Regis University Magazine - Fall/Winter 2021

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Protecting God’s Creatures

Regis veteran battles to save cheetah cubs


Manifesting Magis






Regis University Magazine is published biannually by Marketing and Communications for the University community of alumni, benefactors, faculty, staff, students and families. ASSOCIATE VICE PRESIDENT MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS Todd Cohen EDITOR Karen Augé DIRECTOR OF BRAND STRATEGY AND DESIGN Sarah Foley EDITORIAL STAFF Sara Knuth McKenna Solomon DESIGN STAFF Dan Alarcon Marcus Knodle

A VETERAN’S DAY 12 It took three-quarters of a century and a congressman, but a beloved priest and WWII medic finally got his due. ONE FOR THE HISTORY BOOKS 15 A proud Regis Ranger is Colorado’s first Latino state historian. STEALING BEAUTY 16 An army intelligence veteran pursues cheetah poachers — and a Regis master’s degree. GRAVEYARD SHIFT 22 The story of the little Regis cemetery and its big move. ALL BOOKED UP 28 Celebrating a banner year for Mile-High MFA faculty writers. WELL-SCHOOLED 32 A Regis education prepares teachers to help underserved kids achieve.

PHOTOGRAPHER Skip Stewart CONTRIBUTORS Rose Campbell Jennifer Forker Barry “Bear” Gutierrez Kim O’Neill Dawn Schipper Brett Stakelin On the Cover: Traffickers selling cheetah cubs as pets threaten the young animals and the species. A Regis student uses Army intelligence skills to stop them. Photo: Stu Porter/Shutterstock

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SPECIAL SECTION MANIFESTING MAGIS 37 Join a historic opportunity to build on Regis’ foundation to assure students and faculty soar well into the future.

A Very Special Evening Berce Athletic Center glittered in blue and gold as Regis said thank you to its generous supporters and launched the Manifest Magis campaign on Sept. 30, 2021. Photo: Brett Stakelin R EG I S . E D U


Regis celebrated the return of students, faculty and staff with an on-campus carnival. Loyolapalooza took over parking lot 3 from Aug. 26-29, 2021 and came complete with five carnival rides, games and even funnel cakes. Photo: Brett Stakelin


What a difference a year makes. As the fall 2020 semester opened, the campus was quiet, students were learning remotely, and Regis, along with the rest of the world, faced a future of uncertainty. This fall, the campus once again is humming with the presence of students, and faculty and staff — and renewed purpose. With our commitment to students and the safety of students, faculty and staff uppermost in mind, and guided by scientific data, we determined the University would resume teaching, working and learning in person. With those same considerations in mind, and using the same scientific evidence, we announced vaccine requirements for those on campus, a mask requirement for the community when indoors, and we instituted a process for vetting exemptions for medical or religious reasons. As the semester began, we embarked on a Mission Priority Examen. The examen is an opportunity to reflect on how we live our mission and to engage in thoughtful conversation around the question: What should we do now so that Regis will thrive as a vital Jesuit Catholic university in 20 years? The process will continue through the 2021-22 academic year, and Regis will share the fruits of this discussion with our Provincial and Superior General. And with great hope, optimism and a bold vision for Regis’ future, in September we publicly launched the most ambitious capital campaign in our history, with a goal of $150 million. Achieving our goal, through Manifest Magis, will pave the way for Regis to invest

in and build upon the foundations of our past. It will open doors for new ground-breaking research and increase scholarship opportunities for a vibrant student population. It will assure that Regis students and alumni embody our mission and continue to become men and women in service for and with others. This is a pivotal moment. The public campaign will propel us to new heights and give us the footing to celebrate well beyond our 150th anniversary. Pope Francis said, “It is best not to confuse optimism with hope. Optimism is a psychological attitude toward life. Hope goes further. It is an anchor that one hurls towards the future, it’s what lets you pull on the line and reach what you’re aiming for and head in the right direction.” We have hurled our hope toward an ever-brighter future for Regis. With your support and with God’s blessings, that hope will become reality. Gratefully,

Rev. John P. Fitzgibbons, S.J. President

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Regis is proud to attract and serve students from a broad range of backgrounds. Check out the makeup of our 2020-2021 student body.

STUDENT HEADCOUNT Adult and Online Students Traditional Students Total Student Body enrolled Fall 2021

4,524 1,786

Our percentage of first-generation students grew for the fifth year in a row.






The website Stacker has confirmed what we already knew: Regis is the best. Specifically, Regis is Colorado’s top private college when it comes to getting the most bang for your buck. Using data from a Georgetown University study, the news magazine rated colleges’ return on investment in each state. Reporting on the survey, Newsweek noted that Regis “has found that almost half of its students find their early career jobs through the university's networking program. More than half of 2019 graduates had secured jobs prior to graduation.”










REGIS EXTENDS ITS WELCOME MAT Regis has invited its Safe Outdoor Space (SOS) guests to stay through the winter. In June, the Regis SOS, operated by the Colorado Village Cooperative with the City of Denver and St. Francis Center, began providing shelter for as many as 60 people experiencing homelessness. The site, staffed and secured 24/7, is in a parking lot along Federal Boulevard on the Northwest Denver campus. It was scheduled to close in December; now it will stay through March 31, 2022. The extension gives CVC time to find new locations without displacing residents. One new SOS site, opening in November, will be at Denver Health, whose CEO Robin Wittenstein is a member of the Regis Board of Trustees.







Black/African American




Multiple Races Reported


Non-US Resident American/Alaska Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander

2.2% 0.4% 0.2%

WATER WE DOING TO SAVE THE PLANET? For starters, we’ve cut water use from 48 million gallons a year 14 years ago to 22 million today. According to Mike Redmond, associate vice president for physical plant, we did it by installing humidistats on irrigation systems, watering at night, converting 20 percent of campus grounds to xeriscape systems, and installing auto-flush units and water-restrictive shower heads. Next up? Artificial athletic fields, which can save up to 5.4 million gallons of water a year. But maintaining Regis’ treasured arboretum and the ongoing Western drought means the work isn’t finished, Redmond said.


TREATING THE LATEST SIM-TOMS Thanks to a combined $1.25 million from two anonymous donors, Claver Hall’s internet connection was upgraded and the Simulation Lab was renovated with the latest tech know-how for simulating a real-world intensive care unit or other medical environment. The Sim Lab is used by the nursing, pharmacy and physical therapy schools. “The renovated lab allows us to train our students in both routine and unexpected events that can occur in the medical field,” said Jeffrey DesMarteau, assistant professor of nursing and RHCHP Sim Lab coordinator. “The Sim Lab is true to life and immersive. It trains students to be more confident and competent in their interactions.”

REMEMBRANCE AND HOPE FOR HEALING “We cannot change the past, we can only impact the future,” Oglala Lakota Sioux Chief Lee Plenty Wolf told more than 100 people gathered outside the Student Center Oct. 6 during A Vigil for Indigenous Children: Remembrance, Lament and Hope for Healing. The event was held in response to recent discoveries of unmarked graves of Indigenous children at the sites of former boarding schools in Canada, as well as in recognition of the impact of the decades-long policy of separating children from their families there and in the United States. The event was sponsored by the Land Acknowledgment Work Group, the Office of Mission, University Ministry and the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusive Excellence.

PRESCRIPTIONS FOR OPPORTUNITY Regis is partnering with Xavier University of Louisiana and Temple University in Philadephia to expand opportunities — and degree options — for Doctor of Pharmacy students. Beginning in the summer of 2022, Xavier students will be able to earn an online master’s degree in Health Services Administration from Regis alongside their Doctor of Pharmacy. The dual degree will equip students at the nation’s only historically Black and Catholic university with a wide range of career possibilities. Regis pharmacy students now have the option to pursue a Master of Science in Global Clinical and Pharmacovigilance Regulations (GCPR) through Temple. Temple’s online curriculum provides third-year Regis students with understanding of the pharmaceutical development process and regulations. R EG I S . E D U



Celebrating research, scholarship and creative works Mile-High MFA affiliate faculty R. Alan Brooks’ short graphic/ comic book biography of Black cowboy Nat Love was exhibited at the Denver Art Museum. Jennifer Cates, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Couple and Family Therapy, has published an article in a special issue of the Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development. Cates, along with fellow researchers, contributed, “Strategies Used by Whites to Address Their Racism: Implications for Autonomous White Racial Identities,” to the journal’s special edition, Combating Racism, Global Oppression and Climate Change Inequalities, published in July 2021. Affiliate music faculty Cory Cullinan (AKA Doctor Noize) co-produced the song that opened the United Nations Development Program’s “Nature for Life Hub” on Oct. 4. Josh Kreimeyer, Ph.D., assistant professor of Counseling and Family Therapy, presented “Compassion fatigue to compassion satisfaction: More than just self-care,” at the international conference Counselling, Recovery, Professional Growth, and Personal Self-Care: A Joint Conference for Counsellors and Psychotherapists in Ireland and the United States. The conference was held in August.

John Ames Humphry/OCLC/ Forest Press Award. The $1,000 award is presented to a librarian or person who has made significant contributions to international librarianship. Associate Professor of Nursing Maria M. Kneusel Rivera was named Nurse of the Year by the National Association of Hispanic Nurses. Abigail Schneider, Ph.D., associate professor of marketing and chair of the Department of Marketing and MBA, published with co-author Bridget Leonard, “From Anxiety to Control: Mask-Wearing, Perceived Marketplace Influence, and Emotional Well-Being During the COVID-19 Pandemic” in the Journal of Consumer Affairs. They also presented their paper, virtually, at the 2021 Conference of the American Council on Consumer Interests. Shu-Yi “Emily” Wang, Ph.D., R.N., professor of nursing, and Sherry Fuller, Loretto Heights School of Nursing affiliate faculty, have been selected as Nightingale Regional Luminaries. Wang was nominated for her work with National Taiwan University and Fuller for her work on Regis’

Janet Lee, retired dean and professor emerita, Dayton Memorial Library, Regis University Dean, has been named the 2021 recipient of the American Library Association (ALA) International Relations Committee’s 6

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nursing skills lab. The Nightingale Awards, which recognize nurses’ outstanding contributions to the citizens of Colorado, are sponsored by the Colorado Nurses Foundation. Wang and Fuller also were awarded the 2021 Nurse Educator Award for Extraordinary Leadership by the Nurse Educator’s Conference (NEC) in the Rockies. Mile High MFA affiliate faculty member Kathryn Winograd’s Slow Arrow: Unearthing the Frail Children won the Bronze Medal in Essay for the Independent Publishers Book Awards and was a Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards Finalist and Finalist for the Colorado Authors’ League Writing Awards. A study by Eilene Wollslager, Ph.D., assistant professor of public relations, social and behavioral sciences, found that many people choose facial masks to convey personal information, artistic tastes or a desire to be fashionable. The findings were published in Pandemic Communication and Resilience, edited by David Berube. Professor of Accounting, Economics and Finance Luka Powanga will host the 14th Annual Energy Africa Conference in November. Powanga founded the conference, which aims to provide accessible, affordable, sustainable and clean energy solutions African communities as a catalyst to economic growth. Assistant Professor of Fine and Performing Arts Robin Hextrum’s August solo exhibit at Abend Gallery made Denver Westword’s list, “Eleven Ways to See Great Art in Denver This Weekend.”

