Led by:

Danny McIntosh, Dean, Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Jennifer Karas, Vice Provost, Academic Programs

This cluster is exploring innovative ways to create a learning environment that expands education beyond traditional boundaries and scaffolds critical reflection – across courses, program, and campus and community and globe. Consistent with research and emerging best practices in higher education, DU Impact 2025 will meet student and faculty demand for educational experiences that tie together ideas from curricular and co-curricular experiences, inside and outside the classroom and campus, courses, and areas of study. DU will evolve these opportunities and aid students in navigating them to create a cohesive and compelling education.  


Working Groups

Teaching, Learning Outcomes and Assessment (Undergraduate)

Doug Hesse

Executive Director of the Writing Program, Professor of English

Josh Wilson

Associate Professor, Political Science

Julie Morris

Teaching Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences

Lisa Victoravich

Assistant Dean, School of Accountancy

We are focusing on 4 main projects for this academic year:

Curricular Innovations:

We received DU IMPACT 2025 funding to support proposals to help students develop clear ways to connect the experiences they have throughout our campus in curricula, co-curricular activities, and in community experiences. We received a total of 26 requests for funding with 5-7 faculty members as a part of each requesting team.  A group of 6 faculty members, conducted 2 levels of review, ultimately identifying a small group of finalists (8).

Dr. Sarah Pessin, professor of philosophy and Judaic studies and co-collaborator Andrea Stanton, associate professor of religious studies, created a new, interdisciplinary AHSS course series aimed at increasing diversity and inclusion in the undergraduate curriculum. The pilot course, “Stereotyping and Violence in the U.S. Today,” launched this fall. It features seminars by 15 speakers including a local digital storyteller, a local Holocaust survivor, and 12 AHSS faculty members from various disciplines. Read more here.

One Book, One DU

Our community has elected to begin a common reading program intended to help us reflect on our backgrounds and personal values, and to explore our personal and social identities. We do this to wrestle with the challenges and rewards of building a diverse and inclusive community.

The University is pleased to announce the 2018-19 One Book One DU selection: Season to Taste: How I Lost My Sense of Smell and Found My Way by Molly Birnbaum. Season to Taste is an aspiring chef’s moving account of finding her way—in the kitchen and beyond—after a tragic accident destroys her sense of smell. Not just a recovery memoir, Birnbaum researches the mechanics of smell and its connection to taste, memory, attraction, and more, which invites readers to view intellectual inquiry as a personal endeavor. Find out more! 

(e) Portfolio Initiative:

The (e)Portfolio Initiative, funded by DU IMPACT 2025, was piloted in nine FSEM courses this past fall. In the winter and spring, the team developed a 2-credit course for FSEM students who participated in the pilot group to advance and deepen their experience. The (e)Portfolio reflective curriculum guides students towards making meaningful connections across their experiences (academic, co-curricular and community) and helps them develop critical thinking and reflective engagement skills.

Click here to see an example by student Clare Link-Oberstar.

Towards the end of Spring quarter 2017, we hosted a training for our recently funded (e)Portfolio initiative.   The faculty were interested and excited to re-examine their classes in light of a reflective pedagogy integrated within a unique technology.(e)Portfolios make student learning visual and help with student success.

If you would like to know more about the (e)Portfolio Initiative or get involved, please contact Jennifer Karas.

General Education Committee: 

The purpose of this committee, rooted doubly in DU IMPACT 2025  and in the desirability to critically evaluate general education periodically, is to conduct an inquiry into the philosophy, goals, delivery, and outcomes of the DU common curriculum, doing so in relation to other possibilities or opportunities.  The process may yield anything from a reaffirmation of the existing program as it is, to modifications of the program, to significant changes.

Committee Members: 

  • Chris Coleman, Emergent Digital Practices
  • Doug Hesse, English and Writing (Chair)
  • Barbekka Hurtt, Biological Sciences
  • Tonnett Luedtke, Academic Advising
  • Kateri McRae, Psychology
  • Nic Ormes, Mathematics
  • Matt Rutherford, Computer Science
  • Laura Sponsler, Morgridge College of Education
  • Billy J. Stratton, English
  • John Tiedemann, Writing
  • Cheri Young, Hospitality


Last Updated: 6/11/18

Teaching, Learning Outcomes and Assessment (Graduate)

Martin Katz

Senior Advisor, Academic Innovation

Jessica Neumann

Assistant Director of Academic Innovation

Multiple discussions with faculty, deans, and students revealed that despite a lot of shared interest in graduate and professional curricular integration across units, doing so involves a number of complexities.

