Our Media Fellow, CJ Garcia, has been ridiculously busy this summer. Read about how he spent many long, grueling, SUCCESSFUL hours as a Drum Major for the Blue Knights!
“I’m holding on to the escalera (ladder) with one hand, pero con la otra mano (but with the other hand), I’m trying to reach down and lift others with me as we climb.”
~Solorzano and Yosso (2001)
This quote became the inspiration for our inaugural, first ever Latin@ Pioneer Prep Leadership Institute two weeks ago. The program is designed and geared for Latin@ college-focused high school juniors and seniors. The group consisted of 59 scholars with an average GPA just above 3.8. We had 40 females, 19 males, 13 juniors, 46 seniors, 7 out-of-state students from Texas, Oklahoma, California, New York and Rhode Island as well as 6 DACA students.
I also can’t forget our ten current DU students who served as mentors for our 59 scholars. Yeah, they are awesome!
The scholars had a packed schedule for the three days they were here at DU. On Friday, their first day, they had sessions on Leadership & Success by Patricia Barela Rivera, President & Owner - PBR Solutions, and Latin@ Identity Development by Dr. Maria del Carmen Salazar, Assistant Professor - Morgridge College of Education and Dr. Miguel De La Torre, Professor of Social Ethics & Latino/a Studies, Illif School of Theology.
After such a long day, students had the opportunity to experience some culture and art and we all went downtown for the First Friday Art Walk on Santa Fe Drive. We had a great dinner at La Alma Recreation Center along with a quick presentation titled “Honoring Your Story,” by Denver-based Spoken Word Artist, Actor & Social Worker Bobby LeFebre. They also had an opportunity to tour El Centro Su Teatro and Tony Garcia, Executive Artistic Director, was able to speak about the rich history and culture of the community.
Sessions over the next two days included Roadmap to the College Admission Process, Planning for College/Education Cents, Collegiate Essay Writing, Immigration & Education, High Performance Living for Success, and a Culture Shock Fishbowl Session. During this time our scholars had the opportunity to engage with the DU community, grow their leadership skills, and explore their cultural identity.
Want to see more? Well, check out this great video put together by our DU Videographer Jeff Haessler and see more pictures on our DU Diversity Flickr page by Cisco Mora and Hernández-Ponce Photography.
On behalf of our staff we want to thank all of our families for allowing us to be gone from home for so long, our amazing DU students for stepping up to the challenge, our DU staff for being supportive of Pio Prep, and our DU community for spreading the word and making this program such a success!
Claudia Hernandez-Ponce - Assocate Director of Admission & Group Visits
Posted at 03:10 PM | Permalink
“Hello, and welcome! My name is Jennifer Lipke and I am the Associate Director of Admission and Transfer Coordinator here at the University of Denver.”
Admittedly, my tongue has tripped over that introduction more times than I would like in the month since I earned the title - a challenge I didn’t expect when I took over the position and became the most senior rookie counselor in all of DU admission. How can one be a rookie counselor with the most seniority? Well, I have spent the last 14+ years working in the admission office as an Enrollment Specialist.
As a full time employee, I have been here in the admission office longer than all the domestic counselors (however, if you include time as a work-study, like my friend and colleague, Shanna Pomager, then she edges me out, just a little). As a Specialist, I have handled more applications, transcripts, phone calls and emails regarding admission questions in those 14 years than most of the other counselors combined. Coupled with my years of evaluating transfer credit, the transition to the counselor position was a natural progression.
And yet, as with all change, no matter how natural, or expected, I have encountered my fair share of growing pains and moments of doubt and concern. Despite all my years of experience, I am just a wide-eyed newbie when it comes to things like giving information sessions and setting up fall travel. The office (with a door!) I had long coveted in the busiest of times, while technically mine, doesn’t feel like home yet; still showcasing the posters hung by the previous counselor – until I have some sort of decorating inspiration, at least. And the door, while helpful when it is time to buckle down and focus, is also a barrier (even when open) to the spontaneous chatter and collaboration I was so familiar with as a Specialist in the open office area, affectionately called The Maze.
