Alumni Class Notes

Class notes allow alumni to learn the latest news about their fellow Lynx. We invite you to share your favorite accomplishments, whether a promotion, publication, new job, new house, or a new baby. Tell us (or show us—photo or video submissions are encouraged) what you've done since graduation.

Submitted and approved class notes will be featured here on CU Denver Alumni's website and social media.

Notification of the passing of a CU Denver graduate is appreciated and will be included in the "In Memoriam" section.

Frida Silva Neta Collab Headshot

Frida Silva ’20

Frida Silva ’20 is the Digital Marketing Associate at Neta Collab. 

"In the Spring, I felt stressed that I wasn't going to be able to secure a full-time position in my field after graduation. Neta Collab hired me in the Spring as an intern. After I graduated, they asked me if I wanted to come on as their first, full-time employee as a Digital Marketing Associate! Today, I work with a fearless team that works with incredible organizations and movements that are on the front-line of social change. I am proud to be part of Neta and honored to be doing the work we are doing!"

Published: 8/24/2020


Todd Smith working with colleagues

Todd Smith ’20

Todd Smith ’20 is pursuing a Master's of Fine Arts in Creative Production at the North Carolina School of the Arts, a highly selective school of only 152 graduate students. Todd plans to take his entrepreneurial spirit and his love for creating character-based story into a career in episodic television. 

Published: 9/21/2020

Alex Sterling Headshot

Alex Sterling MURP '20

Since finishing the MURP program, Alex Sterling MURP '10 has been working as a consultant for Ricondo & Associates, which is an aviation consulting firm that works with airports to solve unique and challenging problems and help plan for the future.

Published: 10/13/2020

Caroline Stump Headshot

Caroline Stump ’20

Caroline Stump '20 recently announced she has accepted a position at Warner Music Group as a Licensing Administrator and is headed to Nashville to begin her career.

Around Denver, Caroline is a well-known singer/songwriter! She hosts a podcast with fellow MEIS alumna, Megan Ellsworth '20, called The Songwriter Diaries that explores the songwriting process. You may have seen Caroline playing at Denver venues such as The Roxy, Mercury Café, or the 2019 Underground Music Showcase among others.

Published: 9/1/2020

Loc Trang Headshot

Loc Trang '18, MBA '20

Loc Trang '18, MBA '20 was selected to join The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center as an administrative fellow beginning summer 2021. He will be participating in a pipeline program dedicated to mentoring and developing the next generation of healthcare leaders. 

"I've chosen an organization whose mission spoke to me after losing my mother to an aggressive cancer disease in 2016. I am grateful for the mentoring and expertise of the staff and professors at CU Denver who have bestowed upon me exceptional knowledge." 

Published: 11/25/2020

Diana Lee surveying people on the street

Diana Lee ’20

Diana Lee ’20 heads to an international center of academic excellence, Sunway University in Malaysia, having earned a scholarship towards a Master’s in Creative Media. It’s huge investment in her commitment to reaching her goals–she had been accepted to prestigious graduate programs in the U.S., but connections to Sunway through a CAM partnership for cultural and scholarly exchange and a graduate program that aligns with her professional ambitions have led her to take on the challenge of international study.

Lee says she is committed to “immersive study of the global creative industry and how music, policy, and economy can impact any community.” Her passions lead her to look to how she can one day lend professional support to others coming up in music business.

Published: 9/21/2020

Julia Wcislo Headshot

Julia Wcislo MURP '20

After completing the urban and regional planning program, Julia Wcislo MURP '20 transitioned from an internship to a full-time position at the Colorado Department of Transportation in their Programming Unit as the Transit Programming Support Specialist. In this role she helps the unit to oversee the grants management system the the programming of funds going out to transit agencies across the state. .

Published: 10/26/2020

Jelie Performing

Bradlie "Jelie" Jones '19

In 2020 Jelie '19 was invited to give a TED Talk, titled “An Artist Guide to Running a Business.” At 8 years old she was rapping, at 16 performing, and 19 she started her own music production company. She’s building her own performance career, and a producer and sound engineer. She has the rare skill of designing and building drum synthesizers from scratch. “The College of Arts & Media was the invisible fuel to the fire that drove me to deliver my TED talk,” says Jelie.

