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The Cultural Center

panoramic view of campus buildings with The Cultural Center wording across bottom

The Cultural Center




About Us: Originally introduced to the University of Denver campus in the summer of 2006 by The Cultural Center and Academic Advising, ELI began with a cohort of 17 students and has rapidly grown into a network of more than 150 student leaders on campus. ELI is designed to support incoming first-year students make the transition from high school to college.

The program consists of a one-week training in the areas of academic preparation, leadership development, social identity development, campus networking, and many other key components to ensure overall student success. This includes the ability to move into the residence halls early. Throughout their undergraduate journey at the University of Denver, ELI will provide programs that address academic success, professional growth, social engagement, and leadership development to challenge them as individuals and equip them to active change agents.

Through ELI, students are paired with peer mentors, a strong alumni base, and a community of support. We focus strongly on identity, leadership, and academic development opportunities throughout the program to ensure our students thrive at the University of Denver. ELI Peer Mentors, who are 2nd, 3rd, and 4th year students are profound leaders on the University of Denver's campus, and also provide guidance throughout a student's journey at The University of Denver.

All this encourages students to create a tight-knit community of support including their peers and other campus constituents. Students in the program have made friends for life through this program and say, "ELI is an experience that I would never trade."

Mission & Values


Mission: The Excelling Leaders Institute (ELI) seeks to create an open and inclusive campus environment where students from various backgrounds can come together to develop the skills of inclusive, self-aware leaders. ELI is a leadership development program that offers a close-knit community, encourages open dialogue, and equips students with the tools to be effective leaders of various student organizations at The University of Denver and in personal and professional pursuits post-graduation.

Values: ELI is committed to providing quality academic support to a diverse group of learners.

Our core values are:

• Inclusion- We appreciate diversity and practice including all

• Respect- We value others and regard them with consideration

• Continuous Improvement- We embrace new knowledge and recognize that learning is endless

• Integrity- We adhere to University of Denver policies and procedures and are committed to honesty, fairness, professionalism, and trustworthiness

• Teamwork- We understand that every member of our team brings a unique perspective that is necessary in our program's success

ELI - E Board

Devanae Allen

Devanae Allen — Head Coordinator

Major/Minor: Psychology and Sociology /Spanish   

Hometown: Aurora, Colorado                                             

Favorite Quote: "Change will not come if we wait for some other person, or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change we seek."Barack Obama



Lasya Andaloori — Assistant Coordinator

Major/Minor: Finance and Accounting/Leadership Studies

Hometown: Aurora, Colorado 

Favorite Quote: "We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked, and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved, and uncared for is the greatest poverty." Mother Theresa





Lorena Munoz


Lorena Munoz — Assistant Coordinator

Major/Minor: International Business and Public Policy/Leadership 

Hometown: Aurora, Colorado 

Favorite Quote: "I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought: and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder."  -Mother Theresa





Kyah Conrad — Peer Leader Coordinator

Major/Minor: Psychology Concentration in Cognitive Neuroscience /Biology and Music                                                       

Hometown: Parker, Colorado 

Fun Fact: I was born in Hawai'i and most of my family still lives there. I hope to go back and live there someday!



ELI in action!


Class of 2019 

 Class of 2019

 Coordinator team 2019

Coordinator team of 2019


Eli Week prep ELI Week prep


The wobble

The wobble!

Escape room team bonding

Escape room team bonding