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Office of Diversity and Inclusion | University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus

University of Colorado Denver

Biography Of Brenda J. Allen

Brenda J. Allen, PhD

Brenda J. Allen (Ph.D., Howard University) is the Allen BrandaVice Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus. She also is a Professor of Communication and she serves as Master Mentor of the Tenure Track Faculty Mentoring Program at the university. Her research and teaching areas are organizational communication, diversity, and critical pedagogy. Among her numerous publications is a groundbreaking book entitled Difference Matters: Communicating Social Identity. She was recruited from Howard University to the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1989 as an Assistant Professor.  Since then, she has been promoted to Full Professor, and she has served as a Department Chair and Associate Dean.  She assumed her recent role as Chief Diversity Officer in August of 2012.  In addition to performing her duties at the University, she presents keynote speeches and conducts workshops and consultations on a range of topics, including self-empowerment, diversity, strategic planning, presentational speaking, and teamwork. Most notable among these are EmpowHERment workshops, which she presents nationally to a wide range of women in diverse contexts.


Dr. Allen has received numerous awards and accolades, including the Francine Merritt Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Lives of Women in Communication from the National Communication Association (NCA), the first Annual Ally of the Year Award from the Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender Alliance (University of Colorado Boulder); the first Annual Award for Outstanding Achievement for Commitment to Diversity at CU Denver; the inaugural Award for Excellence in Faculty Mentoring from CU Denver; and, the Feminist Teacher-Mentor Award from the Organization for the Study of Communication, Language, and Gender. She also was named a Master Teacher by the Western States Communication Association. In 2011, she received the Paul H. Boase Prize for Scholarship from Ohio University, and she was the Carroll C. Arnold Distinguished Lecturer at NCA’s annual convention. She received the 2013 Elizabeth Gee Award from the University of Colorado System, which honors an outstanding faculty member for efforts to advance women in academia, interdisciplinary scholarly contributions, and distinguished teaching.  Also in 2013, she was honored with a Women in Leadership and Management Award. Named in honor of Wilma J. Webb, former legislator and Denver's first African-American first lady, the WiLMA award recognizes women who have made a significant impact in business, education, the community and politics.


Office of Diversity and Inclusion

University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus

1380 Lawrence Street

Denver, CO 80204

o 303.315.2123 | w



​Educational Opportunity Programs

University of Colorado Denver

Campus Box 132

1200 Larimer Street | North Classroom 2012/2013

P.O. Box 173364

Denver, Colorado 80217-3364

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Office of Inclusion and Outreach

University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

13120 East 19th Avenue | Educaton 2 North 3118

Aurora, CO 80045

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