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Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences (AHSS)



Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Liberal arts education is at the heart of the University of Denver. Our faculty, staff and students come together in a shared quest for knowledge of the human condition.

Advisory Board Members

2018-2019 COUNCIL Members & Biographic Sketches

CAHSS Advisory Council members serve a renewable, four-year term. Members are appointed by the dean.

Tom Douglis (BA '86, history) - Council President
Denver, CO
With over 25 years as a professional communicator, brand-builder and Tom Douglisorganizational storyteller, Tom Douglis is a recognized strategic architect of award-winning brand programs for local, national and global organizations.

He has led hundreds of successful brand engagements, including brand-related work for Fortune 500 corporations such as Barclays, IBM, Ford Motor Company, Western Union, First Data Corporation, Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) and Toshiba as well as top academic medical centers such as Brigham and Women's Hospital, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Yale New Haven Health, Montefiore/Einstein College of Medicine and Northwestern Medicine. He has also worked with non-profit organizations such as University of Denver, the American Cancer Society and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

Before founding the Douglis Group in 2014, Tom was Managing Director and Senior Brand Strategist for Monigle Associates in Denver from 2003 to 2014 and Vice-President at the world's largest brand consultancy, Enterprise IG (now Brand Union) in New York City from 1999-2002. He also held senior brand consulting positions in Toronto at Tudhope Associates (Now Interbrand Canada) and Sutton/Javelin Communications (now Sutton Integrated) from 1994-1999. He is a frequent speaker at branding conferences in the USA, Canada and Europe.

His pre-branding career began in journalism with Penton Media in Cleveland, followed by a year in advertising with Doremus/Chicago Advertising, followed by four years in sports media. His sports media career included two years editing College Hockey Magazine and College Football Magazine in Boston, MA, and two years with USA Hockey in Colorado Springs, where his duties included media relations for the 1992 US Olympic hockey team and the 1992 US Canada Cup Team (NHL players), as well as editor of American Hockey Magazine, the largest circulation hockey publication in the world.

Tom earned his MBA (with highest honors) from the University of Westminster in London in 2000 and his BA in history from the University of Denver in 1986. He has also completed advanced journalism coursework at Harvard University (1990).

As an undergraduate student at the University of Denver, Tom was an award-winning Sports Editor of the Denver Clarion as well as hockey writer at the student newspaper. He was also as an executive council member of Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity, where he won the 1986 Thomas Arkle Clark Award for outstanding chapter senior, and was selected to join DU's Order of Omega, a national fraternity honorary society.

Today, Tom can usually be seen on the DU campus at least twice a week. He spends a great deal of time volunteering for DU, where his recent work has included the Liberal Arts Advantage panelist, AHSS Salon Host, Alumni Relations Reunion Committee, member of the editorial board of University of Denver Magazine, member of the University Mascot Committee, and the 2013 University Founder's Day Awards Committee. He a frequent lecturer at the Daniels College of Business and the department of media, film and journalism studies and consults with the department of athletics on school spirit initiatives. He also is a die-hard Pioneer sports fan and a longtime DU hockey, basketball and lacrosse season ticket holder. He also enjoys events at the Newman Center for the Performing Arts, including membership in the Lamont Society and DUART.

He is married to Brenda and lives in the Denver area.

Kierra Aiello (BA '17, art history and music, MA ’17 Art History)
Denver, CO

[Bio to come}

Andy Clayton (BA '94, mass communication; MA '96 public relations)
New York, NY

claytonAndy Clayton is the deputy managing editor, digital sports for the New York Daily News. The former sports editor of the DU Clarion first joined the Daily News sports staff in 2003 and over the last decade-plus has led the digital effort for one of the nation's leading newspaper websites. From the World Series to Super Bowls and everything in between, Clayton has had a front-row seat (well, sitting at a computer in a Manhattan newsroom) to the world's biggest sporting events. Clayton is a life-long Pioneer as his parents earned graduate degrees from DU and both later taught at the university. He even met his wife at DU. After working as a graduate assistant in the sports information department, Clayton began his new media career as a sports editor for the Denver-based dot-com publishing startup, InfoBeat. He is a member of the Associated Press Sports Editors and the Society of Professional Journalists. Andy and his wife, Sarah, live in Beacon, New York.

Katie Cook (MA '16, media, film and journalism studies)
Englewood, CO

katie cookKatie Cook earned her BA from the University of Vermont in 2001 and her MA from the University of Denver in 2016. She is currently a freelance producer, director, editor and researcher for different Denver-based video production companies. Katie's work has screened around the country as well as internationally. In 2011 Katie co-founded Sapphic Nomads, a multi-media project which documents stories from LGBTQ individuals in countries all around the world. In 2015 she teamed up with the Virtual Dinner Guest Project to connect participants in Europe with Muslim majority countries in North Africa and the Middle East during the month of Ramadan. In addition to her documentary and multi-media work, Katie's projects include commercial and branded content.