Published 11/19/2020

Leah Porter Headshot

Leah Porter '19

Leah Porter '19 was appointed to the Colorado Commission on Higher Education Advisory Committee as subject matter advisor as a parent representative. She has recently decided to attend the Harvard Graduate School of Education to pursue an Ed.M. degree in Education Leadership, Opportunity, and Entrepreneurship with a Higher Education concentration this fall.

"When I started going back to school as a non-traditional and first-generation student, all I wanted was to get my Associate Degree. I didn't know this journey would including me scaling the wall of the ivory tower. It has been an amazing and humbling experience.

I have come a long way from a little girl who was selling noodles on the street in Malaysia, starting my education journey in Arapahoe Community College, transferred to the University of Colorado Denver, and now an incoming graduate student at Harvard Graduate School of Education. I don't know what the future will be like for me, but I will continue working to change the education landscape to support first-generation, low-income, students of color, and the underserved population."

Published 4/7/2021

Mark Santon's Headshot

Mark Santon MPA ’19

Mark Santon MPA ’19 began a new position as operations advisor for the Colorado Governor's Office of Operations. 

Published: 5/8/2020


Livy Snyder with art

Livy Snyder ’19

Livy Onalee Snyder ’19 was a top student in her class, earning the distinction of the Visual Arts Outstanding Graduate. While she was an impressive Student Curator at the CU Denver Emmanuel Art Gallery, having worked on exhibitions of national acclaim, Snyder truly set herself apart when earning a coveted internship at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, Italy. With aspirations to work as an independent curator and scholar, she continues as curatorial assistant for Supernova, a Denver digital art festival, while in her first year of graduate study of University of Chicago. 

Published: 9/21/2020

Chloe Tang Instagram Photo

Chloe Tang '18

It wasn't too long ago that CU Denver Music & Entertainment Industry Studies Department alumna Chloe Tang '18 was drawing the crowd at CAM JAM in 2018 and right after graduation she performed to a sold out crowd opening for Dua Lipa at the Denver Fillmore.

Now Chloe is working with 3V Method and signed a deal with Caroline, founded by Richard Branson and a part of Capitol Records.

Published 9/4/2020


Heidi Williams LinkedIn Headshot

Heidi Williams '17, MPA ’18

Heidi Williams '17, MPA ’18 former mayor of Thornton, is now the Director of Opioid Response in the Colorado Office of the Attorney General.

Published: 5/8/2020


Terrilynn Moore Headshot

Terrilynn Moore ’17

Terrilynn Moore '17 has deep roots in Denver and has been an active leader in our community for years. She was recently featured on KGNU Community Radio to chat about current events and social justice, her ten years as a Denver Police Officer and her current art initiatives including a piece she has up in the City of Aurora's 19th Amendment Exhibit.

Published: 8/4/2020

Bryan Sullivan Headshot

Bryan Sullivan MURP '17

Since finishing the MURP program, Bryan Sullivan MURP '17 has begun a career as Military Community Planner at HDR, Inc., an international architecture/engineering firm. The firm's work focuses on planning projects for federal clients, primarily those involved with national defense, ranging from technical infrastructure reports to creative master plans.

Published: 11/10/2020

Brittany Wake Screenshot of Zoom Video

Brittany Wake '13, MA '17

Brittany Wake '13, MA '17 was awarded the Don C. Locke Multiculturalism and Social Justice scholarship for the 2021-22 academic year at the North Carolina State University College of Education. The Don C. Locke Multiculturalism and Social Justice scholarship is awarded to a student in Counseling and Counselor Education who is bringing awareness to multicultural and social justice issues and helping others recognize the impact of oppression on mental well-being and the importance of integrating social justice advocacy in counseling practice. 

A Note from CU Denver Professor Farah A. Ibrahim: Brittany Wake earned a Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health with a specialization in multicultural counseling and she is now a doctoral student at North Carolina State University. She was awarded the Don Locke Social Justice Award by her doctoral program! She was also an outstanding Master’s student of the Counseling program. I am so proud of her, she was my mentee during the program and assisted with the group counseling courses helping with social justice discussions for counseling students. 

