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Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences (AHSS)




We showcase the work of members of our community, from research and scholarship to creativity and the arts. Our faculty are sought-after experts who are frequently in the news.

Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences


DU alumni working in journalism
April 18, 2018

Alumni Impact: Real news day

Thousands of graduates of DU’s Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences are making an impact on their local and global communities. Some you may recognize by name, while others may not be as well known. In honor of Real News Day, we sat down with alumni Carly Moore and Todd Unger who are committed to seeking and presenting fair and accurate news.

Stuart Portman (right) discusses healthcare policy with Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch in his Washington, DC office
March 29, 2018

Medic Aid: The Pioneer Scripting Health-Care Reform

When the longest-serving Republican senator in U.S. history needs help understanding health care, Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), 83, turns to a fresh-faced kid from St. Louis, who is young enough to be his grandson. Stuart Portman (BA ’13, political science), at just 27 years old, is the senator’s resident expert and most trusted voice on the hottest of hot-button issues: the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, among other things.

Wallace Clift
March 7, 2018

In Memoriam: Wallace B. Clift, PhD, Professor and Former Chair, Department of Religious Studies

The Rev. Dr. Wallace Bruce Clift Jr., professor of religious studies at the University of Denver and former chair of the department died at his home in Olympia, WA, on February 5, 2018, at age 91.

Dr. Clift taught psychology of religion at the University of Denver from 1969 to 1992, serving as chair of the department for many years. He helped start a joint PhD program with Iliff School of Theology in 1981.

March 1, 2018

Artist Connects Theory with Practice through 3D Modeling

In early 2017, Morehshin Allahyari had been living and working as a permanent resident in the United States when she found herself trapped in Germany after the Trump administration issued an executive order banning entry for citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries, including permanent residents. “I had my Iranian passport and my green card, but I was stuck in Berlin, not knowing if I could come back or not.”

DU alumni working in local government
January 29, 2018

Alumni Impact: Leading in local government

Thousands of graduates of DU’s Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences are making an impact on their local and global communities. Some you may recognize by name, while others may not be as well known. We sat down with four Colorado alumni who are committed to bettering their communities through local government: Linda Olson, Steve Hogan, Jordan Sauers, and Doris Truhlar. Each has dedicated their time and energy to public service in hopes of making a meaningful difference in the lives of others.

Lance Clem (left) with Gov. Richard Lamm
January 29, 2018

The Impact of an Internship

Lance Clem, a Media, Film, and Journalism Studies (MFJS) alumnus and longtime public policy advocate, established an internship program for future MFJS students through his estate upon his passing in 2016. Julia Dacy, a senior strategic communication major, is the first recipient of the Lance C. Clem Endowment for Media, Film, and Journalism Studies award. Dacy used her award for an unpaid internship last summer in her hometown of Chicago.

January 17, 2018

Memories and Reflections of Lawrence Argent (1957-2017)

I have taught painting in the School of Art & Art History (SAAH) at the University of Denver (DU) since 1987 and knew Lawrence for 24 years. The following are a few memories and reflections of Lawrence as a teacher, colleague and artist. In writing this, I hope it will give you a window into parts of Lawrence’s life and the contributions he made at DU and in Denver. 

This op-ed was written by Professor Deborah Howard.

Keegan Kienzle, DU alum teaching in Germany
November 22, 2017

Language is No Barrier for Fulbright Award Recipient

When Keegan Kienzle learned he was awarded a Fulbright Teaching Assistantship in Berlin, Germany, he had one month to pack his bags and part with family and friends before moving to a country where he’d never been, communicating in a language he’d hardly spoken. Though his journey to Germany was unorthodox and not always easy, Kienzle (BA '15, international studies and Spanish, German minor) said his time at DU prepared him to take on the challenge.

October 31, 2017

In Memoriam: Jimmy LaVita

Professor Emeritus James (Jimmy) LaVita passed away on October 25, 2017. His teaching and scholarship at DU spanned both the arts and sciences. Jimmy served as professor and long-time chair of mathematics and computer science, then as professor of computer science, and most recently, as a professor of social sciences in the divisions of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences with the anthropology department and emergent digital practices program. 

October 26, 2017

Activism Through Literature and Leadership

Considered among the most influential writers in South Africa, Njabulo S. Ndebele (PhD ’83, creative writing) has used literature as a vehicle for protest, resistance, and empowerment while leading in the recovery of South Africa through higher education. More than two decades after apartheid ended, Ndebele remains committed to ensuring Nelson Mandela’s vision for a just, inclusive society becomes reality.

September 26, 2017

5 Pieces of Art to Kick-Start Conversation

The University of Denver’s Center for Judaic Studies (CJS) and Holocaust Awareness Institute (HAI) announced a new initiative called Art/Awareness/Diversity (A/A/D). The project will launch in October with an exhibit in the University of Denver Anderson Academic Commons’ Dr. Helen G. and Albert F. Morris Exhibit Display through January 2018.

goldfarb reflections square
September 25, 2017

The Unfinished Business of Ron Goldfarb: A Return to Art

While attending an art auction in New York, Ron Goldfarb couldn’t help but get caught up in the excitement of magnificent artwork and six-figure bids. At the crack of the gavel—SOLD—Goldfarb realized he wanted to be the artist behind the painting. After retiring from a long, successful legal career, he unleashed his creativity onto canvas.

August 31, 2017

New Center Examines American Political System

The American political system has long been studied and dissected—and American politics is quite possibly more relevant in peoples’ lives now than in years before. In July, the University established the Center on American Politics—as a part of its strategic goals outlined in DU IMPACT 2025—to help us understand the changing standards of the nation’s political system.

August 31, 2017

Unexpected Career Path Leads to Love of Journalism

The University of Denver was not on Mollie Finch Belt’s radar when she graduated from high school in 1961. Neither was a career in journalism. But, Belt (BA ’65, sociology) has learned to navigate all of life’s twists and turns with poise and passion to find her true purpose in life. That includes owning and operating The Dallas Examiner.

July 27, 2017

Alumni Shaping Denver

Candi CdeBaca (BS ’09, sociology; MSW ’09, social work) is co-founder and executive director of Project VOYCE, a nonprofit that mobilizes and trains Denver youth to work on problems in their schools and communities. Her goal is to prepare kids from Denver’s poorer neighborhoods to claim their seat at the table when it comes to the city’s future.


Paige Murray — July 2017
First-Year Seminar Shaped Alumna's DU Experience
Conor McGahey — May/June 2017

Journalism Grad is the Voice of the Denver Broncos
Kevin Fitzpatrick — March/April 2017
French Alum Helps Thousands as Anesthesiologist
Patrick Hughes — January/February 2017

Alumnus Works on Behalf of Thousands of Students at Texas Tech
Matthew Small — December 2016

DU Alumnus Appointed Tech CEO
Xinghang Lu — November 2016

Recent International Alumna Studies Emerging Field at Columbia
Gail Folwell — October 2016

Sculptor and Alumna Goes Pro
Jim Parriott — September 2016

Theatre and Communications Alumnus is a Two Time Golden Globe Winner
Julio Alas — August 2016

Alumnus Brings Hundreds of Elementary Students to DU for College Prep