Millies, Anna

Millies, Anna : Academic Services Associate

Academic Services Associate

Academic Services for the Department of Higher Education
303-871-2494, KRH 350E

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BA in Mathematics, University of Denver.

Primary responsibilities: supporting teaching, learning, and research of the faculty, as well as assistance with student recruitment and retention, maintaining the accuracy of program information in student handbooks and on the website, assisting with course scheduling, processing fiscal transactions and partnering in the effective management of departmental budgets, and assisting with all student services

Portfolio Coming Soon.


D-L Stewart

D-L Stewart : Department Chair of Higher Education, Professor

Department Chair of Higher Education, Professor

303-871-4763, KRH 357

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Dr. D-L Stewart is the Chair of the Department of Higher Education in the Morgridge College of Education at the University of Denver. Over the course of his faculty career, he has focused most intently on the history and philosophy of higher education, institutional systems and structures that affect the postsecondary experiences, growth and development, as well as success of racially minoritized and queer and trans* students. Dr. Stewart examines these topics through intersectional, critical, and poststructural frameworks that incorporate ableism, religious hegemony, and classism alongside racism, patriarchy, and queer- and trans-antagonism. In addition to over 50 journal publications and book chapters, Dr. Stewart is an author or editor of four books, and has also received numerous awards for teaching, research, and service. Dr. Stewart is currently serving as the 2021 President for the Association for the Study of Higher Education.

Cross, William E. Jr, Ph.D.

Cross, William E. Jr, Ph.D. : Professor Emeritus

Professor Emeritus

Higher Education and Counseling Psychology
303-871-4592, KRH 226

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Dr. Cross received his PhD from Princeton University.  He holds professor emeritus status from another university but remains active, and he is President-Elect for Div. 45 (APA).  Dr. Cross’ recent publications interrogate the structure of the self-concept; the range of identity profiles found among African American adults; cultural epiphanies; the identity implications of cultural miseducation and false consciousness; and the multiple ways racial identity is enacted in everyday life.  He is a dedicated audiophile and is never far from music.

View Dr. Cross' Portfolio here.

Gildersleeve, Ryan Evely, Ph.D.

Gildersleeve, Ryan Evely, Ph.D. : Associate Dean and Professor

Associate Dean and Professor

Office of the Dean / Higher Education
303-871-4573, KRH 322

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Dr. Gildersleeve received his PhD from the University of California-Los Angeles.  He was a 2012 National Academy of Education / Spencer Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow. Dr. Gildersleeve received the 2011 Early Career Award from the American Educational Research Association's Division D – Research Methodology. His practical experience ranges across P-20 education in primarily out-of-classroom learning contexts with non-dominant youth.  Dr. Gildersleeve’s research agenda investigates the social and political contexts of educational opportunity for historically marginalized communities, focusing on college access and success for Latina/o (im)migrant families, critical higher education policy, and critical qualitative inquiry.


Hurtado, Sarah, Ph.D.

Hurtado, Sarah, Ph.D. : Assistant Professor

Assistant Professor

Department of Higher Education
303-871-4624, KRH 355

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Dr. Sarah S. Hurtado received her Ph.D. from Indiana University Bloomington in Higher Education. Her primary research agenda is focused in two areas: critically examining the replication of rape culture within colleges and universities and leveraging faculty members to address issues of inequity. She is committed to investigating the ways institutions contribute to the persistence of inequity that leads to sexual violence and identifying necessary solutions for addressing this issue. She is also part of a research team working with the National Survey of Student Engagement and ACUHO-I to better understand the relationship between a student’s living environment, engagement at their institution, and their persistence.

Nelson, Chris A., Ph.D.

Nelson, Chris A., Ph.D. : Assistant Professor

Assistant Professor

Higher Education
303-871-2487, KRH 349

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Chris A. Nelson, Ph.D., is of the Diné and Laguna Pueblo tribes of the southwest. Dr. Nelson received her doctorate in Higher Education from the University of Arizona’s Center for the Study of Higher Education. With over 10 years of higher education experience, she has a cross sectioning of experiences ranging from educational pathways in STEM, policy research, and student affairs.

The research she engages with strives to challenge the status quo of higher education for Native students and their communities. Her primary research interest focuses on finance in higher education, which ranges from student experiences to policy. Chris also blends critical theory and Indigenous perspectives/methods to explore the long-term impacts of pre-college access programs.

Nguyen, Mike Hoa, Ph.D.

