Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Liberal arts education is at the heart of the University of Denver. Our faculty, staff and students come together in a shared quest for knowledge of the human condition.
Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Liberal arts education is at the heart of the University of Denver. Our faculty, staff and students come together in a shared quest for knowledge of the human condition.
AHSS Advisory Board members serve a renewable, four-year term. Members are appointed by the dean.
Amelia Ribnick Kleiman, CFRE, MBA, JD, is currently Vice President of Marketing and Philanthropic Services with Kleiman Enterprises, LLC as well as President of ARK Consulting, a firm whose mission is to help non-profits repair the world. Prior to re-establishing her consulting practice, Amelia served as Director of Major Gifts for the Alley Theatre and Texas Regional Director of the American Committee for Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, where she was responsible for developing local Texas leadership, increasing awareness for one of Israel’s leading academic medical centers and significantly enhancing the organization’s profile and fundraising efforts throughout the state.
Previously with Baylor College of Medicine, Amelia served as a Director of Development helping to grow BCM's donor support by actively cultivating and soliciting major gift prospects. Prior to BCM, Kleiman was Principal of ARK Consulting, assisting organizations, foundations, corporations, and individuals build legacies for the future through planned giving, fund-raising, and/or non-profit management assistance. Ms. Kleiman also served as Special Projects Counsel for St. Luke’s Episcopal Health System, Assistant Director of Development and External Relations for the Houston Zoo, Executive Director of the Center for Community Initiatives at the Greater Houston Community Foundation, and Executive Director of the Houston Jewish Community Foundation.
Amelia received her BA in Political Science and Economics from the University of Denver in 1979, graduating with University and Economics Honors. She has been active as an alumni since leaving school, having served in various leadership roles with the greater Houston Alumni Chapter, as well as an interviewer and recruiter for the DU Office of Admissions. A founding Board member of the DU Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences (AHSS) Dean’s Advisory Board, and most recently Board Vice President, Amelia is currently President of the Board.
Kleiman, who also holds an MBA and JD from University of Houston, served as Association of Fundraising Professionals – Greater Houston Chapter Secretary, and in 2012, was Chair of National Philanthropy Day for the AFP-Greater Houston Chapter. She previously served as President-Elect, VP of Community Outreach and Diversity, VP of Government Relations, and Assistant Secretary, and also held leadership roles with the local Planned Giving Council. A member of the State Bar of Texas and Women’s B & P Connections networking organization, Amelia also serves as Co-Chair of the Greater Houston Grantmakers’ Forum. In addition to her professional affiliations, Amelia is an active volunteer with numerous non-profits, including the University of Denver, University of Houston Law Center, Hadassah, Jewish Family Service, ERJCC of Houston, and the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston, among others. She also served for a number of years as a religious school teacher at her synagogues.
A third-generation native Houstonian and published author, Amelia practiced law and ran a successful business before starting her non-profit career. With over 20 years in the non-profit field, Amelia is a popular speaker in the areas of giving in diverse communities, planned giving, endowments, grant-making, marketing, corporate philanthropy, and community foundations. She has spoken extensively to a variety of groups, locally, regionally and internationally, and will be part of a team of experts introducing a course on Diversity in Fundraising in the spring of 2015 at the Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership, a division of Rice University’s Glasscock School of Continuing Studies.
Amelia is married to Eric Kleiman, a marketing executive with PROS software and President of Kleiman Enterprises, and is the proud mom of Brett, age 18 and Jacklyn, age 12, who both attend Robert M. Beren Academy, as well as Jenna Michelle Kleiman, of blessed memory. When not keeping up with her kids' many sports activities, Amelia and her family love to travel, especially to visit baseball stadiums and National Parks around the US.
Katy Craig joined the Boettcher Foundation in 2005 as Director of the Scholarship program. Today, as the Foundation’s Director of Strategic Initiatives, Katy continues to oversee the Scholarship program and serves as project lead on increased programming for individual grant recipients. Rounding out her role are key contributions to Foundation communications and her continued work on a book about competitive and compelling college and scholarship applications.
