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Letters from the Deans

Message from Dean Daniel J. Howard

Message from Dean Daniel J. Howard

Year in Review

Despite continuing economic troubles globally, nationally, and locally, this was a good year for CLAS and the University of Colorado Denver.  The new undergraduate degree programs in Public Health, which are offered by CLAS in partnership with the School of Public Health, got off to a strong start under the leadership of Professor David Tracer, meeting enrollment goals and capturing the attention of students from across Colorado and beyond.  The first class from the re-initiation of our four-year degree programs in Beijing, which represent a partnership between CLAS and the International College of Beijing, will graduate this spring.  The BA/BS-MD Program got off to a successful start under the leadership of Associate Professor Charles Ferguson, and has attracted considerable support from donors interested in training more primary care physicians who will practice in Colorado.  Most important of all, the University of Colorado Denver underwent a successful visit from Higher Learning Commission evaluators, who will recommend re-accreditation of our consolidated university for another ten years.

Dean’s Reception 2011

At the heart of these accomplishments, and many more, are the faculty and staff of the college and university, who are committed to the students of this university and to its research, teaching, and service mission.  Annually, it is my great pleasure to recognize the wonderful achievements of our students, faculty, and staff at the Dean’s Reception, which took place last Friday in the atrium of the North Classroom Building.  It is my favorite event of the year, not only because I get to offer my personal thanks and congratulations, but because it is an opportunity to hear from some of our most admired colleagues, who are invariably gracious and thoughtful in their remarks. 

Dean’s Office Updates

Before listing this year’s award winners, allow me to note that this will be the last Deans’ Notes of the semester.  During the summer, the Deans’ Notes will appear only monthly. 

Also, I am very pleased to announce that Dr. John Wyckoff, Associate Professor of Geography and Environmental Sciences, has agreed to fill in as interim Dean of Planning and Initiatives while Dr. Brenda J. Allen is on sabbatical during the 2011-2012 academic year.  Dr. Wyckoff has been chair of the downtown Denver Faculty Assembly for the past two years and will bring invaluable experience at the campus, university, and system levels into the Dean’s Office. 

Have a wonderful summer.

With all best wishes,


250 views | Issue: May 12, 2011 | Archive: Letters from the Deans


2011 Dean's Awards Reception

Student Awards

Fall 2010 Outstanding Bachelor of Arts

Alan August, Department of Communication
Suzanne Stromberg says: "I find him to be conscientious, extremely bright, well prepared, very serious, and inspired by his studies…After reading his final paper for the course, I asked and received his permission to use it as one of three student sample papers in subsequent classes…In my class, Alan was clearly outstanding."


Fall 2010 Outstanding Bachelor of Science

Jason Lathrop, Department of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences
Cheryl Kaas says: “One of the first things that struck me about Jason was his quiet confidence in his knowledge and his patience and courtesy with students who were having a very difficult time with chemistry…While I knew very little about chemistry, even I could understand the basic concepts Jason was explaining to his students because of his own depth of understanding of the subject and his ability to explain it.”


Spring 2011, Outstanding Bachelor of Arts

Yumeng "Berry" Ma, Department of Communication (not pictured)
International College at Beijing Student
Patrick Shaou-Whea Dodge says: “Berry has proven to be essential in helping craft the community in the courses she has taken with me. Her role as a leader in class naturally made itself known, as she is actively involved in helping other students understand course concepts both in and outside of class. She has an engaging personality, offers both positive and critical feedback to her classmates, has fun when it is appropriate, and gets down to business when necessary.”


Spring 2011 Outstanding Bachelor of Science

Mohamed Bandali, Department of Biology
Timberley Roane says: “Not only has Mr. Bandali earned a 3.92 overall GPA, but he is the type of student faculty dream of: strong academics; strong sense of responsibility and professionalism; dedicated to his student profession, willing and eager to learn all he can in and out of the classroom, and to improving the quality of the student experience through his extracurricular activities; involved in community engagement; and dedicated to making a difference.”


Spring 2011 Outstanding Ph.D.

Eugene Vecharynski, Department of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences (not pictured)
Stephanie Santorico says: "Eugene has outstanding mathematical abilities as illustrated by two papers already published in top journals” (both with math faculty member Julien Langou).  He also has twice received the Lynn Bateman Memorial Fellowship, awarded yearly by the Department to an outstanding graduate teaching assistant."


