I’m sure many of you feel, like I do, that this summer has been surreal. Between headlines in the news and the tragic occurrences which have touched many in our community personally, March kicked off a season like no other we have experienced in our professional lives. Sometimes it feels like the fall semester is a distant reality, but 25 days from today classes will start for our students. The hours of work that have gone into making our campus a safe, welcoming, and accessible place continue; and I want to focus gratitude on everyone’s contributions.
First, thank you to the associate deans, faculty, and staff who have been working so diligently with the Campus Safe Return Team representing CLAS. The Safe Return campus webpage is going to be a key resource for all of us over the coming weeks as the public health situation continues to evolve and information for all of us is updated there. Please take a moment now to bookmark it.
Second, to all the faculty and staff who are working so diligently to make sure that our students are going to have the best possible options for their education this fall – I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Thank you also to everyone who has been working hard to submit a safe return plan (page 3) for their unit. For everyone who will be returning to on-campus work, I want to assure you that every safety precaution will be taken to guarantee your health and wellbeing.
Finally, thank you to all the faculty and staff who have made possible the fantastic COVID-19: Colorado and Beyond summer course. If you haven’t had the opportunity to learn along with our community yet I encourage you to join the last two sessions:
Monday, July 27: The Mathematics and Statistics of COVID-19
Audrey Hendricks, PhD, Weldon Lodwick, PhD, Masoud Asadi-Zeydabadi, PhD, and Francis Newman, MS, DABR
Monday, August 3: In This Together: Herd Immunity, Vaccines, and Individual Choices
Jennifer Reich, PhD
As the health crisis that closed down our campus continues, and the fight for social justice reignited by this summer’s events gains momentum, I hope everyone continues to take care of themselves and each other. I feel great pride in how our college is responding to our challenging times, and I know that in both remote settings and socially distanced classrooms our students are going to be getting a world-class education. I thank you all for that.
"Regardless of who wins the Democratic primary this week, I would totally expect the Democratic nominee to be a strong favorite against Gardner," said Michael Berry, Associate Professor of Political Science. "It's difficult to see a scenario where Gardner is able to overcome the unpopularity of Donald Trump in Colorado to win reelection."
“This is it,” says Brian Buma, Integrative Biology Assistant Professor. He’s draped head to toe in orange and black rain gear. Straddling hummocks, he re-checks his compass and mutters “cool.” Few things in the natural world can be identified as the true end, the last of a kind, the edge, Buma tells me. He pulls a measuring tape from his daypack and starts appraising a recumbent trunk, one just a few inches south of the rest. “It strikes me that we should know where these things are,” he says.
The expedition was also featured on Nat Geo podcast, Overheard, where Buma and colleague Craig Welch relive their incredible journey.
Andrew Friedson, Assistant Professor of Economics, is an author of the recent study, "Black Lives Matter Protests, Social Distancing, and COVID-19,” published by the National Bureau of Economic Research. Using data from Black Lives Matters protests across 315 of America's largest cities, the study found "no evidence" in the following two and a half weeks that they caused a spike in the number of new COVID-19 cases. The team also found "strong evidence" that the protests actually increased stay-at-home overall, likely because non-protesters chose to leave their homes less amid the demonstrations. “We think that what’s going on is it’s the people who are not going to protest are staying away,” said Friedson. “The overall effect for the entire city is more social distancing because people are avoiding the protests.”
In the midst of fluctuating regulations, Assistant Economics Professor Philip Luck speculated that if some international students won't be allowed in the US they could have issues with Internet access and censorship and won't be able to connect with peers. "It’s not as though you can just say, 'Oh, well. Students weren’t going to be able to be on campus anyway, so what’s the point of being here anyway?' There’s a huge value added of them being in the States if that’s the better environment for them to be learning in," Luck says.
Studying prayer is challenging for several reasons, according to Psychology Professor Kevin Masters. "Science is about testing observable relationships, processes and mechanisms," Masters said. "But almost by definition, prayer, as operationalized in these studies, invokes involvement of God or a higher being, something outside the boundaries of natural phenomenon, which science cannot really study."
Because social distancing is one of the most effective ways to limit the spread of coronavirus, it seems promoting “health and safety” would require limiting kids’ time in school. However, allowing kids only partial access to education, as many districts across the country are currently proposing, does not support children’s health and safety, writes Sociology Professor Jennifer Reich, author of Calling the Shots: Why Parents Reject Vaccines.