Katy attended the University of Denver as a Boettcher Scholar herself where she was a Chancellor’s Scholar and received the university-wide Pioneer Ambassadors, Distinguished Senior and Pioneer Awards. She triple-majored in French, Creative Writing and Communications, and graduated Summa Cum Laude. In 2004, she completed her MA in Literary Criticism, also at DU.
Katy’s early career included serving as the Assistant Director of the University Honors Program at DU while simultaneously holding the positions of First-Year English Instructor, Honors Seminar Instructor, Honors Symposium Instructor and Nelson Hall Faculty Resident. She has taught various creative writing courses through the Lighthouse Writers Workshop Young Writers Program. After leaving the University, Katy traveled and worked in Central and South America before joining the Boettcher Foundation.
In addition, Katy teaches improvisational theater through the Bovine Metropolis School of Improv and occasionally facilitates Applied Improvisation workshops through APIXXI, a local corporation specializing in applied improvisation for business. Katy has been doing improv professionally since 2009. Some of her favorite shows that she’s performed in are the freestyle rap whodunit SuperBaby’s Lyrical Mystery Tour (Think 8-Mile Meets Scooby-Doo), The Heirs of Hogwarts in which the children of J.K. Rowling’s heroes go off to Hogwarts to have adventures of their own in a fully improvised 90-minute play each evening, and On The Spot, a rapid-fire game show in the style of Who’s Line Is It Anyway? In addition to performing, Katy has enjoyed the opportunity to serve as a host for On The Spot and a participant in the Denver Improv Festival.
A graduate of DU’s Publishing Institute, The Daniels College of Business’ High Performance Leadership Program, Leadership Denver and The Harvard Kennedy School’s Art and Practice of Leadership Development Program, Katy has been asked to speak on leadership development nationally and internationally. She is currently leading an effort to develop a Boettcher Foundation leadership philosophy, and in 2015 will be presenting at the Colorado Leadership Alliance Summit, Monash University in Melbourne Australia, the University of Colorado-Boulder, the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce and the International Leadership Association Women and Leadership Conference, amongst others.
Katy also currently serves as the Secretary of the Metro Volunteers Board of Directors, working to assist their aim of making volunteerism smarter by empowering individuals and organizations with knowledge and skills to create more effective, engaging and impactful volunteering.
With over 25 years as a professional communicator, brand-builder and organizational storyteller, Tom Douglis is a recognized strategic architect of award-winning brand programs for local, national and global organizations.
He has led hundreds of successful brand engagements, including brand-related work for Fortune 500 corporations such as Barclays, IBM, Ford Motor Company, Western Union, First Data Corporation, Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) and Toshiba as well as top academic medical centers such as Brigham and Women's Hospital, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Yale New Haven Health, Montefiore/Einstein College of Medicine and Northwestern Medicine. He has also worked with non-profit organizations such as University of Denver, the American Cancer Society and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.
Before founding the Douglis Group in 2014, Tom was Managing Director and Senior Brand Strategist for Monigle Associates in Denver from 2003 to 2014 and Vice-President at the world’s largest brand consultancy, Enterprise IG (now Brand Union) in New York City from 1999-2002. He also held senior brand consulting positions in Toronto at Tudhope Associates (Now Interbrand Canada) and Sutton/Javelin Communications (now Sutton Integrated) from 1994-1999. He is a frequent speaker at branding conferences in the USA, Canada and Europe.
His pre-branding career began in journalism with Penton Media in Cleveland, followed by a year in advertising with Doremus/Chicago Advertising, followed by four years in sports media. His sports media career included two years editing College Hockey Magazine and College Football Magazine in Boston, MA, and two years with USA Hockey in Colorado Springs, where his duties included media relations for the 1992 US Olympic hockey team and the 1992 US Canada Cup Team (NHL players), as well as editor of American Hockey Magazine, the largest circulation hockey publication in the world.
Tom earned his MBA (with highest honors) from the University of Westminster in London in 2000 and his BA in history from the University of Denver in 1986. He has also completed advanced journalism coursework at Harvard University (1990).
As an undergraduate student at the University of Denver, Tom was an award-winning Sports Editor of the Denver Clarion as well as hockey writer at the student newspaper. He was also as an executive council member of Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity, where he won the 1986 Thomas Arkle Clark Award for outstanding chapter senior, and was selected to join DU’s Order of Omega, a national fraternity honorary society.