Spring 2011 Outstanding Master of Arts

Andrea Weiss, Department of Modern Languages
Andres Lema-Hincapie says: “Her unusual combination of rigorous intellect and human sympathy allows Andrea Weiss the cultural insight to understand Ibero-American, American, and German issues throughout the world. As her thesis director I can confirm that Andrea’s work is a marvelous example of scholarly competence, detailed analyses, and masterful style. Andrea’s thesis is full of seminal and thought-provoking ideas that could lead her to a truly appealing Ph.D. dissertation.”


CLAS Faculty Awards

Teaching Excellence Award – Non-Tenure Track Faculty

Aimee Bernard, PhD, Department of Integrative Biology
Diana Tomback says: “She is lauded for her humor, clever analogies and enthusiasm in the classroom and for her interactive teaching techniques.  Her courses are notably challenging because the material is complex; but her attention to detail and strategies to engage students in learning have made them enjoyable and valuable experiences for students.... Dr. Bernard is a gift to our department and our students.”


Teaching Excellence Awards – Tenured and Tenure-track Faculty

Elizabeth S. Allen, PhD, Department of Psychology
Peter Kaplan says: “Dr. Allen’s accomplishments in classroom teaching, individual mentoring, integrating teaching and research, and curriculum development are impressive.  She is one of those professors to whom students are really drawn, both because of what she can provide them, but also because she is a delightful person at all levels.  She embodies the best of what we have to offer students at UCD.”

Teague Bohlen, PhD, Department of English
Former student Mari Christie says: “His rapport with students is unparalleled.  His own joy that he is a writer is one half of his value; his joy in his students’ writing is the other.  His nurturance and support of my creative process was a – possibly the – key ingredient in my understanding of my identity as both the author I have become and the writer I have always been.”

Charles M. Musiba, PhD, Department of Anthropology
Student Kersten Bergstrom says: “Laetoli and Oduvai Gorger seem like unbelievable places to work and study anthropology, ….[but] the most unique aspect of the Tanzania Field School is Dr. Musiba…His  students have the opportunity to be completely immersed within a new culture.  It is astounding to have the opportunity to work with such experienced researchers and workers within the field and to excavate in Laetoli.”


Research and Creative Activities Excellence Awards

Thomas G. Andrews, PhD, Department of History
Marjorie Levine-Clark says: "He has clearly established a national and international reputation any historian would admire.  ..his record of publication, awards, and fellowships in the humanities is truly exceptional.  Thomas Andrews is an outstanding candidate for the Research Excellence Award in the College and the University.”

Jake Adam York, PhD, Department of English
Professor Brian Barker summarizes Jake’s body of work as “a significant and indispensable contribution to the literature of the South and to a larger body of literature concerned with American history. .. His poetry continues to garner praise, recognition, and awards from a variety of distinguished writers, universities, art centers, and journals.   His record of research and creative activities is excellent on all fronts.”


Service Excellence Awards

Richard M. Allen, PhD, Department of Psychology
Peter Kaplan says: “At this stage in his career, I think that the most appropriate descriptor for Dr. Allen would be MVP as in ‘most valuable professor’.  Departments, colleges, and universities have a way of finding the most talented and hard-working faculty and putting them in key positions because that is how they advance and make progress towards achieving excellence.  Rich Allen is just such a person, and I cannot imagine anyone more deserving of the CLAS Excellence in Service Award."

Nancy Ciccone, PhD, Department of English
Colleen Donnelly praises Nancy for her leadership and her exemplary “commitment to service at every level. Her outstanding record of service as department chair and beyond “certainly deserves recognition.”      

David P. Tracer, PhD, Departments of Anthropology and Health and Behavioral Sciences
Steve Koester says: “When the idea of nominating David was presented at our recent faculty meeting there was immediate consensus.  We have all benefited from David’s extraordinary commitment to service and we are well aware of the difference it has made to our students, the college, the university and the community.  It is important to mention that David has maintained this degree of service while excelling as a scholar and instructor.”


Outstanding Faculty Achievement Award

Mary E. Coussons-Read, PhD, Department of Psychology
Rick Gardner says: “It is difficult to assess where Mary’s impact on the university has been greatest: in the classroom, through her research, or through her service.  She has made notable contributions in each area, but perhaps her greatest legacy is through the positive influence she has had on individual students either in the classroom, through advising, or in her role as researcher.  I am not exaggerating when I can say her combined contributions exceed any faculty member I have worked with in my many years in academe.”


