2009 Spring: University of Denver Magazine

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Spring 2009








Early childhood education takes flight

Office of the Chancellor

Dear Readers: We at DU are surely no strangers to the inexorable cycles of economic boom and bust. For most of our 145-year history, our well-being was tied to the health of the local economy and the overall economy of the state. Early on, the cycles were driven by the timing of gold and silver strikes in the Rockies and the impact of weather on Colorado agriculture. As the city and the region grew in fits and starts, so did we. Along the way we’ve enjoyed some very big highs and endured some very deep lows, such as the time following the silver panic of the 1890s when we were in such dire straits (and deep debt) that we considered selling University Hall to a group of investors who would convert it into a glue factory. Our condition was so fragile that our theology department, which had its own endowment, seceded from the University to go its own way as the Iliff School of Theology. The University community lived through 120 years of boom and bust, up until the last great crisis in the mid 1980s. Once again our institutional health was poor and our survival on the line, but the outcome was very different from such crises in the past. We were not rescued by an economic miracle, a government bailout, an angelic donation or any other such Band-Aid. Rather, the institution picked itself up and made some fundamental changes—changes that gradually led us back to stability. Chancellor Dwight Smith and his colleagues made some hard choices, and the institution began to move in ways uncharacteristic of traditional academia. The faculty revamped the curriculum in bold and innovative ways. We became more creative and less risk-averse. We became vastly more sophisticated in our operations and planning, particularly in the years under Chancellor Dan Ritchie. The kinds of decisions we made and actions we took back in those dark days served us well as we grew into the institution we know today—a DU that is innovative and agile, operationally sophisticated and focused on absolute quality. Today, the University enjoys the strongest financial condition of its history, even as we face the roiling economic storm that has engulfed the nation and much of the world. Our enrollments are solid, and looking ahead to next fall, we have nearly 11,000 applications for the new class of 1,145 first-year undergraduates, up 30 percent from a year ago and up more than 70 percent from the number of applicants just two years ago. Applications for our graduate programs are up as well, and our footprint has broadened considerably. Nearly 60 percent of our undergraduates now come from states other than Colorado, and our population of international students (both undergraduates and graduates) is nearing 900. We are recruiting and hiring great faculty members, for whom we compete on a national scale. Our cash reserves are solid and we have great liquidity. Unlike a number of other institutions, we are proceeding with major construction projects (a new building for the Morgridge College of Education, an addition to Ben Cherrington Hall and a new soccer stadium and training facility) because they are all fully funded, without debt. Our major concern is for our students and their families, and so we have moved substantial new resources into financial aid. Like so many times in our past, we face an uncertain and daunting economy. We look ahead with great caution, fully aware of the worst-case scenarios. This time is different, though, because we are different.


Office of the Chancellor Mary Reed Building | 2199 S. University Blvd. | Denver, CO 80208 | 303.871.2111 | Fax 303.871.4101 | www.du.edu/chancellor




University of Denver Magazine Spring 2009


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A New Direction
Through a program in the Four Corners, DU’s Graduate School of Social Work is educating social workers about the region’s unique needs.
By Brenda Gillen

A Hand Up for Early Ed
DU’s new Marsico Institute for Early Learning and Literacy is working to improve the picture for early childhood education.
By Jan Thomas

Islam in America
What does it mean to be Shi’i in a country that understands so little about Islam? A new book by DU Professor Liyakat Takim traces the history and experiences of the Shi’i community in America.
By Tamara Chapman


44 45 47

Editor’s Note Letters DU Update 08 News Soccer stadium 11 Arts Indian art and identity 12 Q&A Chaplain Gary Brower 16 Sports Women’s basketball coach 19 People Cookbook author Elizabeth Yarnell 21 History Campus radio Alumni Connections


Online only at www.du.edu/magazine: Academics Science and politics Research Waste reactor
On the cover: Butterfly drawing by Hannah Eckert, age 5, daughter of Jeanine Mayer Eckert (BA ’98) Story on page 28. This page: Wheylaya Becenti, 7, daughter of social work alumnus Leland Becenti, works on a traditional Navajo weaving. Becenti teaches traditional crafts as a coping mechanism. Photo by Marc Piscotty. Story on page 22.

University of Denver Magazine Update




Editor’s Note
There is a lot of buzz about education at DU these days, and not just in the ways you might expect. Sure, we’re in the business of educating college students in a traditional campus setting. But our learning environment also includes pre-K options, a school for gifted elementary and middle school students, non-traditional programs for adult learners, and continuing education for senior citizens. The future of education is the theme of this
Craig Korn


w w w. d u . e d u / m a g a z i n e
U N I V E R S I T Y Number 3 Volume 9, O F M A G A Z I N E


Carol Farnsworth Z I N E MAGA
Managing Editor



Chelsey Baker-Hauck (BA ’96)
Associate Editor

Tamara Chapman

Richard Chapman Kathryn Mayer (BA ’07) Nathan Solheim
Creative/Brand Strategist

year’s Bridges to the Future programming (see page 10 for details about the next event in the series or visit www.du.edu/bridges); DU is even producing a related series of television specials in partnership with Rocky Mountain PBS. The University recently broke ground for Ruffatto Hall, the new home for the Morgridge College of Education. Alumnus Jim Cox Kennedy has donated $10 million to establish the Kennedy Institute for Educational Success (page 13) in the Morgridge College. The college’s Marsico Institute for Early Learning and Literacy is off and running (page 28), and the college recently partnered with Denver Public Schools to create a teacher residency program (read more at www.du.edu/today). All of these developments are hallmarks of DU’s commitment to the public good, examples of how the University, as Chancellor Robert Coombe might say, leverages its intellectual capital against the great issues of the day. Undoubtedly, education is among the greatest of those challenges we’re tasked with as a society. What role has education played in your life? Educators, what are the biggest challenges you face? Parents, what concerns do you have for the education of your children? I encourage you to join the discussion.

Jim Good
Art Director

Craig Korn

Alfredo Abad • Wayne Armstrong • Jim Berscheidt • Janalee Card Chmel (MLS ’97) • Mac Clouse • Carrie Field • Brenda Gillen (MLS ’06) • Kristal Griffith • Roxanne Hawn • Stephen Huyler (BA ’73) • Doug McPherson • Marc Piscotty • Karen Rubin • Chase Squires • Samantha Stewart (BA ’08) • Jan Thomas (BA ’80, MA ’81) • Peggy Ulrich-Nims • Janna Widdifield
Editorial Board

Chelsey Baker-Hauck, publications director • Jim Berscheidt, associate vice chancellor for university communications • Thomas Douglis (BA ’86) • Carol Farnsworth, vice chancellor for university communications • Sarah Satterwhite, senior director of development/special assistant to the vice chancellor • Amber Scott (MA ’02) • Grace Stanton (PhD ’79), executive director of creative/brand strategy • Laura Stevens (BA ’69), director of parent relations

Printed on 10% PCW recycled paper

Chelsey Baker-Hauck Managing Editor

The University of Denver Magazine (USPS 022-177) is published quarterly—fall, winter, spring and summer—by the University of Denver, University Communications, 2199 S. University Blvd., Denver, CO 80208. The University of Denver (Colorado Seminary) is an Equal Opportunity Institution. Periodicals postage paid at Denver, CO. Postmaster: Send address changes to University of Denver Magazine, University of Denver, University Advancement, 2190 E. Asbury Ave., Denver, CO 80208.


University of Denver Magazine Spring 2009

Faith matters
For more than 41 years I have enjoyed reading various alumni publications from DU. I was stunned by the article “Saving Seph” (winter 2008), which chronicled the hopeful battle against Seph’s Duchenne muscular dystrophy. The article says of Seph’s mother, Lori: “The primary source of that hope is faith in God … Lori frequently discusses God’s power to deliver a miracle for Seph. Barring a miracle, Lori says she can accept that Seph will be in heaven if he dies before her, though she cries every time she considers it. ‘It’s a God thing,’ she says. ‘Without my faith, I would have nothing. No hope.’” For four decades I have read DU articles that have unhesitatingly (and dare I say foolishly) promulgated the typical university worldview of secularism wherein matters of faith and the importance of faith in the routine of alumni lives are virtually never mentioned (despite the Christian origin of DU). How refreshing it is to know that Seph is mothered by a woman who attacks his problem with a well-developed faith that has been integrated into the routine of her family’s life. I don’t find Lori’s perspective to be unusual. What I found unusual was that the key aspect of faith was seriously considered in the context of the article. For one, I would prefer to see more such faith deliberation in future articles (even if the object of faith turns out to be crystals or jackhammers). Everyone has faith in something or someone. As alumni, it is worth contemplating whether DU is a help or hindrance in developing a mature faith as part of a complete education. Do not grow weary of doing well!
Don Burgess (BA ’67) Fort Worth, Texas

Joe,” fall 2008). He had the exceptional ability to bring the real world of international politics into the classroom. As an undergraduate at the University, my area of concentration was East Asian studies with a focus on modern China. My academic adviser, Professor Peter Van Ness, suggested that I sit in on a class titled Soviet Foreign Policy in order to gain some insights on their communist counterparts in China. Professor Korbel taught this class and graciously allowed me to join the group. His lectures and the class discussions were very interesting and sobering, considering the subject matter. One session in particular came back to me as I was reading your article. Professor Korbel was reviewing the turbulent events of 1968, culminating with the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in August of that year. He was speaking in detail, and from personal experience, of the people and events that led up to this tragedy. Everyone in the class was transfixed by his presentation, for here was a man who has seen the ugly face of Soviet imperialism up close. A classroom presentation does not get more compelling. I thought about Professor Korbel when Russia invaded Georgia in August 2008 and what his analysis would be of that event.
Patrick Stanford (BA ’72, MSJA ’77) Alamosa, Colo.

Korbel kindly provided recommendations, etc., in connection with job applications. I worked as a clerk for TimeLife, but the last two months my parents in Norway provided me with funds and I attended language class with Mrs. Korbel. I remember how proud she was of her daughters! Olav had an internship in the U.N. after we left Denver. We then returned to Norway, where Olav worked for the Ministry of Social Affairs for a few years before joining the United Nations Development Programme, first as a deputy resident representative in Nigeria and Pakistan, then as a resident representative in Malta, Botswana, Somalia and Syria. Since his retirement in 1989, we lived in Norway. We have three children and seven grandchildren. I remember with the utmost pleasure the happy days we spent as newlyweds in Denver. We had hoped to return one day.
Betty Svennevik Oslo, Norway

Online magazine
The e-version of the winter 2008 University of Denver Magazine [www.du.edu/magazine] is excellent. Keep up the good work.
Neil Sapper (BA ’63) Austin, Texas

Renaissance Room memories
I am replying to the request in the fall 2008 magazine [Alumni Connections, page 45] to share memories of the Renaissance Room or Mary Reed Library. During the 12 months I was a graduate student, I used the Mary Reed Library—the “Ren Room” in particular—to study and complete assignments. I also worked 20 hours a week in the Ren Room, often from 8 p.m. to midnight and 8 a.m. to noon. I lived in an apartment several blocks away and walked to and from campus. I remember cooking, eating,
University of Denver Magazine Letters

Korbel’s legacy
I am writing to congratulate you on the excellent article on the life and times of Professor Josef Korbel (“Remembering

My husband, Olav Svennevik (MA ’55), received the University of Denver Magazine for a number of years and enjoyed very much being in touch with his old university. Sadly, he died in December 2007. Olav would particularly have enjoyed the issue commemorating Josef Korbel. Professor Korbel was Olav’s thesis adviser and became a friend and excellent support in many ways. They kept in touch for several years after we left Denver, and Professor


reading and studying after my midnight shift and often going with friends to the nearby Denny’s to have coffee, talk and eat. Two particular Ren Room memories are as vivid as if they happened yesterday— one humorous and one romantic. In regard to the former, the situation was that I had worked the two shifts and fell asleep about 2 a.m. I dressed in the dark, trying not to awaken my roommate at 7:30 a.m. Soon after, I was in the Ren Room. I sat down, crossing my legs. The desk was placed by the hallway entrance, in front of the fireplace. As I looked down I was aghast to see that (in my mind, at least) my legs were deformed! Standing up to examine the problem, with feet firmly on the floor, I saw that I had put my left shoe on my right foot, and vice versa! At Denny’s when I related the incident to my friends, one kind, satirical soul took out her pen and paper napkin, quickly drew and wrote something on it, and told me to place it on the floor when dressing next time. She had sketched a pattern with two correctly

placed feet and the words “left foot,” “right foot.” The romantic encounter in the Ren Room occurred near the end of the summer of 1972. A handsome male about my age asked for help in locating a journal: Picturescope. I checked the card catalog. After finding the periodical, I asked why he needed it. He explained that he was at DU attending a special summer seminar on the history of photography. This was the beginning of a short but joyous romance with Alan Miller, who returned that month to his home in Klamath Falls, Ore. I left for Dallas to begin a position as children’s librarian. This past summer I had the great pleasure of actually walking around the Ren Room again after decades. My friend, Rena Fowler, who has resettled in Denver after many years of working in other cities and states, kindly drove me to the campus after I’d flown in from Texas with my young daughters. Although it was a Saturday, the Mary Reed Building was open, as well as

the Ren Room. Even though the latter had stacks of books packed in boxes all over the floor, just being there and seeing that same fireplace, the high ceilings and huge windows brought back a flood of wonderful memories. I could picture my friends studying at the long, oak tables. I had a warm, comfortable feeling because I was in a place where I had met lifelong friends and earned an excellent education for my lifelong career. You see, it was at the Mary Reed Library that I initially met Rena. Thank you for allowing me to describe my reminiscences. I must admit that I rarely took time to carefully read your magazine. But I’m so glad I did this time!
Frances “Toni” (Smardo) Dowd (MA ’72) Dallas
Send letters to the editor to: Chelsey BakerHauck, University of Denver Magazine, 2199 S. University Blvd., Denver, CO 80208. Or, e-mail [email protected] Please include your full name and mailing address with all submissions. Letters may be edited for clarity and length.

Built for Learning

B u i lt F or L e a r n i n g

Built for Learning explores how and why the University of Denver embarked on an extraordinary transformation of its campus. With hundreds of color photographs and stunning illustrations, Built for Learning belongs on your reading list.
Order your copy today at www.du.edu/builtforlearning.
Special pricing for DU students, alumni, faculty and staff.




University of Denver Magazine Spring 2009

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Study-abroad ranking Climate effort Laser microscope Immigration panel In-law relationships Hand-washing study Donor spotlight

Wayne Armstrong

Junior Virginia Woodfork and sophomore Cameron Lewis celebrated Barack Obama’s victory Nov. 4, joining hundreds of students at the Cable Center to watch election returns. The University hosts Republican and Democratic college chapters, and more than a thousand students joined DU Students for Barack Obama. DU was a top stop on the presidential campaign trail, hosting visits by Obama, John McCain, Mitt Romney, Ralph Nader and Bob Barr.
University of Denver Magazine Update


Top News

New soccer stadium taking shape
By Richard Chapman


the sultry afternoon of Aug. 28 trudges up to the dinner hour, DU soccer fans will be eagerly settling into brand new seats. Floodlights will power up and a new scoreboard flicker on. The whistle will blow, cleats will stab manicured sod, and DU will unleash a women’s team that won’t quit the pitch until they’ve blown the Gaels of Saint Mary’s College back to Northern California. The next night, DU’s men’s team will sprint onto the turf and keep running until they’ve booted the Stanford Cardinal from ecclesiastical red to a pale pink. Welcome to the University’s $6.7 million, 1,771-seat soccer stadium and conditioning complex, a new DU jewel aimed at kick-starting soccer to a new level and giving athletes in all sports a better way to train. “Under the lights, there’s extra energy and extra passion,” says center midfielder Collin Audley, a junior. “That first night will be really exciting.” “I don’t think there’s going to be a better place in the country to see a game,” says mens’ coach Bobby Muuss. Even the School of Art and Art History is excited. As part of the overall project, the school is getting a 12,500-square-foot studio on the south side of the Ritchie Center. The studio will help reinstate the Master of Fine Arts program and afford drawing and painting students much-needed space to work and learn. The one-story, garden-level art annex is being combined with the soccer and conditioning complex for cost-effectiveness, says University Architect Mark Rodgers. The $9.2 million combined project is to be completed by late fall. “It’s a wonderful opportunity,” notes Annette Stott, director of the School of Art and Art History. “Things that the faculty have been talking about for a couple years now become possible with this.” Stott envisions classes in the annex by January 2010. “It’s good that if you put in an athletic project you find some way to connect it with the rest of the school,” says Audley, who proclaims a love of art when he isn’t scoring goals for the 10-7-2 Pioneers. In 2008, DU men finished atop the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation and qualified for the NCAA tournament, falling in the first round to UC Davis 4-0. DU women notched 19 victories, won the Sun Belt Conference and postseason tournament, and placed six players on the allconference team. DU women earned a trip to the NCAA tournament but lost in the first round to Kansas 2-1. The results may be a prelude to glory days ahead. “We want to be among the best soccer programs in the country on both the men’s and women’s side,” Muuss says. Being the best means recruiting the best, he cautions. It also means scheduling top opponents like St. Louis and San Diego State and attracting diehard fans. Being limited to day games in summer heat makes program building tough, he points out; televising night games and exciting fans make that easier. Hence the need for the new stadium. “We’ve lost kids because of facilities,” says women’s coach Jeff Hooker. “If [a recruit] sees a university has lights and a great field, they think the school cares a little more about them.” The strength and conditioning area will be tucked under the stands and will provide 11,000 square feet of training space for studentathletes in all 17 DU Division I sports. The aim is to build unity and help with injury prevention and recovery. “Getting healthy, staying healthy and getting stronger together as a team,” as Rodgers puts it. “That’s competing at the highest level.”


