Letter from Dean Pamela Jansma

Letter from Dean Pamela Jansma

Spring is Here, Time to Think of Learning Abroad

Spring is officially one day away and Spring Break is two. Although, the weather last week seemed more like summer, today it is reminiscent of spring with the thought of the rhyme that I learned in elementary school: “April showers bring May flowers.” For those of you my vintage, you may remember the joke “If April showers bring May flowers, what do May flowers bring?”

Hopefully, you will enjoy the company of friends and family over Spring Break with some time for rest, relaxation, and recharging before the end of the semester, the approach of commencement, and the start of baseball season (when many/most/some of us will undoubtedly suffer disappointment with our favorite teams while other revel in the impossible). In thinking about Spring Break, I wonder if many of you are contemplating or have contemplated an international adventure at some point. We have several existing opportunities for students that range from a few weeks to an entire year and welcome additional offerings that faculty may want to propose. The one with which many of us are most familiar is likely the International College Beijing (about which I wrote in the Deans’ Notes of October 23, 2014 upon return from my first visit). What an exciting alternative ICB is. CLAS courses in China. A combination of the familiar and the unfamiliar. But CLAS has plenty more.

I’d like to paraphrase what I said in October: the learning that occurs during international experiences is boundless and priceless. Studying abroad has been demonstrated to increase student engagement, learning, and personal growth; all are values to which we in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences are committed.

The Colorado-based students who did study abroad this year have been profoundly affected. They will not be the same people upon returning home. More of our students should experience the excitement and adventure of international study. A quote attributed to St. Augustine says “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only a page.”

Following is a glimpse into some of the CLAS offerings. It is by no means exhaustive, but is designed to prod all of us (students, staff, and faculty) to dream of what we might do and where we might go. Just think, a Winterterm experience in Patagonia currently is in development. Sadly, the Maymester and Summer deadlines have mostly passed for this year, but planning can begin for 2015-2016.  

Sustainability in Berlin: A joint-venture between the University of Colorado Denver and the Ecologic Institute in Berlin, Germany, a premier organization in sustainability and ecologic research, is offered in fall semester 2015. Students will take two Political Science courses in English as well as complete an internship and an independent research project. For information, contact Dr. Christoph Stefes at christoph.stefes@cudenver.edu.

Window on China: A partnership between CLAS and the Business School, this Maymester experience introduces students to the historical, political, and economic contexts of doing business in China today with study in Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenyang. For more information, contact Dr. Chen Ji at jo.chen@ucdenver.edu or Dr. Stephen Thomas at stephe.thomas@ucdenver.edu.

Field School in Tanzania: An intensive four-week summer program that focuses on human origins and adaptability, this offering introduces students to field research techniques and explores the contemporary culture of the Masia of the Ngorongoro region of Tanzania. Work is done in collaboration with Tanzanian scientists and in partnership with several international universities. For more information, contact Dr. Charles Musiba at charles.musiba@ucdenver.edu

Sustainable Development and Health in Bhutan: This 4-week summer offering will examine the dynamics of community development in Bhutan through a combination of classroom and field experience. One week of intensive instruction will occur on the CU Denver campus before departure for Bhutan. For more information, contact Dr. John Brett at john.brett@ucdenver.edu or Dr. Jean Scandlyn at jean.scandlyn@ucdenver.edu

Nobel Cause & Justice in Guatemala: A service-learning project offered during Maymester, this course is done in collaboration with PeaceJam Foundation. Students will meet Nobel Laureate Rigoberta Menchú Tum and work with the RMT Foundation founded by her to focus on human rights, inclusiveness, and the needs of indigenous peoples. The deadline for this has been extended to March 31, 2015. For more information, contact Dr. E. J. Yoder at ej.yoder@ucdenver.edu

Many more are listed on the website for CLAS study abroad: http://www.ucdenver.edu/academics/InternationalPrograms/oia/globaleducation/studyabroad/globalstudy/clas/Pages/default.aspx

We’ve spoken previously about the barriers to participation, most being financially driven and others defined by the availability of time. CLAS has a long commitment to providing scholarships to make international study and intellectual exploration accessible. Many scholarships are available and waiting. They are not enough and we need to do more. I was fortunate while growing up to spend two-thirds of my childhood outside the US. To live in different countries seemed normal and natural to me.  I’d like others to feel the same.



2 views | Issue: March 19, 2015 | Archive: Letters from the Deans


CLAS Advising Moving to New Space Today

CLAS Academic Advising will be moving to new offices in North Classroom 1030 (previously the Financial Aid offices). The office will be closed and the move will begin on Thursday, March 19, the new office will be open for dropping off/picking up documents/forms on Friday, March 20, and the office will be fully open and operational starting Monday, March 23.