Today, Tom can usually be seen on the DU campus at least twice a week. He spends a great deal of time volunteering for DU, where his recent work has included the Liberal Arts Advantage panelist, AHSS Salon Host, Alumni Relations Reunion Committee, member of the editorial board of University of Denver Magazine, member of the University Mascot Committee, and the 2013 University Founder’s Day Awards Committee. He a frequent lecturer at the Daniels College of Business and the department of media, film and journalism studies and consults with the department of athletics on school spirit initiatives. He also is a die-hard Pioneer sports fan and a longtime DU hockey, basketball and lacrosse season ticket holder. He also enjoys events at the Newman Center for the Performing Arts, including membership in the Lamont Society and DUART.
He is married to Brenda and lives in the Denver area.
Terena Thyne Eisner is the Co-Founder and Editor of the travel website wandermelon.com. She also regularly writes travel and lifestyle feature articles for a variety of publications, including Harper's Bazaar, Coast, Elle, Arena, The Sun, Robb Report and others. Eisner was the Contributing Lifestyle Editor of Harper's Bazaar Singapore, and Lifestyle Editor of the luxury lifestyle magazine CREAM. She sits on the board of 826LA, a writing and tutoring center in Los Angeles and is an advisor of the Eisner Foundation.
Sehra Eusufzai is the Director, Brand System & Workforce Enablement at IBM. Working in brand strategy, marketing and corporate communications, she has held leadership roles supporting various IBM business units for the last decade, including more than three years in Bangalore, India, where she led regional communications and global industry marketing. Previously, Eusufzai worked in IT consulting, database marketing and external and internal relations, advising or working for federal government, professional services and telecommunications clients. Before gaining her MS at DU in strategic communications, she received her BS in materials science & engineering from Johns Hopkins University. Eusufzai now resides in New York City where she also serves on the Associates Board of the Asian American Writers' Workshop; the Congress Executive Committee for South Asian Women's Leadership Forum; and the advisory board of The Asia Society's 'Asia Circle' Young Patrons' group.
Geoff Gordon graduated from the University of Denver in 1973, with a BA in Theater. He then served two years as an NBC page in Burbank, CA, handing out prize envelopes to winners of Stump the Band on “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.” His early acting experience was as the voice of Haggle, the first cartoon rapper on television, in the “Gary Coleman Show,” a Hanna-Barbera cartoon. He next starred in George Clinton’s music video “Last Dance,” where he played a love-struck nerd. Ironically, he later became Executive Story Editor on the ABC sitcom “Family Matters,” where he created the show’s break-out character, Steve Urkel. Geoff wrote Urkel's signature line, “Did I do that?” and the rest is history. Worried that the phrase may end up on his tombstone, Geoff has opted for cremation.
Geoff also wrote for several ground breaking television shows, including working with Norman Lear on The Jeffersons, and for Fox Networks comedy series Roc. He created and wrote a TV pilot, Baldwin Heights, depicting the life of African-American upper-middle class families. He later worked in Hollywood at Paramount Studios, with Eddie Murphy Productions on Royal Family, starring Redd Foxx (Sanford and Son) and Della Reese (Touched by an Angel).
The second part of Geoff’s career was as a studio executive at MGM Worldwide Television. Here, he was Vice President of Marketing, Publicity, and New Media.
Geoff moved back to Denver in April of 2014. Returning to his Colorado roots, he is rejoining the DU family and looking forward to being part of this vibrant community.
Chris is the president of the American Cancer Society Action Network, the nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society. As president, he is located in Washington and leads a staff of 250 people in Washington and across the country to support laws and policies that advance life-saving cancer research.
Hansen is a seasoned nonprofit and corporate leader with more than 40 years of Washington experience. He joined ACS CAN in June 2010 after serving as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Electronics Association at a pivotal time for the organization, leading its successful transformation in a 2009 merger with several other technology groups to form TechAmerica, the nation's largest association representing all segments of the high-tech industry. Hansen served as the new organization's Chief Executive Officer before becoming CEO Emeritus and President of the association's 501(c)(3) affiliate, TechAmerica Foundation.