University of Denver Magazine Spring 2009

Students give DU high marks on faculty-student engagement
Eighty-eight percent of DU freshmen report a favorable image of the institution, and 81 percent of seniors would choose DU again if they could start their college careers over, according to the 2008 National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) released Nov. 10. DU students continue to rank their education higher than peer institutions in four benchmark categories, including student-faculty interaction, level of academic challenge, active and collaborative learning, and enriching educational experiences. The survey doesn’t rank the colleges that participate; instead it provides a comparison between individual schools and peer and national institutions based on surveys of freshmen and seniors. The survey measured DU with three different comparison groups: a self-selected peer group; a group of institutions with the same Carnegie Classification; and with all 2008 NSSE participants. Student respondents gave DU particularly high marks on the level of faculty-student engagement. Eighty-eight percent of seniors surveyed at least occasionally discuss career plans with faculty, 56 percent of freshmen spend time with faculty on activities other than coursework, and by their senior year, 26 percent of students have conducted research with faculty. Eighty-one percent of freshmen feel that the University places substantial emphasis on academics, and 58 percent of them frequently work harder than they thought they could to meet faculty expectations. More than 380,000 randomly selected freshmen and senior students from 722 participating four-year colleges and universities nationwide took part in the 2008 survey.
—Media Relations Staff

One to Watch

Monica Kumar, marketing/finance
Senior marketing/ finance major Monica Kumar is a rarity among twenty-somethings: She knows the person she is. While many her age struggle with identity, Kumar grasped a foothold years ago. “She’s more pragmatic than ideological,” says Jo Calhoun, associate provost of Student Life. Kumar is Hindu and a first-generation American. Her parents—products of an arranged marriage in India—are her inspiration. She loves Dr. Seuss. “He has these truly complex ideas that he just simplifies for children,” Kumar gushes. “Oh, the Places You’ll Go! makes me cry every time I read it.” If what she’s already accomplished is any indication, Kumar will be going places, too (graduate school and a career in New York City are next on the agenda). Kumar is a member of DU’s Pioneer Leadership Program and has been involved with the All Undergraduate Student Association (AUSA) Senate since her freshman year. “I just kind of consumed it,” she says. Indeed. Her Senate roles have included terms as a Daniels College of Business senator and president of the DU Programs Board. Now, as president of the undergraduate student body, she’s working on branding a Pioneer identity (“It goes beyond a mascot,” Kumar explains), developing sustainable energy on campus (she and fellow senators are working on a bike-sharing program with the city of Denver) and creating a more cohesive campus community. Perhaps what motivates her most is service to others—beyond the borders of DU or even the nation. Her family has been volunteering at an Indian heritage camp for 10 years, where she helped teach identity to adopted Indian children with Anglo parents. Even after visiting India on her own a handful of times, it was her trip there with others who had never seen the country that, she says, “changed my life.” During a winter DU interterm course—Project Dharamsala—she spent her days teaching English. “I tutored an ex-political prisoner who was only in prison because he supported the Dalai Lama. He will never be able to see his family back in Tibet; it was just heartbreaking,” she says. If you ask her why she does so much—and so wholeheartedly— Kumar answers without hesitation: “It’s my responsibility to work hard and give back.”
—Kathryn Mayer
Wayne Armstrong

DU ranks second for undergraduate study abroad
The University of Denver ranks second in the nation among doctoral and research institutions in the percentage of undergraduate students participating in study-abroad programs, according to the 2008 Open Doors report released by the Institute of International Education in late November. The report, which reflects data from the 2006–07 academic year, shows that DU sent 74.4 percent of its undergraduates abroad, just behind Yeshiva University, which sent 75.7 percent of its undergraduates. Nationally, just over 1 percent of all enrolled undergraduates studied abroad. DU offers more than 150 study-abroad programs in 56 nations. Its Cherrington Global Scholars program gives all eligible juniors and seniors the opportunity to spend one academic quarter studying abroad at no additional cost beyond their normal tuition. The University will spend $10 million this year on study abroad. In addition to student tuition, housing and some meals, this expense includes nearly $1 million for transportation, visa application fees and insurance mandated by host countries or universities.
—Kristal Griffith

University of Denver Magazine Update


Sustainability Council works to create climate neutral campus
DU’s Sustainability Council is embarking on an effort that promises to be its most ambitious and lasting yet—a bid to develop an all-encompassing plan for creating a campus that is entirely climate neutral. Committees in the coming months will examine every aspect of campus life, from transportation to heating to light bulbs, as they craft a plan that will satisfy requirements of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment. The commitment, part of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, gives member organizations two years to develop a campus neutrality plan. DU signed on last year, and the plan is due in September 2009. It will require the University to set a specific date to achieve neutrality. Jay Pearlman—who tallied DU’s carbon footprint through the consulting firm Sightlines—said DU last year was responsible for nearly 82,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide, although some 14,000 metric tons were offset through green-energy purchases. Of those emissions, more than half came from the electricity that powers campus. Transportation and campus-supported air travel were the next biggest culprits. Lyndsay Agans, a lecturer and diversity faculty fellow in higher education at the DU Morgridge College of Education, researched and laid out the steps the council may follow in its quest for climate neutrality. Her plan would touch virtually every facet of campus life with outreach and town hall meetings, faculty input and student involvement. She said a plan could look at everything from recycling, electricity and transportation to using locally grown food and moving toward an “organic” campus that depends more on natural fertilizers and less on pesticides in landscaping. Developing research and courses that target climate neutrality will also be part of the plan.
—Chase Squires

DU by the Numbers

Recycling statistics
Recycling bins on campus (part of DU’s new “Get Caught Green-Handed” program) Material recycled in September 2008 (the first month of the new program) Recycled material per student in September 2008 Material recycled in August 2008 (before the program went into effect)
Compiled by Alfredo Abad, director of custodial services


20 tons

3.5 pounds 10 tons

The University of Denver presents

Steven Berlin Johnson, best-selling author of six books on the intersection of science, technology and
personal experience, including Everything Bad Is Good For You: How Today’s Popular Culture Is Actually Making Us Smarter.

March 31, 2009 • 7 p.m. • June Swaner Gates Concert Hall Newman Center for the Performing Arts, 2344 E. Iliff Ave.
America’s education system faces many challenges. Some critics contend that our public school system needs a radical overhaul, while others recommend incremental reform. Virtually everyone agrees that there are more questions than answers in this important policy arena. Join the discussion as the University of Denver’s 2008–2009 Bridges to the Future series, which is free and open to the public, looks at the future of education in our complex society.
Go to www.du.edu/bridges to RSVP or watch live online on March 31. For those without Internet access, please call 303.871.2357.


University of Denver Magazine Spring 2009


Daughters of India
By Kathryn Mayer

Huyler (BA history ’73) figured he should take a class to familiarize himself with India before he left for a trip there with a friend. His friend ended up canceling the trip, and Huyler found himself “riveted” with his Indian studies. So riveted, in fact, that he convinced DU’s administration to let him create his own degree in Indian studies and developed an independent yearlong research trip to India during his junior year. That year, he set to work on what he considers to be his first book (unpublished essays and photos) while traveling through India. The work was a collaborative effort: “I sent [essays] to my mother handwritten, and she typed them up and sent them to the University,” Huyler says. Huyler, who came to DU intending to study creative writing, felt a strong desire to capture the country and its people in a creative fashion. “I saw things in India that needed to be documented through photography in addition to words,” he says. And on that initial trip, he knew what it was he wanted to focus on: Indian womanhood. “I had these very rich, rewarding experiences into the social Indian dynamic in which I witnessed the strength of women,” he says. “Men run hotels, men run the businesses, men run the public sphere ... but women run the private sphere.” His most recent book—his fifth on India and its culture—is Daughters of India: Art and Identity (Abbeville Press, 2008). It profiles 20 different Indian women, featuring color portraits and text describing their journeys. Stories range from traditional to modern, and each highlights women’s empowerment, Huyler says. Some of these “daughters of India,” he explains, have had to “live behind the veil” and were viewed as untouchables and treated as lower-class Although most young women in India today wear contemporary fashions, girls in citizens. some regions, such as this one in Kachchh, Gujarat, still proudly adorn themselves in “These are horrific situations, but they don’t view them as traditional jewelry. such,” Huyler says. “It’s an example of [the strength] of women globally.” Huyler aims to dispel Western myths about Indian women, claiming that Americans are often jolted by reports they hear about the country in general. “We have our homes with televisions and cars and washing machines. ... We believe that people who don’t have these are less fortunate or less happy, but in fact, that’s not true,” Huyler says, noting that the women he features in his book are among the most content people he’s known. Huyler has spent an average of four months a year in India for the past 37 years. “It’s tiring,” Huyler admits, “but I love doing it. It feeds something inside me. It’s very nourishing.” Although he says it’s impossible to speak all the Indian dialects, he has learned to comprehend a handful. Many of the women he converses with understand and speak English and “are very, very open, kind, receptive and generous people.” “I’m very aware of the issues of inequality,” he says, “but I do not view Indian women as victims.”
University of Denver Magazine Update


Stephen Huyler



University Chaplain Gary Brower on faith and college life
Interview by Janna Widdifield


What is your function on campus?

I help students, faculty and staff (but primarily students) find the faith tradition that they are interested in. I have conversations with students who are seeking a religious home. I also try to ensure that all religious groups on campus are treated fairly. I spent a lot time last year trying to make sure that religious groups on campus got treated like all the other groups on campus. They shouldn’t be treated separately just because they are religious groups. So, for example, I encouraged the student senate to agree to fund religious student groups just like any other group. Another function would be to sort of mainstream religious concerns—to make sure the religious voice is not left out. For example, the Center for Multicultural Excellence is concerned about diversity. But until I got here, there wasn’t someone devoted to keeping the conversation about religious diversity alive within the larger context of diversity. Part of what I do is bring people together across boundaries. I’ve done some work on some interfaith projects where I deal with students who may be actively involved in their traditions, but they are interested in learning from students from different traditions. Last fall we did an interfaith Habitat for Humanity project, and we had Jewish and Muslim and Protestant folks out there working together.

Many college students are living away from home, family and community influences. Do you see faith as a priority for most students, or is it something that goes on the back burner?


Photo illustration by Wayne Armstrong

I would say probably it goes to the back burner, especially if you look at the statistics. Eighty to 85 percent of students claim to be spiritual in one way or another—that’s nationwide, and it’s probably the same here. But if you look at the people who are actually involved in their tradition while at DU, I’m sure it probably wouldn’t even approach 50 percent. I think two things happen. One, their connections are looser. So, they might attend church occasionally as opposed to regularly like they may have when their parents were schlepping them to and fro. Or, they may shift and move into the spiritual but not-religious realm (as opposed to being spiritual and religious). And then, of course, students away at college are frequently exposed to religious diversity for the first time, and they begin exploring that. But that doesn’t always take institutional form. The statistics also show that students are engaged in a lot of conversations about religion, but these happen in dorms and outside the classroom and not necessarily with religious professionals.


What is the greatest need of today’s college students in the area of faith?

A safe place to talk. My experience has been that many students don’t feel free to talk about religious issues in the classroom, but they want more opportunity to talk about these issues there. It’s hard to even come out to their friends. In many ways, it’s easier to “be out” as a lesbian or gay person on a college campus than a person of deep religion or faith. And I’ve even heard that from any number of gay or lesbian students (on lots of different campuses) who are also people of faith. I think the main reason is that we have a lot of stereotypes about what religious people are. People don’t really want to come out with that part of who they are. Not only may they open themselves up to ridicule on the one side, but on the other side (and this isn’t only true of students), they aren’t really confirmed in what they think. Being asked to defend their position is really tricky at a time when so much is in upheaval. You may have grown up believing one thing, and now that it is called into question on a college campus.


University of Denver Magazine Spring 2009

Laser microscope provides scientists inside look at cells
Somebody said the other day, “We used to not be able to talk about sex, politics or religion. Well, sex is on prime-time television, politics is all around us, and religion is the last of the barriers to be broken.” I think it is one of those really private pieces, and we don’t have good ways of talking about it. I’m not so sure that it’s a question about the acceptance of religious diversity. It’s a question of whether people are willing to talk about or have a place to talk about questions of faith without feeling like they are going to look weird to their friends. DU has brought a powerful new laser-powered microscope to the table, offering researchers glimpses inside cells and a chance to see how living things work on a molecular level. Biology Associate Professor Joe Angleson (pictured) worked with colleagues and the provost’s office over nine months to select and fund the purchase of the nearly $500,000 Olympus laser-scanning confocal microscope. It’s expected to help scientists delve into the mysteries of bioscience, chasing diseases such as diabetes and neuromuscular malfunctions. The microscope uses lasers to focus light on the subject; receptors pick up the resulting image and deliver it to computer screens. Using it, scientists can see inside a cell and focus on specific sections while eliminating the visual “clutter” for a clear view. Adding a new dimension to micro-examination, the lasers also can manipulate and stimulate cells, affording researchers the ability to see how living cells react to stimuli. The new tool has multiple applications. For instance, Assistant Professor Scott Barbee is studying synaptic reactions inside muscles, probing deep inside the cells of fruit flies. The images produced can be from inanimate objects or living tissue, allowing researchers to see inside a cell as it lives and reacts in real time to input, such as chemicals that may one day have medical uses.
—Chase Squires
Wayne Armstrong

DU hasn’t had a chaplain since the mid-1970s. What significance do you see in DU’s decision to reinstate the position in 2007, when you joined the University?


I think it was recognition of two things. It was recognition that universities need to deal with the “whole student” and devote resources to it. We deal with the socialization stuff in the residence halls, and we deal with health and counseling, and certainly we deal with the intellectual life. Then, we devote funds to diversity education, gender violence awareness and alcohol awareness training, and then we just have bracketed this other part that can either be a support or it can inform all of these other pieces—that being the religious and spiritual side. And so, I think the significance is that a “whole student” includes that religious/spiritual side. I also think there was a recognition on the University’s part that there wasn’t really anybody dedicated to deal with that, and it wasn’t fair to expect the religious studies department or the campus ministries to do it—partly because neither religious studies nor the campus ministries attract everybody. There wasn’t anyone looking at it from a University standpoint. If DU is going to adequately prepare leaders, then those leaders need to be able to negotiate questions of religious diversity. Ignorance of [religious diversity] has had such a huge impact. I think that if I do my job well, more students will be better prepared.

Morgridge College of Education receives $10 million gift
The University of Denver’s Morgridge College of Education received a $10 million gift from James “Jim” Cox Kennedy (BSBA ’70) to create the James C. Kennedy Institute for Educational Success. The gift, made in part through the Denver Foundation, will endow three faculty chairs and a program/research endowment in the college. The Kennedy Institute will seek to identify innovative and cost-effective means for promoting and sustaining the educational success of vulnerable children—from early childhood through postsecondary education. “The Morgridge College is undergoing a major transition, one that will position it to play a catalytic role in the resolution of major educational issues our society faces, from early childhood education to K-12 reform to access and affordability issues in higher education,” says Chancellor Robert Coombe. In creating the institute, the gift establishes the James C. Kennedy Endowment for Educational Success and endowed chairs in early childhood learning, urban education and innovative learning technologies. Kennedy is the CEO of Cox Enterprises, which owns 17 newspapers, 80 radio stations and 15 television stations. He’s a past member of DU’s Board of Trustees.
—Jim Berscheidt

Gary Brower is an ordained Episcopal priest with nearly 20 years of campus ministry experience. He oversees DU’s Center for Religious Services (www. du.edu/crs), which encompasses 20 campus religious and spiritual organizations.

