Led By:

Corinne Lengsfeld, Vice Provost for Research and Graduate Education

Mark Engberg, Professor and Associate Dean, Morgridge College of Education

When high-achieving faculty members develop into distinguished scholars who shape their fields, they also enhance the reputation of the University. During the next decade, DU will accelerate engagement with new shapes of knowledge. We will leverage the growing interest among students and faculty to connect with one another outside their departments and schools and to be challenged by perspectives that lie outside their disciplines. This approach to knowledge is marked by curiosity, risk-taking and adventure. It mirrors the world our graduates will enter.  


Working Groups

Faculty Talent, Excellence & Diversity

Andrei Kutateladze

Dean, Natural Sciences and Mathematics

Brent Chrite

Dean, Daniels College of Business

Bruce Smith

Dean, Sturm College of Law

Gregory Robbins

Associate Professor, Religious Studies

Jennifer Hoffman

Associate Professor, Physics and Astronomy

Lavita Nadkarni

Associate Dean, Graduate School of Professional Psychology

Naomi Reshotko

Professor, Philosophy

Susan Schulten

Professor, History

We have changed the language of the Professional Research Opportunity Fund (PROF) and increased the funds available for a 3-person multi-disciplinary team from $30,000-$45,000. We received several multi-disciplinary proposals during the last application cycle in comparison to the previous average of one-two proposals.

We have been engaging with faculty and leadership across campus around the goals of recruiting and retaining strong faculty, and advancing their research and creative work. The team is committed to advancing ideas and resources—such as endowed chairs, collaborative faculty space, joint appointments, etc.—in ways that advance the University while also respecting and supporting the priorities of individual deans and schools.

We also helped develop the proposal for a funding mechanism for knowledge bridge ideas.

Last Updated: 4/16/18

Research, Scholarship and Creative Work

Corinne Lengsfeld

Vice Provost for Research and Graduate Education

Jesse Owen

Associate Professor, Morgridge College of Education

Julie Cunningham

Director of Sponsored Programs

Kim Bender

Professor and Associate Dean for Doctoral Education, Graduate School of Social Work

Michael Levine-Clark

Dean, University Libraries

Oliver Kaplan

Assistant Professor and Associate Director of the Human Trafficking Center, Josef Korbel School of International Studies

This implementation team is charged with enhancing DU’s support systems, infrastructure, success and visibility for research, scholarship and creative work.

We are focusing on 3 main initiatives for this academic year:

#1: Electronic Research Administration (eRA) System:

After a research administration needs assessment was conducted with the research community, it was determined that to support growth in research at DU there was a need for an Electronic Research Administration (eRA) system. The system will improve efficiency and reduce administrative burden for faculty and staff.  In 2017, an eRA task force was formed to solicit proposals for an eRA system and select a preferred vendor.  The task force consisted of key stakeholders (PIs and administrators) from research divisions, as well as ORSP and IT staff.  After evaluation, the InfoEd eRA system was recommended.

The benefit of the InfoEd System is that is more flexible and configurable allowing us to better tailor the system to our needs.  It’s a system that can grow with us.  InfoEd also has a large customer base and well established user network that we can draw on.  The InfoEd system will have modules for:  Proposal Development, Proposal Tracking, Award Tracking, and Financial Tracking.  The system also has an advanced funding search application.

Implementation will begin late April 2018 with implementation expected to take 9-12 months.

The Executive Steering Committee:

  • Linda Kosten, Senior Associate Provost
  • Dr. Andrei Kutateladze, Dean, Natural Sciences & Mathematics
  • Dr. Corinne Lengsfeld, Vice Provost for Research & Graduate Education
  • Susan Lutz, Assistant Vice Chancellor, IT@DU
  • Dr. Karen Riley, Dean, Morgridge College of Education

Implementation Team:

  • Ethar Alrabie, Provost’s Office, Project Manager
  • Rohini Ananthakrishnan, Director-Enterprise Software Development (Project Lead)
  • Gerald Mauck, Executive Director-Research Administration (Project Lead)
  • Zack Scholnick, Business Systems Analyst, IT@DU
  • Members from IT, ORSP, and Departmental Administrators

Advisory Board: 

PI’s and Administrators from each research division.

#2: Improving graduate student research support:

In early April, Graduate Life and Graduate Education sent a survey to all graduate students about their experiences at DU. We also hosted an open house where we heard from 34 graduate students on issues from financial aid to research. We are still collecting survey responses and have received over 1400 responses so far.