41 Views | Issue: March 5, 2015 | Archive: News Archive

Romero Troupe Wins Cesar Chavez Human & Civil Rights Award
Romero Troupe Wins Cesar Chavez Human & Civil Rights Award

The Romero Theater Troupe has been honored with The National Education Association 2015 Cesar Chavez Human and Civil Rights Award for their ten years of advocacy for teachers, defense of public education, solidarity with workers everywhere, and use of dramatic storytelling to promote social justice and enhance community education. Congratulations to Jim Walsh, Senior Instructor in Political Science and Romero’s facilitator, and to all the students, faculty, staff, alums and community members involved with the troupe!  

8 Views | Issue: March 19, 2015 | Archive: News Archive

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS: Inworks Interdisciplinary Courses

Inworks, a new initiative spanning the downtown and Anschutz campuses, is creating opportunities for colleagues to collaborate across academic disciplines by imagining and offering innovative new courses. These courses may be able to take advantage of the unique affordances of the new Inworks facility on the first floor of the CU Building on 14th Street. We are accepting proposals for interdisciplinary courses for fall 2015, and spring and summer 2016. Submissions can propose a budget up to $10,000. To submit a proposal, follow the instructions found here

Submission Deadline: Midnight, Friday, April 10, 2015

8 Views | Issue: March 19, 2015 | Archive: News Archive

Diversity Matters

Council on Diversity and Inclusion Interdisciplinary Exchange

Homelessness in Denver and On the Auraria Campus

April 16
Academic Building 1, Room 1401
11:00 am - 12:30 pm
*Lunch Served*


Catherine Willey, Associate Professor of English
Will discuss and read from Sheltered,  her new play based on the stories of women experiencing homelessness.

Chad Kautzer, Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Director of  the Social Justice Minor
Will discuss how chronic lack of shelter and access to private facilities produce dys-appearance, as private lives are forced into public spaces. The experience of dys-appearance, which he argues is a form of social injustice, increases social marginalization and bodily vulnerability, and represents a clash with dominant groups and their norms about space. Such norms inform the use, division, and policing of space and the criminalization of certain practices within it.

Tony Robinson, Professor and Chair of Political Science
His talk examines the numbers of people being ticketed and incarcerated under laws nationwide punishing the survival activities of people living without homes (such as laws against panhandling, loitering, sleeping or sitting in public places) and the costs of such policing.  A case study is provided of Denver’s Camping Ban, which makes it a crime for any person to shelter him or herself from the elements while residing in public.

The Council on Diversity and Inclusion’s Interdisciplinary Exchanges offer monthly presentations, discussions, and working groups highlighting the research and creative work of CLAS faculty, staff, and students around diversity and inclusion. All are welcome!

If you have reccomendations for Fall 2015 topics, questions or for disability accommodations please contact Tracy Kohm at tracy.kohm@ucdenver.edu.

348 views | Issue: March 19, 2015 | Archive: Diversity Matters

CLAS Spotlight

Diversity among pre-nursing students, men and people of color tell their stories​

Charlene Shelton, doctoral student in Health & Behavioral Sciences and a lecturer in the department of Sociology, has teamed with Marty Otañez, Assistant Professor in Anthropology, to study the pipeline of Latino/as into nursing. With a grant from the Diversity and Inclusion Council of CLAS, Shelton and Otañez are recruiting 3 students: a high school student hoping to become a nurse, a CU Denver pre-nursing student, and a nursing PhD student. Each student will develop a digital story about barriers and triumphs as they move toward their goal of excellence in nursing. Colorado has a large population on Latino/as, but few Latino/a RNs. This project is a pilot in conjunction with the School of Nursing and the Latino/a Research and Policy Center at CU Denver. Otañez and Shelton hope that the project will lead to a larger project that explores the barriers and triumphs of other non-dominant groups who want to be RNs. Students interested in telling their stories can contact Marty at Marty.Ortanez@UCDenver.edu or Charlene at Charlene.Shelton@UCDenver.edu

20 Views | Issue: March 19, 2015 | Archive: Spotlight Archive

Communication workshops and lectures

On March 6, Stephen J. Hartnett and Lisa B. Keranen, from the Department of Communication, co-led an all-day workshop for the Roaring Forks Leadership Program. Held in Snowmass, CO, and featuring fifty participants, Hartnett and Keranen led workshops on “Traditions of Leadership and Social Change,” “Visual and Strategic Communication,” “Public Speaking for Social Change,” and “Power-Mapping as a Long-Term Strategy of Community Leadership.” In addition, on March 10 Hartnett delivered the 32nd Annual J. Jeffrey Auer Lecture in Political Communication at Indiana University, in Bloomington, IN, entitled “Alternative Modernities, Post-Colonial Colonialism, and the Storm of Progress in Tibet; A Case Study of Communication in the Age of Globalization.”

