Published: Aug. 11, 2021

To increase awareness of CLAS Staff contributions within our college CLAS Staff Council is moving to spotlight our colleagues regularly in the Deans’ Notes – CLAS Faculty and Staff Newsletter. Don’t be surprised if we reach out wanting more information from you!

Below are some of the Staff we've highlighted so far!

Carol Achziger – Grants Development Coordinator

Carol Achziger has served as the CU Denver CLAS Grants Development Coordinator since February of 2009, where she assists faculty in the college with submitting grant applications and the development of contracts. Achziger says she enjoys her work at CLAS because “...of the diversity of thought, activities, and great people...This is a fun, compassionate, a bit competitive and diverse place to work. Never a dull moment!” Carol is most proud every time someone is awarded a grant proposal that she has assisted with.

Prior to coming to CU Denver, Achziger worked in a school district in northern Utah where she established relationships with multiple agencies for an afterschool program that still runs to this day. She also ran the program’s day-to-day administration ­– writing and submitting grant proposals, as well as helping to create and provide training. Achziger says, “The fact that those after-school programs and relationships are still intact is a huge accomplishment.”

Achziger often juggles multiple projects with overlapping deadlines and she does it all with “grace and confidence” says Stephanie Santorico, CLAS Interim Associate Dean for Research and Creative Activities. “Carol navigates the maze of federal agency documents, websites, and unique foundation processes on behalf of our faculty so they are able to focus on their research.”

Colleague Elizabeth Lee notes that Achziger can, “quote policy (and translate it for the rest of us!) while still being approachable. [She helps] those she works with to understand the bigger picture...Carol is an incredible inspiration to me and I am so fortunate to call her a colleague and friend.”

In addition to her work, Achziger commits significant time, effort, and energy to her church, her family, and her community. Stephanie Santorico mentions that “Carol constantly impresses me with her commitment to serving others and drive to make the world a better place. She always treats others with respect and sets an example of compassion and volunteerism. Carol can be counted on to go above and beyond the call of duty."

Carol Achziger is an asset to CLAS, to CU Denver, and to the community at large. We are fortunate to have Carol in our diverse, talented, and caring Lynx community

Esteban Loetz – Psychology Professional Research Assistant

Esteban Loetz has been a Professional Research Assistant (PRA) in the Psychology Department for the past seven years and has contributed to research advances in the three behavioral neuroscience labs.

Loetz says, “An amazing aspect about my current position is that I continually get to learn new laboratory techniques…I’m constantly being challenged.”

One of the accomplishments Esteban is most proud of was collaborating in the development of a chemogenetic experimental design that brought advanced neurobiology techniques to our campus.

Courtney Bouchet, a Graduate Student that worked with Esteban notes he “is the kind of person that everyone wants to work with… I have learned so much from Esteban, like lab and time management skills and various experimental techniques; but I think the most important thing I have learned from [him] is how to make a work environment fun and inviting.”

Benjamin Greenwood, Associate Professor of Psychology and one of Esteban’s supervisors remarked that “Esteban has a passion for science and is an excellent role model. He performs time-consuming, technically difficult experiments with enthusiasm. He never tires of teaching new lab members how to perform difficult techniques. Most impressively, new lab members seem to be imbued with Esteban’s positive attitude in addition to the skills being taught. We are very lucky to have Esteban working with us.”

Esteban’s fun-loving approach to work, dedication for scientific research and his quests for innovative lab techniques set him apart. The department of Psychology, CLAS and the Lynx Community are fortunate to have Esteban Loetz as part of our team.

Nara Chon – Professional Research Assistant in the Department of Chemistry

Nara Chon began her career as an immigrant from South Korea. Today, a proud graduate of CU Denver and CLAS, she’s been working for the Department of Chemistry as a Professional Research Assistant for the past three years.

When asked what she likes most about working in CLAS, Nara responded, “I like the friendly atmosphere here. I feel this way because I was a CLAS student as well. The faculty members at the Department of Chemistry who taught me in the past are now my co-workers, and they encourage me and help me to succeed.”

Dr. Hai Lin, Professor of Chemistry and Nara’s supervisor, says “Nara’s passion about sciences is not limited to research. She is always willing to share her knowledge and experience with others…Nara helped me mentor ~10 undergraduate students…She also spent time patiently listening to them talking about lives, careers, struggles, and dreams…Many of these students have been accepted into medical/dental schools or are attending PhD programs.”

Jeff Knight, Associate Professor of Chemistry, adds that “Nara is an outstanding research collaborator…she is also always interested in learning new things. I am impressed with how well she communicates on many levels…sharing her results with other scientists, and training the students she works with directly.”

