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
  • Psychology Keystone Experience Development

    Pathways for Student Innovation

    The Department of Psychology is piloting courses and programs aimed at creating opportunities for undergraduate innovation. This department-wide initiative puts the Keystone goals into action by creating cross-disciplinary research and science collaborations, expanded internship opportunities, career-focused courses, and clinical, developmental, social and cognitive psychology course clusters. 

  • DU Ethnography Lab

    Collaborating Across Disciplines

    The DU Ethnography Lab is a hub for multidisciplinary scholarship. We facilitate faculty collaborations, offer a space where students can develop ethnography skills through mentorship and tutoring, and give students and faculty the tools to build sustainable collaborations and partnerships beyond DU, working with other initiatives that center on themes such as immigration, sustainability and health.

  • Integrated Practices and Degree Synthesis Initiative

    Connecting Student Pursuits

    Rather than examining disciplines in isolation, DU students pursuing dual degrees or a combination of BA, minors and certificates can now engage in meaningful explorations to bridge their academic pursuits. We're creating a template to let students connect varied interests through research, material experimentation and artistic exploration, with creative hybrid outcomes displaying knowledge in 2D, 3D or other forms.

  • Teaching Performers to Research Initiative

    Team-Teaching to Create Dialogue

    In music programs, performance, research, history and theory are often disconnected. We're creating a team-taught pilot course emphasizing dialogue between history, analysis and performance. Unlike current research seminars that feature a final paper, the culminating project for this course will include a public outreach lecture with a collaborative final performance.

  • Political Science Internship and Keystone Experience Initiative

    Dynamic Real-World Experience

    The political science department currently offers student internships in three different areas: political campaigns, the Colorado state legislature and legal careers. We're expanding this foundation by creating a summer quarter internship, piloting two-quarter internships and research internships, and creating more opportunities for interdisciplinary interactions among DU's students.

  • Clinic for Open-Source Arts

    Digital Art with a Community Brush

    Bridging arts and computing, the Clinic for Open-Source Arts supports the development of open-source tools for artists to create works with computer code. Diversity will be central to this project; we will include women and underrepresented groups as developers of the tools and deliberately create tools with appeal beyond the traditional coding community.

  • Casa de Paz Learning Community

    Service Learning in Action

    A project with key social and political significance, the Casa de Paz Learning Community encapsulates the Madden Center's focus on problem-based learning and collaboration across programs. It begins with a series of four linked service-learning courses in which students work with Casa de Paz, a local nonprofit that supports immigrants recently released from the Aurora Detention Center. The initiative has expanded to include opportunities for scholarship, community outreach and more.

    Learn more about Casa de Paz and its impact on students.

  • Praxis Transdisciplinary Keystone Experience Development

    Critical Thinking Across Boundaries

    Inspired by a mission to foster hands-on critical thinking, the Praxis Transdisciplinary Keystone Experience Development prepares students to incorporate emerging technologies and practices across disciplines through the study of critical theory. In order to expand ideas about critical thinking, the program will provide opportunities to create literary/digital art or entrepreneurial projects that use digital technologies.


Derigan Silver

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

Lindsey Vargas