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Letters from the Deans

Message from Associate Dean Jeff Franklin

Message from Associate Dean Jeff Franklin

Money for Enhancing Your Department's Teaching
As you may recall, CLAS launched the Teaching Enhancement Project in fall 2011. So far, three departments have been awarded grants of several thousand dollars each: Communication, Political Science, and Sociology. These grants are intended as incentives/rewards--or you might think of them as gifts--to academic units for agreeing to work together on improving teaching. The Dean's office would love to see other departments get involved.

The assumption is not that anything is amiss with our teaching--since most CLAS faculty already care deeply about their teaching and student learning and are good at it--but rather that students have changed, pedagogies have changed, and teaching always can be revitalized. Also, the project assumes that a department can uniformly enhance its teaching by making it shared and intentional, rather than largely private and intuitive.

The project asks groups of faculty (a whole unit or a subgroup of 4-6 faculty) to hold conversations and come to shared commitments in three areas: 1) teaching development--participation in service-learning activities; 2) teaching rigor--setting and implementing standards across courses; and, 3) teaching reward--revising practices for recognizing excellent teaching. This is not as demanding as it may sound. Often this only requires formalizing and publically agreeing to do things that some of your faculty already do or would like to do. Examples that faculty have suggested can be found here.

Please consider bringing this project to your department, as a gift for yourselves and your students. If your department has not discussed possible participation, or if you have discussed it in the past but came to no resolutions, speak to your chair, raise this at a meeting, or phone me (303-556-3063). I would be glad to come and speak to any group of faculty, or work directly with you to hammer out a one-page proposal for consideration by your faculty.

With all best wishes, Jeff

187 views | Issue: April 5, 2012 | Archive: Letters from the Deans


Call for Applications: Faculty Development Grants

This year the Center for Faculty Development is offering grants in three categories: (A) $10,000 (two awards), (B) $5,000 (three awards), and (C) $2,000 (ten awards). These grants are intended to enhance the quality of teaching and/or research/creative work. Among those items to be supported in all three categories are: (1) attending workshops and conferences related to teaching and/or research/creative work, (2) employing student assistants involved in research work, (3) supporting professional development, (4) converting existing courses to newer technologies, and (5) obtaining special equipment or software. Examples of ineligible expenses include (1) faculty release time or salary, (2) student tuition reimbursements, and (3) travel to attend a conference to present the project results. Collaborative projects are encouraged.

Eligible faculty members for these awards are those holding a full-time appointment at the UC Denver Downtown Campus, in any of the following categories: 1) untenured, tenure-track faculty; 2) tenured faculty; 3) instructor or senior instructor; or 4) clinical teaching track. (Non-tenure-track faculty can apply only for projects related to teaching unless their contracts include a stipulation that they engage in scholarly activity.) A faculty member can receive only one faculty development grant every other year; faculty members who received a Faculty Development Grant in the summer of 2011 are ineligible this year. A faculty member who receives a Faculty Development Grant must submit a report of activities by December 1, 2013

For more information on proposal components, the applications and review process and timelines see this link. Proposals are due to the Center for Faculty Development by 5:00 pm, April 30, 2012.

For more information contact Ellen Stevens, Director, Center for Faculty Development, 303-315-3030.

159 Views | Issue: April 5, 2012 | Archive: News Archive

Denver Writing Project hosts the Young Writer's Camp

For one week each summer, the Denver Writing Project hosts the Young Writer's Camp on the Auraria Campus. This camp is geared toward Colorado students, going into grades 5-12, who love writing and would like an opportunity to hone the craft, workshop with professional writers, and meet other young writers like themselves.

The following writers are featured this summer:

This year's camp is June 11-15. The cost is $180 for the week, with some financial aid available. The camp is open to all young writers, not just those who have family affiliated with our campus.

For more information and registration, please visit this link.

227 Views | Issue: April 5, 2012 | Archive: News Archive

National History Day in Colorado: Sign-up to Volunteer

National History Day in Colorado is Saturday, May 5, on the Auraria Campus. Over 600 middle and high school students are expected, along with their families and teachers. Volunteers are needed to help with check-in, set-up, clean-up, general organization and more. We can't do it without volunteers -- please consider helping our History Department with this important event!

If you would like to volunteer, please fill out the form at this link, providing us your contact information and volunteer preferences. Contact for more information.

193 Views | Issue: April 5, 2012 | Archive: News Archive

CLAS Spotlight

Biology honor society recognized at Western District Conference
Biology honor society recognized at Western District Conference

The CU Denver Phi Rho Chapter of Tri Beta, the National Biological Honor Society, was well-represented at the Western District Conference hosted March 30-31,by Adams State University. Tanya (Tatyana) Liakhova received the John C. Johnson Award for her poster presentation entitled Molecular Interactions and Membrane Targeting of Granuphilin C2 Domains, which was based upon research mentored by Jefferson Knight (Chemistry). As such, Tanya is eligible for funding to attend the National Convention being held in San Juan, Puerto Rico in May 2012. Lu Hartley and Tayvia Bourret were also recognized for their research conducted with Chapter Advisor Leo P. Bruederle. In addition, the CU Denver Chapter received the Spirit Award in recognition of its seemingly indomitable enthusiasm.

