Letter from Dean Pamela Jansma

Letter from Dean Pamela Jansma

Service Learning in CLAS

We are entering the final stretch of spring semester with commencement festivities starting soon.  This is one of my favorite times of the year as soon-to-be graduates embrace the conclusion of their studies and the beginning of the next phase of their lives. Each group of graduates is unique, with different dreams and goals. One trait that many share is the desire to make a difference and have an impact on their communities. Within CLAS, students have abundant opportunities to do so through the numerous volunteer, internship, outreach, and engagement activities that we offer. Collectively, this service learning is part of our identity and DNA.

What is service learning? According to the National Service Learning Clearinghouse, it is “a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities.”  The Experiential Learning Center at CU Denver specifies that successful service learning is clearly connected to the academic goals and content of the class, meets a genuine community need as the organization defines that need, and incorporates student reflection into the course. The university and community enter a reciprocal relationship that impacts and benefits both.

Within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, we have many students engaged with the community through both formal and informal opportunities that can be viewed as service learning.  Two examples are the Social Justice minor, which incorporates an internship, and the Puksta Scholars program in Communication (and soon to be in Ethnic Studies), which requires students to pursue community-based projects. 

We have numerous other examples throughout CLAS, and we know that interest in having more service learning is high among students, staff, and faculty. We encourage any and all ideas. Let us know what you are thinking and doing. We are learning with purpose and making a difference.  We know it.  We would like everyone else to know it, too.

As I look back over the Deans’ Notes from this academic year, I realize that several have references to the weather. I had hoped not to mention it this time, but I must. Today is the day after taxes were due (I hope that everyone is getting a refund) and the snow is coming down quickly with large, wet flakes. Having recently moved, finding my boots, gloves, and hat was not easy. Walking to work found me soaked at arrival.  Lessons learned: 1) do not put away winter things too early; 2) label boxes adequately when packing; 3) keep extra clothes in the office; and 4) use the umbrella.

May all of you stay warm, dry, and organized,


2 views | Issue: Aprinl 16, 2014 | Archive: Letters from the Deans



Our Outstanding Graduate Students for the Spring 2015 are:

M.S.       Jonathan Cook, Integrative Biology

Ph.D.     Jennifer Diemunsch, Mathematical and Statistical Sciences

Our Faculty Excellence Award winners are:

Tenure Track Teaching                 

Leo Bruederle, Integrative Biology

Alex Engau, Mathematical and Statistical Sciences

Tammy Stone, Anthropology

Non Tenure Track Teaching

Nicholas Golding, Economics

Gary Olson, Mathematical and Statistical Sciences

Lori Willard, Modern Languages

Excellence in Research Award winners are:

Patrick Krueger, Health and Behavioral Science

Dan Rees, Economics

Alan Vajda, Integrative Biology

Excellence in Service Award winners are:

Michael Ferrara, Mathematical and Statistical Sciences

Michael Greene, Integrative Biology

The recipients will be celebrated and awards will be presented at the Dean’s Annual Award Reception, which will take place in the Terrace Room in the Lawrence Street Center on May 8, 2015 from 9:00 – 11:00am.

Breakfast will be served and all are encouraged to attend.

31 Views | Issue: April 16, 2015 | Archive: News Archive

National History Day in Colorado Seeks Judges and Volunteers

NATIONAL HISTORY DAY IN COLORADO is a social studies and literacy program for middle and high school students. There are more than 15,000 Colorado students who participate each year by researching a topic, analyzing information and creating projects. Students can then choose to compete at regional, state and national competitions. The program has proven results including increased academic achievement and student engagement.

THE STATE CONTEST will be held on May 2nd at CU Denver on the Auraria Campus. We expect to have more than 700 middle & high school students, along with their families and teachers coming from across the state to participate. Each year we depend on 200+ volunteers and judges to help us run the contest and evaluate student projects. We would love to have you join us at the contest so that you can see in person just how great the program is. 

VOLUNTEERS: are needed for short, 3 hour shifts (you are welcome to stay for longer) to help with set-up and registration, direct participants and work tables, or run-errands for organizers. Volunteering is very rewarding and inspirational, and it’s a great way to show your CU Denver spirit and give back to your community. ALL STUDENTS, STAFF, FRIENDS AND FAMILY ARE WELCOME!!!

JUDGES: Judging is truly fun. You evaluate students’ projects and interview them about their work. It is inspirational to see the students’ great work and to feel their enthusiasm and excitement for their projects. It will make you hopeful about education and excited to see students’ knowledge of historical topics. Judging is from 7:30 am – 3:15 pm, but you can choose to work either a morning or afternoon shift (or both).The awards ceremony is at 5:00. You can choose to judge middle or high school students, and  you can choose the type of projects you’d like to judge (exhibits, documentaries, websites, papers or performances).

