Block Party, 2012
Block Party, 2012

Lawrence Street Block Party launched the 2012-2013 academic year with bubbles and booths, a zip line and some zesty treats. But the real excitement this year is in classrooms across the campus. Whether you are a singer-songwriter, a health humanist, a PhD candidate in engineering or a future teacher, the next academic year begins with new opportunities.

College of Arts and Media: “We’re taking all talented comers.”

If you have ever dreamed of being the next Taylor Swift or John Mayer, CU Denver College of Arts and Media now has the program for you. It’s a new singer-songwriter emphasis as a part of the Bachelor in Science Music Degree.

“We are taking all talented comers,” said Doug Krause, program director. “We’re willing to listen to anyone who sings in any style.”

Candidates for the program must be able to compose and perform their own songs, in the vaunted tradition of James Taylor and Joni Mitchell.

“This is a growth industry,” said Douglas. “The singer-songwriter genre is big right now.”

The program has already auditioned incoming freshmen and current CU Denver music majors for the fall semester but has plenty of room for future Grammy winners in the spring semester.

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences: “It’s going to be great to bring the Anschutz Medical Campus and our campus together.”

As far back as 1999, Marjorie Levine-Clark, PhD, associate professor and chair of the Department of History in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, has been thinking about ways to build a bridge between her field and future health care providers at the Anschutz Medical Campus. Finally, a couple years ago, she had a eureka moment.

“I thought, why don’t we do it as a minor?” said Levine-Clark.

The result is a new undergraduate interdisciplinary minor, Health Humanities (HEHM), highlighting humanities and related social science approaches to medicine and health. The minor will be available starting spring semester, 2013 and may be of great interest to students pursuing health careers, specifically pre-med students.

“In the recent years, many pre-med students have chosen a background in science. Now, medical schools are bringing in more humanities,” said Levine-Clark. “Getting a humanities minor helps pre-med students focus on a health career from a humanist’s perspective. They can understand medical theory and practice in a wider cultural and historical context.”

This program is not just limited to students pursuing health careers. It would be of interest to anyone who wants to study health and medical issues from a different perspective.

The coursework will take place on the Denver Campus with some study components on the Anschutz Medical Campus.

“It’s going to be great to bring the Anschutz Medical Campus and our campus together,” said Levine-Clark.

College of Architecture and Planning: “This is going to be so much fun!”

When two associate deans, one at Tongji University in Shanghai, China and one at CU Denver, developed a friendship, an innovative program followed.

The new program—one of the first, if not the first, for landscape architecture in the United States—is a Dual Master of Landscape Architecture degree in the College of Architecture and Planning (CAP). It came about when world- famous architect Jun Xia, a former student at both universities, introduced Yuk Lee, associate dean of academic affairs at CAP to his counterpart at Tongji University. The two men got along famously, and the Chinese dean finally said, “I am so comfortable with you, I would like to work together.”

Fast forward several years. The new degree, which grants a Master of Landscape ARchitecture from both universities, has just brought the first two students from China. Two students will leave CU Denver for China in January, part of an ongoing exchange that means Chinese and American students will see each other in both countries and be able to develop friendships.
Ann Komara

This program serves one of our missions,” said Ann Komara, MLA, MArchHist, chair of Landscape Architecture. “We want to study how local lessons apply globally, so that we can increasingly understand design actions in other cultures.”

Any student who participates will do one thesis in both universities. Students will study cultural landscapes, to learn how the interaction of people and place over time differs from culture to culture.

“The value in this exchange,” said Komara, “is that students will be in the culture long enough to come to an understanding of how people interact with their landscape.” Komara sums up the additional value of the program quite simply: “This is going to be so much fun!”

School of Education and Human Development: “I can’t think of anything better than educating teachers …”

What would prompt a person to leave the position he has held for 11 years as director of the Office of Diversity Affairs at the CU-Boulder Leeds School of Business?

The answer is a position with even more opportunity at CU Denver.

Just ask Aswad Allen, the new assistant dean of diversity and inclusion for the School of Education and Human Development.

“The CU Denver campus is aggressively positioning itself to be a regional and national leader in urban education,” said Allen. “I’m excited about being part of that.”

