Regis University Magazine: Spring/Summer 2022

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F E AT U R E S TEMPEST IN A TAPESTRY 12 Ken Phillips weaves faith, Shakespeare into his art. VOLUME 30 ISSUE 1


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 SENIOR ART DIRECTOR Marcus Knodle EDITORIAL STAFF McKenna Solomon Sara Knuth ILLUSTRATION Dan Alarcon Jr. PHOTOGRAPHER Skip Stewart CONTRIBUTORS Ted Betsy Barry “Bear” Gutierrez Christian Murdock Meredith Sell Brett Stakelin ON THE COVER: After 34 years at Regis, Ken Phillips “retired” to a storefront studio where he weaves his artistic vision.


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SAFE SPACES 18 Regis provides shelter, and a way forward, to neighbors in need. MATCH MAKING 24 Regis alumna’s quest to make life-saving marrow donations available to all. OUT OF THE ASHES 30 Regis community members find hope, inspiration amid Marshall Fire devastation. VATICAN COUNSEL 36 On Zoom, Regis freshman shares concerns, possible solutions, with Pope Francis. GOOD SPORTS 38 With fans back in the stands, Ranger teams excelled this season.





While much of Ken Phillip' work takes the form of tapestries, he recently collaborated with Regis fine arts affiliate faculty member Judith Gardner on this piece, based on a watercolor by Phillips. Gardner created this wood image by laser cutting and then assembling pieces individually.


BUILDING A BETTER COMMUNITY, BUILDING A BETTER REGIS Dear Regis Community, Having grown up nine blocks from the Northwest Denver campus, Regis University has been a part of our family for decades. Today, Regis University stands on the brink of a new era filled with promise and opportunity. As we look at the past 10 years, the neighborhood has redeveloped with new construction, restaurants and retail. During the same decade, Regis University has added the Anderson College of Business and Computing, revamped the Student Center and DeSmet Hall, and built the new Berce Athletic Center. In addition to improving our infrastructure, educational pedagogy advancements include the School for Professional Advancement (SPA) and our School of Pharmacy. As the industry of higher education evolves, this type and rate of change creates challenges that are inherent to the dynamic and shifting landscape of student demographics and student needs. These challenges are natural to all colleges and universities. It has been inspiring to watch higher education take on these post-Covid times with grace and innovation from their strong leaders. We all take on the role of building and delivering solutions. This is surely the case with the leadership of our staff and faculty here at Regis University. While the last year has had its challenges, there is a great deal to recognize and celebrate. In December, Rev. John P. Fitzgibbons, S.J., retired after 10 years of service from his role as Regis University’s 24th president. After a well-deserved hiatus, Fr. Fitzgibbons is back on our Northwest Denver Campus and working diligently and exclusively on our Manifest Magis campaign. We look forward to extending our gratitude and celebrating his contributions at the end of the academic year. In January, I began serving as interim president. As an alumna, professor, donor and trustee, I am proud to lend my strategic and operational background to build upon the University’s solid foundation. As such, we have started building a strategic framework to best position us for growth in the changing world of higher education. The words of St. John Henry Newman remind us that, “To live is to change, and to be perfect is to have changed often.” Regis leaders have spent a great deal of time listening to our key stakeholders including our students, faculty,

staff and trustees. Each week, we actively host voluntary listening sessions. These conversations have been extremely encouraging and have allowed us to learn about the University’s strengths and opportunities and to recognize the perseverance, commitment and engagement of our community. We are grateful to all those who have entrusted us with their stories and their best thinking on how we can improve and evolve during this time of change. What’s most impressive is everyone’s desire to do more and aspire more to ensure Regis thrives. The nationwide search for the 25th president is in motion under the strong stewardship of trustee and outgoing Loyola University of Chicago President Jo Ann Rooney. In lockstep with our strategic planning discussions she will engage with our University leaders to solicit input and ideas that help to guide the conversations and decisions around the next president. This selection is the catalyst for a formal, actionable and measurable strategic plan. The Regis University Manifest Magis campaign kicked off formally with our donor recognition dinner in September 2021. To date, we have raised $100 million, with a goal of $150 million. As a trustee, I have consistently invited our community to take a growth-focused mindset. With the strong population growth between 2010 and 2020, Colorado welcomed one million new residents. This provides a great opportunity for us to raise our profile and showcase what Regis University has to offer. This journey also provides the space to benchmark our structures, processes and programs against our sister Jesuit institutions and our peers in Colorado. For me, the driving and unifying forces are our core Jesuit values and our Regis University Mission:“… to build a more just and humane world through transformative education at the frontiers of faith, reason and culture.” These and the very talented and dedicated members of our community are what set us apart and will guide us through this period of transition and anchor us going forward. Better together,

Cody Teets Interim President/Trustee



Daniella Salawu


HELP FOR THOSE HURTING IN UKRAINE Like most Americans, the Regis community was horrified by Russia’s attack on Ukraine. And, like many, members of Regis community found creative, even risky, ways to do what we could to help. Olivier Sokolowski's family in Ukraine made it out safely. But the junior accounting major worked with the nonprofit Ukrainians of Colorado to collect and send medical supplies to the besieged nation. Alumna Farnaz Alimehri’s day job is working on nuclear nonproliferation for the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna. But the Regis alumna took on another duty: Making trips to the Polish-Ukrainian border to shuttle refugees to safety. Alimehri spoke remotely about her efforts to Regis classes April 5.

Daniella Salawu, second-year Regis Doctor of Pharmacy candidate, was chosen from applicants nationwide to participate in the National Institutes of Health’s Minority Student Research Symposium March 31. Using data from the NIH’s All of Us Research Program, Salawu presented her findings on The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Food Insecurity. The symposium was part of NIH’s All of Us Research Program, an effort to create a large, diverse national biomedical database. The goal is to create a database that can accelerate research to improve health.


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Olivier Sokolowski


Alumnus Jonathan Cochran, who is vice president of Project Management International’s Bulgaria chapter, is working with NATO and the Bulgarian government, organizing efforts to help Ukrainian PMI chapter members and their families escape the war and relocate in Bulgaria.

30 YEARS OF SHAPING LEADERS This year, Regis’ Masters of Nonprofit Management (MNM) Program celebrates 30 years of training tomorrow’s nonprofit executives and leaders. The program boasts many notable alumni who’ve gone on to make a difference as leaders of local to global nonprofits.


REGIS PARTNERS WITH COLORADO RAPIDS Premier soccer is coming to Regis’ Northwest Denver campus. Regis and the Colorado Rapids Youth Soccer Club are creating the Colorado Rapids Youth Soccer Elite Performance Center. Regis will host as many as 600 youth on 12 teams and development squads for practices and games. Regis and the Rapids Youth will offer college scholarships worth up to $100,000 over four years. And, the talented grown ups of the Colorado Rapids Women’s Premier Soccer League (WPSL) will also use the fields for games and practices. The new Berce Athletic Center is slated to be used for futsal.

LIVE AND LEARN Beginning in June, adults 50 and over can learn an amazing variety of things, from Regis instructors, for very little money, and just for fun. The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) in collaboration with the University of Denver, will offer virtual classes this summer at Regis, and follow that up with semester-long courses beginning September 12. The Bernard Osher Foundation supports a network of more than 120 colleges and universities – a network that now includes Regis.

WE HAVE A NUMBER OF THINGS TO DISCUSS: • Regis ranks third among Colorado’s four-year colleges for return-on-investment for students, according to Georgetown University research. • Our Loretto Heights School of Nursing is number one among nursing schools in Colorado, according to’s rankings. Regis’ online program for registered nurses who want to pursue a bachelor’s degree is number one among Colorado institutions, according to

BUSINESS COLLEGE ON A MISSION Anderson College of Business and Computing and the Denver Rescue Mission are offering a Non-profit Management Graduate Certificate to mission employees. The 12-month program of Regis courses, expected to begin this fall, is designed to equip future Christian leaders in the non-profit sector. Participants work at the mission, which pays their tuition, while taking courses at Regis.

• Regis computer science graduates are the highest paid, on average, in Colorado, according to College Factual.



Photo: Brett Stakelin


THREE DECADES OF RESEARCH, MENTORING AND MAKING SCIENCE ACCESSIBLE When Surendra Mahapatro completed his Ph.D. in India in 1977, he sent 50 handwritten applications for postdoctoral fellowships to universities across the United States. He received a response from just one: The University of Illinois - Chicago. He moved his wife and two children to a studio apartment, where they lived for a year and a half. It was a difficult time. For more than a year, he didn’t produce new research. But his mentor, Prof. Jan Rocek, was patient. Mahapatro gradually started producing new work, and a few months later, they published research about three-electron oxidations in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, chemistry’s most prestigious journal. It wasn’t until his mentor’s retirement celebration in 1997 that Mahapatro realized why Rocek had been so patient: He had survived Auschwitz. His life was spared because he was a chemist. “I tell this story to each and every class that I teach, every semester,” Mahapatro said. “What motivates me is that.” Mahapatro carried lessons learned from his mentors throughout a career that included a Fulbright scholarship as he, in turn, mentored generations of students. In December, Mahapatro retired from Regis after 33 years in the chemistry department. During his time on campus, he expanded students’ research opportunities, advocated for diversity in science and with support from science institutes and organizations, worked with more than 50 undergraduate research associates who upon graduation from Regis pursued graduate studies in chemistry and biochemistry and other professional degrees including medicine, pharmacy and law. As a researcher, Mahapatro has been most interested in organic oxidation mechanisms and electron transfer in biological systems. His research has resulted in major publications in ACS and Royal Society publications with Regis students as co-authors. After completing two more postdoctoral fellowships, Mahapatro applied to faculty positions in the U.S. In 1989, he got four interviews, including one at Regis. “After two


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days, I was offered the job,” he said. “Therefore, I didn't even wait to hear from the other schools.” It’s a decision that led Mahapatro and his family to Colorado, and launched the next three decades of his career. Mahapatro passed his academic excellence to both of his children. His daughter, Mausumi Mahapatro, who has a Ph.D. in economics, is an assistant professor of history, politics and political economy at Regis. His son, Mrinal Mahapatro, earned a Ph.D. in chemistry and works in industry. Mahapatro credits his wife of 50 years, Lata, for her support through the years. They have four grandchildren. His collaborative spirit prompted him to get involved in Arizona State University’s Western Alliance for Expanding Student Opportunities, a National Science Foundation initiative that promotes attracting under-represented and minority students to pursue education in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. The program provides undergraduate students with stipends for one-to three semesters of research. Over the past 10 years, he has supported Regis students with more than 80 stipends. Mahapatro also enjoyed teaching non-science majors, and, recently, Regis College’s Global Environmental Awareness course, “Water.” Outside the classroom, Mahapatro and his wife have been involved in library improvement projects in India, Bangladesh and at St. John’s College in Belize, where he was a Fulbright scholar. In retirement, Mahapatro said he plans to split his time between the United States and India, where he plans to teach, continuing his years of helping students access science through their engagement in undergraduate research projects. “Over the years I have risen, hopefully, to the challenge of a liberal arts education, especially in a Jesuit University — to bring some connection and relevance and life to the chemistry classroom,” Mahapatro said. -SK

Photo: Brett Stakelin


DISANTO REFLECTS ON 50 YEARS NURTURING REGIS STUDENTS After completing his undergraduate degree in philosophy, Ron DiSanto was on track to become a priest. He was enrolled at Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, studying theology, but just before he could be ordained, “I decided it wasn’t my vocation,” he said.

