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Faculty in the News

du faculty in the news

(June 7, 2016)

Adam Rovner, associate professor of English and Jewish literature, was recently interviewed on CPR's Colorado Matters program about a group of Jewish immigrants who settled in Cotopaxi, Colorado in the 1880s. Rovner is acting as the "neutral arbiter" judging historical documents which shed light on the role of Emmanuel Saltiel, the man who is often held responsible for the colony's failure. Commenting on the more general lessons learned from this history, Rovner said "One thing that we can learn from the Cotopaxi story of failed agriculture is something we can learn about all immigrant groups. Success often comes out of failure, and refugees and the impoverished can grow to be important members of the civic community."

This article published by Live Science details the findings of a recent study conducted by Wyndol Furman, professor of psychology. The study found that young adults who reported more frequent sexual activity outside of a romantic relationship were also found to be less satisfied with their love lives than young adults who reported frequent sexual activity within relationships. Furman said, "Not all sexual activity is equal. Rather, the nature of the relationship is important."

Kim Gorgens, clinical associate professor at the Graduate School of Professional Psychology, was interviewed for a KCBS story about the harm that can come from delaying a dementia diagnosis. Gorgens said, "The race to develop effective screening tools that have really solid sensitivity to early disease is on because that's the sweet spot for intervention. That's the spot where if we can intervene . . . we can actually alter disease trajectory, and prevent the progression of a mild neuro-cognitive impairment to a dementing disease that becomes debilitating." She also discussed new medications in the FDA approval stages and nutraceuticals that will hopefully help in the treatment of dementia.

du faculty in the news

(May 31, 2016)

This article from Colombia Reports discusses research conducted by Oliver Kaplan, assistant professor at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies. His study looks at the most effective methods for preventing recidivism for registered ex-combatants. The research highlights two surprising facts: first, that participation in education programs is associated with less recidivism and, second, that unemployment is not associated with greater recidivism among ex-FARC rebels, but is associated with anti-social behavior among ex-paramilitaries. The findings have implications for the ongoing peace process in Colombia.

Sarah Bexell, research associate professor, and Philip Tedeschi, clinical professor, both from the Graduate School of Social work, visited the Colorado & Company morning show to talk about the Institute for Human-Animal Connection. They discussed the importance of the natural world in assisting with human mental and physical health. Tedeschi talked about the role of animal therapy, and said, "Animals are an integral part of working with people." Bexell discussed the educational goals of DU's Graduate School of Social Work, and said "What we've been working very hard to do . . . is to help our students incorporate the natural world and the importance of the natural world to human physical and mental health."

In this Wall Street Journal article, Pilyoung Kim, assistant professor of psychology and director of the Family & Child Neuroscience Lab, discusses her research on the changes that occur in the brains of new mothers. Kim explained that even before the baby's birth, parts of the brain show a structural increase and greater function. She said, "We see evidence of this in areas of the brain related to maternal instinct, and also in the reward centers." She also discussed the way feelings of anxiety diminish as new mothers become more confident in their parenting skills.

du faculty in the news

(May 24, 2016)

This 9 News story about Beth Bowlen Wallace, the daughter of Broncos owner Pat Bowlen who graduated from the Sturm College of Law on Staurday, features the DU campus and an interview with Chancellor Chopp. Talking about Bowlen Wallace, Chopp said "It was really powerful to see Beth graduate today. She's such a special person and I have loved getting to know her. But I think it also represents for us a fulfillment of Pat's legacy." Pat Bowlen formerly served on DU's board of trustees and is committed to ensuring DU's excellence.

In a radio interview for the America Abroad program, Erica Chenoweth, professor and associate dean for research at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies, discussed the success of civil resistance and nonviolent strategies. When asked about whether we currently live in a unique political moment, Chenoweth said "We actually live in the most contentious decade on record [from 1900-2015] as measured by new onsets of mass mobilization campaigns that are targeting their central governments, either to remove the incumbent leader from power or to engage in territorial independence." She added "Since the 1960s, armed insurgencies have been declining in frequency, whereas nonviolent campaigns around the world have been increasing in frequency. So to some degree, we're really seeing people power substituting for the traditional method of revolutionary politics that is armed struggle."

