO SERVE THOSE WHO SERVE: We are honored to help more than 1,700 military and veteran students who have served our country build on their experience and chart their next chapter in life. CU Denver ranks as a top school for veterans by Military Times and Military Friendly.


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AN INVESTMENT TO STRENGTHEN THE PIPELINE OF SCIENTIFIC TALENT. Improving learning outcomes for underrepresented first- and second-year college students studying science – it’s what a $1 million grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute is designed to help CU Denver accomplish. The grant will improve biology instruction and curriculum, incorporate more active learning opportunities and research experiences into introductory biology classes and help students develop confidence as scientists. Funds will also be used to provide more faculty development opportunities around inclusive teaching practices and identify and remove barriers faced by underrepresented students in science fields.


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UNIVERSITY LAUNCHES LYNX UP: A SCHOLARSHIP CAMPAIGN TO LIFT STUDENT SUCCESS More than 80% of CU Denver freshmen work while going to school, and 63% have financial needs even after the help of aid and loans. That’s why we LYNX UP. In February 2018, CU Denver unveiled its LYNX UP scholarship campaign to faculty and staff in anticipation of a public launch. With a goal of raising $15 million in contributed support for scholarships over three years, LYNX UP will substantially boost the university’s ability to continue to attract talented and deserving students, ease their financial burdens, and help them reach their educational goals. The campus launch resulted in a tripling of faculty and staff giving while overall the initiative has raised nearly $10 million to date.


Where success means paying it forward. Set goals, work hard and use the success you achieve to help others. These have long been guiding principles for Lola Salazar and her husband, Rob. Lola and Rob came from modest means. After both graduated from Denver Public Schools, they took turns going to college, and Lola ultimately earned a master’s degree in education from CU Denver. Today, the Salazars are successful entrepreneurs and are realizing the rewards of their hard work. Lola saw her own grit and determination reflected in the students of CU Denver. And she was inspired by the fact that it was CU Denver students themselves who led the charge to create a greater sense of community on campus through a new student wellness center.

“I want kids to know that no matter where you come from, as long as you have a dream and work hard, it can happen.” Through a $10 million gift, the Salazars helped our students realize their dream, and the Lola & Rob Salazar Student Wellness Center became a reality. The center, which offers programs and activities to support health across a multitude of dimensions, will provide CU Denver students a foundation to thrive for generations to come.

STRATEGIC PRIORITY: FINANCIAL SUSTAINABILITY STRATEGICALLY BUDGETING TO EMPOWER OUR FUTURE. A new, incentive-based budget model allows CU Denver to focus on growing revenue, containing costs and reallocating resources to support our highest priorities. A LEGACY OF GENEROSITY. Don and Maria Johnson, through the C.W. Bixler Family Foundation, pledged CU Denver’s largest-ever planned gift of $12 million to the College of Architecture and Planning. The gift will fund scholarships, international programs and experiential learning. EARN WHILE YOU LEARN. The CU Denver Business School launched a new One-Year MBA program with competitively paid internships from some of the top companies in Denver, including DaVita, TIAA, CoBank, Arrow Electronics and American Furniture Warehouse.

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STRATEGIC PRIORITIES IN ACTION

FROM 23 STATES AND 3 NATIONS GAINED REAL-WORLD EXPERIENCE IN EVERYTHING FROM DIGITAL ANIMATION TO MUSIC INDUSTRY AT THE COLLEGE OF ARTS & MEDIA'S SUMMER LYNX CAMPS

64 KIDS

EXPERIENCE THEIR PARENTS' COMMITMENT TO STUDENT SUCCESS AT CU DENVER'S FIRST-EVER TAKE OUR DAUGHTERS AND SONS TO WORK DAY

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INTERNATIONAL COLLEGE BEIJING STUDENTS GRADUATED IN 2017-2018

THIS 24-YEAR OLD PARTNERSHIP WITH CHINA AGRICULTURAL UNIVERSITY IS THE ONLY ONE OF ITS KIND

MILO TURNS 5 CU DENVER’S MASCOT TAKES HIS NAME FROM OUR HOME IN THE HEART OF DOWNTOWN. MILE HIGH AND LODO MEET IN MILO THE LYNX, WHO JUST CELEBRATED HIS 5th BIRTHDAY

FIRST ANNUAL LYNXFEST

CU DENVER ALUMNI, FAMILIES, FRIENDS AND STUDENTS GATHER TO CELEBRATE THE ACHIEVEMENTS OF OUR GRADS AND SHOWCASE OUR FACULTY AND THEIR RESEARCH.

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CU DENVER STUDENTS EXPAND THEIR HORIZONS BY STUDYING ABROAD, UP 18% FROM THE PREVIOUS YEAR

RURAL COLORADO SCHOOL DISTRICTS BENEFIT FROM THE SCHOOL OF EDUCATION & HUMAN DEVELOPMENT’S ASPIRE TO TEACH PROGRAM

OUR FACULTY MEMBERS EARN

$25

MILLION IN ANNUAL SPONSORED RESEARCH AWARDS

PART-TIME MBA PROGRAM IN COLORADO

#78 IN U.S. U.S. NEWS AND WORLD REPORT

Office of the Chancellor 1380 Lawrence Street, Suite 1400 | Denver, CO 80204 303-315-2500 | chancellor@ucdenver.edu

Profile for CU Denver

Year in Review 2017 - 2018  

Year in Review 2017 - 2018  

Profile for cudenver

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