Led by:

Brandon Buzbee, Associate Vice Chancellor, University Advancement

Linda Olson, Executive Director, Pioneer Leadership Program

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

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

Trisha Raque-Bogdan

Assistant Professor, Media, Film and Journalism Studies

Matt Rutherford

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

For the 2017-2018 academic year, we are focusing on the following priorities:

  1. Broadening student engagement with career preparation;
  2. Tracking and mapping university-wide career related student learning outcomes in partnership with undergraduate academic learning outcomes;
  3. Working with faculty actively engaging with students around career and graduate school preparation;
  4. Creating a dynamic relationship with employing organizations;
  5. Implementing an electronic internship contract system.

1. 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 and by 2025, we will have 90% engagement.

2. We have created a document that maps established learning outcomes and defines critical transferrable skills. We are now collecting feedback on this draft from faculty and administrators. The document is intended to help both faculty and students connect classroom learning to student post-graduation goals. We are also conducting a needs assessment for a comprehensive portfolio tool that meets academic reflection needs, outcomes assessment and career development goals with Undergrad Academic Programs.

3. Faculty Career Champions:  Last 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. We now have a Faculty Career Champion eNewsletter that includes information on career events, a faculty spotlight, and career related articles focused on student development.

As a result of the meeting in the fall, physics professor, Steve Iona, pursued his idea of hosting a NSM speed networking event with 12 alumni, 25 students, faculty and Dean Kutateladze, in partnership with Career Advisors. Read more about their collaboration and the innovative event that aimed to help STEM students promote the skills that they are learning in the classroom in ways that impress employers.

These conversations are happening in many areas across campus. When English professor, Donna Beth Ellard, wanted to make her First Year Seminar (FSEM) course an engaging and meaningful experience she began to ask herself “How can poetry assist a student over four years by helping them decide what their profession may be?”  Thinking outside the box, Donna Beth wanted to find a way to bring an idea of “Poetry in the Professions” theme into her classroom.  The goal was to have students learn how to be meaningful as they pursue and explore career paths. Read more! 

We are also partnering with X-ITE, CWC, and PLP in offering a pilot series of career and leadership 2 cr. courses open to all undergraduates, that will engage students in internship and job search preparation.  These courses are designed to give students the unique resources, skills, confidence and tools necessary to be successful in the internship search and develop a mindset for strong workplace excellence and leadership.

4. Employer Outreach Working Group: Our goal is to further elevate the One DU approach to securing both talent and philanthropy through a shared, global approach to corporate and industry engagement. In order to accomplish this, many pieces are being coordinated concurrently, which are as follow:

  • Analyze capacity of existing industry engagement teams and how to ensure their efficacy within a global framework;
  • Collaborate across all career office to produce the following:
    • a full academic calendar year of career engagement opportunities
    • a shared employer relations marketing presence
    • target employer lists defined into two categories—talent and philanthropy
  • Continue recruiting key decision-makers into the EOWG;
  • Continue defining the employer measurement tool to ensure stewardship model is measurable and actionable.

5. Electronic Internship Contract System: We have also been working on transitioning all of our departments onto an electronic internship contract system. In the last couple of months, we have worked diligently with Korbel in system transitions. Other departments have been moving from a paper-based system to an online module. The departments on the internship team are as follows:

Daniels College of Business

  • Hospitality
  • Marketing
  • Accounting
  • Undergraduate

Natural Sciences & Mathematics

  • Pre-Health
  • Geography

Engineering & Computer Science

  • Computer Science
  • Engineering

Social Sciences

  • Media, Film & Journalism Studies

University College

  • All Programs, primarily Health Care Leadership

Korbel School of International Studies

  • Graduate Programs
  • Undergraduate Programs

Last Updated: 6/11/18

Engaging Alumni and Friends

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

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

For the 2017-2018 academic year, we are piloting and implementing various programs including:

  • Pioneers Helping Pioneers Campaign: DU continues to identify pathways of engagement for our entire Pioneer community. We believe that by encouraging involvement, we further energize the DU brand across industries as our Pioneers engage in conversations with decision-makers. Here are a few of the ways we intend to include our Alumni and Parents in the career journey of our Pioneers:
    • Student-alumni networking receptions in regional cities;
    • Mentorships;
    • One-to-three day job shadowing;
    • Local, regional, national, and international city treks;
    • Guest speaker programs;
    • Virtual mock interview, mini career fairs;
    • Job and internship postings;
    • On-campus networking and mentorship opportunities, which were piloted this year with great success;
    • Within 2-3 years, through close collaborations across Global Networks both locally and regionally, we intend to create professional associations by industry in key markets, for example, Health and Wellness in Los Angeles, that provide additional engagement pathways in our target cities with multiple outlets.
  • Expanding Dine and Dialogues, a series that brings students and alumni together over a meal to discuss different topics related to student careers. Last year, over 150 students participated and 26 alumni were involved, representing companies from the Colorado Ballet to Comcast.
  • Story Corps for Alumni, a series of stories available on the web of alumni from different eras
  • Advance 360 Project by applying segmentation and messaging strategies to alumni with an marketing partner
  • Increasing engagement of alumni in Denver community: Inspired by the achievement of our alumni and the entrepreneurial spirit in the city, the Alumni Engagement team in Global Networks built the Pioneering Denver event storytelling platform to profile rising alumni talent, better communicate the depth and breadth of DU’s impact on the local economy, and shine a light on the ideas that are shaping the new frontier of work in the city. Since November 2017, the team has hosted three events in the series profiling the alumni teams behind Echo Mountain, Prodigy Coffeehouse, and ReVision. The events have engaged over 300 local alumni, working professionals and DU students and have included special guest appearances by notable local alumni luminaries such as Mark Shaker (MBA ’11), Chief Visionary Office of Stanley Marketplace, and Brian Dunn (MEPM ‘92, CEO and Founder of Great Divide Brewing Co.

Last Updated: 6/11/18