University of Denver Magazine Update


Strategic Issues Program tackles immigration issue
The University of Denver’s Strategic Issues Program hasn’t been shy in the past about tackling big, tough issues: Colorado’s economy, the future of the state’s water supply and the state constitution. At a state Capitol news conference Nov. 14, DU Chancellor Robert Coombe announced the blue-ribbon panel is taking on immigration—a topic that has sparked years of debate and massive demonstrations and that touches everything from the country’s economy to national security. Coombe said the assembled panel of 19 scholars, business professionals and civic leaders understands the work won’t be easy. But the state and the nation must work toward a resolution, he said, and DU is committed to lending its voice and expertise. “As an institution of higher education in the state, it is really our responsibility, our obligation,” Coombe said. “Our hope is that the Strategic Issues Program on immigration will be able not so much to come forward with a solution, but perhaps come forward with a framework for a solution.” Jim Griesemer (pictured), director of the program and dean emeritus of DU’s Daniels College of Business, said the nonpartisan panel will hear from some leading political figures, including former Colorado Govs. Dick Lamm and Bill Owens, state Attorney General John Suthers and Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper. But they are also hearing from people working with social service agencies and others who understand the impact of immigration—both legal and illegal—on the economy, health care, schools and other areas of government and society. The Strategic Issues Program was founded in 2005. The immigration panel’s final report—due in fall 2009—will be widely shared with the public, the media, public officials, business and community leaders and other interested parties. >>www.du.edu/issues
—Chase Squires
Wayne Armstrong

Uncovering the Past, Creating a Future
Your gift can make all the difference for our students.
DU students Nicole Saint and Stefani Schulte are studying in one of only two undergraduate pre-art conservation programs in the nation. Recently they helped restore an original mural of Shakespearean characters by John Edward Thompson, painted in DU’s Little Theatre in 1929. Their “real world” experience was made possible by the generosity of DU donors. Find out how you can make history by naming DU as a beneficiary of your estate or retirement plan to help students like Nicole and Stefani.


Give to a Great University
University of Denver Magazine Spring 2009

Office of Gift Planning 800.448.3238 or 303.871.2739 [email protected] www.giftplanning.du.edu

DU research shows in-law relationships impact marital happiness
Some people think the best way to approach their in-laws is to avoid them. But six years of research at the University of Denver suggests that is a bad idea. Mary Claire Morr Serewicz, associate professor of human communication studies, has studied the relationship between newlyweds and their in-laws extensively. The quality of newlyweds’ satisfaction with their in-laws is directly connected to their marital satisfaction, Morr Serewicz says. Morr Serewicz says the most important thing couples can do is realize the seriousness of these relationships. In her most recent research, she proposes a triangular theory to point out the priority in-laws have in making marriage satisfying. The theory basically states that a couple isn’t alone in a marriage—the in-laws are part of the relationship, too. It’s with that knowledge that she passes on this advice. First, the most positive impact that parents-in-law can have on their child’s marriage is to express their acceptance of the new child-in-law. Conversely, the most negative thing parents-in-law can do is slander or gossip about other family members. Finally, Morr Serewicz says the decision to end a relationship with an in-law should only be done in the most serious situations. While there are times it is appropriate, it should be considered carefully because it will strain the marriage.
—Kristal Griffith

Most popular DU student organizations
1. Hillel (750 members) 2. Club Sports (592) 3. Alpine Club (388) 4. Colleges Against Cancer (360) 5. Lamont Student Music Performance Organization (340) 6. National Society of Collegiate Scholars (330) 7. Chabad at the University of Denver (281) 8. Up Til Dawn (260) 9. Pioneer Book Club (225) 10. Undergraduate Business Student Association (200)
Compiled by Carlie Field, AUSA Senate student organization committee chair

Pioneers Top 10

Effort to identify new ‘Pioneer’ symbol kicks off
More than 50 faculty, staff and students set forth Nov. 6 on a path some hope will lead to a new mascot to embody the spirit and capture the enthusiasm of the University of Denver campus and community. In the first of what is expected to be a series of collective events aimed at defining a Pioneer, organizers encouraged participants to ponder what makes DU a special place and what truly represents the University. The meeting followed an October announcement by Chancellor Robert Coombe that Denver Boone, retired in 1998, would not be returning as DU’s mascot. Students had led an effort to reinstate Boone because they felt the current mascot, a red-tailed hawk named Ruckus (pictured), hadn’t generated enough campus enthusiasm. Although the University will not use the image of Boone in any official manner, Coombe said, students and alumni are welcome to continue using the character in personal celebration of DU’s history and tradition. He encouraged the campus community to continue the discussion of “what it means to be a Pioneer, for today and the future.” The November meeting opened with a history of DU’s mascots, from the earliest days when the school’s athletic programs went under the informal nickname of the Ministers and the Fighting Pastors. Students adopted the nickname Pioneers and the mascot Pioneer Pete in the 1920s before later adopting Denver Boone in the 1960s. Participants in a group brainstorming session aimed at identifying what makes DU special offered identifying characteristics, such as the spires that dot the campus to the tradition of the red vest and the school colors, crimson and gold. The University also can be proud of its long tradition of innovation, community service, international focus, and its history, inextricably tied to the history of Denver and the Rocky Mountain West, participants said. Organizers encourage comment via e-mail at [email protected]
—Chase Squires

University of Denver Magazine Update



Physics, hoops and Erik Johnson
By Richard Chapman

Erik Johnson’s world, two important people are at every DU women’s basketball game: Tom Wilson and Isaac Newton. And the game always boils down to one thing: Does Johnson’s scrappy group of DU players know enough about Isaac Newton’s physics to get a Wilson-brand basketball through the rim more often than the other team? Physics and basketball. For Johnson, who took over the DU women’s team last spring, they’re as much a fit as sneakers and socks. When he watches forward Nnenna Akotaobi pump a jump shot or point guard Andi Mason stroke a free throw, shooting tips he learned from his physicist father more than two decades ago come rattling to mind. Will the parabolic arc enlarge the target? Are there Z vectors or just X and Y variables? What about gravity? Buoyant force? Drag? Will the backspin soften the shot? And if the ball misses, can the rebounder properly judge the angle of incidence and get into position? And you thought basketball was just something to eat popcorn by! “His first word was ‘ball,’” Johnson’s mother, Kathryn, recalls. His first basket was a hoop that his father, Jim, hung on a tree in the family’s backyard in Northern California. Roots and dirt around the trunk kept the fourth-grader from dribbling. So, he learned to shoot—the physicist’s way. “I told him about moving his arm in a nice plane and trying to get a good arc to get a bigger target,” says Jim Johnson, who admits to a preference for bird-watching. “It’s not rocket science.” But it is physics, which the elder Johnson knew from a long career at Stanford’s Linear Accelerator Center, a two-mile-long laboratory for crash-testing atomic particles. “I learned to shoot over wires and branches and all that kind of stuff,” the younger Johnson says. “That’s why I became a great shooter.” Call it trial by bramble. Toss in the 6-foot-4 frame Johnson grew into and you get the makings of a distinguished playing career at UC-San Diego, where he set career and single-season records for three-pointers and appeared in three NCAA Division III tournaments. Johnson’s entry into women’s basketball began in 1994 in graduate school at the University of Rhode Island. The women’s coach recruited him as a male practice player she hoped could toughen up her 6-2 center. So, Johnson knocked heads, studied, coached a little and inched his way toward a career that since 1995 has brought coaching assistantships at the University of Rhode Island, San Diego, Boston College and last spring, the top spot at DU. “Right now, the perception is [that DU is] a nice little school you go to if you’re a smart kid and want to play some basketball,” Johnson says. “I want to change the culture: If you’re a serious basketball player in Colorado, DU is on your list.” Johnson’s effort to do that began April 30, 2008, the day he was introduced at DU and first met his team, a quirky assortment of disenchanted veterans and returning redshirts. “We heard there would be a team meeting at 6:30 in the morning,” recalls Akotaobi, a senior. “In walks coach Johnson and he’s just full of energy, and we’re like, ‘Who is this guy?’” The team didn’t wait to find out. “They came to me and said, ‘Coach, we want to win the Sun Belt. What does it take? What do we have to do?’” Johnson recalls. “They needed to be pushed, they needed to be disciplined; they were hungry for it.” Most of them anyway. Three of the four recruits Johnson telephoned on his first day at DU said they were with him. The fourth wasn’t sure. Jenny Vaughan, a blue-chip point guard being groomed for Canada’s Olympic team, had scholarship offers from Utah, San Diego and Michigan. She had committed to DU, but the coach who recruited her was gone. Who was this guy Johnson, she wondered? Answering that took two and a half hours on the phone and a flight to Vaughan’s hometown in Dundas, Ontario. “We met, talked; he came to school,” Vaughan recalls. “He came to my house for dinner, met my family.” Oddly, she recognized Johnson’s name from e-mails he had sent her while recruiting for Boston College. The familiarity made her feel better, she says, but she still needed to size up the guy. “We were hoping he’d say the things we wanted to hear, and he definitely did,” she says. What turned the tide? “When we mutually realized I wanted to win as bad as she did,” Johnson says. With Vaughan in the fold, Johnson returned to the “push” his players had asked for. The new discipline began with, well, discipline,

In head coach


University of Denver Magazine Spring 2009

Marc Piscotty

Coach Erik Johnson points out strategy to sophomore guard Britteni Rice during an early season practice.

which led to tough conditioning drills and weight room work “like we mean business.” Watch a practice and you see a rigorous splash of skills-drills, instruction, flying bodies, aggressive rebounding, running to exhaustion and more talk than a pep rally. Everybody’s attentive; everybody’s involved. No showboating, no hissy fits, no doggin’ it. The energy alone could run the lights in Hamilton Gym. All from a team picked in preseason to finish sixth. “I get so pumped up in practice cause of how hard we work,” Akotaobi says. “We’re jumping in passing lanes, we’re stealing balls, we’re diving on the floor. We play an up-tempo, exciting style of basketball.” Which may be like calling the Indy 500 a Sunday drive. “I’m a nice person off the court,” says freshman Kaetlyn Murdoch of Temple, Texas, a 5-11 forward who uncoils for rebounds like a boa constrictor after a small goat. “On the court, I’m not too nice.” Her blue eyes shock with intensity. “I don’t want to knock anyone’s teeth out,” she continues. “Just push them down and get the ball.” The end of practice doesn’t end Johnson’s day. There are 6-, 4- and 2-years-olds waiting for him at home with wife Laura Davis, a two-time All-American in volleyball at Ohio State and an Olympic team alternate. “I can think I’m the greatest coach in the world, but when I get home there are still diapers to be changed and dishes to be washed,” he chuckles. To Johnson, the need to be a good husband and father is as important as being a good coach. He’s driven to balance both and excel at each. “It needs to be magical,” he says of his obligations. It is for Vaughan. “He genuinely cares about us. It’s awesome.” Adds Akotaobi: “We’re all basically freshmen again … and I’m lovin’ it.” >>www.DenverPioneers.com

University of Denver Magazine Update


Parent to parent

Encourage students to think broadly about study-abroad options
As my daughter entered the University in fall 2004, DU’s Cherrington Global Scholars study-abroad program for juniors and seniors was moving into high gear. As the winter term of her sophomore year approached, we began having conversations about possible locations: Germany, the Czech Republic, Denmark. With each country having so much to offer, how were we to choose? I believed the determination on location should be based upon the best opportunities for expanding cultural and language awareness, independence and resourcefulness, and understanding of other parts of the global community. I advise each student, along with his or her parents, to think as widely as possible about various countries, thinking outside the comfort zones of English-speaking and European nations. Countries of Asia, the Middle East, Africa and South America provide powerful opportunities to expand one’s worldview within the safe environment of the university setting, with the support of the Cherrington staff always available. Give thought to this decision at the earliest possible point, even during the freshman year, to allow for possible language and cultural courses to bolster the experience. In addition, early planning for the study-abroad experience improves the student’s ability to plan for graduation requirements. The Cherrington staff proved to be entirely organized and effective in guiding my daughter through the processes of planning and applying to the program, and finally traveling to the foreign destination. The staff answered every question in a timely and kindly manner. My daughter’s four-month stay in Istanbul, Turkey—where she experienced a Muslim religious tradition in a non-Western culture—shines as one of the brightest experiences of her University of Denver career. A mind open to diverse experiences is a mind open to satisfaction and success; the Cherrington program provides a platform for launching a lifetime of enlivening experiences. >>www.du.edu/globalscholars
—Peggy Ulrich-Nims
Peggy Ulrich-Nims, a former DU staff member, is the parent of Christine Nims (BA international studies ’08).

Hand-washing study offers new weapon against bugs
Getting undergraduates to do what’s good for them may be more about what they think is disgusting than what they think is smart, DU research indicates. Moreover, if the message offers an easy way to avoid what’s disgusting, many students will change their ways. The 2007 study that led to these conclusions focused on getting students to wash their hands more often, particularly after using the bathroom. Fear of spreading germs or getting sick by not washing didn’t mean much to students, focus group research suggested. What got their attention was the knowledge that they might be walking around with “gross things” on their hands if they didn’t wash. In fall quarter 2007, researchers posted messages in the bathrooms of two DU undergraduate residence halls. The messages said things like “Poo on you, wash your hands” or “You just peed, wash your hands” and contained vivid graphics and photos. The messages resulted in increased hand washing among females by 26 percentage points and among males by 8 percentage points. The study’s lead author, Renee Botta, associate professor in the Department of Mass Communications and Journalism Studies, theorizes that the severe drop in hand washing among males might have been that the habit they brought to campus fell away the longer they were away from home and the more they were pressed by studies. Then, too, males may require a secondary message beyond the “gross ones” that motivated women.
—Richard Chapman


University of Denver Magazine Spring 2009


Cooking up a new culinary concept
By Roxanne Hawn


weeks before turning 30, Elizabeth Yarnell (MLS ’98) awoke blind in one eye. The news wasn’t good: multiple sclerosis. Although her sight returned, the medical reality loomed. Instead of melting down, however, she cooked up a solution that improved her health and changed her career. Today, the former instructional designer feels better and lists inventor and cookbook author among her credits. Yarnell, whose cupboards at the time featured Gummi Bears and little else, believed she could fight the disease by eating better. She took cooking lessons, but fatigue won out. “Everything I wanted to cook took forever, especially since my focus was on whole foods,” she says. Stumped by the Dutch oven she received as a wedding present, this self-proclaimed “last-minute cook” threw meat and vegetables in the pot and cranked her oven as high as it would go (450 degrees). “Forty-five minutes later,” she says, “it just smelled so heavenly. I took it out, and we had a great dinner.” Yarnell began experimenting with carbs and other ingredients. Ultimately, she landed upon a solution for whole-food, complete meals spanning culinary traditions that require little prep and only 30–45 minutes to cook. When a houseguest asked for her secret, Yarnell drafted a 12-page manuscript. “It explained the concept and the method and included a couple recipes,” she says. “I started handing that out with Dutch ovens as wedding gifts. People loved it.” In 2001, she expanded the booklet, pitched publishers, launched a Web site and began the patent process to protect her “infusion” cooking method. Some 50 rejections later, Yarnell needed a new plan. Publishers were not interested. She didn’t own a restaurant. She wasn’t a famous chef or chef to someone famous. She hadn’t even gone to culinary school. After promising negotiations, corporate sponsorship from a major Dutch oven brand also fizzled out. “This thing I’d been working on for five years fell through completely,” recalls Yarnell, who by then had two small children. “Even my agent expressed a lack of faith in me, so I fired him. I said, ‘OK. I’m going to cry for a month, then what am I going to do?’” Despite her fears about the expense and stress of independent publishing, Yarnell rallied family resources, including an advance on her inheritance, to publish 2,000 cookbooks. She sold all of them the first month. Over the next few years, Yarnell sold another 10,000. She set out for the 2007 Book Expo America to snag a new agent and a mainstream publisher. “As it turned out, the editor from Broadway Books (a Random House imprint) already owned my cookbook,” Yarnell marvels. The new edition of Glorious One-Pot Meals came out in January 2008. After years with little financial ease or sleep, Yarnell says, “My biggest definition of success is having people ‘get it.’ This is a totally different concept, not just another cookbook.” >>www.elizabethyarnell.com >>www.effortlesseating.com

