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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


John Kinzie, Lamont School of Music

April 22, 2019

A Smashing Success for Lamont Percussionists

For the Lamont percussion department, the last two years have been a series of hits. John Kinzie, Lamont’s adjunct faculty in percussion and director of percussion studies, credits the growth and success of the program to state-of-the-art facilities, diligent recruiting efforts and a culture of collaboration. Percussion students Kevin Keith and Elizabeth Karney share how that collaboration contributed to their personal successes in the program.

Marcus Dockerty
April 15, 2019

Senior Marcus Dockerty: A True Renaissance Man

Class of 2019 graduate Marcus Dockerty will graduate with a strong foundation in economics after his experience doing high-level research at DU. He hopes to pursue both graduate school and employment with the Federal Reserve.

Maddy Gawler
April 8, 2019

DU Senior Seeks International Knowledge Firsthand

By the time she graduates, Maddy Gawler will have participated in six official DU study abroad programs: interterm trips to Belize, South Africa, Japan and New Zealand, as well as a full semester each in Spain and Ecuador. She’ll also graduate with a rare triple major, in Spanish, geography, and international studies, accompanied by a minor in leadership.

Spanish for Heritage Speakers
April 4, 2019

Spanish Course Unites Heritage Speakers

In winter quarter, Lina Reznicek-Parrado led a unique group of 15 students in her new course, "Spanish for Heritage Speakers." The course specifically caters to students who were educated in the context of English-speaking America but have other experience with Spanish. It's the first language class for heritage speakers to be offered at DU.

April 1, 2019

Passionate Pre-Med Student Seeks Inspiration Wherever She Goes

"Dual-degree" doesn't quite cover undergraduate Natasha Hamilton's array of academic pursuits. This June, she'll earn her BS in molecular biology with a cognitive neuroscience concentration and minors in chemistry and math, as well as a BA in sociology with a minor in psychology. And she still finds time to pursue passions in piano, cello, and Celtic harp!

MFJS students study food
March 19, 2019

IIC Students Engage with Sustainable Agriculture

In an era of Instagram famous #Foodies and the deeply addicting Chopped Junior and Great British Baking Show, it's startling to think how little the everyday person actually engages with, thinks about, or encounters where their food comes from. For Kathryn and Cassie, students in the master's program in International and Intercultural Communication (IIC), agriculture is something that should be considered an aspect of everyday life. 

North Indian Dance Ensemble
March 12, 2019

Curiosity Leads to New Passion for DU Students

When Cailey Salagovic, a voice major at DU’s Lamont School of Music, signed up for the North Indian Classical Ensemble, a course taught each quarter by Lamont faculty member Sarah Morelli, she took the first step in a journey that would lead to a new passion, a new community, and eventually a trip to India to assist her mentor on a voyage of cultural cross-collaboration.

Dr. Amber Johnson
March 5, 2019

Interactive Museum Brings Dialogue, Art, Play to Campus

What if, to confront conflict, bias and prejudice, all it took was some time to play together? The University of Denver community will soon be able to answer that question, as an interactive mobile museum makes its way to campus for a week of art, activity and dialogue.

Mark Mayer
February 14, 2019

Characters in PhD Candidate Mark Mayer's Debut Collection Imagine New Worlds

In his fourth year of DU’s creative writing PhD program, Mark Mayer’s debut story collection won the Michener Copernicus Prize and will be published by Bloomsbury on February 19. The stories share a collective backdrop—one rooted in the tradition of circus acts and freak shows. “The characters in my stories adjust themselves to reality by imagining what exists beyond or outside of it,” Mayer said. 

Danielle Gualtieri
January 29, 2019

Finding “the Greater” in Religion and Science

On a spiritual level, Danielle Gualtieri has always had faith in what she calls “the Greater.” She decided to explore that faith holistically by pursuing majors in religious studies and molecular biology, and minors in anthropology and chemistry. Gualtieri sees a link between religion and science, but admits that the more she learns, the more mysterious the Greater becomes.

Madison Sussmann
January 10, 2019

Piecing Together Stories of the Human Experience

When looking for a graduate program that combines anthropology with museum studies, Madison Sussmann found the right fit at the University of Denver. “I was attracted to the Museum and Heritage Studies program because of its integration with the University of Denver Museum of Anthropology [DUMA],” Sussmann said. The Museum Studies program trains students to be practicing anthropologists in museums and related cultural institutions.