Through all the changes, DiSanto said he stayed at Regis because he feels connected to the mission. Plus, he said, Regis students have always motivated him to stay. “I've always felt that as long as I'm not changing careers, this is this is the place for me,” he said.

A few years later, he found his calling in teaching.

In 1990, DiSanto and his colleague, the late Regis Prof. Rev. Thomas Steele, S.J., published Guidebook to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, which analyzed the original book by writer and philosopher Robert Pirsig. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, a cultural phenomenon when it was released in 1974, is a fictionalized autobiography that tells the story of a father and son who take a motorcycle trip across the United States. The book analyzes values and the way our society lives.

This year marks DiSanto’s 50th anniversary as a member of the Regis faculty. DiSanto, who holds a Ph.D. in philosophy, joined the religious studies department in 1972, and, after a few years, moved to the philosophy department. His students have gone on to become doctors, lawyers and teachers — and he often hears from them long after they graduate. “That's always felt good, when they want to stay in touch with you. That shows that you didn't mess him up,” he said with a laugh. Through the years, DiSanto has watched Regis change. A few years before he arrived, the University welcomed its first female students. Buildings have changed, and academic programs have grown. But as much as Regis has changed, he said, it’s also held onto its identity. “There's something in the ethos. There's something in the atmosphere that I associate with Regis that I think has been here from the beginning,” he said. “I think it's very important.”

As he was researching the book, DiSanto interviewed Pirsig and met many of the people who inspired his work. Since the guidebook was published, DiSanto has connected with readers interested in the philosophy behind the book. More than his publishing success, though, DiSanto is proud of his accomplishments as a member of the Regis faculty. “I do love being in the classroom with the students,” he said. “I do love engaging the students as best I can and just continuing to respond to what I think is my calling.” -SK




Celebrating research, scholarship and creative works Former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir spent her formative years in a brick duplex on Julian Street in Denver. The house was rededicated in January with help from Regis alumnus and professor emeritus, former state Sen. Dennis Gallagher.

In February, Christopher Pramuk, Ph.D., Regis University Chair of Ignatian Thought and Imagination, and associate professor of theology, was an invited presenter at Baldwin Wallace University on the topic “Awakening the Dead: The Power of Music and Art as Hope for the Living.”

Anderson College of Business and Computing affiliate faculty member Jennifer Fairweather is the new president of the International Public Management Association for Human Resources.

School of Pharmacy Dean Samit Shah, Ph.D., co-authored Pharmacogenomics: A Primer for Clinicians, with Jerika T. Lam and Mary A Gutierrez. Pharmacogenomics uses information about how an individual’s unique genetic makeup affects response to medication. With that information, pharmacists and drug makers are now investigating ways to personalize drug therapies.

Affiliate Prof. Catherine Kleier, Ph.D., is a Great Courses lecturer. Kleier, who has general biology, botany, and ecology courses at Regis, teaches Introduction to Botany on the online resource for lifelong learners. Prof. Tony Ortega was lead artist on a community mural, unveiled in January, to celebrate the renaming of La Raza Park., formerly Columbus Park, in Northwest Denver. Ortega worked with student artists from Fred N. Thomas Career Education Center Early College high school to create the mural, which celebrates the history of Chicano and Indigenous communities.


Regis Associate Prof. of English Alyse Knorr scored 1.9 million views with her TikTok sea shanty about queer pirates. The video promoted the second season of Knorr’s podcast, SweetBitter, which investigates literary works and historical characters like pirates to discuss how marginalized identities can be erased from history.

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Associate Prof. of Nursing Carol Wallman, DNP, was recently elected president of the National Certification Corp., a nonprofit organization that provides national certification programs for health care professionals. Wallman previously served on the organization’s board of directors.



HCA 432A & B: Leading Organizations I & II INSTRUCTOR: Melissa Bosworth, MS, Assistant Professor, Health Services Education — Regis graduate, mother, health equity business owner, native Coloradan. ABOUT THE COURSE: The first semester of the course focuses on identifying individual leadership qualities. My mantra is that you cannot lead others unless you know how to lead yourself. The second semester combines learnings from the first to develop skills with leading others in students’ work, school and play environments. STUDENTS ARE: Undergraduates, typically majoring in healthcare administration, nursing and health and exercise science majors. Classes are open to all undergraduates. TEXT & MATERIALS: (1) Videos from leadership gurus and guest speakers. (2) Self- and team-assessments. (3) Toys, games, coloring books, field trips. CLASSWORK: These courses allow students to choose what they want to learn regarding their own personal growth, and in their preferred order. Each week, students vote on their next topic, which can include emotional intelligence, peer coaching, motivation, the Enneagram personality assessment, trauma-informed leadership, conflict management, diversity, equity and inclusion, among many others. The first class of each semester is a facilitated Myers-Briggs Type Indicator workshop. Each student defines their typology, then the class structures are curated to meet each student’s learning preferences.

The class meets for three hours, once a week, allotting enough time to dive deeply into experiential learning opportunities. Students may play an escape room to demonstrate and grow critical thinking skills or a basketball tournament to learn the different theories of motivation and locus of control. Students are rarely, if ever, listening to a lecture. Most of the class is meant for students to reflect on their own leadership attributes, while gaining application strategies for their learned skills. One absolute in every class period is mindfulness. The professional world is difficult, and so is being a college student! Therefore, every class ends with a different mindfulness practice to help students ground and build resilience. MAJOR LESSON LEARNED: At the beginning of the semester, students write a letter to themselves about what they want to learn about themselves and what outcomes they’d like to see. I do not read these, but hold on to them. At the end of the semester, students reflect individually, and with their class. Because of the deep internal reflection and evolved trust, students often take major leaps in their lives and careers. I have received reports of improved relationships at home, school and work on a consistent basis. It warms my heart when alumni reach out to request the format for an activity in their own facilitation, or to let me know that they used the skills to get their promotion, or to work through a difficult trauma or situation.

I do not expect students to retain the terms or in-depth theories that we learn in the long-term. My ultimate goal is that they leave deeply and intrinsically understanding themselves, and have the confidence to lead themselves and others toward a more just future and world.




Sept. 22-25, 2022 Reconnect and celebrate with a lumni, students and families of Regis University

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SECURE YOUR FUTURE (AND OURS!) Estate planning is vitally important to your future. A good estate plan sets goals and ensures your loved ones—and institutions like Regis University—are taken care of after you pass away. A will or trust, life insurance policies, and beneficiary designations give you the power to accomplish your objectives. Visit to see how you can make a difference with your estate plan today.

feel like I’m “ Idoing the right thing. ” —Bill Meurer ’65, regarding giving back to Regis with a gift in his will.


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For the first time, lights illuminated a game on Regis’ campus this spring. The Regis women’s lacrosse team played under the lights soon after the new artificial turf fields were dedicated in March. The fields were made possible by a special partnership between Regis, Arrupe Jesuit High School and Shea Homes. Photo: Skip Stewart



Courtesy: Sabitra Niroula


FORMER REFUGEE AND FUTURE PHYSICIAN SABITRA NIROULA HOPES TO HELP WOMEN WORLDWIDE GIVE BIRTH SAFELY BY MEREDITH SELL Looking back, Sabitra Niroula is amazed that her mother survived giving birth to four children in a refugee camp. While the camp in Nepal where Niroula grew up provided educational opportunities, the lack of sanitation was an ongoing problem. Even now, despite improvements, many women still die giving birth in Nepal and other countries in the region. Niroula, now a student in Regis’ Master of Biomedical Science program working on a capstone project focused on maternal mortality, remembers the camp well. She can easily recount her family’s story, from her great-greatgrandparents’ move to Bhutan from Nepal in the 1800s, to more than a century later, when her parents, their siblings, and their parents walked across mountains and valleys to leave Bhutan and start over in an unfamiliar Nepal. In the 1980s, the government in the majority-Buddhist Bhutan began a push for national homogeneity. Due to their Nepalese heritage and Hindu religion, Niroula’s parents and grandparents were stripped of their Bhutanese citizenship. The Nepalese government let them and other Bhutanese refugees in, but didn’t provide pathways to citizenship. The refugee camp, with its houses made of bamboo, plastic, and thatch, became the family’s home. In 2009, when Niroula was 12, her family moved to the United States. Niroula says her childhood in Nepal shaped who she is today. She’s planning to become an obstetriciangynecologist, with the goal of helping women give birth safely and improving global maternal mortality rates.


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For her capstone project, she’s been digging up data and comparing countries, particularly in South Asia, to see which are doing well and why. Sanitation, water sources, the number of obstetrics providers and nutrition are just a few of the contributing factors. The project, she said, “has helped me see the areas that are improving and how things are happening in different parts of the world that have made it better or worse in terms of maternal health.” If all goes as planned, Niroula will eventually work both domestically and overseas as an obstetrician-gynecologist, with the United States as her home base. “My current research about maternal mortality has shown that there’s been a huge amount of progress in Nepal,” she said, so while she would love to work there, she may work in other countries in South Asia and West Africa where maternal health remains a greater challenge. She also wants to be careful to avoid the “savior complex” that’s easy for Americans to develop when working in other countries. “When we lived in Nepal, what made the most impact was people coming and teaching us how to do things, not doing things for us,” she said. She would want to approach her work that way, training community members so they’re not dependent on her and the work can continue when she leaves. Once Niroula finishes her master’s in April, she’ll start applying to medical schools. In the meantime, she’s working at a dermatology clinic to broaden her perspectives on what else she could do in healthcare, though she’s fairly set on obstetrics and gynecology. When she shadowed doctors as an undergraduate, she said, “I realized my passion was helping women give birth.”