University of Denver Magazine Update

Wayne Armstrong


Donor Spotlight

Houston Harte
Growing up on the plains of West Texas, Houston Harte (BSBA ’83) was surrounded by a dusty horizon, long, flat stretches of cotton and oil fields, and philanthropy. “Giving was just part of my family,” says Harte, who now lives in Santa Barbara, Calif., as a semi-retired investor. “My grandparents and parents would give money to kids’ families for school or summer camps—kids I grew up with playing on the playground.” During the Great Depression, Harte says, his grandparents collected shoes and gave them to needy kids around town. The lessons were not lost on Harte, and today he sees a horizon of better futures for kids through his own philanthropy. He and his wife, Anne, recently pledged $250,000 to create the Harte Family Endowed Scholarship Fund at the University of Denver. “Houston is so incredibly generous and humble that he initially discouraged us from using his name on the endowed fund,” says Ed Harris, vice chancellor for University Advancement. “Only after we explained that attaching an alumnus name to the fund could both encourage his peers to consider similar gifts and educate students on the importance of alumni giving did he acquiesce.” Harte also directly supports a current DU student with money for “books, housing, whatever she needs,” says Harte, whose son, also named Houston, is a senior at DU studying real estate development and construction management. “My childhood was great, and I didn’t really appreciate it at the time,” Harte says. “The kids today are working a little harder than I did, and they don’t have the opportunities I had, so I like to help.” The giving comes back to him, he adds, “not in the form of the child coming back to say I’m a CEO of a huge company, but in the way of just being presented with an opportunity to help a kid. That really makes me feel good.”
—Doug McPherson

Craig Korn



University of Denver Magazine Spring 2009


The nine lives of DU radio
By Samantha Stewart

should supply an outlet for emotion and be a vehicle for expression,” declared sophomore John “Nile” Wendorf (BA ’72) in 1970. It was the height of the Vietnam protest era and Wendorf, general manager of student-run campus radio station KVDU, had recently secured the last noncommercial FM radio frequency in the Denver area. During Wendorf’s tenure at the station, KVDU had gone from a station that adhered to a restrictive Top-40 play-list to one dominated by progressive rock—a far cry from the station’s original programming. When KVDU started operating from the modestly equipped T-8 Building on South York Street in November 1947, the station broadcast campus news, original radio dramas and played classical music and the popular bebop music of the time. As a carriercurrent station, however, KVDU could only reach students living on campus. By the late 1960s, KVDU was comparably equipped to any commercial radio station, according to The Clarion, but it still needed licensing from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to extend the station’s operating power throughout Denver. Motivated by the belief that “a university like DU needs to be attached to the community around it,” Wendorf took on the challenge of obtaining an FCC license when he became general manager in 1969. At the same time, students including Bill Feinberg (BA ’72) worked to secure more airtime for progressive rock music from bands such as the Grateful Dead, Led Zeppelin and the Doors, while others, including James Levin (BA ’72), expressed concern that the “radical hippie element of DU” had taken over the station. On April 15, 1970, Wendorf and his supporters beat out their competition—a local church—and the University received a license to broadcast to an area stretching from Colorado Springs, Colo., to Cheyenne, Wyo. When it came time to affix the FM transmitter on the Mary Reed Building’s tower, the students discovered they needed an additional $2,000. Without hesitation, and without his parents’ knowledge, Wendorf withdrew money from his tuition account to pay for the installation. The FM station, known as KCFR, started broadcasting on Sept. 17, 1970, with what Wendorf described as avant-garde programming that included rock, jazz, blues, folk and classical. During that same academic year, KVDU was forced to shut down as its student staffers left to work for KCFR. Wendorf would be the FM station’s only student general manager. After its first year on the air, the University began hiring professionals to run KCFR. Wendorf says he supported the decision because “KCFR wasn’t sustainable as a student-run radio station.” Feinberg, however, saw it differently, saying the administration had become “uncomfortable with the power that could be harnessed by students in a potentially inappropriate way,” as the on-campus anti-war protest Woodstock West had demonstrated the previous year. During the transition years, KCFR remained connected to DU, which continued providing funding and facilities. In 1984, KCFR became an independent community radio station—one of two stations that founded the Colorado Public Radio network. New student radio stations emerged to follow KVDU and KCFR, starting with KAOS in 1971 and KEGH in 1982. But they struggled with the same problems that plagued the former carrier-current station, and they, too, became defunct. Technology has helped DU’s current radio station, KVDU, overcome many of the problems its predecessors encountered. Because KVDU broadcasts over the Internet, students living off campus or studying abroad can easily tune in to the station’s hip-hop, pop and indie offerings. As campus radio was for earlier generations, “KVDU is the student voice of the University of Denver,” says sophomore Eric Peterson, KVDU’s Web developer. >>KVDU.du.edu
University of Denver Magazine Update


DU Archives


I have seen that in any great undertaking it is not enough for a man to depend simply upon himself.
—Lone Man (Isna-la-wica) Teton Sioux, 1850–1918


University of Denver Magazine Spring 2009

Through a program in the Four Corners, DU’s Graduate School of Social Work is educating social workers about the region’s unique needs.

A New Direction
By Brenda Gillen Photographs by Marc Piscotty

geography includes mountain ranges, river valleys, dry canyons, windy mesas and desert. Farmington, N.M., one of the region’s larger cities, is home to about 42,425 people and three Starbucks. The region also is home to numerous American Indian tribes— including Navajo, Hopi, Ute Mountain and Southern Ute—each with distinctive customs and belief systems. Like the rest of America, the region has problems—poverty, lack of education, lack of employment, alcohol and drug addiction, domestic violence and other crimes. But complex jurisdictional boundaries and the interplay of federal, tribal and state systems can hinder social services. The University of Denver’s Graduate School of Social Work (GSSW) is hoping to help improve the outlook, designing its Four Corners Master of Social Work (MSW) program specifically to meet the needs of the Four Corners region, including American Indians, educating students about the region’s unique backgrounds and Native American communities. Founded in 2002 as a way to reach students in underserved areas where the need for social services is great but the opportunities for social-work training are limited, the program aims to equip both Native and non-native social workers with the tools they need to relate to diverse perspectives. “The program is going to improve the services that are offered to Native Americans,” says Marie Jim, a Four Corners Advisory Council member from the Navajo tribe in Ganado, Ariz. “There will be fewer barriers, so services will be better.”


he Four Corners is a vast region with long stretches of highway between small towns. The area encompasses parts of Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah, and its diverse

Nelda Martinez at Acoma Pueblo

University of Denver Magazine Spring 2009



hile many American Indians live on reservations, others have moved to cities where job opportunities are more plentiful. Some were raised traditionally; others were not. All of these factors affect their worldview and receptivity to various social work approaches. “Being aware and being sensitive to cultural differences and viewpoints is vital for social workers,” says GSSW Clinical Assistant Professor and Four Corners program Director Wanda Ellingson, who has practiced human services in the region for 20 years. Many of the students in the Four Corners program are American Indians themselves, representing the Southern Ute, Navajo, Jicarillo Apache, Acoma and Shawnee tribes, among others. “The norm in social work education is to learn the Western theoretical approach and apply that to services with Native Americans,” Jim says. The DU program, however, “helps students recognize their cultural knowledge and utilize more of their cultural background, which is beneficial in working with Native peoples.” The two-year program works in a cohort model in which 10–25 students start together, take every class together and graduate together. By the time they leave, Ellingson says, “They are a tight group.” The first year prepares students for general practice while the second year delves deeper, preparing students for rural community leadership and advanced clinical practice. Classes are taught in Denver and Durango, Colo. Students in Durango take all the same social-work classes as Denver students during the first year. In the second year, students in Durango can take courses specifically designed for the Four Corners program, including Native Peoples Practice: History and Policy and Assessment and Interventions With Native Peoples. The program uses interactive television to link students in the Durango classroom with professors in Denver, allowing students and professors to engage in a real-time videoconference. As a liaison with the campus in Denver, DU Professor Jean East, director of distance education at GSSW, travels to Durango once or twice per quarter and teaches a summer class there. “We work closely to make sure the Four Corners program is congruent with what’s happening on the main campus,” East says. Classes take place over weekends, allowing students to continue working. While they’re on site in Durango, students can work on their homework in the computer lab, read or get to know one
University of Denver Magazine Spring 2009

another in the break room, or walk to downtown Durango just a couple of blocks away. As friendships form, some of the Durangobased students offer their classmates spare rooms or couches during the weekend sojourns. During the summer, students attend classes every day for two- to three-week “intensives.” Students meet with Ellingson every week. And after they graduate, many stay in touch, filling her in on their personal and professional successes. “Wanda is an excellent ambassador for DU and the program,” East says. “She is a great mentor for the students. She influences their careers and they continue to seek her out for support, guidance and advice.” Options in the program include a two-year MSW for students with bachelor’s degrees and a one-year advanced-standing program for students who hold a bachelor’s degree in social work. It’s important for the region’s social workers to earn master’s degrees, Ellingson says, to become eligible for supervisory positions. The program, founded in 2002, has 62 graduates thus far, and those graduates have gone on to provide social-work services in a variety of arenas. “It brings this higher level of skill and knowledge, which many agencies really need,” she says. “They take back new ideas and ways of doing things. It benefits agencies—especially on the reservations where they’re trying to fill supervisory positions with Natives and not Anglos, which had been the case for years.” Classroom learning is just part of the package. Fieldwork is where students take theories and put them into practice. Internships relate to students’ career interests in or near their local communities. Two-year students must complete at least 1,080 field hours; advanced-standing students must clock 600 field hours. Fieldwork sites dot the Four Corners region, with locations in Shiprock and Farmington, N.M., and Montrose, Cortez and Durango, Colo. Placement agencies include the San Juan Regional Medical Center, Navajo Nation Department of Human Services, New Day Counseling, the Southern Ute Department of Regulatory and Justice, and many more. La Titia Taylor directs the Southern Ute Higher Education Department based in Ignacio, Colo., and is a member of DU’s Four Corners Advisory Council. She says the Southern Ute tribe has been receptive to the GSSW Four Corners program. “I think it’s really needed to help with our programs,” Taylor says, “and to help create a healthier community.”


Leland Becenti, who is Navajo and Apache, describes growing up immersed in cultural teachings. Becenti is doing his best to pass on the traditions, not only as a father of five, but also as a consultant providing cross-cultural training in schools, behavioral agencies and his community. He and his wife also are craftspeople, weaving rugs, doing beadwork and teaching traditional crafts as a coping mechanism. Becenti has been working to keep Native traditions alive since he was a student. In 2004, he helped dedicate GSSW’s new building, Craig Hall, with a Navajo blessing. Using tobacco, spring water and corn pollen, he made offerings to nature to acknowledge what had been given and “to have the social work building as a good place for learning.” He commuted for hours each way to Durango to attend the Four Corners program and has gone further with his education than any of his immediate family members. He says eventually he’d like to pursue a PhD, but now he’s busy researching Navajo history and passing along traditional knowledge. He says he’s surprised at how little people know about American Indian traditions. At a prenatal development conference last year, he spoke about the father’s role during pregnancy, such as being supportive and positive toward the mother, being disciplined and respecting cultural taboos to avoid harming the unborn child. For example, to keep the umbilical cord untangled, the father isn’t supposed to tie anything during the pregnancy. But it isn’t just in special times that traditional behavior matters to the Navajo people. It’s important in everyday life, Becenti says, explaining that family meals were traditionally served on the floor where everyone sat together and ate from one dish. “They’d talk to one another, make eye contact. Now a lot of children eat alone in their room while their parents watch TV. Even cooking was seen as spiritual. Nowadays they’ll just go to KFC.” Becenti says many of the struggles facing his and his children’s generation can be blamed on a lack of cultural knowledge. When he talks about the growing threat of diabetes to Native populations, it’s clear that he believes ignorance is dangerous. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, American Indians and Alaska Natives are twice as likely to be diagnosed with diabetes than non-Hispanic whites, and there’s been a 68 percent increase in diabetes from 1994–2004 in American Indian youth under the age of 19. Fry bread, which many consider a traditional American Indian staple, actually was introduced in the 1860s, Becenti says, during the Navajos’ internment at Fort Sumner, N.M. White flour, baking powder and salt are fried in grease to make the tasty, but unhealthy, snack. Before Fort Sumner, Navajos made their bread from corn and roasted it over an open fire. “Nowadays everybody wants fry bread. When you look at it in the historical context, that’s when a lot of things changed for us. Generational trauma affects pretty much everything,” Becenti explains.
University of Denver Magazine Spring 2009

Leland Becenti, MSW ’08


Nelda Martinez is a home ownership specialist with the Acoma Pueblo Housing Authority, located 60 miles west of Albuquerque. She provides financial literacy training to clients seeking housing at Acoma Pueblo, home to about 3,000. Clients are counseled about finances, maintenance and the realities of home ownership as they progress from a low-rent to a rent-to-own program. “The [clients] don’t understand you have to have a steady job. It’s very hard because there aren’t very many jobs,” she says. Transportation is a big issue, with the nearest work centers 25 miles away in Grants, N.M., or in Albuquerque. Martinez took a 50-percent pay cut to return to the reservation, where she could both help her people and care for her elderly mother. She’s working toward getting her social work license and says the tribe is planning to assume social services responsibility from the Bureau of Indian Affairs. A bureau representative comes to the Pueblo from Albuquerque twice a week, but Martinez says it isn’t enough. “We need someone every day. There are a whole lot of things that would be different.”

Nelda Martinez, MSW ’04

Sara Hunt is a substance abuse therapist at New Day Counseling in Durango. She’s Navajo, Choctaw and Taos, and although she grew up on the Fort Defiance Navajo reservation in Arizona, she wasn’t raised with a traditional Native upbringing. Through DU’s Four Corners program, Hunt learned more about her heritage and about herself. “One of the things that surprised me was that during the classes you could see not only the professor, but our classroom. It was one of my best clinical tools because I realized that when I listen intently sometimes I cock my head or I nod. I never would have seen that if I hadn’t seen myself in the classroom,” Hunt says. Generational or historical trauma and its impact on family structure and current functioning are among the topics covered in the Four Corners program. One of the tragedies of the boarding school era was that American Indians weren’t allowed to speak their native languages, Hunt explains. That created a gap between grandparents who spoke only in their native tongue and grandchildren and great grandchildren who could speak only English. Hunt is painfully familiar with the language gap. Her grandparents, having been sent to boarding schools, decided not to teach their children the native language for fear they’d face discrimination. “With my great grandmother, we had to take one of my aunts or family members to translate because my mom didn’t speak Navajo,” Hunt says. And since Hunt never learned Navajo, she can’t teach the language to her children. But she can tell them about their great-great grandparents—a Navajo rug weaver and a traveling medicine man. She can tell them about growing up on the Navajo reservation, about being

Sara Hunt, MSW ’06


University of Denver Magazine Spring 2009

shunned by the Navajo students because she wasn’t dark enough and didn’t speak Navajo, and about being shunned by the white children because she wasn’t white. “It’s an odd identity to sit with,” she says. “I think that my cultural outlook, ethnicity and cultural background are different from someone who grew up in a traditional home. I can offer some ideas on balancing that. We practice or honor it in different ways.” Hunt says she picked DU’s program because it was comprehensive and the resulting degree is versatile. Her clients’ biggest concerns are addictions, but they may have other pressing problems. Housing and employment often are high on the priority list, so Hunt says she has to look “at more than just their substance-use issues.” She asks, “‘How do I help my clients get the things they need to stay sober?’ “That wider social work perspective is a huge advantage to helping find my clients resources,” Hunt says. There are fewer resources in rural communities, Hunt says, but some of the region’s social workers were her DU classmates. “A number of people I graduated with are here providing services that are useful for my clients,” she says. She counsels 20–50 clients, many in group settings. The organization’s programs run three to 14 months, and Hunt says for some clients it’s “one of the few places that they feel welcome.” Hunt says she loves what she’s doing, but if she decided to work on policy changes in Washington, she could. “It’s very exciting that while I’m enjoying doing clinical work, the education and the degree from DU pretty much let the sky be the limit for me.”

Loretta Martinez is social services director for the Ramah Navajo tribe, two hours west of Albuquerque. In that role, she works within her own community, overseeing services for 4,000. Her responsibilities include financial, support staff, foster care, child welfare and meeting with stakeholders. While doing all that, she remembers her GSSW professors talking about how important it is to abide by ethical standards. “They really pushed that on us.” There are a variety of concerns in her community. For teens, it’s pregnancy and high school truancy. For adults, it’s lack of education, skills and employment coupled with transportation issues. The elderly need in-home care, but because the community is so remote, nursing services are limited. Martinez and her agency are available to help directly and provide referrals to other agencies. She says it’s important to consider traditional views as well as modern ones, and Navajo tribal leaders suggest that service providers utilize the Dine’ Fundamental Law—a traditional, holistic approach to living—as a form of intervention. “Some things I have learned coming from the Western view don’t work with Ramah because they have a different worldview,” Martinez says.
University of Denver Magazine Spring 2009

Loretta Martinez, MSW ’04


DU’s new Marsico Institute for Early Learning and Literacy is working to improve the picture for early childhood education.