Prompted by Bernie Sanders' commentary on his dislike of closed primaries, this NPR article discusses the different kinds of primary elections that occur across the US. Seth Masket, associate professor of political science, commented that the kind of primary—open or closed—depends on your view of its main function. He said, "Is a primary just an election that your tax dollars are paying for, and that helps determine who our leaders are? If so, you tend to think, 'sure, all of us should be allowed to participate in that."

du faculty in the news

(May 17, 2016) 

This Bloomberg article describes how armed guards have become Uganda's top export—a conservative estimate places the number at 20,000 Ugandan mercenaries currently working abroad. Deborah Avant, professor and director of the Sié Chéou-Kang Center for International Security and Diplomacy, commented on how the demand for mercenaries increased with the Iraq War because of Pentagon security contracts. "The industry had been growing since the mid-'90s, but what happened in Iraq was so extreme. All of a sudden everybody needed these people. It was this enormous surge of demand," said Avant.

Bernard Chao, associate professor at the Sturm College of Law, was one of several experts interviewed by the Denver Post for an article about trademarks. The experts advise that in order to choose a business or company name, it's best to do a lot of research, and even hire legal help. Chao suggested choosing a unique name: "The more arbitrary the name, the stronger it is and easier it is to protect," he said.

In his OpEd for the Denver Post, Ved Nanda, professor at Sturm College of Law, presents facts and figures about renewable energy use in several different countries. Prompted by the flight of Solar Impulse II, a solar-powered plane currently attempting to circumnavigate the globe, Nanda writes, "[the plane] carries a powerful message to promote clean and energy-efficient technologies. Nanda praises countries like Costa Rica, Norway and Iceland who have achieved or are close to achieving 100 percent renewable power, and ultimately argues that "The lack of access to clean and affordable energy has resulted in millions being energy-poor."

du faculty in the news

(May 10, 2016)

This Denver Post article features research by Ron Throupe, associate professor at the Burns School of Real Estate and Construction Management in the Daniels College of Business. His Metro Denver Vacancy & Rent Report estimates that 1,809 new apartment units were completed and that an unusually high 4,663 units were absorbed in the first quarter. Though the market showed signs of leveling off last year, it started to tighten again, about which Throupe commented "Rent going up again during a traditionally weak quarter is surprising. We know that new units are dragging up the prices here."

In this story by the Associated Press, Sam Kamin, Vicente Sederberg professor of marijuana law and policy at Sturm College of Law, commented on the significance of an upcoming ruling that could limit federal prosecutions for marijuana-related charges in states where marijuana is legal. A federal appeals court is due to rule soon on the scope of a law that could pave the way to end overturn at least six federal marijuana criminal prosecutions. Discussing the upcoming ruling, Kamin said, "The 9th Circuit is the biggest circuit, one that contains lots of marijuana states. If they were to say, 'The federal government is prohibited from enforcing medical marijuana law,' that would be huge."

du faculty in the news

(May 3, 2016)

Jonathan Adelman, professor at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies, penned this op-ed for the Huffington Post where he examines the possibility of Russia reemerging as a great power. Adelman said, "The unthinkable has become a reality. Russia, seemingly finished after its defeat in the Cold War, now is emerging as a prospective great power challenging the West."

In this Washington Post blog post co-written by Nancy Leong, associate professor at the Sturm College of Law, and DU alum Aaron Belzer, Leong writes about racial discrimination on vacation rental sites like AirBnb. The post analyzes how victims of this discrimination can seek justice and if civil-rights laws apply. Leong writes, "How existing civil-rights law applies to our new sharing economy is far from clear . . . In the end, it may be that our existing civil-rights laws simply need updating."

du faculty in the news

(April 26, 2016)

In this 9 News video, Bonnie Clark, associate professor of anthropology, and Keith Miller, associate professor of chemistry, assist the Denver Museum of Nature and Science with the analysis of several Egyptian mummies and sarcophagi. Clark and Miller used a portable X-ray fluorescence (or PXRF), which allows non-destructive analysis of the elements out of which items are made. So far, they've made interesting discoveries about the pigments on three sarcophagi and the treatment of one of the mummies.

