Skip navigation

College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences (CAHSS)




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.

College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences


Samantha Seiple
August 14, 2019

Turning Curiosity into Creative Writing

English and communications alumna Samantha Seiple (BA ’89) published her first nonfiction book for adult audiences:  Louisa on the Front Lines (Seal Press, 2019). The book chronicles writer Louisa May Alcott’s stint as a nurse during the darkest days of the Civil War. 

Natura Obscura
August 13, 2019

EDP Alumnus Helps Design Interactive Art Exhibit

Emergent digital practices alumnus Travis Powell (BFA '17), one of the resident artists at the Museum of Outdoor Arts, helped design and build the Synthetic Nature gallery at the Natura Obscura exhibit in Denver. 
Rachel Johnson
July 24, 2019

Anthropology Alumna Finds New Herd at North Dakota Museum

Rachel Johnson (BA '02) landed her first role at DU's Museum of Anthropology while studying for her degree. After rising to the role of archaeological research collections manager at Santa Fe’s Museum of Indian Arts & Culture, she now serves as the first-ever collections manager at the National Buffalo Museum in North Dakota. 

Theo Krause
July 23, 2019

DU Alum Overcomes Life-Threatening Accident

After Theo Krause graduated in 2010 with degrees in French and international business, snowboarding became his life. Krause moved to Vail, where he worked as a snowboard instructor in the winter and a valet in the summer. Life was good. Then the mountain turned on him.

Asher Knight
July 17, 2019

Alumnus Puts DU Leadership into Practice as Rabbi

Asher Knight, a 2001 DU graduate of international and Judaic studies, considered an array of career paths. Knight’s participation in DU's Pioneer Leadership Program, in part, has led him to his work as a rabbi in multiple large synagogues.

John Madden, Jr.
July 2, 2019

John Madden, Jr. Commits $5M to Support Faculty Innovation at CAHSS

The University received a $5 million commitment from local real estate developer and philanthropist John Madden, Jr. to support the Center for Innovation in the Liberal and Creative Arts. To recognize his generosity, DU will name the John Madden Center for Innovation in the Liberal and Creative Arts in his honor. 
Michelle Lee
June 19, 2019

Psychology Alumna Lands Role in Data Science

Close support from psychology department chair Anne DePrince helped Michelle Lee (‘18) succeed in her challenging developmental psychology doctorate program at DU. Lee has since landed a job as a data scientist with Pearson, where she focuses on integrating artificial intelligence with educational tools. 

Paul Chan
May 30, 2019

Celebrating Asian Pacific American Heritage Month with Paul Chan

For more than 20 years, Paul Chan has served as the University of Denver’s vice chancellor for legal affairs and general counsel, but his contributions to the DU community go far beyond that. Not only has he served as both faculty and staff at DU, but he also is an alumnus himself, having received his bachelor’s degree in English literature and secondary education from the University, and saw his son pursue a DU degree as well.
Livingston Lecture
May 24, 2019

Alumni Weekend Brings DU Family Back Home

Before the University of Denver’s Class of 2019 steps off campus and continues its journey, DU welcomed back its past graduates for the annual Alumni Weekend Celebration. Over four days, DU honored distinguished alumni Marion Edwards (BA ’72), Floyd Little (MSJA ’75) and Abdulfattah Sharaf (BA ’94). But the University also planned a diverse schedule of events to celebrate its 140,000   alumni, who live in all 50 U.S. states and 145 countries.

A Community Table
May 16, 2019

Hundreds Share Ideas at 'A Community Table'

Inside a Sturm Hall classroom, students, staff and alumni from the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences munched on falafel from Jerusalem Café. Their discussion spanned such topics as air quality, debt from student loans and high tuition costs. “I think it’s important to have opportunities like these,” said Nicholas Bass, a third-year student. “I don't think the point of college is to have your beliefs affirmed. I think it’s to have them challenged.”

Governor Polis
May 15, 2019

Colorado Governor Visits Campus in Debriefing of Legislative Session

A packed Davis Auditorium greeted Gov. Jared Polis and Colorado’s leading lawmakers when they came to the University of Denver for a May 13 roundtable debriefing of the state’s most recent legislative session — Polis’ first as chief executive. DU’s Center on American Politics (CAP), directed by political science professor Seth Masket, hosted the event as part of its emphasis on bringing important civic events to campus and promoting discourse among faculty, staff, students and the community at large.

Kirkland Museum
May 14, 2019

Kirkland Museum Displays Work of Former DU Instructor and Alumna

Denver’s Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art has mounted shows by many Colorado artists over the years, but few have had such a personal connection to the institution’s namesake — modern artist Vance Kirkland, former director of the University of Denver’s art school — as “Barbara Locketz: Form, Color, Texture,” a temporary exhibit on display at the museum through July 14.
Dr. Loosineh Markarian
May 10, 2019

Alumni Spotlight: Dr. Loosineh Markarian

Dr. Loosineh Markarian, a 2009 alumna of the MA in International and Intercultural Communication program, was born and raised in Tehran, Iran, where she received her undergraduate degree in Media Studies at the University of Tehran. Despite an advisor telling her to refrain from studying politics, that is precisely what she did. 