Headshot: 19:05 timestamp of YouTube stream

Published: 3/4/2021

Dr. Al-Ban headshot

Alaa Q. Al-Ban PhD '16

Alaa Q. Al-Ban PhD ’16  has been named Dean of the Hekma School of Design and Architecture at Dar Al-Hekma University in Saudi Arabia. Located in Jeddah, Dar Al-Hekma University is a private institution of higher education for women. Dr. Al-Ban formerly served as an assistant professor at the school, and chair of its Interior Design Department. In addition to her academic experience, Dr. Al-Ban is an interior designer who has worked across Saudi Arabia on residential, commercial, and historic preservation projects.

Dr. Al-Ban has lived and worked in both the East and West and now brings all of the international standards back to her country. Her work is part of the realization of the Saudi 2030 Vision, which aims to diversify the Kingdom’s economy and develop its public service sectors, among other goals.

Published: 2/16/2021

Laurie Manderino's Headshot

Scott Jones '15

Scott Jones ’15 published a book last month titledThe Free Agent Mindset: How contrarians are Shaping the Future of Work. The Free Agent Mindset is about finding your place in this new work environment and positioning yourself as an independent worker. It will make you look at your career differently by laying out the future of work and allowing you to see options that you may not have seen before.

Published: 9/1/2020

Laurie Manderino's Headshot

Laurie Manderino MS' 93, PhD '15

Laurie Manderino MS '93, PhD ’15 recently started a new position as the Development Coordination Officer with the UN in Sierra Leone. Her work is focused on building partnerships and generating funds to support the 3-year Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework with the Government of Sierra Leone, targeting four areas: Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Security; Transformational Governance; Access to Basic Services; and Protection and Empowerment of the Most Vulnerable. She will work with more than 15 UN agencies active in Sierra Leone, including UNICEF, WHO, and UN Women. 

Published: 5/8/2020


Sarah Moss Headshot

Sarah Moss MPA '15

Sarah Moss MPA '15 became the Colorado Director of Special Projects, Trips, and Surrogates with the Biden Campaign:

"Sarah Moss, who will handle special projects and trips for the Biden campaign, has more than 20 years experience in campaigns, including a stint as an Obama administration appointee in the U.S. Department of Justice. She has handled advance work for numerous Democratic presidential candidates, including John Kerry in 2004, Barack Obama in 2008 and Hillary Clinton in 2016. Moss, a Denver native, was executive director of Mayor Michael Hancock's inaugural committees in 2011 and 2015."

Published: 8/24/2020


Mikey Smith's Headshot

Mikey Smith '14

Mikey Smith '14 enjoyed working with Pool Party Creative on a trailer for Nip/Tuck on FX on Hulu. Mickey composed the music, contributed sound design, and created the gratic look for this TV spot. Nip/Tuck is an amazing show and it was an honor to work on this campaign with inspiring folks.

Published: 6/19/2020


Cover of a Children's Book

Eric Wilson PhD '14

Eric Wilson PhD '14 published his debut children’s book, A Gracie Greene Adventure: The Magical Plant. Starring seven-year-old Gracie, the work explores the magic of nature and its gifts. This book is the first in an eco-conscious series that centers around Gracie, her brother Matteo, Ma and Pa, and their loveable dog Scooter.

Eric, an educator and sustainability consultant, collaborated with Justin M., Arthur C., and John B. under their Make Something Better LLC venture. Sydney Kysar, a former student from Eric’s days as Director of Sustainability at a Los Angeles charter school, created the illustrations.

Published: 11/17/2020

Book Cover: 

Cathy Hardin LinkedIn Profile Photo

Cathy Hardin '08, MBA '14

Instawork, the leading digital marketplace connecting local businesses with skilled hourly professionals across the U.S., announced the addition of Cathy Hardin as Chief Revenue Officer. Prior to joining Instawork, Cathy spent the last several years in revenue and strategy leadership roles for Angi and Main Street Hub, where she was Executive Vice President of Sales and Revenue, and played a major role in scaling revenue teams and go-to-market strategies, as well as executing the merger between HomeAdvisor and Angie’s List.

Published: 8/11/2021


Adam Creapo at Northfield High School

Adam Creapo MA '13

Adam Creapo MA '13 has moved from the classroom to administration. After teaching in Adams 12 and DPS classrooms he is now an Assistant Principal and CareerConnect Pathway Director at Northfield High School. He lives in Denver with his wife Amanda and his 7-year-old son, Colt.

Adam is currently the Assistant Principal and CareerConnect Pathways Director at Denver Public Schools. He received his bachelors in journalism from CU Boulder in 2006 and completed a Master's in Curriculum and Instruction at CU Denver's School of Education and Human Development.

