Alum Donalyn White Receives Prestigious CU GOLD Award

Published: March 11, 2024
Donalyn White smiles with many plants in the background

We are extremely excited to announce that Donalyn White, an alum of both Political Science and English, is the 2024 recipient and will be featured at a ceremony this May! The GOLD award (Graduate of the Last Decade) recognizes graduates of the last ten years for their accomplishments in their career, service, and/or volunteer efforts that have brought honor to individuals and CU Denver.

Donalyn received a minor in Political Science in ‘16 and an MA in Political Science from the New Directions in Politics and Public Policy Program in ‘19. They have additional BA and MA degrees in English from CU Denver and are currently a PhD student in the Cultural Studies Department at Claremont Graduate University. They taught in the English department at CU Denver for three years before moving to teach in the Rhetoric and Communications Studies Department at the University of La Verne. Their research centers around preserving and telling the history of queer elders.  

While at CU Denver, Donalyn became invovled with the Romero Theatre Troup through Dr. Jim Walsh, where they met close friends and fellow activists. They also had their first experience with academic publication via PRAXIS Student Journal, participated in walking tours around Denver, and went on study abroad trips to Korea, Uganda, and Rwanda. When asked about their experience at CU Denver, Donalyn shared:

“The New Directions program in particular helped kick off my career. My courses in community organizing gave me the practical skills to succeed in my work with youth voter engagement, where a team I was on registered over 15,000 young Coloradans to vote. The classes also gave me the background in policy that I needed to go into my political consulting work, where I crafted national policy and conducted debate preparation for presidential and senate campaigns. The professors and guest lecturers from outside the department were essential to helping me build my network of mentors across Colorado, and I've worked a few times with former classmates who have gone on to do important work in our community and legislature."

Donalyn says they would advise PSCI undergraduate students to get to know their professors, because they can be your advocates and mentors. They also encourage students considering PSCI to look at the faculty website and set up a meeting with a professor they think they might want to study under to hear about what their classes are like, and they want students to know that the professors in the PSCI Department are genuinely caring and will be there to guide you through personal and academic struggles.

Congratulations to Donalyn on receiving this high honor!