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School of Education and Human Development University of Colorado Denver


Anschutz Campus


The Anschutz Campus is home to several programs, research projects, and policy centers that partner with organizations in the community to create a P-20 connection. Descriptions of these programs are accompanied with website and/or contact information in the following list.  Please feel free to contact us to add to this list. 


Academy of Lifelong Learning, Senior Outreach

Contact:, School of Medicine

This 1-day session provided a group of about 15 senior adults (ages 55-87) with an opportunity to visit our research labs on the UCD Anschutz campus.  The group of 15 were part of the larger (>500 member) Academy for Lifelong Learning, directed locally by Dr. Bennie Bubb, a retired neurosurgeon from Massachusetts General Hospital.  Graduate students and postdocs from the Neuroscience program (along with Neuroscience faculty including UCD Neuroscience Director Diego Restrepo, Ph.D., Tom Finger, Ph.D., and Kristin Artinger, Ph.D.) gave talks, provided hands-on demonstrations and lab tours during the activity.


American Indian and Alaska Native Programs

Website: AIANP

The mission of the American Indian and Alaska Native Programs (AIANP) is to promote the health and well-being of American Indians and Alaska Natives, of all ages, by pursuing research, training, continuing education, technical assistance, and information dissemination within a biopsychosocial framework that recognizes the unique cultural contexts of this special population.  Research projects include the Head Start Research Center and the Circles of Care which looks at a culturally appropriate service model for American Indian families with serious emotional and behavioral disturbances.


Aurora Lights
Website: Aurora Lights

The Colorado and Central AHECs, along with the Aurora Public Schools, are excited to announce a new collaboration called Aurora LIGHTS (Leading the way in Health Sciences). The Aurora LIGHTS Career Program is a new partnership designed to help minority and disadvantaged students succeed in science, enroll in pre-med and health sciences school programs and become health science professionals. Aurora LIGHTS is engaging a range of partners with expertise and resources to help students achieve this goal; in addition to AHEC and Aurora Public Schools, these include UCD, Community College of Aurora and the Metropolitan Community Provider Network (Aurora’s local community health network). This collaboration will support educationally and economically disadvantaged students to enter a pipeline program extending from kindergarten through the health professional schools at UCD, with a focus on education, recruitment and retention in the health sciences. Central AHEC will be a lead partner in expanding ongoing programs and developing new programs, such as an expansion of the Summer Academy into year-long activities with Aurora Public Schools. Partner schools involved in Aurora Lights include Montview, Paris and Parklane Elementary Schools, North Middle School, Hinkley, Aurora Central and Williams Smith High School, and the Community College of Aurora and Pickens Technology College.  Partner organizations include AHEC and Metro Community Provider Network.

Aurora Public School Rangeview High School Career Day


This 1-day session provided Aurora high school students with counseling services and general information pertaining to health and research-related programs on our UCD Anschutz campus.  Interested students met with us to discuss undergraduate requirements for our graduate and professional programs.  


Brain Awareness Week

Contact: , Craniofacial Biology, School of Medicine

As a part of Brain Awareness Week sponsored by the Society for Neuroscience, several faculty and student members go out to local schools to show students a human brain and discuss how the nervous system works. We currently extend our outreach to Aurora Hills Middle School where we do two days, one human brain and spinal cord demonstration followed by interactive poster sessions including a variety of topics such as taste and smell, vision, comparative brain anatomy and neurodegenerative diseases.  Additionally, with the Cell and Developmental Biology department, we host  groups of students from all DPS area High Schools in the spring and adult seniors in the fall. Students come to campus and experience lab life including taste and smell, Drosophila genetics, zebrafish and amphibian development, and neurodegenerative diseases.


Cell & Developmental Biology - Open House for Local Public HS Students

Contact:, or

Since 2004, the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology in the CU School of Medicine has sponsored a one-day open house for our public schools either in the fall or the spring. About 120 high school students, along with their teachers and a few parents participate in either a morning or an afternoon session that includes a number of hands-on science demos. The demos are run by faculty, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows and include worksheets that provide the scientific background and the demo description, activities that teachers/students can do at their own school, reference websites and contact people who can provide additional resources, lab supplies, personnel, etc. Recently, two outreach students, Mike Polmear and Lalith Polepeddi, participated in a research program with Dr. Brian Tseng. They placed in both our state and national science fairs for their research investigating novel treatments for muscular dystrophy, as well as appeared on the TV show Good Morning America to discuss their results.