Yvette Cook (BA '82, political science; MA '84 mass communication)
Atlanta, GA

[bio to come]

Katy Craig (BA '99, French, creative writing and communications; MA '04, literary criticism)
Denver, CO

katyKaty Craig joined the Boettcher Foundation in 2005 as Director of the Scholarship program. Today, as the Foundation’s Director of Strategic Initiatives, Katy continues to oversee the Scholarship program and serves as project lead on increased programming for individual grant recipients. Rounding out her role are key contributions to Foundation communications and her continued work on a book about competitive and compelling college and scholarship applications.

Katy attended the University of Denver as a Boettcher Scholar herself where she was a Chancellor’s Scholar and received the university-wide Pioneer Ambassadors, Distinguished Senior and Pioneer Awards. She triple-majored in French, Creative Writing and Communications, and graduated Summa Cum Laude. In 2004, she completed her MA in Literary Criticism, also at DU.

Katy’s early career included serving as the Assistant Director of the University Honors Program at DU while simultaneously holding the positions of First-Year English Instructor, Honors Seminar Instructor, Honors Symposium Instructor and Nelson Hall Faculty Resident. She has taught various creative writing courses through the Lighthouse Writers Workshop Young Writers Program. After leaving the University, Katy traveled and worked in Central and South America before joining the Boettcher Foundation.

In addition, Katy teaches improvisational theater through the Bovine Metropolis School of Improv and occasionally facilitates Applied Improvisation workshops through APIXXI, a local corporation specializing in applied improvisation for business. Katy has been doing improv professionally since 2009. Some of her favorite shows that she’s performed in are the freestyle rap whodunit SuperBaby’s Lyrical Mystery Tour (Think 8-Mile Meets Scooby-Doo), The Heirs of Hogwarts in which the children of J.K. Rowling’s heroes go off to Hogwarts to have adventures of their own in a fully improvised 90-minute play each evening, and On The Spot, a rapid-fire game show in the style of Who’s Line Is It Anyway? In addition to performing, Katy has enjoyed the opportunity to serve as a host for On The Spot and a participant in the Denver Improv Festival.

A graduate of DU’s Publishing Institute, The Daniels College of Business’ High Performance Leadership Program, Leadership Denver and The Harvard Kennedy School’s Art and Practice of Leadership Development Program, Katy has been asked to speak on leadership development nationally and internationally. She is currently leading an effort to develop a Boettcher Foundation leadership philosophy, and in 2015 will be presenting at the Colorado Leadership Alliance Summit, Monash University in Melbourne Australia, the University of Colorado-Boulder, the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce and the International Leadership Association Women and Leadership Conference, amongst others.

Katy also currently serves as the Secretary of the Metro Volunteers Board of Directors, working to assist their aim of making volunteerism smarter by empowering individuals and organizations with knowledge and skills to create more effective, engaging and impactful volunteering.

Joseph Di Scipio (BA '89, speech communications)
Falls Church, VA

di sipioJoseph Di Scipio is Senior Vice President, Legal and FCC Compliance, for Fox Television Stations, LLC. He joined FTS in 2009. He is responsible for all FCC regulatory matters relating to the Fox owned-and-operated television stations, negotiating retransmission consent and other distribution agreements, spectrum matters, M&A activity and other special projects. He is also a member of the National Association of Broadcasters Board of Directors and holds the Network Seat on the Executive Committee.

Prior to joining Fox, he was a member of Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth, P.L.C. Joe's broadcast media practice focused on providing advice on FCC compliance in complex transactional matters and credit facility placements, as well as all other aspects of practicing before the FCC. He also negotiated network affiliation agreements and retransmission consent agreements on behalf of his broadcasting clients. While at Fletcher, Joe served as Practitioner-in-Residence for Communications Law at Syracuse University College of Law.

Prior to joining Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth, Joe was a partner at Cohn and Marks in Washington, D.C. He also has worked as a field agent for the Federal Communications Commission in Denver, CO, where he was awarded the Catherine Forster Public Service Award for outstanding public service. After graduating from law school, he worked as an attorney in the FCC's Compliance and Information Bureau and in the Common Carrier Bureau.

