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University of Colorado Denver

School of Public Affairs

Samantha Larson




Sam Larson is a second-year Ph.D. student in the School of Public Affairs. She graduated Summa Cum Laude with a B.A. in Social Science from the University of North Dakota in 2005. Sam received her M.S. in Sociology from North Dakota State University in 2011 where she was inducted into the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society and National Residence Hall Honorary. She held various research assistantships during her Master’s career, including work under a National Science Foundation ADVANCE grant to increase the recruitment and retention of STEM faculty women. She also earned a College Teaching Certificate at NDSU and has designed and instructed courses such as a Think Global/Act Local Service Seminar. She is currently a TA for a graduate water management course in the Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering Department at the UC – Boulder campus.

Her practical experience includes 12 years of public service and nonprofit management.  She served two AmeriCorps terms and as a Conservation Corps member with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Sam is also the Vice Chair of the Sustainability Committee within the Advisory Commission for an Inclusive Community (ACIC) in Lakewood, CO. She resides there with her partner, Dr. Bobbi Jo Merten, who works as a Coatings Specialist with the Bureau of Reclamation.




Sam serves as a research assistant at the School of Public Affairs’ Center for Local Government Research and Training. She is currently the Project Lead on the Community Cohesion and Resilience Project (CCRP). Dr. Benoy Jacob and Sam were recently awarded the ASPA and NAPA Center for Accountability and Performance (CAP) Fellowship to evaluate social equity measures related to community resilience. Her additional areas of interests include collaborative governance, public management, and the impact of policy and implementation on women and minorities. | 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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