Changing the Classroom

At the core of our strategic plan is a strong emphasis on community collaboration to create positive lasting change. This past year the University of Denver (DU) invested in Catalyst HTI RiNo, a modern workspace that brings community partners together to promote a holistic approach to whole person health. Inside of Catalyst lives a 3D Printing and Idea Lab, incubators, accelerators, venture funding partners, a care clinic, restaurants, event spaces, and the Morgridge College of Education (MCE). The pairing is an intentional design from the Catalyst creators to “create a community of healthcare innovation professionals and businesses in order to quicken the pace of industry advancement by providing a welcoming, healthy, and informative environment where thought leaders can collaborate and innovate, together.”

Walter Balser, EdD, Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, and John O’Malley, PhD, Counseling Psychology, saw Catalyst as the perfect space to house their research team on whole-person truths.

"The Catalyst space is a brilliant environment to not only work in more collaborative ways, but to also capture the direction the world – and education – is moving,” Balser said.

Their team started using the space over the summer, after Balser hosted classes at Catalyst and saw how the open concept design allowed his class to have a larger impact on the general public. No longer confined to the DU campus, Balser was able to see his research applied to everyday living. It offered a new perspective on how he can teach his classes and how best to reach outside of academia.

According to Balser, “We’re seeing people connecting in more fluid ways, finding serendipity in unexpected places, and working with folks we may not otherwise interact with. You need funky, open spaces to do that, and the Catalyst is just perfect for this.”

In 2020, MCE will continue to be bold and support innovative learning opportunities outside the typical classroom. Through its investment in Catalyst, DU has not only opened doors for our students, but the greater Denver community.

John O’Malley, PhD, with his research team.

The Catyalyst HTI building is located in Denver’s River North neighborhood.

(Click to see the larger map)

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