Published: 6/17/2020

Jessica Ledingham Headshot

Jessica Ledingham '13

Chamberlain Hrdlicka welcomes Atlanta-based associates Jessica Ledingham '13 to the firm’s Tax Controversy and Litigation Practice, where she will advise and represent clients before federal, state and local taxing authorities in all federal and state courts in which tax disputes are litigated. Ledingham is one of the latest additions to Chamberlain’s Atlanta office, which has been experiencing rapid growth in 2020.

Ledingham previously worked at Miller & Chevalier Chartered representing taxpayers in controversies before the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). She was also previously an associate at PwC, where she developed, implemented and defended significant U.S. federal tax reduction strategies. 

Published 11/11/2020

Todd Stoltenberg Headshot

Todd Stoltenberg MBA '13

As an alumnus of the Jake Jabs Center for Entrepreneurship, Todd Stoltenberg MBA '13 has always wanted to create a unique product, manufacture it overseas, and sell it online. As such, he is launching a first-of-its-kind children's book called You Can Play Sports. It's a touch & feel book featuring eight popular sports, each with a modern illustration and diverse cast of characters, a fun rhyme that teaches key terminology, and a ball on each page that's made from material that actually looks and feels like the real thing.

Published 3/30/2021

Rob Shearer Headshot

Rob Shearer '12

My Father's House, a film created by Rob Shearer '12, was accepted to the 2020 Denver Film Festival and won best documentary at the American Pavilion Emerging Filmmaker Showcase.

"I am proud to announce that My Father's House is an official selection of this year's Denver Film Festival! The Denver Film Festival is one of my favorite festivals, and it is an honor to be a part of it this year."

Published: 1/19/2021


Brandon Slade Headshot

Brandon Slade M Ed'11

Brandon Slade M Ed'11 was named to the Forbes Next 1000 Entrepreneurs. Brandon credits his time at CU for being a huge reason in making the list. He is the founder and CEO of Untapped Learning (formerly Stride Learning), an education startup that helps middle school, high school, and college students who have executive function challenges like ADHD and dyslexia. 

Published: 2/23/2021

Ryan Talmage Headshot

Ryan Talmage '11

Ryan Talmage '11 started a new job in fall 2020 as the Risk Manager for the Cherry Creek School District. Previously Ryan served as Interim Director of Enterprise Risk Management and Risk & Insurance Analyst at the University of Denver (DU). He also completed a J.D. (Juris Doctor) degree in December 2020 from the Sturm College of Law at DU. Additionally, he has received a Master's in International Studies and Master's of Legal Studies at DU in 2014 and 2016, respectively. 

Published: 12/28/2020

Cindy Bergmeier Headshot

Cindy K. Bergmeier MBA ’10

Menorah Medical Center — part of HCA Midwest Health, Kansas City’s leading healthcare provider — announced that Cindy K. Bergmeier MBA '10, has been appointed chief operating officer. Bergmeier assumed her new role at one of Johnson County’s leading full-service, acute-care hospitals on August 1, 2020.

“It’s an honor to be back in the Kansas City area and at Menorah Medical Center, known for its commitment to quality healthcare and the community,” Bergmeier says. “I look forward to working with Menorah Medical Center, continuing to build on its strong foundation, and with the staff, respected for impressive talent and dedication to patient care.”

Published: 8/10/2020


Brandy Reitter Headshot

Brandy Reitter MPA ’08

The Governor’s Office of Information Technology (OIT) has appointed Brandy Reitter MPA ’08 as Executive Director to lead the Colorado Broadband Office (CBO) beginning February 2022.

In 2021 the Colorado City and County Management Association named Reitter as City Manager of the Year and Jeff Shroll MPA '93 County Manager of the Year.

Brandy Reitter was appointed by Governor Jared Polis to serve on the Colorado Statewide Internet Portal Authority (SIPA) as the local government representative for a term expiring June 1, 2024.

"The Statewide Internet Portal Authority develops the officially recognized statewide internet portal that provides one-stop access to electronic information, products, and services in order to give members of the public an alternative way to transact business with the state."

In addition to Brandy's appointment, the Governor also named Alumna Kristin Marie Corash '84 to the Rehabilitation Advisory Council.