Robin Hextrum Flowers Emerging from Another Dimension, 2021 (detail) oil on panel, 40 x 40 in



Mediterranean Religious History RCC 400F / HS 475F / MARS 601


Erica Ferg, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, School for Professional Advancement, Regis College


This class examines Mediterranean religious and political history from the Neolithic era to the present to help students reconsider interconnections in religious history and practice. It includes a study abroad component: 11 days in France through the American College of the Mediterranean. STUDENTS ARE:

All students — remote, traditional or post-traditional, graduate or undergraduate — are eligible to take this class. It can be a great fit for those who wish to take an online course during the summer (from anywhere) and also want to travel to Europe for 11 days. TEXTS AND MATERIALS:

• The Great Sea: A Human History of the Mediterranean by David Abulafia. • Mediterranean Passages: Readings from Dido to Derrida by Miriam Cooke, Erdağ Göknar, and Grant Parker, editors. • The Sea in the Middle: The Mediterranean World 650-1650 by Thomas Burman, Brian Catlos, and Mark Meyerson.


This is an online, asynchronous class, which means students do coursework independently; there is no set time for online class meeting. The class includes 11 days studying in France from June 4-15, 2022 (students will be responsible for their airfare to and from France; the cost of the study-abroad portion of the class is $2,625). Applications are due by March 1, 2022. The class consists of readings, papers, reflections, and time spent in France. MAJOR LESSONS LEARNED:

“I hope that students learn to think about religions and religious history in a new way. When we study just one religion at a time, we fail to see the ways in which religious histories and practices are interconnected. But when we look at one place over time (in this case, the Mediterranean Sea region), we are able to see the connections in belief, practice, and history. I hope students apply this knowledge in their lives by being able to think more broadly about religion, history and their own fields.”

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Michael Baxter Peace Activist and Director of Catholic Studies

Just before the 1990 Gulf War, Regis Director of Catholic Studies Michael Baxter assembled a team of counselors and traveled to Germany. In bars and backrooms, Baxter and the team spoke with U.S. soldiers who were considering becoming conscientious objectors.

The soldiers were weeks from being re-deployed to the Persian Gulf — and to a different era than when they enlisted during the Cold War. As part of the process, the soldiers met with the group to discern their consciences and fill out military paperwork. Their efforts were ultimately unsuccessful. In 1990, President George H.W. Bush instituted the stop loss program, which retains service members past their original contractual end-of-service date, and conscientious objectors were met with resistance by the military. But Baxter continued his work. When


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he and the counselors returned home, they started a campaign of letter-writing to the military in support of the conscientious objectors. “I was always motivated by the idea that someone is caught in the machine of war and has conscience qualms about it, and no one wants to hear it,” Baxter said. “The Church teaches that this is an issue that one must discern by conscience. I thought the Church should be there.” Baxter, a former priest, joined the Regis faculty in 2015. Between earning a Ph.D. in Theology and Ethics from Duke University in 1996 and teaching, Baxter dedicated a large part of his career to counseling conscientious objectors. He got his start in 1980 in Colorado Springs when he was in his novitiate, a period of prayer and community for those intending to become Jesuit priests, and encountered peace activists.

“In listening to some of the people in Colorado Springs and their view on war and violence and the teachings of Jesus, I was very struck by its truthfulness,” he said. After President Jimmy Carter re-activated draft registration, Baxter joined a group to “leaflet post offices inviting young men who had to register for the draft to consider the moral implications of doing so. That’s how I got directly into draft and military counseling.”

“We don’t counsel pacifism ... we counsel young people and help them discern their consciences.” Since then, Baxter has met with soldiers who have been deployed in war zones from Kuwait to Afghanistan. In 2001, before 9/11, he helped restart the Catholic Peace Fellowship, which supports conscientious objectors through counseling, education and advocacy. He served as the director of the organization until 2012. Photo: Barry “Bear” Gutierrez

Twenty years after 9/11, as the last troops left Afghanistan this fall, Baxter, who lost a seminary classmate at the Pentagon during the attacks, was sought out by Catholic media to reflect on the war. In an interview with the Catholic news website Crux, he shared the sadness he felt for 9/11 victims, the service members who were killed or had a difficult time returning home from Afghanistan and Iraq, and the legacy of the war. In the years after 9/11, the war often made its way into his classroom discussions. At Regis, Baxter’s courses have included Peace and Justice in Catholic Social Thought and Catholic Social Justice. Often, at the beginning of the semester, Baxter will ask students to name the countries that border Afghanistan. It’s rare when civilian students can. Throughout his career, his position on war has remained the same. “We always were anti-war. But we say we don’t counsel pacifism or conscientious objection —we counsel young people and help them discern their consciences,” Baxter said. “Our phrase was, ‘We stop war one by one by one’ ... It’s work, it takes time, but it’s amazing. And it’s hopeful, too.” — SK


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R EG I S . E D U



HealthONE scholar brings passion for helping and healing to patients From the floor of an intensive care unit and at the bedside of COVID-19 patients, the background of Kendra Henderson’s workday is usually filled with the sound of machines beeping for her attention. In separate nursing jobs at two hospitals, the tasks add up quickly.

But in overwhelming moments, Henderson remembers the values she learned as an undergraduate nursing student at Regis and that are reinforced in her current courses in Regis’ Family Nurse Practitioner program. “There are so many beeps going, so many machines,” Henderson said. “And Regis really focuses on this: There are all of these machines, but they’re connected to a person. The person is what matters most. I always get compliments from my patients who say, ‘Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me, to get to know me, to ask about my home life, my social life, my spiritual life.’ So, the Jesuit values are very important.” When Henderson graduated with her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Regis in 2015, she was the first


in her family to earn a college-level degree. She made family history — but she wasn’t done. In 2018, she graduated with a Master’s degree in epidemiology from Oregon State University. One year into the Family Nurse Practitioner program, her resolve to serve patients continues. Henderson is among the first recipients of a scholarship created in partnership with HealthONE, the Denver metro area’s largest health care system. In 2020, Regis announced a partnership with the system to enhance educational and professional development opportunities, support career growth for clinicians and provide students with hands-on experience. “I thought this scholarship really fit: I’m a first-generation college graduate from a small town, Idaho Springs, with a vulnerable population,” Henderson said. “I was so grateful. Having that scholarship allowed me to cut back on shifts at my two separate jobs, and that was really helpful because I could focus on my studies.” Henderson, who is on track to graduate in August 2022, hopes to use her training to work in an urgent care setting with vulnerable

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Courtesy: Kendra Henderson

populations, including people experiencing homelessness and those who don’t have consistent access to care. In her current role, Henderson works as a nurse with the Rocky Mountain Regional VA Medical Center and Denver Health Medical Center, where she started her career. She also previously worked in a contract position at HealthONE hospitals. In every nursing job Henderson has worked, colleagues ask where she went to college. Their response is typically the same: “Everyone says, ‘Oh my gosh, Regis is such a good school,’” she said. “I truly think it’s because of the Jesuit values of magis, doing more and the best you can, and cura personalis, where you actually care for the whole person.” — SK



An entire month dedicated to highlighting scholarships available to our incoming students and celebrating our generous donors that made these scholarships possible.



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Visit to find a cause that speaks to you.







AT LAST WWII veteran and former Regis instructor presented with medals earned 75 years ago

BY Karen Augé PHOTOS BY Brett Stakelin

Rev. Edward F. Flaherty, Jr., S.J., has spent much of his 102 years serving others, in one form or another.

Last June, the retired Jesuit priest and former Regis instructor finally got the recognition he deserved for some of that service: treating injured soldiers during World War II. In a surprise ceremony at Regis’ Xavier Jesuit Center residence, U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Arvada) presented Flaherty with seven long overdue medals: the Army Good Conduct Medal; American Defense Service Medal; American Campaign Medal; Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with two Bronze Service Stars; World War II Victory Medal; Honorable Service Lapel Button – WWII; and Philippine Liberation Ribbon with one Bronze Service Star. Thanks to a nudge from Brother Glenn Kerfoot, S.J. at Xavier Center, Perlmutter’s office worked to procure the medals Flaherty had earned 75 years ago but never received. The ceremony featured letters of official thanks and lofty words about courage, commitment and selflessness from numerous dignitaries and elected officials, including Gov. Jared Polis. At the ceremony, Perlmutter noted that Flaherty, born in 1918 as the Spanish Flu raged, had survived not one, but two pandemics. “Thank you. That’s all I can say — thank you for all these commendations that I don’t feel worthy of accepting,” Flaherty told the gathered group. Clearly, none of the many friends and former colleagues who attended the ceremony shared that opinion. Before he


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pinned the medals on Flaherty’s chest, retired Army Major Gen. Steven P. Best noted that the former medic’s service didn’t end when he hung up his uniform, a sentiment echoed by Flaherty’s representative in Congress. “He has been a quiet force in our community for a very long time,” Perlmutter said. The community and the state of Colorado lost that quiet force last summer, as Flaherty headed, reluctantly, to a Jesuit retirement home in St. Louis. “I’ll miss Colorado,” he said before the medal ceremony. “It’s been a wonderful place to be.” In the summer of 1940, Flaherty was 22 years old with a new diploma from Rockhurst University, a Jesuit institution in Kansas City, Mo., and questions about what his future might hold. In September of that year, Uncle Sam gave him an answer. That year, with conflict erupting in East Asia and Hitler’s armies marching across Europe, the United States instituted its first peacetime draft. By the end of the war in 1945, 50 million men between ages 18 and 45 had registered for the draft and 10 million had been inducted in the military, according to The National World War II Museum. Flaherty was among the first to have his number come up, and more than a year before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor drew the United States into the war, he was in an Army uniform.

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“I was in the medical corps,” Flaherty said in an interview for Regis’ Stories from Wartime project. “I could not conceive myself as killing another human being — even an enemy ... something I couldn’t stomach.” Attached to an Army engineering corps, Flaherty’s duty in the Pacific reads like a listing of that theater’s major battle sites: Bougainville, Guadalcanal, the Philippines. Once Allied troops had secured a piece of ground, the engineering corps moved in, building supply roads and aircraft landing strips, and making the local water drinkable for occupying troops. More than 75 years later, Flaherty can still see the bodies of Japanese soldiers left behind on Guadalcanal after the bloody, pivotal battle there, and the city of Manila left in ruins. “I was in the Philippines when the atomic bomb was dropped,” ending the war, Flaherty said. From there, it was back home to Kansas City, where he lived with his parents, worked for Folgers Coffee, and once again, questioning what his future held.