MASTER’S SCHOLAR PLANS TO PUT HER HEALTH CARE EXPERIENCE TO WORK FOR OTHERS Between caring for her husband as he battled ALS — Lou Gehrig’s disease — and seeing her daughter through respiratory failure, Diana Bress amassed a couple lifetimes’ worth of health care experience. Now, with help from Regis University’s Military Scholars Fund, the 76-year-old is earning a degree in the field she knows so well. Earning her Master’s in Health Care Administration online while dealing with worsening macular degeneration is a challenge, but it’s not going to stop her. “Sometimes it does interfere with reading or looking at my laptop screen,” Bress said. “But I need to keep going.” That’s because she’s determined to work to make life better for anyone struggling with serious illness, and for their families. “I would like to change the way medical care is delivered. I think everything — X-rays, mammograms, all that — should be in one spot. Because, especially when the weather is bad, people put off going to the doctor because they don’t want to die in a car wreck,” she said. An even greater need, Bress said, is more home care for those whose illness makes getting around challenging, as it was for her husband Ron as his disease progressed. Ron Bress, an Air National Guard veteran and retired Teamster, first noticed symptoms at his 50th high school reunion. “He was standing there and suddenly went sideways,” Diana Bress said. Johns Hopkins Medicine estimates that 5,000 people in the United States — most often men over age 60 — are diagnosed with ALS, a degenerative, untreatable and usually fatal condition, each year.

Photo: Christian Murdock

As Diana Bress knows all too well, arriving at that diagnosis can be difficult. “It took 10 to 12 years. They had to eliminate everything else first,” she said. And while his doctors were speculating about neuropathy and heart disease, she was researching her husband’s symptoms, convinced Ron suffered from a neurologic disorder. “I was at least in the ballpark,” she said. Ron Bress died of ALS in 2017, at 76. Bress now lives with her daughter Heather Gilbert, who faced a long recovery after a bout of flu combined with bronchitis progressed to respiratory failure, and Heather’s husband, George Grace, who has early onset dementia. When Bress started exploring options for earning a degree, she turned to the military resources she had counted on for help during her husband’s illness to help her choose the right program. They directed her toward Regis, and the university’s Military Scholars Fund scholarships. The scholarship, the ability to take courses online, and the fact that Regis accepted credits from her interrupted undergraduate studies, sealed the deal. The Colorado Springs resident began her Regis studies in October 2020 and is thrilled with her classes. “I love doing this online,” she said. “It’s so much easier.” she said. Bress expects to graduate in December 2022 or spring 2023. After that, Bress said, “I would like to work in a memory care facility or maybe in assisted living.” The woman who has provided more than her share of care for family members says she has her sights set on memory care so she can help her son-in-law when he needs it. And she’s sure her husband would be proud of her. “He’d be my biggest booster. He always was.” -KA



After 34 years at Regis, Ken Phillips now dedicates more time to his art, like this fabric collage depicting Prospero, Shakespeare’s magician in The Tempest.


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Ken Phillips’ fabric collage “Prospero’s Summer Cloak” channels magic from The Tempest, through the season.


en Phillips’ studio sits unmarked in a strip mall in North Denver. From the outside, it blends in with the neighboring restaurant and laundromat. Passersby would hardly know it’s there.

BY Sara Knuth PHOTOS BY Barry “Bear” Gutierrez

But step inside the nondescript door, and it’s like walking into Phillips’ creative mind, through the wardrobe and into Narnia. Tapestries inspired by Shakespeare’s The Tempest hang from ceiling to floor, depicting the play’s main character, Prospero the magician. Graphic prints inspired by Phillips’ drawings of scenes from the play sit near frames. Crates of cloth and spools of thread are stacked along the perimeter of the space, and works in progress sit on large tables.



Most days, Phillips sits in front of his sewing machine, his face lit by the machine’s lightbulb and the hum of the needlework providing tempo for Russian composer Alexander Scriabin’s album “Poem of Ecstasy” that plays in the background. As he works, Phillips usually sips herbal tea and burns incense, letting himself become inspired by the parts of the earth and air that aid Prospero in his magic. Phillips’ artistic talents are well known on the Regis campus. But now, he wants to get his work out into the world, beyond his studio. In April, Phillips displayed his

print graphic works in a show titled “Transformations” at Regis’ Dayton Memorial Library. For his tapestries, Phillips hopes for an exhibition in a space that could “successfully show fabric, graphic and cut metal works together. The culmination would create a special, magical space, indeed.” Phillips started working at Regis’s University Ministry office in 1986, and stayed for more than 34 years before he retired in 2020. He still volunteers with University Ministry, working in the office a few times a week. His work hasn’t always been hidden away: He often created religious tapestries that were dis-

played in Regis' St. John Francis Regis Chapel. His artist’s eye made him an asset for helping select campus artworks. Now, the works he is creating in his studio parallel his own life. “It’s a meta-story for Shakespeare saying goodbye to the theaters because it [The Tempest] is his last known play,” Phillips said. “Part of the reason it attracted me was that hopelessness of saying goodbye to your friends and I really thought I was coming to a period of my life where I was going to say goodbye to all of this. Part of it was that it interfaced with my retirement from Regis.” THE MAKINGS OF AN ARTIST

Prospero’s Winter Cloak” is one of four seasonal tapestries in Phillips’ The Tempest series.

As a teenager in the 1970s, Phillips was immersed in a Catholic Church environment that was opening its doors to more involvement from lay members. In Catholic schools, students were making banners for liturgies although at the time, the banners weren’t too sophisticated. “I thought banners were the coolest. And I was gluing felt burlap like everyone else,” Phillips said. “But my sense of design took me beyond that. I started getting into sewn banners and that was a part of my artistic life up to and including graduate school.” After completing a bachelor’s degree in art, with an education license and a minor in creative writing at Siena Heights College in Adrian, Mich., he earned a Master of Fine Arts in printmaking and ceramics from Bowling Green State University in Ohio. He later earned a Master of Arts in Adult Christian Community Development from Regis. For Phillips, it felt natural to connect art with the life of the Church.


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Digital prints like “Once a Duke” and “Prospero’s Lament are part of his “Tempest Transformations” tapestry series.

“The reality is, all of the arts, but in particular textile art, have played a role in the liturgical life of the Church, certainly before the Middle Ages, and especially in the Middle Ages,” Phillips said. “Tapestries were part of Church environments and smaller banners were part of ongoing liturgical celebrations in the life of the liturgy and masses.” Phillips made it part of his career to take inspiration from this tradition. “I was very fortunate at Regis that most of the parts of my creative life could be tapped into and become part of the life of the university,” he said.

BRINGING A WORLD OF ART TO REGIS Phillips was hired to be part of a University Ministry team of three, but the department grew to include dozens of work-study students. That allowed him, eventually, to take on more roles, and by the end of his career, he had worked as a campus minister, directed Chapel music, worked as an instructor in the art department and served as minister for ecumenical programs. Halfway through his time at Regis, he became responsible for selecting art on campus as it related to mission. After a donation from the John and Florence Fortune Foundation in 2000, there was funding

to bring art into University classrooms, particularly in Carroll, Loyola and St. Peter Claver, S.J., halls. The goal of the grant was to represent the University’s Jesuit mission through art in classrooms, meeting rooms and public spaces on campus. In 1998, students at another Jesuit institution, Georgetown University, proposed that crucifixes should be placed in every classroom. The idea spread to Catholic universities throughout the United States. At Regis, this started a discussion about which types of art should represent not only the Christian story, but also Regis’ mission as a Jesuit institution.



“It was at that time that we were working toward trying to get art images that told more parts of the Christian story,” Phillips said. “We sought to get images from Judaism and some of the Eastern religions.” Phillips also was responsible for acquiring campus bronze statues, working as the liaison between artists and the University. Phillips had a role in bringing to Regis some of the most recognizable pieces on campus, including the St. John Francis Regis sculpture just inside the Regis chapel doors and the Van Ek-Fedde Crucifix, which depicts Jesus as an African man. “I could talk artist’s talk,” he said. “I was able to articulate what the mission needs were, as well as what the artistic needs were.” Working at Regis, Phillips was immersed in religious inspiration. But the media he centered his earlier arts education on, ceramics and printmaking, didn’t necessarily lend themselves to the resources available to him on the Regis campus. Both forms require specific equipment — and time.

“We didn't really have the equipment,” Phillips said. “And I didn't really have extended amounts of time with my ministry job.” But his love of tapestries fit well with his work. At Regis, Phillips found studio space in the University gallery, and later, the basement of O’Connell Hall. “And so, I could work on the banner, and then go do ministry work,” Phillips said. “Because it was fabric, I didn't lose parts of the production. So that was really the start of the [current Tempest] work.” Phillips’ friend of 40 years, Regis affiliate faculty member Eileen O’Brien, has been a key part of applying the finishing touches to the pieces. An experienced sewer, O’Brien applied the backing of the tapestries, teaching him sewing principles that allowed the pieces to hang straight. “He's my very best friend in the world. And so, I wanted to be able to help him,” O’Brien said. “His creative mind moves so quickly. He wants to move on to the next piece, and so, I could finish up the pieces.”

Religion inspires some of Phillips’ work. Other works, like “Cassandra, Patron Saint of the COVID crisis,” stem from life events.


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O’Brien and Phillips met in Ohio when they both taught at Catholic schools. Before O’Brien accepted a teaching position at Regis and moved to Colorado, she visited Phillips to see his tapestry work for the first time. “I was just kind of blown away,” she said. Their work together has continued ever since. In all of his years at Regis — and even after he retired — Phillips contributed banners to University liturgies. He also wrote poetry and liturgical writing, publishing two books. “I like the concept of movable and temporary art for [a] specific event or season,” Phillips said. “As projects come up with the school, I’d still like to be involved and hopefully can still contribute to ministry.” For the past four years, he’s taken inspiration from Shakespeare. SWEPT AWAY BY SHAKESPEARE When Phillips works in his studio, it’s easy for him to become absorbed in the world of The Tempest. “I kind of get carried away, like with the pieces that are now 10-by-10,” he said. “I never intended for them to quite get that big, but they just kept growing on the table.” This is typical for most of his work. Phillips generally starts with a sketch in mind, he said, “but a lot of it's happening just spontaneously on the table.” This work has been in progress for the past four years with O’Brien’s help. His current collection includes four 10-by-10 tapestries of Prospero, eight smaller pieces and a few banners. The large tapestries represent Prospero, who in the play, wears a cloak to aid in his magic. Phillips imagined that his magic could be translated into the four seasons, each with its own alchemical references, magical creatures and spirit entities. In the summer tapestry, for instance, he uses gold as a metal alchemical reference and the sun and jungle cats as spirit entity inspiration. His smaller works in the collection depict spirits or characters from the play.