Allen will launch the school’s new Office of Diversity and Inclusion, along with newly hired Director of Recruitment and Retention Jason Clark. Clark comes to the office from his position as retention manager at the Denver Scholarship Foundation.

Rebecca KantorThe mission of our school is to prepare teachers for diverse school settings,” said Dean Rebecca Kantor. “’To do that, we are trying to increase the diversity of our student body, including first-generation college students and students from various underrepresented communities.”

Allen’s initial goal will be to establish a “talent pipeline” by working with undergraduates, adult learners and individuals who are interested in making a career change. “I can’t think of anything better than educating teachers who will touch the lives of the next generation,” said Allen.

School of Public Affairs: “I’m incredibly excited about this.”

Anyone who has ever worked at a non-profit knows that the people who are most talented in providing direct services often are promoted into management positions. Those same people often do not get the opportunity to learn the skills and knowledge it takes to carry out their new tasks.

Barabara Paradiso

Now, the Colorado Certified Public Manger Program (CPM) is partnering with the Center on Domestic Violence to provide exactly the kind of training nonprofit administrators might need to ensure quality services for people who have experienced domestic violence in Colorado.

“I’m incredibly excited about this,” said Barbara Paradiso, director of the Center on Domestic Violence. “One of the things I love about partnering with the CPM is that this will help leaders in the domestic violence field make progress toward a nationally recognized management development certification.”

CPM is located within the Buechner Institute for Governance at the School of Public Affairs (SPA). It is the only public management certification program in the state of Colorado and is designed to provide public management training to local and state officials who are trying to improve their knowledge and skills and to advance the general administrative capacity of their agencies.

“This is an important way for SPA and the Buechner Institute to provide a key service to public sector personnel,” said Brian Gerber, executive director of the Buechner Institute

for Governance. “That, in turn, improves governance in the state and improves the lives of all Coloradans.”

The new partnership is funded by a grant from the Colorado Department of Human Services Domestic Violence Program.

College of Engineering and Applied Science : “There’s been a bigger demand than anyone expected.”

Pete Jenkins, PhD, PE, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, expected it would take about a year for students to discover the new Engineering and Applied Science Doctor of Philosophy (EASPhD) program in the College of Engineering and Applied Science.

To his surprise, this program is starting the 2012-13 academic year with 16 students accepted and enrolled for the fall semester from the four departments of the college, with several more students starting next spring.

“There’s been a bigger demand than anyone expected,” said Jenkins. “This is the next step for this college as we mature and grow, and I am happy to be part of it.”

Applicants to the program enter through one of the college’s four departments, called the host department. The subject area of that department becomes a student’s primary area of concentration.

But students can take courses outside of the department in any school or college in the university, which would be their secondary area of concentration, as long as the courses are at the graduate level. In this collaborative program, a student with a primary concentration in mechanical engineering could also take courses in math as a secondary area of concentration.

“If you look around the country and the world, research and educational programs are increasingly interdisciplinary,” said Jenkins. “This EASPhD allows students to get a broader view of engineering in the technical world.”

Business School

“How to succeed in business in less than one year.”

That could be the name of the new Bard Center for Entrepreneurship incubator program for start-up businesses.

“It’s going to be very rigorous,” said Madhavan Parthasarathy, director of the entrepreneurship program. “We are interested in quality, not in quantity, so we are seeking a few companies with a good chance for success.”

The incubator program is designed for finalists in the Bard Center’s business plan competition. It will offer new businesses as many as 50 advisors and the potential for some funding. But, says Parthasarathy, participants will have to put “some skin in the game.”

“There is no such thing as a free lunch,” said Parthasarathy. “We plan to help these companies succeed in exchange for some percentage of the company’s equity. If they succeed, we succeed.”

“This industry is hiring!”

That’s the message Cindy Baroway, CPCU, MEd, wants to get out. As the Risk Management and Insurance (RMI) Program facilitator and lecturer, Baroway knows that the program has plenty of room for more students.

“Right now,” she said, “We have more internship opportunities than we have students.”

The risk management and insurance industry is looking for young talent because roughly 65 percent of its workforce will retire in the next decade. The university is offering even more opportunities this fall by introducing several graduate degrees with RMI as a specialty. Even more enticing may be the RMI Maymester program, which includes travel to London, Bermuda and New York.

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