To register to judge or volunteer, go to www.nationalhistorydayincolorado.org. For more information contact Stacey.pendleton@ucdenver.edu

23 Views | Issue: April 16, 2015 | Archive: News Archive

Knopf Pre-Doctoral Fellowship Announced

A new four year pre-doctoral fellowship has been established in the Department of Integrative Biology by Dr. Fritz L. Knopf, mentor and faculty advisor to Associate Professor Michael Wunder. After a long and varied career in large-scale avian research, Knopf retired as a Senior Scientist from the USGS Biological Resources Division, (Midcontinent Ecological Science Center/Fort Collins Science Center) in 2006. Knopf fellowships are also being established at Oklahoma State University and Utah State University, with the intent of encouraging and supporting future research into large-scale topics in basic avian ecology, especially relative to predicting how avian populations/assemblages will adapt to coming rapid changes in future landscapes due to human activities and climate change.  Knopf’s wish is to encourage a second generation of scientists beyond his own doctoral students, many of whom have gone on to greatly further the field. The program will accept applications in 2016 or 2017. Anyone interested in more information about the fellowship can contact Mike Wunder, and anyone interested in donating to further support the fellowship can contact Catherine Lopez.

5 views | Issue: April 16, 2015 | Archive: Campaign Corner

Diversity Matters

CLAS Spotlight

Political Science Essay Contest to see Malala Yousafzai

The CU Denver Political Science Department is proud to announce that it is sponsoring an essay contest for CU Denver students to win tickets to see the world’s youngest Nobel Prize Laureate, activist and author Malala Yousafzai, speaking at the Bellco Theater on June 24th. Students can submit their essay entries on the CU Denver Political Science Department’s blog site.

33 Views | Issue: April 16, 2015 | Archive: Spotlight Archive

Berry and Stefes publish on renewable energy policy

Assistant Professor Michael Berry and Associate Professor Christoph Stefes of the Political Science Department recently published in conjunction with Frank N Laird (of Denver University)  the article, "Driving energy: the enactment and ambitiousness of state renewable energy policy” in the Cambridge Journal of Public Policy.

34 Views | Issue: April 16, 2015 | Archive: Spotlight Archive

Cribari wins Dex Whittinghill Award
Cribari wins Dex Whittinghill Award

RaKissa Cribari, Assistant Professor Clinical Teaching Track, Mathematical and Statistical Sciences, is the winner of the 2015 Dex Whittinghill Best Paper Award for the presentation of her paper "Creating Critical Thinkers in an Introductory Statistics Course” at the Joint Math Meetings in January.  The award is based on audience ratings of the papers, and Cribari had the highest rating of all 42 talks given. The award will be presented at JMM 2016, held in Seattle, WA, January 6-9. 

39 Views | Issue: April 16, 2015 | Archive: Spotlight Archive

Hassinoff book continues to garner attention
Hassinoff book continues to garner attention

To save kids from the dangers of sexting, we should stop trying to save kids from the dangers of sexting, suggests Amy Hasinoff, Assistant Professor of Communications, in this most recent interview about her book Sexting Panic: Rethinking Criminalization, Privacy, and Consent.

The misguided war on sexting
Reason Magazine
, April 9

32 Views | Issue: April 16, 2015 | Archive: Spotlight Archive

Jose and Stefes receive faculty development funds

Assistant Professor Betcy Jose and Associate Professor Christoph Stefes of the Political Science Department recently received a $5,000 Faculty Development Grant for their project investigating Russia’s Intervention in Crimea.

31 Views | Issue: April 16, 2015 | Archive: Spotlight Archive

Keranen and Dodge publish jointly

Building on research supported by a 2012 CLAS CRISP award, Lisa Keränen, Associate Professor of Communication, and Patrick Dodge, Assistant Professor Clinical Track at the International College of Beijing (ICB) have published "Modernizing Traditions on the Roof of the World: Displaying ‘Liberation’ and ‘Occupation’ in Three Tibet Museums” in the Journal of Curatorial Studies. Based on work conducted in 2012 and 2013 in Lhasa and Xining, China, and in Dharamsala, India, Keränen and Dodge, along with co-author Donovan Conley, investigate the representational interplay between tradition and modernity in three museums that display “Tibet.” Their essay analyzes how and with what consequences museum displays use triumphant modernization, spectacular sacralization, and catastrophic witnessing to advance competing claims about Tibetan heritage.

