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Campus in Summer

Faculty & Staff

DU Digest

Aug. 22, 2017

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faculty in the news

Last week, a jury awarded Taylor Swift a symbolic one dollar in her trial against Denver DJ David Mueller. The AP discussed the importance of her win, which Swift said she hoped would inspire other victims of sexual assault. Nancy Leong, professor at the Sturm College of Law, says the verdict is important because "we are getting to the point in society that women are believed in court. For many decades and centuries, that was not the case." She adds, "The fact that she was believed will allow women to understand that they will not automatically be disbelieved, and I think that's a good thing."

This weekend, Marie Berry, assistant professor and Erica Chenoweth, professor, both at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies, led a workshop on dismantling white supremacy alongside Indivisible Denver. The Denver Post  reported that nearly 1,000 people attended. "It's a time when people of privilege have to step up and denounce racism and white supremacy in all of its forms," says Chenoweth. "This was one tiny action I could take in fulfilling that responsibility." Berry adds, "This isn't the end. This isn't enough. This is just the beginning of the conversation."

Mehdi Kourrabi, an Iranian opposition leader living under house arrest, ended his hunger strike last week after authorities agreed to consider his demand for a public trial, the Washington Post reports. Nader Hashemi, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies, does not think the government of Iran will agree to the trial. "In my view this will never happen," Hashemi says, "because a public trial would put the Islamic Republic of Iran on trial for its egregious human rights record and legacy of authoritarianism." 

people news

DU's Barton Institute welcomes Kristin Klopfenstein

Kristin Klopfenstein photoOn Aug. 21, the Barton Institute's Colorado Evaluation and Action Lab welcomed Kristin Klopfenstein, as director of the lab. A noted economist, Klopfenstein most recently served as founding executive director of the Education Innovation Institute at the University of Northern Colorado. The institute was established by the Colorado General Assembly to leverage applied research to solve practical problems in educational reform. Prior to joining UNC, she was interim director of the Education Research Center at the University of Texas, Dallas, a state repository for educational data. She also served as an associate professor of economics at Texas Christian University. Klopfenstein earned her doctorate in economics from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and her undergraduate degree from George Washington University.

A Colorado native, Klopfenstein is excited to join the lab and help it put the state at the forefront of a movement to implement an evidence-based approach to governing in order to make progress on key issues. "I believe the Colorado Evaluation and Action Lab will play an important role in applying the power of research to improving the well-being of Colorado's residents," she says.

Barton Institute Executive Director David Miller is thrilled to welcome Klopfenstein to the staff of the institute. "Kristin brings an impressive background in both research and in working with state and local governments to evaluate their policies and programs."

She was selected from an outstanding pool of candidates by a search committee including representatives of the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, the offices of Colorado's governor and lieutenant governor and DU leadership.

Aug. 15, 2017

Top News

du in the news

DU faculty and staff were in the media this week discussing a Denver trial involving Taylor Swift and a day with the Stanley Cup.

John Campbell, assistant professor of the practice at Sturm College of Law, was on ABC's Nightline discussing Taylor Swift's ongoing trial in Denver. Swift is involved in a lawsuit with a DJ who allegedly sexually assaulted her. Campbell commented on an important piece of evidence, which supposedly shows the moment the incident happened. "This photograph is a really unusual piece of evidence," Campbell says. "Usually, the two sides are fighting about which evidence they want the jury to look at. Here both sides say it's a good picture." See his second interview on Nightline and an interview on Good Morning America as well.

Nantiya Ruan, professor of the practice of law, also offered her expertise on the Taylor Swift trial. She spoke with KDVR about the unique situation that led to the case. "What you have is the alleged perpetrator hauling the defendant into court to say that you interfered with my employment relationship and you should be held accountable for that," she says. "That, frankly, is rare."

DU's assistant director of athletics and recreation publicity Rick Bowness was interviewed by KUSA about his family's connection to hockey. His grandfather played, his father is a coach for Tampa Bay where his sister also works and his wife works for the Avalanche. His brother Ryan works for the Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins. "The NHL has a cool tradition where members of the winning team and some with the front office get a day with the Stanley Cup," Bowness says. During their day, Bowness and his family took the cup on a tour of their hometown, posed for photos and even ate clam chowder from it.