Joe is a past-president of the Federal Communications Bar Association, and is a past chair of the FCBA Foundation. Prior to chairing the Foundation, he served a three-year term on the Executive Committee of the FCBA. He has also served as co-chair of the CLE Committee and co-chair of the FCBA Young Lawyers Committee. In 2008, he was awarded the FCBA Distinguished Service Award. He is also a past member of the Board of Directors of the Syracuse University Alumni Association and is a former president of the Syracuse University Law Alumni Association. He is the recipient of the Syracuse University College of Law 2005 Distinguished Young Alumnus Award.

Joe graduated magna cum laude from the Syracuse University College of Law. He also earned a Master's Degree in Public Administration from the Syracuse University Maxwell School of Citizenship, and a Bachelor of Arts degree (magna cum laude) from the University of Denver. He is a member of the New York and District of Columbia Bars and is an associate member of the Virginia Bar. He and his wife, Peggy, reside in Falls Church, Virginia with their three children.

Terena Thyne Eisner (BA '97, communications) - Emerita
Los Angeles, CA

eisnerTerena Thyne Eisner is the Co-Founder and Editor of the travel website She also regularly writes travel and lifestyle feature articles for a variety of publications, including Harper's Bazaar, Coast, Elle, Arena, The Sun, Robb Report and others. Eisner was the Contributing Lifestyle Editor of Harper's Bazaar Singapore, and Lifestyle Editor of the luxury lifestyle magazine CREAM. She sits on the board of 826LA, a writing and tutoring center in Los Angeles and is an advisor of the Eisner Foundation.

Nora Heitmann (BA '00, political science & communication) - Emerita
Centennial, CO

Nora HeitmannNora Heitmann was raised in Greenwood Village, CO, and attended the University of Denver. She graduated Cum Laude with honors in both political science and communications in 2000. After a year of working for Governor Bill Owens, Nora left the public sector to begin a sales career at Airborne Express. Consistently winning awards and top rankings, she was promoted to Senior Sales Rep after only one year. Heitmann stayed with Airborne until they were sold to DHL in 2001.

It was in 2001 that Heitmann began her career in freight forwarding. She worked for Quantum Logistics, one of Inc. 500's fastest growing companies. Quantum Logistics was bought and sold. Heitmann and the core group there remained with the organization when they became Forward Logistics Group in 2006 and are now Trans Trade, Inc. At Trans Trade, Inc., Heitmann has been the number one sales rep nearly every month despite maternity leave and only working two days a week. In 2008, her gross profit was more than $200,000 greater than the second ranking sales rep. In 2009, Heitmann won an award from ColoradoBiz Magazine naming her one of the top 25 most powerful sales people in Colorado.

The Denver Business Journal recently profiled Heitmann about her career in the shipping industry and her community volunteerism. Read more …

In 2010, the University of Denver recognized her success and awarded her with the Ammi Hyde Award for Recent Graduate Achievement. An award reserved for the top alumni within 10 years of his/her graduation. In her free time, Heitmann is active in the Junior League of Denver and enjoys running marathons, tennis, fly fishing, wine and spending time with her husband, 4½ year old daughter and 1½ year old son.

Lee Ann Kolker (BA '81, English)
Cupertino, CA

Kolker lives in Cupertino, CA, and recently retired as a communications manager for EQM Children and Family Services, one of the largest mental health treatment programs in the country, to pursue her dream of writing full-time. At EQM she was responsible for audience content strategies via written, digital, social and visual content. Lee Ann has remarkable ties to DU: her father was a professor, and her parents, siblings, husband and daughter all attended DU, too.

Thomas Kulik (BA '73, psychology) - Emeritus
Waban, MA

Tom KulikThomas J. Kulik was born in Denver, graduated from DU in 1973 with a BA in psychology, and from the Univ. of Colorado School of Medicine in 1977. He completed training in general pediatrics and pediatric cardiology at the Univ. of Minnesota Hospitals, followed by faculty positions in Minnesota, Boston Children's Hospital, the Univ. of Michigan Hospitals, Cincinnati Children's Hospital, and is currently a senior associate in cardiology at Boston Children's Hospital and an associate professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School.

He has served on multiple national committees relevant to the provision of pediatric cardiac care, as well having had administrative positions at the Univ. of Michigan Hospitals, Cincinnati Children's Hospital, and Boston Children's Hospital.

Kulik has done basic and clinical research regarding control of the lung's circulation, and research related to improving postoperative outcomes in patients with congenital heart disease.

Amelia Ribnick Kleiman (BA '79, political science, economics), Emerita
Houston, TX

kleimanAmelia Ribnick Kleiman, CFRE, MBA, JD, is currently Vice President of Development and Communication for Houston Center for Literacy. As the Mayor's Commission for Adult Education, Literacy and Workforce Skills Development, HCL serves as the primary hub for access to the continuum of adult education and workforce development services for Greater Houston. HCL, through its learning centers and those of its partner providers, impacts over 30,000 adult learners annually by providing pathways to prosperity for those it serves.