41 Views | Issue: April 16, 2015 | Archive: Spotlight Archive

Li organizes Amsterdam symposium
Li organizes Amsterdam symposium

Assistant Professor Meng Li of the Department of Health and Behavioral Sciences organized a symposium at the firstAnnual International Convention of Psychological Sciences in Amsterdam. Titled “What Is Fair? Interdisciplinary Experimental Perspectives on Fairness,” the session featured papers examining fairness from psychologists, economists and anthropologists.  Li’s paper, “Principle vs. Outcome: How policy description affects allocation preference” examined people’s preferences for allocating scarce medical resources and how they vary in response to minor changes in policy descriptions.  When policy described general principles (what should be done in general), subjects showed a preference for equality; but when policy described specific outcomes (what will happen in specific numbers), subjects preferred efficiency – the outcome that saved the most life years.

33 Views | Issue: April 16, 2015 | Archive: Spotlight Archive

 Mandel method used to analyze damage cause by earthquake
Mandel method used to analyze damage cause by earthquake

The balancing domain decomposition method by Jan Mandel, Chair of the Department of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences, was used to analyze the damage to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant by the magnitude 9.0 earthquake that hit in 2011. The simulations used the K computer, the fastest computer in the world as of June 2011, and up to 10 billion degrees of freedom (unknowns). The application was developed over the past two decades by the team of Professor Shinobu Yoshimura at the University of Tokyo. This information was part of an invited plenary presentation by Shinobu Yoshimura et al., (“Petascale Finite Element Simulation of Real World’s Complex Structure with Billions DOFs Model”), at the SIAM Conference on Computational Science and Engineering 2015, in Salt Lake City, on March 15, 2015. 

29 Views | Issue: | Archive: Spotlight Archive

Robinson speaking out
Robinson speaking out

Chair of the Political Science Department Tony Robinson is a much sought after speaker this spring. On April 7th, Robinson hosted a press conference at St. Paul’s Church presenting key findings from a recent report titled, titled “No Right to Rest: The Criminalization of Homelessness in Colorado,” which he co-authored with graduate student, Allison Sickels. Robinson was also the featured speaker at the Mile High Connects Advisory Council, presenting, “Gentrification, Polarization and Social Mixing in the Denver Area: Current Trends and Policy Responses.” On April 28th, Robinson will be the respondent and panelist in upcoming History Colorado Center event, “Forward Community Conversations.”  Finally, Robinson will be speaking alongside the Consulate General of South Korea, Mr. Dongman Han, on the impact of South Korea on the US on Thursday, April 30th from 5-7:00pm.  The talk will take place in the Student Commons Bldg (AB1) in Room 2504.  For more details, please email Tony Robinson at: Tony.Robinson@ucdenver.edu.

34 Views | Issue: April 16, 2015 | Archive: Spotlight Archive

Ruskovich receives an O. Henry Award for 2015

English Instructor Emily Ruskovich recently received an O. Henry Award, for the story"Owl," originally published in One Story. The collection, which will be available in September anywhere books are sold, will feature stories from Lydia Davis, Russell Banks, Elizabeth McCracken, and others--twenty-five in all, selected among thousands published this past year in literary magazines.

34 Views | Issue: April 16, 2015 | Archive: Spotlight Archive

Stefes publishes new book
Stefes publishes new book

Christoph Stefes, Associate Professor of Political Science, will release his latest book, Security, Democracy and Development in the Southern Caucasus and the Black Sea Region in just a few weeks. The book is co-edited by Ghia Nodia, Director of the International School of Caucasus Studies at Ilia State University in Tbilisi, Georgia.

34 Views | Issue: April 16, 2015 | Archive: Spotlight Archive

Stone publishes new book
Stone publishes new book

Tammy Stone of Anthropology just had a new book come out through University of Utah Press: Migration and Ethnicity in Middle-Range Societies:  A View from the Southwest. This book focuses on a number of general deliberations on the archaeology of middle-range society and the prehistory of the American Southwest. This includes the complex dynamics of migration, identity, ethnic interaction, and the ability of archaeologists to identify these pat-terns in the archaeological record.

32 Views | Issue: April 16, 2015 | Archive: Spotlight Archive

Tomback speaks while at Harvard
Tomback speaks while at Harvard

As a Charles Bullard Harvard Forest Fellow, Diana F. Tomback, Professor and Associate Chair in the Department of Integrative Biology, gave two seminars this semester. On March 10, at the Harvard University Herbaria, as a guest of the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology she presented,  "Trouble at treeline: Loss of a Rocky Mountain foundation species," and on April 3, at Harvard Forest (Petersham, MA) she presented as a part of the spring seminar series, "Facilitation at treeline in the Rocky Mountains:  Disruption by exotic disease and implications for climate change."

36 Views | Issue: April 16, 2015 | Archive: Spotlight Archive

Tracer gives invited lecture in Germany
Tracer gives invited lecture in Germany

Professor David Tracer of the Department of Health & Behavioral Sciences and Anthropology gave an invited lecture at the Institute for World Economy in Kiel, Germany on March 19.  Titled “Punish or Perish? Experimental Studies of Cooperation and Justice in Papua New Guinea and Beyond,” the talk critically examined the premise that cooperation in humans is stabilized by the threat of punishment.  Using experimental data from Papua New Guinea and Israel, Tracer demonstrated that instead of punishing social norm violators, subjects preferred to compensate the victims of social transgressions at equal or in some cases higher frequency.  He suggested that punishment alone is an insufficient explanation for cooperation and prosocial behavior and that other factors such as reputation and indirect reciprocity may better explain cooperation within and across societies.