Amanda Martinez
November 19, 2018

Decoding Vampires Already

Amanda Martinez was only into her first year at DU when she was recognized as a scholar and invited to present at an international conference on one of her favorite topics: Buffy the Vampire Slayer! It all began last fall when Martinez, who is studying business management and psychology, took “Gender, Feminism, Power and Pop Culture: Decoding Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” a first-year seminar (FSEM) taught by Jodie Kreider, visiting assistant professor of history.

November 12, 2018

Changemakers Visit DU to Learn About Woman's Initiatives 

On November 12, the University of Denver hosted visitors from Israel as part of their “Changemarkers: Leadership Development for Woman” program. DU was one of many stops on their trip to learn a broad range of perspectives on organizations in the U.S. and how woman can get involved in civic leadership roles. 

Matthew Kavorkian
October 25, 2018

Carving Your Own Path

Matthew Kavorkian often jokes with others that he created his own major called “Chinese History.” However, it’s not much of a joke when you understand that Kavorkian has carved his own educational path, as he has combined many disciplines and techniques to gain a diversity of experiences in Beijing, Disneyland and at DU.

Rebecca Alfaro
September 27, 2018

Leading the Way in Gender Studies

Innovation at the University of Denver is highly encouraged. When Rebecca Alfaro (BA ’18, gender and women’s studies, international studies) had the opportunity to be the first student in the DU and Lund University (Lund, Sweden) 3+1+1 program in gender studies, she jumped at the chance.

Tom Dattilo
September 6, 2018

Internship Stipend Allows Student to Follow His Passion

Since high school, Tom Dattilo has dreamed of working in international diplomacy. So when an unpaid internship with global-focused, non-profit WorldDenver became available, it seemed too good to pass up. But he may have passed it up if not for an internship stipend from the Sturm Family Foundation.


July 26, 2018

AHSS Student Advisory Council

Last spring, AHSS undergraduate students elected new leaders for the 2018–2019 Student Advisory Council (SAC). SAC leaders work throughout the year to build community in AHSS among students and faculty, create awareness and visibility of the AHSS identity, and enhance student programming and engagement.


Leah Swander
July 26, 2018

Journey of a Journalist

Last April, Leah Swander, third-year double major in journalism and gender and women’s studies, received The Denver Press Club’s Damon Runyon Scholarship award for the University of Denver. “It was overwhelming, yet an incredible feeling to see my work be recognized by such a prestigious institution,” she said. 


Aristotle Johns
June 28, 2018

What's in a Name?

Passion for learning has paved a path for Aristotle Johns. Ever since he landed on the DU campus in fall 2014, Johns has whirled through DU’s academic and extracurricular offerings, determined to soak up as much intellectual stimulus as a 24-hour day will permit.

Theatre Project
June 1, 2018

Student Projects Cap Off DU Education

This past month, many of our graduates have been hard at work putting the finishing touches on final projects that demonstrate the skills and knowledge acquired over the course of their DU educations. Some of the projects, from senior capstones and recitals, to undergraduate and graduate research symposiums, have been in the works for over a year.  The projects show that the students have gone above and beyond the requirements, and have taken their education to the next level. 

June 1, 2018

Dear Incoming Students

Congratulations to the 2018 graduating class from Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences! Of the 386 undergraduate and 103 graduate students, we asked a handful of our recent grads what advice they’d give to incoming students, and this is what they said:


Amanda Cerini art
June 4, 2018

re(f)use Art Exhibition

Inspiration can come from anywhere. For Amanda Cerini, senior studio art major, her passion began in line at a grocery store.


Avery Hitchcock
June 4, 2018

The Giving Circle

Even though Avery Hitchcock will graduate from DU this month, he is already thinking about the ways that he can give back to his community.

JJ Kahn
June 1, 2018

Student Focuses on the Greater Good

JJ Khan is using a unique sense of purpose to not only make the DU community a better place, but to spark a greater change in the world. The third-year psychology and socio-legal studies major navigates his many commitments by never forgetting his driving motivation: the greater good. Though he may not know exactly where his studies will lead him, Khan is sure that the opportunities at DU are preparing him for a bright future of helping others.  

