Led by:

Brandon Buzbee, Associate Vice Chancellor, University Advancement

Linda Olson, Interim Dean, Colorado Women’s College

Our alumni and friends number over 140,000, forming a vital network in Denver and around the globe. We want them to remain involved with the University—serving as our ambassadors, enjoying meaningful mentorships with students and engaging in creative work with faculty and staff. We want to build strong, vibrant systems that make a difference in the lives of our alumni and friends.    


Working Groups

Preparing for Careers and Lives of Purpose

During the 2015-2016 academic year, we estimated that 30% of our undergraduate students had at least one touch point with career services. By the end of the 2016-2017 academic year, nearly 50% of our undergraduate students had a formal touch point with career services, with an average of 3.3 touch points for those who engaged with our services. Our goal for the 17-18 academic year is to engage 60% of undergraduate and 40% of graduate students with Career Services.

Career Services is hosting their second annual Dine and Dialogue series. This series brings students and alumni together over a meal to discuss different topics related to student careers. If you are a student, please sign up to attend one of the upcoming events:

  • Dine & Dialogue: Careers in Marketing for Non Marketing Majors RSVP 

Wednesday, October 18th | 12:00pm-1:00pm | Leo Block Alumni Center Conference Room

Kirstin Marr, Chief Marketing Officer, Valen Analytics | MA 2010, International Communication

Beth Clark, Lead Content Strategist, National MS Society | BA 2000, Art, BA 2000, Individually Structured

  • Dine & Dialogue: Careers in Human Resources for Any Major – RSVP

Thursday, October 19th | 12:00pm-1:00pm | Leo Block Alumni Center Conference Room

Amy King, Senior Vice President, Centura Health | MA 2011, Leadership and Organizations

  • Dine & Dialogue: Gaming & Game Design – RSVP 

Monday, October 23rd | 12:00pm-1:00pm | Leo Block Alumni Center Conference Room

Darby Vernon, Game Designer, Sphero | BS 2015, Computer Science

Sam Kern, Software Engineer, Google | MS 2016, Computer Science; BS 2016, Computer Science

  • Dine & Dialogue: Careers for Science Majors – RSVP 

Thursday, October 26 | 12:00pm-1:00pm | Leo Block Alumni Center Conference Room

Carolynn Brown Francovila, started medical practice in Lakewood | BA 2006, Biological Sciences

  • Dine & Dialogue: International Careers – RSVP 

Thursday, November 2nd | 12:00pm-1:00pm | Leo Block Alumni Center Conference Room

Jesse Zoltan Russell, Sr. Director SAP America | MBA 2011, General Business

Debi Shupe, Regional Sales Consulting Manager at Oracle | IMBA 2012, International Business

Joey Ham | MBA 2009, General Business, BSBA 2009, Finance and Marketing

  • Dine & Dialogue: Mental Health Edition – RSVP 

Thursday, November 2nd | 5:30pm-7:00pm | Ammi Hyde Building

Alumni guest list coming soon!

Additionally, we have been exploring philanthropic and academic opportunities to support and encourage professional internships for our students. As a part of the One Day for DU campaign, we raised over $2500 for our Internship Award Program.

We have also increased coordination on the topic of financial literacy across campus. In April and May, we hosted meetings that brought together staff members from a variety of offices including team members from Career & Professional Development, Financial Aid, Bursars Office, Center for Multicultural Excellence, Student Outreach & Support, Daniels, University Library and the Controller’s Office. Next steps include but are not limited to:

  1. Discussions around financial literacy training to incoming students at orientation
  2. Developing a page on Financial Aid’s website to house all student and young alumni programming related to financial literacy. All of the educational events, videos, resources and handouts will be accessible in one spot. The site will also include a resource list of financial literacy speakers that are available for student groups and classes.
  3. Developing a list of topics that would provide additional support to students during their time at DU
  4. Hiring a Graduate Fellow within Financial Aid to develop further materials and programming

Over the summer, we sent out a “Faculty Career Champions” survey to students to identify faculty that have supported student internship, career, and continuing education goals. We received over 350 submissions and as a result, we organized a Faculty Breakfast where over 80 faculty joined us for a career discussion on September 13th. After receiving positive feedback from the faculty involved, our team is working on next steps, including reaching out to faculty members individually.

In addition, we are partnering with Jesse Owen and his team in Educational Psychology to engage with all sections of the Career Decision Making course held through that department.

Last Updated: 10/16/17

Nancy Lorenzon

Director, Undergraduate Research Center, Teaching Professor, Biology

Heidi Perman

Executive Director of Career and Professional Development Director

Pat Perrella

Executive Director, Career Services

Erika Polson

Associate Professor, Media, Film and Journalism Studies

Trisha Raque-Bogdan

Assistant Professor, Media, Film and Journalism Studies

Matt Rutherford

Associate Professor, Computer Science, Co-Director, Project X-ITE

Engaging Alumni and Friends

In the 2017-2018 academic year, we focused on how to help faculty, alumni and students collaborate. For example, Sheila Schroeder, Associate Professor in the Media, Film and Journalism Studies department, worked with students and alumni through Project DU F.I.L.M. on producing Happy F*ing Valentine’s Day. Project DU F.I.L.M. pairs DU students with professional alumni mentors to produce, shoot, edit and distribute films they shoot together on location in Colorado. Check out this video of what the experience has meant to the students and alumni who participated.

In addition, we now have full-time dedicated alumni contacts in nearly every unit on campus to continue the creative collaboration that occurs when faculty, staff, students and alumni engage. We have also co-launched a new Women’s Professional Development Series with Colorado Women’s College to provide a networking series for all women alumnae from DU and CWC.  These monthly meetings touched the lives of over 100 alumnae, 44 students and 50 faculty and staff around important topics to advance women in their careers and life passions.

Throughout the year, Chancellor Rebecca Chopp, select deans and local alumni visionaries crossed the country to bring alumni the very best of DU as a part of the Leadership Insights series. Over 100 alumni gathered to hear thinkers and doers, together with local alumni visionaries, share critical insights on a wide range of pertinent topics. Alumni heard from several alumni visionaries including Ted Souder, Head of Industry- Retail at Google in Chicago, Devin Dillon, PhD 2011, Deputy Superintendent of Academic Social Emotional Learning from Oakland Unified and retired Army Gen. George Casey Jr.

We ended our year with our inaugural Alumni Weekend where over 1,100 alumni visited the DU campus to celebrate as our new graduates transition into alumni. Among other activities, we recognized several alumni members at our inaugural Alumni Awards Ceremony, including Brenda J Hollis, JD Law ’77, Prosecutor of the Special Court of Sierra Leone; Imran Khan, BSBA Economics & Finance ’00, Chief Strategy Officer, Snapchat; & Debra Crew, BA Spanish and International Studies ’93, CEO, Reynolds American. To keep up to date with alumni events, don’t forget to check our website for upcoming events.

Last Updated: 6/15/17 

Kevin Archer

Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Associate Teaching Professor, Director of the Geneva Program, Josef Korbel School of International Studies

Dan Jacobs

Gallery Director/Curator, School of Art and Art History

Carl Johnson

Executive Director, Campus Life

Anthea Johnson Rooen

Director of College Access and Pipeline, Center for Multicultural Excellence

Brandon MacNeill

Associate Vice Chancellor, Athletics and Recreation

Mona Spitz

Executive Director of Alumni Engagement, Daniels College of Business