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Raul's Report


Lifelong impact of a reading assignment ​

B-1-Raul_kon-tikibookjacket223.jpgHappy New Year and welcome back to campus for the spring semester. If you’re like me, you probably picked up a book or two over the holiday break. Reading, and a school assignment in elementary school, got me hooked on education early. Maybe it was the same for you.

​Voyage across the Pacific

My fourth grade teacher Mr. Erickson assigned us to read “Kon Tiki,” the record of Thor Heyerdahl’s astonishing three-month voyage across the Pacific. That book transported me to the Polynesian Islands and allowed me to experience a completely different culture. It opened up the world to me and set the course for my future in education.

Booked for a career

In a way, that little book is why I’m at CU Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus. My thirst to continue learning prompted me to commit myself to assisting others on their own educational journey, and I believe that many of you became student affairs professionals for the same reason. Our guidance and mentorship makes a real difference and I’m so proud of the commitment each of you make to our students on a daily basis.

It takes a division

There’s a traditional African proverb you’ve probably heard that says it takes a village to raise a child. In this case, it takes our student affairs division, and the entire university community, to support our students’ graduation goals. In this newsletter edition, you’ll read about several of our outstanding Fall 2016 CU Denver and CU Anschutz graduates. You’ll learn about the things we all did to support their success as they each achieved their personal graduation goal.

B-2-Raul_NicoleMettler.JPGIn particular, I reflect on the experience of Lynx Center student employee Nicole Mettler. After transferring in, she shared with me that she had no idea why she was even in school. But, through her work with the Lynx Center staff, she found her home here and became one of the powerful forces in creating what the center has become. She arrived without a direction and leaves having made a positive impact on our campus community.

That’s what we all do. Our student affairs staff cares and offers compassion. We support and guide and lead. And, we commit ourselves to making a difference in the experience of our students.

Above and beyond

I’m constantly humbled by the drive of our students. Their dedication serves as a constant reminder of why we’re here day after day, enthusiastically getting by with less and finding creative solutions to overcome our challenges. I love the work we do here and I’m proud to lead a staff that always makes the extra effort to go above and beyond.

B-3-Raul-Commencement.jpgI’ll admit that I always carry a tissue with me when I attend Commencement and that I shed a tear or two in December watching Nicole and her classmates graduate. They are off to make a difference in our world and they carry a bit of our spirit with them.

​Congratulations to YOU

Congratulations to our graduates and congratulations to you—you have prepared them well. That is the legacy of my fourth grade reading assignment and our shared continuing quest for knowledge.

Can anyone suggest a good book?



Raul Cardenas, PhD, Vice Chancellor, CU Denver | Anschutz Division of Student Affairs


Please contact Bonnie Hixson​ to schedule a time to meet​​

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