Daniel Sweeney, director of the Institute for Enterprise Ethics at Daniels College, was interviewed by ABC 7 for a story about Volkswagen's recent settlement with the EPA. Under the settlement, Volkswagen will fix, buy back or compensate owners of nearly half a million vehicles in the U.S. Despite these actions, Sweeney said "I think the brand has been severely tarnished."

Rafael Ioris, assistant professor of Latin American history, recently wrote an article for Brazilian news site Estadão. The article, which is written in Portuguese, examines the recent evolution of the Brazilian political institutions by reviewing its trajectory from the end of military regime that ruled the country between 1964 and 1985 to today. He argues that while during much of the last 30 years there was some sort of functioning broad political consensus in support of democracy rule, tragically this no longer seems to be the case. While the country is still formally a democracy, recent events pertaining to the widely criticized, domestically and abroad, impeachment proceedings currently underway present reasons for one to be concerned about whether the regime may survive. Particularly worrisome, growing support for authoritarian views and right-wing politicians required close attention and hopefully actions from all democratic forces in the country.

du faculty in the news

(April 19, 2016)

Seth Masket, associate professor of political science, was interviewed for NPR KPCC's Take Two show. He provided a history of the way delegates have become a part of the American political system, from 1832, when the Democratic party held its first convention, until today, where state parties have a variety of regulations in terms of how delegates are assigned. He ended the interview with the current state, and said, "This is probably going to be a pretty consequential year, especially looking at the Republican side. If this is a contested Republican convention, which we haven't had in a long time, and particularly if they end up denying Trump the nomination even if he has most of the delegates, we're going to see some serious reforms coming out of that."

Andrew Goetz, professor of geography, was interviewed for this Denver Post article about the new A-Line light rail route which will take passengers from Union Station to DIA. The article says that the new route, which opens Friday April 22, will bring Denver into the elite group of less than 20 US cities with a commuter train to its airport. Goetz commented, "If you're going to have a world-class city, you have to have a rail line from your airport to your city. It's kind of an expectation people have now: Is there a rail connection?"

In an article for Vox, Erica Chenoweth, professor and associate dean for research at the Josef Korbel School for International Studies, commented on the way nonviolent resistance is shaping the 2016 elections. She writes, "Many of the most prominent issues in the 2016 election—wealth inequality, the perils of foreign military intervention, and racial injustice—are part of the national debate in large part because multiple progressive social movements have used nonviolent action to bring these formerly fringe issues into the mainstream." She also observes how nonviolent resistance has affected nearly every presidential candidate, regardless of party affiliation: Clinton, Sanders, Cruz, and Kasich have all been heckled during campaign events.

du faculty in the news

(April 12, 2016)

This New York Times article details the consequences of an 8-member Supreme Court, highlighting its recent tie votes in several cases. The article explains that when a tie does occur, the result is rather anticlimactic because the original ruling of the appeals court remains in place. Justin Pidot, associate professor at Sturm College of Law, said "With almost 50 cases still on the docket for the term, the Supreme Court could set a record for most tie votes. No term since 1990 has included more than two tie votes, a benchmark the court has now hit in a single week."

In an article for the Denver Post, Barbara Kreisman, associate dean at Daniels College of Business, commented on the difficulty employers have in a competitive job market. Kreisman said, "The cost per hire is excessive. In a tight labor market anytime you incur a loss of somebody, it's extremely expensive to replace them. And then you have training costs." She also added that certain incentives, especially health care benefits, help attract prospective employees.