Published: 12/16/2021


Tara Beiter-Fluhr Headshot

Tara Beiter-Fluhr MS, MBA ’08

Tara Beiter-Fluhr, MS, MBA '08 supervises a small team handling indirect and property taxes at OmniTrax, Inc., a short-line railroad management company. She was elected to a four-year term as Mayor of Sheridan, Colorado in November 2017. 

Published: 7/31/2020

Melanie Shellenbarger Headshot

Melanie Shellenbarger PhD  ’08

Melanie Shellenbarger PhD '08 retired from the University of Colorado as a faculty member in the Department of Architecture in 2014. Most recently, she and husband Mark published a captivating book spotlighting Colorado's Wild Animal Sanctuary as it celebrates its 40th anniversary. Less than an hour north of Denver roam more than 500 large carnivores - including over 200 bears, 70 African lions, and 70 tigers. Now living at The Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keenesburg, Colorado, these wild animals and the stories of their rescue, often from heartbreaking conditions, are the focal point of the newly released and groundbreaking book Forever Wild, Forever Home: The Story of The Wild Animal Sanctuary of Colorado.

Published: 3/1/2021

Brittany Morris Saunders Headshot

Brittany Morris Saunders MA ’07

Brittany Morris Saunders MA '07, was named the Communications, Media and Public Relations winner for Denver Business Journal's 2020 Outstanding Women in Business Awards. Brittany is President of Local Affairs at Sewald Hanfling Public Affairs and specializes in the representation of businesses, developers, corporations and non-profits before local governments, including cities, counties and special districts.

Published: 8/24/2020


Iman Jodeh's Headshot

Iman Jodeh '04, MPA ’06

Iman Jodeh '04, MPA ’06 has been elected to the Colorado House of Representatives to represent District 41. The Colorado native and daughter of Palestinian immigrants made history in an Aurora-area district becoming Colorado's first Muslim lawmaker.

Published: 5/8/2020

Updated: 11/10/2020


Janyne McConnaughey Headshot

Janyne McConnaughey PhD '06

Janyne McConnaughey PhD '06 serves on the Board of Directors for the Attachment & Trauma Network. She recently published her third book in the BRAVE series, BRAVE: A Personal Story of Healing Childhood Trauma.

"I have been able to share my message of hope and the importance of trauma-informed practices with audiences on college campuses, schools, education, and faith-based conferences, podcasts, and webinars."

Janyne and her husband have relocated to the Seattle area to be near children and grandchildren.

Janyne's Other BRAVE Books
  • Jeannie's BRAVE Childhood: Behavior & Healing through the Lens of Attachment & Trauma
  • A BRAVE Life: Survival, Resilience, Faith & Hope after Childhood Trauma 

Published: 9/2/2020

Hope Kaufman Headshot.

Hope Kaufman MLA, MURP '05

Dewberry, a privately held professional services firm, has announced that Hope Kaufman has joined the firm as an associate vice president and program manager in its Parsippany, New Jersey, office. She joins the firm to support its consulting practice and align resources to meet New York City agencies’ needs.

Kaufman has more than 15 years of experience, previously working for the New York City (NYC) Department of Design and Construction as the senior strategic advisor to the commissioner and deputy chief strategy officer, and a program manager for the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation. Her background includes strategic planning and management for capital projects across New York City. Kaufman brings experience engaging with city agencies, mayoral offices, stakeholder and community organizations, and local, state, and federal government entities on efforts of resilience planning, urban renewal, sustainability, workplace diversity, and reclamation projects.

In her new role, Kaufman will be focused on growing the firm’s environmental portfolio within New York City and other strategic sectors.

“Hope’s experience will be key to enhancing and building client relationships as she leads New York City agency teams,” says Dewberry Senior Vice President and Business Unit Manager Ileana Ivanciu, PhD. “Hope will be a valuable addition to the firm, and we look forward to welcoming her to our team.”

Kaufman earned her bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Rochester (1995) and her master’s degrees in landscape architecture and urban and regional planning from the University of Colorado (2005). She is a member of the Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissioners and the New Jersey Planning Officials. Kaufman is president of the Tewksbury Education Foundation, chair of the Tewksbury Township Parks Committee, an appointed member of both the Municipal Ad Hoc Stormwater Committee and the Tewksbury Land Use Board, and a member of the board of directors for the Barat Foundation. 