Kevin Willmot, Blackkklansman
April 24, 2019

Screenwriter for “BlacKkKlansman” Brings Oscar Winning Film to DU

Kevin Willmott — also an associate professor of film studies at the University of Kansas — brought the "BlacKkKlansman" to campus in April for a screening and Q&A session with DU students. The DU newsroom caught up with him before the screening to talk about his background and his work on the film.
Abigail Negley
April 11, 2019

CAHSS Alumna Abigail Negley: One Year Later

Class of 2018 DU graduate Abigail Negley’s multifaceted passions have opened the door to her role as public policy and advocacy coordinator for the Arc of Colorado.

Susana Cordova
March 21, 2019

DU Alumna Has Deep Roots in Her Hometown District

Susana Cordova (BA ’88) has been superintendent of Denver Public Schools for nearly three months. Guiding the state’s largest school district is no easy task, and it was not made any easier when she faced a teacher strike within her first few weeks on the job. Cordova recently talked with the DU Newsroom about her new position, the labor dispute and how her experiences as a first-generation college student will impact her decisions as superintendent.

Julia Rymer
February 25, 2019

DU Alumna Makes a Splash as the Children's Museum Artist-in-Residence

As the Children’s Museum’s latest artist-in-residence, Julia Rymer (BFA ’00, painting) has been honing her skills as an artist and educator while working with museum patrons. In addition to her role at the Children's Museum, Rymer also founded artboss—a company which teaches communication, social media, and branding skills to budding creatives—and teaches at the Curtis Center for the Arts in Greenwood Village.

Gregana Argirova at London Music Box
February 12, 2019

DU Alumna Opens London's First Music School for Students with Autism, Wins Award

After realizing there was a gap in music education, Gergana Argirova (BM '10, MM '12) opened a music school for students with autism. The London Music Box has received tremendous grassroots support, evidenced by the 6,000 votes received to win Argirova the prestigious Small Business Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
Rachel Ledon
January 29, 2019

DU Alumna Launches Career Connecting Fellow Alumni

In the past year, regional offices have popped up across the U.S. to give DU alumni and friends opportunities to connect with each other and with the University. As a Southeast region market fellow, Rachel Ledon’s goal is to create a strong network of alumni and friends in the Washington, D.C. area. “Our DU alumni in this region are incredibly passionate, smart, impressive and ambitious,” said Ledon. “I've enjoyed getting to know many of our alums, and hearing about people's stories and passions.”

Sturm Hall, University of Denver
January 28, 2019

Mellon Foundation invests in faculty-led startup initiatives at the University of Denver

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded $250,000 to the University of Denver’s Center for Innovation in the Liberal and Creative Arts (CILCA) to develop five major startup initiatives over the next 12 months. An academic venture capital firm focused on faculty-driven projects, CILCA is a revolutionary approach to research, creative work, teaching, and community involvement. 
Faith William Dyrsten
January 10, 2019

Making a Career in Art Education

Students enrolled in the BFA in studio art program have the opportunity to create art and experiment with numerous art forms. That opportunity to explore and practice using many different materials has prepared alumna Faith Williams Dyrsten to learn new techniques and introduce them to the art classes she teaches. Being able to offer various art mediums, coupled with personal narrative, “helps me teach my students how to have a voice in their artwork,” she said.

Jeanne Abrams, Sarah Pessin and Helen Morris, University of Denver
November 27, 2018

Studying the American Jewish Experience

DU students will have an opportunity to learn more about the American Jewish Experience thanks to a newly created postdoctoral fellowship in the Center for Judaic Studies (CJS). The postdoc will hold a PhD in a related field, and will teach courses and conduct research on a range of topics that weave Judaic Studies with multiple disciplines in the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences (CAHSS).

Brandan Buck
November 19, 2018

Higher Ed Brings Veteran Back to Public Service

As an undergrad history major, Brandan Buck was unique among his peers. The Army veteran had four years of military experience, including one year in Afghanistan, before stepping foot on campus. His work and his research often reflected his military background. After graduating in 2009, Buck worked for the government, but he never lost his zeal for historical research. Prior to coming to the University of Denver, Buck served in the U.S. Army (2001-2003) and the Virginia Army National Guard (2003-2005). He was deployed to Afghanistan July 2004 to July 2005. “During that time, I served as a machine gunner in an infantry platoon that provided force protection, convoy security and other combat operations,” he said.

Sharon Orlopp and her son
October 25, 2018

Alumna Learned Early to "Lean In"

Six months after graduating from DU, Sharon Orlopp received a call that would change the course of her life and career. Working in a local nonprofit at the time, she knew it wasn’t the job for her, but didn’t know how to change jobs and was scared to make a move in a bad economy. When the phone rang, she was not expecting to hear from DU Career Services. Her former advisor had come across a free career symposium for retailers and immediately thought of her. With a little encouragement, Orlopp (BA ’81, speech communication and political science) decided to attend.