Christopher Hill, dean of the Josef Korbel School of International Studies, wrote an OpEd for Project Syndicate which also ran in the Denver Post last weekend. He discusses the potential foreign policy challenges facing the next U.S. president, warning that often, as in the case of George W. Bush, "the crises that greet a new president are not the ones anyone expects." He also explains the possible foreign policy issues that could arise in U.S. relationships with Saudi Arabia, Turkey, North Korea, and China.

du faculty in the news

(April 5, 2016)

This Denver Post article discusses the recent influx of bids by major US airlines to begin operating US-Cuba flights. Stephen Miller, senior director of entrepreneurship at Daniels College of Business, who recently returned from a winter interterm course that took place in Havana, observed that Cuba's infrastructure cannot support the amount of tourists who want to visit. Describing potential visitors, he said, "I think there's going to be a huge wave of Americans who want to see it now before all the changes that people perceive are going to happen. But it's not going to happen overnight."

In this article also in the Denver Post several faculty members and administrators commented on Project X-ITE, and more broadly, the collaboration between Daniels College of Business, Sturm College of Law, and the Ritchie School that will promote entrepreneurship at DU, in the greater Denver area, and beyond. In describing the changes implemented by this collaboration, JB Holston, dean of the Ritchie School, said "We're the only private liberal arts school associated with Denver. We have more agility and more nimbleness to react to the market. This is the first time a university has said that its focus on entrepreneurship will be universitywide." Martin Katz, dean of Sturm College of Law, also noted the participation from all parts of the university. He said, "Our chancellor, provost and board of trustees are 100 percent committed to this. If they were not, there is no way we could make this happen."

du faculty in the news

(March 22, 2016)

Paul Olk, professor of management and associate dean at Daniels College of Business, discussed the merits of collaboration in a Denver Post story about Colorado breweries. Olk said "What is going on in the beer industry is unique, I believe. It's the type of collaboration that I've not seen before." The article highlighted last Saturday's Collaboration Fest at Mile High, which featured beer collaborations from 149 breweries.

Susan Schulten, professor and chair of history, contributed to CNN's ongoing Race for the White House series. This episode, "Lincoln vs. Douglas" details Lincoln's political career, specifically his presidential run. In one section, Schulten comments on Lincoln's well-known antislavery speech given to the Republican congress in 1860. Though Lincoln seemed rather unassuming at first, Schulten describes how as the speech progresses, "he begins to tell the audience why he's there, and the arguments begin to flow... and the speech becomes so moving, and people feel incredibly inspired."

This Fortune magazine article explores the pros and cons of using predictive analytics for human resources and management purposes. Certain apps cans use algorithms to predict which employees might leave their jobs, or can help match employees with other opportunities within the company. Corey Ciocchetti, associate professor at Daniels College of Business, suggested that transparency about this kind of data collection can help employers retain their employees' trust. Said Ciocchetti, "Otherwise, at some point it will backfire."

(March 15, 2016)

JB Holston, dean of the Ritchie School, was quoted in a Denver Post article announcing the new cybersecurity master's degree. The program will feature courses like ethical hacking, network security and principles of computer forensics. Holston explained the importance of this new program, and said "The nation is in need of more experts as cybersecurity has become a central global concern. We're positioning DU as a critical platform for driving the public/private cybersecurity ecosystem in Colorado."

Brent Chrite, dean of Daniels College of Business, wrote an OpEd this weekend for the Denver Post discussing his trips to Afghanistan as part of the U.S. government's workforce development program. He wrote, "I believe in the power of education and of a private-sector marketplace to give people access to better opportunities and a path out of profound poverty." In the article, Chrite explains how he helped to create the first-ever MBA program in Afghanistan and how he hopes that students and faculty in both Afghanistan and the U.S. will be able to experience teaching methods unique to each country.

