Current Projects

Expanding the Limits of the Liberal Arts

From service-learning courses and entrepreneurial projects to open-source technologies and dynamic degree support, our programs go beyond the routine. We’re inventing new models of learning, including cluster courses, experiential learning opportunities and projects that cross disciplines.

Our initiatives provide opportunities for faculty and students to work together toward deep, specialized inquiry and explore the nuances beyond typical one-size-fits-all undergraduate tracks. It’s all part of our reimagined vision for what a creative and liberal arts education can be.

Where Discoveries Happen

Research Centers & Institutes
  • Center for International Mountain Area Studies (CIMAS)

    Researching Highland Geographies

    The Center for International Mountain Area Studies (CIMAS) focuses on supporting students and faculty who are passionate about advancing social science, humanities-focused research or creative ventures related to mountain cultures, geographies, communities, histories and ecologies. CIMAS will promote and advance the creation of high-impact experiential learning and research opportunities on issues specific to mountainous spaces and the people who inhabit them in highland communities across the globe.

    CIMAS strives to create a space for collaboration between scholars, students and community members who research and/or live in mountainous or mountain-adjacent communities.

  • Classrooms to Careers

    Identifying Skills in Arts and Humanities

    The Classrooms to Careers initiative connects CAHSS with national higher-education efforts to highlight career-relevant competencies in undergraduate courses, like the annual Competency Symposium. It brings to the forefront the competencies that students develop in arts and humanities majors, helping faculty and students to better understand those competencies and articulate them to future employers.

    Classrooms to Careers has four parts: two centered on departmental efforts and two centered on individual instructor/course efforts.

  • Documenting Colorado’s Hidden Voices

    Chronicling Oral Histories and Communities

    Documenting Colorado’s Hidden Voices provides training and support for DU students to conduct and collect oral histories from Coloradans across the state. The project focuses on “unheard voices of Colorado,” which includes collections focused on: farmers, day laborers, domestic workers, unemployed workers, people experiencing homeless, people who were incarcerated and people who are undocumented. The first year will prioritize oral histories from Colorado’s agricultural community while cultivating other networks for the following years.

    Through the support and training of Rachael Beyer, John W. Emery family assistant curator of oral history at History Colorado, students will collect and contribute to the establishment of these special oral history collections at History Colorado and DU.

  • Economics Keystone Project

    Expanding Experiential Learning

    The Department of Economics is creating a Keystone Learning Experience for its students, which includes introductory courses focusing on the three crises of capitalism (economic inequality, economic instability and ecological crisis). The project will create experiential learning opportunities throughout the major, and students will be required to take one 2000-level keystone course and either a community-engaged service-learning course or an internship.


Derigan Silver

Faculty Director, Center for Innovation in the Liberal and Creative Arts

Lindsey Vargas