The difference is not unlike my experience in moving from the community feel of the dorms to the quieter, and more independent, apartments. There are a lot of pros, but there are some cons mixed in as well. In this time of adjustment, the somewhat unexpected thing I have come to value most in this new position is my renewed empathy towards students in the admission process. Regardless of the expected nature of the transition, or how much experience you have from other schools, there are always moments you find yourself a wide-eyed newbie. So, if you are in the neighborhood, stop by and check out my (hopefully newly decorated) office, and we can talk about all that makes your eyes go wide, and find ways to take the sting out of the much desired growth. My (new) door is (almost) always open!
Jennifer Lipke - Associate Director of Admission and Transfer Coordinator
Posted at 11:57 AM | Permalink
It is July 30th, 2014 and I am back in the office after getting two extra days of rest upon the completion of our annual Pioneer Prep Leadership, which was held July 24th-27th. The individual Pioneer Prep Leadership Institutes for African American students is designed for college-focused high school juniors and seniors to have a dynamic learning opportunity on the University of Denver campus.
During Pioneer Prep, participants were introduced to various topics focusing on college access, navigating the college search and application process, career planning, leadership development and cultural awareness through a series of speakers and activities. Attendees also gained valuable insight on what it is like to live and attend classes on a private college campus. In addition, students had the opportunity to make new, like-minded friends both locally and nationally, all of whom are passionate about pursuing their educational goals. The group consisted of 19 males, 35 females, and five fly-in students from AL, FL, TX and VA. We hosted 32 seniors and 22 juniors.
All participants have a desire to attend college, a hope to grow their leadership skills, and an interest in exploring their cultural identity. The average gpa for the group as whole was in the impressive 3.7-3.8 range, with close to 20 students having a 4.0 or above. I had the honor, along with my colleagues Nashwa Bolling and Roderick Rose, to host this event; we truly had a phenomenal time getting to know the students and putting together the best program possible for our students to benefit from.
Here are some photos from our weekend which included dynamic speakers, a fun night out at Dave and Busters, and a cultural outing in which we attended the Cleo Parker 10th Annual Denver Dance Festival. For many of the students, it was their first time to attend a performance such as the one we witnessed last Saturday.
Now, we are turning our attention to the inaugural, first ever Latino/a Pioneer Prep Leadership which starts Thursday, July 31st - our fly-in students are set to land in the afternoon/evening. Wish us luck!
Wahhab Carter - Associate Director of Diversity Enrollment
Posted at 01:37 PM | Permalink
“What’s your major?”
You will be asked this question countless times over the next couple of years. Many students are undecided about their major; in fact, undeclared majors are one of the largest groups of incoming first-year students. Even the majority of declared students will change their major more than once before graduation. Regardless of major, however, every undergraduate student at the University of Denver takes Common Curriculum courses. These courses introduce you to a variety of disciplines across the arts, humanities, and sciences as part of a liberal arts education. Taking Common Curriculum classes during your first year will give you the opportunity to take introductory courses in subjects you may find you want to explore further through a dedicated major or minor.
During your first few quarters at DU, it is okay to explore, to not know what your major will be. This is the time to take the steps to decide on your interests and future career path. Choosing a major is an active process that involves your complete participation and looks different for everyone. No matter what your process will look like, you have numerous resources to help you from the moment you step on campus.
**Students can confirm their major with their FSEM instructor/advisor during DIscoveries Orientation and are able to make any necessary changes at that time.**
Check out the sessions below to begin your major exploration! Keep your options open…you’re in good company as an Undeclared student.
Monday, September 1st, 2014
The director of the Pre-Professional/Allied Health Advising Program will speak with students interested in applying to medical school or dental school, or pursuing graduate work in physical therapy, nursing, or physician assistant/other health-related programs.