He was ordained in 1965, then attended St. Mary’s College and the University of San Francisco “to get some advanced degrees,” Flaherty said. His education complete, he was assigned to Regis. “That’s how I got there, in 1968,” he said. At Regis Flaherty taught religious studies, particularly scripture, church history and the Old and New Testaments, and for a time lived in what he called the “pink palace.” Others might know it as Main Hall. After he left Regis in 1993, Flaherty served as a Lowry Air Force Base chaplain, and as a pastor at Shrine of St. Anne Catholic church in Arvada, Colo. Regardless of the job title, Flaherty said his favorite aspect of any role, whether it was teaching or serving as pastor, was “being with people” — something he did until he retired in 2017, at age 99. Last June, with his medals at last in place, Flaherty offered a few words to those gathered in what has been his hometown for the past 50-some years. “I hope that

Courtesy: Regis University Archives

“I had always wanted to be a priest – before the war. Then, after the war ... like a lot of young men and young people, I was upset, disturbed, didn’t know what I wanted to do. But finally, I did decide to make the move” to become a Jesuit priest.

the spirit that invigorated us back in World War II and Korea ... that that same spirit will be passed on to the younger generation today.” Flaherty lamented what he considers a reverence for material things taking priority over spiritual matters in too many lives today. And the man who readily admits he doesn’t like the spotlight jokingly complained that he hadn’t been given advance warning about the Friday morning ceremony. “Had I known this was coming, I would have fled to the mountains.”

Rose Campbell, associate director of the Center for the Study of War Experience, contributed to this story. 14

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Empowering THE FUTURE BY

Examining THE PAST

Nicki Gonzales, Ph.D., vice provost for diversity and inclusion and professor of history, was named Colorado’s state historian in August. In addition to preserving and sharing Colorado’s past, Gonzales made history herself by becoming the first Latino to hold the position.

Q: When did you know you wanted to become a historian? A: I always liked stories about real people in the past. I was not so much into

fantasy or fairy tales … it was the stories about Indian chiefs and I remember a series in my grade school library called Indian Warriors. It was a biography about people like Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse and Red Cloud and Chief Joseph. I loved those. And I grew up in a household where my Grandpa Stanley and my dad would talk a lot of history. As I got older, I started to ask questions about my own history, my family’s history. My parents didn’t like to talk a lot about the past because some of it was painful — a lot of racism and poverty. [In college] I took a class about the history of the American West with my beloved history professor at Yale, Dr. Howard Lamar, I was hooked. It was like going to the theater twice a week for lecture and it was the first time in an academic setting that I read history relevant to my own history. I started thinking, “Maybe I could do this for a living.”

Q: How does it feel to be the first Latino to become the Colorado historian?

A: I feel very privileged and very grateful for History Colorado. It also made

me feel really grateful to the people who helped me get my Ph.D. It also reminds me that I have a responsibility to the community, and I take that very seriously. Yes, I am a representative of the Latino community, but I also believe that I need to use whatever platform I have to build bridges between communities.

By Sara Knuth Photo Courtesy Nicki Gonzales This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Q: What are your priorities and goals for this role? A: One is to encourage kids to explore their family histories and have

conversations around family and community history. My experience working with kids has been that knowing your history is really empowering, especially for groups that have been historically marginalized and don’t often see themselves reflected in public monuments and traditional history books. My second priority is to promote and advocate for communities to tell their stories, particularly those communities that have been on the margins and have contributed in significant ways to Colorado history, whether they’re Indigenous or Black or Asian-American or Latino.

Q: What are some pieces of history that every Coloradan should know?

A: The Sand Creek Massacre is something that people need to be aware of

because it’s a window into the history of U.S. policy toward Indigenous people. We’re starting to grapple with the revelations around the residential Indian schools in Canada and the United States. And we’ve only scratched the surface, I believe, of the history of residential schools in the United States. I think what we’re going to find is going to be horrifying and sad and we need to grapple with that. Another would be women’s suffrage. Colorado is a leader, giving women the right to vote [in 1893] far ahead of the national right to vote in 1920. R EG I S . E D U



From his basement in Denver’s Central Park neighborhood — in between being dad to two little boys and working on a master’s in counseling at Regis — Tim Spalla saves cheetahs. He does this — does all three, really — with the passion and intensity he once brought to untangling terror networks. In fact, rescuing infant cheetahs from international wildlife smugglers requires many of the same skills he honed as an Army Ranger and counter-terrorism intelligence specialist. So deep is his commitment to saving wildlife that it took the birth of his second child to convince him to spend more time at home than hunting bad guys thousands of miles away.

When his first son, Harrison, was born six years ago, Spalla was thrilled. But he wasn’t ready to change his wandering ways. “I missed most of Harry’s first two years living in a stick hut in Africa.”

up the chain, following poachers, seeing where money changes hands, learning where and how the contraband moves from place to place, and eventually discovering the ultimate destination.

It took son Teddy’s arrival in 2018 to ground Spalla at home. “I held him in the delivery room, and it hit me: ‘My place is with these boys.’ I didn’t get the message the first time around, but I got it the second time.” Spalla said his wife, Ashley, is grateful that he did.

It’s a lot like what Spalla did in pursuit of the militant Islamist terror group al Shabab, or in tracking Joseph Kony, the Ugandan terrorist who led the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). The difference is that now he oversees the tracking operations from his basement.

“I had to find a way to make a difference overseas and not sacrifice my kids getting to have a dad.” He found that, and in the process, might also have found a way to preserve some of the planet’s most majestic species so they’ll be around when Harry and Teddy are grown. With his business partner, Tomas Maule, he created the Horn of Africa Conservation Alliance (HOACA) in 2015. The organization, which the National Geographic Society has supported since 2019, is dedicated to rescuing trafficked wildlife and disrupting their illegal sales. The work starts on the ground where the wildlife poaching begins. Then investigators work their way

It was Army intelligence work that first introduced Spalla to wildlife trafficking networks. Tracking the movement of elephant herds offered clues about the LRA’s movements and whereabouts because the group was poaching elephants, in part for their meat, in part to sell ivory to finance their terror activities. He credits his sister, Jess Spalla, who has devoted her career to caring for animals, with instilling in him the compassion that drove him to want to do something about it. HOACA’s focus now is on disrupting the pipeline that takes infant cheetahs from the Horn of Africa, particularly in Somaliland, across the Gulf of Aden and into Middle

Above and right: While Tim Spalla coordinates the Horn of Africa Conservation Alliance activities from his home in Denver, his partner, Tomas Maulé, typically works on the ground in Somaliland. Far right: Cheetah cubs rescued from smugglers often require a veterinarian’s care to survive.


Eastern countries like Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, where they are prized “luxury items.” Cheetah trafficking as chronicled in the National Geographic Magazine’s September issue, is a large and growing problem in the region. The government of Somaliland — an unrecognized independent, state within Somalia — has been particularly aggressive in fighting the trade, but it is ineligible for foreign assistance. “They are incredibly beautiful animals,” Spalla said, adding that is likely why they have become status symbols among the stratospherically rich. They also have, wrongly, gained a reputation for being tame, said Patricia Tricorache, who has spent more than 15 years working with groups such as the Cheetah Conservation Fund. “They do become habituated more easily and by instinct they prefer flight to fight,” said Tricorache, the illegal wildlife tracking assistant at Colorado State University’s Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory (NREL). International cheetah trade has been banned since 1975. Nevertheless, at

least 3,600 live cheetahs were sold between 2010 and 2019, according to a study Tricorache published this year. Tricorache and Spalla agree that fighting corruption and endemic poverty in African countries is key to saving cheetahs. A farmer might sell one cub for $50 to $100. “If you sell three cubs, that will feed a family of four for a long time. It’s about six months’ pay,” Tricorache said. The same cubs sold as pets can fetch thousands — if they survive being transported to Kuwait or Saudi Arabia. Typically, an entire litter of cheetah cubs is taken, often while the mother is out hunting. Tricorache estimates that for every 10 cubs taken, seven will not survive the journey. Working with local populations is crucial to HOACA’s mission, Spalla said. He and Maule have no intention of imposing their wildlife protection will on Somalilanders. “We recruit within the country, and we go in with the philosophy that we’re not going to solve anybody’s issue for them. It has to be grass roots and we have to leverage local government resources.” That’s not only the right thing to do, it’s pragmatic, because saving cheetahs requires buy-in from those who share the animals’ turf. “We meet

Photos: Tomas Maulé/Horn of Africa Conservation Alliance


them where they are, not where we envision they should be,” Spalla said. “Then we do the education: ‘This is what we see going on and this is how we see it connecting to your livelihood and this is the difference we can make if you’re willing to work with us.’” The world’s fastest land mammal has not been able to out run human predators; cheetahs have vanished from more than 90 percent of their original habitat. Because so many of the animals live in areas wracked by violence, it is difficult to get a true count of cheetahs in the wild. Official estimates put the number around 7,000 and the species is officially listed as “vulnerable” by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). However, based on more recent surveys, conservation groups are calling for cheetahs to be declared endangered. Even if they weren’t a favorite of poachers, thriving wouldn’t be easy for cheetahs. The Horn of Africa faces environmental degradation, and the feline carnivores have a

habit of killing sheep, which makes them a target of shepherds trying to protect their livelihood. Although the Somaliland government has committed to helping to protect wildlife, the country is contending with “climate change, a post-conflict economy and social issues, and there is not a lot of hope for these animals,” Spalla said. But there has been progress, Tricorache said, noting that some countries in the Middle East, including the United Arab Emirates, have officially banned private cheetah ownership.

The first stop along the road that took Spalla from the Iowa dairy farm where he grew up to the Horn of Africa, and ultimately to Denver, was the University of Northern Iowa, where he earned degrees in history, anthropology and international relations. As an undergraduate, he watched the United States military invade Baghdad, knowing an older brother was part of that operation. “It broke my heart that there was nothing I could do to protect him,” Spalla said. The one thing he could do, he figured, was join the Army, too. So, “pumped up on bravado and patriotism,” he found a recruiting office and signed up. By 2006, he was an Army Ranger, working in intelligence, conducting everything from battlefield interrogations to forensic evidence collection, to discover not just the identities of those who planted bombs but to track down those who gave the orders for terrorist acts, and those who financed them. Saving wildlife has another feature in common with stopping terrorism: Both are longshots. But Spalla feels he has to try. “I do it for my kids. I spent 10 years in Africa and saw these beautiful,

Courtesy: Tim Spalla

powerful creatures.” If someone doesn’t take action, he said, “A lot of them will disappear and my kids won’t have a chance to see them.” Saving an entire species and being a stay-at-home dad to two young boys would be more than enough to pack into a day for most people. But somehow Spalla works in earning a master’s degree. “I never had a therapist at the (Veterans Affairs) who was a combat veteran. There are a lot of amazing therapists, but nobody who knew what it was like to be there. As people who’ve been in [combat], we pick up on that disconnect between us and them.” Spalla said bridging that disconnect is nothing short of a calling. This semester, he began an internship working with troubled inmates at the Denver County Jail. After he finishes his master’s at Regis this year, the plan is to begin work on a doctorate in trauma-specific therapy. Spalla and his family lived in North Carolina when he and business partner Maule first created HOACA. “We built a big operations center and ran it from the house. I was rocking the kid with one hand and working on the computer with the other.” That is, when he was home. Back then, he still traveled to Africa frequently. “We did some highly visible projects in Kenya with rhinos and elephant poaching in Mozambique.” When Teddy was born in 2018 and Spalla was determined to run his wildlife-saving operation from home, he decided it also was time to pursue the advanced degrees that would launch his counseling career. As a neonatal intensive care nurse, his wife Ashley could work anywhere. So, the couple decided they wanted to live and raise their kids in Denver, and Spalla applied to graduate programs here. “I am so fortunate that Regis was the only place that took me. I ended up exactly where I needed to be. I

cannot imagine a better program; my professors have changed my life,” he said. A lot of people may fantasize about thwarting terrorism. Or saving wildlife. Or healing trauma’s wounds. Few people actually make the leap from imagining to doing any of those things. Spalla isn’t sure what it is in his DNA or his wiring that propelled him to tackle all three. “I seem to find problems that seem impossible to solve and then just throw myself at them. I do fail, I fail all the time. But I’ve always felt my calling in this life is to find the hard problems and do something about it. That is the example I want to set for my kids.” The work helps him heal as well. “There is a lot of difficult stuff I carry with me on a daily basis. The act of trying to make the world a better place helps me sleep at night.”