Nguyen, Mike Hoa, Ph.D. : Assistant Professor

Assistant Professor

Department of Higher Education
303-871-7676, KRH-363

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Dr. Mike Hoa Nguyen is assistant professor of higher education at the University of Denver's Morgridge College of Education and faculty affiliate at the Scrivner Institute for Public Policy and the Interdisciplinary Research Institute for the Study of (In)Equality (IRISE).  His research examines the benefits and consequences of public policy instruments in expanding or constraining the operations of colleges and universities, with a specific focus on federal diversity initiatives. This agenda falls into two policy strands: (1) how the federal Minority Serving Institution (MSI) program serves as a vehicle for academic institutions to enhance student success by advancing the political agendas of communities of color and (2) the influence of the judicial branch, as a policy-making body, in regulating the role of racial diversity at colleges and universities.

Dr. Nguyen aims to better articulate how federal diversity policy can reach its potential, and fulfill its promise to address pervasive educational inequalities for underrepresented populations and regions within the United States. His work has been published in several outlets including Educational Researcher and the Review of Higher Education; and he testified before the California State Assembly’s Committee on Higher Education.

Prior to earning his doctorate, Dr. Nguyen served as a senior staff member in the United States Congress, where his policy portfolio included a number of key issues, including postsecondary education and the judiciary. Before federal service, Dr. Nguyen was a program associate at De Anza College, where he mentored students, developed new curriculum, and taught. He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of California, Berkeley, and his graduate education at the University of California, Los Angeles.  Learn more about Dr. Nguyen on his Portfolio Page.

Orphan, Cecilia, Ph.D.

Orphan, Cecilia, Ph.D. : Associate Professor

Associate Professor

Higher Education
303-871-3619, KRH 354

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Dr. Cecilia M. Orphan holds a Ph.D. in higher education from the University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Portland State University. Dr. Orphan’s research centers on the effects of neoliberal ideology and public policy on the democratic purpose of public higher education, and the role of open access universities in facilitating educational opportunity and regional civic life. From 2006-2011, Dr. Orphan directed the American Democracy Project, a national civic engagement initiative involving 240 colleges and universities.  In 2011, Dr. Orphan was awarded the John Saltmarsh Award for Emerging Leaders in Civic Engagement, a national award given by AASCU presented annually to an emerging leader in the civic engagement field. Portfolio

Sponsler, Laura, Ph.D.

Sponsler, Laura, Ph.D. : Clinical Associate Professor

Clinical Associate Professor

Higher Education
303-871-2720, KRH 352

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Dr. Sponsler received her Ph.D. in Higher Education from the University of Pennsylvania's Graduate School of Education. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Saint Joseph’s University and a master’s degree in higher education management from the University of Pennsylvania. Previously, Dr. Sponsler served as the founding director for NASPA’s Lead Initiative, a project recognizing a network of nearly 100 postsecondary institutions for their commitment to civic learning and democratic engagement.  Dr. Sponsler represented NASPA and its civic work with local, regional, and national partners.  She also collaborated with NASPA's Professional Development team to incorporate civic learning and democratic engagement into conferences and professional development opportunities for NASPA members.  In addition, she provided research support to the NASPA Research and Policy Institute. Prior to her scholarly work, Dr. Sponsler served as a practitioner in student affairs.  She coordinated the Franklin Community, which is dedicated to developing civic leaders for an increasingly democratic and culturally complex world.  Dr. Sponsler also served as the Assistant Director of Service-Learning in an immersion program along the U.S.-Mexico border in Tijuana, Mexico as well as coordinated service and leadership programming at Cabrini College.

Tyson, Michele, Ed.D.

Tyson, Michele, Ed.D. : Clinical Assistant Professor

Clinical Assistant Professor

Department of Higher Education
303-871-2255. KRH 337

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Dr. Michele Tyson has worked in the field of higher education for 20 years, with experience in student affairs, enrollment management, and student services.  Dr. Tyson has an MA in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, a BA in History from the University of Northern Colorado, and an EdD in Higher Education Administration from the University of Denver. Dr. Tyson’s professional and research interests include: issues of access and persistence for post-traditional students, adult education, organizational change, ethics in higher education, and development of new professionals. Most recently, she created and implemented the transition plan for students following the academic program closure at Colorado Women’s College and was a critical part of the organization’s strategic planning efforts.  Additional professional experience includes working with a variety of different college students at both private and public institutions.  With three school-aged children, weekends are generally spent on the ballfield - any and every ballfield!

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