Harris on a bike.
May 14, 2018

Senior's Parting Thoughts

When asked what advice she would give to undergraduates, graduating senior Gertie Harris urges students to be authentic to who they are and to never stop growing through the wise words of Dr. Seuss.

Jeanette Chinelli's art
May 3, 2018

An Artist's Journey

Like the saying goes, life rarely goes as planned. Such is the case for Jeanette Chinelli, a fourth year art major who returned to finish her undergraduate degree more than a decade after putting college on hold.  

Whitney Peterson
March 29, 2018

Finding Truth and Meaning Through Images 

Whitney Peterson is passionate about bringing to light stories that were once silent. The graduate student in the department of anthropology is using donated photo albums from former sites of World War II Japanese American internment to understand, illuminate, and empower the community. 

Harper Hahn
March 1, 2018

Going Beyond the Classroom

Last summer, Harper Hahn, a second-year religious studies and international studies major, was awarded a spot in the Saudi Young Leaders Exchange Program (SYLEP). Hahn was a Cultural Ambassador to the aspiring entrepreneurial Saudi Arabian students who joined the program to build social entrepreneurism, leadership skills, civic responsibility, and appreciation for cultural diversity. 

Boldman with trumpet.
January 29, 2018

Lamont Student Part of Disney History with "Frozen"

Before it takes the show to Broadway this spring, Disney debuted “Frozen: The Musical” at Denver’s Buell Theatre in summer 2017. In the orchestra pit for the much-anticipated premiere were three faculty members from DU’s Lamont School of Music, as well as Lamont graduate student Jake Boldman (MM, Jazz Trumpet Performance) who played trumpet for the show. He took us behind the scenes to share in the excitement. 

Andi Schlut
January 4, 2018

Student Sees Future in Public Service

Andi Schlut has her sights set on Washington, D.C., with plans to pursue a career as an elected official, working in a federal government agency, or conducting research. No matter which path she takes, the third-year political science and socio-legal studies major is sure of one thing… her liberal arts education at DU is providing a solid framework for any career she chooses.  

Sherlock Crockett
November 30, 2017

A Writer's Experience in the Game World 

As a first-generation college student, Sherlock Crockett was uneasy about higher education and the related costs. Now into his third year at DU, and after receiving several AHSS scholarships for outstanding academic performance, Crockett is feeling much more confident than he did as an incoming first-year student. 

October 26, 2017

Student Finds Gentrification Hits Too Close to Home

Jaime Guzmán has seen the effects of gentrification first-hand. The 4th year PhD student in communication studies is examining the impact of gentrification on lower-income communities of color, starting with his hometown of East Los Angeles, a Latinx and migrant community, predominantly of Mexican heritage.

September 28, 2017

Photos Bring Environmental Issues into Focus

In the summer of 2016, Nicole Miller traveled to Northern Sweden to research a recent land victory of the indigenous Sami people. Land right victories are rare in the history of the Sami, and she wanted to learn more about it.

When Miller arrived in the Swedish town of Kiruna, she learned of another impending problem—the towns of Kiruna and Malmberget (120 km south of Kiruna) are sinking. 

August 31, 2017

Award-Winning Lamont Clarinetist Finds Inspiration and Opportunity Daily 

Lamont senior Guillermo Ramasasa did not start out his musical career by choice. “My dad put me into music by force,” he said with a smile, to carry on the legacy of his saxophone-playing grandfather, who shares his name. It was not an auspicious beginning: the clarinetist wanted to play trombone, but his band director handed him a trumpet instead. It didn’t go well. “The first day I took my trumpet home, I broke it,” he laughed.

alicia mountain poetry prize
August 25, 2017

Creative Writing Student Awarded Poetry Prize

The University of Iowa Press has awarded PhD creative writing student Alicia Mountain its 2017 Iowa Poetry Prize for her book of poetry High Ground Coward. Since 1987, the prize has been awarded annually for an unpublished poetry collection. Only poets with previously published work were eligible until 2001, when the award was opened to all poets.

July 27, 2017

Student Uses Policy Expertise as a Voice for Urban Social Change

Morgan Smith has seen the truth firsthand: local policymaking is the best way to enact social change. Drawn to the analytical rigor of economics and the practical applications of public policy, Smith chose to double-major in the two subjects, which has helped shape his overarching interest in and approach to urban policy.