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CAHSS Alumni Achievement Awards

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College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Announcement  •
Alumni  •
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The CAHSS Alumni Achievement Awards program was created in 2012 under the AHSS Advisory Board (now the CAHSS Advisory Board), which offers its experience, expertise and energy to the leadership of the divisions to enrich the Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences communities. The award selection committee is made up of CAHSS Advisory Board representatives and the dean.

Congratulations to our award recipients!


2022 Award Recipients

Lifetime Achievement Award: Ed Dwight (MFA ’77)

Ed Dwight (MFA ’77), the first African American to be trained as an astronaut and the sculptor of major monuments, joined the United States Air Force in 1953, pursuing his dream of flying jet aircraft.

The Kennedy administration chose Captain Ed Dwight as the first African American astronaut trainee in 1962. Catapulted to instant fame, he was featured on the cover of EbonyJetSepia and in news magazines around the world.

In the mid 1970s, Dwight turned to art and studied at the University of Denver, learning to operate the university's metal casting foundry. He received a Master of Fine Arts in 1977 and gained a reputation as a sculptor. Ed Dwight Studios in Denver is now one of the largest privately owned production and marketing facilities in the western United States.

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Community Service Award: Peggy Speir (MA ’09, art history with a concentration in museum studies)

Peggy Speir (MA ’09, Art History with a concentration in Museum Studies) is the manager of access programs and resources in the education department of Amon Carter Museum of American Art in Fort Worth, Texas. Since her high school days, she has loved working with people with disabilities and she continued pursuing that path at the College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences.

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Alumni Service to CAHSS Award: Paul Keables (BA ’07, mass communications with emphasis in film & television and digital media studies and a minor in theatre)

Paul Keables (BA ’07, Mass Communications with emphasis in Film & Television and Digital Media Studies) is a television writer and producer who has produced and written shows such as "Boss", "Nashville," "The Strain," "Mars," and "Spinning Out" on well-known platforms including Netflix, National Geographic Channel, FX, Starz, and ABC. He has developed adaptations and original ideas for Hulu and Amazon Prime.

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Recent Alumni Award: Joie Ha (BA ’15, anthropology with minors in international studies, psychology, and leadership)

Joie Ha (BA '15, Anthropology) is the founder of CORE: Community Organization for Radical Empathy, and Vice Chair of Colorado Asian Pacific United. Her deep connection with the community and being part of her mother’s journey as a refugee pushed her to do community organizing work. She has been in this field for more than 13 years now. Founding her own DEI consultancy came naturally to her after years of advising on DEI issues and community engagement.

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Past Recipients

  • 2020 Award Recipients
    • Lifetime Achievement Award: Duane Michals (BA '53, liberal arts)
    • Community Engagement Award: Jane Nathanson (BA '67)
    • Alumni Service to AHSS Award: Katy Williams (BA '14, theatre and neuroscience)
    • Recent Alumni Award: Diana Khoi Nguyen (PhD '18, English and Literary Arts)


  • 2018 Award Recipients
    • Community Engagement Award: Candi CdeBaca (BA '08 and MSW '09, sociology)
    • Alumni Service to AHSS Award: Frazer Lockhart (BA '10, media, film and journalism)
    • Recent Alumni Award: Morehshin Allahyari (MA '09, digital media studies)
  • 2017 Award Recipients
    • Lifetime Achievement Award: David Rothenberg (BS '55)
    • Community Engagement Award: Simone Kivett (BFA '00, electronic media arts design)
    • Alumni Service to AHSS Award: William Temple (Davy) Davis (PhD '84, theatre)
    • Recent Alumni Achievement Award: Julio Alas (BA '08, psychology and Spanish; MA '11, curriculum and instruction)


  • 2016 Award Recipients
    • Lifetime Achievement Award: Maria Guajardo (PhD '88, psychology)
    • Community Engagement Award: Scott Gratson (PhD '02, human communications)
    • Alumni Service to AHSS Award: Melanie Herrera Bortz (BA '88, psychology)
    • Recent Alumni Achievement Award: Keely Buchanan (BA '01, digital media studies)
  • 2015 Award Recipients
    • Lifetime Achievement Award: Karambu Ringera (PhD '07, human communications)
    • Community Engagement Award: David Rosenberg (BA '78, psychology, mass communication)
    • Alumni Service to AHSS Award: Amelia Ribnick Kleiman (BA '79, political science, economics)
    • Recent Alumni Achievement Award: Christopher Luther (BM '06, music performance)
  • 2014 Award Recipients
    • Alumni Service to AHSS Award: Dr. Edythe Miller (BA '50 and MA '53, economics)
    • Recent Alumni Achievement Award: Mahalia Newmark (BA '08, English)
    • Community Engagement Award: Hannah Seigel Proff (BA '04, English, gender and women’s studies)
    • Lifetime Achievement Award: Hao Jiang Tian (MA '87, music)
  • 2013 Award Recipients
    • Alumni Service to DU Award: (Posthumous) Dave Briggs (BA, political science)
    • Recent Alumni Achievement Award: Meghan Doyle (BA '02, political science)
    • Community Engagement Award: Elizabeth Kingman (BA '71, speech communication)
    • Lifetime Achievement Award: Mayor Steve Hogan (BA '70, political science and history)