Prior to her present position, Amelia served as VP of Marketing and Philanthropic Services with Kleiman Enterprises, LLC as well as President of ARK Consulting, working with non-profits to repair the world. Amelia also served as Director of Major Gifts for the Alley Theatre and Texas Regional Director of the American Committee for Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, where she was responsible for increasing awareness for one of Israel's leading academic medical centers and significantly enhancing the organization's profile and fundraising efforts throughout Texas.

Previously with Baylor College of Medicine, Amelia served as a Director of Development helping to grow BCM's donor support by actively cultivating and soliciting major gift prospects. Prior to BCM, Kleiman was Principal of ARK Consulting, assisting organizations, foundations, corporations, and individuals build legacies for the future through planned giving, fund-raising, and/or non-profit management assistance. Ms. Kleiman also served as Special Projects Counsel for St. Luke's Episcopal Health System, Assistant Director of Development and External Relations for the Houston Zoo, Executive Director of the Center for Community Initiatives at the Greater Houston Community Foundation, and Executive Director of the Houston Jewish Community Foundation.

Amelia received her BA in Political Science and Economics from the University of Denver in 1979, graduating with University and Economics Honors. She has been active as an alumni since leaving school, having served in various leadership roles with the greater Houston Alumni Chapter, as well as an interviewer and recruiter for the DU Office of Admissions. A founding Board member of the DU Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences (AHSS) Dean's Advisory Board, and most recently completed 5 years as Board President.

Kleiman, who also holds an MBA and JD from University of Houston, served as Association of Fundraising Professionals – Greater Houston Chapter Secretary, and in 2012, was Chair of National Philanthropy Day for the AFP-Greater Houston Chapter. She previously served as President-Elect, VP of Community Outreach and Diversity, VP of Government Relations, and Assistant Secretary, and also held leadership roles with the local Planned Giving Council. A member of the State Bar of Texas and Women's B & P Connections networking organization, Amelia also serves as Co-Chair of the Greater Houston Grantmakers' Forum. In addition to her professional affiliations, Amelia is an active volunteer with numerous non-profits, including the University of Denver, University of Houston Law Center, Hadassah, Jewish Family Service, ERJCC of Houston, and the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston, among others. She also served for a number of years as a religious school teacher at her synagogues.

A third-generation native Houstonian and published author, Amelia practiced law and ran a successful business before starting her non-profit career. With nearly 25 years in the non-profit field, Amelia is a popular speaker in the areas of giving in diverse communities, planned giving, endowments, grant-making, marketing, corporate philanthropy, and community foundations. She has spoken extensively to a variety of groups, locally, regionally and internationally, and was part of a team of experts that introduced a course on Diversity in Fundraising at the Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership, a division of Rice University's Glasscock School of Continuing Studies.

Amelia is married to Eric Kleiman, a marketing consultant with SEARS Holding Company, and President of Kleiman Enterprises. She is the proud mom of Brett, age 20, who despite her many efforts to get him to DU, is presently attending Emory University after spending 2015-16 on a gap year program in Israel, and Jacklyn, age 14, who is a freshman in HS at Robert M. Beren Academy, as well as Jenna Michelle Kleiman, of blessed memory. When not keeping up with her kids' many activities, Amelia and her family love to travel, especially to visit baseball stadiums and National Parks around the US.   


Cheyenne Michaels (BA '14, strategic communication and theatre)
Denver, CO

[Bio to come]

Linda Rockwood (BA '72, economics)
Denver, CO

[bio to come]

Ellie Schafer (BA '90, mass communication)
Washington, DC

schaferThe White House is known as “The People’s House,” and since 2009, Ellie Schafer has made that sobriquet truer than ever before for millions of guests. As Director of the White House Visitors Office and Special Assistant to President Barack Obama, Schafer has helped transform how guests perceive and experience 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. From private VIP visits to the sprawling Easter Egg Roll that draws 35,000 children and parents to the South Lawn, Schafer has managed more than 1500 events during her tenure. More importantly, she has restored the White House as a place that is fascinating, educational, and fun to visit.

In her almost 20 years in the workforce, Schafer has worked both at the White House and with everyday members of the American public. She has been as comfortable serving such clients as Barack and Michelle Obama, Bill Clinton, Al and Tipper Gore, and His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama as she has been working with students visiting the White House’s organic garden to learn about healthy eating or Iowa farmers campaigning for President Obama. Throughout, she has established a documented record of success in helping shape public opinion toward individuals and institutions.

