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Prominent SPA Alumni


The School of Public Affairs has 4,000-plus alums around the globe. Many of them hold prominent leadership positions, including the 5 who made the 2015 "40 Under 40" list in the Denver Business Journal.

Below is an abbreviated list of some of the School's prominent alums, their degree program* and current position:

  • ​Susan Aldridge, Ph.D., Sr. Vice President for Online Learning, Drexel University; President, Drexel University Online
  • Katy Anthes, Ph.D., Commissioner, Colorado Department of Education​
  • Jim Burack, MCJ, Director, Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division​
  • Rachel Chaparro, MPA, U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (Consultant) Economic Liaison, CALIBRE Systems
  • Deserai Crow, MPA, Assistant Professor, Center for Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Colorado Boulder
  • Mark Davis, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, West Chester University
  • Erik Estrada, MPA, Senior Corporate Counsel, Level 3 Communications
  • James Garcia, MPA, Executive Director, Clinica Tepeyac
  • Alec Garnett, AMPA, Representative, Colorado House District 2
  • Donessa Gaspar, MCJ, Security Specialist, Bureau of Reclamation
  • Michael Hancock, MPA, Mayor, City of Denver
  • Chris Herndon, ExecMPA, Denver City Council, District 11
  • Elsa I. Holguín, MPA, Senior Program Officer - Child & Family Development, Rose Community Foundation
  • Stephen M. Jordan, Ph.D., Retired; former President, Metropolitan State University of Denver
  • Mike King, MPA, Director of Planning, Denver Water
  • Genia Larson Herndon, DCLF, Asst. Vice Chancellor for University Advancement and Student Engagement, CU Denver
  • Jack McGrath, Ph.D., Undersheriff, Weld County Sheriff's Department
  • Olivia Mendoza, MPA, Director - Minority Business Office, Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade
  • Amy Mueller Edinger, MPA, COO, Denver Office of Economic Development
  • Kevin Patterson, MPA, Chief Executive Officer, Connect for Health Colorado​
  • Collette Peterson, MCJ, Director of Corrections, State of Oregon
  • Melinda Pollack, MPA, Vice President - Transit Oriented Development, Enterprise Community Partners
  • Spiros Protopsaltis, Ph.D., Visiting Associate Professor and Fellow, George Mason University College of Education and Human Development, Center for Education Policy and Evaluation
  • Dianne Ray, MPA, Colorado State Auditor
  • Dana Reynolds, MCJ, Deputy Director, Colo. Div. of Homeland Security and Emergency Mgmt.
  • Saba Saddiki, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University-Purdue University
  • Aaron Sanchez, MCJ, Vice and Narcotics Bureau, Denver Police Department
  • Melissa Savage, MPA, Senior Director, National Association of State Energy Officers
  • Gloria Schoch, MPA, Vice President, Government Affairs, MillerCoors
  • Laurie Shroyer, Ph.D., Assistant Dean for Research, Stony Brook Medical School
  • Justin Smith, MCJ, Sheriff, Larimer County, Colorado
  • Rulon Stacey, Ph.D., Managing Director, Navigant​
  • Greg Testa, MCJ, Chief of Police, City of Boulder
  • Liz Tomsich, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Texas A&M International
  • Laura Valcore, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, University of Houston–Downtown
  • Jamie Van Leeuwen, Ph.D., Senior Advisor to Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper
  • Patricia Woodin, MCJ, Investigations Division Chief, Jefferson County Sheriff's Office

* DCLF = Denver Community Leadership Forum | Physical Address: 1380 Lawrence St., Ste. 500  Denver, CO  80204 | Mailing Address: University of Colorado Denver, SPA, Campus Box 142, P.O. Box 173364, Denver, CO 80217-3364 | ph: 303.315.2228 | fax: 303.315.2229 | SPA Website Feedback

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