A group of researchers and educators at University of Colorado Denver, led by PI and Mathematical and Statistical Sciences Professor Jan Mandel, will be building a state-of-the-art computing resource on the downtown campus thanks to a $400,000 National Science Foundation Award (#2019089).The new facility will provide the first campus-wide, high-performance computer system to support both research and teaching efforts. The funding comes from the NSF Office of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure (OAC), and the award runs from July 2020 to July 2022. The CoPIs on the award are Kannan Premnath (Mechanical Engineering), Carlos Infante (Integrative Biology), Amy Roberts (Physics), and Yaning Liu (Mathematical and Statistical Sciences). The effort was done in partnership with the Office of Information Technology and involved more than nineteen additional senior personnel members across both the downtown and Anschutz campuses. The resource will broaden participation in computational science and have a significant impact on the supported...
Associate Professor of Health and Behavioral Sciences jimi adams headed up the team organizing an international conference on networks & COVID-19 this month: COVID-19 Satellite of Sunbelt. The International Network for Social Network Analysis (INSNA) conference included a plenary session, invited panel on the intersection between policy and research, and traditional paper sessions. Each session highlighted various aspects of the insights the network community brings to bear on the pandemic.
Associate Professor of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences Steffen Borgwardt was recently awarded a $233,560, 4-year, National Science Foundation award for researching Circuit Walks in Optimization. Borgwardt is working to design, study, and implement algorithms for optimal gradual transitions between solutions of a mathematical program. The ability to efficiently construct such a transition will enable a wealth of new applications. The project will raise awareness in the scientific community to go beyond just solving a problem and will advance knowledge on the transfer of computational results to practice. The research is complemented with synergistic education and outreach activities, including new courses, the training of students, and a workshop bringing together students from across the country with international experts. The impact will be tested in applications, involving students, through collaboration with the Auraria Library's Data to Policy Project. The methods will combine applied graph theory, polyhedral theory, mathematical programming, and complexity theory.
Associate Professor of Anthropology Marty Otañez was featured in the podcast episode Cannabis Workers' Rights and Social Responsibility, produced by Cannabis Science Today. The podcast covers how to build a more inclusive, diverse, and equitable cannabis industry, and avoid the pitfalls of Big Tobacco. Otañez shares his research on cannabis workers’ rights and social responsibility and accountability among dispensaries and cultivation facilities.
Clinical Health Psychology student Alex Presciutti (along with colleagues) recently published, “Modifiable provider-patient relationship factors and illness perceptions are associated with quality of life in survivors of cardiac arrest with good neurologic recovery” (Resuscitation PlusVolume 3, September 2020). The researchers’ aim was to identify the implications of poor provider-patient communication, lack of readiness for discharge, and illness perceptions on quality of life and psychological symptoms in cardiac arrest survivors and caregivers. In this first round of analyses, the authors found that worse provider-patient communication, lower readiness for discharge, and more threatening illness perceptions were associated with worse quality of life in survivors. The strongest association with quality of life was threatening illness perceptions (i.e., threatening emotional and cognitive representations of one’s illness status and recovery).
The Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities is now accepting faculty applications for the EURēCA! Work-Study program. Click here to apply!
EURēCA! Work-Study supports research-based work-study jobs for undergraduates in any discipline. Our office helps find, hire, and support undergrad research assistant mentees at no cost to you! Have an idea for a position? Make it work-study! We are seeking mentors from CU Denver | Anschutz in all disciplines. Preference will be given to positions that are suitable for undergraduates in their first year or two at CU Denver and that can accommodate remote and/or hybrid working conditions in accordance with the University's Safe Return Plan.
The priority deadline is Friday, July 31st, 2020. Student hires will be made between now and September 2nd, with funds supporting students through May 2021.
Throughout the months of June and July, CU Denver students have been engaging in original, mentored research through programs including EUReCA! Summer Fellows, TRiO McNair Scholars, MARC U-STAR, and others. The Virtual Summer Research Symposium is an opportunity for these students to share and celebrate the outcomes of their work with peers, faculty, family, and friends.
Join us in celebrating the University's student scholars!
A cohort of 75 students will be trained to handle a variety of logistical tasks in Zoom including monitoring chat, organizing break-out rooms, taking attendance, managing screen sharing, facilitating polling, and troubleshooting student technical problems. Faculty will be assigned (or choose) a Course Assistant who will help them for the entire semester. CETL is seeking a Faculty Coordinator who will be the supervisor of the Student Course Assistants and coordinate communications between the faculty members, the Student Assistants, and CETL. The Faculty Coordinator will also approve biweekly timesheets for Student Assistants. We anticipate this position will require between 7-10 hours/week and will start at the end of July 2020. Compensation will be a stipend of $3500/semester. The Faculty Coordinator must be able to serve in the role for both the Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 semesters. Application Deadline is July 28, and faculty can apply here.