CU Denver Award for Outstanding Faculty Mentoring

Brenda J. Allen, PhD, Department of Communication
Dan Howard says: “Among the remarkable aspects of Dr. Allen’s mentoring activities is the diversity of people who come to her for mentoring. They range from department chairs to students.  They receive advice and very probing questions from one of the clearest thinking individuals it has been my pleasure to know.  Dr. Allen has a genius for asking questions that gently force individuals to confront what their goals are, what obstacles stand in the way of the goals, and how to overcome those obstacles.  She is not judgmental, but neither is she blindly supportive.  She is wonderful at moving people in the direction of achievable milestones.  A good sign of her effectiveness is that even the most successful faculty members come back to her for advice over and over again.”


Outstanding Staff Award

James Salmen, Department of Integrative Biology
Diana Tomback says: "James Salmen has worked at UC Denver since 2002 and has transformed classroom laboratory instruction in his capacity as Laboratory Coordinator, a position to which he has brought a new level of organization and professionalism. In particular, his hard work and strategic planning were critical to the success of the design, implementation and move into the new Auraria Science Building."


2010-11 Retirees

Janet Postma, Advising: 1981-2011
Carol Morken says: "Janet has made a tremendous impact on students. Graduating senior surveys continually express that Janet was the significant factor in helping them complete their degree. Janet was instrumental in creating an environment for students to grow and prosper.   Thank you so much.”

Jon Winterton, PhD, Sociology: 1969-2010 
Danny Martinez says: “In 1990, Jon, in keeping with is strong sense of social responsibility and egalitarian philosophy of education, conceived of a highly innovative approach to motivating non college-bound, underrepresented high school students to go on to college.  He was convinced that the best way to motivate these students was to give them an early exposure to college by having them take courses in the safe and supportive environment of their own high school. Jon came to me for assistance in developing the administrative infrastructure for what became known as the CU Succeed Program.  It was entirely because of Jon that 17 of the 19 students in the [first] class went on to college within a year after graduating from high school.”

Not pictured

Sharon Araji, PhD, Sociology: 2007-2011

Susan E. Linville, PhD, English: 1978-2011

Martin M. Maltempo, PhD, Physics: 1976-2011

Barbara J. Walkosz, PhD, Communication: 1997-2010

449 Views | Issue: May 12, 2011 | Archive: News Archive

Open Enrollment for 2011-12

Deadline: May 27

Open enrollment (OE) for the 2011-12 Plan Year began Monday, May 2, and continues through 5 p.m. Friday, May 27.

Online enrollment will begin at 8 a.m. Wednesday, May 11.  Final rates, plan changes, plan comparisons, defaults should you choose to not take action, an OE calendar and instructions on how to enroll all are available on the OE website.

190 Views | Issue: May 12, 2011 | Archive: News Archive

2011-2012 CLAS Advancing Curricula and Teaching Grant

Deadline: May 14

The Dean and Associate Deans of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) at the University of Colorado Denver are pleased to announce the 2011-12 CLAS Advancing Curricula and Teaching (ACT) grant. CLAS ACT funding is designated to further develop a campus environment which supports and encourages approaches to teaching and learning that advance the College's mission. This year, we invite proposals for projects related to interdisciplinary initiatives (e.g., curricula, teaching, colloquia, workshops, and community events). CLAS ACT grant awards (up to $3,500) are available for faculty to:

  1. Expand undergraduate or graduate curricula by developing new courses or integrating interdisciplinary content/perspectives into existing courses. For example, funding may be used to purchase teaching materials and resources, hire student assistants, or provide a portion of a course load reduction in order to facilitate course development.
  2. Engage in research or scholarly activities related to curricular and teaching goals. Awards may be used for travel, data collection, and other costs related to research or scholarly activities. Awards may also be used toward funding of summer support or reduction of teaching load.
  3. Invite scholars to visit campus in order to contribute to their academic unit in a manner that enriches the teaching or scholarly activity of that unit and the campus. Examples of visits may be those where the invitee participates in a speaker series in the unit, provides a workshop or training activity for students or faculty affiliated with the unit, or participates in the teaching activities of the unit. Cost sharing by the unit or other sources will be viewed as beneficial to the application.
  4. Support relevant colloquia, conferences, or workshops. Cost sharing by the sponsoring unit or other sources will be viewed as beneficial to the application.

Please read this document to learn about:

  1. Eligibility;
  2. Funding limit and allowable expenses;
  3. The submission and selection processes;
  4. And to view the application checklist.

Please direct questions to Brenda Allen.