Colorado/Wyoming Junior Academy of Sciences - Annual Spring Seminar

Contact:, Dean of Graduate School at Anschutz Medical


The School has hosted multiple K-12 outreach programs, which includes pre-college students and K-12 teachers. One shining example of a program developed by a faculty member several years ago is the Colorado/Wyoming Junior Academy of Sciences annual spring seminar.  Over 400 high school students representing two dozen high schools are exposed to careers in the health professions, cutting edge research, molecular biology, clinical sciences, neurosciences and working biomedical scientists and clinicians. 


CU Center for Human Nutrition

Website: CHN

The School’s Center for Human Nutrition provides community outreach relative to human nutrition.  The Center has active links with other universities in Colorado and with city, state, and regional food assistance and community nutrition education programs.  An integrated nutrition education program has been in place at inner city Denver public elementary schools since 1993.  A centerpiece of the model is the resource science teacher who interfaces closely with the Center’s public health nutrition educator.  The Nutrition Center partners with Denver Public Schools Student Services in the development of a Comprehensive Health Initiative and collaborates with the Denver School Based Health Centers. 


Denver School-Based Health Centers

Contact: David Kaplan, MD, MPH, Professor of Pediatrics, 303-861-6133,

The School and Denver Public Schools, together with its affiliated hospital partners: The Children’s Hospital and Denver Health, support Denver School-Based Health Centers located in Denver high schools, middle schools, and elementary schools.  These centers were designed by School faculty to increase access to primary health care for underserved children.  The program also involves the family in counseling services and helps direct pregnant girls into prenatal care.  This national model program provides technical assistance and resources to many programs throughout the country. 


Denver School of Science and Technology & CU Denver Partnership

Contact: Medhat Ahmed,

The Denver School of Science and Technology partners with CU Denver's Anschutz Medical Campus as well as the downtown Denver campus to create opportunities for students on DSST Green Valley Ranch Campus, the Stapleton Campus and the Cole Middle School Campus to have exposure to college and career exploration.  At the Green Valley Ranch Campus the AMC Office of Diversity and Inclusion organizes a Health Sciences Career Explorer Program for sixth grade students.  A new $1 million dollar grant from the Colorado Health Foundation will enhance the programming offered on the Green Valley Ranch Campus for the next three years.    On the Stapleton campus students are given opportuntiies to shadow and mentor with faculty and students in the School of Dental Medicine.  And, this fall Cole Middle School's inaugural 6th grade class spent a day on the downtown campus learning about sustainability research from faculty and students from across several schools and colleges.


Denver Metropolitan Regional Science and Engineering Fair

Contact:, University Veterinarian

Website: Denver Metro Regional Science Fair

UCD provides administration of the Denver Metropolitan Regional Science and Engineering Fair hosted by Area Health Education Center of the School of Medicine at UCD.  The fair is for pre-college science and engineering students in grades 6-12.  Over 440 students competed in the fair in 2009. The top 2 winners in the Senior Division win a week all expense paid trip to the International Science and Engineering Fair for competition with other students from the US and 55 other countries. This program is a partnership with Central Colorado AHEC, the School of Medicine, and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.  The event is held at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.


Denver Student Training in Research Science (STaRS) Program
Website: Denver STaRS
Contact: Christian Valtierra,

The Denver STaRS program provides positive exposure to the Anschutz Medical Campus for junior and senior high school students just beginning to explore career and education options in clinical translational sceince and biomedical fields. This year, the CCTSI Education, Training and Career Developement core has invited students from Denver's East High School, Denver School of Science and Technology (DSST), and the CEC Middle College of Denver for a series of lectures, training and mentoring oportunities designed to extend the pipeline and encourage applications to undergraduate, medical and graduate schools programs at the University of Colorado.  Currently, Denver STaRS works with students at Denver East High School and CEC Middle College of Denver. 


GEMS (Graduate Experiences for Multicultural Students)

Website: GEMS

GEMS introduces undergraduate students from diverse and traditionally under-represented groups to the biomedical research career opportunities offered at the graduate level of a major health sciences center. Students enroll in a ten-week summer research internship course. The course is conducted by distinguished science faculty and consists of lectures, demonstrations, and laboratory research assignments. Participating basic science programs at UC Denver Anschutz Medical Campus include biochemistry and molecular genetics, cell biology, experimental pathology, human medical genetics, immunology, microbiology, molecular biology, neuroscience, pharmacology, and physiology. Funded by: NIH/NHLBI.