RUNWILD with cheetahs*

The annual Running Wild race is back! And you don’t have to be cheetah-fast to participate. Runners have until Dec. 1 to complete a one-mile fun run, 5K or 10K, and everyone who registers gets a cheetah-themed t-shirt. Or sign up for Run Wild in Your Dreams and support wildlife from the comfort of your couch. You’ll still get that coveted t-shirt. Now in its sixth year, Running Wild has raised more than $30,000 for conservation causes, said race director Janet Rumfelt, Ph.D., chair of the Regis Liberal Arts Department. Rumfelt has been actively working with animal conservation efforts since 2014 and is board president of the Africa Network for Animal Welfare USA. “Human behavior — poaching and illegally trafficking in African wildlife — is the main cause of these animals being at risk for extinction,” she said. This year, proceeds from the race benefit four wildlife-protection organizations: Wildlife Protection Solutions, the Cheetah Conservation Fund, the Big Life Foundation and the Africa Network for Animal Welfare-USA. Register and learn more at *on your shirt

The Little Cemetery That Moved The journey of 43 Regis Jesuits and one Irish boy BY Kim O’Neill PHOTOS COURTESY Regis University Archives


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It was a bright May afternoon in 1900 when Jack McDonnell walked out of his class in Main Hall into the sunshine and headed north across the College of the Sacred Heart campus. Jack, 16, a popular boy with a lyric Irish accent, was a third-year student in the high school that, in those days, was called the Academic Department of Sacred Heart College. He’d just returned to the Northwest Denver Campus after a visit to his hometown in Ireland where his father lived and where his mother had recently died.

No one knows where Jack was headed that afternoon. Wherever it was, he didn’t make it. Just north of Main Hall, Jack collapsed. Distraught classmates rushed to his side and Rev. Modestus Izaguirre, S.J., who was nearby, knelt beside Jack, trying to revive him, but soon realized all he could do was offer absolution. According to the College Diary — a daily log officially called Diarrium Collegii Denveriani a sacratissmo corde, Jack, lying prone in the dirt “died between the College [Main Hall] and the Playhall [gym] at

3:20 p.m. The cause was a violent hemorrhage from the lungs. In five minutes it was all over.” The school’s physician, Dr. James Devlin, arrived, pronounced Jack dead, and said even if he had gotten there earlier, there was “simply nothing” he could have done to save the boy. After Jack’s death, the Diary noted that he had “weak lungs,” and had been sick a month before his death. So, two days later, on May 12, 1900, John J. “Jack” McDonnell became the first, and only, student to be buried in Regis’ cemetery.

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When the four-story building called Main Hall was built in 1887, it housed classrooms, and was home to the boys and young men — “perfect gentlemen” as the 1900 College catalogue stipulated — who came to study, as well as the Jesuit priests and brothers who taught there. Of course, the men who devoted their lives to educating young men would eventually die. And so, Rev. Dominic Pantanella, S.J., one of the college’s founders, created a cemetery on campus. Photographs and maps from the turn of the last century show that the little cemetery, set off by a low fence, sat beneath a row of then-young trees east of where St. Peter Claver, S.J., Hall stands now. Regis’ Little Cemetery of the Jesuits, as it was known, eventually was the final resting place for 43 priests, lay teachers and brothers — and one student, Jack McDonnell. Jack had come to Sacred Heart in 1898, and some speculated that his family might have hoped Denver’s dry climate would benefit his health. In 1900, as the college catalogue indicates, most Sacred Heart students were from Colorado, but a handful came from as far away as Iowa, Michigan, even Canada. No one, though, had traveled as far as Jack to master the liberal arts on the “beautiful knoll overlooking the Clear Creek Valley.” Over the years, the story has been repeated that Jack’s father couldn’t afford to have his son’s body shipped home to Ireland. But that seems unlikely, given that Jack had just


traveled back to County Mayo for a visit. And, according to the 1901 Irish census, his father, Michael McDonnell, was a merchant and landowner. His uncle, meanwhile, was a wealthy senator from Dublin. Not to mention the fact that Jack’s family was able to pay Sacred Heart’s $110 cost per term — the equivalent of about $3,500 today. The real reason Jack’s body stayed in Denver might have had more to do with the nature of his death — possibly caused by tuberculosis, known then as consumption — and fears about disease transmission if the body were transported across the ocean. Whatever the reason, the Jesuits agreed to bury Jack in their little campus cemetery. On May 12, according to the Diary, the entire school and members of the community gathered in the college chapel for a service witnesses agreed would have brought comfort to Jack’s father. A high requiem mass was sung, led by the college president, Rev. John J. Brown, S.J., and Pantanella gave a sermon. Then eight acolytes, pallbearers and friends walked the body to the cemetery. In June, a large tombstone — larger than the ones that adorned the Jesuits’ graves — was added, and Jack’s grave was set off from the Jesuits’ by an iron fence. Most of the others buried in the little cemetery were marked by a modest stone, each inscribed with the deceased’s name, birth date and death date, in Latin.

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The Little Cemetery of the Jesuits was the resting place of 43 Jesuit priests and one student until it was relocated to Mount Olivet in 1958.


But those stark facts don’t tell the full story of the remarkable lives and notable accomplishments of many of those buried there. Men like Rev. Armand Forstall, S.J., who, according to the University Archives, was a professor of math, chemistry, physics and engineering, and director of the college’s Assaying Department. He was renowned for creating and directing the Seismic Station on campus and for bringing one of the nation’s only seismographs to Regis. At his death in 1948, the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America noted, “Almost at the exact time of Father Forstall’s death, the large Dominican Republic earthquake began recording on the Regis seismographs.” There also was Brother Ben Tovani, who created the original Grotto of Our Lady, adorning the shrine with trinkets. His name now is carved into a stone on the recently remodeled grotto, now called Our Lady of Loretto. And Rev. Conrad Bilgery, S.J., whose discovery of mammoth fossils at a Weld County site known as Dent made news and history. According to the March 15, 1935, edition of the student newspaper, The Brown and Gold, Bilgery, “with a corps of enthusiastic students from Regis, explored the mammoth bed at Dent from September to November, 1932 ... when the approach of winter halted them.”

A priest looks over the grave of Jack McDonnell, the only student buried in the on-campus cemetery.

The Dent site eventually yielded bones from 14 mammoths, two of which were complete enough to be

reconstructed for display. One of them went on display at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, making it one of the first museums in the country to exhibit a largely restored mammoth skeleton. Records show the oldest birth date on any tombstone in the little cemetery was that of Rev. John Guida, S.J., born in 1828. But pre-dating his Sacred Heart colleagues in age was hardly Guida’s greatest claim to fame. According to Georgetown University’s online archives, Guida was a philosophy professor on the Washington, D.C., campus in April, 1865. And, in the chaotic aftermath of President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination, Guida was mistaken for John Wilkes Booth and arrested. The Jesuit priest was held in a military camp in Virginia until the real assassin was caught on a farm in Virginia. And ultimately, Pantanella, the priest credited with building the College of the Sacred Heart and who set aside land for the cemetery, also would be laid to rest there. But those 44 souls would not rest there for eternity. In 1956, college leaders decided Regis had to grow. And the little cemetery, which by then had fallen into disrepair and become the frequent target of vandals, stood in the way. The Archdiocese of Denver allowed the graves to be moved to Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Wheat Ridge. So, on Sept. 27, 1958, backhoes arrived on campus. By the end of the day, 44 graves had been dug up, and

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44 caskets were taken from Regis and moved to Mt. Olivet Cemetery, probably by train. Christopher Thoennes, of Mt. Olivet, officially known as Catholic Funeral & Cemetery Services of Northern Colorado, found no record of how those bodies were moved, but he said by train would have been a logical choice, given the campus’ and Mt. Olivet’s proximity to railroad tracks. The 43 men, and one boy, were re-buried in new graves, and new grave markers were placed for each. The graves of these pioneer Jesuits and an Irish boy from County Mayo may be visited in the Catholic clergy section of Mt. Olivet Cemetery, not far from the chapel where notable bishops of the Archdiocese of Denver lie.

Original tombstones are currently stored in the basement of Main Hall.

John “Jack” McDonnell’s grave marker at Mount Olivet Cemetery.

Most of the original stones are lost to time and weather and progress. But, according to the student newspaper The Brown and Gold, a few have been uncovered over the years in the ground between Loyola Hall and the Felix Pomponio Family Science Center. Those tombstones now lie beneath Main Hall, tucked away in a basement room. Through the years, ghost stories regarding movements of spirits on the upper floors of Main Hall, Carroll Hall or the campus grounds have been reported by campus newspapers or passed along by faculty and staff. These sightings may or may not be related to the spirits left behind in the absent cemetery or of those who passed away on the campus grounds.

Kim O’Neill is an associate professor and a research and instruction librarian at the Dayton Memorial Library. If you have questions, comments or information about this story, contact her at Cassidy Nemick and Hannah Miller, in the Digital Initiatives & Preservation Department at Dayton Memorial Library, contributed to research for this story.


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PRACTICE FIELDS MAKE PERFECT COMING with very special thanks to


The future home of the Regis University Rangers soccer, lacrosse and rugby and Arrupe Jesuit High School Generals soccer teams will feature ecofriendly artificial turf, energy efficient precision LED lights and two new electronic scoreboards.


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MILE-HIGH MFA faculty write their own success stories While the rest of us were bingeing Ted Lasso, baking sourdough and collecting Amazon boxes last year, Regis’ storied group of writers and instructors with Regis’ Mile-High MFA program must have been busy creating, editing and generally adding to their already stellar list of accomplishments. This year, they are reaping the rewards of their hard work with books coming out, and awards coming in. Here’s a brief look at a few of their accomplishments.