A Hand Up for Early Ed
By Jan Thomas
© Tamara Murray/iStockphoto


University of Denver Magazine Spring 2009

nightmare. often blurred.

In theory, the American education system is a quilt: an enormous patch-

work of schools, curricula, research, policies, funding mechanisms, teachers, parents and students stitched together to accomplish a common goal. In reality, the system is more like a maze, replete with numerous ways to enter, dozens of dead ends and no straight line between a child’s first learning experience and the time conventional education ends with college graduation. What’s more, parents and teachers who try to navigate the labyrinth on their own are often confronted with overwhelming, outdated, incomplete or simply erroneous data that turn basic decision making into a Nowhere is the situation more confusing than at the onset of the educaIn 2006, the National Center for Education Statistics estimated that 65.7

tion process as children begin their first migration to school from home. percent of the country’s more than 12 million preschool-age children were enrolled in some form of early learning program, but nailing down a figure everyone can agree on is difficult. Why? In part because there are so many places for structured early learning to take place—with licensed, unlicensed, registered, unregistered, quality-rated, unrated, English-speaking, Spanishspeaking and other-language-speaking home, private, public and churchbased schools all part of the mix—and, in part, because the line between what constitutes day care and what constitutes preschool is so easily and “Early childhood has tended to be a stepchild in the educational system,” says Ginger Maloney, director of the Marsico Institute for Early Learning and Literacy at DU’s Morgridge College of Education. “People still think of this phase as more child care than education, and that tends to de-emphasize the importance of learning.”

University of Denver Magazine Spring 2009


Wayne Armstrong

Ginger Maloney reads Machines at Work to Ella Nichols (5), Sadie Halpern (5), Ella Hochman (4) and Michael King (5)— students at DU’s Fisher Early Learning Center. Read more about the center at www.du.edu/magazine.


reated in 2008 with a $1.5 million gift from the Cydney (BSBA ’78, MBA ’80) and Tom (MBA ’79) Marsico Family Foundation, the Marsico Institute for Early Learning and Literacy is tasked with becoming an information resource for parents, professionals, legislators and others with a vested interest in early childhood learning. “DU has a strong interest in the importance of early childhood as a part of the broader educational system of the United States,” says Maloney, former dean of the Morgridge College. “What we’re trying to do with the Marsico Institute is coordinate with other work going on across campus and bring the University’s resources to bear on critical issues that the field of early childhood and the state are facing right now. We see this as a critical time to strengthen what we’re doing in early childhood learning, and we really take it seriously.” Although the institute is still in its infancy, Maloney has a clear vision of its future. “In five years, I would like the Marsico Institute for Early Learning and Literacy to be seen as the hub for early childhood research and early childhood policy analysis in the state of Colorado and to be known on a national level for contributing original research on issues pertinent to improving learning environments for very young children,” Maloney says. In the shorter-term, Maloney says, “We want to help inform important policy discussions related to early childhood.” She pictures the institute having an important role in bringing together the best minds and the best research to solve problems and to improve the full complement of early childhood services. “We’re going to do a lot of work in partnership with other organizations,” Maloney says. “It’s very important that the
University of Denver Magazine Spring 2009

University is not out there doing this research in isolation. Rather, we should be building relationships with practitioners, policymakers and people who are working to improve early childhood in Colorado.” How does Colorado compare with other states in early childhood education? Generally speaking, the state gets a passing grade, but there’s clearly room to improve. In its 2007 ranking of the 38 states with a defined preschool initiative, the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) ranked Colorado 36th for resource allocation based on state-funded spending and 29th for resource allocation based on all reported spending. Colorado ranked 22nd for the percent of 4-year-olds and 11th for the percent of 3-year-olds enrolled in the state’s preschool program. And in a comparison of Colorado’s policies to 10 critical areas identified by NIEER, the 2007 report awarded the state points for meeting benchmarks for specialized pre-kindergarten teacher training, teacher in-service hours, maximum class-size limits, staff-child ratio and monitoring, but noted that Colorado didn’t meet NIEER goals for early learning standards, teacher degree requirements, assistant teacher degree requirements, screening/referral and support services and meals. In the 2008 edition of Education Week’s Quality Counts, Colorado ranked 25th of 51 (all states and the District of Columbia) for the percent of 3- and 4-year-olds enrolled in preschool. The state earned kudos for aligning its early learning standards with K-12 standards, but it lost credit for failing to define school readiness, assess the readiness of students entering school or have a policy for providing


“DU has a strong interest in the importance of early childhood as a part of the broader educational system of the United States.”
—Ginger Maloney

Christian Downs, age 4 Fisher Early Learning Center Rainbow Fish Class

intervention programs for students not deemed ready for school. “There are a number of studies that look at how Colorado stacks up against other states, but the research is only as good as the information that goes into it,” says Darcy Allen-Young, Head Start state collaboration director for the Colorado lieutenant governor’s office. “There are many efforts in place in Colorado today on how to make our system the best it can be.” One such effort is a preschool-to-third-grade education subcommittee that is addressing teacher preparation. “Last year, the P-3 subcommittee was focused on access. How do we get more children enrolled in programs? How do we ensure more children are able to take advantage of these programs?” AllenYoung says. “Now the subcommittee is focusing on quality. We’re working hand-in-hand with the Colorado Department of Education to define it, and a subcommittee spin-off is going to focus on quality teacher education programs.” Contrary to popular assumptions, those programs may not reside in a specific degree curriculum, and that makes sense to Maloney. “Generally, the way that we’ve approached improving the quality of teaching is by insisting that people get certain degrees,” she says. “But some research argues that it doesn’t matter what the degree is. What matters is what people have been taught in terms of how to develop relationships with very young children, how to develop their concepts and how to develop their language. “It’s not just the credential that matters; it’s what the credential represents in terms of content. It’s what teachers actually do on a day-to-day basis that makes a difference in how children succeed.”


or some, making a national commitment to provide every child with high-quality early education is a no-brainer. They cite data that say effective early education programs increase high school and college graduation rates, reduce teenage pregnancies and illegal behavior, and help close the academic performance gap between low-income children and their more affluent peers. An analysis of tracking studies in Michigan, North Carolina and Illinois led Arthur Rolnick, a senior vice president and director of research at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, and Rob Grunewald, an associate economist at the same institution, to argue for national intervention. “Several longitudinal evaluations all reach essentially the same conclusion: The return on early-childhood-development programs that focus on at-risk families far exceeds the return on other projects that are funded as economic development,” the two wrote in “Early Intervention on a Large Scale,” an article first published in Quality Counts 2007. “Cost-benefit analyses of the Perry Preschool Program, the Abecedarian Project, the Chicago Child-Parent Centers, and the Elmira Prenatal/Early Infancy Project showed returns ranging from $3 to $17 for every dollar invested. This implies an annual rate of return, adjusted for inflation, of between 7 percent and 18 percent.” In one of the longest studies, the North Carolina Abecedarian Project, researchers randomly placed low-income children born between 1972 and 1977 into test or control groups. Those in the test group received full-time, high-quality education in a child care setting from infancy through age 5. In analyses conducted when test and control cohorts were 12, 15 and 21 years old, researchers found the test groups to have higher cognitive measurements and better reading and
University of Denver Magazine Spring 2009


math scores. Additionally, test subjects completed more years of education, were more likely to attend a four-year college and were older than their non-test peers when their first child was born. Proponents say results like that should make early education initiatives a national priority. “We talk nationally about economic stimulants. We talk about economic bailouts, about bailing Wall Street out while still focusing on Main Street, but I don’t think there is a Main Street issue more important and that has a better return on investment of our precious tax dollars than investing in our nation’s children,” says Mark Ginsberg, executive director of the National Association for the Education of Young Children. “We know the return is minimally going to be 7:1 and probably far greater. And the return is not just going to be in economic terms but also in helping to nurture a generation of successful children grow into a generation of successful adults.” Those on the other side of the fence worry that well-publicized research results skew too heavily to the disadvantaged and flinch at the cost of state-funded preschool education programs, which the National Institute for Early Education Research cited as more than $3.7 billion nationally and $28.9 million in Colorado in 2007 alone. “There’ve been a handful of studies that show some long-term impact for disadvantaged kids, but by and large, most show no impact for the long term and certainly no impact for middle- and upper-income kids,” says Krista Kafer, senior fellow for the Independence Institute. “Colorado spends about $29 million annually on early learning. I think we can invest that money more effectively. “I think we pretty much know what works, but doing what works is another thing indeed.” Low-income children tend to lose early learning benefits as they progress through elementary school—the “fade-out phenomenon.”

“It’s one of those things where you think that you can inoculate kids, where you can invest early and that investment would show dividends, and somehow kids will be better off,” Kafer says. “Logically, it would seem that if you got children into school earlier, the gap between disadvantaged kids and their more economically welloff peers would be bridged and these kids would be fine, but that’s not what happens at all.” Marsico Institute researchers conducted a literature review of fade-out phenomenon research in 2008 and are looking nationally and internationally for the best solutions to combat the problem. “We looked for reasons why this happens,” Maloney says. “People like to think of early childhood learning as kind of a vaccine against future educational failure, but it isn’t.” Once children leave a nurturing early learning environment, gains will be lost if the receiving kindergarten through high school (K-12) system isn’t prepared to continue the process, Maloney explains. “It’s very important to give kids a level playing field when they enter K-12,” Maloney says. “If that system doesn’t adequately address and continue the kind of comprehensive services that early childhood learning offers, kids start to backslide or, at the very least, not maintain their advantage.” Currently, there isn’t a consistent and effective hand-off mechanism, but Maloney expects the Marsico Institute to help solve this problem. “That’s one of the reasons I am so supportive of what we are trying to do here at DU,” she says. “We think a child’s journey through the educational system should be a seamless experience where children aren’t lost in the cracks as they transition from early childhood to K-12.”

Creating an information clearinghouse
Solving early childhood learning’s information-delivery challenges is an important item on the Marsico Institute for Early Learning and Literacy’s short-term agenda. The strategy is simple: Create an information portal that provides a clear-cut path through the maze. A beta version of that vision, www. EarlyChildhoodColorado.org, went live online last year. “This site is an information clearinghouse—a searchable database of what’s available to help families with young children,” says Marsico Institute Director Ginger Maloney. “It’s designed to provide a gateway to information and resources for parents, early childhood learning professionals, policymakers and other stakeholders.” The Marsico Institute and DU’s Center for Teaching and Learning designed the site, and the list of participating partners includes representatives from the Colorado Association for the Education of Young Children, the Piton Foundation, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, the Colorado Department of Education and Qualistar. The Web site also includes an online video library, an event calendar, job listings, links to relevant research and a data-rich family section with links to various parenting, health care, professional and systems-building resources. Any effort to provide parents and guardians with additional support gets high marks from Darcy AllenYoung, Head Start state collaboration


University of Denver Magazine Spring 2009

“… I don’t think there is a Main Street issue more important and that has a better return on investment of our precious tax dollars than investing in our nation’s children.”
—Mark Ginsberg

Hannah Eckert, age 5 Daughter of Jeanine Mayer Eckert (BA ’98)

director for Colorado’s Office of the Lieutenant Governor. “It’s important for families to be really knowledgeable consumers,” she says. “Paying top dollar doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting the best opportunity for your child, so parents have to do research and investigate whether a particular provider meets the needs of their family. Does it uphold the values they think are important? Does the center afford the necessary educational opportunities? I think it’s got to be

much more than proximity, much more than ‘the center is two blocks away and that’s where I’m sending my kid.’” The Marsico Institute’s Web site isn’t the first of its kind, but it breaks new ground for two reasons: openness to input for users and a guiding philosophy of favoring collaboration over credit. “Other states have done something similar, but they’re not using our exact model,” Maloney says. “The work that we’ve done

is really built upon Smart Start Colorado. They started this, and we took what they did and prodded it into a much more 21st century technology environment. “The Web site we created is dynamic. It’s designed so the community can continue to build it. The Marsico Institute will help maintain the site, but we’ll host it in such a way that it’s not obvious that we’re the developers because EarlyChildhoodColorado is a service. It’s not about us.”

Lori and Seph Ware

What does it mean to be Shi’i in a country that understands so little about Islam? A new book by DU Professor Liyakat Takim traces the history and experiences of the Shi’i community in America.
University of Denver Magazine Spring 2009
Wayne Armstrong

By Tamara Chapman

In recent years, Islam has emerged as the nation’s fastest growing religion, making it, says DU religious studies Associate Professor Liyakat Takim, “a very American phenomenon.” So American, in fact, that in many U.S. communities the mosque is almost as much a part of the cityscape as the church and temple. “For a long time, Islam has been a foreign phenomenon—located somewhere in the Middle East or the Far East. We talk about Islam and the West, but we should be talking about Islam in the West,” Takim says, adding that “Muslims are pumping gas; they are serving combos at McDonald’s.” Despite their growing presence in American life, Muslims remain strangers to many of their fellow citizens. In fact, when they give it any thought at all, Americans tend to regard the Muslim community as monolithic, Takim says. Few understand the sectarian and cultural differences that characterize—and often divide—this community. Even when people understand the distinctions between Sunni and Shi’i, they are unlikely to grasp the differences between one subsect and another. Takim attempts to remedy that in his forthcoming book, which introduces readers to the ethnically and culturally diverse American Shi’i community, whose members follow the Koranic interpretations advanced by Ali ibn Abi Talib. (Ali was the Prophet Muhammad’s cousin and son-in-law, and Shi’is regard him as Muhammad’s rightful successor.) Because they are outnumbered by Sunni Muslims, Takim describes Shi’is as a “double minority” in American life, a misunderstood group within a misunderstood group. Takim’s book—Shi’ism in America—is due in bookstores in late summer or early fall. According to Takim’s editor, Jennifer Hammer of New York University Press, the book breaks new ground, describing a community that has been largely ignored by scholars. “Most of the research that has been conducted on American Muslims has tended to focus on the Sunni community—and, to a lesser extent, on matters relating to the Nation of Islam,” she explains. “This work will be the first comprehensive study of the Shi’i experience in America and will therefore make a significant contribution to the literature, from Islamic studies to American religions.” In doing so, the book also traces the history of the Shi’i community in America and explores how, as Hammer puts it, “Shi’is have negotiated their identity in the American context, and what the contemporary composition of the Shi’i community is. It also illuminates how living in the West has impelled the community to grapple with the ways in which Islamic law may respond to the challenges of modernity and how they have interacted with non-Shi’i groups in the United States, from Sunni Muslims to the Christian majority.”

