Impact Report 2020-2021

Letter from the Dean

Rhonda Gonzales

As the new Dean for the College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences (CAHSS), I'm delighted to be part of this vibrant community of scholars, artists, students, alumni and friends. 

Like so many people and institutions spanning the world, our College has faced incredible challenges over the past year. Thankfully, despite these odds, our community has continued to thrive. In this impact report, we share some of the highlights of the past year to demonstrate the creativity, flexibility, dedication and resilience of the CAHSS community. 

Our faculty continues to innovate in programming and curriculum to enrich student experiences, generate new research and creative works, and more. Thanks to the support and advocacy of DU students, faculty and alumni, CAHSS announced plans for the formation of a Critical Race and Ethnic Studies Program and major; this development followed on the success of the minor. Our First-Generation College Student Program is planning for expansion to support CAHSS students’ sense of belonging at DU. And the Center for Innovation in Liberal and Creative Arts (CILCA) continues to endorse launches of pilot programs that help our students have transformative experiences. 

Our alumni continue to demonstrate how their DU liberal arts education impacts their lives, careers and communities long after graduation. For example, Emergent Digital Practices Alumnus Ben Efram (BFA ’17) quickly pivoted his technology business in fall 2020 to help battle wildfires across Colorado. 

In the coming months, I look forward to meeting you and learning about the passions that you bring to the CAHSS community. I invite you to connect with events and projects that support the Keystone Strategic Plan and our exciting vision for the College. 

Rhonda M. Gonzales, Dean 

College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences 

Impact Report Table of Contents

Media Highlights

Our Faculty

Our Students

Our Alumni

The Impact of Philanthropy

Photo of sculpture at the women's college

CAHSS Raises Over $250,000 to Support Social Justice

In his last year as dean of the College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences (CAHSS), Danny McIntosh was committed to making CAHSS an intentional community that provides an equal and just educational experience for its students. To that end, he created a fundraiser to support institutions in the College that investigate and address the root causes of social, racial, economic and environmental justice.

Through the generosity of our donors and alumni, the College raised over $250,000 to support the Dean’s Fund for Excellence, Casa de Paz Learning Community, the Center for Art Collection Ethics, the Prison Arts Initiative, the Spirituals Project and multiple student internship opportunities.

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Photo of exhibition from the Vicki Myhren Gallery

Myhren Generosity Enhances the Student Experience Across Campus

For more than 30 years, students and programs across the University of Denver have felt the impact of Trygve (Tryg) and Vicki Myhren’s leadership and philanthropy. The Myhrens’ most recent gift carries forward that legacy, investing $1 million in mission-centered priorities spanning the campus and benefiting students well into the future.

”The University of Denver is deeply grateful to Tryg and Vicki Myhren,” says Chancellor Jeremy Haefner. “With the leadership, generosity and support like the Myhrens’, DU’s students are better able to pursue lives of purpose and meaningful careers; they are better able to become the leaders the world needs.”

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Photo from the opera theatre at the Newman Center

Gift from Robert and Judi Newman Benefits Music Students

Thanks to the generosity of Robert and Judi Newman, longtime friends of the University of Denver, graduate students at the Lamont School of Music will have a special opportunity starting in fall 2021.

The Newmans' gift to Lamont funds a two-year fellowship for master of music students in performance or conducting. Combined with a tuition waiver, this award will cover students’ full cost of attendance. As a result, the fellowship will encourage more students to apply to Lamont, strengthening the school’s recruiting efforts. The Newmans first started the Newman Graduate Fellowship in 2011 to support Lamont students. 

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Strategic Initiatives

ace fundamentals training

Center for Art Collection Ethics

The Center for Art Collection Ethics (ACE) brings conversations about the legal and ethical dimension of art collection stewardship to the DU community and beyond. ACE offers expert-led training programs to equip graduate students and emerging professionals with the skills they need to implement ethical stewardship practices in libraries, museums, and other cultural institutions. ACE examines the latest advances and challenges in art stewardship through our news blog and social media, providing thought-provoking commentary from a historical perspective.  

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Photo from DU's Prison Arts Initiative performance

DU's Prison Arts Initiative (PAI)

The DU Prison Arts Initiative (DU PAI) generates creative and collaborative learning experiences that enrich the lives of people who are incarcerated and shift the conversation about prison. As part of DU’s commitment to the public good, DU PAI's programming opens dialogue between incarcerated people and their communities. DU PAI empower individuals to see themselves as leaders capable of creating meaningful change, both inside prison systems and well beyond.

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Photo from The Spirituals Project performance

Center for Innovation in the Liberal & Creative Arts (CILCA)

The Center for Innovation in the Liberal and Creative Arts (CILCA) reimagines liberal and creative arts education in a way that emphasizes flexibility and adaptability. CILCA offers the space, seed money and administrative help necessary to support new pilot projects and signature academic programs. By investing in these new models of courses and curriculum, CILCA supports improvement and innovation in scholarship, research and educational practices.

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Past Performances & Events

Faculty Books

Connect With Us

Photo of the Burwell Center for Career Advancement

Connect with Our Director of Alumni Engagement

Photo from DU's Museum of Anthropology exhibition

Explore Our Latest News and Events

Photo from institutional justice event series

Support the College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

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