Spring 2016 Higher Education Quarterly Newsletter

Upcoming Events

  • HED Lunch & Learn, 4/6
  • ASHE Proposal Workshops 4/16 & 4/20
  • HED Praxis Day 5/27
  • 3/29 Student Affairs Panel
  • 04/12 NASPA Conference Debrief
  • 5/27 HED Praxis Day & End of year celebration
  • 6/3 DU Graduation
  • Ted Talk Tuesday date TBD
  • Student Alumni Speaker date and guest TBD
Stay Connected!

  • DU HED Facebook
  • DU HED Twitter
  • HESA Facebook Page 
    (Student/Alumni Led)
  • HESA Portfolio Page
  • HESA Board Meetings
    Everyother Tuesday 6-7PM
    KRH Board Room
HED Recent Faculty Achievement

  • Dr. Judy Marquez Kiyama received the Outstanding Faculty Award from the Latino Knowledge Community at NASPA.
  • Dr. Cecilia M. Orphan received a DU Public Good Grant supporting her project, “Leading Collective Civic Impact: Measuring and Advancing Higher Education’s Contributions to Civic Health in Colorado Community Partner(s): Campus Compact of the Mountain West.”
  • Dr. Ryan Evely Gildersleeve was named to the Editorial Board for the Journal of College Access.
  • Dr. Laura Sponsler was selected as Co-Chair of the NASPA Service Learning/Civic Engagement Working Group
  • Dr. Bill Cross Will be Keynote Speaker at the 2016 Higher Education Diversity Summit (HEDS) in the Auraria Campus.

HED Spring 2016 Newsletter (3)


A mix of students from HED MA and EdD/PhD programs participated in the annual DU Research & Performance Summit at the end of January.  In total, students delivered 7 sessions focused on topics including: safe spaces on campus, racist and sexist contexts surrounding doctoral women of color, international students, and issues of diversity and inclusive excellence.

Inclusive Excellence in the HED Curriculum

By Cecilia M. Orphan, Assistant Professor, Higher Education 

HED Spring 2016 Newsletter (1)Shortly after the Mizzou protests, I was talking with a graduate student of color from Brandeis about her efforts to create a racially inclusive campus. I pushed her, in the same way I had pushed DU students, to identify specific demands for her administration.
My fear was that unless students were specific about what they wanted, the protests would dissolve and it would be business as usual. She responded by saying, “With all due respect, it’s not my job to fix campus culture. It’s the job of the people who run this place.” Her comment struck me deeply. She’s exactly right – it’s not the job of students to fix racially hostile campuses. It’s the job of staff, faculty and administrators – those with positional power – to create inclusive cultures. We can do this by verbalizing and claiming our shared stake in ending oppression and honoring the diverse identities students possess.

Indeed, students embody a wealth of expertise and identities. Our role as professors is to surface this wisdom by getting to know each student and treating them as a colleague. I strive to do this by emphasizing to students that our classroom is a co-created experience. Throughout each course I teach, I welcome and use student feedback. I tell students that I want to know if anyone on campus or in the classroom – myself included – acts in oppressive ways. Because students may not always feel comfortable giving feedback in person, I maintain a SurveyMonkey for anonymous feedback.

I have been influenced by bell hooks’s assertion that teaching is a political act and, at its best, a practice of freedom. If, as professors, we choose to highlight current events and practice freedom in our classrooms – that is a political act. And if, as professors, we choose to ignore these events and perceive ourselves as the sole experts – that is an equally political act. By using my position to practice freedom, I hope that inside and outside the classroom, I am able to promote Inclusive Excellence. Of course I don’t always get it right but hey – that’s what the SurveyMonkey is for.

Featured Program: Jonathan Butler Visits DU

Jonathan Butler, Graduate student University of Missouri. Photo: Twitter

Jonathan Butler, Graduate student University of Missouri. Photo: Twitter

Jonathan Butler, graduate student at the University of Missouri, activist, educator, and member of the group “Concerned Student 1950” will be visiting the University of Denver on May 2nd . Stay tuned for more details.

A Dialogue on Professional Development: Thinking Outside the Box

By:  Rod Bugarin, HED EdD Student & Shannon Lopez, HED PhD Student 

HED Spring 2016 Newsletter (2)ROD: Hey Shannon, are you going to the SACSCOC meeting this fall? I remember you worked on UTHSCSA’s accreditation.

SHANNON: Actually, I’m shifting career paths.

ROD: How did that come about?

SHANNON: Even though I’ve enjoyed working with my institution’s data to report outcomes evaluation, I want to work more with students. I’ve always known that I want more of that direct connection and seeing how our faculty engage with us, in and out of class, I find myself following that interest even more.

