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Anjelica Gallegos in a white pant suit sitting in front of a bed of tulips

CU Denver Grad Weaves Indigenous History into her Architecture Studies at Yale

Anjelica Gallegos ’15 began her studies at CU Denver as an undeclared major. Since she grew up in a family of artists, Gallegos had a lot of interests, including drawing, sculpture, film photography, and basket making. When Professor Phil Gallegos (no relation) told her about a new undergraduate program in the College of Architecture & Planning, Gallegos was intrigued: “As architecture is the nexus between art and engineering, my background helped me to recognize the potential of using art in the practice to form building solutions.” In Spring 2013, she became one of 32 students in the first undergraduate architecture class at CU Denver.

Gallegos just graduated from Yale with an MArch degree, but this accomplishment doesn’t mean her college career was easy. “I am from the Jicarilla Apache Nation and Santa Ana Pueblo and grew up across the metropolis of Denver, the Bitterroot Valley in Montana, and the high deserts of New Mexico,” Gallegos said. As a Native American student in the field of architecture, which remains a white male-dominated field, Gallegos has faced some challenges.

James Roy II Headshot

In Pursuit of Equitable Development: James Roy II '13 on Revolutionizing Urban Planning

A student, an urban planner, an entrepreneur, a community organizer, a public speaker, and an artist—James Roy II doesn’t just have a passion, but rather a quest. A quest to seek justice for Black communities by using his background, education, and devotion to revolutionize the urban planning industry.

In December 2020, Roy opened an art gallery called Urbanity Gallery in Park Hill. A recent immersive exhibition “Race, Rap, Identity” by Roy and Dr. Danielle Hodge blended imagery with aspects of listening and scholarly thinking encountered through a 45-minute experience examining the words of rappers JAY-Z, Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, and Nipsey Hussle and how each artist engages with their race and identity through their lyrics. The scholarly analysis was sourced from Hodge’s PhD dissertation and the visual art paired with it was created by Roy. 


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CU Denver Block Party

| 11:00 AM - 02:00 PM
Cost/fee: Free
Kick off the academic year with your fellow students, faculty, staff, parents, alumni, and community friends at the annual CU Denver Block Party, presented by Capital One. Find us on Lawrence Street between Speer & 14th Streets.
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