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ACHIEVERS STEVEN DUNN Steven Dunn’s career as a writer started at an art show. Originally a visual artist, he was showing his work in downtown Denver when his wife commented on how many words were in his paintings. He realized she had a point. “So, that’s when I started writing,” Dunn said. The career change has paid off. The author of two novels this year became one of 10 writers to win the 2021 Whiting Award in fiction. The award, which carries a $50,000 prize, recognizes “excellence and promise” in emerging talent. According to the Whiting Foundation. Dunn’s fiction, “has no varnish, only the reporting of life in its dizzying plenitude.” Both of his novels draw on Dunn’s life growing up in West Virginia and serving in the Navy. In Potted Meat, “I wanted to write about poverty from the inside of it, instead of being this person who has transcended poverty and is now writing about it condescendingly,” he said. “I wanted to write about full Black lives in West Virginia the best I could.” In water & power, he drew from his experiences in the military. “Most narratives you see from the military are from straight white men,” he said. “Their narratives are more valued than anybody’s. And it’s also a singular heroic narrative. So, I wanted to bring more voices in that aren’t usually represented in literature.”

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SUZI Q. SMITH Suzi Q. Smith has built a career, and a national reputation, on using words to deliver sometimes uncomfortable truths. In the course of that career, Smith has compiled an impressive resume: published poet, activist, community organizer, lecturer, artist. She was the founding “slammaster” of Slam Nuba, Denver’s now-famous poetry slam. As one of Mile-High MFA program’s newest affiliate faculty, she now also helps others find their words. To her, poetry is an act of spirituality as much as it is reflection and care for the soul. “Writing helps us with what we’ve inherited. What we were given. What we have chosen. What we were chosen to do,” Smith notes. She describes her own creative process as a balance between the excess and void, “Poems come from the excess of emotion. Emotions are heavy. Artists make something or explode.” Luckily for readers everywhere, Smith chose to create, not explode. Her newest collection, Poems for the End of the World, examines beginnings and endings, and the ways transitions can both damage and save us.

Mario Acevedo may be best known for his five-book series chronicling the adventures of Iraq war veteran and vampire private investigator Felix Gomez. As if that weren’t proof enough of his active imagination, he also has authored a graphic novel, short fiction and a young adult novel. This year, two books Acevedo co-authored hit the shelves: Luther, Wyoming, a novel of the West co-authored with Tomas Alamilla, and Broken Destiny, co-authored with Mark Verwiel. Broken Destiny is not a novel but a historical account of Sgt. William M. O’Loughlin, a tail gunner in World War II who was killed when his airplane was shot down over Italy. On his website, Acevedo notes that Catch-22 author Joseph Heller served as a bombardier in that war, and that “in the book I mused that had O’Loughlin survived the war, perhaps he, too, might’ve penned a literary classic.” On the other hand, Acevedo calls Luther, Wyoming, “a gritty blend of Frontier drama and pulp fiction.” The plot revolves around a sheriff, a Civil War veteran, stolen loot, murderous bandits and, of course, violent revenge.



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JANNA GOODWIN Janna Goodwin’s collection of essays, The End of the World Notwithstanding: Stories I Lived to Tell, might signal the close of her first career. It definitely has raised the curtain on her next. After three decades writing and performing onstage, Goodwin’s interest shifted toward writing. But she wrote one last piece before retiring from theater. The resulting hour-long solo comedy piece was a success from New York to Denver, and the pieces she published based on the show eventually became The End of the World. In the book, Goodwin details anxiety about the possibility of encountering a tsunami in the Pacific Northwest, a near-encounter with a tornado and delves into deeper topics, including one chapter about sexual assault that never made it into the live performance. “I wanted to tell these stories in the show, (but) my director and some preview audiences said it changed it from a kind of lively and light-hearted comedy,” she said. “‘I took it out of the show. The whole chapter was put back in when I realized that it might fly in a literary collection a little bit better. And I think it does.”


DAVID HESKA WANBLI WEIDEN David Heska Wanbli Weiden has had a busy year, keeping track of all the honors, awards and nominations that have piled on his first novel, Winter Counts. The novel by Weiden, an enrolled member of the Sicangu Lakota nation, has been described as “a Native thriller, an examination of the broken criminal justice system on reservations, and a meditation on Native identity.” Weiden’s flawed hero, Virgil Wounded Horse, is a sort of vigilante on South Dakota’s Rosebud Reservation, where the author spent time during his childhood. Wounded Horse is the guy crime victims turn to for the “justice” they can’t get from federal officials and tribal police. But the story apparently resonated with readers, reviewers and award-givers far beyond the reservation. Winter Counts won the 2021 Barry Award for best first novel, was nominated for the prestigious 2021 Edgar Award for Best First Novel, the Spur Awards for Best Contemporary Novel and Best First Novel and the Macavity Award, the Barry Award and the Thriller Award, all for best first novel. And, it won the High Plains Book Award for Indigenous Writer. There are more, but you get the idea.

Jenny Shank grew up in Denver, and her hometown is the setting for several stories in her latest collection, Mixed Company. The stories, which examine the ways people forge connections, or fail to, often against a backdrop of racial tension, won the 2020 George Garrett Fiction Prize.


In stories that name drop Denver locations, Shank takes us back to school. Lightest Lights Against Darkest Darks follows a white student who is bused to a majority Black middle school, where she navigates relationships in unfamiliar territory and becomes enchanted by a charismatic and racially ambiguous art teacher.  In Hurts, a scrappy, majority-Black girls’ basketball team fights prejudice and the benefits of wealth as they take on the girls of an affluent mountain-town school. The characters are fictional, but the experiences Shank bases them on are real. As a child, she was bused from her southeast Denver neighborhood to schools across town. Busing to promote integration and greater equity in schools was a controversial practice that prompted many white families to run for the suburbs. But Shank said she’s thankful for the experience. “It shaped my whole life. I met so many people I would never have met otherwise, who are still my friends.” Those friends from different parts of town, different backgrounds, different races, no doubt provided Shank the writer with not only rich material to draw from, but broader empathy and understanding.

TAKE YOUR WRITING TO NEW HEIGHTS Regis University’s Mile-High MFA is a low-residency creative writing program that provides one-on-one instruction in poetry, fiction or creative nonfiction. Our unique focus on both the craft and business of writing prepares you to launch your career as a professional writer.



How Jesuit education guides Compass Academy’s philosophy and mission By Sara Knuth Photos by Barry “Bear” Gutierrez

During the first week of school, sixth-grader Pablo Bermudez brought a bag full of his favorite things to class: a trophy he won with his football team, a Denver Broncos jersey and a book his teachers in Spain made for him before he moved to the United States. He was most excited to share his Spain soccer jersey, making sure to point out that the country’s national team won the 2010 World Cup. When he showed his class at Compass Academy his favorite Harry Potter book, it sparked a conversation.


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“Have you seen the movies?” teacher Raquel Jacinto asked her class at the Denver charter school that’s located in a stretch of hallway in Abraham Lincoln High School. “¿Habéis visto las películas?” she repeated. Some students responded in Spanish, others in English. For the bilingual students, the activity helped set the tone for the rest of the school year. At the same time, students in neighboring classrooms up and down the hallway were taking part in similar activities. Regardless of grade-level, all Compass Academy students start their day with the same

From left: Regis alumni Raquel Jacinto, Brandon Jones, Sarah Craig and Daylan Bradshaw at Compass Academy within Denver’s Lincoln High School.

class, similar to a homeroom, that focuses on social, emotional and academic development. In Sarah Craig’s class, students talked about strategies they can use to calm themselves. In Daylan Bradshaw’s class, they reflected on what self-awareness means. Located on a stretch of Denver’s south Federal Boulevard that is home to many immigrants and financially struggling families, Compass Academy’s philosophy is to celebrate its sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders’ cultural differences, acknowledge their individual strengths and learning styles while building academic achievement and creating what the school website calls “pathways from poverty to postsecondary success.” They’re doing it with a lot of help from Regis graduates.

classrooms across the country for a year. The course is part of an alternative teacher licensure program authorized by Regis that gives City Year participants the opportunity to take Regis courses remotely. As part of the program, Jones teaches a course called “Creating Environments of Joy and Belonging.” In addition to the program, traditional Regis education students often complete their required practicum hours at Compass Academy, and some — including Jacinto, Craig and Bradshaw — go on to teach there.

Meeting Students Where They Are

Jacinto, Craig and Bradshaw are Regis graduates, as is Brandon Jones, the school’s director of academics and development. The school, which receives financial support from the OAK Foundation through Johns Hopkins University and City Year AmeriCorps, has a close partnership with the University.

As of the 2020-2021 school year, Compass’ free and reduced lunch rate — a measure that serves as an indication of poverty — was among the highest in the state at 92 percent. All but 23 of the school’s 287 students qualify for lunch assistance. But lunch assistance isn’t all students can receive. Compass also provides breakfast to students who might otherwise not get it, and offers a program that allows families to receive dinners and snacks.

Jones teaches a seminar course through City Year, a program that sends young adults into underserved

The school teaches students from around the world, from Mexico, Central America and South America R EG I S . E D U


“I feel like the best way I can give back [is to] open the door for them the same way Regis opened the door for me.”

Brandon Jones Director of Academics and Development Compass Academy

to China, Korea and countries in Africa. Of the total population, 253 students, or 88 percent, are Hispanic or Latino, according to the Colorado Department of Education. More than half of the students are learning English as a second language. In Jacinto’s class, each student brought a “Me Box” to school at the start of the year after she sent the students home with 20 questions about themselves. The students, in turn, had to answer the questions by bringing an object from home. “We serve a lot of newcomers to the country,” Brandon Jones said. “Raquel speaks Spanish in her class. So many of them are only-Spanish speakers ... In this class, they’re encouraged to speak whatever language they feel comfortable with. This is a really comfortable space for them because they can do that.” The school is bi-literate, which means non-native English speakers learn English and deepen their academic skills in Spanish, according to the school. Students who speak English receive Spanish instruction. Compass also uses an integrated academic and social-emotional model, which helps students master academic content through critical thinking, collaborative work and effective communication.

The Regis Educator Pipeline Jones, who graduated from Regis in 2005, has helped nearly 40 Regis students and alumni gain classroom experience in the five years he has been with the school, he said, and for good reason. For Jones, his experience at Regis helped shape him as a teacher and administrator who works with underserved kids. “I am a huge proponent of the Regis education,” he said. “We’re creating a pipeline back and forth because when it comes time to hire, I prefer to hire people that I’ve met before, who are interested. I know how Regis teaches, and that’s what we expect here.”


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Brandon Jones jokes that if he returned to his high school in Loveland, Colo., and told his former teachers that he is a school administrator who runs a successful education consulting business on the side, “they might pass out.” “I was not very studious when I was younger,” he said. “I thought I was a basketball player, and there was nothing else [in] life besides basketball.” When he was a junior in high school, Jones needed a course to round out his semester. Reading a list of classes, nothing looked interesting, except “Elementary Tutoring.” Every day, he showed up at a local elementary school, where he gravitated toward the kids who needed the most help, and the experience resonated with him. Jones’ education career officially took off in Tennessee, where he played college basketball and secured a job at a disadvantaged school. Shortly after that, he transferred to Regis to play basketball and finish his four-year degree in elementary education. A couple of years after graduation, he moved to California with his wife, Regis nursing graduate Jane Jones, and took a job teaching eighth-grade English at a charter school in East Palo Alto. While Palo Alto may be the heart of Silicon Valley and home to tech billionaires and Stanford University, East Palo Alto, a mere two miles away, is home to many who live below the poverty line. In that town, Jones found a passion for teaching disadvantaged students. “If you walk out of University Avenue, straight out of Stanford University, and you just keep walking, eventually the street starts to deteriorate, the stop lights don’t work, there’s no sidewalk, and you’re in East Palo Alto,” he said. “It’s a very small community. It’s only two- or three-square miles, but it’s an extremely diverse community with a large Polynesian population, a large Latino population, Black population.” After Jones’ students went to high school, he said, “they were extremely segregated. When you walked into any of these schools, all of the white and Asian

kids were in AP classes, literally on one side of the school. All of our Latino, Black, Polynesian students were on the other side of the school. They had their own hallways, no matter their proficiencies in English, no matter their test scores.”

classrooms?’ He was in the crowd ... he said, ‘We need you to meet our executive director,’” Jones said. He got the job at Compass. “It was really a full circle moment of teaching, consulting and education in California and Colorado.”

