Response Network

The University of Denver COVID-19 response network is comprised of four parts:

  • A dedicated coordinator
  • Two deputy coordinators
  • Senior leadership team
  • University Response team
  • Health partner liaison team


Sarah Watamura, professor, psychology

Deputy Coordinator(s)

Derigan Silver, professor, Center for Innovation in the Liberal & Creative Arts
Kim Gorgens, professor, Graduate School of Professional Psychology

Senior Leadership Team

Jeremy Haefner, chancellor
Mary Clark, provost and executive vice chancellor
Leslie Brunelli, senior vice chancellor for business and financial affairs
Nancy Nicely, senior vice chancellor and chief of staff

University Response Team


COVID Response Coordinator | Sarah Watamura, professor, psychology
Chairs the CRT and take its recommendations to the COVID Response Leadership Team.

Team Members

State Deputized Reporter | Christopher Short, director, environmental health & safety
Leads DU’s contact tracing and regulatory response

Medical expert | Michael LaFarr, executive director, Health and Counseling Center
Consults with individuals in the community when they may have an increased risk of exposure

Facilities expert | James Rosner, associate vice chancellor, facilities planning & management
Leads building disinfection, closure and modifications

Diversity represenative |  Tom Romero, interim vice chancellor, office of diversity equity & inclusion 
Ensures response procedures are consistent with DU’s diversity, equity and inclusion values and commitments

Student affairs representative | Todd Adams, vice chancellor, student affairs
Leads student quarantine and isolation

Human resources representative | Jerron Lowe, interim vice chancellor, human resources
Leads employee accommodation and interaction

DU-National Jewish Health Liaison Team

Team members

Eric Chessdirector, financial security & cognitive decline initiative, Knoebel Institute for Healthy Aging
Andrei Kutateladzedean, College of Natural Sciences & Mathematics
Gregg Kvistadprovost emeritus
Michael LaFarrexecutive director, Health and Counseling Center
Nancy LorenzonDirector, Pre-Professional Allied Health, College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
David Odellmedical director, Health and Counseling Center
Karen Rileydean, Morgridge College of Education
Chris Shortdirector, environmental health & safety
Sarah WatamuraCOVID-19 response coordinator and professor, psychology