Notes of Impact | Fall 2018

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YOUR LIFELONG LEARNING PARTNER The latest news from the University of Denver’s University College.

Celebrating 80 years of offering education to adult learners, pg. 4



Coming this spring: a new graduate program in Nonprofit Leadership, pg. 6




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SHARE YOUR STORY Have you recently earned a promotion, changed to a new job, or been selected to speak at a conference? We want to hear from you! Visit or email If you’re a faculty member, submit your latest accomplishments at


Dear Friends, One of my favorite times of the year is standing on the stage at the University College Graduation and Hooding Ceremony each spring and summer, when we celebrate the many accomplishments of our graduates. It’s a feeling unlike anything else to see the pride on the faces of our graduates and the loved ones who are cheering them on in the crowd. Once a graduate crosses the stage, I hand them a carnation. This is a symbol of admiration and we ask our graduates to give that carnation to someone who helped them in their journey toward graduation. If you’re an alumnus, you know that you didn’t finish your program alone: it took the support and encouragement of family, friends, and instructors to help get you beyond the finish line. As we open a new academic year, I encourage you to reflect on your experience at University College: the late nights, the presentations and projects, and the pride you felt as you accomplished your goal. I also ask that you continue learning. It’s never done! Seek out more opportunities to add to your skill set and refine what you learned during your time at the University of Denver. Whether that means taking a course through the Center for Professional Development or Enrichment Program in Denver, or attending an alumni event happening near you, there are many ways to stay engaged. The walk across the stage at graduation should be the first step in a lifetime of learning. Sincerely,

Michael McGuire Dean




Imagine 1938. A gallon of gas cost 10 cents, the U.S. was starting to emerge from the Great Depression, and the ballpoint pen was first introduced. It was also the year University College programming was introduced at the University of Denver. The University of Denver has engaged in various types of adult education programming almost since its inception in 1864, but it wasn’t until 1938 that University College officially emerged. As early as 1909 DU began to purchase properties in downtown Denver to house its ambitious plans for colleges of law, medicine, dentistry, music, and

commerce. In 1918 Chancellor Buchtel purchased what was to become the Civic Center Campus at Cleveland Place. An extant page from what appears to be a bulletin of the College of Liberal Arts, with the handwritten date of 1938 across the top, lists evening courses that can be used for credit in traditional programs. The name of the program of evening courses? None other than “University College.” This fall, we’re recognizing 80 years of providing high-quality education geared for adult learners. Back in 1938, that meant part-time and evening courses held in downtown Denver and led by a mix of faculty and working professionals. Today, our


211 Fifteenth Street, Denver



mission is the same: to deliver enduring professional growth and personal development to adult learners by becoming the hub for lifelong learning in the Front Range and beyond. From the very beginning, University College has worked to provide relevant education to adult learners. Whether at the 211 Fifteenth Street location in the early 20th century or the hyflex labs that combine live classroom experiences with online technology in use today, University College strives to deliver education in a meaningful and convenient way. While we celebrate our past, we’re also emboldened by the prospect of a bright future. With a new strategic plan guiding our way, we’re expanding partnerships across campus and within the community, growing our reputation on the national stage as leaders in adult education, and expanding our portfolio of offerings. From updated curricula to new boot camps, see what’s new at University College:

• Dozens of four-course graduate certificates, including Strategic Innovation and Change, Marketing Communication, Web Design and Development, and more • Updated curricula for many programs, such as the new MA in Global Community Engagement that helps emerging community activists make an impact • A new master’s degree in Nonprofit Leadership, along with graduate certificate options, launching in spring 2019 (see next page for details) • A new graduate certificate in Supply Chain Management in collaboration with the Daniels College of Business • More 12-week and 24-week boot camps with in-demand topics like cybersecurity, data analytics, and coding • 30+ affordable short courses being offered this fall through the Center for Professional Development (


2197 S. University Blvd, Denver




NONPROFIT LEADERSHIP Ellen Winiarczyk serves as the academic director and a teaching assistant professor for the new Nonprofit Leadership program launching in spring 2019. Prior to this role, Winiarczyk served as an adjunct instructor for the Leadership and Organizations master’s program for eight years and was recently awarded the Ruth Murray Underhill Teaching Award. How do you characterize the nonprofit sector in Colorado these days? How does this compare nationally? The nonprofit sector in Colorado is robust and diverse with more than 25,500 nonprofit organizations employing almost 8% of the state’s workforce and generating $32 billion in revenue. With this number of nonprofits, Colorado’s sector is larger than any of our bordering states. Wow! Nationally, we’re seeing increased demands on resources due to growing community needs, and nonprofits are there to meet those needs. There has also been a movement in terms of offering more talent development among nonprofit leaders and that’s where further education comes into play.

