Thank You for All Your Hard Work This Year and Please Vote on the Draft CLAS Strategic Plan
In this final Deans’ Notes newsletter of the semester I want to once again thank faculty and staff who worked so hard this term and this year returning our campus to a version of normalcy. It hasn’t been easy, and we certainly still have a long way to go to make sure all of our students and our community feel connected to our campus – but I can see a truly inspired future emerging from these challenging times. The countless hours, behind the scenes work to keep things moving forward and to uplift one another, has not gone unnoticed. Working in support of the Lynx community this past year has tested us all; thank you for showing up and continuing to support each other.
I’m energized by the work going on around the university to implement the campus Strategic Plan, and I’m excited to start putting into play a new Strategic Plan for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The next step in getting the CLAS Draft Strategic Plan, posted now on the CLAS website, put into action is you voting on it before Friday, May 27th. In order to view the plan you will need to be connected to VPN (if working remotely or from a wireless connection on campus). While you will be asked to login with your university id and password the votes will be logged anonymously. For a quorum we need a yes or no vote from as many faculty and staff as possible, so please vote and encourage others to vote as well. And, thank you, again, to everyone who has worked on this over the past few years. The document is a reflection of a collective and collaborative process.
So much of what we accomplish in our college we accomplish together. While the pandemic felt in many ways like an encumbrance to teamwork, we are emerging stronger and more unified than ever. It is with immense gratitude that I express my heartfelt appreciation for all that you did this past year. Thank you for your commitment to the work, your openness to change, your engagement in a collaborative approach, and your time and energy in the spirit of supporting our learners – your contribution means more than you may know. I’d especially like to recognize the work of the ICB faculty and staff on the ground in Beijing this year. They've experienced even more COVID related anxiety than those of us on campus, and in response they've displayed remarkable dedication and tenacity. With your help (and it will take everyone) I look forward to putting our strategic priorities into action next year. All of us have a role to play in the future of this university, so enjoy summer and get ready to contribute to a university that works for all come fall.
2021-2022 College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Deans Awards
The first flagship Abercrombie and Fitch store, says Assistant Professor of History Rachel Gross, was a defining element of the brand’s legacy as an outdoors outfitter. That is, in her words, as “one of the most important companies for shaping this notion in the U.S. that to get back to nature, Americans needed to go shopping first.”
Associate Professor of Anthropology Jamie Hodgkins (and Jessica Thompson of Yale University) recently shared their personal experiences of being pregnant or new moms while conducting fieldwork. They call for family-friendly work cultures in an effort to increase the diversity of people engaged in field sciences. In an effort to evaluate what might be currently limiting inclusion of people with kids and career responsibilities, Hodgkins and her team created a survey to collect more data around these DEI-related issue. They plan to write an article once data is collected to propose solutions, and Hodgkins would appreciate any help circulating the survey to contacts and colleagues that faculty and staff might have who support researchers in field sciences.
Student loan debt is correlated with poor physical and mental health, according to new research published by Assistant Professor of Sociology Adam Lippert and his colleagues in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, “Student Debt and Cardiovascular Disease Risk Among U.S. Adults in Early Mid-Life.” It is unclear how the accumulation or repayment of student debt is associated with longer-term cardiovascular risks and chronic inflammation.
Lippert’s research was also featured in Mirage News Australia, EurekAlert, UK Today News, Medical Xpress, Fact News, ScienMag, Mantras, Mumbai Business Standard Online, Lokmat Times, Vietnam Explorer, DT Next, Web India, Tajikistan News, Tech and Science Post, Hindustan Times Online, Science Blog, Mexico Star, and the United Press International, among others.
Some HR departments are still scrambling to comply with requirements that became effective January 1, 2021, as part of the Colorado Equal Pay for Equal Work Act, (C.R.S. § 8-5-101 et seq.), which requires employers to include compensation in job posting. Says Economics Professor Hani Mansour, "It's creating a lot of headaches for HR departments... There's now a bigger effort to standardize job codes, figure out you know whether job titles make sense or not [and] what is comparable work."
