COVID-19 has been a challenge for everyone on campus. But our department has been at the center of it all having to figure out how to keep the lights on, buildings running, staff, students and patients as comfortable and safe as humanly possible, in an ever changing world. Out staff was instantly split apart from the teams they were used to working in, to maintain their own health and safety. They had to find new ways to operate the campus all within a few days and, for many, their entire jobs changed into a much different animal overnight. Facilities Building Maintenance and Operations Staff as well as Facilities Support Services bonded together in unique ways every single day for the past two years to make people feel comfortable, feel safe and to help bring any sense of "normal" they could. It wasn't just the frontline staff either, our finance, HR, IT and projects staff all took on more in order to alleviate the pressures the frontline were ensuring daily on the ground. I have never been more proud to work in a department at CU, than I have working for this team of dedicated staff. You can see it every single day in the way they show up and serve, regardless of the circumstances. They are the doer's. I firmly believe they're the behind the scenes reasons this campus did so well through it all this past couple of years. I just want to show my gratitude for everything Facilities does, because I think they get taken for granted far too often. They really are an amazing group of people who have worked tirelessly for the past years.
Department Name: LynxConnect
The CU Denver LynxConnect office (Career Center, Experiential Learning Center, Study Abroad, and Undergraduate Research), through Sarah Trzeciak and Jessica Godo, just won a CU Innovation & Efficiency (CU I&E) Award!
LynxConnect created the Virtual Front Desk (VFD) in order to connect with visitors quickly and efficiently in an online format. We also created virtual drop-in hours for students to meet with a Peer Advisor for 30 minutes regarding any of our four offices' services, created a virtual toolkit, and created Canvas courses for our internship workshop and job search studio. The benefits of these digital offerings are that students are able to connect with us for assistance on any of our services. We have assisted students who are in different states and countries, in which they would not have this type of service support without the digital options. The VFD has been essential to our customer service and community engagement. We utilized the resources already available to us on campus to make these digital services happen, which resulted in major cost and time savings for our offices.
The VFD came as an immediate response to the pandemic, when our physical offices were closed to in-person services. We view our services as essential to the student experience, so the ability to quickly create, implement, and staff our virtual front desk was of highest priority. With the VFD, we have been able to continue giving our students support.
Read our nomination story here: https://www.cu.edu/controller/i-e-awards/cu-innovation-efficiency-awards-current-submissions/cu-ie-submission-Lynx
View the award announcement video: https://www.cu.edu/controller/innovation-efficiency-awards
Department Name: Civil Engineering
CU Denver continues to grow and devise new ways to support its students throughout their academic journeys. The Department of Civil Engineering in the College of Engineering, Design and Computing prides itself on the fact that many of the faculty, if not all, are professional engineers. These faculty practice professional engineering, which means they are involved in real-world applications of the material they teach. This also helps students establish and build professional relationships and connections in and outside the classroom.
One such example is the new state-of-the-art Trimble Technology Lab, gifted by Trimble Inc. On November 6, 2020, CU Denver and Trimble, Inc. virtually celebrated the opening of the lab and a partnership that will give next-generation leaders a wider advantage in the real world.
The Trimble Technology Lab provides hands-on experience, the latest industry tools, and a customized suite of construction hardware and software products. The lab will build on the university's expertise in project management, architectural and structural analysis, design and engineering, and other subjects. This gift will not only help students within the civil engineering field, but also to those in geography and environment sciences, physics, and urban and regional planning, encouraging collaboration and progress between the various colleges and departments.
Department Name: Undergraduate Admissions and K-12 Outreach
As you can imagine, this past year has brought challenges that impacted our traditional recruiting practices. And yet, our passionate, creative team members have remained dedicated to our prospective students; finding new ways to connect and showcase the University. Both during the fall and spring semesters, we scheduled shifts of staff members on campus five-six days a week to accommodate campus tours- maintaining safety protocols and delivering a personalized experience. We increased our phone and social media presence in order to offer helpful interactions. We launched virtual high school visits and virtual events to support out of state audiences and individuals who were unable to travel to campus. Throughout all of our interactions, we highlighted CU Denver's gorgeous new Residence Hall, City Heights! Our team is proud to see those housing numbers increase each week! We deeply value working closely with our campus partners including Housing and Dining, Lynx Central, New Student Orientation, First Year Experiences, Student Enrollment and Operations Compliance, the Wellness Center, University Events, International Admissions, Student Life, CUE & A, University Communications, the Pre-Collegiate Development Program, our outstanding School and College colleagues and many more! Overall, admissions numbers have increased across the board despite national confusion amongst recent high school graduates. Every new fall brings the excitement of welcoming a new class of Lynx; but this year will feel particularly special due to the extraordinary efforts that have been made!
Department Name: Office of Information Technology Teams: Web Services, Web Development/Operations, Operations and Infrastructure
We are excited to announce the conclusion of the CMS Transition project!
The project started back in 2016 in order to transition existing University web sites from being hosted in SharePoint to our new, more robust content management systems (CMS), Sitefinity, and create a more positive experience for website visitors.
The CMS Transition team successfully transitioned over 233+ sites thru the project.