That motivated Jones and his colleagues: A team of teachers went to the school board with a proposal to start a new high school in East Palo Alto. The proposal failed. But Jones, still competitive after his years of basketball, was determined to find other ways to serve students. He became a founding member of Downtown College Prep in San Jose, Calif., where he taught before becoming principal. There, he started training teachers to work with underserved students, and turned it into a consulting business.

Five years later, many of the teachers who were trained by Jones during his first year are still with the school, he said. Additionally, Jones said the school’s focus on biliterate education and relationship-building has played a role in academic improvements.

An Educator Comes Home — and Comes Full Circle The business played a role in securing his job at Compass when Jones moved his growing family, with a son Noah and twins Maya and Logan, back to Colorado. When he arrived, he asked a mentor about schools in the area. “At the time, Compass was under direct threat of being shut down because of performance, probably rightfully so,” he said. “The teachers here were not the right ones to be doing the job. So instead of applying, I actually just called the school and said, ‘I don’t know if you’re hiring or what your positions look like, but I’m new to the area. You’re who I want to work with.’” Dressed in casual clothes, he showed up to the school 15 minutes later and ran into Nate Kerr, City Year’s senior director of school design and improvement, a nationwide role created in partnership with City Year, Compass and Johns Hopkins University. “And Nate comes down to the office, turns and looks and at me and goes, ‘Did you run a seminar in San Francisco on creating joy and belonging in schools and

Regis prepared Jones — and many of the teachers he hires — for the challenge. Jones said Regis’ small environment suited him. “I was at a huge comprehensive [college] in Tennessee and I was lost in the crowd, just another number,” he said. “When I got to Regis, they not only gave you attention, but they also held me accountable, which no one had ever done before. I was just a basketball player. They made me a great teacher and held me accountable to that.” The Regis experience meant so much to Jones that when he moved back to Colorado from California, the University was one of his first stops. “I feel like I owe a little bit back to them for what they were able to teach and give to me,” Jones said. “In a way, I feel like the best way I can give back is helping other people at Regis who are interested in education. I should open the door for them the same way Regis opened the door for me.”

Jesuit Foundation Sustains Grads The first year of teaching is always rough. For Raquel Jacinto, being a first-year teacher during a pandemic sometimes felt impossible. She remembers taking a phone call from Jones last year. She didn’t want the conversation to last long. “I said, ‘I don’t want to talk right now because I’m going to cry,’” she said. “And he said, ‘It’s OK, just cry.’ And I was

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“ ...he said, ‘No, don’t quit. You’ve got this.’ And so, I believed it.” aquel Jacinto R Teacher, Compass Academy

just bawling and crying and telling him how I wanted to quit. And he said, ‘No don’t quit. You’ve got this.’ And so, I believed it. Then, I cried some more.” Jacinto said her colleagues and mentors, fellow Regis alumni Sarah Craig, who received her education degree in 2016 and Master of Development Practice in 2018, and Daylan Bradshaw, who received his education degree in 2016, helped her through the school year. “I truly cannot imagine being at a better school [than Compass],” she said. “Just having graduated and going through a pandemic and having the support system that I had has been amazing.”

COVID-19 Challenges Magnified During the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Compass students faced a challenge experienced by many disadvantaged students: Lack of access to internet and technology. The school ultimately provided computers and hot spots to students who needed them. Jones relied on his connections in California, where they experienced lockdowns before Colorado did, for advice. “We made it through the year,” Jones said. “I wouldn’t say that we made it through the year with huge success. I would say that we worked as hard as we could to do the best we could with the situation we were in. But there are some data points that show that the students who showed up, and participated and did the work, grew, which is crazy, especially with the amount of second-language learners at our school [who were] learning through a computer.” Making it through the school year was tough. For Jacinto, support stretched beyond Compass. Almost every other week, she heard from Regis faculty, including interim Regis College Dean and Division of Education Professor Heidi Barker, Ph.D., who called to see how she was progressing.


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“No one really prepared us for what happened [during COVID-19],” Jacinto said. “But I still have very strong connections with a lot of my professors back at Regis, who are still checking in on me.” In Daylan Bradshaw’s classroom, students worked in dim lighting, with music playing in the background, and reflected on what self-awareness meant to them. Eighth-grader Jessica Brown, 13, said teachers made returning to school this year easier. “I think COVID [2020] was the hardest year for me, and it definitely gave me anxiety going back to school because I’m not used to all of these people,” she said. “In person, I feel way better because I talk to the teachers, and I connect with them a lot more being face to face, rather than computer to computer.” Bradshaw, Sarah Craig and other teachers have given her space, she said. When she goes to high school next year, Brown knows what she’ll miss most at Compass. “I’m definitely going to miss this place, and all of my teachers — I’m definitely going to miss my teachers,” she said. Jones said he’s grateful for a similar experience he had at Regis. The faculty were different than those he had experienced elsewhere. “It wasn’t just one. It was all of them that expressed the same type of support for people,” Jones said. “Because I experienced that, I tell people when I hire them, ‘Everybody thinks back to high school, where that one teacher had an impact on them. We’re not hiring for one teacher to have that impact, we’re hiring for every one of you to have an impact.’ And that’s modeled off the impact those professors had on me. It wasn’t just one of them — it was all of them.”


Regis University launches historic fundraising campaign to help students, faculty and staff seek, be and do more.

We are a community capable of extraordinary impact. Manifest Magis, a $150 million comprehensive campaign, is our bold statement as a testament to our Jesuit Catholic heritage and a commitment to being and doing more. These stories highlight our four giving priorities in action and how you can make a difference for the Regis of today — and tomorrow. Join us in living our mission as we achieve, unite, transform and create.

Profiles by Dawn Schipper Photos by The Unfound Door



We place education first in all that we do.

The beginning of something very exciting Regis Associate Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences Chris Malarkey is on the cusp of continuing gastric cancer research that has the potential to shape the future. His work, submitted to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for a grant, received positive feedback in Peer Review. It focuses on the role of immunestimulating molecules called lipopolysaccharides (LPS), found on the surface of gastric cancer-causing H. pylori bacteria. A protein called SOX2 was key to learning how these cells moved from a healthy to diseased state. “This is potentially a previously unrecognized mechanism for the formation of gastric cancer,” Malarkey said.

“We’re unraveling mysteries other people have not figured out yet. Overall, it’s about helping humanity. That all happens through research.” – Chris Malarkey Associate Professor

New research opens doors for students With Regis students, Malarkey is continuing his research. “We are able to show that SOX2 binds to LPS, and are identifying a region of SOX2 has the potential to kill H. pylori,” he said.

Did You Know? $120,000 could help provide faculty and students with research technology

M A N I F E S T M AG I S P R I O R I T Y / / FA C U LT Y R E S E A R C H

This offers students groundbreaking experience, making them attractive to top graduate programs and career opportunities. “(They) are always a part of the process, and I couldn’t do this without their help.” While only approximately 10 percent of NIH grants receive funding, private support allows research like Malarkey’s to continue.



We are the Jesuit Catholic University at the heart of the Rocky Mountain West.

Regis made him a better global citizen Dan Finley ’20 arrived with 30 credit hours from high school and could have graduated early. The thought never crossed his mind. “I wanted to get as much as possible out of my time in college and learn as much as I could,” he said. He came to Regis looking for a program in Computer Science. Academically, the accelerated Bachelorsto-Master’s program allowed him to achieve his professional goals in Software Engineering even faster. His passion for learning resulted in three additional minors – Mathematics, Peace and Justice Studies, and Community Food Systems.

“A gift to Regis will have both an immediate and exponential effect on our community. You will be educating a new generation of global citizens.” – Dan Finley '20

Did You Know? Regis students complete over 60,000 service hours in an academic year

Becoming men and women for and with others A Regis volunteering opportunity at Sister Gardens, an urban farm, sparked his interest in the Jesuit Catholic commitment to community and service. As a farmhand, Finley worked to clear beds, plant seeds and harvest crops. “I learned how sustainable urban agriculture can help to not only address environmental concerns, but also justice issues,” he remembers. The recent graduate and scholarship recipient is grateful for expanding his global understanding while at Regis and shares the value of private support in making it possible. “My story wouldn’t be possible if it hadn’t been for donor generosity.”

M A N I F E S T M AG I S P R I O R I T Y / / C O M M U N I T Y A N D S E RV I C E

More than 90 percent of students receive financial aid She was 16 and working her first job as a cashier at McDonald’s. Cody Teets ’97 had every intention of leaving the fast-food industry after college, not anticipating the high-level career she had always imagined. “I grew up extremely poor, living on welfare and subsidies,” Teets recalls. “I knew from an early age that I wanted to be able to support my mom and future family. College was a must.” She kept working hard, eventually going on to pursue a Master of Business Administration at Regis. “It was difficult working full-time, traveling for my job, getting my MBA and being a wife and mom,” she remembers.

“NOW is the time for all of us to ‘do more’ to influence those who will impact the future.” – Cody Teets, '97


Opportunity We rise to the moment for excellence in the Regis experience of today.

Did You Know? 200+ scholarships offered in 2020 represented over $3 million in student financial aid

Scholarship support enables educational aspirations All that work paid off, when she became McDonald’s Vice President of Franchise Relations, writing a book, Golden Opportunity, Remarkable Stories of Success. Now she is an affiliate professor in the Regis MBA program and a member of the Regis University Board of Trustees. Teets is passionate about ensuring access to a transformative Regis education. “My husband Dan and I have set up a scholarship to help students in tough financial situations move forward,” she shares. “With obstacles that exist for low-income families to access college, I take it as my responsibility to give back. I want to help others on their climb.”

$6 million in new scholarships for students announced We are pleased to announce a generous commitment by Richard and Mary Pat McCormick to provide nearly 10 full-ride merit endowed scholarships for students to attend Regis. Thank you!




We invest in and build upon the foundations of our past.

Bringing the vision of our founders to life “Unconventional.” That’s how Chad DeLine ’19 describes his most transformative Regis moment. He was one of a handful of students in attendance when administration and faculty began laying the groundwork for the University’s master plan. “I became fascinated with the need to see the school succeed and become a staple of the Colorado west,” DeLine recalls. As a student Leadership Scholar, he enjoyed being involved on campus. “It allowed me to see the school in a different light,” he remembers.