Phillips and his sewing machine so far have produced four 10-by-10 Prospero tapestries, using supplies from the large collection that fills his studio.

The collection of tapestries has been a significant part of Phillips’ life since he retired. His dream is to be able, one day, to show all of the pieces at once. Unlike Shakespeare, he doesn’t see The Tempest as his goodbye. “I don’t know that I’m really ready to stop artwork entirely,” he said. “I don’t want to say goodbye to it altogether.”





Regis Safe Outdoor Space Answers Call to Help People Experiencing Homelessness BY Sara Knuth PHOTOS BY Barry “Bear” Gutierrez

Joe Giles was used to the stress of not having a home. Living on the streets meant that he couldn’t walk around without packing up everything he owned and carrying it around with him everywhere he went. Ever since people stole his dog’s food out of his shopping cart, he worried that his belongings would get stolen. People would blow smoke in his dog Lucy’s face. He didn’t have regular access to his medications. His life felt chaotic.


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So, he was relieved this past winter when he found a temporary home in the Regis University Safe Outdoor Space (SOS), managed by Denver nonprofits the Colorado Village Collaborative (CVC) and the St. Francis Center. One day in early March, he was happy that he had access to electricity in his tent, set up in a row of others nearly identical. It had snowed the day before, but Giles didn’t mind. Colorado’s climate meant he could wear a T-shirt the next day. “I feel safe here,” he said. “It’s cool to see people here hang out with each other and be friendly with each other.” By March, he had been in the SOS for three months. His story is similar to that of many other residents: He learned about the housing alternative after volunteers from the St. Francis Center mentioned it. The center provides shelter for men and women experiencing homelessness in the Denver area. “I’ve loved it ever since,” he said. Now, he has access to counseling and medical care, amoung other resources provided in the SOS, and Lucy has a safe place to rest. The Regis SOS, located in a parking lot on the far east side of the northwest Denver campus, between the athletic fields and Federal Boulevard, has been operating since June 2021. The 19,000-square-foot site, which is staffed 24/7 by the center and has space to host up to 60 people, is equipped with portable toilets, showers, an office trailer and areas where residents can access services. The site has a perimeter fence and entry points that are operated at all times. To live in the site, residents are selected through a screening process intended to make sure they are well-suited to it. Residents are not allowed to use drugs or alcohol. The site, set to pack up this summer to move to a new location, was a key part of a series of innovative strategies intended to address a crisis of homelessness in Denver. Joe Giles and his dog Lucy have found security and consistency at the Safe Outdoor Space facility (SOS) located in parking lot 6 on the University’s Northwest Denver Campus. REGIS.EDU


“It was very exciting to be able to partner with Regis University and [to be] able to come into this parking lot that was being unused during COVID,” said Cuica Montoya, the SOS program manager for Colorado Village Collaborative. “We were very excited to be here, and we’re grateful for the partnership.” The first SOS site opened in downtown Denver in December 2020, five months after Denver Mayor Michael Hancock announced a partnership with CVC to open secure, fully staffed sites for people experiencing homelessness. The CVC partners with the St. Francis Center and several community organizations that provide services to residents, including medical and dental appointments and Denver Public Library Peer Navigators, among others. During a typical day, residents work, meet with case managers and access services. One of the main goals for residents is to get into permanent, stable housing.

In 2021, 5,530 people were experiencing homelessness in Denver, according to a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development point-in-time count, conducted Feb. 25. This count included people who were either in emergency shelter or transitional housing, but not those who were unsheltered, or living outside, to prevent the risk of COVID-19 transmission. In its 2021 annual report, the CVC attributed the deepening crisis to COVID-19, a lack of affordable housing, systemic racism and the gap between wages and the cost of living. A report by the Metro Denver Homelessness Initiative illustrates the pandemic’s impact on homelessness in the area: Between 2020 and 2021, metro Denver area saw a 40 percent increase in the number of people accessing emergency shelter and a 99 percent increase in those seeking shelter who were newly homeless.

CVC Executive Director Cole Chandler said that “Upon the onset of the pandemic, there was simply the need to create more spaces for more people faster, and Safe Outdoor Spaces emerged as an obvious opportunity for that.” According to preliminary CVC data, the nonprofit served 289 people through SOS sites and tiny homes in 2021, the other major component of CVC’s mission. CVC operates two tiny home villages, which serve 47 residents. “It seems like a very logical connection that was made at Regis,” said Ian Stitt, the Regis SOS site manager. “It seemed like a natural fit. I think Regis’ mission and the St. Francis Center's mission align in a lot of ways.”

Johnny Hembree, 59, at the entrance to his tent at the Regis SOS which opened in June 2021.


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SOS program manager Cuica Montoya on site at the Regis SOS this spring.

A LIFETIME OF SERVICE Regis Prof. Emeritus Byron Plumley has been keenly aware of the homelessness problem for decades. A lifelong volunteer and Catholic worker, much of Plumley’s life has been dedicated to service. He attended seminary as a young man but switched gears and eventually became an affiliate faculty member in Regis’ religious studies program in 1989. He retired, becoming an emeritus professor of comparative religions in 2013, but remains involved in the Regis community. For Plumley, the concept of a safe outdoor space wasn’t new. He said his wife, lifelong volunteer Shirley Whiteside, found notes recently from a meeting of community organizations 20 years ago that mentioned a concept similar to SOS. But it took COVID-19 to put the idea into action. When he learned that Denver was introducing SOS sites as a way to address the crisis, Plumley didn’t hesitate.

“I thought, ‘Oh, I definitely want to help with that,’” Plumley said. “I knew I wanted to be involved. So, I signed up right away to be involved with the first one that opened up in downtown Denver.” As he became more involved with SOS sites, Plumley wanted to engage Regis. He brought the idea to then-Regis President Rev. John P. Fitzgibbons, S.J., who agreed to meet with CVC and St. Francis Center leaders. When Regis leaders visited a downtown Denver SOS in early 2021, it was no surprise that Plumley happened to be volunteering there that day. When Regis announced that it would welcome the SOS to campus, Fitzgibbons said the site aligned with the University’s mission. “Ours is a faith that does justice, a faith that calls on us to commit ourselves to combat indifference, walk with the poor and foster dignity

among all peoples,” Fitzgibbons said. “We were given the opportunity to provide a safe and secure temporary home for those suddenly cast onto the streets through no fault of their own. We embrace and welcome those who need an extra measure of human kindness and concern during these difficult times. As Pope Francis says, ‘If we do not take care of one another … we cannot heal the world.’” Chandler, the SOS executive director, said he has always admired Plumley’s commitment to service, which made the success of the SOS possible. Plumley volunteered and helped build all of the sites. “He's been a weekly volunteer, working shifts and, building relationships with people, cleaning up trash and doing servant kind of stuff — the kind of stuff that people that are trying to build a better world do,” Chandler said. “Byron is that type of person, and he is somebody that many of us should aspire to be



like and he has utilized his voice and relationships and vision to make the world better for people who are on the margins.” Chandler also recognized the efforts of Regis Community Relations Director Jenna Farley, who played an integral part in collaborating with the community and the organizations associated with the SOS, and helped alleviate many of the surrounding community’s fears. “Jenna is just an all-star,” Chandler said. “She feels very grounded and rooted in her belief in justice and it just has been a joy to work with her fire and energy and passion. I really think she's been somebody that's been behind the scenes, propelling this thing forward, weaving different pieces together, holding different pieces together, in order to make this a success for the University, for the broader community and for CVC and St. Francis Center, as well.” DIGNITY IN FINDING SHELTER Most days, Joe Giles can be spotted with his dog, Lucy, who is arguably one of the most popular residents of the SOS. “Everyone loves my dog,” he said. Originally from Detroit, Giles lived on the streets in Oregon before coming to Colorado. In Oregon, the man who first had Lucy said he’d sell the dog for $10 and some meth. Giles refused. “I said, ‘I don’t mess with meth,’” he said. As Giles got to know Lucy, though, he had a difficult time leaving her. The puppy, who looked malnourished, had trouble leaving Giles, too. She followed him around, and eventually, he paid the man $100 for her. Today, more than a year later, Lucy is the star of the SOS. On a chilly day in midMarch, she bounded up to residents and guests with a happy greeting. Giles said she originally was supposed to be a police dog, but she was too friendly to make the cut.

Photo: Skip Stewart



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The Regis SOS, which opened in June 2021, has space to host 60 people in need of shelter.

It’s not easy logistically to allow residents to keep pets. The site also allows couples to live in the spaces together. But Stitt, the SOS site manager, said anything that allows people to keep their dignity is worth it.

neighborhood, whether or not they know it,” he said. “The solution to homelessness has got to be a community-based solution, where we, as a community at large, decide to make this a priority to deal with.”

“It comes with its own challenges, but I don't look at it as a challenge or that it's something that we can't deal with or something that we can't accomplish,” Stitt said. “I think owning a dog and being homeless is definitely not easy. I also believe that no matter who you are, you deserve opportunity and dignity.”

He said he hopes the SOS model continues.

Montoya agreed. At the SOS, residents get a break from the stress of finding a place to sleep every night and constantly fearing for their safety. They also have a permanent address, which can be key to finding a job. Since the site opened, 21 residents of the Regis SOS have found work. As of April, the Regis SOS had served 114 people, and 24 residents moved into stable housing. Among the 48 residents living at the Regis SOS in April, half were connecting with stable housing opportunities.. “I think these spaces provide that sense of dignity and it allows for that time and energy [to be] a reintroduction to self,” she said. ‘I’D LOVE TO WORK MYSELF OUT OF A JOB’ Stitt sees homelessness as a problem that requires support from the community. “People experiencing homelessness are in everyone's

“In every iteration we've had, we've tried to step up the game in trying to find better ways to serve our community members,” Stitt said. “One of the things that Cuica [Montoya] said that I believe is that I'd love to work myself out of a job. I'd like to see this in more communities. I'd like to see more people taking part.” The way things are going, that might be possible. The idea of temporary housing in safe spaces is spreading. Chandler said representatives from more than a dozen cities, from Louisville, Ky., to Minneapolis, Minn., have called CVC to learn about the program. “It's been it's been a huge success for our city and we're excited to be able to share our learnings with other areas,” Chandler said. “[We’re] just really grateful to Regis for stepping up as a major institutional partner. It brings a great deal of stability and credibility to this program.” For his part, Plumley is gratified that Regis is putting its Jesuit values into practice. “I'm really proud of Regis to be part of this and, in the metropolitan area, to be known as an institution that really walks its talk,” Plumley said. “We say we are about justice and service. Well, you can witness that here at Regis.” REGIS.EDU


Illustrations: Dan Alarcon Jr.