Prior to his tenure in the technology field, Hansen served in senior leadership positions at AARP from 2002 to 2007, most recently as Group Executive Officer, State and National Initiatives. In that role he directed all federal, state and grassroots advocacy initiatives nationwide and managed more than 50 AARP offices and 750 staff in Washington, D.C. and across the nation.
Hansen also has more than 15 years of experience with the Boeing Company, where he led all federal, state and international government relations. In his position as Senior Vice President, Government Relations, he served as a corporate officer and executive council member. His earlier experience includes management roles in the government relations group at General Dynamics.
Hansen holds an undergraduate degree in political science from the University of Denver and a master's of International Management from the American Graduate School of International Management. He has held a number of leadership roles in professional organizations, including the U.S. Council for International Business, the National Aeronautics Association, the National Bureau of Asian Research, and the Individual Investors Committee of the New York Stock Exchange. He has also been active in philanthropic organizations such as the Wolf Trap Foundation.
Nora Heitmann was raised in Greenwood Village, CO, and attended the University of Denver. She graduated Cum Laude with honors in both political science and communications in 2000. After a year of working for Governor Bill Owens, Nora left the public sector to begin a sales career at Airborne Express. Consistently winning awards and top rankings, she was promoted to Senior Sales Rep after only one year. Heitmann stayed with Airborne until they were sold to DHL in 2001.
It was in 2001 that Heitmann began her career in freight forwarding. She worked for Quantum Logistics, one of Inc. 500's fastest growing companies. Quantum Logistics was bought and sold. Heitmann and the core group there remained with the organization when they became Forward Logistics Group in 2006 and are now Trans Trade, Inc. At Trans Trade, Inc., Heitmann has been the number one sales rep nearly every month despite maternity leave and only working two days a week. In 2008, her gross profit was more than $200,000 greater than the second ranking sales rep. In 2009, Heitmann won an award from ColoradoBiz Magazine naming her one of the top 25 most powerful sales people in Colorado.
The Denver Business Journal recently profiled Heitmann about her career in the shipping industry and her community volunteerism. Read more …
In 2010, the University of Denver recognized her success and awarded her with the Ammi Hyde Award for Recent Graduate Achievement. An award reserved for the top alumni within 10 years of his/her graduation. In her free time, Heitmann is active in the Junior League of Denver and enjoys running marathons, tennis, fly fishing, wine and spending time with her husband, 4½ year old daughter and 1½ year old son.
Kaneva is an Associate Professor in the Department of Media, Film, and Journalism Studies at the University of Denver. She holds a PhD in Media Studies from the University of Colorado at Boulder, an MA in Advertising from Syracuse University, and a BA in Journalism and Mass Communication from the American University in Bulgaria.
Nadia's research draws on critical theories of communication and culture and explores the construction of identities in various contexts. She is particularly interested in critical perspectives on consumer culture. Much of her research focuses on the cultural transformations of post-communist countries in Central and Eastern Europe.
At DU, Nadia teaches graduate and undergraduate classes in media theory and history, public relations, and advertising.
Before becoming a college professor, Nadia has worked in advertising and public relations in the United States and in her native country, Bulgaria.
She is the editor of Branding Post-Communist Nations: Marketizing National Identities in the 'New' Europe (Routledge, 2011 hardback / 2014 paperback) and was a 2014 Visiting Fellow at the University of Tampere, Finland.
Chief International Trade Counsel, Ways and Means Committee, U.S. House of Representatives
Jason Kearns serves as Chief International Trade Counsel (Democratic Staff) to the Committee on Ways and Means in the U.S. House of Representatives. In that position since 2006, he advises members of Congress on legislation concerning international trade and on oversight issues involving the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and other agencies involved in international trade policy and regulation.
Earlier, Kearns served for three years in the Office of the General Counsel to the U.S. Trade Representative within the Executive Office of the President. There he advised negotiators on issues that arose during bilateral and multilateral trade negotiations and represented the United States in several disputes in the World Trade Organization.
From 2000 through 2003, Kearns worked in the international trade group of Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering (now known as WilmerHale). In addition to his undergraduate degree from the University of Denver, Kearns holds a Master in Public Policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a Juris Doctor from the University of Pennsylvania.