University of Denver Magazine Spring 2009


The Shi’i experience in AmericA dATeS bAck To The 1880S, when A Tiny communiTy of The eArly immigrAnTS SeTTled in mASSAchuSeTTS, indiAnA And michigAn.
Takim’s interest in Shi’ism stems, in part, from his own faith and experiences. A Shi’i himself and a native of Tanzania, he was once the imam of an Islamic center in Toronto. There, and in the U.S. communities he has explored, he has seen firsthand how Shi’is are perceived and, too often, misunderstood. To gain insight into their experiences, Takim surveyed and interviewed many members of Shi’i enclaves, traveling to their community centers and mosques, visiting them in their homes and even, on occasion, in their prison cells. The Shi’i experience in America dates back to the 1880s, when a tiny community of the early immigrants settled in Massachusetts, Indiana and Michigan. These Shi’is hailed primarily from Lebanon. Over the next decades, Shi’is crop up in unexpected places, much to the delight of Takim, who took great pleasure in tracking their American odyssey. At least three members of the faith sailed on the Titanic; only one of them, the sole female in the tiny group, survived. A few years later, in 1924, the nation’s first Shi’i mosque opened in unlikely Michigan City, Ind. Throughout these early years, Takim explains, the Sunnis and Shi’is found themselves so outnumbered that they overlooked their sectarian differences and worked together to preserve Islamic values. In the midst of America’s largely Christian milieu, in the face of its boisterous culture, Takim says, “They had to accentuate their Islamic identity.” Since the 1970s, the Shi’i population—indeed the Muslim population as a whole—has experienced dramatic diversification triggered by immigration from Africa, Pakistan, Iran and Iraq, among others. What’s more, the Shi’is also have increased their numbers through proselytizing and conversions. This growth has resulted in tensions among the various groups, who often disagree over rituals and religious practices. For example, the Shi’is of Lebanon may find the rituals of their Pakistani counterparts offensive, if only because the latter show some traces of Hindu culture. Other Shi’is may be alarmed by how their Iranian cousins use passion plays in mourning practices. Many immigrant Shi’is also have struggled to understand what Takim calls “black Shi’i,” or African-American converts to the faith. Like so many demographic groups populating the American scene, Shi’is struggle with differences. “There is racism in the Shi’i community, too, as in other communities,” he explains. The identity issues that emerge from these frictions give Takim much to ponder. What does it mean to be Shi’i in a culture that touts the advantages of pluralism, in a country that understands so little about Islam? And what makes a Shi’i a Shi’i when the community demonstrates so much diversity? “I think what surprised me was how the Shi’is are divided about how to approach Americans,” Takim says, looking back on his research. Some Shi’is want to assimilate fully, while the more conservative often favor isolation and retreat. But as Takim sees it, the community’s largest failing has been its reluctance to engage the larger multiethnic society. An impregnable isolation, he argues, only perpetuates marginalization. Takim is especially interested in fissures between American Shi’is and Sunnis, noting that the two communities tended to coexist peacefully for much of the 20th century. “I think the turning point came around the 1970s, when the Wahabis started making their mark in America,” he says, describing a conservative strain of Sunnism that dominates the religious culture of Saudi Arabia. With Wahabism on the rise in American Sunni communities, it has not been uncommon for Shi’is to be shunned within Islamic centers and groups, Takim says, citing a number of troubling trends and news items. On U.S. campuses, for example, members of the Muslim Student Association frequently spar over sectarian differences, with some Sunnis calling for the exclusion of Shi’is. Increasingly, the Shi’i faithful have arrived at their local mosques only to discover ominous signs posted on the front door: “No Shi’i allowed.” What’s more, Takim says, when Shi’is and Sunnis clash in, say, Iraq or Lebanon, the confrontation also surfaces on domestic soil. Nowhere was that more telling than in Dearborn, Mich., after the 2006 execution of Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, a Sunni. In the days following Hussein’s hanging, avenging Sunnis vandalized some Shi’i businesses. Although the episode was limited in scope, it left the Shi’i worried about the possibility of escalating hostilities. Takim has felt the sting of this anti-Shi’i campaign himself. When he was a visiting professor at the University of Miami between 1991 and 2001, Sunni students discouraged other Muslim students from taking his classes on the grounds that he was a Shi’i. “What we see is sectarian differences from abroad arising in America,” he says. Although this worries him, he finds hope in the Americanization of Sunni and Shi’i youth. “The younger generation is going to be different because they are all pretty much university trained,” he says, noting that they have been exposed to a diverse range of viewpoints. Like so many second- and third-generation Americans before them, he explains, “they are challenging the culture. The culture they are creating is primarily an American one.” Takim’s book also looks at how Shi’is have adjusted to American life and American attitudes in the aftermath of the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. In many respects, Takim explains, Shi’is were able to use 9/11 to their advantage, reversing negative opinions that grew out of the 1979 Iranian Revolution, when Shi’i followers of the Ayatollah Khomeini overthrew the Shah. Americans came to associate the Shi’i with the subsequent seizure of the U.S. embassy and the taking of 52 American hostages. The resulting view of Shi’is as Islam’s radicals was, in many respects, altered by the events of 9/11. As Americans learned more about Osama Bin Laden, they also learned about Wahabism and other forms of extremism. Once the U.S. launched its invasion of Iraq, Shi’is were viewed more favorably—as supporters and allies. Along the way, American Shi’is used the post-9/11 events to denounce the violence associated with Bin Laden and to clarify their position within American society. That process continues to this day. Like so many minority groups in the United States, Shi’is are learning to sustain their culture and practice their religion within the American context. “The Shi’is are as American as anybody else,” Takim says, “and they are proud of their American identity.”
The New York University Press will post publication details about Shi’ism in America in spring 2009 at www.nyupress.org.


University of Denver Magazine Spring 2009

38 Class notes challenge 43 Book bin 47 Money matters 48 Pioneer pics 50 Announcements

DU Archives

In 1956, the then newly established Denver Hawaiian Club flew in 200 pounds of orchids from the Hawaiian Islands to make leis. Students Kenneth Yim (BSBA ’57), Shirley (Collins) Petsch (BA ’57), Grace Yamaguchi (attd. 1955–56) and Lemisa Untalan (BA ’56) planned to sell the leis at the May Days carnival that night. If you have your own May Days memories to share, please let us know.

University of Denver Magazine Connections


The classes
Esther Lasher (BA ’45, MA ’67) of South Bristol, Maine, was featured in the 62nd edition of Who’s Who in America. Esther is a retired minister.

Class Notes Challenge:1948 & 1949
Allan Howerton (BA ’48, MA ’51) has lived in Alexandria, Va., with his wife, Joan, for more than 40 years. Allan had a long career with the federal government, working in Denver; Albuquerque, N.M.; and Washington, D.C. After retirement, he served as vice chair of the Fairfax County Civil Service Commission and was a founder, talk-show host and general manager of a cooperative cable television channel. Allan and Joan have three children and six grandchildren. Peggy (Powers) McCray (BS ’48) enjoys retirement in Odessa, Texas, with her husband, Herb. Prior, Peggy was self-employed for 35 years. She developed and sold WonderWeights, pattern weights for people who sew. She enjoys spending time with her children and grandchildren, golfing, bowling and singing.



Victor Cotz (BSME ’49) lives in a retirement community in Pompton Plains, N.J. His wife, Jeanne, died on Aug. 11, 2007. Marjorie (Bahr) Taggart (BA ’49) met her husband of 58 years, Harold “Bud” Taggart (BS ’50), at DU. The couple has two children, Tim Taggart (MBA ’81) and Tammy Taggart May, and three grandchildren. Seven individuals in Bud and Marjorie’s extended family have graduated from DU. Harry Watts (BA ’49) of Hays, Kan., received a 2007 national AARP Andrus Award for Outstanding Volunteer in Kansas. Harry is a co-host on “Coming of Age,” a TV/radio show for seniors. Prior, Harry had a career as an ophthalmologist. Margaret (Bettinger) Weiland (BS ’49) of Denver spent several days hiking in Bryce Canyon and Grand StaircaseEscalante National Monument in May 2008.

Arthur Wallace (BS ’50) wrote the book Mason Steam Locomotives (Heimburger House, 2004). Arthur worked for the Gardner Denver company for 35 years and served as an engineering consultant for eight years. Now retired, he lives in Aurora, Colo., with his wife, Gyda “Bernice” Wallace (BA ’51).


Donald Hart (BS ’52) lives in Chula Vista, Calif., and spends his retirement photographing and recording nature. Donald sailed his 42-foot ketch from Annapolis, Md., to Santa Cruz, Calif.


Raymond Miller (BS ’55) received the Kenneth Boulding Award from the Association for Integrative Studies (AIS). He’s a past president, journal editor and longtime member of AIS. Raymond resides in Brisbane, Calif., and is professor emeritus of international relations and social sciences at San Francisco State University. David Rothenberg (BA ’55) of New York City conceived, co-authored and directed the off-Broadway play The Castle, which opened in April 2008 at the New World Stages. The play reflects the life stories of cast members and co-authors who served time in prison.

Maryann Peins (MA ’48) of Edison, N.J., is a retired speech pathologist. Maryann fondly remembers serving as the president of the Graduate Students Club during her final year at DU. Marie Smolski (BA ’48) and her late husband, Joseph Smolski (JD ’48), enrolled in DU after World War II under the GI Bill. After graduation, Joseph went on to work as a lawyer for an insurance company while Marie worked as a school nurse. All five of their children made it through college. Marie lives in Englewood, Colo.



Claibourne Smith (BS ’59, MS ’61) was appointed interim president of Delaware State University in August. While serving as president he will temporarily relinquish his position as chair of the university’s board of trustees. Claibourne previously worked for DuPont Corp. for 34 years as the vice president of technology. Claibourne lives in Wilmington, Del.
University of Denver Magazine Spring 2009


Ronald “Ski” Adamczyk (BSBA ’62, MBA ’77) of Holmen, Wis., took a trip to Papua New Guinea with his wife, Patricia (BA ’64), and daughter, Darcy (BA ’89), of Rochester, Minn. Ski and his family visited tribes throughout the country and attended the annual “Singsing” tribe gathering on Mount Hagen.


Leslee (Carlson) Breene (BA ’63) published the book Hearts on the Wind (Five Star Expressions, 2008) about the struggles of immigrants and the early days of the railroad industry. Leslee, who lives in Denver, is the author of two other novels, Leadville Lady and Foxfire.


Return to Where the Journey Began

Class notes challenge

The Class of 1959 is invited to return to campus to celebrate this remarkable occasion. Reconnect with friends, classmates, faculty and students while taking part in events such as the annual Emeritus Tea, Pioneer Alumni Legends inductions, spring Commencement and more.
For more reunion information, please contact the Office of Alumni Relations at 1-800-871-3822 or www.alumni.du.edu.

1964 Kynewisbok

Class of 1959 50th Class Reunion June 5-6, 2009

Class of 1964: A lot can happen in 35 years, and we want to catch up with as many of you we can. Your classmates want to hear from you, too! What have you been up to? Share photos and family news, discuss your travels and hobbies, or reminisce about your time at DU. You can post you note online at www.alumni.du.edu, e-mail [email protected] or mail in the form on page 49. Class of ’64 notes will appear in the fall issue. We’ll randomly select a prize winner from all entries received by May 1.

Marlow Ediger (EdD ’63) of North Newton, Kan., published the following articles: “Current Events, the Student, and the Social Studies” in The Social Studies Review, “Mental Health in the Curriculum” in the Journal of Instructional Psychology, “Leadership in the School Setting” in Education Magazine, “The American High School” in the College Student Journal, “The Old Order Amish and the Social Studies” in Perspectives, and “The School Principal as Reading Supervisor” in Reading Improvement. Charles “Chuck” Ferries (attd. 1957–63) was inducted into the Colorado Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame in October 2008. Chuck is a former member of DU’s varsity ski team and a two-time Olympian. He also has the distinction of being the only American to ever win the Hahnenkamm slalom in Kitzbuehel, Austria. Chuck lives in Ketchum, Idaho, with his wife, Nancy.

Idjon Kurnaedy (MPA ’63) of Surrey, British Columbia, moved from Indonesia to Canada nearly 20 years ago. In Indonesia, Idjon taught at several universities, including the Indonesian Senior Army College. All of her children are married, and she has three grandchildren.



Leroy Tsutsumi (BA ’66) is an educational aide at the Hawaiian Mission Academy in Honolulu, where he teaches English for second-language learners. Leroy fondly remembers the anthropology courses he took from Alan Olson as a student at DU.


Oren Quist (MS ’67, PhD ’73) retired from his position as head of South Dakota State University’s physics department. He now lives in Mankato, Minn.

Audrey (Friedman) Marcus (BA ’70) of Denver wrote the book Survival in Shanghai: The Journals of Fred Marcus (Pacific View, 2008) with coauthor Rena Krasno. The book describes her late husband’s experience as a Jewish refugee in Shanghai. Audrey is a member of the Anti-Defamation League Catholic-Jewish Dialogue and a board member of the Kepner Educational Excellence Program, which provides enrichment for students in Kepner Middle School. Prior, Audrey founded and served as the executive vice president for A.R.E. Publishing Inc.

University of Denver Magazine Connections



Susan (Kaufman) Perlman (BA ’71) married Samuel Cheris, a Denver attorney and graduate of Stanford University, on July 13, 2008. Six days earlier, she became a grandmother when her daughter, Stacie Perlman, and her son-in-law, Aaron Moskowitz, welcomed their son, Martin. Susan lives in Aurora, Colo.



John Hayes (JD ’73) of Highlands Ranch, Colo., works full time from his home as counsel to Hayes, Phillips, Hoffman & Carberry P .C.

George Del Canto (BSBA ’74) is founder and co-owner of Kingdom Racing, which became the first faith-based team ever to compete at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The Kingdom Racing car came in 14th in the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race. George lives in Houston with his wife, Maria, and their three children—Cristina, Carolina and Alejandro.


Nanci Appleman-Vassil (BA ’75) is the president and chief learning officer for APLS Group. Nanci lives and works in Raleigh, N.C.


Jeanette “Jeme” (Ertl) Wallace (BS ’77) accepted a position as the director of regulatory affairs at General Electric Healthcare in Barrington, Ill. Jeme and her team are responsible for implementing the pre- and post-market global regulations governing the medical device stand-alone software products developed and manufactured by the company.

Artist Helen Davis
Helen Davis (EdD ’61) believes that her doctoral degree opened many doors for her but, ironically, some doors nearly closed while she was trying to earn it. “I was asked, ‘Does your husband have his doctorate? We don’t grant doctoral degrees to women if their husbands don’t have one first.’” Undaunted, Davis simply started taking classes and, simultaneously, society evolved. Ultimately, she was granted her degree. Clearly, Davis is a woman who takes advantage of opportunities and who creates them where they don’t exist. Because of her tenacious passion and many accomplishments, Davis is the 2009 recipient of the University of Denver’s Professional Achievement Award. Davis is a renowned artist, teacher and community activist who has inspired other artists, teachers and activists to believe in their passions. She set up an arts and crafts program for military families and personnel at Fitzsimons Army Medical Center after World War II and then worked for 25 years as a consultant for similar Army hospital programs. She headed the Colorado Women’s College (CWC) art department from 1962–71 and ran the Boulder Valley School District’s art program from 1971–76. She’s been an exhibiting artist, curator, juror and lecturer across the United States. Beyond her community achievements, Davis’ art is critically acclaimed and includes painting, sculpture, ceramics, fiber and photography. All of her art is two- or three-dimensional and that, again, is because of an opportunity she seized. During World War II, Davis was an undergraduate at Northwest Missouri State University, where the industrial arts department was hurting for students. Woodworking, mechanical drawing and architecture courses had traditionally been dominated by men, who were then off to war. “I took advantage of that, and I received a minor in industrial arts,” she says. “It gave me a technical background that few art people had.” Millie (Schairer) Russell (CWC ’66) studied art under Davis and is today an accomplished artist. She says Davis’ effectiveness is due to her positive approach to life. “She taught by emphasizing the best in what you were doing,” says Russell. “She made you feel so positive about what you were doing that you could hardly wait to do more.” Davis, like most artists, has developed an “artist’s statement.” Hers is simple: “I make things because I must.” Similarly, her motivation to teach and advance art in the community derives from deceptively simple needs. “When I’m passionate about something, I want to share it,” she says. “I’m passionate about art, so I have found ways to share it over my entire life.”

—Janalee Card Chmel

Wayne Armstrong


University of Denver Magazine Spring 2009

Volunteer Louise Atkinson
Louise Atkinson graduated from DU with an MBA in 1979 and has since achieved professional success in the telecommunications and technology industries, rising to her most recent role as senior vice president at First Data Corp. Along the way, she’s also become a wife to Bill Atkinson and a loving mother to two daughters. And she’s done it all without ever leaving the University. “When I walked away with my degree, I felt indebted to DU immediately,” Atkinson says. “Others may walk away thinking they’ll never see the University again, but there were people there who really cared about me! I had to give back.” Atkinson is the recipient of the 2009 Randolph P. McDonough Award for Service to Alumni. Since graduating, Atkinson has dedicated herself to so many causes and programs at her alma mater that it’s impossible to name all of the lives she’s touched. “I volunteer broadly and make sure I touch as many aspects of the University as possible,” Atkinson says. Among her commitments, Atkinson has spoken at graduation ceremonies, sponsored receptions in her home, mentored hundreds of students and graduates one-on-one and assisted with a campaign to purchase pianos for the Lamont School of Music. She co-chaired Founders Day 2004 with her husband, sponsored golf tournaments and donated to many functions and schools, including the Women’s College and Daniels College of Business. But perhaps her biggest impact results from the 10 years she spent on DU’s Alumni Association Board of Directors, including two years as its president. During her tenure, Atkinson suggested that the University create a robust Web site to reach out to its alumni. “I felt we needed a global outreach program to stay in touch with our alumni,” says Atkinson. “But when I said ‘global,’ the group’s eyes got wide and they said, ‘Let’s start local.’” Atkinson forged on. She, along with several other board members, posted their pictures on a rough Web site for alumni, as well as brief descriptions of their lives. Within days, Atkinson had heard from several alumni, including one living in Russia. “I said, ‘There’s our global connection!’ It showed that this idea was good and that DU could maintain relationships through their Web site.” The board threw their backing behind the project. Today, the Alumni Association boasts a busy site that includes special interest groups, class notes and a career center. Atkinson says she’s been able to do so much for DU because she maintains a “laser focus” on her life’s priorities. “It’s hard to do it all—executive, mom, wife, volunteer—but DU is a top priority in my life. And my husband has been a great support.” “When she commits herself to something, whether it’s DU, family or work, she does so with an abundance of passion and dedication,” Bill says of his wife. Atkinson says that she’s motivated by relationships and believes DU is rare in its ability to create lifelong friendships among students, faculty, staff and alumni. “The people at DU genuinely care,” she says. “I want to help maintain those relationships. When people leave DU today, I want them to feel just like I do!”
—Janalee Card Chmel


Lucien Dhooge (JD ’83) was named the Sue and John Staton Professor of Law at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, where he teaches international business law and ethics. He lives with his wife, Julia, and their cats in Decatur, Ga.