“In order to build the ‘greater’ and the ‘more’, we need to realize what that takes. Noble deeds lead to the ‘more’ and allow Regis to excel.” –C had DeLine, '19

A campus design for the future Continuing his leadership as a member of the Manifest Magis committee, DeLine feels the next several years will be paramount. In his last year as an Economics major, a $10 million gift from Andy Anderson RC ’90 elevated the business school, becoming the Anderson College of Business and Computing. “I had noticed many needs. Because of donor support, we now have them. Manifest Magis is our next step.” He explains: “Investing in Regis allows for expansion, to address students’ changing needs and create adaptable, technology-driven learning spaces.”

Did You Know? $4.5 million in funding supported three capital improvement projects in the last two years M A N I F E S T M AG I S P R I O R I T Y / / C A P I TA L P R O J E C T S

Photo: Maribel Alvarado

For Betsy Flores-Alvarado ‘21, this summarizes her climb perfectly.

“She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.” PROVERBS 31:25

It was at Regis that she would find her strength and her voice. The Porter-Billups Leadership Academy (PBLA) came into her life at just the right time. Starting in the fourth grade and every summer for nine years, she’d come to Regis to learn and develop her leadership ability. “I knew I had a greater purpose in life,” she shares. “PBLA taught me I could gain experience and grow.” Upon graduating from the program, she accepted a scholarship to attend Regis, leading the way as a firstgeneration scholar. As a commuter student, she was passionate about building an inclusive experience on campus, leading campus tours in Spanish, planning commuter events, and finding balance with women’s club soccer. “I became a mentor, encouraging other students. But most of all, I emphasized that they never forget the people who made it possible for them to attend Regis.”


Gifts Contributed


As of 10/25/21

By giving through Regis to one of our priorities, you enable us to do and be more. Give today at

$91.9 million Dollars Raised


Individual Donors M A N I F E S T M AG I S T H E C A M PA I G N F O R R E G I S U N I V E R S I T Y


news profile, tightened editorial standards, and pushed to feature news stories on its website, One thing that won’t change: Each issue offers opportunities for vendors to contribute. “We always have the ‘Ask A Vendor’,” feature, she said. Vendors also write “In Your Own Words” about their experiences.

Courtesy: Elisabeth Monaghan

A VOICE for those struggling with poverty When Elisabeth Monaghan applied to become managing editor of The Denver VOICE, she knew that, with her decades of communications experience, she could contribute plenty to the monthly publication for, and by, people experiencing homelessness and poverty.

What she didn’t expect was how much those people could teach her. A product of Catholic schools who earned a Master of Arts in Communications at Regis, Monaghan’s broad experience includes working for Silicon Valley tech companies, editing an engineering publication and writing for neighborhood newspapers. But The VOICE provided a whole different kind of experience. Part of the International Network of Street Papers (INSP), The

VOICE provides income for those struggling with housing instability. A current roster of about 100 vendors, down from a pre-pandemic high of 200, buy copies of the paper for 25 cents, then sell them throughout Denver for suggested donations of $2. “They keep the difference. They use it to buy groceries and other necessities,” Monaghan said. The pandemic forced The VOICE to shift focus, seeking grants and donations to help vendors when they could not sell papers. Monaghan credits Executive Director Jennifer Seybold with successfully steering The VOICE through that period. As managing editor, Monaghan works with journalist contributors who often uncover important stories, many of which get picked up by Denver media. She has worked to raise The VOICE’s

The September issue featured a former vendor who now owns a landscaping company. Current vendors include a woman whose meth addiction upended her life. “She was at one of the [shelters] in Boulder and saw something about The VOICE. She signed up and hasn’t looked back.” That was about 15 years ago, Monaghan said. The VOICE is not a service agency but does connect vendors with organizations that can help with everything from getting legal identification — many vendors don’t have a driver’s license — to being added to subsidized housing waiting lists. When needed, Monaghan said, “we can also introduce them to drug and alcohol counselors.” Monaghan said it wasn’t a calling that led her to The VOICE, but something more practical. After a divorce altered her financial situation, she needed a second job. In the past, Monaghan said, “I would see the people selling the paper on the 16th Street Mall and I’d be very busy,” looking away or rushing past vendors. In two years with The VOICE, “I’ve learned so much,” she said. “I’ve always known I’m very blessed, but it’s different when I see what these people are going through. One bad thing — a bad decision or an illness or a partner who is abusive — and it could be any of us.” — KA

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Turmoil, tragedy test police chief’s leadership Arvada, Colo., Police Chief Link Strate calls police work “an incredibly honorable profession,” and one that can be immensely satisfying.

Beesley and his family, but beyond that, Strate recognized the need to acknowledge the community’s grief and its support of the police department.

But even in the best of times, it can be taxing, dangerous work. The last year or so has hardly been the best of times. Not for police in general, and not for Arvada Police specifically.

To move the police department forward through such a wrenching period, “We had to pause and try to get perspective on what the organization has gone through ... and recognize that this affects people differently.”

In June, Arvada Police Officer Gordon Beesley — a school resource officer widely remembered as kind, caring and humble — was ambushed and murdered by a man who investigators believe set out to kill police. Compounding the tragedy: A bystander who shot Beesley’s killer was then shot to death during the chaos when officers arrived and fired, thinking he was the original shooter. Strate earned a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership at Regis. But it’s hard to imagine a classroom curriculum that prepares anyone to lead a department through the aftermath of such a tragedy. The police department wanted to honor


Strate joined the suburban Denver city’s police department as a patrol officer in 1987 after graduating from Northern Arizona University. In 2018, city leaders conducted a nationwide search to replace departing Chief Don Wick, before realizing the right man for the job was already in their department. Police work has never been easy, but it perhaps has never been harder than in the months since Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin put his knee on the neck of George Floyd and held it there until Floyd died. That killing of a Black man by a white officer sparked unprecedented outrage, and prompted a re-thinking of the

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fundamental structure of police departments, from how resources are allocated to how officers are recruited and trained. That’s fine with Strate. “I don’t think anybody is against police reform. That is something every department should be interested in from the get-go.” Still, he doubts those chanting “de-fund the police” truly would be happy if police departments dissolved. And he would remind vocal critics that “police” is not a single entity, but thousands of departments large and small, each with its own culture, policies and leadership. Arvada PD’s culture, Strate said, emphasizes non-violent confrontations and doesn’t condone racial profiling. The department exceeds state standards in its deescalation training, and it forbids use of choke holds, hog-tying and other controversial restraints. Police departments increasingly are asked to serve as mental health counselors and social workers and Arvada PD is no


Courtesy: Link Strate

exception. In the past 20 years, Strate estimates his department has seen a 10-fold increase in mental health-related calls. There, too, Strate said, Arvada PD is ahead of the game — as much as any police department can be, given the lack of community resources. For five years, Arvada PD has had a team of four co-responders who accompany officers when a call involves someone struggling with mental health. The responders help diffuse the situation and connect those in need with whatever resources are available. The department’s CORE unit is dedicated to working with people experiencing homelessness. “They try to engage with them ... get them plugged into resources,” Strate said. “Contrary to the national narrative that paints police officers and homeless as adversaries, a lot of these people look at officers as their only friends. Often times, officers are the only ones who will engage with them.” Arvada is one of the few police departments in Colorado that requires officers to have a college

degree. That’s one aspect of a tough eight-month screening and training process that rejects all but about 10 percent of applicants in the first round, Strate said. Still, he acknowledges that weeding out all the Derek Chauvins of the world isn’t an exact science. “You can’t catch everything,” he said. “So there has to be culture that supports the idea that [unacceptable] behavior will not be tolerated by fellow officers.” He credits his predecessor with knocking down the so-called Blue Wall of Silence, which prevents officers from speaking up about bad behavior and said his goal is to make sure that wall never gets re-built. When Strate set his sights on leading the department, he figured if every patrol officer had a college diploma, then he ought to earn an advanced degree. At Regis, he chose a field outside of law enforcement because it offered a chance to explore different ideas and practices. And, sitting in classrooms with accountants, financial officers and non-profit administrators provided those varied perspectives.

“I feel fortunate in having chosen Regis. I got exactly what I was looking for — a really good foundation in leadership that challenged some of my other notions and made me rethink what I thought I knew about leadership.” Despite the difficulties, Strate said he wouldn’t hesitate to recommend police work to anyone considering it. “Our communities truly rely on us and need us,” he said. “I have met the most incredibly selfless people because I’ve been in this profession.” Of course, it’s not a job everyone should take on, especially now. “I just don’t know how to prepare [new recruits] to grow the calluses needed to withstand the criticism,” Strate said. — KA

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CLASS NOTES Hired? Married? Published? Promoted? Share your news! Email

1980s Jim Pulliam (RC '88, ACBC '12) joined Tyler Junior College in Texas as chief information officer, overseeing the College’s Office of Technology Services.

1990s Sandra Vanek (RC '92, RHCHP '96) is a new paraprofessional at Weldon Valley School in Fort Morgan, Colo., where she will be working with teachers and students in kindergarten classes.

Rebecca Bailey (ACBC '96) has joined RE/MAX Partners in Steamboat Springs, Colo., as a broker associate.

Byron Miller (ACBC '04) has been named vice president of technology for Valley Frist Credit Union of Modesto, Calif.


Madison Simm (ACBC '04) was named President of Mortgage Finance at Dallas-based Texas Capital Bank.

Beth Stipe (ACBC '02) has been named chair of the board of directors for Washingtonbased North Cascade Bank. Pattie Garger (RC '03) has joined Minneapolis, Minn.-based firm Hellmuth & Johnson as an associate attorney in litigation. She represents clients in many areas, including insurance claim matters, restoration contractor representation, business litigation, non-compete disputes, family law, and cannabis regulation. Priya Ray (ACBC '03) has been named vice president of quality and regulatory affairs for Genapsys, Inc., Californiabased developers of a scalable electronic sequencing platform. Dr. David J. Sand (ACBC '03) has been named Chief Medical Officer of ZeOmega, a Texasbased provider of health care management software.

Tricia Miller (RC '94) has been named development director for the city of Batesville, Ind.

President Joe Biden has named Gil Cisneros (ACBC '02) Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness. Cisneros, who previously served as a California congressman, was confirmed to the defense department position by the U.S. Senate in August. 46

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John Hubert, DPT (RHCHP '05) joined the physical therapy provider team at the Washington School of Medicine in St. Louis. David Londono (ACBC '05) has been named executive general manager of Oceana Gold’s Haile Gold Mine in South Carolina. Kristen Blessman (ACBC '07) has been named general manager of PBS 12 in Denver, formerly Colorado Public Television. Blessman also has been appointed to the board of trustees of Western Colorado University. David Schummer (ACBC '07) has been named chief operation officer at Trevali, a Vancouver, Can.-based mining corporation.

2010s Mark Bittle (RC '10) is vice president of membership for the Colorado Springs Chamber and EDC. Stephen Heidenreich (RC '10) self-published Running to Win: Strategies to Triumph in Record Time. Lindsay Stergar (ACBC '10) was named chief operating officer of Terre Haute Regional Hospital in Terre Haute, Ind. Hernando Planells (RC '12) was named assistant coach of the University of Illinois Fighting Illini women’s basketball team. Brandon Carlucci (RC '15) has been named athletic director for the Poudre School District in Larimer County, Colo.


