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University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus

University of Colorado Denver, Newsroom
 

First Choice: Right Choice

Students reflect on the advantages of learning at CU Denver


by Vicki Hildner | University Communications

During the summer of 2012, we interviewed a group of incoming freshmen (Class of 2016) and asked why they chose CU Denver and not any of the other excellent schools that had accepted them.  Some were coming for the prestigious BA/BS-MD program and others came for the University Honors and Leadership (UHL) program. Still others chose CU Denver because they liked Denver and Colorado.

Sophomores at CU Denver
This year, we caught up with those students midway through their sophomore year. (We also added a couple new students to our group.) This time, we asked them to review their goals and future plans and explain why coming to CU Denver was the right choice. 

Iman Mohamed

Iman MohamedAlso accepted at: University of Denver

Academic advantages at CU Denver:
“I really like the support I get on campus. The professors have office hours and they make tutors available for every class. It’s really hard to fail!”

Social advantages at CU Denver:
“You don’t find this kind of diversity at other Colorado schools. It opens your mind to different perspectives and even when people have disagreements or opposing viewpoints, they are civil about it.”

How have your goals changed?
“I am still pre-med, but I changed my major to ethnic studies in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. To be a good doctor, it’s important to understand different cultures. We have a lot of smart doctors, but we need understanding and caring doctors on top of that."

Thinking about your future?
"For your future career, college is the place where values are developed further. This school makes you grow as a person because there are many opportunities for self-reflection." 

Kevin Huang

Kevin HuangAlso accepted at: Northwestern University, Vanderbilt University, UCLA, Emory University, CU-Boulder

Academic advantages at CU Denver:
“I really like the diversity of academics. My focus is in science but I have also been able to take classes in business, political studies and history. The teachers present things in such an interesting way that it makes me more interested in who I am and the society we live in.”

Social advantages of CU Denver:
“There’s never a dull moment on the 16th Street Mall. There are also a lot of clubs you can join, but I think the best part is we are so close to all the professional sports teams. I really like being so close to the stadium where the Broncos play!”

How have your goals changed?
“When I was younger, I dreamed of moving to the West Coast or East Coast to work. Now I realize that Denver is not just a great place to be for school, it’s also a great place to settle down.”

Thinking about your future?
“The proximity to the mountains here is something I really cherish. Even if I leave Denver, I think I will come back here to raise my children. Denver isn’t as big as New York or Los Angeles, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.” 

Kara Brown

Kara BrownAlso accepted at: University of Chicago, CU-Boulder, Colorado State University

Academic advantages at CU Denver:
“The faculty in the sculpture department is excellent. It’s a small department and you can develop personal relationships with your professors because you see them so often.”

Social advantages of CU Denver?
“Most of my friends live in the city, and you get a good chance to experience everything that Denver has to offer while you are in college.”

How have your goals changed?
“I started out as a civil engineering major, but after I had the opportunity to do an internship with an engineering firm, I realized that was not the life for me. So now I’m studying sculpture in the College of Arts and Media.”

Thinking about your future?
“After I graduate, I can see myself working as a fine artist with my work in galleries or museums. First I may head to graduate school, maybe in Europe.” 

Josh Blair

Josh Also accepted at: Savannah College of Art and Design, University of New Mexico, New Mexico State University

Academic advantages at CU Denver:
“Most of my teachers work outside the university in their field so they know what’s going on in the real world. That will be a big help when I start looking for a job.”

Social advantages of CU Denver:
“Even though this is a big city campus, it’s easy to make friends. I really enjoy the fact that we are in the city, because there are plenty of cool things to do and some of them are even free.”

How have your goals changed?
“I started off in 3D animation, but I transferred to digital design in the College of Arts and Media. It was easy to make the switch and I will still be able to graduate in four years.”

Thinking about your future?
“There are companies recruiting here from all around the United States. Teachers get calls and emails asking for recommendations and that’s such a great thing for us when we start looking for work.”  

Janet Mensah

Janet MensahAlso accepted at: Howard University, University of Montana, Drew University

Academic advantages at CU Denver:
“Everyone here is serious about academics because they have an end goal in mind. There is a sense of community, with people helping each other get where they want to be.”

Social advantages of CU Denver:
“I really like being downtown because everything is accessible. If you need something or want to meet someone, it’s easy. And I like that the CU Anschutz Medical Campus is convenient.”

How have your goals changed?
“When I started, I was tentatively thinking I wanted to practice medicine in an underserved community, and now I am definitely sure that’s what I want to do. It might be in Colorado, or it might be in Ghana which is where my parents live, but I know I want to reach people who don’t have health care.”