295 Views | Issue: April 5, 2012 | Archive: Spotlight Archive

Bean co-author of lead article
Bean co-author of lead article

Hamilton Bean, assistant professor of communication, and his co-author, Edward Comor of University of Western Ontario, discuss how the Obama administration has embraced ‘engagement’ as the dominant concept informing US public diplomacy. Despite its emphasis on facilitating dialogue with and among Muslims overseas, this article demonstrates that, in practice, engagement aims to leverage social media and related technologies to persuade skeptical audiences to empathize with American policies.

America's 'engagement' delusion: Critiquing a public diplomacy consensus International Communication Gazette, April

155 Views | Issue: April 5, 2012 | Archive: Spotlight Archive

English undergrad student receives AWP Prize
English undergrad student receives AWP Prize

Marvin Guymon, a senior majoring in Creative Writing, has been awarded the Associated Writing Program (AWP) Intro Awards Prize for his short story, "The Particulars of my Deliverance." The story will be published in Puerto del Sol magazine, and he will receive a $100 honorarium. Guymon was competing with students from 467 undergraduate programs and and 192 graduate programs --and his story was selected by Brock Clarke.

171 Views | Issue: April 5, 2012 | Archive: Spotlight Archive

Koester studies on drug use and disease transmission continue, and help yield needle exchange in Denver
Koester studies on drug use and disease transmission continue, and help yield needle exchange in Denver

Steve Koester, professor of anthropology and health & behavioral sciences, is a co-investigator on a 5-year NIH study with Yale University looking at the epidemiology of risks for the transmission of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) through unsafe drug injection and methods for reducing transmission. The study builds in part on Koester’s long-term work detailing blood borne transmission risks embedded in the process of drug injection. This interdisciplinary project fuses ethnographic fieldwork with laboratory-based virology to determine the transmission potential of various injection practices.

In addition, Koester is a Co-PI with Stacey McKenna, an HBS doctoral student, on another NIH study examining the drug acquisition strategies of female methamphetamine users. This study builds on McKenna's dissertation, a critical examination of how media portrayals of methamphetamine use are internalized by female methamphetamine users.

Finally, Steve is gratified that 22 years after his first publication calling for syringe exchange in Denver, the city’s first two legally sanctioned exchanges have opened. Among the syringe exchange volunteers are several MA students in anthropology and BA students in public health.

207 Views | Issue: April 5, 2012 | Archive: Spotlight Archive

Riel-Salvatore study cited as alternative explanation in Neanderthal extinction
Riel-Salvatore study cited as alternative explanation in Neanderthal extinction

Assistant professor of anthropology Julien Riel-Salvatore, has gotten a lot of press for his recent publications examining shared DNA sequencing of ancient Neanderthal and modern human populations. His studies have indicated that Neanderthal genes make up from 1 to 4 percent of the genome of modern humans, which would indicate that early humans and Neanderthals may have inter-bred before Neanderthals became extinct.

Neanderthals were dying out before humans arrived Discovery News, Mar 29

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Student Life Events

Higher Education Diversity Summit

Wednesday Apr 11                                                8:00 am-3:00 pm Tivoli Student Union

The Higher Education Diversity Summit is a Metro State initiated conference held each year on the Auraria campus. Expert speakers will be featured, and a series of workshops, discussion forums, and opportunities for networking have been designed to increase understanding of and appreciation for multiple worldviews within the campus community. Topics may include inclusive excellence, cultural competency, ethnicity, privilege and class, religion and spirituality, gender and sexual identity, ageism, immigration, and more. Tim Wise will deliver the Diversity Summit Keynote Address at 12:30 pm in the Tivoli Turnhalle. This presentation will explore how large numbers of white Americans, anxious over social, political, economic and cultural changes underway in the nation, have fallen prey to a politics of resentment and backlash, led by the Tea Party movement and given voice by right-wing media commentators and political figures.

This event is co-sponsored by CU Denver Student Life and CCD Student Life.For more information on the summit or to register, please visit

401 views | Issue: April 5, 2012 | Archive: Student Life Events

Michael Fosberg – Incognito the Play: Higher Education Diversity Summit Morning Plenary

Wednesday, Apr 11 9:30 am-10:45 am Tivoli Turnhalle

Raised in a working-class white family in a Chicago suburb by an Armenian-American mother and adoptive stepfather, Michael began a search for his long-lost biological father at the age of 34 when his mother and stepfather announced their divorce. In a miraculous first phone call to John Sidney Woods, his father says, "There are some things I'm sure your mother never told you". He went on to say that not only has he always loved Michael and thought about him, but also, that he is black.  Imagine discovering you are not the person you thought you were. That you have a family, a history, an ethnicity you never knew. How would this discovery impact your life, the lives of those around you, your vision of yourself and society? Michael has been touring his autobiographical solo-show Incognito since 2001, first at the celebrated Sundance Institute, and following to several locations across the nation. Recently, Michael released his much anticipated memoir, "Incognito: An American Odyssey of Race & Self-Discovery" which delves more deeply into his amazing personal account of familial discovery upon which the original one-man play is based. This event is a part of the Higher Education Diversity Summit. For more information on the summit or to register, please visit