224 Views | Issue: May 12, 2011 | Archive: News Archive

Senior Send Off

Senior Send Off InformationGraduates, Faculty and Staff Welcome!

All graduating seniors are invited to attend with their family and friends as well as any faculty and staff members.

Friday, May 13, 2011
Cimarron Café in the Tivoli Student Union
Food and drinks will be served. Cash bar.

For more information, contact the Office of Student Life at 303-556-3399 or visit their website.

471 Views | Issue: May 12, 2011 | Archive: News Archive

Academic Dishonesty

Form Letter and Policy

With final essays coming in, it is, alas, the season for plagiarism. Please use this template form letter if some of you--hopefully not many--will need to communicate with students who require further education about academic dishonesty. The Dean's Office requests that you make use of this letter in every case of academic dishonesty.  To review the Academic Ethics Policy information, please see this syllabus template.

Please direct questions to Associate Dean Jeff Franklin.

177 Views | Issue: May 12, 2011 | Archive: News Archive

Doctoral Dissertation Research Study on Conflict

Seeking participants for HBS Study

Participants are needed to take a survey about conflict in heterosexual relationships. All information will be confidential. The survey takes less than 20 minutes to complete, and participants will receive a small gift certificate to thank them for their time. This is part of a research project for a doctoral dissertation in the Department of Health and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Colorado Denver. Respondents must be at least 18 years old, and participation is completely voluntary.

If you have questions, contact Alisa Velonis at or through the HBS department at 303-556-4300. You can also contact the Colorado Multiple Institutional Review Board at 303-724-1955.

To find out more - or to access the survey - click on this link.

202 Views | Issue: May 12, 2011 | Archive: News Archive

Campaign Corner

Campaign Officially Announced

Creating Futures

The fourth and most ambitious campaign in University of Colorado history, was announced on April 25, 2011—at which point private support contributed since the campaign began July 1, 2006 already exceeded $900 million toward its $1.5 billion goal. A comprehensive campaign helps CU crystallize its strategic priorities and make a public case for the importance of its work.

Learn more about the campaign and watch the video>>

If you have questions about the campaign, please contact:

Lora M. Adams
Sr. Director of Development
University of Colorado Foundation
303-315-2029 (direct)

217 views | Issue: May 12, 2011 | Archive: Campaign Corner

Diversity Matters

Taking a closer look at social class in higher education

Class Matters

Class MattersSocial class is often an invisible element of diversity, but in higher education it plays a significant part in the experience and identity of students, staff and faculty. 

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) Diversity Council presented a symposium on April 28 to bring awareness to the important and complex role of class. 

The council, led by Communication Professor and Associate Dean Brenda J. Allen, organized a series of activities to inspire conversation and deeper reflection of how social class operates within education. 

A fully interactive event for the students, faculty and staff, the symposium included a privilege exercise, videos about social class, a PowerPoint theater, an informational gallery of posters and a dialogue corner for discussion about diversity topics. Resource tables were also available to give attendees access to more information and support.

“Members of the diversity council were pleased with the strong turnout and positive response,” says Allen of the event.  “We seem to have accomplished our goal of raising consciousness about complex class issues in higher education in general, and at CU Denver.”

One of the goals in the CLAS Strategic Plan 2008-2020 is to “enhance diversity across the college and foster a culture of inclusion.”  The Class Matters event did just that: it brought together students, faculty and staff of varying backgrounds and experiences to discuss how class provides a framework and identity from which they operate and perceive their world.

Class MattersBlake Carlson, CLAS alum and Dean’s Office assistant, says, “[It] really opened my eyes to the social inequalities that exist in modern-day America. After participating, I slowly began to realize all the privileges which I am fortunate enough to possess; often taking each for granted. Ultimately, this experience was an excellent portrayal of all the shortcomings and achievements in working towards a civilized society.”

Generous donations of canned food by attendees were made to the CU Denver Food Pantry for students located in the Tivoli.

260 views | Issue: May 12, 2011 | Archive: Diversity Matters

CLAS Spotlight

Associate Dean and Communication Professor Brenda J. Allen is the recipient of Ohio University's 2011 Paul Boase Prize
Associate Dean and Communication Professor Brenda J. Allen is the recipient of Ohio University's 2011 Paul Boase Prize

Associate Dean and Communication Professor Brenda J. Allen is the recipient of Ohio University's 2011 Paul Boase Prize for scholarship for outstanding contributions to the discipline of communication. She will visit the campus on Oct. 21-22 to receive the award.