University College recently partnered with the Colorado Nonprofit Association on the annual Colorado Nonprofit Salary & Benefits Survey; what is valuable about this initiative? One of the most important things about salary surveys in general is that they educate nonprofit CEO/CFOs, boards of directors, and staff about the market sector in which they exist. More information and education means more people and organizations are informed about current trends and are able to share cost-saving and equity-related information. The 6

Colorado Nonprofit Association does a terrific job of educating nonprofit leaders in how to estimate a salary for a job they may be advertising by using a weighted salary calculation for diverse category positions. In addition to comparing salaries, a reader can also compare benefits offered to nonprofit employees. These are terrific data points for anyone entering salary and benefits negotiation.

What inspired the creation of the new Nonprofit Leadership program starting this spring at University College? There’s a unique need in Colorado and across the country to help leaders develop their network and knowledge so they can deliver on the mission of their organizations. From fundraising and development to financial management, nonprofit professionals and organizations need and want to develop new skills. There’s growth in the sector and a renewed focus on talent development and retention among leaders, so as a private university dedicated to the public good it’s our duty to deliver this type of education. We’re excited to launch this new program and continue to prepare leaders for the nonprofit world. To purchase your copy of the Colorado Nonprofit Salary & Benefits Survey, please visit





The Brains Behind the Beer


As the sheer number of Colorado craft breweries at Denver’s annual Great American Beer Festival (GABF) makes clear, the state has become a mecca for microbrewers. But Denver wasn’t always so beer-friendly. Back in 1994, before there was a tasting room on every block, University of Denver alumnus Brian Dunn founded Great Divide Brewing Co., making him one of the elder statesmen in the American craft beer scene. Other craft breweries existed in Denver in the early ’90s — Wynkoop, Breckenridge, and Rock Bottom chief among them — but Great Divide was the first to forgo the brewpub model and focus exclusively on brewing beer that could be sold in liquor stores and local restaurants. “In the early years it was pretty hard,” says Brian, who came up with the concept for Great Divide while studying for his master’s degree in Environmental Policy and Management at University College. “I worked


for a long time without getting paid, but even when there was no money, we were still paying [our employees], buying ingredients, buying glass, because you didn’t have a choice. But it’s my passion, it’s what I wanted to do, and damn it, I was going to make it go.” Brian’s route to craft beer was a bit circuitous — he grew up in Vermont, earned a degree in agriculture and soil sciences from Colorado State University, then got a job with a Fort Collins-based company that develops farms in Third World and developing countries. “We built 40 center-pivot irrigation systems in the desert of Algeria, then I worked in Portugal trying to get a strawberry project going, then I worked on the sales and marketing side of a company that took fruits and vegetables grown in South America and shipped them to North America and Europe,” he says. When it came time to open his brewery, “I knew how to write a business

plan, I knew how to buy large amounts of equipment, to get projects going in a fairly tough environment, and I knew how to sell it.” He also knew how to develop ideas in collaboration with others, a skill he honed in his classes at the University of Denver. “All of a sudden you’re working with three people, and you have to come up with a presentation, which I never had to do as an undergraduate,” he says. “That’s a lot of real world. That’s like work: Let’s figure this project out and convince a bigger group why this makes sense. That’s real life. That was really cool.” Find your pint of Great Divide at 2201 Arapahoe Street, Denver or the Great Divide Barrel Bar at 1812 35th Street, Denver. Also, look for the new taproom landing soon at DIA Concourse C.