Beyond issues with the budgetary structure, other difficulties include, but are not limited to:

  1. Graduate and professional programs often have less flexibility than exists in undergraduate curricula.  Accreditation standards, expectations of depth and breadth of specific types of training by future employers, and the work graduate students do outside of courses often mean graduate students have less time in their schedules to dedicate to courses outside their specific fields of study.
  2. Given the greater expectation of foundational knowledge and pre-requisite skills in graduate courses, advanced interdisciplinary courses that also meet the educational needs of students are difficult to develop.
  3. Lack of clear pathways: While individual students may create individual pathways that are interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary, there is not an overwhelming population of students pursuing specific pathways that could turn into a new concentration, certificate or master’s program

Despite these difficulties, there continues to be interest by many students and faculty in more cross-disciplinary or cross-unit graduate and professional opportunities. We are grateful for the time and energy that the 2016-2017 committee members dedicated to this process that helped us to make forward progress. The work will now continue to be accomplished through the Office of Academic Innovation (OAI).

In the summer of 2017, DU launched OAI, which seeks to catalyze and facilitate academic innovation – particularly innovation focused on cross-disciplinary, problem-based learning opportunities for our students.  OAI seeks to connect cross-disciplinary teams of faculty and students with community partners to work collaboratively on complex challenges, with the goal of educating our students, training the workforce of the future, and solving important problems in our local and global community.

OAI hosts regular pop-faculty clubs based around knowledge areas in order to promote cross-disciplinary education and research and to connect members of the DU community. In addition, OAI meets regularly with faculty and students to understand needs for cross-disciplinary learning, as well as to brainstorm solutions for piloting curricular and/or research opportunities across disciplines.

For example, in early April, we met with graduate students during an open house where they were encouraged to share feedback on topics such as financial aid, research, campus life and academic innovation. We had great conversations with students about their ideas for academic innovation – especially interdisciplinary wants. Graduate students were also surveyed on their graduate experience and we will be reviewing those survey results with Graduate Life and Graduate Education to learn more about the type of academic experience that students are having.

To get involved, please contact Jessica Neumann, Assistant Director of Academic Innovation.

Last Updated: 4/16/18

International Education

Andrea Stanton

Assistant Professor, Religious Studies

Andreas Rechkemmer

Professor, Graduate School of Social Work

Frank Laird

Associate Professor and Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, Josef Korbel School of International Studies

Luc Beaudoin

Vice Provost for Internationalization

Internationalization at DU is broader than any one unit; important initiatives are taking place all around campus in divisions and schools and in administrative units. We have focused on several initiatives both within our DU IMPACT 2025 working group and within the office, each intended to internationalize learning on campus:

  1. Strategic Partnerships: Through a strategic partnership, we can provide learning opportunities not offered by traditional study abroad:  joint courses; unique degree cooperation; the chance to work in research projects for undergraduate and graduate students; the chance for joint research projects between faculty; and the opportunity for joint degrees that offer a level of International exposure and knowledge bridges that would be impossible otherwise.
    1. In April 2017, DU became a Strategic Partner with the University of Western Australia. UWA is a leading Australian university and is known for its entrepreneurial spirit, tied to its location in Perth, a city that shares a number of traits with Denver.
  2. 3+1+1 Programs/ Global Masters Scholars: We are continuing to work with divisions and schools across campus to expand DU’s Strategic and Priority Partnerships, including increasing the number and variety of Global Masters programs, where students have the opportunity to study three years at DU plus a one-year study abroad at a partner university to receive their BA or BS. Then they can continue with one year of graduate study at the partner university to receive an MA or MS. Right now, the degree programs available to students are Gender and Women’s Studies and Biology with Lund University and English and Engineering with the University of Glasgow. More partnerships and degree programs are coming down the pipeline soon! Learn more!
  3. Expanded international internships for select graduate programs.
  4. International alumni and prospective international student engagement events tied to faculty travel abroad to diversify international recruitment and increase international alumni support to help internationalize teaching and learning on campus.

To learn more about DU’s Office of Internationalization, explore our inaugural newsletter.

Last Updated: 4/12/18