Published: 4/7/2023

The Artian podcast flyer with headshot of Erik Lucero

Erik Lucero '05

Erik Lucero '05 is a scientist at Google and a CU Denver electrical engineering and applied physics alumnus. He was on The Artian podcast and talked about photography and quantum computing. If you're interested in how art can be beneficial to scientists, take a listen.

"It's really important that we understand the gravity of what quantum computing is for the world and appreciating that artists are the ones that do a great job in providing a narrative and helping everyone in the world understand what it is they're looking at." 
- Erik Lucero on The Artian

Published: 6/10/2021


Jessica Garner Headshot

Jessica Garner MURP, MUD '02

Jessica Garner MURP, MUD '02 will begin service as Estes Park’s new Community Development Director. Town Administrator Travis Machalek commented, “Jessica brings strong experience in local planning to Estes Park and our Community Development Department, with a track record of strong dialogue and partnership with the communities she has served.” Garner will be responsible for overseeing the Community Development Department, working alongside current Director Randy Hunt until his retirement date of October 1, 2021. The Community Development Department provides planning, zoning, code compliance, and building services for the community.

Published: 7/26/2021

Katharine Nelson's Headshot

Katharine Nelson '00, MBA '02

Katharine Nelson '00, MBA '02 became the first ever model in a wheelchair for Denver Fashion Week (Spring and Fall 2019). The story aired on CBS Channel 7 and went national, being nominated for an Emmy award. She was also interviewed on the All I Know podcast which has an international audience.

Katharine is currently an Investment Accountant at Colorado PERA and completed her undergraduate degree in accounting and political science.

Published: 7/28/2020

Vitaliy Katsenelson Headshot

Vitaliy Katsenelson '97, MS '99

Vitaliy Katsenelson '97, MS '99 is an investment advisor and an author of two books on investing published by Wiley & Sons: Active Value Investing: Making Money in Range-Bound Markets (2007) and The Little Book of Sideways Markets: How to Make Money in Markets that Go Nowhere (2010). He is also a frequent contributor to Forbes, Fortune, Financial Times, Business Insider, Barron's, Kiplinger's Personal Finance and Institutional Investor. Mr. Katsenelson is one of the most famous proponents of value investing. Rich Karlgaard, a famous financial journalist titled him as the contemporary Benjamin Graham. He was born in 1973 in Murmansk (Soviet Union), came to the US at the age of 18, and became a successful investor and book author.

Published: 10/28/2020


Karen Middleton Headshot

Karen Middleton MA '96

From Karen: "This June marks eight years as the leader of Cobalt, a reproductive rights non-profit organization. Cobalt actively works across the state of Colorado, advocating, educating and communicating the importance of protecting reproductive rights. We successfully defeated an anti-choice ballot initiative last November. I am also chairing the Women's Initiative of the Colorado Democrats and invite interested CU Denver alumni to get involved. We host monthly programming on key policy issues and featuring women candidates and elected officials. As a former Colorado legislator I think it is important to remain engaged in politics and policy. I moved to Colorado in 1992 to attend CU Denver and am so glad I did!"

Published: 4/25/2020

Lori Takala Granberg Headshot

Lori Takala Granberg MA '96

Lori Takala Granberg MA '96 of Hudson, Colorado was appointed by Governor Jared Polis to serve on the Board of Examiners of Nursing Home Administrators for a term expiring July 1, 2024.

Published: 8/24/2020


Michael Kountze Headshot

Michael Kountze MBA '93

Dr. Michael Kountze MBA '93, was awarded the Doctorate in Business Administration from the University of the Incarnate Word in December 2020. He is currently the Chief Financial Officer of EcoGlobal, a plastics recycling company. He also serves as Chief Financial Officer of Elequa, a nonprofit dedicated to educating and empowering students to tackle clean water issues. .

Published: 2/14/2021

Catherine Wallace Hope Headshot

Catherine Wallace Hope '92

Catherine Wallace Hope '92, author of the novel Once Again, is pleased to have been selected as a finalist for the Colorado Book Awards. In June 2021 it was announced that Once Again was the Colorado Book Awards winner in the Science Fiction/Fantasy category.