GO CODE COLORADO In Go Code Colorado, an annual hackathon competition and the first statewide effort of its kind, teams are challenged to transform public data into useful business insights. The potential of public data is boundless, which makes competing in Go Code Colorado even more challenging for people with great ideas like Nathan Tutchton, a graduate student in the Information and Communications Technology program at University College who competed as part of Team Carbos. “It’s all about leveraging the public data made available to everyone in order to do cool things that’s good for business owners,” he said. “We’re mapping carbon storage and then generating Ethereum tokens that represent the carbon negative action someone has taken.” Ethereum tokens act as a form of currency, or digital assets, built on top of the Ethereum blockchain. By bringing small carbon offset projects to market, Carbos allows environmentally conscious businessowners to invest in local carbon sequestration resources rather than large international projects. With a background in natural resource ecology and software development, Nathan combined his passions to cultivate his project that would remove the barrier to entry into the carbon marketplace.


As part of the perks of the competition, Nathan and his team received mentorship and advice from leaders in the field, including representatives from Twitter and House of Genius, a start-up incubator in Boulder. Nathan’s University College experience also helped him refine business skills that proved useful in the competition. “The program helps fill in the knowledge gaps,” he said. “Turns out business concepts are super important during a hackathon.” After winning the first round, Nathan spent upwards of 30 hours a week preparing for the final round of Go Code Colorado in which ten finalists presented their final product and business insights in front of hundreds of spectators and judges. The work paid off, with Carbos being one of three teams winning Go Code Colorado and walking away with $15,000 to launch their business idea. “Climate change is an issue we can’t escape, and Colorado has the potential to generate $30 billion from carbon trading just from the agricultural sector,” Nathan said. “Carbos wants to help establish an equitable system for carbon trading to help Colorado become a leader in global carbon offset projects.” Learn more at


Making a Splash

Larissa Grammer was warming up moments before the first meet of her senior year as a diver at the University of Denver. But before she could climb the ladder, she was struck with a seizure. While Larissa had experienced the occasional seizure before—she was diagnosed with epilepsy at age 9—this one was different. This seizure was the start of half a dozen seizures a day for the next year that landed her in and out of the hospital (and off the diving team).

“My future spiraled out of control,” she said. “I didn’t think I’d ever dive again.” But instead of spiraling out of control, Larissa’s future began to take shape. She was eventually given a nerve stimulator used to prevent seizures from occurring and has been active ever since: as a diver, advocate, and student at University College. “When I took my season off of diving, I began looking into programs and found the Healthcare Management program,” she ex-

plained. “I realized what I wanted to be doing: patient advocacy.” While a graduate student at University College, Larissa was able to re-join the University of Denver diving team—finishing out the final year she never started. Now a member of the Epilepsy Foundation of Colorado, Larissa is an advocate for people with epilepsy. “I wouldn’t be who I am today if it weren’t for that diagnosis,” she said. “It’s definitely a struggle; there were and are times I hate it, but I can’t deny it’s a part of who I am and has helped me into the career path I want.” Today, that career is at UW Health in Madison, Wisconsin where Larissa practices health education management in the technology department while continuing to pursue her master’s degree entirely online through University College. “Looking back, it was all supposed to happen to make me realize what I was supposed to do with my life,” she said. “I want to inspire people to go to their full limits.”





lass of 2018 CARRIE WARREN

“The journey to achieve my Bachelor of Arts in Leadership and Organization Studies did not come easily. At times, I could hear selfdoubt in the back of my mind, quietly whispering—do you have what it takes to be successful? Is your family time worth sacrificing? Are you sure this is what you want? Looking back, I now know that clarity was always in front of me: all I had to do was listen to the words of my DU professors along the way. At the beginning, Dr. Margo Linn Espenlaub gave me the insight to see that I was already “successful” and that I simply needed to take ownership of being the CEO of my life. In the middle, Dr. Arthur C. Jones showed me my ancestral history and explained that to come into one’s own, you must learn who you are and in time you see that “time away from family” is not a sacrifice but a gift of clarity. At the end, it was Dr. Cara DiEnno who taught me that “to want something” is to be bold and embrace the strength and drive that it takes to be committed to your purpose, because your head + your heart = your hustle. I give thanks to all the DU professors who have helped me walk my path. But I didn’t walk this journey alone. My husband Rahshaun and beautiful kids Shyla, Shemar, and Sheyden have been with me from the beginning. Each encouraging me through detours and difficulties, while serving as a reminder that it doesn’t matter how long it takes or what lies at the end of the road—embrace the journey.

