Jennifer R. Darling (MPA '00) is the president and CEO of Children's Hospital Colorado Foundation. She has worked in the nonprofit sector since earning her bachelor's degree in economics and political science from Northwestern University in 1991. She earned her master's degree in public administration from the University of Colorado Denver School of Public Affairs in 2000. Now in her 14th year of service at Children's Colorado, she is also an effective community volunteer. She was actively involved in forming the Institute for Leaders in Development and continues to serve as a program instructor and former Board member.
Since 2017, students in Randy Harrison’s ‘Economic Development’ class (PUAD 5630) have had the opportunity to engage with Colorado communities in an experience unlike any felt in a typical classroom. Through its partnership with Downtown Colorado, Inc., this SPA course allows students to become project coordinators in a process known as the Colorado Challenge Program; here, students connect with community members and experts in the field to establish a plan of work to engage public, private, and non-profit partners in addressing a significant community challenge over the course of their semester. Through their partnership, SPA students and DCI have connected with and created initiatives for almost 30 Colorado communities.
Sara Reynolds is the Vice President of Operations for the Colorado Oil & Gas Association. She oversees the daily operations of COGA, including financial management, membership development, programs and events, and community investments.
For more than three decades, Michael Penny (MPA '97) has exemplified the ideals of leadership, collaboration, partnership, and teamwork as the administrative manager for both large and small municipalities across Colorado. His passion and dedication to building robust communities that address the critical needs of citizens, businesses, and industry are evidenced by the strong footprint Michael has left in each community he has touched.
Joan Fishburn, Career Services and Alumni Engagement Manager, recently interviewed Nga Vương-Sandoval (MCJ' 02) to talk about her lifelong commitment to advocating on behalf of refugees, immigrants, and other displaced people here in Colorado and around the world. Nga speaks from experience. As a child, Nga and her family fled their homeland due to the Việt Nam War and became refugees. They were displaced in refugee camps before resettling in the U.S. and were known as "boat people."
Graduate academic advisor Antoinette Sandoval has been an integral member of the CU Denver School of Public Affairs staff since 1997 and has positively impacted hundreds of students throughout her career. Antoinette retired from SPA on August 31, 2022. Learn more in this Q&A with Antoinette.
This month, a group of 23 young professionals traveled from their homes in Africa to the University of Colorado Denver, as part of the Mandela Washington Fellowship. The fellowship is a six-week leadership and academic program, where participants can further their careers and make international connections.
Since its inception in 2014, the Mandela Washington Fellowship program has seen participation from more than 5000 young African leaders from all countries on the continent. That’s according to the Department of State’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) program website.
Maria Limon, Rural Technical Assistance Manager and Fostering Youth Leadership Specialist for the Center on Domestic Violence at the CU Denver School of Public Affairs, shares powerful experiences of working with Team Unstoppable, a group of youth leaders at several high schools in Denver for the last year and a half. They are “an unstoppable movement using humanity’s compassion and love to end all forms of violence.”
One faculty member from each school and college has been selected to receive the TIAA Chancellor’s Urban Engaged Scholars award for the second year. Presented by CityCenter, this award recognizes the outstanding contributions of CU Denver faculty to the Denver-metro region through research and creative activities that drive our community forward.
Growing up in Los Angeles with her mother and grandmother who were Mexican immigrants, CU Denver Student Chloe Frazee never imagined she would attend college, let alone graduate. “Mom worked a lot, and my grandma couldn’t speak English,” she says. At 15, Frazee and her older brother moved to Colorado to live with their godparents. “I’d been struggling with school and moved to be closer to family here.”
Each year CU Denver honors one of the university’s greatest assets – our remarkable faculty – with the faculty excellence awards. These accolades recognize superior accomplishments in teaching, leadership and service, research and creative work, librarianship, faculty mentoring, and practices related to instructional, research, and clinical faculty.