17 Views | Issue: March 19, 2015 | Archive: Spotlight Archive

Integrative Biology students and faculty publish on the fathead minnow microbiome

Students Adrienne Narrowe and Munira Albuthi-Lantz, from the PhD Program in Integrative and Systems Biology, are authors on a study in the journal Microbiome which examines the effect of environmental triclosan exposure on the collection of microbes inhabiting fish guts.  Triclosan is a chemical commonly found in antimicrobial hand soaps and other personal care products, and an emerging environmental contaminant in wastewater treatment plant effluent.  The collaborative study, done in the labs of Chris Miller, Timberley Roane, and Alan Vajda in the Department of Integrative Biology, showed that the normal microbiome (the collection of bacteria) inhabiting the guts of the fathead minnow was significantly altered by minute, environmentally relevant levels of triclosan exposure.  Fathead minnows are commonly used model organisms in environmental toxicology.  The study includes Integrative Biology PhD students, undergraduates, staff, and faculty as co-authors.

15 Views | Issue: March 19, 2015 | Archive: Spotlight Archive

Political Science walksout

The Political Science Department participated in the National Adjunct Walkout Day on February 25th, 2015.  Thorsten Spehn, Assistant Professor C/T and Director of the Graduate Program in Political Science, had this to say about the event, "Over 100 people attended on a cold day. I was impressed by the solidarity between adjuncts, instructors, tenured faculty and students." 

16 Views | Issue: March 19, 2015 | Archive: Spotlight Archive

Abeyta leads national security field trip
Abeyta leads national security field trip

Loring Abeyta, Adjunct Lecturer in Political Science, recently took her PSCI 4237 class to an American National Security class held by the Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security.  The trip was preparation for an in-class security disaster simulation that the class will have in April. 

18 Views | Issue: March 19, 2015 | Archive: Spotlight Archive

Beekman awarded fellowship at Harvard Research Library in DC
Beekman awarded fellowship at Harvard Research Library in DC

Chris Beekman, Associate Professor and Chair of Anthropology, just accepted a year-long fellowship award at Harvard University’s Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection in Washington, D.C. He will be working on a book detailing his archaeological research in western Mexico. He also gave a talk this month to the Alianza de las Artes Americanas at the Denver Art Museum, on the uses and meaning of ceramic sculptures from western Mexico.

20 Views | Issue: March 19, 2015 | Archive: Spotlight Archive

Breger Bush publishing on food and climate change

Sasha Breger Bush, Assistant Professor of Political Science, recently published a chapter entitled, “Gambling on Hunger and Climate Change” in State of Power, 2015 published by the Transnational Institute. Breger Bush also has a forthcoming article called, “No Friendship in Trade” in a special issue of Dollars & Sense Magazine.  The magazine’s March/April issue focuses on food and farming in conjunction with Farm Aid.

15 Views | Issue: March 19, 2015 | Archive: Spotlight Archive

Cummings set to publish on kids and politics
Cummings set to publish on kids and politics

Professor Michael Cummings of Political Science is set to publish his book, Children’s Voices in Politics in 2016, through Peter Lang Academic Publishers. The book is intended to put pressure on citizens and officials to enforce the provisions of the United Nations' 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child, which includes the rights to religious choice, health, education, association, voice, and participation in the making of public policy. One theme of the book is that the track record of adultist politics is not good and that incorporating the voices of children in the democratic dialogue can improve things. Another is that we come to politics too late if we favor a robustly participatory democracy rather than the pale and ailing form we have now.

18 Views | Issue: March 19, 2015 | Archive: Spotlight Archive

Finkelstein discusses book with Australian blog
Finkelstein discusses book with Australian blog

Associate Professor of History, Gabriel Finkelstein, was interviewed by the Australian blog Science Book a Day about his book Emil du Bois-Reymond: Neuroscience, Self, and Society in Nineteenth-Century Germany.

17 Views | Issue: March 19, 2015 | Archive: Spotlight Archive

Horton gives talk in California
Horton gives talk in California

Sarah Horton, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, did a presentation this month at University of California Santa Cruz (sponsored by the Chicano/Latino Research Center, the Department of Anthropology, the Department of Latin American and Latin@ Studies, and the Center for Labor Studies) on "From 'Deportability' to 'Denounce-ability:' New Forms of Labor Subordination in an Era of 'Governing Immigration through Crime.'"

21 Views | Issue: March 19, 2015 | Archive: Spotlight Archive

Johnson headed to Georgetown

Matthew Johnson, May 2014 Honors BA Graduate in Sociology and finalist for the CLAS Outstanding Graduate Award, has been accepted to the PhD History program at Georgetown University and awarded a five-year fully funded Environmental History fellowship.