Published: 4/16/2021

Dan Thoren Headshot

Daniel J Thoren MS '99

Graham Corporation (NYSE: GHM), a global business that designs, manufactures and sells critical equipment for the defense, energy and chemical/petrochemical industries, today announced that its Board of Directors has appointed Daniel J. Thoren as its President and Chief Executive Officer, effective September 1, 2021. Mr. Thoren will also join the Board of Directors upon assuming the new role.

Published: 8/10/2021


Dr. James Davis Headshot

James Davis '84

Dr. James Davis '84, a Professor of Musicology and Chair of the Music History Area in the State University of New York at Fredonia School of Music, has been appointed a State University of New York Distinguished Professor.

An internationally renowned musicologist with an expertise in the music of the American Civil War, Dr. Davis is known for his meticulous on-site archival research and his large body of groundbreaking published work, especially his two books with the University of Nebraska Press, a leading academic press for publications devoted to military history.

He has also made his research findings accessible to non-academic audiences through extensive media appearances and guest presentations at conferences and campuses around the world.

Dr. Davis is also recognized as a leader in the scholarship of music history pedagogy, both nationally and internationally, as he has deeply integrated his research with teaching. His strong influence in the American Musicological Society has resulted in the inclusion of the scholarship of teaching and learning into its mission, and he was instrumental in the formation of the AMS’s Pedagogy Study Group. It is widely acknowledged that Dr. Davis has continually elevated the standards of instruction in the discipline of musicology.

In presenting Dr. Davis with his honorary medallion, Fredonia President Stephen H. Kolison Jr. noted, “Dr. Davis is the latest example of the tremendous faculty leading our students to academic success at Fredonia. It was a pleasure to meet Dr. Davis in person today to present his medallion to him.”

Dr. Davis earned a B.S. in Music in 1984 from the University of Colorado at Denver, a M.M. in Music Composition from the University of Texas at Austin in 1987, and a Ph.D. in Music History and Theory in 1993 from Boston University. He has been a member of the Fredonia School of Music faculty since 1991. Dr. Davis’ scholarship has included dozens of scholarly articles and presentations.

The SUNY Distinguished Professorship is conferred upon individuals who have achieved national or international prominence and a distinguished reputation within a chosen field. The distinction is attained through significant contributions to the research literature or through artistic performance or achievement. It is the highest faculty rank in SUNY, and the Fredonia School of Music now has three current faculty with the distinction – percussionist Dr. Kay Stonefelt, guitarist James Piorkowski and Dr. Davis. Department of Visual Arts and New Media faculty member Alberto Rey is also a SUNY Distinguished Professor.

Published: 5/5/2021

In Memoriam

Sharon Bailey poses for a portrait in 2018. Kevin J. Beaty - Denverite

Sharon Bailey MA '80, PhD '98

Denver Public Schools lost its moral compass with the passing of district Ombudsperson Sharon Bailey in December 2021, according to friends and colleagues. A straightforward critic of the institutional racism she saw in the district, Bailey was also a compassionate leader who believed the system could change and was willing to help, they said. In 2016, Bailey authored a seminal report about the treatment of Black educators and students in Denver that served as a catalyst for the district’s current Black excellence efforts. The report has a long name, but everyone simply calls it the Bailey Report.

Phillip Boyle Headshot.

Phillip Boyle PhD '97

Phillip Boyle, husband, father and proselytizer for democracy and good governance, died on June 23, 2023, surrounded by his devoted wife of 30 years and three daughters. As Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary for Personnel Administration and as Director of the Center for Management Excellence he met his wife, Scottie Seawell. Phil proposed to Scottie by asking if she wanted to have children, to which she replied, “with you?” He must have said, “yes” as they left D.C. and moved to Denver, Colorado where they married on Valentine’s Day in 1993. That same year, he began graduate school at the University of Colorado at Denver, to obtain his Ph.D. in Public Administration. While in graduate school, Phil became the proud stay-at-home father to Erin and Rachel.

Patrick Browne smiling with a lake and tree covered mountains in the background

Patrick Browne '10, MA '18

Patrick Browne, who served as Director of Veteran & Military Student Services at CU Denver, passed away in early March 2021 after a long battle with a medical condition (unrelated to COVID-19). A U.S. Army veteran, Browne was committed to serving veteran and military college students, as well as their spouses and families.

Headshot of Chris Diaz.