Thinking about your future?
“Once a month, we visit the  Anschutz Medical Campus. What that does is make my dream of becoming a doctor seem more achievable. I stand on that campus and I say ‘Someday, this can be me.’” 

Filiberto Morales

Also accepted at: Colorado School of Mines, Colorado State University

Academic advantages at CU Denver:
“Everyone here is dedicated. If you walk into any class, you will see that people are here because they are going to do something with their education. Even though it’s a big campus, the class sizes are small and make class interactive.” 

Social advantages of CU Denver:
“This school is really changing every day. It’s getting to be more like a traditional college with an extremely active student life. This year, I played on the first club soccer team. Since I played in high school, it was really nice to get back to playing."

How have your goals changed?
“My goals haven’t changed much. I still want to practice medicine in an urban environment where I can utilize my Spanish.”

Thinking about your future?
“I want to go to medical school and do my residency here in Colorado. I really feel as though here is where I can make the difference.” 

Julie Starr

Julie StarrAlso accepted at: Colorado School of Mines, Colorado State University

Academic advantages at CU Denver:
“I grew up around cars. My dad has taught me how to work on them, and I’m involved in the racing community. CU Denver’s motor sports program in mechanical engineering was what interested me in the school.”

Social advantages at CU Denver:
“I like that CU Denver has a diverse population, and I enjoy the Denver area. I also value that the school supports our veterans. Many of my friends and family members have served in the military, and I appreciate what they have given for our country.”

How have your goals changed?
“At first, I was planning on going straight through to earn my bachelor’s and master’s in five years. Now, I think it would be smart to get a job after four years, gain experience, and then I can fine-tune what I want to study in graduate school.”

Thinking about the future?
“I could see myself working for a major car company or a racing company. I plan to build a car I that can autocross with. For those who think women can’t do this, my goal is to try to prove them wrong.” 

Ryan Farmer

Ryan FarmerAlso accepted at: Loyola Marymount University, Northeastern University, University of Utah, University of the Pacific, Willamette University, CU-Boulder, Fordham University, San Diego State University, University of Denver, California Lutheran University

Academic advantages at CU Denver:
“I have had an awesome assortment of professors who all love what they do and that means the experience and information you receive from them is rich and relevant.”

Social advantages of CU Denver:
“Midway through my sophomore year, I have a new family of friends here not only with fellow students, but also with my teachers.”

How have your goals changed?
“I started off as a recording arts major, but after a semester I started to have second thoughts. So I switched to 3D animation in the College of Arts & Media. I’m content with the switch and I am looking forward to continuing on this path.

Thinking about your future?
“All that I have ever wanted to do is create stories, either with sound or pictures.” 

Alison Sanchez

Alison SanchezAlso accepted at: University of Denver, Colorado State University, University of Colorado Colorado Springs

Academic advantages at CU Denver:
“You definitely have to stay on top of your game in the BA/BS-MD program, but I love the mentors in the program. They have been a huge help to me as a first-generation college student, whether I need to talk about academics or about life issues.”

Social advantages of CU Denver?
 “I definitely miss Trinidad, the small Colorado town I grew up in, but I really like being in Denver!”

How have your goals changed?
“I thought I wanted to practice trauma medicine in the military, but now I think I want to go back to Trinidad and practice family medicine. The people in my town want me to come back, and I can really have an impact on the health care system there.”

Thinking about your future?
“I was really scared the first couple months here, and I have done a complete 180 degree turn. Now I am determined to succeed, and I have grown in my understanding of what I am capable of accomplishing.” 

Jason Bergfalk

Jason BergfalkTransferred from:   Red Rocks Community College

Academic Advantages at CU Denver:
“The key advantage of CU Denver for me was the undergraduate program in architecture. I also love the core classes outside of architecture because they teach you to be more of a critical thinker and leader. Taking English composition made me a better writer and I really liked the professor I had in philosophy.”

Social Advantages at CU Denver:
“Working 32 hours a week and taking a full load of classes doesn’t leave much time for socializing, but I like meeting people in my studio classes because there’s great interaction with them and they give you helpful peer feedback on your projects.”

How have your goals changed?
“I have gotten a chance to refine my goals. The school has exposed me to lots of different options and opportunities. I can see all sorts of ways I can use a degree in architecture or in planning.”

Thinking about your future?
“I plan to continue for a master’s degree and that’s the advantage of CU Denver. I can make a smooth transition to graduate school.”

Published:  March 17, 2014
Contact: stories@ucdenver.edu

 

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