186 views | Issue: April 5, 2012 | Archive: Student Life Events

Red Flag Rally

Thursday, Apr 12 12:00 pm-1:30 pm Tivoli Commons

This campaign is a nation-wide public awareness effort aimed at stopping relationship violence on college campuses. The goal of the campaign is to encourage us all to speak up when we see red flags (warning signs for potential abusive or unhealthy behaviors) in our friends' relationships. Pay attention to red flags, and trust your instincts. If you see something in your friend's relationship that makes you feel uneasy, something you can't quite put your finger on…, say something. Tell your friend what you’ve noticed and ask if there’s anything you can do to help.

171 views | Issue: April 5, 2012 | Archive: Student Life Events

Cornel West

Thursday, Apr 12 7:00pm Tivoli Turnhalle

Giving the keynote address of the Art of Scoial Justivce Conference, Dr. Cornel West is a prominent and provocative democratic intellectual. He is a professor at Princeton University. He has taught at Union Theological Seminary, Yale University, Harvard University, and the University of Paris. Dr. West has written 19 books, and is best known for his classic Race Matters, Democracy Matters, and his newest memoir, Brother West:Living and Loving Out Loud. He appears frequently on the Bill Maher Show, Colbert Report, CNN and C-Cspan as well as on Tavis Smiley's PBS TV Show.

As an active member of the Occupy movement, he will be in Denver as part of the Art of Social Justice Conference, hosted by The Collective for Social Change, going on around campus April 10-12. Dr. Cornel West has a passion to communicate to a vast variety of audiences in order to keep alive the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. – a legacy of telling the truth and bearing witness to love and justice. He will talk about coming together to create a culture of social justice.  We are asking that all attendees bring a non-perishable food item that will go to the student food bank. A dance party wrapping up the Art of Social Justice Conference will immediately follow Dr. West's talk.

Do you want to meet Cornel West in person? If so, enter our contest to do so!  Just go to the CU Denver Office of Student Life Facebook page, become a member, and follow the instructions: Here's the link:

731 views | Issue: April 5, 2012 | Archive: Student Life Events

CLAS Events

Communication Days

April 5-12

Network. Learn. Contribute. 
The Department of Communication, in partnership with the Art of Social Justice, Office of Student Life, and College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, is pleased to present this year's Communication Days celebration. During the week of April 5-12, Denver's leading communicators visit our classrooms, bringing a real-world dimension to every course. Students are encouraged to attend numerous presentations to network with potential employers, learn communication skills, and contribute to developing the Department's community. Click here for the Schedule of Events.

171 views | Issue: April 5, 2012 | Archive: CLAS Events

Biology Seminar Series

Friday, Apr 6 12:30 pm -1:45 pm Rm. SI 1111

Colby Fees, M.S. Student with the UCD Dept. of Integrative Biology. Colby's presentation will be: "The Role of Phosphatidic Acid in Calcium Release at Fertilization."

Please contact Jacki Craig for more information.

179 views | Issue: April 5, 2012 | Archive: CLAS Events

Outstanding Faculty Achievement Award Lecture

“Community, Identity, and Decision Making in the Prehistoric Southwest” Presented by Tammy Stone, Ph.D. Professor of Anthropology
Friday, April 6 9:30am - 11:00am Tivoli Multicultural Lounge

The Outstanding Faculty Achievement Award recognizes and rewards truly exceptional contributions in teaching, research and service by a tenured faculty member in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

For more information contact Tracy Jacobs at 303-556-6663.

165 views | Issue: April 5, 2012 | Archive: CLAS Events

"Multilingualism and the Contemporary University"

Presented by Marc Shell, Irving Babbitt Professor of Comparative Literature at Harvard University
Monday, April 16 2:30pm Adirondack Room of the Tivoli (Room 440/540)
Professor Shell will speak about the challenges that the American university faces in educating multilingual students and encouraging multilingual research in light of the program discontinuances in foreign languages at SUNY Albany. He is a leading figure in literary studies generally, having published work in a wide variety of areas. Recently, his work on nationhood and the politics of language difference has led to a book, Children of the Earth: Literature, Politics, and Nationhood, many articles, and to the founding of the Longfellow Institute at Harvard, dedicated to non-English literatures of the United States. Sponsored by the Colorado Center for Public Humanities.

For more information contact Philip Joseph, Associate Professor of English, 303-556-4648.

152 views | Issue: April 5, 2012 | Archive: CLAS Events

View all CLAS events on our website

To view all CLAS Events, please visit our event calendar

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Tracy Kohm 303.556.6663