Nader Hashemi, director of the Center for Middle East Studies, was recently interviewed on CBC's "Ottawa Morning" about the Syrian conflict. When asked about the upcoming peace talks in Geneva, Hashemi said, "The best that can be hoped for is perhaps to extend the cessation of hostilities that will allow for greater humanitarian relief to be received by besieged populations in Syria, but the prospects for a diplomatic settlement are a long ways away." He added, "The conflict in Syria today is the worst humanitarian and moral crisis of our time. Approximately half of Syria's population is displaced or has turned into refugees."

du faculty in the news

(March 8, 2016)

This story for Denver's ABC 7 news featured DU's Cardiac Biomechanics Lab, specifically its research using a 3D bioprinter to print custom replicas of heart valves and blood vessels. Using a patient's MRI and CT scans, the replica is created by the 3D printer, and is then used as a mold or form for a heart valve made from the patient's own cells. Ali Azadani, the lab's director and assistant professor at the Ritchie School, explained that this process could be valuable to children who need heart valve replacements. Azadani said, "By designing tissue engineered valves, we can implant a valve in the heart that can grow with the child."

Joshua Wilson, associate professor of political science, was featured on ABC 7's Politics Unplugged this weekend to discuss the Supreme Court case on Texas abortion law heard last Wednesday. Wilson gave an overview of the particulars of this case, and also commented on the trends in abortion law over the past several decades. "The popularity of abortion as a topic has ebbed and flowed over time, but it's really had a resurgence lately because state politicians and legislatures have been trying to push the limits on what they can do to regulate abortion" said Wilson.

Fox 31 reported on the news of a knife discovered on O.J. Simpson's property and interviewed several experts about how the new evidence will or won't affect the original verdict. Phil Danielson, professor of biological sciences, demonstrated how the knife would be tested for traces of DNA. "There's a very good chance that if there's blood on the knife, you'll also be able to obtain a DNA profile from that blood," said Danielson.

As part of their coverage of former first lady Nancy Reagan's death, 9 News interviewed Jing Sun, associate professor of political science, about Reagan's impact on international diplomacy. Sun observed that Mrs. Reagan paved the way for more meaningful roles for international leaders' spouses, and talked specifically about her kind gestures and sincerity during a historic trip to China. Sun, who was an 11-year old in Beijing at the time of the visit, said "I just remember this lady dressed in red doing a number of just never occurred to me that a first lady could actually hug someone." He also noted that as First Lady, Reagan promoted America's "soft power" to woo and persuade through her elegance, charm, and sincerity.

DU faculty in the news

(March 1, 2016)

In a story for The Economist, Joelle Martinez, executive director of the Latino Leadership Institute at the University of Denver, weighed in on the upcoming caucuses in Colorado. The article discusses the importance of the Hispanic vote for both the Sanders and Clinton campaigns, and the complications caused by trying to appeal to that electorate despite generational divides. Those concerns are especially relevant in Colorado, which is home to 500,000 Hispanic voters who are "extraordinarily young" according to Martinez, with 40% of them born since 1981.

This CPR article discusses a study conducted by David Corsun, Karen Xie, and Cherie Young, all faculty in DU's Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management on the preferences and behavior of those who stay in short-term rentals. The study concluded that Denver stands to gain at least $2 million annually by taxing rentals from companies like VRBO. David Corsun, director of the Knoebel School and associate professor who co-authored the study, said "Given those numbers, I think it's crazy to not regulate. It's crazy to not tax."

Ryan Warner interviewed Peter Hanson, assistant professor of political science, about the caucus system in Colorado. Today, Democrats will have the chance to vote for their preferred candidate at a caucus, assembling at the precinct level in neighborhood meetings. However, "The Colorado Republican party decided they would not hold a presidential preference vote at the caucus level," said Hanson, so Republicans will not have the chance to vote for a candidate. Hanson also described the pros and cons of having a caucus rather than a primary. He said, "Caucuses are very demanding of people's time. They take one to two hours, and so because of that participation is lower."

