Colorado & communities

As a school of public affairs at a publicly funded university, we are committed to the well-being of our state. Colorado and its diverse communities provide constant opportunities for the School of Public Affairs faculty, staff, students, and alumni to serve the common good through community-based research, experiential learning, and professional and community service.


Latest news on Colorado & communities


Alumni stories

The School of Public Affairs alumni make a huge impact in Colorado! Read their stories.
  • Six Questions for MPA ’22 Alum Yazmin Castillo, Development Coordinator at Girls Inc. of Metro Denver

    Feb 14, 2024 by Ellen Patterson
    Yazmin Castillo currently works on the development team at Girls Inc. of Metro Denver, where she has had the privilege of contributing to impactful projects aimed at inspiring all girls to be strong, smart, and bold. Her journey with Girls Inc. began nearly 8 years ago as a work-study student through CU Denver, and since then, Yazmin has worn many hats within the organization. Before joining Girls Inc., Yazmin managed a weekly volunteer base of nearly 300 individuals at Metro Caring. Currently, she serves on the Associate board for the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce supporting the advancement of women in business, and the SPA GOLD board where she plays a role in the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee. This committee’s focus is on advancing educational interests, promoting social diversity, and providing professional development support to students, alumni, and other communities served. Yazmin’s commitment to personal and professional growth led her to complete the Impact program with the Denver Metro Leadership Foundation, a leadership program for emerging leaders in Colorado. This experience has further equipped her with the skills needed to make a lasting impact in her community, and she will be returning as a coach to support others going through the program. Beyond her professional life, Yazmin is an avid reader, fitness enthusiast, and fur mom to a needy Boxer. If she’s not reading a book, at the gym, or cuddling with her dog, you’ll find her traveling to a new destination!
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  • Six Questions for MPA ’09 Alum Melanie Lewis Dickerson, Director at Community Solutions

    Jan 31, 2024 by Ellen Patterson
    As a Director at Community Solutions, Melanie works directly with communities and partners to build and improve systems to end homelessness using data, quality improvement and problem-solving tools from multiple sectors. She is a leader on the Built for Zero team, where she oversees a portfolio of large-scale change partnerships and social impact investments in the United States and abroad. Prior to joining Community Solutions in 2014, Melanie spent six years with the City and County of Denver where she served as the Partnerships Manager for Denver’s Road Home, focusing on policy development, regional collaboration and strategic partnerships.
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  • Six Questions for MPA ’22 Alum Deena Duwaik, Language Access Planner at the Agency for Human Rights and Community Partnerships, City and County of Denver

    Jan 24, 2024 by Ellen Patterson
    Over the past decade, Deena Duwaik’s unwavering commitment has been directed towards serving diverse communities, spanning regions across the globe – Jordan, Morocco, Thailand, and Kenya. Coming from a family of Palestinian refugees, Deena has a special place in her heart for immigrant and refugee communities that feeds her passion for this work. In her current role with the Human Rights and Community Partnerships Agency at the City and County of Denver, Deena is dedicated to supporting government entities in cultivating the most inclusive and accessible processes for their programs. This involves navigating the intricate web of policies to ensure that services effectively reach and serve diverse community members.
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  • Six Questions for MPA ’91 and Rocky ’00 Alum Chuck Reid, Founder of The Choice Is Yours

    Jan 17, 2024 by Ellen Patterson
    Beginning as a Traffic Engineering intern in Englewood in 1989 and leaving as the Assistant City Manager 5 years later, Chuck Reid also served as Fraser’s town manager from 1995-2004 and Federal Heights’ City Manager from 2004-2007. Hopping then to the private sector, he spent 13 years at CliftonLarsonAllen providing outsourced management to mainly Title 32 entities, and then spent two years working full-time for the Cherry Creek Basin Water Quality Authority. Following the pandemic, Chuck took a couple years off from work, and this year opened The Choice Is Yours, LLP, which provides contract services to local governments and nonprofit organizations.
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  • Six Questions for DCLF ’20 Alum Colleen Maleski, Senior Associate at GBSM

    Jan 10, 2024 by Ellen Patterson
    Colleen Maleski is a ­­­public affairs and management consultant for GBSM, supporting nonprofit and government clients to improve organizational processes, effectively communicate with key audiences, and meaningfully include community members they serve in their decision-making processes. Previously, at StriveTogether, she supported more than 70 communities to facilitate cross-sector collaboration to improve student outcomes through continuous improvement, events, trainings, grants, and community co-design. Colleen started her career in corporate social responsibility, executive communications, and public affairs at Raytheon.
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  • Showing 1 - 5 of 30 results
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