“Everybody knows it’s not effective,” said Candice Shelby, Philosophy Professor who has written extensively about addiction. She described the glut of arrests – part of the city’s reaction to rising public drug use and criminal activity in recent months – “unconscionable and unhelpful.”
CLAS faculty and students are invited to use the NSF funded High Performance Computing cluster Alderaan. The cluster, funded by NSF grant 2019089 CC* Compute: Accelerating Science and Education by Campus and Grid Computing, already has users from several departments. Interested faculty can fill the form linked at this website, and include students or external collaborators they want to sponsor. The cluster has 2176 AMD EPYC 2 compute cores and 2 NVIDIA A100 GPUs in 2 high-memory nodes. Existing software includes HPC stack with open source and Intel compilers, MPI, mathematical and statistical software, and application software in bioinformatics and chemistry. Further software packages can be installed on request. Access is by SSH on the campus network. More information is available here.
Lia Plankenhorn was awarded the Alice Hamilton Scholarship Fund to travel to Italy with Dr. Jamie Hodgkins to conduct research on material excavated from the Arma Veirana Cave site. Alongside analysis of the faunal material from this modern human site, she will be viewing similar collections housed in regional museums to create a comparative literature review on infant burials from 20,000 to 10,000 years ago. This research will contribute to Plankenhorn’s Master's thesis.
Elin White was awarded the Alice Hamilton Scholarship Award to attend Archaeological Field School through the University of Wyoming and will subsequently be pursuing research for her master’s thesis. White plans to explore the correlations between scientific data from megafauna kill sites in North America and indigenous oral traditions. This award was provided by the Colorado Archaeological Society.
Anthropology alumni Robert J. Diehl and Hannah M. Keller, along with Associate Professor of Anthropology Jamie Hodgkins, recently published, “Towards an interpretive framework for heated ostrich eggshell: An actualistic study,” in the Journal of Archeological Science Reports. Ostrich eggshells have been uncovered in ancient archaeological sites dating to more than one million years old, before evidence for the controlled use of fire by ancient humans, thus are items with a long history of human use. If ostrich eggs were collected by humans at this ancient age, then they were originally consumed raw, but contemporary ethnographic records almost uniformly describe them as being cooked. Cooking eggs makes sense because recent nutritional studies have noted significant increases in protein absorption when consuming cooked eggs compared to raw eggs. Thus, cooking eggs is the optimal strategy, and archaeological indicators of cooking should be expected to appear consistently after ancient humans learned...
Communication Professor Sarah Fields was recently selected as a Fellow in the National Academy of Kinesiology (USA). Election into the Academy is a sign of the high esteem and respect your peers hold for your scholarship and leadership in the field. Congratulations on achieving one of the highest honors our field can offer, one that represents a significant career milestone and includes a select few from a global roster of faculty.
Charles M. Musiba, Associate Professor of Anthropology, is featured on Episode 59 of the Leakey Foundation podcast, Origin Stories. In this episode, he talks about research published in Nature at the beginning of the year.
To show appreciation for the contributions of faculty and staff over the past year, we will be to celebrating the end of the academic year together with our graduating students on Larimer Square. As part of this occasion there will be a special Faculty and Staff only gathering in CRU Wine Bar. This exclusive space is designed for faculty and staff to connect and celebrate with colleagues and friends over food and beverages. Please RSVP today to let us know you will be attending.
Tickets are not required, and seating will be first-come-first-served. Everyone can visit the Commencement website for other details on activities, registration, academic regalia, and more.
Auraria Library invites you to learn more about OER, with an energized lecture by Alegria Ribadeneira, Professor in the English and World Languages department at Colorado State University Pueblo. She will share her story about using OER, “nuts and bolts” strategies for finding and using OER in your courses, and students’ responses to OER. We will also share information about OER projects happening at CU Denver that were funded by the latest Colorado Department of Higher Education OER grant. We invite you to attend, learn, and ask questions about OER! Plus, attendees will leave with resources to help further explore using OER in their courses. We hope this workshop will be a launching point for an Auraria Library and College of Liberal Arts & Sciences (CLAS)-led OER Community of Practice for the 2022-2023 academic year. For any questions, please contact Ronica...