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Welcome to the University of Denver Interdisciplinary Research Incubator for the Study of (In)Equality (IRISE).



Congratulations to P3 Scholars Amira Otmane & Allison Grossberg for presenting their work at the  DU's Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium!

P3 Amira

My name is Amira Otmane and I am a second year at DU majoring in biochemistry. My research interest began after many P3 sessions that showed me the importance of research and gaining experience as an undergrad. The opportunity to work in the Center for Orthopedic Biomechanics came to from P3 as well, and I started working over the summer, which afterwards, extended to working the entire school year. I was also grateful to have been able to attend my first research conference in San Diego during Spring Break 2017, and it was an incredible experience. It may seem strange that a biochemistry major works in a bioengineering lab, however, the interdisciplinary experience has taught me the importance of many fields coming together to work towards a common goal, as well as the importance of different perspectives when it comes to solving an issue. I hope to go into the medical field in the future, and with my research experience, I am more aware of the intersection of engineering and biology that can help me in the future with my own research projects. Bioengineering plays an important role in the health field, especially in the clinical setting, and without this research I would have never realized the possibilities that come with the fields of biology and engineering coming together.

Research presented at the Undergraduate Research Summit focused on examining the control of the longitudinal arch angle (LAA), an angle that is important during midfoot mobility during gait. We examined the change in the LAA during walking in three foot conditions (shod, barefoot, and shod+orthosis) using high speed stereo radiography imaging, or simply put, x-ray videos. We were able to assess the ability of foot orthoses and shoes to control this angle without modifying the footwear, which has not been done previously. We used 3 male subjects, examined both feet, and calculated the LAA after preparing the subjects. We found that in the orthotic devices are effective at increasing the LAA in individuals with clinically diagnosed flat feet, which can help with managing discomfort and pain associated with having flat feet.

P3 Allison

My name is Allison Grossberg and I am currently attending the University of Denver where I am working on a double major in Psychology and Molecular Biology, with minors in International Studies and Chemistry and a concentration in Cognitive Neuroscience. Eventually I would like to go on to attend graduate school to earn a PhD in Neuroscience. I hope my interdisciplinary background will help me to enact positive social change within local and global communities while also supporting the growing focus on well-being of the mind and body as it relates to neuroscience. 

The poster I created for this years Undergraduate Research and Scholarship Symposium is the background information and neuroscience basis of a study that is currently being processed by the Internal Research Board here at DU. The purpose of the study is to examine compounds in the blood (biomarkers) in older adults after undergoing one of three six-week courses that either stimulates intrinsic exploratory behavior (curiosity) or increases thinking and memory function in a more traditional classroom setting. The information collected in this study may provide insight into the relationship between cognitive activity, curiosity and blood biomarkers of Alzheimer's disease. 

Race, Inequality, and Social Change (RISC) Website Live!

The website for the proposed program in Race, Inequality, and Social Change (RISC) is now live! Learn more about the program, current course offerings, and share your thoughts about your experiences at DU and what you want to see out of the program.

Visit the site at



All over the nation, racial and ethnic tensions are mounting in our cities, suburbs, and rural communities. Higher education is not immune from these tensions as our institutions, like the rest of society, face painful issues of inequality and injustice. IRISE, along with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the Center for Multicultural Excellence and other campus groups, has committed to provide resources and opportunities to bring students and faculty together to face these challenges.

Please reach out of us if you or your department requires support or assistance of an academic nature as we can help to amplify the inclusivity scope of an event or discussion.

In addition, on a more individual level, we wanted to let our DU campus community aware of additional resources that are available.

Students: Health and Counseling Center–303-871-2205
Employees: Employee Assistance Program–303-871-2205
All members of the University community: Religious and Spiritual Life–303-871-4488

We encourage you to utilize these resources as we unite as One DU to respond to issues on inequality and injustice.

Current list of related articles

We will be adding additional articles and resources here:

10 Ways to Support Students Facing Immigration Crises

Who We Are

The Interdisciplinary Research Incubator for the Study of (In)Equality or IRISE is designed to provide opportunities and support for faculty and students to engage in the development of cutting edge interdisciplinary research on issues of inequality, social justice, and inclusivity with a central focus on topics related to race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation, disability, veteran status and religion.

By enabling and intensifying the University of Denver’s ability to develop new ideas, raise novel questions and generate meaningful answers on the vexing questions of inequality, IRISE will work to establish a needed intellectual structure for students and faculty that will (1) facilitate the interdisciplinary teaching and learning, collaboration, research, scholarship, and creative works that seek to promote equality in historically underrepresented communities, and (2) develop, support, and implement academic programs and activities that seek to promote the advancement of historically underrepresented populations in the Academy.

What We Do

  • Renew DU post-terminal degree fellowship pilot program. The purpose of this 2 year program is to identify promising scholars who have completed a terminal degree in their field of study and who are engaged in research, scholarship, and/or creative work grounded in understandings of equality; and/or a consideration for the many ways in which the academy or particular fields promote or extinguish the advancement of historically underrepresented communities.
  • DU Latino Center for Community Engagement and Scholarship (DULCCES). A consortium of interdisciplinary faculty from throughout the University who are committed to placing DU at the center of scholarship, teaching, and service related to Latinos in the Rocky Mountain West. Its vision of success is to provide a center where Latino faculty, students, and community partners can work together to evolve into ethical and responsible participants in a pluralistic, interdependent, and multicultural society.
  • Pioneer Pathways Program (P3). P3 has a specific goal to nurture the strengths of academically successful incoming students from historically underrepresented communities and prepare them to pursue additional academic degrees, such as a Masters or Doctorate. The program supports IRISE’s mission to develop students who are underrepresented in various fields where an advanced degree is required as a condition of employment. In connection to DU’s commitment to Inclusive Excellence and Diversity, P3 is aimed to provide students with impactful research opportunities, social and cultural support, meaningful mentorship, and personal growth.
  • Roger Salters Doctoral Institute. Named after the distinguished Dr. Roger Salters, RSI continues his work by engaging graduate students from historically marginalized populations with the opportunity to learn from faculty how to navigate one's identity in the Academy. Dr. Salters was a tenured faculty member in Electrical and Computer Engineering at DU and a prominent role model for advancing diversity at DU. RSI furthers the work he began in challenging inequity in academic spaces by supporting doctoral students through the many challenges they may face in their educational journeys.
  • IRISE Faculty and Student Professional Development and Research Grants. IRISE offers research and creative projects grants, professional development grants, and other opportunities for faculty, as well as graduate and undergraduate students.
  • IRISE Graduate Research Fellows. A partnership between IRISE, Vice-Provosts of Research and Graduate Studies, and particular academic units to support interdisciplinary faculty research.
  • IRISE your program or class. We work to transform programming and curriculum across campus by providing opportunities for “IRISE-ing” an event, lecture, or even class, When we “IRISE” your event, we amplify its interdisciplinary and inclusivity scope and outcomes.
  • IRISE Around DU. We have worked with University Libraries to identify Research Guides that implicate interdisciplinary research on inequality. In addition, we seek opportunities to bring many of the top thinkers in the country dealing with inequality to campus to interact with our faculty and students, including the 2014 eCRT symposium on quantitative research on race and ethnic studies.

These opportunities are just the beginning as IRISE works to prioritize inequality as a core research area across various disciplines. All of us affiliated with IRISE encourage you to examine all of the exciting research on inequality that DU faculty and students are accomplishing and we collectively look forward to working with all of you to help us achieve our goals. 

2015 Diversity Summit IRISE Presentations