133 Views | Issue: May 12, 2011 | Archive: Spotlight Archive

Nicole Beer is a finalist for the Colorado Book Award in Poetry
Nicole Beer is a finalist for the Colorado Book Award in Poetry

Nicole Beer, senior instructor of English, is a finalist for the Colorado Book Award in Poetry. Read more about the award and learn about the other finalists on the Colorado Humanities Web site.

125 Views | Issue: May 12, 2011 | Archive: Spotlight Archive

Assistant Dean and Modern Languages Instructor Kuan-Yi Rose Chang earns five year funding award from the US Department of Education
Assistant Dean and Modern Languages Instructor Kuan-Yi Rose Chang earns five year funding award from the US Department of Education

Assistant Dean and Modern Languages Instructor Kuan-Yi Rose Chang has been awarded $104,132 per year for the next five years by the US Department of Education Foreign Language Assistance Program (FLAP). This project aims to assist Denver Language School (DLS)--a new immersion charter school within the Denver Public School system--in delivering a comprehensive K-8 curriculum in a full-immersion environment in Mandarin Chinese.

UCD will deliver graduate-level teacher training courses for DLS in curriculum design, articulation, teaching methodology, technology integration and program assessment. UCD students will also serve as teaching assistants in DLS classrooms. They will participate in academic and homework support activities with children who need additional help. These students will also assist DLS in designing and delivering a four-week summer immersion language camp from mid-June to mid-July.

172 Views | Issue: May 12, 2011 | Archive: Spotlight Archive

Stephen John Hartnett featured on Colorado Public Radio's
Stephen John Hartnett featured on Colorado Public Radio's "Colorado Matters"

Stephen John Hartnett, chair of the Department of Communication, was featured on Colorado Public Radio's "Colorado Matters" show, on Monday, May 9, when he spoke about prison education. Listen >>

92 Views | Issue: May 12, 2011 | Archive: Spotlight Archive

Lisa Keränen, associate professor and director of graduate studies in Communication, publishes article
Lisa Keränen, associate professor and director of graduate studies in Communication, publishes article

Lisa Keränen, associate professor and director of graduate studies in Communication, published "Addressing the Epidemic of Epidemics: Germs, Security, and a Call for Biocriticism," a review essay of five books about germs, identity, and security in the May issue of the Quarterly Journal of Speech, 97.2, pages 224-244.

106 Views | Issue: May 12, 2011 | Archive: Spotlight Archive

Jake Adam York will be at the James Weldon Johnson Institute for Advanced Interdisciplinary Study at Emory University
Jake Adam York will be at the James Weldon Johnson Institute for Advanced Interdisciplinary Study at Emory University

Jake Adam York, associate professor of English, will be at the James Weldon Johnson Institute for Advanced Interdisciplinary Study at Emory University as a visiting scholar next academic year. He plans to work on a book about the Civil Rights Movement.

115 Views | Issue: May 12, 2011 | Archive: Spotlight Archive

CLAS Events

Human Crossing

An Evening of American Immigration Stories

Thursday, May 12
8:00 pm
Su Teatro at the Denver Civic, Frank Trujillo Salon
721 Santa Fe Dr.
Contact: Cate Wiley

View flyer >>

194 views | Issue: May 12, 2011 | Archive: CLAS Events

Digital Health Stories

Video Interventions for Viral Hepatitis In Colorado (Research Project)

Thursday-Saturday, May 12-14
9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Sisters of Color United for Education, 2895 W 8th Street, Denver
Contact: Marty Otanez

Come Tell Your Story

The digital storytelling workshop builds dynamic communities and enhances creative vision, capacity building, and expression in the multimedia arts.


  • To increase awareness of the effects of and risk factors for viral hepatitis
  • To increase the number of community digital storytellers in Colorado who can promote viral hepatitis awareness and health advocacy
  • To encourage local leadership in multi-media communication among health advocates through sharing skills by training in digital storytelling

Colorado adults 18 to 72 who are infected with or affected by viral hepatitis B or C and who would like to share their unique story, to learn more about digital storytelling to empower health groups and community members, and build alliances across communities.

195 views | Issue: May 12, 2011 | Archive: CLAS Events

Commencement & CLAS Reception

Saturday, May 14

9:00 am Commencement
Auraria Field

11:00 am Reception
Tivoli Turnhalle

More info >>

230 views | Issue: May 12, 2011 | Archive: CLAS Events

View all CLAS events on our website

To view all CLAS Events, please visit our event calendar

May 12, 2011



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