We also have been working with Educational Advisory Board (EAB) on best practices related to improving student support in research. We are compiling an implementation plan to move forward.

#3: Strengthening the success of our faculty to translate research for public use and awareness:

The group has designed a two-year pilot called Public Impact Fellows – an initiative to support University faculty in disseminating their scholarship and research to public venues.

Public Impact Fellows will receive training, access to work shops, and consultation from Dick Jones Communications and Know It Out Loud. Training will focus on translating faculty members’ work for public dissemination using a variety of tools – blogs, radio, television, op-eds, and social media – with a clear vision for the individual faculty member’s desired outcomes.

This two-year fellowship program will involve training in year one and mentoring a new cohort of fellows in year two. Public Impact Fellows will receive a stipend of $1,000 for each year in the program to support their efforts of public scholarship.

The inaugural cohort of Public Impact Fellows was selected based on their interest and capacity for disseminating their work publicly and their ability to describe how such training will benefit their work and the community. Faculty from across disciplines and career stages were encouraged to apply.

We are excited to announce the first cohort of fellows! 

  • Jeanne Abrams, Professor, Curator of Beck Archives, University Libraries
  • Apryl Alexander, Clinical Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Professional Psychology
  • Yolanda Anyon, Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Social Work
  • Kimberly Bender, Associate Dean for Doctoral Education, Professor, Graduate School of Social Work
  • Elizabeth Campbell, Associate Professor, Department of History
  • Anne DePrince, Chair, Professor, Department of Psychology
  • Stacey Freedenthal, Associate Professor, Graduate School of Social Work
  • Ryan Gildersleeve, Associate Professor, Morgridge College of Education
  • Jennifer Greenfield, Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Social Work
  • Eric Holt, Assistant Professor, Daniels College of Business
  • Jacob Hyde, Faculty Director, Military Psychology, Graduate School of Professional Psychology
  • Julia Macdonald, Assistant Professor, Korbel School of International Studies
  • Shannon Murphy, Associate Professor, Department of Biological Studies
  • Angela Narayan, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology
  • Sarah Pessin, Professor, Department of Psychology, Director, Center for Judaic Studies
  • Galena Rhoades, Research Associate Professor, Department of Psychology
  • Julia Roncoroni, Assistant Professor, Morgridge College of Education
  • Shannon Sliva, Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Social Work
  • Leanne ten Brinke, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology
  • Karen Xie, Assistant Professor, Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management

Last Updated: 4/17/18

Knowledge Bridges Incubator

Investing in cross-disciplinary, faculty-driven initiatives has always been the vision behind Knowledge Bridges. Over the past year, we have worked diligently to develop the “scaffold” upon which DU’s next generation of multidisciplinary activities can successfully develop. That “scaffold” includes:

#1: Knowledge Bridges Incubator RFP: Up to 100k a year! 

Multidisciplinary faculty teams can now receive up to $100k/year for 3 years for problem-based research! Learn more about this opportunity through the Knowledge Bridges Incubator RFP and join Vice Provost Lengsfeld on Friday, Oct. 5th from 11am-12pm in the AAC (Chan Classroom) for a Q&A Session.

During the IMAGINE DU process, we heard that faculty members are eager for an institutional mechanism that not only allows cross-school and interdisciplinary collaborations, but promotes and encourages those opportunities. This RFP, now the largest internal seed funding mechanism, is a result of those conversations and the implementation of DU IMPACT 2025.

#2: Thematic Convenings:

Multiple groups across campus are creating events to gather faculty in a single place to share their expertise and interests, develop common or synergistic goals, and/or prepare them to compete successfully for funding.

DU Grand Challenge Forums: Leaders in scholarship and practice give lightening talks to provide a spark for small-group discussion among participants on how the topic impacts our communities. This, along with shared aspirations, provide the fuel for identifying bold actions that move the needle forward in addressing complex issues that affect our communities. Each year, the Forum series will highlight topics related to the interconnected issues that tie into improving daily living, increasing economic opportunity and advancing deliberation and action for the public good.

Faculty Pop Up Clubs:  Floating happy hours that engage faculty across campus, identifying themed research and curricular initiatives. These pop-ups are hosted by the Office of Academic Innovation. Please join us for the College Access Pop Up Event, which will focus on bringing together faculty and staff committed to research and practice across P20 education pipeline programs, college planning and transition, and educational access for STEM, among others. If you are interested in attending, please email Jess Neumann.

