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Think Tank campaign goes bigger, bolder

Undergraduate recruitment effort moves into phase two in area high schools

10/9/2012
Installation crew puts up CU Denver Think Tank poster in a stairwell at Hinkley High School

By Chris Casey | University Communications

AURORA, Colo. - Karen Ramsey, a math teacher at Hinkley High School, loved the giant splash of color going up on a wall just outside her classroom.

"This poster is just amazing -- it's vibrant and bright," she said.

The 10-foot-by-6-foot poster stuck to the stairwell was just one of several big and bold "CU Denver Think Tank" banners and posters installed at the Aurora school today.

The university's Office of Marketing and Community Engagement partnered with five high schools last spring when it kicked off the multi-media, multi-tiered CUDenverThinkTank.com campaign.

"We did see in those schools with the placements a greater percentage of applications than previously," said Amy Hume, advertising manager.

The Think Tank campaign aims to strengthen the recruitment pipeline of undergraduate students to CU Denver. The five metro-area high schools -- two in Jefferson County, two in Aurora and one in Denver -- were selected based on a history of sending students to CU Denver, but appear ripe for even greater application numbers.

"We laid the foundation in the spring and now we're back in the fall putting the pedal to the metal ... when students are thinking of applying to schools," Hume said.

The colorful Think Tank marketing materials include stairway and mirror clings that show the "Thinking About Your Future? Think About CU Denver" message in heavy-traffic hallways and restrooms. Table tent materials are placed in libraries and computer labs. A banner that spanned 10 feet by 10 feet was recently hung at Denver's Kennedy High School.

Faculty and staff at Hinkley and the other schools are treated to snacks and information about the Think Tank campaign when Hume and John Phillips, of Iron Horse Creative, a campaign collaborator, arrive for the banner installations. Another partner on the campaign has been CCT Advertising.

"It's not only important to get the students familiar with CU Denver, but to get the faculty to know and understand what we're all about as well," Hume said. "The goal is to continue to build the partnerships. We want to sign on additional schools."

The university is also sending faculty and leadership team members to partner schools -- such as "Meet the Pros" talks at Green Mountain High School -- as well as hosting campus tours for teachers from the various schools.

The campaign includes radio advertisements targeted to the younger audience and a CUDenverThinkTank.com website that's been upgraded based on feedback from the spring launch, Hume said.

The focused and colorful signage, which feature actual students at CU Denver, is a great addition to Hinkley High School, Ramsey said.

"It reminds teachers to talk about" the importance of college after high school, she said. "Like I'll say to my students, 'Did you see the poster outside my door?' And CU Denver is so close to us -- it's just right up the street."

For more information go to CUDenverThinkTank.com.

(Photo: Workers install a large CU Denver Think Tank poster in a stairwell at Hinkley High School in Aurora.)

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Contact: christopher.casey@ucdenver.edu

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