The Haven—Addiction Research and Treatment Services

Website: The Haven

Located on the grounds of Ft. Logan in Denver, Colorado, the Haven serves women including pregnant women and those parenting young infants with serious substance abuse problems and addiction. Often these women were referred to the Haven in lieu of incarceration for drug-related crimes. These women commit themselves to change through the Haven’s long-term therapeutic process of recovery, becoming able to care for their babies and build new lives as independent community members and healthy parents. The mothers often attribute their successful recovery to their infants. 

Health Professional Opportunity Day


HPOD is a day-long pre-health profession seminar, which is open to all undergraduate students and high school students.  The seminar unites 100 diverse college, middle school & high school students from around the state for an in-depth look at the different health professions.  Activities will include workshops, speakers, and hands-on activities that will introduce students to different health field and opportunities in higher education.  Students are presented with the opportunity to explore the many possibilities in the health careers and learn about the educational path one must take to reach his or her ultimate goal of becoming a health care professional.  There were two HPOD sessions and 200 students from all over the state; parents, teachers and principals attended the events as well. 


High School Departmental Outreach


The Department of Cellular and Developmental Biology in the SOM has hosted a one- day high school outreach program for local schools for the past five years. The outreach consists of a morning and an afternoon session at the Anschutz campus that allows about 112 junior/senior level high school students and their teachers (representing about 12 schools) to visit labs participate in hands-on activities and learn more about biomedical research.  More than seventy high schools along the Front Range are invited to attend this event each year, with reservations accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis.  The department is committed to teaching, community outreach and a highly successful and diverse research program.  Outreach programs allow us to share our enthusiasm for science with our front-range community. 


Irving Harris Program in Child Development and Infant Mental Health, Department of


Website: Irving Harris Program

The Harris Program trains psychologist, physicians and allied health professionals in early childhood mental health. In addition, The Harris Program provides service delivery for the Kempe Therapeutic Preschool, the Kempe Postpartum Depression Project, Catholic Charities Early Head Starts, the CLIMB consultation program to pediatric primary care clinics and The Haven. Therapeutic Preschool at the Kemp Center provides partial hospital treatment for maltreated, neglected and abused children ages 3-6.  Post-partum depression is an evidence-based dyadic group and individual therapy approach – Harris fellows work with mothers experiencing postpartum depression in a group setting.  In addition, there is a group for the babies and a special group for the mothers with their babies.  CLIMB provides mental health consultation in Pediatric Care while children receive their medical care.  The program hopes to align with the Rose Community Foundation and Colorado Health Foundation. 



Link to Advancement in Biomedical Research opportunity and Training Section (LAB COATS)
Contact: Dr. Adela Cota-Gomez,
Website: LAB COATS

LAB Coats is a pipeline program that involves students from UC Denver being assisted in developing cricial thinking and analytical skills, receive help in gatekeeper courses and then assign them to science labs where they are paid to work throughout the year.  The goal of the program is to support high-performing undergraduate students from diverse and traditionally underrepresented groups in the pursuit of a degree in science and to prepare them for research careers in the biomedical field.  The supports include providing supplemental instruction, science related enrichment activities, help with applications for graduate school, advanced hands-on training and intensive research experiences. 

Medical Day Treatment Program - Department of Pediatrics and The Children’s Hospital

Website: Day Treatment Program
The Medical Day Treatment program was founded in cooperation with the Denver Public Schools to provide an educational placement alternative for children whose medical needs are too complicated to allow them to attend regular school. Children are able to continue to meet school expectations in a situation that provides the medical and emotional intervention they need daily.   The Medical Day Treatment Program provides medical, educational, and psychosocial interventions to children and adolescents with chronic medical illnesses. This program is designed for children and adolescents ages six through eighteen who have difficulty functioning in a regular school environment either because of their illness or because of psychological reactions to their medical conditions. Twelve to fifteen patients can be served at any given time.   This is an accredited school program. A certified teacher from the Denver public school system is employed full-time by the program. The program is also staffed with nurses, a psychologist and other medical personnel.

Patients include children and adolescents with respiratory disorders, neurologic disorders, diabetes, seizures, cancer, and those recovering from transplants. An array of therapy groups, individual and family therapy, and psychiatric monitoring are provided. Children and adolescents in this program who also have psychiatric disorders or who have difficulties coping with their medical illness receive psychological services from the unit program psychologist. Length of stay varies from short- to long-term, based on individual needs. The program schedule is similar to school; it is open Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

The Medical Day Treatment Program is defined as “short term” and is helpful for patients who are making the transition out of the hospital or to stabilize youngsters from the community who are having difficulty with daily activities at home and school.  