Talk with DU’s pre-law adviser about what you need to do to prepare for law school. We will discuss topics such as classes to take as an undergraduate, knowing your GPA, conduct records, learning what it means to go to law school, and more.
Wednesday, September 3rd
Students will meet with faculty to learn about major and minor requirements. You don’t have to be a declared major to attend a specific major session. If you are even remotely interested in a major, attend that major advising session!
Thursday, September 4th
Attend an interactive workshop and gain insight on deciding a major, finding internships, and discovering how to find a meaningful path in your life. Learn about the many ways Career Services can help you be successful from your first year on.
Keep the momentum going… remember, major selection is an active process!
Still unsure of your major? Need help figuring out how to fit all of your majors/minors into a graduation plan?
In the meantime... don't stress! There are programs, resources, and advisors willing and happy to help you throughout your time at DU. All you need to do is seek them out!
Posted at 11:58 AM | Permalink
The Discoveries Orientation team is anxiously awaiting your arrival to the University of Denver campus! Our goal is to welcome you to our community and make your transition to DU as smooth as possible. We recognize that the needs of transfer students are different from those of first-year students and aim to provide you with information that is most pertinent to your transfer experience.
Transfer Discoveries Orientation week is full of opportunities to learn more about the DU academic system, get to know fellow incoming transfer students, and get connected right away with an Academic Advisor who can assist you with your transition to DU. You will go through the week of Transfer Discoveries Orientation with a group of students who have a similar major to you and will be led by an Academic Advisor and an orientation leader (a current DU student). Some of the sessions and activities of Transfer Orientation include:
Transfer Credit Advising
Academic Advising and Registration for Fall Courses
Transfer Student Panel
Major Academic Requirements
Financial Aid and Billing
Transfer Student Picnic
Transfer Discoveries Orientation is required for all incoming transfer students. Be sure to register as soon as possible. If you are unable to attend the full week of orientation due to scheduling conflicts, a one-day orientation option is also available. To see a complete schedule and to REGISTER, please visit http://www.du.edu/studentlife/discoveries/transferstudents.html. If you have ANY questions, please contact the Discoveries Orientation Office at 303-871-3860 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
We look forward to seeing you on campus!
Posted at 10:33 AM | Permalink
Going to college can be difficult - for everyone in a student's family. Read this poignant letter from a mother to her daughter before her first year at the University of Denver...
Posted at 09:58 AM | Permalink
Just last week I celebrated the completion of my first year as an Admission Counselor in Undergraduate Admission… what a year it’s been! When I was hired for this position I knew that I was in for a wild ride, and it has been better than anything that I could have imagined. From fall recruitment travel, to reading about 1,000 applications (yikes!), to hectic and exciting admitted student visit days, I’ve stayed plenty busy and have learned so much about the University of Denver and the field of Enrollment Management.
In celebration of a successful first year, I’ve put together a Year in Review through Instagram. Don’t forget to follow us @duadmission!
July 2013: I’m official!
July 2013: The three rookies after our first Friday @ DU program!
September 2013: Loving my time in Central Oregon during fall recruitment travel.
October 2013: I’m on a boat! Just a typical morning commute from Bainbridge Island, WA to Seattle, WA. It felt so good to be back in my hometown!
October 2013: Vancouver is gorgeous! Had such an amazing time representing DU in British Columbia for the Vancouver Area Independent Schools College Fair.
January 2014: Undergraduate Admission having fun and showing off our Pioneer Pride!
February 2014: Meet Nao, superstar of the Autism Robot Assist research being done through the Ritchie School of Engineering and Computer Science. And yes, he can Gangnam style.
April 2014: Some of the Admission Team at the last Friday @ DU of the school year. It was an amazing visit season!
May 2014: Photos taken a mere six hours apart. Just a typical spring day in Denver…
June 2014: Selfie with the new University of Denver Chancellor, Dr. Rebecca Chopp!
June 2014: Typical summer day at DU. I am beyond blessed to work here!