The Colorado Department of Higher Education (CDHE) has named Roberto Montoya, Ph.D. (RC '13) as its first Chief Educational Equity Officer. The new position is dedicated to promoting inclusiveness in higher education and eliminating persistent equity gaps among demographic groups.

ACBC | Anderson College of Business and Computing LHC | Loretto Heights College RC | Regis College RHCHP | Rueckert-Hartman College for Health Professions

John Hoover (ACBC '15) joined Medical City Fort Worth, an acute care hospital located in Fort Worth, Texas, as chief operating officer.

Nawal Nader-French’s (RC '18) book of poems, a record of how the mother’s textile became sound, will be published by NOEMI Press in March 2023.

Kari Gonzales (ACBC '16) has been named president of the Transportation Technology Center Inc. (TTCI), a Pueblo, Colo.-based subsidiary of the Association of American Railroads.

PJ Holliday’s (RC '19) book, To Clear a Static Field, was published this fall by Resource Publications through Wipf and Stock publishers.

Ben Heiserman (ACBC '16) has joined the office of U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo, (R-Idaho), to serve as digital director. He previously worked in a similar position for U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, (R-Alaska), and as an intern for the Senate Republican Conference. Shannon Blair’s (RC '18) debut novel, Dawn’s Light, was published by NineStar. Tameca L Coleman’s (RC '18) hybrid book an identity polyptych was published in September by The Elephants. Press in February. Josh Harden (ACBC '18) has been named a 2021 Credit Union National Association Human Resources & Organizational Development Council Rising Star.



2020s A.J. Etherington (RC '20) has joined the Billings Gazette as public safety reporter. He will cover criminal justice, law enforcement and public safety issues in Billings and the region. Jessica Berg (ACBC '21) has been named assistant lacrosse coach at Missouri Western State University. Julie Cookish (RHCHP '21) and Roz Vara-Good (RHCHP '21) have joined Cheshire Medical Center in Keene, N.H. as nurse practitioners in the family medicine department. Danielle Andrus (ACBC student) has been named editor of the Journal of Financial Planning.

Ashley and Skip Stewart (ACBC '17) welcomed their son Finnley Gene Stewart on Sept. 20, 2021.

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ED BEAUVAIS 1937-2021 | RC '58

Ed Beauvais, who created a business plan for a new airline in his spare time after work and then built that airline, America West, into the country’s eighth largest carrier, died at the age of 84.

Beauvais, a Denver native, began his aviation career here in 1960, working at Frontier Airlines as a senior accountant, according to a website devoted to the history of America West Airlines. He later worked for Hughes AirWest airlines before forming his own consulting company, which specialized in marketing and airline economics. In 1979, he moved to Phoenix, opened another office of the consulting firm, and began working on plans to create an airline.

Courtesy: AZCentral

Courtesy: The Pueblo Chieftan

Phoenix-based America West Airlines began service Aug. 1, 1983, with flights to Kansas City, Wichita, Colorado Springs, and Los Angeles. Beauvais was joined in the venture by his son, Mark, who had worked at Continental Airlines. Over the next decade, Beauvais built America West “into one of the most successful of the 1980s post-deregulation airlines,” according to the Pima Air & Space Museum. Beauvais retired from America West in 1992 and returned to Denver, where he launched Western Pacific Airlines, which he remained chairman of until retiring in January 1998. While at WestPac, he founded another airline, Mountain Air Express. America West merged with U.S. Airways in 2005. Beauvais is survived by his wife of 64 years, Mary Ellen, five children, seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.


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Always Rangers. Always in our hearts. 1950s Carl William Hermanson, RC '51 Twila R. (Benedick) Evans, LHC '51 Andrew Joseph Martelon, RC '51 Agnes Lucille (Porreco) Domenico, LHC '51 Joanne Little O’Kane, LHC '52 Thomas P. Lundy, RC '52 James R. Connell, ACBC '53 Mary Pat (Brennan) Young, RHCHP '56 Mary Lou (Schifani) Sherman, LHC '56 Arthur Valentine Rossi, RC '57 Merlin John Hellman, ACBC '57 Roland F. Biegler, ACBC '57 Henry J. Close, RC '58 Gwendolyn (Linehan) Hillinger, LHC '58 Jack B. Chavez, RC '58 Richard J. Vitry, RC '58 Roger L. Sweeney, RC '59 Manuel A. Martinez, ACBC '59

1960s Vincent Leo Smith, RC '60 Louis J. Kosednar, ACBC '61 Daniel Lee Otero, RC '61 Dolores Jean (Calerich) Suazo, LHC '61 Richard Joseph O’Grady, RC '61 Ron Charles Schreiber, RC '62 Michael H. Ewers, ACBC '63 James C. Curtan, RC '63 Loretta Ann (Droll) Felderhoff, LHC '63 Leonard Harold O’Hayre, RC '63 Ralph James Redfern, RC '64

Francis C. Jackson, RC '64 Dennis Michael Banner, ACBC '64 John Wallace Kirby, RC '64 George T. Bruno, RC '65 Joseph Harry Barzantny, RC '66 Peter James Kane, RC '66 Robert George Weiland, RC '68 Lawrence M. Brooks, RC '68 John Francis Remark, RC '69

1970s Stanley Williams Burke, ACBC '70 F. Lee Robinson, RC '71 Daniel H. Moriarty, RC '73 Thomas Champion Westropp, LHC '74 Neil G. McPhillips, RC '76 Linda (Halverson) Isaacs, LHC '77 Angela M. (Fulginiti) Dingbaum, RHCHP '77

1980s Mary Jo (Wabiszewski) Savino, ACBC '80 Suzanne C. (Clark) Thomas, RC '81 Elisabeth A. (Hennessy) McHugh, RC '81 Leo F. Kimminau, ACBC '82 Beatrice A. (Latzke) Meyer, ACBC '82 Bernard John Nowogrocki, ACBC '83 Bobby Glenn Roberts, RC '83  Theresa L. Verretta, RC '84 Rev. LaVern E. Trocinski, RC '84 Lynne Christine (Gerding) Rasey, ACBC '85 Louis Gonzales, ACBC '85

ACBC | Anderson College of Business and Computing LHC | Loretto Heights College RC | Regis College RHCHP | Rueckert-Hartman College for Health Professions

James Donald Delphia, ACBC '85 Matthew Ferd Boden, LHC '85 Jeffrey Stephen Forman, RC '85 Walter W. Rothkopf, ACBC '86 Sara Lynne Rothganger Grimlund, LHC '87 Richard Anthony Tafoya, RC '87 George S. Cann, ACBC '88 Suzanne M. (Pautler) Metsker, ACBC '88

1990s Shannon Ryan Nicosia, ACBC '92 Teresa Rose (Martinelli) Morris, ACBC '92 Mary Jane Hillyard, RHCHP '94 Lynn P. (Spoor) Padgett, ACBC '95 Corby Douglas Ropp, RHCHP '97 Brett William Valeri, ACBC '98 Patricia Nell (Rogers) Marr, ACBC '98 Susan Moyse Rose, RC '99

2000s Marlys A. (Nelson) Mangus, ACBC '06, '12 Antionetta Elizabeth (Green) Oliver, ACBC '06 Chanell Dawn Ortiz Stout, RC '06 Julie M. Accetta, ACBC '08 Gregory L. Wilkerson, RC '08 Theodore A. Kotchen, ACBC '09 Deborah A. (Curtis) Reynolds, RHCHP '09 Jeff R. Armbruster, ACBC '12 Kimberley D. (Ahlf ) Hubbard Patern, RHCHP '14 James M. Beauchamp, RHCHP '16

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Ask Regi Dear Regi: I have so much anxiety now. Academic stress, financial stress, COVID stress,

future stress, stress that your response won’t help me. I used to be so positive. Seriously. Help! Signed, Stressed Out

Dear S.O.: Stop. Breathe. Have a donut. Anxiety can indeed be brutal. I totally understand how anxiety can be counterproductive and even paralyzing for most humans. I’m also aware how unstable the world has become and I don’t blame you for freaking out. Humans often confuse me though, worrying about their future, about how they should have done something differently in the past, or letting their minds run rabid ... in circles … a million miles a minute … going nowhere. Kinda like I often do. You see, as a fox, I have the luxury of being spontaneous, free-spirited and natural. In my opinion, all that matters is that you do what makes your tail wag. Explore more. Be open to everything and never stop trying. Focus on biting off tiny bits of progress and take challenges one at a time. I wish I could convince more people to just go with the flow and soak up life’s little perfect imperfections. What are we all racing toward, anyway? Security? Stuff ? Pfffftt! Who plants those poisonous weeds in our heads? Growth comes from life’s challenges. Invite them in. Take a chance. If it doesn’t work, try something else — no biggie. I’ll even take it a step further. The way I see it, accomplishments are not what makes our lives matter. Curiosity gives meaning. Spontaneity gives meaning. Meaning comes out of just being alive on this big blue marble. Think about that. You are not here to live up to the impossible standards that you’ve stuffed into your brain so don’t force it. You weren’t plopped onto this planet to be perfect. Where is the fun in that? Life is joy. Life is NOT knowing stuff and I know sooooo little. I should go to college. Am I encouraging you to give up on everything? To sacrifice a comfortable existence? To live in van down by the river? No. I’m asking you to take in the big picture when you feel the pressure and anxiety coming on. Recognize the stress, embrace it, then bite it in the jugular. Life is an education. An education as unique as every living thing. And you grow through perseverance. You will come out on top. Or not. It doesn’t really matter. Just enjoy the ride. And the donuts. I love you all.


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by McKenna Solomon 4.



7. 8.



10. 11.

3. Regis’ Little Cemetery of the Jesuits was located east of this contemporary building, named after a Spanish Jesuit Priest


4. An instrument that measures and records details of earthquakes; Rev. Armand Forstall, S.J. brought one to Regis 7. ______ Counts, the title of David Heska Wanbli Weiden’s first and widely acclaimed novel







8. Religious symbol, especially a wooden representation of a saint 9. Story told in comic-strip format; ______ novel 11. R egis student Tim Spalla is fighting wildlife trafficking here 14. Literature or narrative that is not strictly based on fact 16. What healing is for HealthONE scholar Kendra Henderson: a ______ 17. Latin term meaning to strive for what is greater; for excellence; for God 18. A kind of cat you wouldn’t want to play cards with

DOWN 1. Course taught by Prof. Michael Baxter; Catholic Social ______ 2. An outline of the material taught in a course of study or teaching 5. Arvada, Colo. Police Chief Link Strate earned his M.S. in ______ Leadership at Regis 6. Founding member of the Jesuit order

10. An expert in or student of history 12. Period of prayer and community for those intending to become Jesuits; state of being a novice 13. ______ of heart and mind 15. Army Good ______ Medal; one of seven awarded, 75 years late, to Rev. Edward F. Flaherty, S.J. in 2021

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