Hands holding paper cutout in the shape of a family
October 26, 2018

DU Clinic Expands Access to Low-Cost Mental Health Care for Denver Families

Families and children in the Denver community can take advantage of high-quality, research-based mental health services through the University of Denver’s Center for Child and Family Psychology. The Center provides low-cost psychological assessments and therapy for children, adolescents, adults, and families. After reopening its couples’ clinic, the Center also provides weekly therapy sessions and educational workshops for couples.

Inclusive Excellence Meeting
October 25, 2018

Inclusive Community

In line with the University’s commitment to inclusive excellence, the College is continually working to create an inclusive and engaging environment for all, maximize opportunities for individuals to contribute their talents, and foster innovation. The Keystone Strategic Plan places a high priority on expanding diversity by supporting the hiring, retention, and development of faculty and staff from historically underrepresented groups, as well as providing the DU and greater community with ongoing opportunities to engage with and explore the emerging and critical role of the creative and liberal arts.

Arlan Preblud
September 27, 2018

We Don't Waste

I first met Arlan Preblud in the cavernous kitchen on the lower level of Mile High Stadium during the second half of a Broncos game. Preblud was explaining to our group of volunteers the process of “sweeping the suites” after the game. He wasn’t distributing brooms, but rather multi-tiered speed racks stacked with bins to collect leftover food that would otherwise go to waste.

September 6, 2018

AHSS is Now a Unified College

At the start of the academic year, the University of Denver announced the creation of the College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences (CAHSS), which includes the division of arts and humanities and the division of social sciences. The unified College came about as a result of the months-long strategic planning process within the two divisions and the launch of its Keystone Strategic Plan.

Erin Orsley
September 6, 2018

Religious Studies Builds a Case for Public Defense

Mock trials, mustard and a search for meaning and purpose are what shaped Erin Orsley’s decision to become a public defender. Orsley (BA ’16) graduated from the University of Denver in just three years with degrees in Religious Studies, International Studies and Spanish. In addition to her three majors, Orsley managed to squeeze in multiple extracurriculars—joining DU’s Mock Trial Team, participating in the Social Justice Living and Learning Community, serving as a resident assistant, and studying abroad. 

August 21, 2018

2018-2019 Anvil of Freedom Lecturer, Alexander Heffner

You're invited to the University of Denver's Estlow Center for Journalism and New Media's 26th Anvil of Freedom lecture by PBS host and civic educator Alexander Heffner. Heffner's keynote lecture, "Civil Discourse in an Uncivil Age: The Quest for a Post-Partisan Citizenship," will be held on Monday, October 1, from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. at the University of Denver's Anderson Academic Commons. He will discuss the divisiveness of contemporary politics and how citizens and the press can restore faith in American civic life. This event is free and open to the public. RSVP online or call Emily Kintigh at 303-871-2166.

Ben Jacobs
July 26, 2018

Denver Restaurant Serving the Community More than Just Food

“We have a friend, Walt Pourier, who always says, ‘You thrive, I thrive, we thrive.’ That’s the kind of mentality that we like to go by,” says Ben Jacobs, co-owner of Tocabe: An American Indian Eatery. Jacobs (BA ’05, history) and Matt Chandra (BA ’05, digital media studies) opened their first restaurant in December 2008. Nine years and two locations later, they’re still at it, but with a bigger goal in mind.

Serena Chopra
June 28, 2018

Exploring Queerness Through Indian Culture

On a Saturday night in Bangalore, India, Serena Chopra found herself comfortably swapping stories about life and family with a group of new-found friends—women and men with whom she could relate. She had traveled eight thousand miles from her home in Colorado on a Fulbright grant to better understand the experiences of queer women and transmen and how they are at odds with Indian familial traditions and social and political expectations.

Alumni in the arts
June 1, 2018

Alumni Impact on the Arts

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. Alumni Patricia Aaron, Kevin Padworski and Tony Ryan share their journeys and how they are making a difference through the performing and creative arts.

One Day for DU
May 3, 2018

How a Dinner Changed the DU Community

Last spring, One Day for DU—the University of Denver's annual 24-hour giving blitz—helped raise funds to bring together graduate students from across campus to cook a meal, share their cultures, and learn from one another.

Clockwise from top: Candi Cdebaca, Morehshin Allahyari, Frazer Lockart
May 3, 2018

Alumni Achievement Awards

On May 17, AHSS will recognize the 2018 recipients of the alumni achievement awards at the annual Alumni Reception and Livingston Lecture. AHSS has over 27,000 alumni globally and, in light of their many successes, the AHSS Advisory Board established the alumni achievement awards program in 2012. Nominations were collected and a committee comprised of the Advisory Board and Dean Daniel McIntosh reviewed the competitive pool of applicants.

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.

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.

October 12, 2017

In Memoriam: Lawrence Argent

The School of Art & Art History is deeply saddened to announce the unexpected loss of our treasured colleague, emeritus professor Lawrence Argent this Wednesday, October 4, 2017. With a career of over 20 years at the University of Denver's School of Art & Art History, he brought great skill and passion to his teaching, while his international reputation as a sculptor grew at an ever-increasing pace. He was a leader in his field, and he will be missed. Read a reflection from Professor Deborah Howard and statements from his colleagues and friends.

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.