Knowlton is the Vice President for Student Academic Success at Metropolitan State University in Minnesota. Before taking his current position he served as the Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs within the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities. He was previously the president of Dakota State University in Madison, South Dakota, and chaired the board for the University Center, which was a collaboration of three universities to serve adult place bound students in Sioux Falls, SD. Previously he was a tenured professor at the University of Minnesota, Crookston; chair of special education and the Department of Teaching and Learning and associate professor of special education at the University of North Dakota; a faculty member at the University of North Dakota's Conflict Resolution Center; director of child evaluation and treatment at the University of North Dakota Medical Center Rehabilitation Hospital; and a consulting psychologist at the Minnesota Health Department. He also has served on what was the Minnesota State Board of Technical Colleges and the Minnesota Higher Education Board before the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities began operations in 1995.
Knowlton holds a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Denver; and a master's degree in psychology and a Ph.D. in clinical psychology, both from the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks.
Kolker lives in Cupertino, CA, and recently retired as a communications manager for EQM Children and Family Services, one of the largest mental health treatment programs in the country, to pursue her dream of writing full-time. At EQM she was responsible for audience content strategies via written, digital, social and visual content. Lee Ann has remarkable ties to DU: her father was a professor, and her parents, siblings, husband and daughter all attended DU, too.
Thomas J. Kulik was born in Denver, graduated from DU in 1973 with a BA in psychology, and from the Univ. of Colorado School of Medicine in 1977. He completed training in general pediatrics and pediatric cardiology at the Univ. of Minnesota Hospitals, followed by faculty positions in Minnesota, Boston Children's Hospital, the Univ. of Michigan Hospitals, Cincinnati Children's Hospital, and is currently a senior associate in cardiology at Boston Children's Hospital and an associate professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School.
He has served on multiple national committees relevant to the provision of pediatric cardiac care, as well having had administrative positions at the Univ. of Michigan Hospitals, Cincinnati Children's Hospital, and Boston Children's Hospital.
Kulik has done basic and clinical research regarding control of the lung's circulation, and research related to improving postoperative outcomes in patients with congenital heart disease.
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Ian Mohr is currently Deputy Editor of Page Six at The New York Post. Before joining the daily column, he previously served as Box Office Editor of the Hollywood trade publication Variety and was New York Bureau Chief of The Hollywood Reporter. Mohr has also worked in film development and production as VP of Goldsmith-Thomas Prods., an independent company based at MGM Studios. As a production executive, he oversaw the Showtime pilot "Possible Side Effects," written and directed by Tim Robbins, and was involved in the development of projects for ABC, HBO, Walden Media and Summit Entertainment.
A native of Brooklyn, New York, Mohr majored in Creative Writing at DU, and was News Editor of The Clarion. After graduation, he worked as a copy clerk at The Chicago Tribune and was marketing manager of Pearson Television in Los Angeles. He has contributed as a freelancer to GQ, Gawker Media, Fashion Week Daily, Moxie Pictures, Warner Bros. Int'l Television and Sony Int'l Television.
As Global Chief Diversity Officer and Senior Vice President, Corporate HR, at Walmart, Sharon is responsible for advancing a diverse workforce with 2.2 million associates worldwide. Her current responsibilities include overseeing and leveraging global diversity and inclusion efforts, associate relations, and HR policy for the world’s largest retailer.
Sharon joined Walmart in 2003 as Vice President, People. In 2004, she was promoted to Senior Vice President, People – Sam’s Club. Prior to joining the company, Sharon was Vice President of Human Resources for Gart Sports, where she was responsible for compensation, benefits, training, recruiting, public relations, and investor relations. Sharon also spent 17 years with Foot Locker, where she held various leadership positions in Operations and Human Resources.
Sharon is an experienced human resource professional with a passion for diversity and for people. She has made it her mission to advance diversity initiatives, sponsor immersive learning trips and lead by example.
A lifelong advocate for inclusion, education and opportunity, Sharon considers it a privilege to serve as a member of the National Advisory Board of Enactus. She has held previous Board positions with Women’s Foodservice Forum and the Center for Entrepreneurship at Fayetteville State University in Fayetteville, North Carolina.