Nara is passionate about helping students and helping them to discover innovative ways to acquire new information. Among her impressive accomplishments include the publication of four papers in 2018 alone, with two more manuscripts in preparation.

We proudly celebrate the achievements and dedication of Nara: an alumna, member of the CLAS staff, and our Lynx family.

AnQuanette Murray-Cawthorn – CLAS Dean’s Office HR Senior Professional

AnQuanette Murray-Cawthorn, HR Senior Professional, has spent much of her career in the CLAS Dean’s Office. She was first hired as a Peer Advisor in the Financial Aid Office and shortly after got a second job as a Student Assistant in the CLAS Dean’s office in 2015. Upon graduating from CU Denver, she was hired in a permanent staff role in the CLAS Dean’s office and started her HR position in 2017. AnQuanette didn’t originally plan to go into HR as a career. When she was in her student position, she expressed interest in the Human Resources work she observed in the Dean’s office and was given a chance to try it out. A new path led from there.

AnQuanette says, “What I enjoy most about my position is working with the staff and faculty in the Dean’s office. Everyone is so passionate about their roles and it is reflected in the work that they do.” Of her colleagues on the Human Resources and Finance team she says, “We are so collaborative and I appreciate that everyone is so open to help and work together.”

In addition to handling the daily tasks required of her position, AnQuanette keeps abreast of the latest developments in the field of Human Resources. She is detail-oriented and enjoys assisting colleagues with projects. She is collaborative in nature, valuing the working relationships she has built in the CLAS Dean’s office. AnQuanette is thankful for the “opportunity for growth” in her position since joining CLAS.

Megan Jorgensen, Director of HR in the CLAS Dean’s Office says “AnQuanette is an asset to the CLAS HR team. She is extremely organized…I’m so proud of everything AnQuanette has learned and accomplished from her time as a student assistant to her current role as HR Senior Professional. AnQuanette is always willing to help out with different projects... She’s a very quick learner and is very resourceful – she’s able to figure out a lot of stuff on her own. We are lucky to have AnQuanette on the CLAS HR team!”

Carri Boothe, HR Program Manager at CLAS Dean’s Office adds that AnQuanette “has demonstrated a strong commitment to her job and has always gone above and beyond to make sure that she does that job well. I’m continually impressed by the thoroughness of her work, her ability to take on and learn new tasks, and her willingness to help others. As a coworker, AnQuanette is supportive and encouraging and always willing to lend a helping hand… She is a tremendous asset for our HR Team and CLAS!”

We salute AnQuanette Murray-Cawthorn for her accomplishments and appreciate her contributions to CLAS and to the Lynx Community. We anticipate a long and prosperous career ahead for AnQuanette.

Coral Scherma - CLAS Academic Advising

Coral came to CU Denver six years ago from a prior position advising at CCD and brought with her experience teaching ESL in Asia. Since she has an undergrad degree in Anthropology and East Asian Studies Coral says, “My heart is with the liberal arts and sciences.”

Coral focused on advising students in Communication, International Studies and Political Science. Coral says one of the highlights of her position was the students she worked with. “Our students are simply astonishing. I am in constant awe of how they juggle their complicated lives. The long-term advisor-advisee relationship here is a gift--being able to see them through from entrance to graduation.”

Coral beams with pride when speaking of her past advisees and their accomplishments.“…it is individual student stories that come to mind: the immigrant who took my women’s leadership class and then opened her own business in Santa Fe; the student I first met as a mother of an advisee, who I walked up to the GED office and who is now almost done with her bachelor’s degree; the student who bursts into the office or on email letting me know they’ve gotten into grad/med/law school, have landed the job of their dreams…”

Coral says, “It feels great knowing I may have helped them along that journey in some way.”

Coral’s colleagues and supervisors think highly of her dedication to students. Alison Shah says, “Coral is so thorough and so thoughtful when it comes to helping students succeed.”

Sandra Quinn adds Coral is a “…champion for student success... She has impacted so many students by listening to their stories, providing guidance and being their advocate. The care and compassion Coral passes along to her students is immeasurable.”

Cecilio Alvarez, Assistant Director of CLAS Academic Advising, comments, “Without question, you’ll hear from students, staff, and faculty that care, kindness, and compassion are a constant for Coral…She’s passionate, sharp, unapologetically herself, and most of all, has a big heart.”

We are grateful for Coral’s contribution to the college, to our campus and especially for her devotion and dedication to all the students that she comes in contact with. We celebrate her accomplishments and are deeply appreciative of her service to CLAS and the entire CU Denver community.