New Alumni Council Members for 2021
The University of Denver’s College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences' Alumni Council kicks off the academic year by welcoming four new council members. Members serve four-year terms, and the Council is made up of alumni from across the country with representatives from a variety of degree programs in the College. The Council meets throughout the year to offer the experience, expertise and energy needed to lead and improve our students’ creative and liberal arts education.
“The CAHSS Alumni Council is a central partner in advancing our College mission, and I am delighted to welcome our newest council members,” says Rhonda M. Gonzales, dean of the College. “CAHSS alumni are our strongest asset and biggest advocates. They personify the value of a DU education, and they are a testament to how our work empowers our students with meaningful opportunities and experiences that will prepare them to shine at DU and beyond. CAHSS alumni continue to live out their commitment to serving the public good and to support the College’s faculty and students through their time, talent and expertise.”
Please join us in welcoming Chelsea Harris, Lisa Helling, Lindsay Smart and Megan Williams.
Chelsea Harris (BA '06, political science and English)
Chelsea Harris is a fifth-generation Colorado native who attended Graland Country Day School and Colorado Academy. She’s a University of Denver graduate with over 14 years of experience in teaching, educational leadership and non-profit management. In 2015, she launched Leaps and Bounds, a non-profit organization centered on inner-city youth with the mission to address the broad achievement gap for minorities and low-income children. In 2017, Harris wrote two children’s books that focused on children of color, “Amira” and “The Kitchen,” and is currently developing a Juneteenth curriculum with emphasis on African-American history.
Lisa Helling (BA '77, foreign language and literature)
Lisa Helling recently retired as executive director of the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State in Washington, DC. Prior to assuming this position, she was the counselor for public affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw, Poland from 2009–2012. From 2008–2009, she held the position of deputy director in the Office of Press and Public Diplomacy in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs. Prior to her Washington assignment, she was posted at the U.S. Consulate General in São Paulo, Brazil as a public affairs officer. Since joining the U.S. Information Agency in 1990, her assignments have included cultural center director in Warsaw, Poland; public affairs officer in Vilnius, Lithuania; country affairs officer for public diplomacy for the Caucasus and Central Asia; and press attaché in Prague, Czech Republic. A native of Denver, Colorado, she holds a JD from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law (JD ’80), and a BA, summa cum laude in foreign languages and literatures, also from the University of Denver (1977). Her foreign languages include Polish, Portuguese, Czech, Lithuanian and French.
Lindsay Smart (MA '06 clinical psychology, PhD '09 clinical psychology)
Lindsay Smart, PhD, is an associate professor and licensed clinical psychologist in the University of New Mexico School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. In addition, she’s the associate vice chancellor for leadership and faculty equity & inclusion in the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center Office for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion where she leads initiatives that promote diversity, equity and inclusion among faculty, students and staff within the UNM Health Sciences Center. She’s also the training director for the American Psychological Association (APA) Accredited Clinical Psychology Internship Training Program at UNM HSC and provides clinical services to UNM Student-Athletes. Smart received her BA in psychology at the University of Portland and her MA and PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Denver. During her time as a graduate student at the University of Denver, Smart was a fellow in the American Psychological Association Minority Fellowship Program. Smart completed her pre-doctoral clinical psychology internship in New Mexico at the UNM HSC and her post-doctoral training was completed with the UNM Division of Community Behavioral Health.
Megan Williams (BA '07, journalism and English)
Megan Williams is a continuous improvement specialist with the nationally renowned Denver Peak Academy at the City and County of Denver. She’s coached over 146 staff across 27 agencies in process-improvement efforts, resulting in $2.5 million identified tax-dollar savings.
Using her skills as a master relationship builder and action inciter, she works to transform local government to center those it has traditionally marginalized. She’s been awarded the Colorado City and County Managers Association Trailblazer Award for her contributions to building an inclusive and diverse workforce in local government, and the University of Denver Women’s Coalition Robin Morgan Outstanding Woman Alumna Award for supporting an empowering environment for women at DU. In 2018, she initiated and implemented a paid family leave policy in a historically conservative municipal organization. In 2019, she created the first ever Colorado Women Leading Government Conference to build support systems and skills for women who want to pursue leadership positions in government. In 2020, she created the Lady Power Podcast Club to further skill and network building for women. And in 2021, she led a rapid improvement to increase equity in the city’s grantmaking process for the Office of Children’s Affairs, a pilot that could be expanded to all city grantmaking. She believes impossible is just an opinion and that we are more powerful when we work together for lasting change.