ROD: I know our coursework encourages us to find ways to develop and to make a difference in communities that will benefit from work we are passionate about. Beyond conferences and working on campus, I’ve really enjoyed how opportunities in organizations outside of academia have given me a new dimension about what I can do when I graduate. Don’t get me wrong – I know I can make change as a campus administrator; but I’ve also been inspired by my peers who have thought outside the box and sought work experiences beyond those on a college campus like those in consulting groups, government agencies, and non-profits.

SHANNON: I never thought about getting experience that way. So beyond conferences or part time work, I could intern with the Colorado Department of Higher Education or Denver Scholarship Foundation this summer.

ROD: Yes, or during the quarter if you can squeeze it in. Next year, I hope to intern with one of the enrollment consulting groups based in Denver. With my advisor’s permission, I hope to use it as one of my electives.

SHANNON: Thanks for that insight. I was concerned about how I’d be continuing building my resume while balancing coursework. I knew about the value of conferences and workshops to further myself professionally, but had not considered finding alternative experiences outside of a campus.

ROD: Denver is unique in that there are lots of opportunities in the metro area. And to be a change agent, we should (and are encouraged to) think big. Have you thought about getting experience with an organization in San Antonio?

SHANNON: Yes! There’s a non-profit called Communities in Schools. It’ll be perfect as it’ll give me hands on experience with students, while I can research those interests I’ve developed in class on the intersections between families, schools, and students.

ROD: That’s outside the box thinking! And this would be a great experience that Dr. Kiyama would love to have in her class. You should ask if you can be her TA next year. But, ask early. I know a lot of our fellow doctoral students want to have TA experience as it’s another great avenue for professional development.

SHANNON: Any other tips?

ROD: Finding mentors in other fields is very helpful. I remember advice that Marybeth Gasman gave during an ABAFOILSS
(Association of Black Admissions and Financial Aid Officers of the Ivy League and Sister Schools) meeting about the importance of having a “board of mentors.” This way, when there are new opportunities and challenges in your professional and personal life, you can turn to multiple seasoned professionals to help you navigate these choices.

SHANNON: I can definitely work on that. After all, my partner, family and friends can only stand so many of my “What should I do with my life?” questions.

How do you spend your summer?

For EdD Students

By Katie Kleinhesselink, HED EdD Student 

HED Spring 2016 Newsletter (5)

Many of us in the EdD program are employed fulltime, myself included. Summer, for me, is that precious time in which I can intentionally play with implementing what I’ve learned in the program into my work. For example, I spent most of last summer editing a faculty-focused service learning curriculum. I was able, in that process, to pull directly from Org & Gov. and Higher Ed. Law to flesh out chapters that were woefully lacking on topics like navigating institutional barriers and risk management.

Thanks to my class project in Social & Political Context, I was also able to create an orientation for my veterans-focused VISTA program that addresses critical questions of intersectional identities in campus veteran spaces. I live and learn by doing—I am, after all, a practitioner.

Summer offers the space for me to intentionally merge my student and professional identities, take risks I might otherwise have not, and ultimately grow programs that better meet the needs of Campus Compact of the Mountain West’s member institutions.

For MA Students

By Ana Ramirez, HED MA Student 

HED Spring 2016 Newsletter (6)

Summer time is the perfect time for me to see what I want to potentially do or not do, upon graduation. Last year I had the opportunity to do my internship with the Dallas County Community College District with the Student Success Center and I assisted with the Dallas Mayor’s Interns Fellows Program with Education is Freedom.

March is a great month to start reaching out to contacts about potential summer opportunities. If you are seeking an internship, specially paid, contacting them a couple months before the summer arrives, gives them time to explore ways they can accommodate you.

Also, making use of career services at DU can be helpful in preparing for career opportunities during the summer. For example, I attend workshops that include but are not limited to LinkedIn, negotiating salary, interview skills and I also make one-on-one appointments with a career counselor to review my resume and cover letter. Taken together, reaching out to your contacts and networks can prove handy as you explore potential summer opportunities. I am currently doing all these things as I prepare for a new career upon graduation.

For PhD Students

By Delma Ramos, HED PhD Student

HED Spring 2016 Newsletter (7)

Summer is a critical time for PhD students who want to pursue opportunities such as research internships/associateships and teaching to enhance their trajectories in their academic programs.

The past two summers in particular, have given me the opportunity to work for places that allow me to explore higher education through different contexts and methodologies.During my second year in the program, I completed an internship at the Education Commission of the States. In this position I learned more about policies that impact higher education, and also worked in collaboration with policy analysts to explore topics such as higher education strategic planning across all states and financial aid policies and statutes affecting diverse communities.

Last year, I did a summer associateship with the RAND Corporation LA. This opportunity not only allowed me to spend the summer in West LA but also to learn more about how higher education, in conjunction with other disciplines shapes policies at a macro level.

Some of the most useful resources that helped me identify and pursue some of these opportunities include, the DU career center, LinkedIn, ASHE and AERA listservs, and also running google searches for summer opportunities for doctoral students. Good luck this summer!

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