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University of Colorado Denver College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

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Alumni Profiles

Kirsten H. Runa (MA Class of 2012)


Kirstin Runa currently works as the Business Services Program Director for the Department of Anesthesiology in the CU School of Medicine in Aurora, CO. Kirstin’s initial emphasis on health communication that grew into a focus on organizational communication within healthcare settings.  

The specialized curriculum Kirstin undertook during her time with the Communication Department helped facilitate her unique position within the CU Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus School of Medicine, one that involves negotiating strategic development for department initiatives, such as the creation of an innovative new master’s program, along with engaging in marketing campaigns for department endowments and a newly-developed world class toxicology laboratory (one used to determine if professional athletes participate in doping). In addition, Kirstin’s experience in the COMM Department has helped her to create a role within the SOM that focuses on bettering organizational communication to improve Department efficiencies, enhance the quality of research, education, and clinical missions, and strengthen faculty and staff morale.

Kirstin’s chose Communication at CU Denver because they offered a unique curriculum surrounding the topic of Health Communication and the Rhetoric of Health and Medicine, two areas Kirstin became interested in exploring after a three-year stint at a Cancer Center in California.  Kirstin also greatly appreciated the diversity of people, professors, and training available on the Auraria Campus. Kirstin says she often found “the opportunity to further investigate course discussions just outside the classroom door.” She also appreciates the life-long friendships forged in her media theory class that have only deepened since leaving our program.​