Throughout this project, some notable efforts and milestones were achieved:
• Move from single site architecture to multisite
• CU Anschutz domain (cuanschutz.edu) created
• CU Denver Domain change – conversion of interim web domain from www1 to www
• Increase of launch capacity from 3 sites in 2017 to 146+ in 2020
*A +200% growth between 2019 to 2020
Site Transitions and Launches:
• All schools and colleges with web sites in SharePoint transitioned to Sitefinity
• CU Denver Student Journey Web Experience – a 10 month long effort incorporating the re-design of student journey related sites and top level ucdenver.edu pages
• CU Denver University Communications, Student Success, Digital Strategies, and Office of International Affairs demonstrated exceptional collaboration and innovation for this effort
• CU Anschutz School of Medicine transitioned nearly 100 sites into Sitefinity
• Colorado School of Public Health moved their entire site over in just a few months under a unique new theme in Sitefinity that supports a tri-institutional school.
• Numerous successful department and unit site launches
• In addition to multiple years of in person collaboration, together, we completed 220 virtual open lab sessions since March 2020.
• OIT Web Services and DevOps teams designed, tested, and developed numerous new Sitefinity content types and widgets to expand the product functionality and meet web site needs.
Special thanks to the CMS Transition team, which included members and/or assistance from the following teams:
• CU Anschutz Office of Communications
• CU Denver University Communications
• OIT Web Services, Web Development/Operations, Operations and Infrastructure
• Student Enrollment Operations & Compliance, and Student Success Initiatives: Digital Strategies
Special thanks to all schools, colleges, departments and units that have contributed to and supported this project along the way!
We have begun a phased roll out of offering reports generated by a product called Siteimprove. These reports provide insight on web site accessibility compliance and content issues like misspellings, broken links, or readability problems. If interested in receiving a report for your Sitefinity hosted web site, please contact email@example.com.
Department Name: College of Engineering, Design and Computing Dean's Office
In the past year, staff in the College of Engineering, Design and Computing (CEDC) Dean’s Office have been incredibly successful in the transition to online office operations. Our team collaborated to best complete the virtual move: from teaching each other about Zoom; to organizing calendars; communicating about budget, hiring, and finance; finalizing grants and contracts; supporting CEDC students, faculty, and departments; and so much more. In the fiscal year 2020-21, in a completely online environment, we added 685 new hires during the critical hiring period, processed 121 proposals adding up to $48.8 million dollars, built a branding kit and designed new t-shirts for the college, kicked off two new first-year design courses, supported students, and created eight new industry partnerships. These achievements are something to be proud of! Such accomplishments were only possible because our incredible teamwork and all the people working to support the office’s success – from IT transitioning over one-hundred staff to working remotely to support Dean’s office members, to our CEDC labs, to everyone teaching each other and working together in this new virtual work life. While we do not yet know what the future of CEDC administrative work will look like, we know that there is so much to be proud of with how far we have come; and further, that with our excellent support, strong communication, and work culture of care, no matter what we will continue to be victorious in supporting the CEDC! Congratulations on a year of amazing work, Dean’s Office team!
The faculty and staff in the College of Engineering, Design and Computing are excited for the anticipated return to in-person activities this fall.
Department Name: National History Day Colorado (NHDC)
NHDC is working with our Student Advisory Board to highlight diverse voices in the community's history, and how it is impacting us now. As such, we have already hosted 2 virtual talks - one on the developing west and another on Lincoln Hills and how it was a welcome escape for Black families in Colorado and across the nation.
Department Name: SOM Dean – Office of Medical Education
Since the onset of COVID-19, our worlds have been turned upside down. Overnight, almost 800 medical students were in completely new curricular environments. Our team had to learn how to navigate virtual curriculum, become experts in Zoom intricacies, redo clinical schedules repeatedly & support increased student worries/challenges. This was all in addition to worrying about the health & safety of our family, friends, co-workers, & even ourselves. In the School of Medicine Deans Office, Undergraduate Medical Education colleagues really came together as a large, unified team despite being in a remote setting. The amazing team effort to provide the best educational experiences given the circumstances for our students was on display more than ever. Knowing that virtual does not mean less work, we began listing out all the curriculum needs for the entire Fall 2020 semester that were essential. The outpouring of assistance to sign up to help support various sessions to make sure our students were supported & continued their education was inspiring & humbling. There was so much departmental cross-collaboration! Teammates involved in all aspects of the student experience (from admissions through graduation & all of the educational steps in between!) rolled up their sleeves to volunteer to help cover curriculum needs in addition to their normal responsibilities. From designing a virtual match day, proctoring on-line exams, helping on Virtual Admissions Days, helping set up for on-campus for required clinical skill sessions & exams, passing out new stethoscopes, to distributing surgical masks & other materials, & troubleshooting countless Zoom sessions & supporting students through disappointments & challenges of adjusting to med school in a pandemic, the team rolled up their sleeves & jumped right in! They asked how can I help, all with a smile & passion to help our students & their colleagues. What is even more uplifting is the gratitude everyone displayed to one another. Heartfelt thanks & letters of appreciation came flooding in to recognize each other for the support they provided. The amazing feat this group displayed deserves wide recognition. Their commitment to excellence has not gone unnoticed by the future doctors they support & we owe them a debt of gratitude for the tireless commitment to our educational mission. Without their dedication, commitment, & amazing desire to serve their campus community, this semester would not have been successful.