Thanks to all of my fantastic students, high school counselors, independent counselors, and of course, the Admission Team for making my first year a great one. Looking forward to many more!
Christina Hunter - Admission Counselor
Posted at 07:32 AM | Permalink
Vanessa Teck is a student who consistently showcases excellence. She’s a Cambodian-American DU graduate (2013) who double majored in Intercultural Communications and Digital Media Studies with a minor in Leadership Studies and is continuously involved in social justice and equity work.
Throughout her time at DU, she’s been involved in numerous organizations and clubs that validate her beliefs and efforts to serve her community. As part of the Asian Student Alliance, Latino Student Alliance, the Excelling Leaders Institute, Joint Council, Diversity Summit Planning Committee, Diversity and Unity Retreat CORE team, Undergraduate Student Government, DU Honors Program, the Pioneer Leadership Program and more, Vanessa has benefitted greatly as she works to connect groups with similar interests.
“I found that my professors were always interested in my work and that student organizations were always open to implementing things I learned in class,” she says. “It's also crucial to find a community that will provide you with proactive and holistic support. College is all about finding yourself and your passions, bring people along for the journey.”
As a student of color, she felt disconnected from segments of campus at times, but her support system continued to validate that she belonged to the University and that she was a valuable member of the community. She gained mentors and relationships that have carried out for years now.
“With the guidance of mentors and advisors, I was given the space to better understand my identity and how my experiences could contribute to institutional change. I always managed to find support and encouragement from faculty, staff, administrators and my own peers,” she added.
After years of meaningful involvement, interactions, and opportunities that have allowed her to create change, her work in the community and at school have contributed to her blossoming as a natural leader. She’s become more confident in herself as a community leader and has built a community of likeminded individuals who are passionate about similar causes.
“I do a lot of Asian American student organizing work both locally and on the national scale. I've been asked to speak at national conferences on my experience as an Asian American activist and scholar, identities that would not have come to fruition without my experience at DU.”
Vanessa recently partnered up with two other DU graduates and started a company called Project AVA. The company is used as a platform for students, activists, and community members to implement change through storytelling.
Vanessa shared that DU’s institutional commitment to diversity and promise of great opportunities that would serve as agents of change is what drew her to campus. By aiding softer voices to break down barriers and reach self-awareness and self-actualization on campus, Vanessa has fulfilled many of her personal and academic goals. Her resilience, hard work, and education has molded her into an exemplary student that mirrors where DU’s opportunities and support can lead all students.
Posted at 04:36 PM | Permalink
One of the first things I noticed upon relocating to Denver two years ago is the active culture that pervades the city; a fact I’m thankful for as it has encouraged me to live a healthier lifestyle myself. Last week, I participated in Bike to Work Day for the first time. Each year, on the fourth Wednesday of June, businesses all over the city host stations offering a light breakfast, coffee, and giveaways to promote the bicycling community. I documented my commute which began around 5:30AM from our row-house in the Highlands, and included a couple stops at stations, a ride on the light rail, and, of course, cycling. I hope to see you out on the bike route next year!
As anyone who's experienced Denver's rush-hour traffic can attest, cycling sure beats sitting at a standstill on I-25.
Around 6:00 AM on a Wednesday, downtown Denver is still waking up.
A quick stop by REI's flagship store for coffee, and a few small bicycle-related prizes.
Denver's recently (and beautifully) remodeled hub of transportation: Union Station.
At each light rail station, these inscriptions indicate which doors cyclists should utilize to accommodate their ride.
All board the E Line, and off to University of Denver station. (Did I mention students, staff, and faculty all ride for free with DU's EcoPass?)
Cruisin' around campus.
Local businesses, such as Kaladi Brothers Coffee and Campus Cycle, treating cyclists to more goodies.
First one to the office, thanks to this beaut!
Alex Priebe - Visit Receptionist, Undergraduate Admission
Posted at 09:13 AM | Permalink