At the White House Visitors Office, Schafer oversees a staff of eight and more than 1,000 volunteers. Besides the well-known Easter Egg Roll, National Tree Lighting Ceremony, and Garden Tours, she handles Holiday Open Houses, White House tour services for 535 Senators and Representatives, and State Arrival Ceremonies for world leaders from such nations as India, Mexico, and France. She also plays a key role in July 4th festivities, Halloween trick-or-treating at the White House, and other large events. 

But it is Schafer’s strategic role that has transformed how the public interacts with and views the White House. She has streamlined the White House Tour System—logistics, security checks, communications, and so on—to make it more efficient, expeditious, and friendly without sacrificing security. For example, she instituted programs such as the Monthly Member Pass for Members of Congress and developed a Boarding Pass for visits to the White House. She has consulted with Buckingham Palace and the FBI to make their tour programs more open and accessible to the public. She also works closely with the United States Secret Service to ensure that increased access never jeopardizes the safety and security of the First Family or their guests. 

Prior to her role in the Visitors Office, Schafer worked in senior positions on the advance staff for the Obama presidential campaign. She managed logistics for such campaign trips as the Democratic National Convention and Super Tuesday. In 2006, she accompanied then-U.S. Senator Obama on tour promoting his book “The Audacity of Hope.’’ Months later, when Senator Obama announced his candidacy for President of the United States, Schafer was on his team from day one, and was tapped to serve the 44th President of the United States at the White House. 

Schafer’s political career took root in 1995, when she developed her own political consultancy, focusing on advance and logistical work for political campaigns, foundations, and national and world leaders. Her clients included the Dalai Lama, Heinz Family Philanthropies, The California Endowment, John Kerry for President, Former President Bill Clinton, and Former Vice Presidential Couple Tipper and Al Gore. 

Among many honors, in 2013 Schafer was selected to the inaugural class of President Obama’s Leadership Academy and was enlisted as a mentor for First Lady Michelle Obama’s Mentoring and Leadership program. The latter gives 20 local high school girls access to senior female leadership in the White House and is designed to inspire them and help them achieve their dreams.

In 2014, Schafer was profiled in Capitol File Magazine’s, “Women Who Wow” and in 2010, Out Magazine named Schafer as, “one of the 100 most influential men and women who inspired, shaped and changed the world.” She was also the keynote speaker at the University of Denver’s Homecoming weekend.

Judge Elizabeth Weishaupl (BM ’85, music; BA ’86, history; JD ’89)
Denver, CO

weishauplJudge Elizabeth A. Weishaupl is a third generation native Coloradan.  She grew up in Littleton, CO, and is a graduate of  Littleton High School.  She attended the University of Denver and received a BM (music) and a BA in history.   She attained her JD from the University of Denver College of Law.  Judge Weishaupl was in private practice, an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Colorado, a First Assistant Attorney General for the State of Colorado and an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Colorado prior to taking the bench in July of 2008.  She has taught for the National Institute for Trial Advocacy, the National Advocacy Center, the University of Denver College of Law and the Community College of Aurora.  She is currently a District Court Judge for the 18th Judicial District located in the Arapahoe County Justice Center. Read a DU article about Judge Weishaupl.

Former Advisory Board Members

Rudy Alterio, Student Representative (2011-2012)
Melanie Herrera Bortz, Alumni Representative (2011-2012)
Brewster Boyd (2012-2013)
David Briggs, President (2011-2012)
Noel Edghill, Alumni Representative (2011-2012)
Sehra Eusufzai (2013 -2017)
Geoff Gordon (2015-2016)
Sarah Gjertson, Faculty Representative (2011-2012)
Constance Hammond, Alumni Representative (2011-2013)
Chris Hansen (2016-2019)
Craig Hirokawa, Student Representative (2012-2013)
Jason Kearns ( 2013-2017)
Doug Knowlton (2016 -2017)
Peter Leach, Student Representative (2016-2017)
Emmit McHenry, Vice President (2012-2013)
Linda Murphy Marshall (2014-2015)
Ian Mohr (2012-2016)
Sharon Orlopp (2016-2018)
Kristen Powell, Student Representative (2013-2015)
Michele Right, President(2013-2017
David Savinar (2013 -2017)
Derigan Silver, Faculty Representative (2011-2014)
Steve Simon, Vice President (2012-2014)
Andrea Stanton, Faculty Representative (2014-2015)
Vanessa Teck (2014-2018)
Anne Waldeck (2011-2014)
Josh Wehe, Student Representative (2013) 
Cole Wist (2012-2016)