16 Views | Issue: March 19, 2015 | Archive: Spotlight Archive

Kadel gives keynote and travels to Middle East
Kadel gives keynote and travels to Middle East

Robert Kadel, Lecturer in the Department of Sociology, presented a keynote at the 4th International Conference on eLearning and Distance Education, entitled “The Untapped Potential for eLearning: Placing Efficacy at the Heart of Digital Learning Challenges.” He then headed to Dubai, U.A.E. and Doha, Qatar to give a workshop called “Transitioning to Digital.”

17 Views | Issue: March 19, 2015 | Archive: Spotlight Archive

Thayer presenting and organizing at national conventions
Thayer presenting and organizing at national conventions

Zaneta Thayer, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, and one of her students just presented a poster on the relationship between maternal depression and PTSD in relation to offspring methylation. Thayer followed this up by presenting a poster at the Human Biology Association and delivering a paper at the American Association of Physical Anthropologists. The poster gave an analysis looking at the relationship between early life stress and adult health in a sample of American Indians, while the paper presented data on the relationship between maternal discrimination experience in pregnancy and offspring methylation based on her studies in New Zealand. She is co-organizing a session for the Committee on Diversity at AAPA and will be doing a talk for that as well.

21 Views | Issue: March 19, 2015 | Archive: Spotlight Archive

Thomas leading NSF funded fellowship program
Thomas leading NSF funded fellowship program

Deborah S.K. Thomas, Chair and Associate Professor in the Geography and Environmental Sciences Department, is leading Round 4 of the prestigious NSF funded Enabling the Next Generation of Hazards & Disasters Researchers Fellowship Program, with Brian Gerber of the School of Public Affairs and Samuel Brody of Texas A&M University. This demonstrably successful mentoring program supports and develops junior faculty to become active scholars in both their individual disciplines and in the broader hazards and disasters research community. The “Enabling Program” has previously mentored three cohorts of new researchers (1996, 2003, 2009). The current 2014 cohort of 22 competitively selected Fellows matched with 11 leading scholars aims to: (1) foster the development of scholars with a career-long commitment to research on hazards, risk, and disasters; (2) contribute to the nation’s future research capacity and infrastructure in these areas; and (3) add important original scientific knowledge to the areas of hazards, risk, and disasters.

23 Views | Issue: | Archive: Spotlight Archive

University Events

CU Denver Research and Creative Activities Symposium

April 17
Student Commons Building

The 17th Annual Research and Creative Activities Symposium, will be held in the Student Commons (formerly Academic Building 1) on the Denver Campus. The Symposium is designed to showcase the research, creative, and other scholarly activities of students on both the Denver Campus and the Anschutz Medical Campus.  Furthermore, the Student Common will accommodate a diversity of presentation formats including poster presentations, exhibits, interactive or streaming media, performances, readings, oral presentations, and video presentations.  As such, all CU Denver students engaged in mentored scholarly activities from both campuses are encouraged to participate. 

The Symposium provides an opportunity for CU Denver faculty to promote the diverse scholarly activities that students are undertaking as part of a mentored experience.  Scholarly activity distinguishes scholarly students— students who have expanded their experience beyond the classroom and are developing as professionals.  The Symposium provides an opportunity for students to present their scholarly activities to an audience of peers, faculty, staff, administrators, family, and visitors.

6 views | Issue: March 19, 2015 | Archive: Student Life Events

CLAS Events

Gender and Climate Change Symposium

April 1
2:00 - 4:30 pm
Tivoli 320

2:00 pm Keynote: "Our Zombies, Ourselves: Queerness after Humanism" by Jack Halberstam, PhD, Professor of English and Director of the Center for Feminist Research at University of Southern California. A talk on survival, extinction, necropolitics, humanism and the figure of the living dead, the zombie.
2:45 pm Faculty Panel Response: Larry Erbert, PhD (Communication), Sarah Hagelin, PhD (English), Maria Talero, PhD (Climate Courage Education and Organizing).
3:30 pm Reception: Sponsored by GISA (Gender Issues, Action, Scholarship), a CU Denver Student Organization.

Symposium sponsored by Women and Gender Studies, Sustainability, and Social Justice.
For more information contact Michelle Comstock at Michelle.Comstock@ucdenver.edu.

11 views | Issue: March 19, 2015 | Archive: CLAS Events

Sheltered – a Play by Cate Wiley

April 2 & 4
7:00 pm
Aurora Fox Studio (9900 East Colfax Ave)

A revised version of the play performed as part of the Athena Project Plays in Progress series. Tickets are $12 and can be ordered online from the Athena Project website.

12 views | Issue: March 5, 2015 | Archive: CLAS Events

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