Michele Right is a third-generation Colorado native, and '70 graduate from the University of Denver, with a BA in Mass Communication. A reporter for the Denver Post, she also worked as sales office and catering manager for the Hilton Hotel chain. In addition to teaching remedial English to students at a Denver area high school, Michele has also been a docent in the Contemporary Art department of the Denver Art Museum.
An active community member, Michele was responsible for Colorado's first legislative mission to Israel. Michele served as Parent Council president of a Denver area private school, in addition to serving as a member of the school's Board of Trustees. She is presently Director of Communications for a small Denver-based distributing company.
David Savinar is the founder and executive director of Rain Agency INC, a Portland, OR, integrated advertising agency. Savinar has extensive agency and corporate experience in interactive, direct marketing, advertising and promotions. He has a record of successfully directing logistically demanding and time sensitive advertising and direct marketing campaigns for Fortune 500 companies and has international and multicultural advertising experience. His clients at Rain include the University of Iowa, Intel, Intuit, The Oregon Zoo, HSBC Bank, and many more. Before founding Rain, Savinar was the executive creative director at CyberSight where he created a 20-plus person interactive creative department in Portland and San Francisco. After receiving his BA in studio art from DU, he received his BFA from the Art Center College of Design in California. He has served and serves on numerous boards, including the Board of the Art Directors Club of Philadelphia, the Oregon Zoo Foundation Development Committee and Epilepsy Foundation of Philadelphia. He is president-elect for the Maryhill Museum of Art Board of Trustees.
The White House is known as “The People’s House,” and since 2009, Ellie Schafer has made that sobriquet truer than ever before for millions of guests. As Director of the White House Visitors Office and Special Assistant to President Barack Obama, Schafer has helped transform how guests perceive and experience 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. From private VIP visits to the sprawling Easter Egg Roll that draws 35,000 children and parents to the South Lawn, Schafer has managed more than 1500 events during her tenure. More importantly, she has restored the White House as a place that is fascinating, educational, and fun to visit.
In her almost 20 years in the workforce, Schafer has worked both at the White House and with everyday members of the American public. She has been as comfortable serving such clients as Barack and Michelle Obama, Bill Clinton, Al and Tipper Gore, and His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama as she has been working with students visiting the White House’s organic garden to learn about healthy eating or Iowa farmers campaigning for President Obama. Throughout, she has established a documented record of success in helping shape public opinion toward individuals and institutions.
At the White House Visitors Office, Schafer oversees a staff of eight and more than 1,000 volunteers. Besides the well-known Easter Egg Roll, National Tree Lighting Ceremony, and Garden Tours, she handles Holiday Open Houses, White House tour services for 535 Senators and Representatives, and State Arrival Ceremonies for world leaders from such nations as India, Mexico, and France. She also plays a key role in July 4th festivities, Halloween trick-or-treating at the White House, and other large events.
But it is Schafer’s strategic role that has transformed how the public interacts with and views the White House. She has streamlined the White House Tour System—logistics, security checks, communications, and so on—to make it more efficient, expeditious, and friendly without sacrificing security. For example, she instituted programs such as the Monthly Member Pass for Members of Congress and developed a Boarding Pass for visits to the White House. She has consulted with Buckingham Palace and the FBI to make their tour programs more open and accessible to the public. She also works closely with the United States Secret Service to ensure that increased access never jeopardizes the safety and security of the First Family or their guests.
Prior to her role in the Visitors Office, Schafer worked in senior positions on the advance staff for the Obama presidential campaign. She managed logistics for such campaign trips as the Democratic National Convention and Super Tuesday. In 2006, she accompanied then-U.S. Senator Obama on tour promoting his book “The Audacity of Hope.’’ Months later, when Senator Obama announced his candidacy for President of the United States, Schafer was on his team from day one, and was tapped to serve the 44th President of the United States at the White House.
Schafer’s political career took root in 1995, when she developed her own political consultancy, focusing on advance and logistical work for political campaigns, foundations, and national and world leaders. Her clients included the Dalai Lama, Heinz Family Philanthropies, The California Endowment, John Kerry for President, Former President Bill Clinton, and Former Vice Presidential Couple Tipper and Al Gore.