DU CONNECT: Over the past academic year, the Office of Academic Innovation (OAI), IT@DU, Institutional Research and many others worked diligently to create a searchable database of faculty expertise, which is now live! The website can be found:  (password: connect).

This database is in beta stage and we ask that you please send feedback to Jess Neuman.

The vision is to create a system that accesses information on faculty research, bios, publications and more, and will eventually encompass staff, coaches, and student expertise. This system will be accessible to and searchable by all members of the DU community and eventually external audiences and will ultimately help foster cross-campus collaboration among faculty, staff and students.

Committee members include:

  • Mohammed Bellifa
  • Daniel Bruning
  • Lea Cadieux
  • Matt Eschenbaum
  • Mike Furno
  • Marty Katz
  • Linda Kosten
  • Corinne Lengsfeld
  • Sue Lutz
  • Jessica Neumann
  • Ben Siebrase

Last Updated: 9/25/18

Center on American Politics

Seth Masket

Director, Center for American Politics and Professor, Political Science

The Center on American Politics is designed to facilitate scholarship on American Politics across many different departments and divisions and to promote discussion of current political issues for the benefit of the students and the larger campus community. Led by Director Seth Masket, The Center has three core objectives:

  1. Enhance the quality, quantity, distribution, and application of rigorous, creative work by its scholars, while promoting student engagement in American politics;
  2. Foster education through scholarly and community programming; and
  3. Provide easy access and support for policy makers, media and organizations in the Rocky Mountain region

During its inaugural year, Masket is joined by Leanne ten Brinke, assistant professor in the Department of Psychology, and Juan Carlos Lopez, assistant professor in the Department of Economics — the 2017 – 2018 Center faculty affiliates.

We are also currently in the process of hiring our first postdoc.

In early February, we hosted a Q&A session for 30 students with the members of Pod Save America, a podcast consisting of former Obama administration officials that has roughly 1.5 million listeners.

In early April, Professor Dr. Juan Carlos Lopez gave a research talk on Taxation, Migration and Inequality where described his recent research into the relationship between state tax rates, migration, and economic inequality. His research looks especially at Colorado and finds ways that the state can boost economic growth with changes to tax policies.

Want to get involved?

Watch the video from our preview for the Colorado state legislative 2018 session on January 5th, featuring four state legislators: Senator Owen Hill (R), Senator Irene Aguilar (D), Representative Chris Hansen (D) and Representative Cole Visit (R).

Listen to the podcast of our event with Representatives Jeff Bridges (D) and Cole Wist (R) in December.

CAP will also be hosting three gubernatorial debates — two party primary debates in mid-June and one general debate in mid-October. Check back soon for more details!

Like us on Facebook to keep up with all of our events and activities.

Last Updated: 4/17/18

Center for Professional Development

Renae Jacob

Executive Director, Center for Professional Development

Christine Gallger

Associate Director, Center for Professional Development

Meghan Montelibano

Program Coordinator, Center for Professional Development

In an era where alternative credentialing is becoming more accepted within certain industries and sought after by younger professionals, DU’s CPD provides the “space” and structure for DU to deliberately experiment with new configurations of professional programming that uphold the University’s standards of exceptional quality and value.

While the CPD was initially conceived from a common goal of four graduate units at DU—the Graduate School of Social Work, the Graduate School of Professional Psychology, University College, and the Morgridge College of Education—the implementation team researched opportunities and barriers that will allow CPD to expand its offerings to represent to all units across the university. We are collaborating with key units across campus:

  • Registrar’s Office
  • Office of Graduate Studies
  • University Counsel
  • Office of Sponsored Research and the Associate Provost for Research
  • University Advancement
  • Global Networks
  • Senior Associate Provost for Budget and Planning
  • Deans’ Council
  • Office of Academic Innovation

Ultimately, the CPD will provide high-quality and unique professional development options, create alternative revenue streams, and engage alumni in a meaningful way. If we are truly successful, satisfied participants will view the University as a lifelong partner to help them successfully retool and navigate their professional pathways, and enroll in degree- or certificate-bearing graduate programs.

We have hired an Executive Director and a Program Coordinator who will join the Associate Director and University College support teams to expand on the foundation of existing programming that has been developed over the past several years.