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BY Karen Augé

ALUMNA DEPLOYS HER SKILL AND EXPERIENCE TO IMPROVE HEALTH DISPARITIES AMONG PEOPLE OF COLOR As an executive at the national marrow donor registry Be The Match, Erica Jensen is working to Be the Changemaker. There is a lot riding on the Regis alumna’s effort: the more successful she is, the more lives potentially can be saved. As senior vice president for marketing, donor registry growth and development for the Be The Match®, her mission is not just drawing more donors to the registry, but convincing many more potential donors of color to sign up as well. Operated by the National Marrow Donor Program, Be The Match maintains what it calls the world’s most diverse registry of willing bone marrow donors. Bone marrow donations can be effective treatment for a variety of life-threatening conditions, including leukemia, lymphoma and other blood cancers, as well as sickle cell disease. When patients do not have suitable donors in their immediate families, the Be The Match registry can link them with potential donors anywhere.



Jensen’s goal of recruiting donors of color is an ambitious one. “Over five years, we want to double the amount of ethnically diverse patients we are able to match,” she said. Currently, Be The Match estimates that fewer than 20 percent of its registry of potential donors are people of color. Because of characteristics that determine a match, a larger pool of donors in a particular racial or ethnic group increases the chances of finding a match for a patient of that same group. To achieve her growth targets, Jensen and her organization will have to overcome decades of skepticism and distrust of the medical establishment — much of it well-deserved — among communities of color. The plan is to do that by raising the organization’s profile — “if you know us [now], it’s probably because you’ve been impacted by us,” Jensen said — through marketing and social media, and resuming, post-pandemic, its presence on college campuses. But she recognizes that with communities of color, something more personal and persuasive is needed. “We have to be there in the community,” she said. “Being part of the community and sharing stories of the impact on our patients and of how their lives could be saved if they have a donor.”

The work doesn’t stop once potential donors are on the registry, Jensen said. “The secondary challenge is to get people . . . committed, get them inspired and engaged, so when we call them, they say yes.” In other words, donors exactly like Eboni Nash. As a graduate student at Harvard University, she did things. She volunteered, raised awareness, fought for social justice causes, worked for good. Then she graduated, with a master’s degree in liberation theology, left the humming, active Cambridge, Mass. campus and came home to tiny Eads, Colo., population 800. During the pandemic. “I went from doing all these things to doing nothing,” Nash said. “I felt helpless. I felt useless. So I went on my computer and Googled virtual volunteer opportunities. The second thing that popped up was Be The Match,” she said. Reading about the organization convinced her to join the donor registry. She got the Be The Match kit in the mail, sent in her swab, “and then just forgot about it.” Then, last fall, Nash was living in Denver, getting settled in a new job when she got a call. She was a match — a near perfect match, it turned out — with a very sick 13-year-old girl. She didn’t hesitate for a moment.

SO HOW EXACTLY DO THEY MATCH UP? A bone marrow donor match depends on proteins found on cells called human leukocyte antigen (HLA) markers. The body uses HLA markers to recognize its own cells and to protect itself from invaders like viruses. Race and ethnicity impact HLA markers, which means matches are more likely among people of the same race or ethnicity.


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Since donating bone marrow to a 13-year-old girl, Eboni Nash has made it her mission to persuade others to register as donors.

After a physical, blood tests, COVID tests and pregnancy tests, Nash donated her marrow on September 8, 2021. She was sore for a couple days, and dizzy – the latter the result of pretty much ignoring the medical team’s instructions to drink plenty of water, Nash admitted. Overall, she was back to normal in a few days. Although the registry contains potential donors from 18 to 60, Nash’s age — 25 — ­ made her an ideal donor. Research shows that younger donors’ cells regenerate more quickly and they experience fewer side effects, Jensen said. Nash's ethnic background — Black and Native American — means that little girl is especially fortunate that a donor was found. In the weeks before her donation, Nash heard some comments that might explain why. “I do remember a few people of color saying, ‘are you sure that’s good idea? They might take more than they say’. I told them this is a credible organization. I did my research. And I had full agency within my procedure. You aren’t forced into anything. They educate you on the process, and they checked with me two or three times — ‘are you sure you want to do this?’ Even one more time as they wheeled me back, they said, ‘are you sure you want to do this?’”

Now, Nash has two items on her to-do list: She’d like to meet the girl whose life she likely saved (Be The Match rules require a year between a donation and meeting.) And she wants to get 4,000 people added to the registry by year’s end. A Tik Tok video she made in the hospital jump-started that effort, thanks to its 800,000 likes. “I tell people it’s a little bit of pain for a lifesaving thing,” she said. Unlike Nash, Jensen didn’t go looking for a good cause. In fact, when a headhunter first called, it took a bit of persuading for her trade her globe-trotting corporate life for Be The Match. “I had this stereotype of nonprofits working hard, having great people, but not having a strategic plan.” But a little persistence on the headhunter’s part, and a little digging on Jensen’s, shattered her preconceived notions, at least where Be The Match is concerned. “They have a very clear path and were building operational strategic initiatives,” Jensen said. She was sold. “As a Black African American marketing professional knowing I could make a difference in overcoming what is one of the largest disparities in modern health care, how do you say no?”



And that’s how she made the transition as she put it, from making money to saving lives. “Our matrix is lives. That is very different from the corporate world, which is looking at driving profit.” When Jensen enrolled in the Regis MBA program, she was working full time at Qwest Communications in Denver and wanted to augment her communications degree from Northwestern University with business skills. Regis’ appeal included flexible schedules and, “I loved the focus on ethics,” she said. After earning her MBA at Regis, Jensen spent nearly two decades charging up the corporate ladder, first at Bank of America in Charlotte, N.C., then as senior marketing manager for global marketing at General Mills, which is based in Minneapolis where Jensen lives with her husband and two children. Even at General Mills, Jensen had her eye on more than profits. One of the achievements there that she is most proud of is the 2014 creation of The Firefly Sisterhood. The Minnesota-based non-profit, which resulted from Jensen’s marketing work with the General Mills brand Yoplait yogurt, connects volunteer breast cancer survivors with women experiencing the disease. Yoplait, a favorite among women, had a longtime partnership with breast cancer research organizations. But research can take years to come to fruition; the company wanted a philanthropic project that would produce more immediate results.

“MY OVERALL VISION IS EQUAL OUTCOME FOR EVERYONE, REGARDLESS OF THEIR ETHNIC BACKGROUND OR AGE OR INCOME.” ~ ERICA JENSEN “We did focus groups with survivors, and they told us they felt alone in their journey,” Jensen said. Doctors, nurses, friends and family were all helpful in their role. But despite their best intentions, those people hadn’t experienced a breast cancer diagnosis. “[The women] told us they wished they had a support network” of other women who had been through it. Firefly Sisterhood matches recently diagnosed women with survivors they have something more in common with – age, life experience, type of cancer – than just a devastating diagnosis. The survivors become a lifeline, mentor, and someone the women in treatment can go to with questions like where to buy the best wigs, or what wardrobe changes they might have to make. Jensen finds satisfaction in the difference the group is making. “Whenever I have attended Firefly gatherings and been able to see the impact it has, it is just a tremendous feeling to be able, within a corporate job, to do something with meaning and to impact so many lives.” In that respect her job description hasn’t changed all that much. She still gets to impact lives for the better. “My overall vision is equal outcome for everyone, regardless of their ethnic background or age or income.”

Once a globetrotting executive, alumna Erica Jensen now measures success in lives saved.


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With Jensen’s drive and skill, and a little help from people like Nash, that vision just might become reality.









Sources: Be the Match, Healthline and United States Health Resources and Services Administration.












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Annica Dino’s home stood on a hill, in a close-knit cul-de-sac overlooking Louisville, Colo. The Regis nursing graduate was at work when the Marshall Fire destroyed all the homes in her neighborhood.

The supposedly fire-proof box that held birth certificates, insurance policies and official papers: Gone. The metal toolbox — bigger than an oven — that was Annica Dino’s Christmas gift to her husband five days earlier: Gone. The keepsake recordings of each of her son’s grandfathers — both of whom have since passed away — reading their grandson a Christmas story: Gone. All that, and much more, lost when Dino’s house went up in flames December 30, 2021 in the Marshall Fire. The costliest in the state’s history, the wildfire driven by nearly 100 mile-an-hour winds tore through Louisville and Superior, Colo., just 15 miles from the Regis Northwest Denver campus. It ultimately killed two people and incinerated 1,087 homes. At least nine of those homes belonged to people who, like alumna Annica Dino, are members of the Regis community. In all that wreckage and rubble strewn across what used to be the rooms of their house, Dino’s husband, Christian Dino, found something the fire didn’t destroy: The Regis nursing pin her late father presented to her in 2003, during the ceremony that signifies the end of studying to be a nurse and the beginning of a career in healing. “To me that was symbolic. It meant that I needed to get going and get back to work,” Dino said. She would, in time. First though, came days filled with errands that would seem mundane in any other context — Target runs for shampoo and makeup, getting prescriptions refilled, picking out new clothes. But in this case, the errands also included things that could never be mundane: filling out insurance forms and applications for aid.

Not to mention that when those errands were completed, Annica and Christian Dino, their 12-year-old son, Luca, and their dogs Zoe and Daisy, returned to Annica’s childhood home in Niwot, Colo., which they would share with her mother for months. Or that the new clothes they selected had all been donated. Centura, which operates Avista Adventist Hospital, where Dino is a nurse, offered tubs full of new blankets, shoes and clothing to employees affected by the fire. The healthcare network also provided impacted employees 20 days of bereavement leave, and, had the foresight not to insist it all be taken at once. More help came from countless organizations, individuals and businesses. Less than a week after the fire, The Denver Post reported that hundreds of thousands of people had donated more than $25 million to help fire victims. At Regis, staff collected names of those whose homes were gone and sent replacement diplomas their way, along with prayers. And there were small gestures that made a big difference. Like the doctor Dino works with who offered her a weekend getaway at her mountain home. The jeweler who donated his time to repair heirloom pieces that belonged to Christian Dino’s grandparents. And the Boulder Valley



Little remains of remains of Luca Dino’s original Pokémon collection.