Du faculty in the news

(Feb. 23, 2016)

A Wall Street Journal article from last week discusses controversial Wyoming trespassing laws. Environmental groups are now seeking to overturn the statutes in federal court, after filing a lawsuit against the state of Wyoming at the end of last year. Regarding the trespassing laws, Justin Pidot, associate professor, Sturm College of Law, said "If there are real concerns about private property rights, then the state has lots of ways to protect those rights."

This Denver Post story discusses a newly-published report on homelessness written by Sturm College of Law students. The report found that the city of Denver spent $3.2 million over a five-year period enforcing ordinances that target homelessness, spending $750,000 in 2014 alone. Nantiya Ruan, Denver Law professor, said "Because people who don't have homes have to live outside in public, they are targeted by these ordinances that criminalize these everyday activities."

Sturm College of Law professor J. Robert Brown, Jr. commented on the threat of impasse regarding senate confirmation for two top-level vacancies on the Securities and Exchange Commission. The International Business Times story explains that the current nominees represent both sides of the political spectrum, which could make confirmation more palatable. Said Brown, "Trying to get any political appointees through the senate in an election year is hard. These two are easier because they're paired."

DU faculty in the news

(Feb. 16, 2016)

In a story for NPR's Marketplace, Seth Masket, chair of political science, weighed in on the importance of volunteer efforts in effective political campaigning. "It is something that a lot of candidates, particularly those who are somewhat new to presidential campaigns, don't always take very seriously," said Masket. He added that many candidates don't think about volunteer organizing because speeches, advertising and debate performances are the more visible aspects of campaigning.

In this Denver Post article, Greg Wagner, teaching professor in Daniels and creative director, Leo Burnett USA (ret), was on a panel that ranked ads that played during the Super Bowl. With companies paying a record $5 million for a 30-second spot during the big game, the cost has increased by 75 percent in the last 10 years. Regarding Bud Light's ad, Wagner said "Spot on for the millennial target: quirky, witty celebs that should cut through."

Yolanda Anyon, assistant professor at the Graduate School of Social Work, shared her research in an NBC article about the use of "restorative practices" as alternatives to suspension and expulsion in Denver Public Schools. The piece highlights lessons learned from three local schools who have used restorative practices to reduce suspension rates and improve academic achievement.

Du faculty in the news

(Feb. 9, 2016)

Rebecca Kourlis, former Colorado Supreme Court justice and the executive director of the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System at DU recently spoke with the Observer about the "burgeoning divorce wellness trade" in the U.S. Says Kourlis, Americans increasingly want to divorce "in a less adversarial manner that is better for their kids and for their own personal long-term health and well-being. They're looking for help doing that and the market is rising up to meet that demand." Kourlis acknowledges a "tipping point of research that demonstrates the negative impact of highly contested divorce on your kids, [and on] your own long-term psychological health and finances."

DU Political Science Professor Peter Hanson discussed the impact of Donald Trump's absence from the last GOP Debate with Anne Trujillo and Marshall Zelinger on the January 31 edition of Politics Unplugged on ABC's Denver7. Said Hanson, "The other candidates hoped that a debate in which Donald Trump was absent would give them an opportunity to break away from the pack. [However] there's no real evidence that that happened." Hanson added, "The main thing that Trump's absence seems to have done is set up more criticism for Ted Cruz than what [Cruz] received in past debates."

Mark Aoyagi, Director of Sport and Performance Psychology and associate professor in the Graduate School of Professional Psychology, weighed in on Super Bowl players' pre-game jitters. Speaking about the players in the article for CBS News, Aoyagi said "As much as they want to stay focused and stay in their routine, it's impossible" with a big game like the Super Bowl. He added that in his experience, "The NFL has been the slowest to adopt sports psychology as a mainstream part of the sport."

DU Faculty in the News

(Feb. 2, 2016)

A Denver Post story from last week about rent prices and vacancy rates in Denver cites research by Ron Throupe, associate professor at the Burns School of Real Estate and Construction Management in the Daniels College of Business. The report, which Throupe co-authored with members of the Apartment Association of Metro Denver, notes that median rents have declined slightly and apartment vacancy rates have surged to 6.8 percent this quarter compared to last quarter's 5 percent. Throupe said that despite these recent trends, "Rents won't crash. We will go flat for a while. We aren't having a major downturn."