RASP Research and Science Program

Contact:, or

Website: RASP

To support high-performing undergraduate students from diverse and traditionally under-represented groups in the pursuit of a baccalaureate degree in science and prepare them for research careers in the biomedical field by providing supplemental instruction, science-related enrichment activities, help with application to graduate school, advanced hands-on technical training and intensively mentored research experiences.


RISE Initiative for Maximizing Student Diversity (IMSD) 

Contact: , Dept. of Microbiology, School of Medicine

RISE Initiative for Maximizing Student Diversity (IMSD) is a pipeline that involves students from UCD (Auraria) where we assist in helping them develop critical thinking and analytical skills, help them make it through the gatekeeper courses and then assign them to labs where they can work throughout the year and get paid for it.


School of Public Health: Integrated Nutrition Education Program

Contact:, Dept. of Pediatrics, School of Public Health

The Integrated Nutrition Education Program (INEP) is an elementary school-based nutrition education program conducted in 48 DPS low-income schools and 590 classrooms. The goal is to instill life-long nutrition behaviors to prevent obesity, type 2 diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. To accomplish this goal, the INEP targets increased fruit/vegetable intake and overall healthy eating.  INEP is a multi-year program consisting of 24 hands-on classroom lessons each year that involve food preparation/ eating and are linked to science and literacy standards. Classroom teachers get curriculum training, followed by weekly delivery of food and education materials to support the lessons. Parent education includes adult bilingual classes, parent nights at schools, 2nd grade take-home book bags, and quarterly newsletters. New program components for 2009-2010 include cafeteria connections, parent advocacy groups, and classroom-based radio show productions.Program evaluation has shown significant behavior changes in children. Compared to control schools, intervention children consumed 0.4 servings more fruits/vegetables at school lunch than control children at year-end post-test. Children showed improved nutrition knowledge, and increased self-efficacy about preparing and eating targeted foods. New evaluation strategies for 2009-2010 include parent focus groups and children’s classroom survey, both focused on how empowerment relates to health behaviors.

Skinner Middle School Science Camp

Contact:, Office of Diversity & Inclusion, Anschutz Medical Campus

This summer program for Skinner Middle School students is run in collaboration with the Neighborhood Center at Skinner.  The week-long science camp focuses on health careers such as Pharmacy, Biology, Dentistry and Medicine.  Skinner middle school youth have the opportunity to explore various fields with youth-centered staff and with using the latest technology.

Summer Health Careers Institute

Contact: Colorado Area Health Education Center (AHEC) System Office

Beth Ingram   303-724-0360  

Website: AHEC

SHCI offers two one-week immersion programs for rising Junior and Senior high school students recruited from across the state of Colorado. Each regional AHEC Center (Greeley, Grand Junction, Alamosa, Pueblo and Denver) works with the Colorado AHEC System office to select 20 students each from their regions.  A total of 100 students are selected.  50 students will attend Week One in June and 50 students will attend Week Two in July.  Students are transported to Denver by the Regional AHEC offices for the program.  The week long program takes place at several locations including the University of Colorado Denver Anschutz Medical Campus.  The capstone of the project is a shadowing experience with the health profession of their choice. The curriculum varies from year to year, but the main theme remains constant-an exploration of health careers that goes beyond the surface discussion. Participants complete their individual Health Care Career Engagement plan with steps to achieve their education and career path benchmarks. This is part of the focus for support of these students by the regional AHEC Centers in their ongoing program throughout the following year(s).

Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program (SURF)
​Website: Summer Research Fellowship

Since 1988, the Department of Pharmacology and former Alcohol Research Center (ARC) have recruited three to six underrepresented undergraduate students to carry out research with our faculty over a ten-week period during the summer. Since the inception of this program nearly 100 students have been recruited. This program provides undergraduate students with the opportunity to conduct research; present their results; attend seminars; and interact with fellow students, lab members, and faculty. Training in cellular and molecular pharmacology, signal transduction, neuro-pharmacology, biochemistry, and molecular structure, as well as opportunities in the blossoming field of bioinformatics, is available. Specific questions being researched focus on many areas including cancer biology, cell biology, alcohol and drugs of abuse, learning and memory, genomics, proteomics, lipid maps, and structural biology. A variety of state-of-the-art laboratory techniques including fluorescence microscopy, transgenics, gene chip arrays, NMR, mass spectrometry, computational pharmacology, and x-ray crystallography are used.

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