School District, which started sending a bus 11 miles up to Niwot to pick Luca up and take him to school and back, so Dino could stop driving all those miles twice a day. “The response from people has just been unbelievable,” said longtime Regis Volleyball Coach Frank Lavrisha. He and his wife, Maggie, were visiting family in Ohio for the holidays when the fire destroyed their Louisville home. That meant the couple had a suitcase each of winter clothes. It’s fortunate, Lavrisha said, that they hadn’t chosen instead to vacation “on a beach in Mexico.” The couple flew home the next day. With the help of their kids, Lavrisha and his wife found a way around blockades designed to keep them out of the neighborhood. In one of nature’s crueler jokes, the day after a very un-Decemberlike heatwave and near-hurricane-force winds fueled the fire, snow fell across the Boulder area. So, as they trudged through snow toward the ash and rubble that had been their home for 19 years, their 4-year-old granddaughter, Emma, ran up to Maggie. “I’ve got to hug Grandma,” she announced. “Because her house melted.” Lavrisha said St. Vitus Catholic Church in Cleveland, where he and Maggie were married, took up a collection for them one Sunday. On the weekends, the Lavrishas live with a son in Lakewood. During the week, they stay at a friend’s Boulder townhome, which is closer to Maggie’s job at Boulder Community Hospital. The friend offered it to them while she lives with and cares for her aging father.


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“The tragedy has been dwarfed by the generosity of people,” Frank Lavrisha said. But, he joked, anytime he starts to get carried away with warm and fuzzy feelings, insurance companies bring him back to Earth. He said his kids asked him about re-building somewhere else, but he and Maggie never really considered moving. “There’s a deeper connection now than ever with neighbors we knew before and neighbors we didn’t know well. Because we all endured the same thing.” Annica Dino said her family, too, will rebuild on the same hilltop spot in the same curve of the same cul de sac. She’s become closer than ever to several of them, neighbors who know better than to constantly ask how she’s doing, and who decided it was not just OK, but a good idea, to go out to lunch and drink Bloody Marys at noon. “We told the waitress, ‘We can do this, because our houses burned down,’” Dino said. She was home that windy afternoon between Christmas and New Year’s when she got word that smoke was barreling toward Avista Adventist Hospital, where she has spent her entire 17-year nursing career. So, she jumped in her car and headed toward the hospital to help evacuate patients. As she drove, the smoke became so intense she had to put a mask on. That’s when she called her husband. “I told him, you should pack up some things and go to my mom’s.” Even then, she never thought their home would be lost.

She was just concerned about her family breathing all that smoke. Christian Dino, an architect and contractor, had taken a day off to work on finishing their basement — he had just hung the last piece of drywall when the smoke started rolling across the dry grass toward their home. He grabbed three outfits for each member of the family, herded black labs Zoe and Daisy and the family’s two geckos into the car. Outside, he saw a neighbor frantically searching for a fire extinguisher. At that point, Christian Dino knew that a fire extinguisher was not going to do any good. “He told her to just leave,” Annica Dino said. A month after the fire, the office of Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle announced that the investigation into what caused it could go on for weeks or months, as they waited for laboratory analyses to completed. Pelle’s office said investigators were focusing on three potential causes: power lines, human activity and underground fires burning in the coal seams that crisscross Boulder County, leftover hazards from a time when mining was a thriving industry in the area. In February, Dino had thought she might return full time to the obstetrics unit at Avista. But, it turned out, delivering babies and managing other nurses wasn’t the distraction she’d hoped it would be. Patients wanted to hear what happened, co-workers wanted to know how they could help. They all were well-intentioned. But, Dino said, it is just hard talking about it all the time. Her son feels the same, Dino said. In one sense, there is comfort knowing he’s not the only kid who lost his video games, and pretty much everything he’s owned or cared about. More than 30 classmates at Louisville Middle School experienced the same losses. There are counselors at the school, but some days, Luca just wants to be a


In addition to belongings and memories, the fire destroyed the motor bike Christian and Luca Dino were restoring together.





To Annica Dino, finding her nursing pin intact amid the rubble of her home represented the need to continue her work.

normal sixth-grader again and not talk about anything more serious than math homework, Dino said. What the flames let escape seems as random and mystifying as the fire’s path itself. After incinerating 378 homes in Superior, it crossed the Boulder Turnpike, swept southeast to consume every home in the Dinos’ tight-knit cul-de-sac and the neighborhood beyond. They ignored the stores and strip malls down the hill from what was their backyard, and left untouched the fire station that hugs the development’s edge. It left the Dinos a Pikachu piggy bank Luca had painted; a Le Creuset soup pot, the last surviving member of a once-complete cooking set; heirloom jewelry from Christian’s family, ash-covered, bent, but intact. And the nursing pin. That pin is “a physical symbol of the hard work and dedication of the student and their commitment to nursing going forward,” said Catherine Witt, Ph.D., Dean of Regis’ Loretto Heights School of Nursing. “Each nursing school has a unique design, so it identifies the wearer as a graduate of that particular school. At Regis, we have a separate ceremony for pinning. . . Each student selects a significant person in their life to "pin" them.” Dino chose her father, longtime Niwot High School wrestling coach Gary Daum. “During all the speeches, he kept looking at his watch,” she recalled, simultaneously laughing and tearing up at the memory. “He had a match that evening.” Since Annica Dino's husband is a contractor and architect, the family has a head start in rebuilding their home. Insurance won’t cover everything, but donations, and GoFundMe helps. Eventually they will have a new home, new dishes, new furniture. In the meantime, there is Annica Dino’s pin and all it symbolizes. “It’s a sign that I need to get back to nursing. When I’m ready.”


Spring /Summer 2022 | R EG I S U N I V E R S I T Y M AG A ZI N E

Coal Creek was in pretty good shape last summer when Kristopher Voss, director of Regis’ Environmental Biology Program, biology Prof. Michael Ghedotti, Ph.D., and a team of graduate students first studied it. Drought and development had taken a toll, but the research team could report to the City of Louisville that the stream flowed with life. “It may not be the perfect pristine mountain stream, but for a small, high-plains transition stream, it was pretty good,” said Ghedotti. The City of Louisville, east of Boulder, commissioned the study, one of several assessments to determine the state of various ecological communities. In analyzing Coal Creek’s health, the Regis team found minnows and small varieties of sunfish and sucker fish. Nothing you could make a meal of, but life, and a healthy assortment of it. That was before December, before the Marshall Fire. Not long after the fire, the researchers learned that one of the sites they had sampled, near the golf course that bears the creek’s name, had completely burned. So, Voss and Ghedotti now have a rare opportunity to immediately measure and quantify what effect a fire that devastated many human lives had on the smallest of creatures, and the ecosystem that supports them. The Boulder County Nature Association has provided $2,050 for Voss and Ghedotti, and a team of Regis graduate students working toward a master of science in environmental biology, to return to the sites on the creek they examined last summer, and determine the fire’s impact. “We know that with climate change we are seeing more frequent and intense fires,” Voss said. “So, despite the human toll, this fire gives us the opportunity to find out how fire impacts stream ecosystems.” This year they’ll answer the question: what did the fire do? Then, Ghedotti said, they plan to return to the stream yearly to answer perhaps an even more vital question: How long until the stream returns to its previous health, if ever? The study not only provides the community and the universe of scientists studying the impact of climate change with significant information, it also offers Regis students experience in a field that promises to grow in importance and impact, Voss said.

BE A FORCE OF (AND FOR) NATURE. Complete your Master of Science in Environmental Biology in as little as 10 months, with a hands-on externship or research project in one of Colorado’s many diverse environments.

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Osher Lifelong Learning R E G I ST E R N OW FO R

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M AY 3 1 –AU G U ST 9

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Regis freshman among students chosen to talk with, and question, Pope Francis about critical issues BY Karen Augé When she learned she was going to chat with Pope Francis, Keiry Sosa Velazquez’s first reaction was pure excitement. But as the Zoom call with the pontiff neared, the enormity of the invitation began to sink in. She was one of about a dozen students from the Americas offered an opportunity to share their concerns, suggestions and even criticisms about how the Church should address this moment’s critical issues. No wonder Sosa Velazquez started to get nervous. She practiced in front of a mirror. She created voice memos on her phone. She timed her words down to the second. When it was her turn to present her thoughts and questions to the leader of the Catholic Church, the Regis Freshman looked into His Holiness’ eyes through her computer screen. “My heart was racing and I was like, ‘Just speak. Just have words come out.’” They did. She began by reminding him, “You hold the power [of] those who feel powerless.” She described for the Pope the idea she and fellow students devised to create a podcast for those on all sides of borders who are facing decisions to migrate, facing displacement, struggling with assimilation. “We will speak for them, not to minimize them but to build them up,” she said. She had a few requests, too, including that no more churches be closed “as they can be transformed into our homes,” and that priests and public figures craft a discourse highlighting “that my people aren’t to be feared. They’re to be heard, understood and helped.” The February 24 virtual dialogue, Pope Francis’ first with university students from North, South and Central America, was the unexpected result of a community project initiated by Loyola University Chicago, in response to a process launched last year by the Pope.