Michael Miller (BSBA ’85) of Albany, Ind., is the president and COO of Bell Aquaculture, a company that raises fish for human consumption. Michael’s company was featured in the October issue of Food Engineering Magazine.


Andrew Hamilton (BA ’86) of Evergreen, Colo., has been posted to the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, since the summer of 2007. Prior, Andrew was assigned to the U.S. embassies in Uzbekistan and Afghanistan.

Wayne Armstrong


Darin Good (attd. 1984–87) is the executive vice president for IBG Business Services Inc. In September, IBG announced the addition of Jack Hechinger, a senior business administration major at DU, to its staff as an account analyst pending his graduation during the 2008–09 academic year. Darin lives in Englewood, Colo.


Jeffrey Hall (MSJA ’88) of Olympia, Wash., was promoted from deputy state court administrator to state court administrator at the Administrative Office of Courts.


Anne Dawid (PhD ’89) published the book And Darkness Was Under His Feet: Stories of a Family (Litchfield Press, 2007). Anne’s book won the Litchfield Review Press Award for short fiction in 2007. She lives in Westcliffe, Colo.

University of Denver Magazine Connections



Daniel Hernandez (JD ’91) is a shareholder with Ray, Valdez, McChristian & Jeans P .C. in El Paso, Texas, where he lives. Daniel is board certified in personal injury trial law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and has more than 17 years of experience as a trial lawyer. He is a member of the State Bar of Texas, the New Mexico Bar, the El Paso Bar Association, the College of the State Bar of Texas, the American Bar Association and the Texas Association of Defense Counsel. Daniel practices in the areas of insurance defense, product liability, premises liability, negligence, food-borne illness, deceptive trade practices, workers’ compensation, and labor and employment.


Merle Catherine Chambers
Back in 1999, a group of visionary women met for lunch and, by the time the meal was finished, they had put the pieces in place for an extraordinary gift to the University of Denver and to women and girls across the state of Colorado. Among those women was Merle Catherine Chambers (LLM ’84), whose name is now etched in granite outside the dream-come-true building: the University of Denver’s Chambers Center for the Advancement of Women. “Merle was immediately enthusiastic about it and made a commitment to the naming gift over that lunch,” recalls Michele “Mike” Bloom, then dean of DU’s Women’s College. “The thing that was so remarkable about her gift was that she made it so quickly and enthusiastically. She validated the strength of the vision. Her confidence and belief in the power of what we were trying to create was the magic that got us going and allowed other people to understand the vision.” Today, the Chambers Center houses the Women’s College, the Women’s Foundation of Colorado and other DU- and community-based programs, creating a synergy among the organizations that was once unheard of. For her gift and ongoing work in the community, Chambers is the recipient of DU’s 2009 John Evans Award—the University’s highest alumni honor. While Chambers says she loves the building itself, she says she made her quick commitment because the vision matched her own belief in systemic change for women and girls. “We weren’t talking about building a building, per se,” she says, “but a place where the occupants come together and their energies create a positive impact on the community.” An only child, Chambers grew up in an “oil family” and ultimately ran her family’s oil company for more than a decade. She believes it is a responsibility, and a privilege, to share her good fortune. “I learned at my father’s knee that if you have an ability to make large gifts, then you should,” she says. From her mother, Chambers learned the importance of helping people. “My mother was a good liberal, and she gave of her time and talent,” says Chambers. “That’s where I get the emotional underpinnings of my work.” Chambers says her proudest accomplishment is the work that she’s done for women and girls across many states. She established women’s foundations in states where her family’s business operated, including Wyoming, Montana and Oklahoma. She also gave generously to alreadyestablished women’s foundations in North Dakota. “I give systemically so that I can promote the greatest possible change for women,” Chambers says. Today, she runs the Chambers Family Fund, which “seeks upstream solutions to improve the lives of women and girls.” She recently made a $50,000 challenge gift at a Women’s Foundation of Colorado luncheon, and she champions early childhood education. But Chambers never seeks attention for her own actions. Instead, she says, “It has been extraordinary to be able to help women.”
—Janalee Card Chmel


1993 1995

Patricia Bisant (MSS ’93) of Brighton, Colo., is the vice president of sales and marketing for RFD-TV.

Vinay “Mickey” Desai (MA ’95) is the executive director of the Anti-Prejudice Consortium in Atlanta. Mickey has worked in the nonprofit sector since 2001 and helped revive the Atlanta Nonprofit Professionals organization. He chairs the Metropolitan Counseling Services Board of Directors and is a member of the Georgia Lakes Society Board of Directors and the United Way’s Volunteer Involvement Program Alumni Association. Mickey lives in Jonesboro, Ga. Jonquil Powell (BA ’95, MEPM ’99) joined the Greater Yellowstone Coalition, located in Bozeman, Mont., as the associate development director. Jonquil’s fiancé, Erik Nelson, is a native of Bozeman and a partner in the design and development firm ThinkTank Design.


University of Denver Magazine Spring 2009

Wayne Armstrong

Kyle Torke (MA ’92, PhD ’94) published his fourth book and first work of fiction, Tanning Season (World Audience Press, 2008). Kyle lives in Colorado Springs, Colo., where he is an associate professor at Colorado College.

Book bin
While reading Toni Morrison’s Beloved and Russell Banks’ Cloudsplitter—both plots center on slavery—Michael White hatched the idea for his fifth and latest novel, Soul Catcher (William Morrow, 2007). Set in 1857, Soul Catcher is the story of Augustus Cain, a slave catcher entrusted with the task of hunting down Rosetta, a fugitive slave bearing scars from an unforgiving master. He captures her, and during an adventure-filled journey, Cain slowly begins to understand that Rosetta’s worth is more than as a piece of property. This realization helps to form the basis for Cain’s own redemption. “I like to write about characters who are missing something in their lives or who have failed in some way—psychically, emotionally, morally,” says White (PhD English ’82). “Cain’s metamorphosis from unredeemed slave catcher to a man who questions the very nature of the country’s ‘peculiar institution’ prior to the Civil War is a metaphor for any person of any time period whose fundamental values are in need of change.” A New York Times “notable author,” White has incorporated historical aspects in other works. His first novel, A Brother’s Blood, tells the story of a woman hoping to unravel the mystery of her brother’s death. The Garden of Martyrs recounts actual events of religious intolerance in early Boston. In addition to writing, White directs Fairfield University’s creative writing MFA program.
—Kathryn Mayer


Which alum arranged a “dress for success” clothing drive for the Denver Rescue Mission? The answer can be found somewhere on pages 38–50 of this issue. Send your answer to [email protected] or University of Denver Magazine, 2199 S. University Blvd, Denver, CO 80208. Be sure to include your full name and mailing address. We’ll select a winner from the correct entries; the winning entry will win a prize courtesy of the DU Bookstore. Congratulations to Chris Claggett (MOTM ’06) for winning the winter issue’s pop quiz.

Sport your Pioneer spirit this spring.
With hundreds of new items to choose from, the DU Bookstore is simply budding with fashion possibilities. Whether you’re shopping for yourself or for a friend, we’re sure to have the perfect fit. REGULAR STOR E H O U R S


OR CALL 800-289-3848
University of Denver Bookstore 2050 E. Evans Ave., Denver, CO 80208 800.289.3848

Spring09_BookstoreAd2.indd 1

University of Denver Magazine Connections 12/17/08 4:01:38 PM





Monday—Thursday: 8:30 a.m.—6:30 p.m. Friday: 8:30 a.m.—5 p.m. Saturday: 10 a.m.—3 p.m. Sunday: Closed


















Inventor Timber Dick
In his all-too-short career at the University of Denver, Timber Dick had such a profound impact on faculty, staff and students that he is receiving one of the institution’s most prestigious awards: Distinguished Service to the University. Dick’s life was cut short by a car accident that left his wife, Annette Tillemann-Dick, and their 11 children without “the most stabilizing force” in their lives and left DU’s School of Engineering and Computer Science without a tremendously special colleague. Dick served as the school’s director of marketing and recruitment from November 2003 until his accident in April 2008. “We are all still so sad,” says Rahmat Shoureshi, the school’s dean. “To this day, I cannot believe he is gone.” “The biggest and most important trait that Timber had for this job was his ability to connect with students, especially teenagers,” Shoureshi says. “The other part was that, even though Timber did not have a formal education in engineering or computer science, he had an innovative mind.” Dick, who held bachelor’s and master’s degrees in management and administration from Yale University, began inventing ways to make life better—and faster—at an early age. He was fascinated with automobiles and bicycles and worked tirelessly to improve their designs. He invented a better baby carrier when Annette complained about having to remove her children from car seats when they were sleeping. The result—the Sit ’n’ Stroll—is sold by Hammacher Schlemmer. With his son Corban, Dick tackled what he believed is one of the biggest wastes in society: the internal combustion engine. In an effort to reduce that waste, they invented the IRIS, which stands for Internally Radiating Impulse Structure; their company, Tendix, holds the patent. “The IRIS replaces the piston and cylinder architecture found in most engines with a revolutionary device designed to more fully harness the energy of combustion activity,” Corban explains. In the months after Dick’s death, the invention received major awards from NASA and ConocoPhillips. Annette says her husband always involved their children in his work, whether it was his latest invention or re-wiring the dining room lights. “Timber taught all of the time. He used absolutely everything to teach,” says Annette. “He especially liked bouncing problems off the kids to see what ideas they could come up with together.” She says the DU environment was “great fertilizer” for his ideas. Similarly, Shoureshi believes that Dick’s home life contributed to his rapport with DU students. “He and Annette had 11 children! That prepared him to understand deeply how to communicate with students.” Todd Rinehart, assistant vice chancellor for enrollment and director of admission, frequently saw Dick’s interaction with prospective students and their parents. “Timber was very committed to making our world a better place and was inspired to invent things that helped people in their daily lives,” Rinehart says. “While he truly was committed to DU and the discipline of engineering, he shared the same innovative and entrepreneurial spirit that many of the young students he met with possessed. “Timber believed in his heart that he could make a difference with a student who, someday in the future, would make a difference in our world.”
—Janalee Card Chmel


Karen Rubin

Diana Crabtree (BScc ’97, MAcc ’97) of Denver published the book Money for Teenagers (Llumina, 2008), a personal finance guide for youth. Diana works as a certified public accountant. Andrew Nearn (MAcc ’97) of Memphis, Tenn., retired from the hospitality industry in 2004 to become a medical doctor. Andrew graduated from the University of Tennessee College of Medicine in May 2008 and now is a resident in pediatrics there. He still believes, however, that his wife, Ashley, knows more about pediatrics than he does thanks to their three children—William, Peter and Elizabeth.


Greg Fellman (MSW ’98) opened Seven Cups, a traditional Chinese teahouse on Pearl Street in Denver. Greg’s interest in tea began when he taught English in China for two and a half years.



Sally (Hess) Higgins (MEPM ’99) of Lexington, Ky., is the safety, health and environmental manager at the Lexington Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

Cheryl Weill (MSW ’01) wrote the book Nature’s Choice: What Science Reveals About the Biological Origins of Sexual Orientation (Routledge, 2008). Cheryl earned a PhD in chemistry from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1974. She retired from academic science in 1999 before obtaining a master’s of social work degree from DU. Cheryl is in private clinical practice in Denver.


University of Denver Magazine Spring 2009


Devon Bickford (BA ’02) of New York City married Michael Suozzi on Sept. 13. Devon works for the Child and Family Institute of St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital as a clinical social worker; Michael works as an advertising sales account executive. Lindsey Duncan (BBA ’02, MBA ’04) and Matthew Millns (MBA ’04) were married on July 5, 2008, at the Spruce Saddle Lodge in Beaver Creek, Colo. Alumni in attendance included Chris Baker (BSME ’03, MBA ’03) of Fort Worth, Texas; Meredith (Lippitt) Mankwitz (MBA ’04) of Denver; and HungYu “Rachel” Lin (MBA ’04) of Denver. The couple honeymooned in Calgary, Alberta; Emerald Lake, British Columbia; and Banff, Alberta. Lindsey and Matt reside in Fort Worth, Texas. Morgan Earp (BA ’02, MA ’02, PhD ’07) of Fairfax, Va., received her PhD in quantitative research methods from DU in 2007. She works as a statistician for the Department of Agriculture and an adjunct professor for Potomac College. Last fall, Morgan ran the Army 10 Miler and Marine Corps Marathon and plans to run the George Washington Parkway Classic 10 Miler in the spring. In February, she plans to move to Capitol Hill with her significant other, Adam, and their dog, Mojo.

Entrepreneur Craig Harrison
Craig Harrison (BSBA ’03) sits in his Cherry Creek North corporate office, the window behind him offering a stunning view of the snow-frosted Rockies, discussing one of several companies he’s launched in the last five years. For the latest, US Capital, Harrison managed more than $10 million in investments before he sold the company to Chicago-based Northport Private Equity in June 2008. He’s launched two other companies that have done well in completely different industries: Scout Cleaning and Maintenance, an environmentally friendly cleaning service that he owns with fellow DU alumnus Ryan Boykin (BA ’02), and Housefront, a real estate technology service company, which he and Boykin recently sold to Motellus Inc. for $3 million. Now, Harrison thinks he has a truly big idea percolating: restoring structurally deficient dams across the United States. Oh, and Harrison is just 28 years old. Harrison is the 2009 recipient of DU’s Ammi Hyde Award for Recent Graduate Achievement, and while it may seem that his star has risen very high, very fast, Harrison has been working at this for years. “When I was in high school, I read that the 3 percent of people who write down their goals end up making more money than the other 97 percent combined,” Harrison says. So, he started writing down his goals. He has a nine-page, single-spaced document containing all of the business ideas he’s had since 1997. Each idea is only given one short paragraph. Looking it over, he can still remember some of his favorites. “I thought it would be a great idea to put vitamins in chewing gum,” says Harrison with excitement. “Wouldn’t kids love it if they could get their vitamins by chewing gum?” On paper, Harrison’s accomplishments describe someone very serious, very driven, very busy. While he is all of those things, in person, Harrison offers a bright smile, carries on openended conversations and expresses authentic interest in everyone around him. “Craig is smart, ambitious and one of the most genuine people I know,” says Scott Reiman (BSBA ’87), who has become a mentor to Harrison. “He works hard at his business and is definitely committed to DU in a big way.” Harrison recently co-founded a Young Alumni Scholarship fund at DU and has helped to raise more than $90,000, contributing generously himself. “When I look at my life, it seems like everything good traces back to DU,” says Harrison. “DU is the gift that keeps giving! Working on this scholarship has been a blast. It’s one of the most rewarding things I’ve been a part of.” Harrison readily admits that he is young for his achievements, joking that he needs his hair to turn gray, but he also gives credit to others. “Some of the confidence that I have is artificial because of the great mentors and partners I’ve had,” he says, mentioning his dad and Boykin specifically. “I’ve never been alone in any of these endeavors.”
—Janalee Card Chmel


Lia Chavez (BA ’03) opened the New York City exhibition “Hillman + Chavez” in September with William Hillman. The exhibition featured 13 photographic works that explore light and space while abstractly presenting the figure as form. Lia lives and works in London. Johnny Cheng (BS ’03) of Aurora, Colo., has started his first year at the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine in Lewisburg, W. Va. While at DU, Johnny was on the Dean’s List and was a recipient of the Provost Scholarship. He graduated in 1999 from Christian Heritage High School in Steamboat Springs, Colo.

Wayne Armstrong

University of Denver Magazine Connections


Hallie Loizeaux (MSW ’03) of Rye, N.Y., married Brian White of Wilmington, Del., on Aug. 23, 2008. Hallie and her husband plan on moving to Denver, where she will work as a clinical social worker and he will work with Western Orthopedics as an orthopedic surgeon.

