photo of sharon coggan

Sharon L. Coggan (Philosophy/Religious Studies)

Dr. Coggan has been a member of the faculty at CU Denver since Fall 1978. She was a Lecturer for 21 years and during that time taught all over Denver and in Boulder. She says, “This allowed me to make wonderful contacts with students some of whom became life-long friends.” She was promoted to Sr. Instructor in 1999 and developed the Religious Studies Program, which launched in 2000 and served as its Director until her retirement. In 2012 she was promoted to Associate Professor C/T as a member of the very first cohort to be awarded that new faculty position. Dr. Coggan’s book, Sacred Disobedience: A Jungian Analysis of the Saga of Pan and the Devil is forthcoming from Rowman & Littlefield. In her retirement, she plans to travel, have fun, relax and audit classes including in Physics, Astronomy, Geology and other sciences.

photo of Paula Espinoza

Paula A. Espinoza (Ethnic Studies)

Paula A. Espinoza, received her PhD in Sociocultural Psychology from the University of Colorado Boulder and is a Clinical Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Colorado Denver. She formally held a secondary appointment in Community Behavioral Health at the Colorado School of Public Health and was the Director for Health Research at UCD’s Latino/a Research & Policy Center. Dr. Espinoza’s research addresses social determinants of Latino health disparities through culturally-tailored interventions, utilizing a community-based participatory research approach.  She is the former Chair of the Colorado Cancer Coalition, is a 9-year breast cancer survivor, and is a named Health Disparities Scholar under the National Institute on Minority Health & Health Disparities.  Within the Ethnic Studies program, Dr. Espinoza taught several courses including Intro to Chicanx Studies, Chicana/o & Latina/o History, Culture, Racism, & Alienation, and Ethnicity, Health and Social Justice.  She is most proud of creating an online major and minor for the department. Dr. Espinoza also served as the CU-Succeed liaison and coordinator for the last three years. Dr. Espinoza was the first in her family to graduate from college and is a seventh generation Tejana, originally from San Antonio, Texas. In retirement, she plans to spend time writing family history and stories and looks forward to spending more quality time with her family, gardening, and traveling.

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Rebecca A. Hunt (History)

Associate Professor C/T Rebecca Hunt taught her first class as a lecturer for CU Denver in 1999. She became a Senior Instructor in 2005 and was part of the pioneer group of CTT faculty at CU Denver. Dr. Hunt expanded the History Department’s Public History program by developing new courses in museum practice. At the core of this program are partnerships in the museum community, which give students solid hands-on experience. This experiential learning has become a hallmark of the program. Dr. Hunt’s books include, A Century of Healing: Swedish Medical Center (2005) and Wyoming Medical Center: A Centennial History (2011). Natrona County: People, Place and Time (2011) and an edited volume of biographies of early families in Casper Wyoming (2016).  She co-produced a documentary in 2008, A Woman to Match a Mountain, on Neal Forsling, Casper, Wyoming homesteader, artist and writer. Two manuscripts, Urban Pioneers: Continuity and Change in Two Denver Immigrant Neighborhoods and Snow Stories, A History of Skiing on Casper Mountain, Wyoming, as well as a biography of Neal Forsling are at the center of her plans for retirement. She also serves on the steering committee for History Colorado’s Center for Colorado Women’s History and on the 19th amendment commemoration.

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Steve Koester (Anthropology)

Dr. Steve Koester is an internationally recognized Applied Medical Anthropologist whose moral compass and a compassion for people is at the forefront of his research.  His work on the behavioral factors of disease vectors, especially Hepatitis C and HIV/AIDS with work in the Denver Metropolitan area, Bangladesh, and Vietnam is particularly noteworthy.  He has a long-standing interest in sustainability, the rights of local communities and the effects of development on those communities.  He was involved in founding the needle exchange program in Denver and educational programs in Public Health in Vietnam.  Today he is active in programs for the rights of homeless in Denver and continues his work with Denver Health on issues opioid overdose and the use of intravenous drug use among the homeless community. Dr. Koester came to CU Denver from the medical school in the early 1990s as an Associate Professor and one of the founding members of the PhD program in Health and Behavioral Sciences, as well as helping to shape the current Medical Anthropology program at the MA level.  He is passionate about his students, creating numerous classes to meet pressing issues in our society and has overseen countless undergraduate research projects, independent studies, honor’s thesis, MA thesis, and PhD committees. Tammy Stone, Chair of Anthropology says, “He is a wonderful colleague – always supportive of others.  His excitement at others’ successes and support in difficult times demonstrates his unselfish nature.  I am honored to call him my friend...” 

photo of Stever Maxson

Steven L. Maxson (Physics)

Dr. Steven Maxson completed his JD at the University of Denver (1976) and received his PhD in Physics from the University of Texas at Austin (1996). He practiced law in Denver from 1976 until 1989, when he went back to get his PhD as he had been drafted out of graduate school during the Vietnam era. Dr. Maxson was a part time Senior Instructor with CU Denver Physics from late August, 1996, and had enough part time hours to go on benefits from September, 1999 until May, 2020.

photo of carol morken

Carol Rivas Morken (Advising)

Carol has had a thirty-year career in higher education working at four institutions including University of San Diego, University Chicago, Colorado State University, Pueblo (formerly University of Southern Colorado), and the University of Colorado Denver (since 2002).  Carol’s career has been to work with students to promote their engagement in their college experience and developing programs and services that foster student success, persistence, and graduation. Carol’s mission has been to lead her office each year to the next level of service excellence for our students and to strive to be the model of academic advising for the campus.  This includes growing and developing the CLAS Undergraduate Advising team from 4 staff members in 2002 to 21 staff as of 2020.  Carol’s promotion to Assistant Dean in 2005 provided her the opportunity to collaborate with five outstanding Academic Deans and eight Associate Deans. Her initial plans in her retirement are to travel the United States to visit all the major league baseball fields, enjoy some National Parks and drink some great wine at vineyards along the way. 

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Thomas Jacob Noel (History)

Thomas Jacob Noel is a Professor of History and Director of Public History, Preservation & Colorado Studies at the University of Colorado Denver. Since 1976, Dr. Noel has been at CU-Denver as a student, graduate assistant, lecturer, honorarium teacher, assistant, associate and full professor and as chair of the history department. He completed his B.A. at the University of Denver and his M.A. and Ph.D. at CU-Boulder.  Dr. Noel was named Colorado's State Historian in 2018. He is the author or co-author of 53 books and a longtime former Sunday columnist for the Rocky Mountain News and The Denver Post. He appears regularly as “Dr. Colorado” on Channel 9’s “Colorado & Company.”  His latest books including A Short History of Denver, Denver Landmarks & Historic Districts and Boom & Bust Colorado. His book, Colorado: A Historical Atlas won three prizes as the best history book of 2016. Dr. Noel is also co-author of Colorado: A History of the Centennial State, as well as co-author of a middle school and high school textbook on Colorado History. In 2018 History Colorado appointed Dr. Noel the Colorado State Historian. Please check Tom’s website: for a list of his books, classes, tours and talk and books.

photo of catherine wiley

Catherine Ann Wiley (English)

Cate Wiley taught drama and women writers in the English Department for thirty years, starting at CU Denver in 1990, and has recently embarked on a new career as a playwright focusing on women's stories. Her plays have been seen in Denver, Seattle, and New York, with an upcoming production in Minneapolis. She recently moved to New York City, which feels somewhat familiar, since she grew up outside of Rochester, New York. She is grateful to the English Department and the College for enabling her transition out of scholarly writing into creative writing and plans to return to Colorado often to hike in the Rockies