The Office of Advancement connects those who are passionate about education and research to the people and programs at CU Denver who can excel with their support. We serve as a trusted campus and community resource that inspires alumni pride and private support to advance CU Denver's mission, and we work to ensure a bright and promising future for CU Denver through robust engagement, transformative philanthropy, and a deep sense of pride in the university.
Vice Chancellor for Advancement
Melisa sets strategies for the university’s fundraising initiatives, including annual giving, major gifts, corporate giving, foundation relations and gift planning. She also oversees Donor and Alumni Engagement and Advancement Communications. With more than 25 years of experience as a university development professional, Melisa has contributed to growth in fundraising results in every position she has held. She has vast experience in setting the strategic direction and managing the operational execution of fundraising campaigns. Melisa previously worked in advancement at Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgia State University, and University of Florida.
Melisa lives in downtown Denver and enjoys all the urban setting has to offer. She also enjoys skiing and hiking in the beautiful mountains of Colorado.
Executive Assistant to the Vice Chancellor for Advancement
Melanie provides executive support to the Vice Chancellor of Advancement and members of the Advancement leadership group. Her journey with CU Denver has just begun, but she looks forward to many years assisting with the endeavors of the Advancement Team.A southerner by birth, Melanie has called Denver home since 2015. She received her undergraduate degree in Communications from Lipscomb University in Nashville, TN and has held many rolls in non-profit organizations including the YMCA and the Dumb Friends League.
Strategic Advisor to the Vice Chancellor
Assistant Vice Chancellor
Senior Director, Advancement Communications
Associate Director, Advancement Communications
Senior Content Producer
Kevin is a voice for the impact of philanthropy at CU Denver. He seeks out and shares the stories of students, faculty, alumni and donors who are making a difference on campus and beyond. Prior to joining CU Denver, Kevin worked in communications and fundraising across multiple sectors and industries, from an early-stage tech startup to a national nonprofit to a leading global research university.
Kevin holds a degree in English from Indiana University and completed an AmeriCorps fellowship in nonprofit leadership in San Francisco. He enjoys hiking, biking, cooking and pretty much any activity that can be done while listening to a podcast.
Social Media Student Assistant
Senior Director, Donor and Alumni Engagement
Melissa directs donor and alumni engagement. She oversees the implementation and execution of programs related to recognition, engagement, stewardship, and gift administration for CU Denver alumni, donors, and friends who support the university in a variety of ways.
Melissa grew up in and around the Denver metro area and has lived all over the state, currently living close to the urban campus where she works. She earned her BS in Hospitality Management from Johnson & Wales University and an MA in Education from University of Phoenix. She enjoys yoga, mountain biking, reading, hiking, raptor watching, comedy shows, and live music.
Campus Program Manager, Central Annual Giving
Georgia is part of the CU Central Advancement team supporting CU Denver and the CU Anschutz Medical Campus through crowdfunding initiatives, annual giving data requests, and key performance indicators management. She is a liaison to our student call center
and assists with the implementation of annual giving campaigns.
Georgia is a North Dakota native who spent eight years with the University of Minnesota Foundation’s Annual Giving team. She received her bachelor’s degree in geoscience, with an emphasis in geography, from Minnesota State University Moorhead. It was also at MSUM where she launched her fundraising career as a student caller. Georgia has knocked on thousands of doors, stood on hundreds of street corners, and picked up the phone more times than she can count for local, national, and international nonprofits close to her heart.
She enjoys spending her free time with her husband, Chase, and dogs, Hoagie and Morty.
Assistant Director, Events & Engagement
Assistant Director, Donor Engagement
Managing Director of Development
Shira oversees the major gifts fundraising team and finds inspiration in helping donors match their philanthropic passions with CU Denver’s strategic priorities. She stays abreast of faculty
activity, research direction, and academic programs to advise on fundraising priorities and assists campus units in building and maintaining strong volunteer boards.
Shira brings more than 12 years of development experience to her role, with extensive experience in marketing and communications, industry and foundation relations, board development, and nonprofit management. Prior to joining CU Denver, Shira served as Director of Industry Relations on CU Boulder campus, where she worked with corporations and foundations to create mutually beneficial strategic partnerships.
Originally from the Boston area, Shira holds a BS from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and an MS in Management from Lasell University. She spends her leisure time climbing mountains or skiing with her two sons, husband, and dog.
Senior Director of Development, College of Engineering, Computing and Design
Associate Director of Gift Planning
Susan has long been a higher education advocate, working for over 11 years as a Higher Education Counselor and English Teacher, mainly overseas. Most recently she’s been a Major Gifts Officer and managed the Planned Giving program at the United Service Organizations (USO) in Washington, DC. She’s delighted to combine her passion for higher education, and experience in fundraising, to be the conduit for donors managing their own estate plans. Susan completed her Master’s Degree in Education with Bowie State University and her undergraduate at University of Delaware. With her eldest brother being a CU Boulder alumnus, she’s excited to be moving to Colorado herself, to start a new pollinator garden and find new camping spots. Susan is excited to join the CU Gift Planning team and the CU Denver Advancement team.
Director, Foundation and Corporate Development
Anna directs the strategy and implementation of foundation and corporate development for the university. Her goal is to secure financial resources for programs and activities that advance equity and serve under-represented communities.In previous positions, Anna has served as a fundraiser for Native American student programs and tribal colleges, an ESL teacher for immigrants and refugees, an editor at a university press, and a university rhetoric and composition instructor. She serves her community by sitting on nonprofit boards and volunteering for causes that advance gender, racial, and economic justice.
Senior Director of Development, Business School
Brendan directs the fundraising strategy for the Business School in partnership with Dean Scott Dawson and members of the faculty/staff. He is driven by a desire to match CU Denver’s donors with their philanthropic passions and to provide all students with the opportunity to enrich their experiences on campus.
Prior to joining CU Denver, Brendan served in multiple major gift fundraising roles, where he focused his work on managing donor portfolios and engaging with diverse constituents and funders. A Colorado native, Brendan received his BA from the University of Washington and his MA from Northwestern University, where he began his development career working for the annual fund. In his free time, he enjoys a good powder day on the slopes, spending time with his wife, and chasing after his toddler daughter and Sato pooch, Walter.
Director of Development, School of Public Affairs
Principal Gifts Officer
As the Principal Gifts Officer, Adrian cultivates and solicits a portfolio of top prospects and donors. She manages a network of relationships with donors in partnership with advancement colleagues, university administrators and faculty. Adrian is highly collaborative and utilizes a team-mentality to increase donor engagement and gift size. Adrian has worked in advancement for 17 years, most recently at the University of Denver, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colorado, and Denver Rescue Mission and was awarded the Rotary Foundation International Fellowship and El Pomar Foundation Fellowship. Adrian speaks Portuguese fluently and enjoys gardening and travel.
Director of Development, College of Architecture and Planning
Meg is the Director of Development for the College of Architecture and Planning within the Office of Advancement. In this role, she supports CAP’s unique initiatives to enrich students’ academic opportunities, such as the Justice, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Scholarship and Programming fund, the Design-Build program, the Classical Studies certificate, and more.Before forming a consultancy for architects and designers in 2012, Meg built her career in business development roles for home design and fashion accessory companies. She co-founded the Leaders of Design Council, and is a Board member and the Event Chair for the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art’s Rocky Mountain Chapter.
Director, Finance and Administration
Business Operations Manager