34 Views | Issue: April 16, 2015 | 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.

32 views | Issue: April 16, 2015 | Archive: Student Life Events

Lynx to the Community

April 18
8:00am – 4:00pm
Tivoli Commons

This April 18th, millions of volunteers across the nation will unite with a common mission – to improve the lives of others. Join CU Denver during National Volunteer Week, the largest national day of community service, in volunteering with various organizations such as Trips for Kids, Rocky Mountain Communities, Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado. There will be various projects open to CU Denver students, faculty, & staff. Space is limited, registration is due Friday, April 10th. Sign up with your friends or with your CU Denver Group at  https://orgsync.com/75187/forms/137601.

21 views | Issue: April 16, 2015 | Archive: Student Life Events

Denver is a City of Opportunity Event

April 21
4:30 - 7:30 pm
CU Denver Business School Laube Commons – 5th Floor 1475 Lawrence Street

Join us for a panel discussion and mini career fair. Department leaders will discuss their careers and the opportunities within the City. Recruiters will also be available after the panel discussion. With one of our country’s top leaders, Mayor Michael Hancock, Denver offers a rewarding opportunity to become part of one of the best cities in the nation, with innovation, improvement and stellar service a priority in everything we do. We thrive on providing service to all people, making an impact that is positive and beneficial to our community, and influence to strive to make the City the best place to live, work and play. Denver offers over 30 different lines of business, supporting over half a million citizens in the City that is the transportation, cultural and business hub for its time zone.

Refreshments will be provided.  RSVP: http://goo.gl/ux0TZn

12 views | Issue: April 16, 2015 | Archive: Student Life Events

CLAS Events

Psi Chi and Psychology Department Colloquium

April 20
11:00 am – 12:00 noon  
Student Commons/AB1 Room 1401

Noland White, Director Psychophysiology Lab and Associate Professor  Departmental Strategies for Psychology Course Assessment, Department of Psychological Science, Georgia College

12 views | Issue: April 16, 2015 | Archive: CLAS Events

Don Quixote in the American West: A Fourth-Centenary Celebration

April 23-26th
CU Denver and University of Wyoming

Don Quixote will ride again in 2015. This time, he will not start his route in Spanish lands but will be shifted to the Western United States.

The University of Colorado Denver and The University of Wyoming Laramie will host the celebration of the 400th anniversary of the Second Part of The Ingenious Low-Born Noble Don Quixote de la Mancha (1615), by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (1547–1616). Professor Conxita Domènech of UW and Professor Andrés Lema-Hincapié of CU Denver are organizing a series of cultural events with truly extraordinary repercussions. Keynote speakers will include:  William Egginton, Johns Hopkins University; Luce López-Baralt, Universidad de Puerto Rico Río Piedras; María Antonia Garcés, Cornell University; Diana de Armas Wilson, University of Denver; Steven Hutchinson, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Mercedes Alcalá-Galán, University of Wisconsin-Madison; and Edwin Williamson, University of Oxford. For more information please go to this link.

13 views | Issue: April 16, 2015 | Archive: CLAS Events

Outstanding Faculty Achievement Award Lecture Spring 2015

April 24
Tivoli 329

Steven Medema, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Economics and Presidents Teaching Scholar, will present the talk, Demythologizing Adam Smith. Breakfast will be served.

Contact Tracy Kohm at tracy.kohm@ucdenver.edu for more information.

48 views | Issue: April 16, 2015 | Archive: CLAS Events

Sociology Brown Bag

April 24
Lawrence Street Center – Suite 450 Conference Rm

Lecturer Rob Kadel – “Tips for Effective On-Line Teaching”

All are welcome to attend

13 views | Issue: April 16, 2015 | Archive: CLAS Events

Boot Camp for CU Denver Graduate Students and Post Docs

STEM Jobs in Industry – May 1 and 2
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Reading Room, Health Science Library, Anschutz Medical Campus

CLAS is teaming up with the Graduate School and the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences to offer a Two-day Boot Camp to help graduate students and post docs understand the job skills employers are looking for and learn effective techniques for finding and obtaining jobs in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.  This free two-day boot camp is targeted toward graduate students seeking a career in STEM industries.  Leading experts will provide hands-on training and materials to help you be successful in moving into a new career. For more details and registration information see this flyer


10 views | Issue: April 16, 2015 | Archive: CLAS Events

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Tracy Kohm 303.556.6663