Chris Diaz '99

With anthropology as a foundation, Christian "Chris" Eric Diaz continued in his lifelong journey to better understand human diversity. He learned through friendships existing across the breadth and depth of society, and was happiest in the community of family and friends who embraced him with love, acceptance, and a rich exchange of ideas. He loved working at Argus Event Staffing because of the opportunities to meet people at incredible Colorado venues, his favorite being Red Rocks Amphitheatre. Chris worked daily to be a conduit of joy, compassion, love, and wonder. Chris was well known for his humor, laughter, his open and listening heart, and his free hugs.

Photo of Diana B Koin's face, smiling with her teeth.

Diana B Koin '68

Dr. Diana Koin passed away at her home in Portola Valley, California on July 20, 2023 following a lengthy battle against cancer. Diana was born and raised in Denver, Colorado where she excelled in academic pursuits due to her curiosity of the world. Always a trailblazer, she chose to attend medical school as one of only five women in a class of 100 students. Following her graduation from the University of Colorado School of Medicine she created a free clinic for the elderly in Denver, Colorado.

Mary Ellen Lewis headshot.

Mary Ellen Lewis MPA '85

Mary Ellen was a Denver native who attended St. Francis. She got a bachelor's degree from the University of Denver and a master's in public administration from CU Denver. She worked for the State Department and CU School of Business as Administrator and Professor. She was a mentor for the Business and Professional Women and long time officer for Phi Chi Theta. She was also a devoted fan of Days of Our Lives, Buffalos and Broncos!

Andrea Wagner McEwen with Tivoli building in background

Andrea McEwen MA '14

Andrea McEwen (65), beloved wife of Peter McEwen, died peacefully at home in Greenwood Village on April 25, 2021 surrounded by her family. Andrea was born March 11, 1956 in St. Louis, Missouri, but lived most of her life in the Denver area. She earned a BA in commercial Spanish from University of Colorado Boulder and an MA in Spanish from CU Denver. A lifelong supporter of her alma mater, Andrea served as Vice Chancellor of the Office of Advancement at CU Denver.


Barbara Paradiso Headshot

Barbara A. Paradiso MPA '08

Barbara A. Paradiso, CU Denver alumna and Director of Center on Domestic Violence at the CU Denver School of Public Affairs suddenly passed away on July 26, 2021.Barb founded and served as Director of the Center on Domestic Violence for 20 years, combining graduate-level student training, research, and technical assistance to combat domestic violence. Barb also was instrumental in securing federal assistance to establish the Phoenix Center, which provides response services, education, and dialogue facilitation related to interpersonal violence, and serves the Auraria Campus.

Julie Ann Peters with her book

Julie Ann Peters MBA '89

Julie Anne Peters, whose 2004 book, “Luna,” is thought to have been the first young-adult novel with a transgender character to be released by a mainstream publisher, and whose books have been among those singled out by conservative groups in Texas and other states for removal from library shelves, died on March 21 at her home in Wheat Ridge, Colo. She was 71.

Anita Marie Solick Oswald smiling

Anita Marie Solick Oswald MS '97

Anita Marie Solick Oswald, age 72, died of Cancer on July 15, 2021. Anita was born in Chicago, Illinois and soon fled the windy city for better vibes and weather in Santa Monica, California. Chicago and the West Side where she grew up, always had a special place in her heart and she maintained her connection to the city through her support of the Off the Street Club. She proudly graduated from UCLA with a degree in economics and attended the University of Colorado Denver, obtaining a MS in operations and management. She moved to Boulder, Colorado in 1982. Her true passion was writing. She is the author of West Side Girl, which is a joyful collection of short stories from a nostalgic time in Chicago. The proceeds of the sales of the book go directly to support Off The Street Club, which she attended in her youth. 

Donald Ungerman selfie in the snowy mountains

Donald Ungerman '13

Donald (Donie) Ungerman passed away on July 23, 2021. Donie loved the outdoors and spent a lot of time exploring, hiking, camping, dirt biking, snowboarding, and taking photographs. He often had his incredible photos framed and gave them as gifts. His incredible eye for the beauty in life will live on in those photos for decades to come. Donie always had his camera with him in hopes of capturing that one perfect moment, and he succeeded in capturing many. His eye for the beauty in this world, is a gift that will be missed. He had a playful, energetic personality; a good-hearted nature, and a bright smile that lit up every room he entered.