Spring /Summer 2022 | R EG I S U N I V E R S I T Y M AG A ZI N E

Loyola assembled a group of students from across the Americas and challenged them to engage in the Pope’s synodal process, which began in 2021 and continues through 2023. The Vatican describes the synodal process as a conversation with the goal of guiding the church forward on a path that allows it to better live and work its mission. In initiating the synodal process, Pope Francis specifically called for it to include those whose voices can be easily overlooked, such as refugees and migrants. Voices like Sosa Velazquez’s. Her parents brought her to Denver from Durango, Mexico when she was an infant and she’s experienced first-hand the struggles many immigrants face, from mastering two languages to walking through life as a target for those who resent her presence here. Because of a 2021 ruling by a U.S. District Court judge in Texas, which said the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is unlawful, her future here is uncertain. Despite all that, Sosa Velazquez has not only persevered, but soared. The politics major is an honors student at Regis, and she’s also recipient of the prestigious Leadership Core Scholarship. If Sosa Vazquez has her way — and given what she’s accomplished so far, there is little reason to think she won’t — public speaking, and speaking truth to power, will become a regular occurrence in her life. “I want to be part of Congress,” she said. No one who knows Sosa Velazquez doubts she has a good chance of getting there. “Keiry is a very determined young woman who has faced many challenges as an immigrant,” said Melissa Nix, Regis director of Curriculum and Intercultural Programming, and the person who recommended Sosa Velazquez be a participant in the Loyola project. “She is very passionate about her commitment to immigrant rights and very forthright in speaking to the importance of equity for all human beings, regardless of birthplace or citizenship privilege. In particular, the right to a good education is very important to Keiry.” In fact, she’s passionate not just about education for young people, but for many others as well. “I think Americans need to be educated about immigrants and their struggles,” she said. “Americans are willing to take in refugees after war but not natural disaster or violence that’s not war-related. They assume immigrants

Photo: Brett Stakelin

want to take jobs, but a lot of them just want to get away from things no human should ever go through.” Immigration and the plight of refugees was a major topic of the virtual dialogue, which Pope Francis began by calling global migration “one of the most serious problems we have to face,” and reminded the audience that he is the child of an immigrant, and that the United States is a nation of immigrants. “We must make a home for them,” he said. For nearly two hours, students shared their views and posed difficult, often pointed, questions about how the Church is addressing, or failing to address, the issues they will face as adults. When it was over, Sosa Vazquez said she felt hopeful that the Pope will reflect on what the students said. He made no promises, but the fact that he was taking notes throughout the dialogue could be a good sign, she said. Sitting face to face with the Pope — albeit through a computer screen — “did bring me closer to the church,” she said. “I’ve always considered myself religious, but I do have some problems with the way the church functions. But I feel like [Pope Francis’] idea of listening to people . . . is something priests should take in. Some churches push youth away because they are so judgmental.”



Thanks to talented players like Sarah Hanson, number 27, a junior from Oregon, the Women's Lacrosse team made a habit of crushing opponents the past season.

Good Sports


This spring, fans were back in the stands, new turf sprouted on the playing fields, and Berce Athletic Center still had that new-gym shine. And Regis athletes rose to the occasion. The women’s lacrosse team launched its 2022 season ranked 12th in the nation by the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) Division II Coaches' Poll. By mid-April, the women had shot up to number four in national rankings, and were undefeated, thanks to players like graduate students Hannah Kratz, Sarah Kate Dhoms and Kyleigh Peoples, who made a habit of winning Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) player of the week honors.


Spring /Summer 2022 | R EG I S U N I V E R S I T Y M AG A ZI N E

Perhaps no team rose higher than the men’s basketball team. After putting together a 20-wins, 10-losses season – with 14 of those victories coming back-to-back, in the longest winning streak in program history – the Rangers entered the RMAC tournament as a sixth seed. The upset-minded Rangers started by eliminating the number-three seed Fort Lewis College, then knocked off second-seed Colorado Mesa University to earn a spot in the championship game against the top-ranked Black Hills University Yellow Jackets. Regis jumped out to a 12-3 lead early, and, with 4:22 left in the second half, held a four-point lead following a jumper by graduate student Brian Dawson. Then, the two-time First Team All-RMAC selection scored a jumper that brought the Rangers to within one point with 50 seconds remaining. But in the end, the Cinderella Rangers fell just short of winning the championship crown, losing to the Yellow Jackets 69 to 66. Thanks to all Rangers for giving us so much to cheer about this spring.

Point guard Brian Dawson, a graduate student from the Los Angeles area, led the Rangers in points scored, was a two-time First Team All-RMAC selection and a RMAC First Team All-Academic winner.




p re s e n t s






Encanto J U LY 9

The Princess Bride










Ooofff. That's ruff. Sorry for your awkward predicament. Without knowing the details, let me begin by repeating a phrase my late, great uncle Rocky Raccoon once barked: “Ain't no tellin' what's in the pickle barrel less you get the lid offin it.” Rocky was a visionary. A regular Elon Muskfox. In other words, you never know what’s going on in other people's lives so when you find yourself in an awkward situation, paws first, cut some slack and be kind rather than take things personally. Just jelly roll with it. Try being a patient listener/observer. People get wrapped up in their own passions sometimes, it’s no wonder they flip out like a red bull on Red Bull. The brain is mostly self-centered. Know how I know that? Teachers. They taught me about brains. And other stuff. Like never trust a green donut. One of the most valuable lessons I learned from a teacher is to always be the voice of peace and kindness. The love and compassion you evoke is amazingly limitless. It’s the only resource in the world that actually grows the more you use it. Kinda like bitcoin. When I needed to feel appreciated, I got it from teachers and coaches (yes foxes have coaches. How do you think I learned all those trick shots I’ve been posting?) Teachers showed me a great range of ideas. I remember even hugging a few — back in the day when hugging was still cool. My teachers were some of the most beautiful, humble and authentic animals I have ever known. They taught me how to immerse myself in love and truth. Because they shared their knowledge and wisdom with me, I have become the culmination of my favorite teachers creating the charmingly witty and painstakingly modest fox I am today.



Spring /Summer 2022 | R EG I S U N I V E R S I T Y M AG A ZI N E

Regardless of the situation, in today's wacky world, keep an open heart and take the highest path. Find calm in the chaos and become the listener. Make that your superpower. You never know what's going on in someone else’s head. Then when it comes your turn to go through trying times, the universe will remember how you once responded kindly and thoughtfully. If none of that works, like my great aunt Elsanor Oldenfox once said, “Let it go.”

Photo: Skip Stewart


AFFILIATE INSTRUCTOR BRINGS PRISON TO THE CLASSROOM — AND THE CLASSROOM TO PRISON In 20 years of educating men and women in prison, Regis affiliate faculty member Jim Bullington estimates that he’s written well over 20,000 letters, helping students and their families navigate college behind bars. He’s crisscrossed the state, visiting nearly every prison in Colorado and educating students in some of the state’s most well-known prisons, from the Sterling Correctional Facility to the Colorado State Penitentiary to Denver Women’s Correctional Facility. “Nothing compares to it,” he said. “I remember one day I was driving back from Denver Women’s, and I was like, ‘I can't believe I get paid to do this.’ I met amazing people in there.” Bullington has coordinated prison education programs for most of his career, first in collaboration with Naropa University in Boulder and now with Adams State University in Alamosa. His experiences — both inside and outside of prisons — often make their way into his Regis classroom. Bullington, a 1993 Regis sociology graduate, teaches criminal justice courses on topics including the death penalty and juvenile delinquency. For Bullington, educating those in prison — he strenuously opposes calling them prisoners — is a rewarding, albeit challenging, endeavor. It is an undertaking that requires navigating the ebbs and flows of bureaucracy and policy changes. In 1994, amid a groundswell of “get tough on crime” sentiment, Congress defunded programs that allowed people behind bars access to federal Pell Grants to help pay for their education. That forced prison educators to get creative to keep their programs going. “Specter” funds, named after the late Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter, an advocate of prison education, provided an alternative funding source. With Regis Associate Prof. Gil Gardner, Bullington and colleagues used these funds to help build what became the largest in-person program taught indoors in Colorado with Adams State. “It's transformative for everyone involved,” Bullington said. “It is the best teaching experience I've ever had in my life.”

Then, in 2011, Congress defunded the Specter program. Two years later, Bullington and his colleagues at Adams State had to stop the in-person program, turning their attention to the university’s prison correspondence program, which continues today as one of the most robust programs of its kind in the United States. Bullington said prison education is transformative because it gives people in prison their humanity back. “I've seen total transformation of people inside a prison, people who thought they could never do anything like this,” he said. “They're writing unbelievable prose, and they're excelling, and they're debating. It's crazy, and you know, it's changed me. I think it changes anyone that goes into it.” At Regis, his experiences have translated into unique opportunities for students. For years, he took Regis students to the Colorado State Penitentiary in Cañon City, where they put their hands on the gurney used during executions. Colorado abolished the death penalty in March 2020 — a milestone Bullington long advocated for. In class, he challenged students to think deeply about the issue from the victim’s and the perpetrator’s perspective. When the Adams State in-person program was operating, Regis students tutored students incarcerated there. Today, his courses feature the first-hand perspectives of people who have experienced prison, a tradition he started after teaching his first juvenile delinquency course at Regis. Often, they will call in to or visit his classes. “I have connections, so I started reaching out to family members and friends of people in prison and people in prison,” he said. “And we would do [calls] live from prison. People who were put in as juveniles would call in to my classes.” These first-hand experiences continue in his classes today. Now, Bullington and his colleagues are turning their attention to another policy change. In December 2020, Congress announced it would reinstate Pell funding for students in prison by 2023. At Regis and elsewhere, Bullington’s goal remains the same. -SK REGIS.EDU


Thank Yo u !

With your generous support, we were able to raise over $120,000 for 23 projects this year. We are forever grateful!


Spring /Summer 2022 | R EG I S U N I V E R S I T Y M AG A ZI N E

Regis students Ashley Denhard and Morgan Shelly seem to enjoy the healing powers of cloven-hooved ruminants during a goat yoga session, part of Ranger Week festivities this spring.


The GLOBAL Inclusive College Certificate Program at Regis University

The first faith-based, collegiate experience at a Jesuit university for young people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Made possible by the support of The Global Down Syndrome Foundation and the Anna and John J. Sie Foundation







1980s Anthony (Tony) C. Thompson (RC `80) was recently appointed a board member of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) by the Securities and Exchange Commission. The PCAOB oversees audits of public companies and SEC-registered brokers and dealers in order to protect investors.

1990s Tim DeRuyter (ACBC ‘92) has been named defensive coordinator for the Texas Tech Red Raiders. A former head coach at Fresno State University, DeRuyter most recently served as defensive coordinator for the University of Oregon Ducks. Earlier, during his stint as defensive coordinator and assistant head coach at Texas A&M, DeRuyter coached future Denver Broncos great Von Miller. Michael “Erik” Kurilla (RC `01) was appointed by President Joe Biden to lead the United States Central Command. His nomination was approved unanimously by the U.S. Senate in February. Kurilla, who previously commanded the Army’s 18th Airborne Corps, is a 1988 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. According to Stars and Stripes, Kurilla has led special operations and conventional forces in Panama, Iraq and Afghanistan, and commanded the 82nd Airborne Division, the elite 75th Ranger Regiment and its 2nd Battalion. He also served as the assistant commander of the Joint Special Operations Command and as the Pentagon’s deputy director for special operations and counterterrorism. He was wounded serving in Iraq in 2005, and has been awarded two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star. Central Command, also known as CENTCOM, is responsible for protecting American security interests in the Middle Eastern and Central Asian region that includes Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan and the countries of the Arabian Peninsula.