DU Travel Abroad, Cape Town

In the end, what started as a four-year plan will end 11 years later. This experience is one that I will treasure for the rest of my life. It may have taken me 11 years to get here but I made it. To forge ahead, I had to stop looking back. I didn’t allow a failed plan or expectations to steal the gifts before me because I learned there are no short cuts to a place worth going. Therefore, I’m glad I came and I’m glad I conquered. University of Denver, many thanks for the opportunity!”

Experiential learning with Educo Africa

With DU instructor Tiffani Lennon, Esq.

IMPACT YOUR WORLD Your Gift to the University of Denver’s University College Supports Student Scholarships, Innovation Efforts, and Leading-Edge Facilities for Learning

University College Scholarship Fund

University College is pleased to offer Graduate Impact Scholarships designed to benefit highly motivated and engaged adult learners who value education as a way to improve lives and communities both locally and globally. There are also scholarships dedicated exclusively to Bachelor of Arts Completion Program students.

Dean’s Innovation Fund

This fund is used to enhance the student experience through technological advances, timely programming, and leading-edge facilities for learning.

Visit or text UCOL to 41444




University College Collaborates with First-of-Its-Kind Facility The RiNo district in Denver might be best known for beer and art, but this fall the hip downtown hotspot welcomed a new neighbor: the Catalyst Healthcare Technology Initiative (Catalyst HTI). A collaboration between private enterprise, government, and academic organizations, along with healthcare providers and payers, Catalyst HTI is intended to accelerate innovation and effect change in the health industry. University College is one of five colleges and schools at the University of Denver participating in the initiative, which is the first facility of its kind in the United States. The collaborative space will serve as a home for research, engagement, and social entrepreneurship. “As an educational institution, we represent the opportunity to parallel research and business questions towards increasing the body of knowledge as well as offering solutions to the health industry as a whole,” said Bobbie Kite, associate professor and academic director for the Healthcare Management program. “Specifically, we’re building cross-disciplinary care coordination, workflow, and cybersecurity labs to focus


on population health from a variety of perspectives while keeping a focus on the needs of our local and national communities.” Bringing together community stakeholders to find ways to innovate within the health sector is a crucial component of the Healthcare Management program at University College, making Catalyst HTI a natural partnership to advance this mission and make an impact. Other prominent participants include Kaiser Permanente, the American Heart Association, and Delta Dental. “DU’s partnership with Catalyst represents our commitment to innovative research, cross-disciplinary curriculum, and involvement in the community,” Chancellor Rebecca Chopp said. “We’re excited about the unique opportunities this collaborative space will provide, both for our students and faculty, and for our community partners.” To learn more about the space, visit on the web or 3513 Brighton Blvd. in person.


CULTIVATING A CULTURE OF INCLUSIVITY University College builds an educational community that embodies values of inclusivity and diversity. We embrace a commitment to inclusive excellence by fostering a welcoming environment for our diverse students, staff, and faculty to learn and grow. We embed the values of diversity and inclusivity in all our programs: lifelong learning opportunities and varied curricular offerings. University College fosters a learning culture where questions are expected; information and wisdom are shared; and community members respectfully challenge each other’s perspectives and engage in personal reflection. We celebrate our successes, measure our progress, and realize our goals through collective action. We strive to be culturally aware of our behaviors; aim to ignite continuous growth within each individual; and seek to enhance our impact on students, alumni, faculty, staff, and the greater community. Please join us on our journey.



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The University College Alumni Achievement Awards recognize the personal, professional, and community service accomplishments of University College alumni. Nominate yourself or a fellow University College alumnus (open to those who have completed a graduate certificate, bachelor’s degree, or master’s degree). Awards will be presented at the annual University College Holiday Celebration on December 13, 2018. To nominate yourself or a fellow alum, or to RSVP for the holiday celebration, please visit us at


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