Last week, the Littleton Public Schools (LPS) Board of Education and superintendent conducted a special meeting to review recommendations from local experts related to the 2014 murder of Arapahoe High School student Claire Davis. According to DU's Linda Kanan, adjunct professor at the Morgridge College of Education, "There are 21 recommendations for the Littleton Public Schools going forward. The notion of psychological safety really has to do with positive climates in our schools and the perception that students and staff feel safe—and the prevention efforts, the intervention efforts that go on to make schools good places for kids to learn and teachers to teach."

University of Denver constitutional law experts Justin Marceau and Alan Chen recently filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of a journalist seeking access to Yellowstone Park's controversial bison trapping operations that lead to the slaughter of hundreds of bison. The lawsuit argues that the First Amendment guarantees citizens and journalists access to Yellowstone, a publicly funded national park. "If the First Amendment right of access is to mean anything," says Marceau, "it means that citizens and journalists should have reasonable, non-disruptive access to their publicly funded national park to observe and memorialize one of the most controversial uses of national park land imaginable."

DU Faculty in the news this week

(Jan. 26, 2016)

Last Monday, Erica Chenoweth offered insights about the effectiveness of nonviolent resistance. Her Washington Post article acknowledges the legacies of Ghandi and Martin Luther King, Jr. and cites conclusions from her own research. Chenoweth found that nonviolent resistant campaigns succeed “because nonviolent methods have a greater potential for eliciting mass participation—on average, they elicit about 11 times more participants than the average armed uprising—and because this is the source of major power shifts within the opponent regime.” Chenoweth is professor and associate dean for research of the Korbel School of International Studies.

The Wall Street Journal recently spoke with Professor Nader Hashemi regarding The Two Faces of Iran’s Dual Government. Referring to the dramatic incident on Jan. 17, when Iranian authorities held the wife and mother of Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian, before agreeing under American pressure to let them fly out almost derailed a prisoner swap negotiated during 14 months of secret talks, Hashemi, director of the Center for Middle East Studies said, “This story is evidence of deep divisions and conflict within Iran’s structure of power.”

Last week the regulatory agency Transport Canada hit Canadian Pacific Railway with an order demanding it change its fatigue-management practices because, ‘excessive fatigue’ poses an ‘immediate threat’ to railway operationsPatrick Sherry, executive director of the National Center for Intermodal Transportation at DU spoke with CBC News about this unprecedented mandate saying, "There's a lot of evidence that shows that fatigue, if not properly managed, puts a serious and severe risk for creating operational errors. Air traffic controllers, ship's captains, pilots, train drivers, military personnel all have the opportunity to work in a 24/7 environment. We know that if you exceed or if you're up beyond 18, 19 hours, your cognitive efficiency decreases dramatically."

du faculty in the news this week

(Jan. 19, 2016)

Last Thursday, Howard Markman, director of the Center for Marital and Family Studies at DU and co-author of "Fighting for Your Marriage," offered relationship insights to the Denver Post for their article: Gov. Hickenlooper’s engagement sparks talk about age-gap relationships.  Markman says, “For the older person there is chemistry and sexual excitement. Evolutionary pressure points us in that direction. People want to be with the most beautiful person they can be with, both men and women.” As for the younger partner, "We're all attracted to wealth and power," he says. "And you get financial security a lot earlier.”  He adds, “The major issue is that you're going to have more differences when you have a substantial age gap. And whenever there are more differences there are more challenges to handle…”

In the recent U.S. News & World Report article, Benghazi, Hollywood and the New U.S. Military, reporter Paul Shinkman spoke with Deborah Avant, director of the Sie Cheou-Kang Center for International Security and Diplomacy at DU.  The piece examines the complex issues surrounding modern private security contractors working abroad.  Says Avant, "The character of security challenges are different. And given that contractors are often the way to deal with unanticipated contingencies, their use is often in new areas where rules are less clear."