We continue to work with the following individuals on a regular basis:

  • Karen Riley, Dean, Morgridge College of Education
  • Paul Michalec, Clinical Professor, Morgridge College of Education
  • Amanda Moore McBride, Dean, Graduate School of Social Work
  • Abby Howard, Assistant Director of Community Engagement, Graduate School of Social Work
  • Trish Becker, Director of Community Engagement, Graduate School of Social Work
  • Shelly Smith-Acuna, Dean, Graduate School of Professional Psychology
  • Brian Gearity, Director of Coach and Sport Education
  • Michael McGuire, Dean, University College

To view current CPD offerings, please visit:

Last Updated: 9/10/18

Mental and Behavioral Health Initiative

Amanda Moore McBride

Dean, Graduate School of Social Work

Anne DePrince

Professor, Psychology and Faculty Director, Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning

Sarah Watamura

Associate Professor, Psychology

Shelly Smith-Acuña

Dean, Graduate School of Professional Psychology

Over 80 faculty whose research interests intersect with mental and behavioral health have contributed to a proposal for a collaborative approach dedicated to the public good. Faculty members from the Department of Psychology, Graduate School of Professional Psychology, Graduate School of Social Work, and Morgridge College of Education are championing this effort.

This initiative will leverage the university’s deep and broad expertise in mental and behavioral health to help Colorado become one of the best places to receive integrated and effective mental health care in the United States. It will be a model for integrating research, academic coursework, service/clinical practice, and policy work, thereby making all of these functions more easily accessible to individuals, families, agencies and organizations.

The faculty working group who have spearheaded this initiative collaborated across disciplines and universities to really engage with the vision for this initiative. Throughout the fall, the working group was highly consultative.

  • There were focus groups across the four units
  • 80 faculty in the four units were surveyed for expertise
  • They met specifically with key stakeholders
  • They reviewed other models from over 12 different universities
  • They reviewed best practices in community engagement
  • They reviewed best practices in starting inter professional collaborations

The group presented the concept to the Chancellor and Provost in March, and now the team is collaborating with the Vice Provost of Research and Graduate Education to determine next steps.

Members of the working group are:

  • Jennifer Bellamy, Associate Professor, Graduate School of Social Work (GSSW representative)
  • Kim Gorgens, Clinical Associate Professor, Graduate School of Professional Psychology (GSPP representative)
  • Omar Gudino, Assistant Professor, Psychology (AHSS representative)
  • Lynett Henderson-Metzger, Clinical Associate Professor, Graduate School of Professional Psychology (GSPP representative)
  • Julianne Mitchell, Clinical Associate Professor, Graduate School of Social Work (GSSW representative)
  • Jesse Owen, Associate Professor, Morgridge College of Education (MCE representative)
  • Jessica Reinhardt, Clinical Assistant Professor, Morgridge College of Education (MCE representative)
  • Sarah Watamura, Associate Professor, Psychology (AHSS representative)

Last Updated: 4/17/18

Institute for Social Policy Research

Gregg Kvistad


Karen Riley

Dean, Morgridge College of Education

Rachel Epstein

Professor and Co-Director of the Colorado European Union Center of Excellence, Josef Korbel School of International Studies

Seth Masket

Professor, Political Science

The goal of the Institute for Social Policy Research is to examine the impact of social policy on various sections of the population and to explore the factors that influence society’s perceptions of those policies. The institute will invest in research infrastructure for the social science community, offer research and community linkages, convene conferences of leading scholars and students, and collaborate with universities and think tanks to promote research and innovation in the field.  Our team presented a draft of a brief overview concept paper to the Provost earlier this year. In March, we hosted a town hall with faculty to receive their input. 48 faculty members attended from across the university representing 11 units. Taking into consideration the faculty’s input as well as the Provost’s feedback, we worked on revisions to the concept paper this summer and submitted a new version to the Chancellor and Provost. We are now incorporating feedback and figuring out next steps.

Last Updated: 10/16/17


Ramona Beltran

Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Social Work

Kate Crowe

Associate Professor, Curator of Archives and Special Collections, University Libraries

Sheila Davis

Assistant Research Professor, University College

Kristin Deal

Interim Director, Office of Diversity and Inclusion

Deb Ortega

Professor, Graduate School of Social Work

Sarah Pessin

Professor, Philosophy and Director, Center for Judaic Studies

Tom Romero

Associate Provost for Inclusive Excellence Research and Curriculum and Associate Professor, Sturm College of Law

Aaron Schneider

Associate Professor and Leo Block Chair, Josef Korbel School of International Studies

Frank Tuitt

Senior Advisor to the Chancellor and Provost on Inclusive Excellence

As we continued work on the Institute for Freedom, Opportunity, and Community Inclusion concept, it morphed into a process of re-envisioning the next phase of IRISE, The Interdisciplinary Research Incubator for the Study of (In)Equality. 