Among many honors, in 2013 Schafer was selected to the inaugural class of President Obama’s Leadership Academy and was enlisted as a mentor for First Lady Michelle Obama’s Mentoring and Leadership program. The latter gives 20 local high school girls access to senior female leadership in the White House and is designed to inspire them and help them achieve their dreams.
In 2014, Schafer was profiled in Capitol File Magazine’s, “Women Who Wow” and in 2010, Out Magazine named Schafer as, “one of the 100 most influential men and women who inspired, shaped and changed the world.” She was also the keynote speaker at the University of Denver’s Homecoming weekend.
Vanessa Teck graduated from the University of Denver in 2013 with a BA in Intercultural Communications and Digital Media Studies, with a minor in Leadership. She is currently continuing at DU as a Masters Candidate in Higher Education at the Morgridge College of Education. Vanessa is passionate about community engagement, addressing issues of social justice, and furthering inclusive excellence. However, much of her time is dedicated towards helping in the progressive Asian Pacific American (APA) movement, both locally and nationally. At present, she is embarking on a research project with the Asian American and Pacific Islander Research Coalition (ARC) to collect the stories of Bhutanese and Burmese refugees in Colorado. In her free time, Vanessa manages Community Outreach and Multimedia for Project Ava, an organization she co-founded with two fellow DU alumni to share meaningful stories to move the advocates of today and tomorrow.
Judge Elizabeth A. Weishaupl is a third generation native Coloradan. She grew up in Littleton, CO, and is a graduate of Littleton High School. She attended the University of Denver and received a BM (music) and a BA in history. She attained her JD from the University of Denver College of Law. Judge Weishaupl was in private practice, an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Colorado, a First Assistant Attorney General for the State of Colorado and an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Colorado prior to taking the bench in July of 2008. She has taught for the National Institute for Trial Advocacy, the National Advocacy Center, the University of Denver College of Law and the Community College of Aurora. She is currently a District Court Judge for the 18th Judicial District located in the Arapahoe County Justice Center. Read a DU article about Judge Weishaupl.
Cole Wist hails from the small town of Paonia, in the heart of Colorado's Western Slope. He earned his undergraduate degree from DU and his law degree from Georgetown University. Cole practices law as a partner with Holland & Hart LLP in Denver. Wist has over 25 years of litigation experience in state and federal courts across the country, and his primary practice areas are workplace safety and health and employment litigation.
Wist's professional activities include: the Colorado Mining Association, the Industrial Minerals Association, the Colorado Lawyers Committee, and Club 20. Wist has served as a gubernatorial appointee to the Task Force on Civil Justice Reform and as a Trustee for Mesa State College. For many years, Wist served as a mock trial coach for Regis Jesuit High School, and led a number of teams to success at the state and national levels.
During his undergraduate years at DU, Wist served as President of the student government and was active in his fraternity and numerous campus organizations. Building on the strong roots planted in his political science/public policy studies, Wist is a lifelong political junkie and remains involved in policy issues as a lawyer and private citizen. During hockey season, you will find him in his Section 20 seats cheering on the Pioneers.
Wist and his wife, Susan, live in Centennial. They have three daughters.
Rudy Alterio, Student Representative (2011-2012)
Melanie Herrera Bortz, Alumni Representative (2011-2012)
Brewster Boyd (2012-2013)
David Briggs, President (2011-2012)
Noel Edghill, Alumni Representative (2011-2012)
Sarah Gjertson, Faculty Representative (2011-2012)
Constance Hammond, Alumni Representative (2011-2013)
Craig Hirokawa, Student Representative (2012-2013)
Emmit McHenry, Vice President (2012-2013)
Linda Murphy Marshall (2014-2015)
Kristen Powell, Student Representative (2013-2015)
Derigan Silver, Faculty Representative (2011-2014)
Steve Simon, Vice President (2012-2014)
Andrea Stanton, Faculty Representative (2014-2015)
Anne Waldeck (2011-2014)
Josh Wehe, Student Representative (2013)
Interested in board membership or committee membership? Contact us.