Spring /Summer 2022 | R EG I S U N I V E R S I T Y M AG A ZI N E

Two-time Regis graduate Paul Brewster (RC `93; RC `97) was recently promoted to president of SpeedPro, a large format graphic producer. Brewster previously served as SpeedPro's Chief Operating Officer. Star Equity Holdings, Inc., a health care, construction and investments holding company, appointed Richard “Rick” Coleman, Jr. (RC `94) chief executive officer. Peoples Financial Services Corp., a holding company for Peoples Security Bank and Trust based in Scranton, Penn., appointed Elisa (Lisa) Zúñiga Ramirez (CPS `94) to its board of directors. Ramirez brings more than 30 years of executivelevel experience in institutional investing and capital markets to the role. Marjie Hottinger (CPS `98) retired from Y-W Electric Association, Inc., in Akron, Colo., after 47 years of service. Hottinger started at Y-W Electric in 1974 as a radio dispatcher and worked her way to the role of human resource manager. James Guilinger (CPS `99) has joined First Tellurium Corp. Canada-based First Tellurium acquires, explores, and develops gold and base metal deposits.


2000s San Antonio, Texas-based Carenet Health has named David Mulligan (ACBC `04) executive vice president of technology. Jillian Balow (RC `05) was appointed the post of state Superintendent of Public Instruction by Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin. Balow previously held the same position in Wyoming. Beth Pratt (CPS `05) heads the nonprofit National Wildlife Federation’s #SaveLACougars campaign. The campaign is raising money to build an $87-million bridge that will allow cougars to cross a 10-lane stretch of the 101 Freeway in Agoura Hills, Calif. Northern Colorado home builder Baessler Homes promoted Tanya Smith (CPS `05) to chief financial officer. Gunnar Tande (RC `07) joined DLP Capital, a private real estate investment and financial services company, as chief operating officer.

2010s Regis alumna and associate nursing professor Carol Wallman (RHCHP `13) was recently elected president of the National Certification Corp., a nonprofit organization that provides national certification programs for health care professionals. Previously served on the organization’s board of directors. Dalby, Wendland, and Co., an accounting and consulting firm with six locations in western Colorado, promoted Stephanie Fundazuri (RC `14) to senior auditor. Jennifer Briggs (ACBC `15) has been named CEO of Modern Times Beer. Briggs joins a small group of women who have led the 50 largest U.S. craft breweries. The Denver weekly publication Westword named Kelissa Hieber (RC `15) one of its 22 people to watch in 2022. The owner of Goldspot Brewing Co., since February 2021, Hieber has, as Westword put it, “participated in dozens of collaborations with other brewers and made good on a promise to elevate the charitable giving and community work that her brewery does on a weekly basis.”

The City of Redondo Beach, Calif., appointed Greg Kapovich (RC `15) waterfront and economic development director. Erika Ojeda-Louvier (ACBC `15) was promoted to director of global workforce at Atlas Real Estate, a Denver, Colo. based full-service real estate agency. Master of nonprofit management graduate Kara Pappas (ACBC `15) was recently named executive director of McKee Wellness Foundation, a Loveland, Colo.-based nonprofit that works to support communities by bridging gaps in healthcare. Former Regis Ranger’s basketball player Billy Hansen (RC `16; ACBC `18) has been dismantling how athletes look at issues of mental health with his self-published book Harder Than I Thought, Easier Than I Feared. University of Georgia soccer has added Kat Crump (RHCHP `17) to its assistant coaching staff. Crump will oversee the team's goalkeepers. Molly Byrne (RC `18) was named head coach of the women's lacrosse program at Lewis University. Alethea Daheshia (RHCHP `19) wrote an opinion column for Boulder, Colo.’s newspaper The Daily Camera, about the poor working conditions that have ravaged the nursing profession with the COVID-19 pandemic. “Nurses have always been asked to do more with less even prior to the pandemic, but now it comes at the expense of your loved ones,” Daheshia wrote. Scott Denney (RHCHP `19) wrote an article published in The Denver Post’s YourHub section on the dangers of self-treating COVID-19 with the antiparasite drug ivermectin. “It’s understandable that people want a miracle solution when there’s so much uncertainty in this pandemic, but self-treating with de-worming medications intended for animals simply isn’t safe,” Denney wrote. Cherry Creek Mortgage, a nationwide, full-service mortgage lender based in Denver, Colo., hired Paul Yarborough (ACBC `19) as vice president of IT operations.

2020s Christine Martinez, (RHCHP `21) joined Prowers Medical Center in Lamar, Colo. as a family nurse practitioner.

ACBC | Anderson College of Business and Computing CPS | College of Professional Studies LHC | Loretto Heights College RC | Regis College RHCHP | Rueckert-Hartman College for Health Professions REGIS.EDU



Former Regis University Trustee Thomas F. Staley, a scholar of James Joyce who founded an academic quarterly about Joyce and amassed a personal collection considered one of the finest in the world, died March 29 at 86. Staley fell in love with Joyce’s writing under the tutelage of Rev. Robert Boyle, S.J., a Regis faculty member who taught his upper division English literature courses. When the James Joyce statue, Ripples of Ulysses, was installed on campus in Boyle’s honor, Staley provided the Joyce texts that were etched in the circular base. After earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English and philosophy from Regis, he became a Fulbright scholar and eventually joined the faculty at the University of Texas where he was director of the Harry Ransom Center, an international archive of the works of literary giants thanks to Staley’s zealous work acquiring the writings of top luminaries.

Audrey Jawor was a cross-country standout at Regis University. After she graduated in 2020, she was an outstanding champion for disadvantaged and disabled youth. But when her family needed her, she stood by them, returning to California to help care for her sister during an illness. Jawor was killed Feb. 8 in a multivehicle crash on a highway in northern California. She was 25. Jawor graduated from San Diego’s Cathedral Catholic High School, where she lettered in cross-country. At Regis, she majored in biology, and ran cross-country in her freshman and sophomore years. Jawor worked as a youth programs coordinator at Outdoor Outreach, a nonprofit devoted to getting kids outdoors.

Rev. John J. “Jack” Callahan, S.J., whose service, hard work and good humor created a legacy both physical and spiritual on the Regis University campus, died in January at age 82. He served at Regis from 1983 through 1997, first as assistant vice president for development, then as assistant to the president for mission. He also served as rector of the Jesuit community from 1991 to 1997, during which time he oversaw the building of Jesuit House on campus. An avid planter of trees, Callahan helped the Northwest Denver campus blossom into the noted arboretum it has become.

He is survived by his wife, Carolyn (O’Brien) Staley; his daughters, Carrie Staley and Mary Wheeler; sons Tom Jr. and Tim, and six grandchildren.

Joe B. Hall, who coached men’s basketball at Regis from 1959 to 1964 before moving on to win a national championship in his home state at the University of Kentucky, died Jan. 15 at the age of 93. His story was told in a 2021 Regis Magazine article: magazine/01/hall-of-fame


Spring /Summer 2022 | R EG I S U N I V E R S I T Y M AG A ZI N E

Rev. William T. Miller, S.J., who was a chemistry professor at Regis College from 1961 to 1967 and again from 1969 until 1999, died Nov. 21, 2021, at the age of 96. He had been a Jesuit for 79 years. After retiring to Xavier House north of the Regis campus, he did pastoral work at over 40 area parishes.




Jean Ann Kelley, LHC '43


Don R. Colaiano, RC '51 Margaret Donelan Kinser, LHC '51 Patrick L. Eagan, RC '52 Margaret Mary Toohey, LHC '52 Natalie F. (Jacobucci) Keller, LHC '53 Michael D. Groshek, RC '53 Shirley Anne (McNamara) Lee, LHC '53 Ralph L. Gosselin, RC '54 Lawrence John Purcell, RC '54 Robert Emmett O'Haire, RC '55 Argia Elda Grisenti-Martelon, LHC '56 Daniel Joseph Sullivan, RC '56 Harold J. Wanebo, RC '56 J. Patrick Doyle, RC '57 Mary Sue (Dunn) Boucher, LHC '58 Isabel G. (Rosevear) Cecchine, LHC '58 Robert Joseph Smilanic, RC '58 Joseph Adducci, RC '59 Leslie Ann (Walgreen) Pratt, LHC '59 Mary Louise (Chrisman) Roach, LHC '59


Iola Elizabeth (Ciccone) Glista, LHC '60 Anne Louise (McBean) Rosseisen, LHC '60 Ronald Arthur Carlson, RC '61 Margaret (Grace) Danborn, LHC '61 Thomas Pat Klein, RC '62 Albert Leon Drumright, RC '63 Judith Mar McTernan, LHC '64 Elaine F. Cline, LHC '65 Thomas Michael O'Dorisio, RC '65 Susan Marie (Lease) Brillante, LHC '66 Bernadette L. (Romero) Seick, LHC '66 Sheryl An Tiensvold, LHC '66 Peter J. Maloney, RC '68


Lawrence Allen DeMars, RC '70 Mary Ann (Cullan) Litzau, LHC '71 Diane M. Sly, RC '72 Maria L. Fratto, RC '73 Richard James Patton, RC '73 Linda Buckley Bergin, LHC '74, RC '96 Roberto Cristobal Lucero, LHC '75 Mark D. Lancaster, RC '79


Sandra G. (Geer) Craig, LHC '82 Phyllis J. (Powell) Roelfs, '82 Willie W. Davis, '83 Ralph L. Galbraith, '84 Richard J. Berry, '85 Colleen Ann Cowhick, '88


Thomas A. Tubbs, '90 Ralph G. Hogue, '92 Bruce E. Miller, '93 Harry L. Dierks, '94 William Mark Hanzuk, '98 Brian Maday, '98 Kendra S. Kinzie, '99 Susan Moyse Rose, RC '99


Frank William Moran, CPS '00 Linnea Hunsicker-McNair, LHSON '02 Doreen Marie (Lanouetts) Carney, CPS '03 Esma C. (Clausen) Duplantier, CPS '04 Jamie Lynn Sullivan, CPS '04 Jeremiah J. Clifford, ACBC '05 George E. Lassiter, CPS '08 Ashley R. Kloor, RC '09 Nancy A. (Ricceri) Major, ACBC '09 Robin Romaine Waters, RHCHP '09


Lynne Marie Whisler, RC '13 Brianna Oliver, ACBC '17 Karen Marie (Cutsforth) Pratt, RHCHP '17 Audrey R. Jawor, RC '20 Stephen E. Ulmer, RHCHP '20 Nicholas R. Vigil, ACBC '20

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






Spring /Summer 2022 | R EG I S U N I V E R S I T Y M AG A ZI N E

What's Going on Here?

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