Fixer Anthony Graves
Anthony Graves (IMBA ’04) is a person who does whatever it takes. When he was 26 and raising his 16-year-old nephew, Graves’ management job in the technology industry disappeared, so he took a job filing for the Colorado Department of Human Services to make ends meet. He realized he needed another degree to get his career back on track, so he went back to school, balancing his role as mentor to his nephew and working two jobs to pay the bills. When his Department of Human Services job sent him out to deliver food to seniors, he discovered poverty and poor living conditions. So, he served on a board that was focused on creating affordable senior housing. He walked into the Gilliam Youth Services Center and asked what they needed; he ended up working with youths to give them life skills and help them take responsibility for their actions. Commonly, without being asked, Graves finds himself walking in doors and asking people what they need. He says he’s an “asker” and a “fixer.” Because of his eagerness to improve the community, Graves is receiving the University of Denver’s 2009 Community Service Award. “I am motivated by making a material impact,” says Graves, who exudes calm despite the myriad responsibilities he’s undertaken. “I like projects that help change people’s lives, especially people who may not have a voice to ask for what they need.” Devany Severin, public relations coordinator for the Denver Rescue Mission, says Graves was visiting the mission with a professional group that was doing one day of community service. Graves could have handed out food to the homeless with the rest of the group and left, never to be seen again. Instead, “Anthony asked what more the Denver Rescue Mission needed in the upcoming months,” Severin recalls. “Upon learning that we were in great need of men’s dress clothes and business attire, he offered to arrange a ‘Dress For Success’ men’s clothing drive.” Graves was thrilled with that program, which he ran through one of his favorite organizations: Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity. “I was ecstatic!” he says. “Most of the suits we received were either brand new or straight from the cleaners.” Today Graves is an international operations and marketing manager at Sun Microsystems and has served as an adjunct professor and guest lecturer for DU’s Daniels College of Business. He was elected to a four-year term on the Democratic National Committee and was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention. Graves is active on DU’s African-American Alumni Association and several other community-focused organizations. And yet, despite these weighty obligations, Graves still seeks out grassroots community needs that he might be able to impact. “I think I have a service addiction,” he says, laughing. “Lately, I see more and more need, and I’m looking for ways to magnify my impact. When you see that you can really help someone, really fundamentally improve their life, then you want to do it more.”
—Janalee Card Chmel



Cathy Bagot (MSLA ’05) has been elected to the Board of Trustees of Bexley Hall Episcopal Seminary in Columbus, Ohio. Cathy lives in Westerville, Ohio. Glenn Gorden (BSBA ’05) of Yarmouth, Maine, joined the DU men’s lacrosse coaching staff as a volunteer assistant coach in September 2008. Glenn played three seasons at DU and served as an assistant coach for Brown University, helping to coach the team to an Ivy League title last year. Caleb Hebel (BSAcc ’05) of Denver was named as one of the 2008 finalists for Business Week’s best young entrepreneurs in America. Sarah (Beck) Hoge (BAcc ’05) married Chris Hoge on Aug. 23, 2008, at DU’s Evans Chapel. The couple honeymooned in Orlando and St. Petersburg, Fla. Sarah and Chris reside in Littleton, Colo. Hunter Johnson (BSBA ’05) of Fort Worth, Texas, has worked as a financial analyst for American Airlines since October 2007.


University of Denver Magazine Spring 2009

Wayne Armstrong

Jared Casner (BS ’04) married Ashleigh Bilodeaux on Aug. 31, 2008, in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Gerritt Koser (BSBA ’02, JD ’05) of Denver and Richard Steadman (BSBA ’05) of Englewood, Colo., served as groomsmen at the ceremony, which was also attended by Jessica Sanchez (BSBA ’04) of Arvada, Colo. Upon their return, the couple, who reside in Highlands Ranch, Colo., held a reception in Colorado Springs. Jared received an MBA from the University of Colorado in August 2008.

Money matters

Today’s stock market is showing volatility unlike any time in history; the Dow may be up 500 points one day and then down 700 points the next. The economy is in a recession. What should an individual do in this environment? Don’t panic. The long-run average annual return for the stock market is about 12 percent. There will be some years where the return may be higher—the late 1990s, for example—and years where the return can be negative—the early 2000s, for example. Invest in stocks for the long term; don’t sell just because the market is down. Budget for your monthly revenue and expenses. Most individuals don’t know the amounts of their monthly expenditures. How much is spent for food? For entertainment? For clothes? Understand your expenditures and look for spending that can be decreased to get you through the tough economic times.

Invest conservatively. It is important to continue to save, but save now by investing in low-risk bonds, such as treasury bonds or low-risk bond mutual funds. Bank certificates of deposit, which are FDIC insured, can also be an alternative. Match their maturities to when you will need the cash, whether it be in six months, in two years, or whatever time frame fits your investment life cycle.
Mac Clouse is a finance professor in the Daniels College of Business.

1930s 1940s
John Edwards (BA ’39), Englewood, Colo., 6-4-08 Kenneth Dorst (PhD ’66), San Jose, Calif., 8-17-08 Ezekiel “Eski’a” Mphahlele (PhD ’68), Johanesburg, South Africa, 10-27-08 Paul Murin (BSBA ’68), Chicago, 8-23-08 James Flanigan (BA ’41, JD ’46), Denver, 8-30-08 Valerie (Vannatter) Watts (BA ’47), Hays, Kan., 6-12-07 Phyllis (Ingram) Ross (BA ’48), Englewood, Colo., 9-1-08 George Hess (BS ’49), Boise, Idaho, 9-2-02 Clark Scott (BA ’49), Lakewood, Colo., 10-9-08 Leo Zuckerman (BA ’49, LLB ’58), San Francisco, 12-6-07


Timothy Geier (BSBA ’71), Cleveland, 3-6-08 David Virden (BA ’71), Manchester, Mass., 8-29-08 Donald Wasko (JD ’71), Steamboat Springs, Colo., 8-26-08 Patricia Wagnon (MA ’74), Sacramento, Calif., 8-7-08



Orville Turner (BA ’50, MA ’55), Littleton, Colo., 7-20-08 Rayman Overton (BS ’51), Broomfield, Colo., 6-9-08 Everett Pond (BS ’53), Denver, 9-17-08 Arthur Robbins (attd. 1951–53), Denver, 7-2-08 Olav Svennevik (MA ’55), Oslo, Norway, 12-7-07

Mark Kunsman (BA ’85), Bridgewater, N.J., 11-4-07

Faculty and Staff


Thomas Valliant (BSBA ’63), Englewood, Colo., 2-21-08 Gerry Difford (MA ’64), Golden, Colo., 8-18-08 Warner Bromgard (MSBA ’66), Lakewood, Colo., 4-4-08

Ilene Alfrey, custodian (retired 1999), Wheat Ridge, Colo., 11-7-08 Charles “Mike” Beall, political science professor emeritus, Longmont, Colo., 9-22-08 Emma Bieshaar, registrar’s office (retired 1981), Lakewood, Colo., 9-29-08 John Kice, chemistry professor emeritus, dean emeritus of natural science, mathematics and engineering, Aurora, Colo., 10-31-08

University of Denver Magazine Connections



Monika (Hutchinson) Coleman (BA ’06, MBA ’06) married Hans Coleman on May 19, 2007, in Highlands Ranch, Colo. The couple honeymooned in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. DU alumnae Gretta Heidenreich (BA ’06, MBA ’06) of West Hollywood, Calif., Glenna Gagliardi (BA ’05, IMBA ’07) of Denver, and Sarah Gabriel (BA ’08) of Denver served as bridesmaids. Monika and Hans live in Centennial, Colo., with their Siberian huskies, Kamatz and Nukka. Joe Nelson (BSBA ’06) of Englewood, Colo., is an account manager with Rocky Mountain Instrument Co. Prior, he was a strategy and business consultant with BearingPoint Inc.

Pioneer pics
Richard Lorance (BSBA ’68) of Duncanville, Texas, looks on as his grandson, Marshall, feeds a parrot at the San Antonio Zoo. Richard and his wife, Susan, take Marshall on vacation with them every year. As you pioneer lands far and wide, be sure to pack your DU gear and strike a pose in front of a national monument, the fourth wonder of the world or your hometown hot spot. If we print your submission, you’ll receive some new DU paraphernalia courtesy of the DU Bookstore. Send your print or high-resolution digital image and a description of the location to: Pioneer Pics, University of Denver Magazine, 2199 S. University Blvd., Denver, CO 80208, or e-mail [email protected] Be sure to include your full name, address, degree(s) and year(s) of graduation.

Beth Gyurovits (MBA ’08) was named director of marketing and Internet programs for the nonprofit National Pain Foundation. Prior, Beth worked as a Web manager at Johns Manville and as the global Web strategist for Maxtor Corp. In 2000 she started the Denver Women’s Hockey League and served as the president and director of marketing. Beth lives in Highlands Ranch, Colo. Andrea McCrady (BM ’08) completed DU’s four-year bachelor of music degree in two years. Andrea, who previously practiced family medicine in Spokane, Wash., pursued the degree to ground her music academically. Andy Thomas (BSBA ’08) of Bow, N.H., has signed a one-year, entry-level minor league contract with the National Hockey League’s Anaheim Ducks. Andy plans on making his professional debut playing for the Iowa Chops of the American Hockey League.
Post your class note online at www.alumni.du.edu, e-mail [email protected] or mail in the form on page 57.


Reunion recaps
On Aug. 9, 2008, graduates of DU’s MBA Class of ’88 celebrated their 20th reunion with a picnic. From left: Steve Dill of Golden, Colo.; Denis Foley of Denver; David Velasco of Highlands Ranch, Colo.; Tony Juarez (kneeling) of Pueblo, Colo.; Pamela White of Lafayette, Colo.; J.P. Illes of Aurora, Colo.; Jim Darr of Lakewood, Colo.; Stan Gross of Longmont, Colo. Last December these DU alumnae got together for an ornament exchange, a tradition they have carried on for nearly 20 years. Although a varied mixture of stay-at-home moms, part-time workers and career women, they are held together by the common bond of sisterly affection as all were members of Delta Zeta during their time at DU. Pictured (back row, from left): Gloria (Weiner) Eddy (BA ’90) of Centennial, Colo.; Shannon (Richardson) Harding (BA ’90) of Greenwood Village, Colo.; Patsy (Ruther) Di Domenico (BSBA ’90) of Highlands Ranch, Colo.; Kari (Armato) Ansay (BA ’90) of Castle Rock, Colo.; Cheryl (Dolechek) Metzger (BSBA ’90) of Aurora, Colo.; Mary (Scharrer) Inabu (BSBA ’89) of Aurora, Colo.; Pam (Norris) Krammer (BSBA ’89) of Lone Tree, Colo. Middle Row (from left): Steff (Engel) Frese (BSBA ’90) of Broomfield, Colo.; Susan (Bradbury) Kamberos (BSBA ’89) of Littleton, Colo.; Chris (Pastor) Nelson (BSBA ’90) of Thornton, Colo.; Shannon (Marshall) Neary (BSacc ’90) of Belton, Texas. Front: Amy (Marshall) Van Orman (BA ’90) of Parker, Colo.


University of Denver Magazine Spring 2009

PioneeRing futures
When you give to the Chancellor’s Innovation Fund, you help DU students access transformational experiences for a world-class education. Be A PART of our continuing legacy of excellence by giving to DU.
For more information, please call 800.448.3238 or visit us at www.giving.du.edu.

Quotable notes
Thank you to everyone who responded to the fall issue’s question of the hour: What was/is your favorite Denver-area attraction? “DU Stadium.” Margaret (Bettinger) Weiland (BS ’49) Denver “City Park.” Harold “Bud” Taggart (BS ’50) and Marjorie (Bahr) Taggart (BA ’49) Denver “The Rocky Mountains!” Oren Quist (MS ’67, PhD ’73) Mankato, Minn. “Elitch Gardens’ Trocadero Ballroom.” Harry Watts (BA ’49) Hays, Kan. “Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Echo Lake and the parks.” Maryann Peins (MA ’48) Edison, N.J.

Contact us
Tell us about your career and personal accomplishments, awards, births, life events or whatever else is keeping you busy. Do you support a cause? Do you have any hobbies? Did you just return from a vacation? Let us know! Don’t forget to send a photo. (Include a self-addressed, postage-paid envelope if you would like your photo returned.)
Question of the hour: How did you celebrate your graduation? Name (include maiden name) DU degree(s) and graduation year(s) Address City State Phone E-mail Employer Occupation What have you been up to? (Use a separate sheet if necessary.) ZIP code Fax Country

Post your class note online at www.alumni.du.edu, e-mail [email protected] or mail your note to: Class Notes, University of Denver Magazine, 2199 S. University Blvd., Denver, CO 80208.

University of Denver Magazine Connections


Lifelong Learning OLLI DU’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute
is a membership program designed for men and women age 55 and “better” who wish to pursue lifelong learning in the company of like-minded peers. Members select the topics to be explored and share their expertise and interests while serving as teachers and learners. >>universitycollege.du.edu/learning/viva/

Nostalgia Needed
If you have ideas for nostalgic topics we could cover in the magazine, please send them our way. We’d love to see your old DU photos as well.

Pioneer Generations
How many generations of your family have attended DU? If you have stories and photos to share about your family’s history with DU, please send them our way!

Annual report
The University’s annual report for the 2007– 08 year is available online at www.du.edu/ annualreport.

Calling All Experts
We’re trying to get to know our alumni better while developing possibilities for future articles. Please send us your ideas. We would especially like to hear about readers who: • • • • • • • • live outside of the U.S. are members of the military have been impacted by the financial crisis are farmers or ranchers were DU Centennial scholars are members of the Class of 1964 are involved in hospice/palliative care served in the Peace Corps

Get Involved
Just moved to a new city and don’t know anyone? Need to expand your professional network? Want to attend fun events and make new friends, or reconnect with old ones? Join a local alumni chapter: Atlanta; Boston; Chicago; Dallas; Minneapolis; New York; Phoenix; Portland, Ore.; St. Louis; and Washington. To find out how you can get involved, call the Office of Alumni Relations at 800-871-3822 or visit www.du.edu/ alumni/chapters.

Mark Your Calendar Volunteer Day Provide assistance to the
homeless community April 24 at Project Homeless Connect, held on the DU campus. For more information, e-mail [email protected]

Career Connections Pioneer Alumni Network Join other
Denver area alumni for free networking events each month. >>www.alumni.du.edu

Essayists Wanted
The University of Denver Magazine is accepting proposals for reflective, first-person essays on any subject (600 words in length) for possible publication. Opinion pieces will not be considered. Materials submitted will not be returned.

Red Vest Tournament Join classmates,
DU Photography Department

faculty and friends June 3 at the legendary Sanctuary golf course to raise funds for Pioneers athletic scholarships. Register by May 27. Contact Jon Boos at 303-871-4467.

50th Reunion Class of 1959, join your
classmates on campus June 5–6. Call 1-800871-3822 for information. >>www.alumni.du.edu/

Stay in Touch Online Alumni Directory Update your
contact information, find other alumni and “bookmark” your alumni friends and classmates. You also can read class notes and death notices. Online class note submissions will automatically be included in the University of Denver Magazine. >>www.alumni.du.edu

DU on the Road Find out what your alma
mater has been doing since you left. See if DU is coming to a city near you. >>www.alumni.du.edu/Duontheroad

Contact us
University of Denver Magazine 2199 S. University Blvd. Denver, CO 80208 [email protected] 303-871-2776


University of Denver Magazine Spring 2009

TreaT yourself To a day of golf aT The sancTuary.
And Put More Athletes on the DU Roster.

Join the drive to enhance the University of Denver’s 17 NCAA Division I sports programs. Support our teams by enjoying a special afternoon of golf at the Third-annual Red Vest Invitational Golf Tournament.

June 3, 2009 sancTuary golf course

To reserve your spot or for more information contact Jon Boos at 303.871.4467
Event sponsored by: Snowy Range Aviation, RE/MAX and Sanctuary Golf Course.
University of Denver Magazine Connections



For whom the bell tolls
In 1949, John Evans Jr.— chairman of DU’s Board of Trustees and the Rio Grande Railroad board—gave this bell as a trophy to the winner of the Utah-Denver football game. The bell shuttled back and forth between schools until Utah inherited it by winning the final football game in 1960 (DU retired its football program after that season). The bell had disappeared into obscurity until 1993, when Leo Goto (BSBA ’67, MBA ’74)—a DU trustee and owner of the Denver landmark Wellshire Inn—purchased it at an Evans estate sale. He then donated the bell to DU. Today the bell is displayed in the garden outside the Leo Block Alumni Center.


University of Denver Magazine Spring 2009

Wayne Armstrong

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