Rachel Arnow-Richman recently weighed in on a dispute over prayer breaks between Muslim employees and their supervisors at a Colorado beef processing plant. In a story for NPR, Arnow-Richman says “The subtleties of what is required or what the employer permits, versus what a supervisor actually does, those can certainly get lost in any workplace, not even accounting for language and cultural differences.” Arnow-Richman teaches employment and labor law contracts and is the director of the Workplace Law Program in DU’s Sturm College of Law.

Du faculty in the news this week

(Jan. 12, 2016) 

In trending news, Professor David Kopel of the Sturm College of Law is fast becoming a go to expert regarding President Obama’s recent actions on gun control. Says Professor Kopel to NBC News, "imposing a gun ban on social beneficiaries who have designated a financial representative would contract almost half a century of established interpretation" of federal gun law. Professor Kopel teaches advanced constitutional law and is the research director of the Independence Institute.

According to Jack Strauss, Miller Chair of Applied Economics at the Daniels College of Business, allowing Colorado grocery and convenience stores to sell full-strength beer and wine would create 22,000 jobs and save the average household $750 on beer and wine costs over three years. Under current Colorado laws, large stores are allowed to only sell 3.2 percent beer. However, a proposed 2016 ballot initiative is poised to change that. To understand both sides of this controversial topic read Dr. Strauss’ report: "The Economic Impact of Allowing Alcohol in Retail Stores".

Dean Chris Hill’s calendar from Jan. 6 shows that he was in demand due to North Korea’s proclamations of hydrogen bomb testing (CNN, BBC, Aljazeera America). Dean Hill is the former assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, during which he was the head of the U.S. delegation to the Six Party Talks on the North Korean nuclear issue. Dean Hill also served as the U.S. ambassador to the Republic of Korea from 2004 to 2005.

DU Faculty in the News—New DU Digest feature

(Jan. 5, 2016) Over the break, DU’s faculty experts were adding their voice to several current issues in the news. Here are some excerpts and links to full articles:

In his most recent monthly column for Project Syndicate, Ambassador Christopher Hill, dean of the Korbel School of International Studies, predicted heightened visibility for foreign policy issues in the 2016 U.S. presidential race. He wrote: "The issues facing the U.S.—the turmoil in Syria and the Middle East, Russia’s military assertiveness and China’s emergence as both economic (and environmental) partner and strategic challenger—are simply too important to be ignored. And yet, while this suggests that the candidates need to display policy mastery and even, now and again, genuine statesmanship, they are instead merely assuring voters that they will “keep us safe”, as if that said anything useful about how to survive and prosper in today’s world.” This column was picked up by Gulf News, as well as The Denver Post which ran it online on Dec. 31 and in its Perspectives Column (page 1) on Sunday, Jan. 3.

When Sam Kamin, Vicente Sederberg Professor of Marijuana Law and Policy at the Sturm College of Law, was quoted by the Associated Press about the branding of marijuana, the story, which referenced new products from Snoop Dogg and Willie Nelson, went viral, running everywhere from major U.S. dailies to Yahoo and the Huffington Post. In Colorado, Kamin said, "there are nearly 700 trade names and 200 trademarks registered that include the word ‘marijuana' or a synonym." He added: "You can't go into federal court to get federal benefits if you're a drug dealer."

And in a “big story" from the Associated Press, Lynn Schofield Clark, professor of media, film and journalism studies (AHSS), was skeptical about the new tech category of tablets for kids. "Kids are always aspirational in their ages, and they're always interested in what older kids are doing," Clark said, pointing to the fascination that many preteens have with smartphones as a prime example. Meanwhile, most parents won't spend money on kids-only gadgets unless they believe they offer significant educational benefits. "If they're just looking for something to entertain their kid, then why wouldn't they just hand over their smartphone?" she asked.