We spent the fall of 2017 engaging the DU campus community around the question of how and in what ways should it focus its work in connection with the DU Grand Challenges initiative and DU IMPACT 2025. After several listening session, forums, and a survey of campus expertise, IRISE is re-envisioning its work around creating solutions to persistent racial equity gaps in education, health, income, housing, and employment throughout Colorado.  Adopting a community inclusion framework, IRISE will address this work in four distinct and interrelated areas:  Research, Scholarship and Creative Works; Curriculum and Teaching, Policy and Engagement; and Community Leadership and Development.

In order to better focus its efforts and effectively collect and deploy resources, IRISE has engaged in two connected processes during the Winter and Spring Quarters.   First, on February 9, 2018, IRISE hosted a moderated daylong retreat where campus experts and community partners came together to identify priorities and objectives in this work.  Organizations and institutional partners such as Groundwork Denver, the Asian Pacific Development Center, SEIU Local 105, the Colorado Department of Higher Education, and the Denver’s Sherriff’s Department engaged with IRISE affiliated faculty, centers, and institutes from Korbel, SCOL, MCE, AHSS, GSSW, University Libraries, DCB, GSPP, NSM, and the Newman Center.  Second, and coming out of the retreat, IRISE has partnered with Project X-ITE to host a design thinking workshop to cultivate next steps for addressing issues related to racial inequity in health and education across the state of Colorado. The workshop engaged faculty, department chairs, on-campus institutes and centers, and off-campus partners toward building out its next phase of impactful and collaborative scholarship, teaching, and leadership.

We have now created a series of projects, objectives, and community impact assessments that will drive a two-year initiative beginning in Fall 2018 to draw together the DU community, local communities, legislative communities, and all those interested in closing racial equity gaps in healthcare and education in Colorado and the surrounding Rocky Mountain West.

Last Updated: 7/23/18

Knoebel Institute for Healthy Aging (KIHA)

Haluk Ogmen

Senior Associate Dean, Daniel Felix Ritchie School of Engineering and Computer Science

Joe Angleson

Associate Professor, Biological Sciences

Leslie Hasche

Associate Professor, Graduate School of Social Work

Lotta Granholm

Executive Director, Knoebel Institute for Healthy Aging

KIHA provides a holistic approach to healthy aging in their research, partnerships and programs, ensuring access to healthy aging for individuals and communities across a lifetime. It is a leader in interdisciplinary research programs tackling issues such as neurodegenerative disorders, financial decision-making and gerontechnology.

Funded in part by DU IMPACT 2025, our multi-disciplinary research team, led by Dr. Eric Chess, is working on the Financial Security and Cognitive Decline Initiative. They are currently working on the development of practical and accessible testing methods for early identification of impaired financial decision making and cognitive impairment.  The goal of early detection is to provide the ability to alert individuals and family members, allowing for proactive steps to be taken to protect finances as well as health.

The Initiative’s multi-disciplinary team is also developing practical, evidence based educational protocols regarding financial security and cognitive health. Educational outreach will be provided to vulnerable aging populations in the community as well as to financial industry personnel.  Additionally, the Initiative has developed and taught an innovative graduate level class designed for law, business and social work students taught by professors from KIHA, social work and law, along with guest lecturers from the financial industry.

Finally, the team is working with multiple financial industry partners and regulators to develop industry wide guidelines and best practices with respect to impaired financial decision making and cognitive impairment. This education and research initiative stands to play an important role in not only protecting the financial security of older adults, but also preventing, delaying or lessening the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

At the time of life when Americans are controlling much of their wealth and planning for the future, many are already affected by cognitive impairment caused by age-related neurodegeneration. Approximately 10% of the 46 million people over 65 in the US have impaired financial acuity.

Initiating this conversation among colleagues at DU led to the identification of a novel research area which spans across several departments in different colleges, exemplifying a DU Knowledge Bridge.

To engage with KIHA and for a list of their upcoming events, make sure to check out our webpage:

Last Updated: 5/24/18