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University of Colorado Denver

College of Arts & Media

College of Arts & Media

CAM Administration and Staff

Arts Building, Suite 176 & 177
PHONE: 303-556-2279
FAX: 303-556-2335

College of Arts & Media Administration & Staff​

College of Arts & Media staff take a personal interest in your development as an artist and in your well being. College staff have extensive backgrounds in the arts and several of them have degrees (some advanced) in music, fine arts, theatre/film, and animation. The staff and administration are here to collaborate with college faculty to help and support students interested in furthering their arts education.​


Laurence Kaptain
AR 177

Laurence Kaptain, Dean of the College of Arts and Media at the University of Colorado Denver, brings 14 years of higher education leadership experience at leading public and private universities to his new assignment.  He recently served as President of the Association for General and Liberal Studies, and is currently the Treasurer of the College Music Society. In 2014 he was named a Fellow in the Royal Society of the Arts.

Dr. Kaptain served as the Director of Creative Infinitives in the Department of Research and Economic Development and Paula Manship Professor of Music, and prior to that, Dean of the College of Music and Dramatic Arts and Penniman Family Professor of Music at Louisiana State University from 2009-14. During that time faculty and student travel funding increased by over 129% and the college’s endowment grew by over 65%, and student diversity increased by over 30%. A champion of accessibility to creativity and the arts for all students in public education—Kaptain traveled frequently to Washington DC meeting on arts integration initiatives with former President Bill Clinton, NEA Chair Rocco Landesman, and key staff members from President Obama’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities.  He arranged for funding to support international leaders in creativity to speak at annual LSU convocations, diploma ceremonies and special events at LSU, including Academy Awed Winner Bill Conti, David Pogue, Steven J. Tepper, Eric Booth, Elizabeth Long Lingo, Liz Lerman, Margo Drakos, and Jaron Lanier.

Prior to assuming this post at LSU, he was Dean of Shenandoah Conservatory near Washington, DC, Director of the heralded Schwob School of Music in Georgia, and Vice-Provost for Faculty Programs and Academic Quality at UMKC. At Shenandoah Conservatory he awarded honorary doctorates to famed dancer/choreographer Mikhail Baryshnikov, journalist David Pogue, pianist John O’Conor, and Tony Award Nominated Actor, choreographer Murray Lewis and Independent Film Director, Producer, and Writer J. Robert (Bobby) Spencer.

He received the first doctorate in percussion instruments at the University of Michigan, where he was a Fulbright Scholar to Mexico and received the prestigious Rackham Graduate School Pre-Doctoral Fellowship. Laurence Kaptain appears regularly with orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the San Francisco Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, and has recorded with the Chicago Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, Orpheus, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and the Czech National Symphony. He has also appeared, collaborated or recorded with artists such as Elvis Costello, Yo-Yo Ma, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Robert Altman, Rudolf Nureyev, Suzanne Farrell and others. 

In the summer of 2014 he appeared in performances with the Philadelphia Orchestra, and in the fall of 2013 was featured in 3 concerts with the National Symphony at the Kennedy Center under the direction of Neeme Järvi.

Dean Kaptain is a founding partner of the Alliance for the Arts at Research Universities (a2ru), a partnership of thirty institutions committed to transforming research universities in order to ensure the greatest possible institutional support for interdisciplinary research, curricula, programs and creative practice between the arts, sciences and other disciplines. 

Quote from Provost Roderick Nairn: 

“Dr. Kaptain’s national visibility in arts studies place him in a position of thought leadership in the arts nationally and internationally. We’re fortunate to have someone of his caliber join us at this critical juncture for CAM, and I’m confident in his ability to lead the college to new creative achievements.”    


Joann Brennan
​Professor of Fine Arts, Photography
BFA, MFA, Massachusetts College of Art (Boston)

Joann Brennan leads the strategic planning process for the college. This includes providing support and encouragement for the development and implementation of college signature areas and leadership for other college initiatives. She works closely with others across the college and the university to facilitate consolidation initiatives. She takes the lead in all faculty governance initiatives, such as the CAM by-laws and coordination of ​CAM committee elections. Brennan oversees schedule planning and classroom assignments, curriculum and policy issues, as well as the development of outcome measurements for the college as a whole. She also handles all graduate student affairs issues, including student petitions. Brennan also serves as chair of the CAM Event committee.​

ASSISTANT DEAN of Administration and Finance

Katherine Kilpatrick

Kathy Kilpatrick joined the College of Arts & Media in December 2013 as the Assistant Dean of Administration and Finance. In this role, Kilpatrick provides high level guidance in the areas of budget, accounting, human resources, scholarships and procurement. She works with all constituents of the College to understand and manage their budgets and make hiring decisions in a strategic and thoughtful manner. She is charged with utilizing resources effectively and efficiently in order to provide top level service to students, faculty, staff, donors and external constituents. 

Kilpatrick has worked for nearly twenty years in public higher education, starting at the governing board of the State Colleges in Colorado, then joining the University of Colorado Denver Graduate School of Public Affairs. From there she moved overseas for seven years to work at Virginia Commonwealth University  and Texas A&M University, both in Qatar


Shannon Squires – Executive Assistant to the Dean
Shannon Squires manages the Dean's schedule and assists the Dean and the Dean's executive team in administrative matters regarding CAM faculty, staff, and students. She serves as a point of contact for the CAM Dean's Office within the academic and public communities, assisting on committees such as the CAM Executive Committee and the CAM Dean's Advisory Council.

Coming to CAM with professional experience and education from Florida State University, Squires has joined the Colorado arts and academic communities to continue her dedication to arts development and synergy within higher education and private sector enterprises.
(303) 352-3559​​

Sean Koto – Administration and Finance Assistant
Sean Koto coordinates College procurement, finance, and travel for the Dean's guests, faculty, and events programs.

Susan Dyroff – Administrative Assistant

Born and raised in northeastern New Jersey. Dyroff attended The Berkeley School in Ridgewood, New Jersey and completed their executive secretarial program in 1977. With over 30 years’ experience in administrative and clerical support, she has worked predominantly in public sector positions, including the Aurora City Manager’s Office.  For the last 16 years, she has worked as a Counseling Secretary/Registrar in three separate high schools in the Denver metropolitan area. 

With a grown son and daughter now on their own, she and her husband are enjoying the “empty-nest syndrome” and spend much of their free time on their Harley Davidson motorcycle, traveling (preferably to beach destinations), and “entertaining” their miniature Dachshunds. And each year when the weather begins to warm up, Dyroff​ can be found detailing, showing, drag racing or cruising her 2010 Chevrolet Camaro! 

Her passion for the arts developed early in her life and is evident in her love of music, theatre, film, and art. She is thrilled to be a part of the CAM team and surrounded by its talented staff, faculty and students!

Morag Nairn – College Coordinator
Morag Nairn is responsible for coordinating all course scheduling and rooming for CAM, and serves as staff liaison to the CAM Curriculum Committee and the CAM Executive Committee. Nairn also manages the CAM catalog updates.

Karin HunterDirector of Advising
Karin Hunter oversees direction and management of advising office; coordination of the graduation and degree audits; coordination of Pathways, 60/60 and other CCHE mandates; oversight of CAM Probation/Suspension, Dean's List and Early Alert; aids students in selection of appropriate coursework; evaluates transfer credits; assists with student degree planning; organizes participation in New Student Orientation, Open House and other campus events; is a CAM representative for Undergraduate Working Group; Degree Audit Task Force, SIS Replacement Task Force, and Advisor Network; serves as Chair of MS in Recording Arts Admissions Committee; creates and updates advising policies as needed; creates and updates advising literature, web language and other materials as needed; develops new recruitment and retention initiatives as needed.

 Conant, academic advisor​ helps both current students to understand CAM academic opportunities and requirements, as well as providing assistance with course selection and sharing information about university resources and policies. Behind the scenes, he develops written materials to serve undergraduate needs, works closely with program updates to the university catalog, and reviews student records for completion of degree requirements​​​.

Conant joined CAM in June 2009, following more than 10 years of academic advising at other colleges and universities. He views himself as a guide—offering students accurate information to support them in defining their interests, in making effective decisions, and in pursuing their goals. He earned his BA in English at the University of Minnesota, where he played double-bass and studied theatre as literature. He completed his MA in English Literature at the University of Washington.​

Denise Larson – Academic Advisor
As a member of the advising team in the College of Arts and Media, Denise Larson provides information and guidance for prospective and current students regarding program and university opportunities, major requirements, and course selection. Other advisor duties include maintaining accurate student records, verifying graduation, serving as Degree Audit Coordinator, and serving on the Diversity Task Force. Larson began advising in January of 2006 in the Film Program at CU Boulder and joined the CAM advising team in November of 2011. She has also been an instructor of Composition, ESL, journalism, and Shakespeare in colleges and universities in many parts of the United States and abroad, including Los Angeles, Prescott, Boston, Denver and Oporto, Portugal. In addition to a BS in English Education and an MA in Teaching English as a Second Language, Denise is a certified and practicing instructor of yoga. She enjoys Latin dance and international travel.

Cynthia Barringer – Communication Program Dirrector
Cynthia Barringer develops marketing strategies and implements programs to build awareness of the College, its programs, and services. She also designs, develops,​ and maintains CAM's web sites. She also serves as the CAM liaison to campus-wide w​​​eb development and communications entities. 

​Barringer is a long-time CU Denver staff member (24​ years, 2 years as a study hourly) and has worked in various positions in the College of Arts and Media since its inception.​  She is a CU alumna, receiving her BS in Music Business in 1991. She has three grandkids, ranging from 9 years to 2 years old.

Lawrence Hass – CAM's Technology and Facilities Director
Lawrence Hass, a graduate of the CU Denver Photography program, is CAM's Technology Director.  Hass also acts as the Facilities Manager for the college. He came to CAM after serving in various technical and management roles at The Eastman Kodak Co. and Sun Microsystems, Inc. In his role as Technology Manager he oversees 6 Mac computer labs and a large group of Student Assistants.  As Facilities Manager he interfaces with the Auraria Higher Education Center to ensure CAM's needs are met with any new construction, remodel, repair and maintenance projects.  When not involved in the day to day operations of the labs he likes to explore his passion for finding ways to bring technology, both existing and new, to bear on the always changing education environment.  In his time off Lawrence can be found running, hiking or photographing.  Sometimes all three at once.​

Lee Ann Weller - Events Manager
Lee Ann Weller's responsibilities include scheduling of Events for the College departments. She co-ordinates the details for Music's Student Recitals. Weller contracts the talent, oversees the fulfillment of the riders, and supervisors the presentation of the guest artists.