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HerDU 2019 Brings Hundreds of Women Together on Campus

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HerDU 2019

Last Friday, the Women’s Coalition and the Colorado Women’s College at the University of Denver hosted the 24th annual women’s conference. HerDU 2019 was an opportunity to facilitate relationship building among the women of DU, encourage collaboration and innovation beyond the conference, and promote a community of growth where everyone better understands, supports and enriches one another in their personal and professional pursuits. More than 400 people participated this year, making HerDU the largest conference in its 24 year history.

HerDU 2019
Ann Ayers, dean of the Colorado Women's College, hosts a conversation with Elaine Welteroth.

The daylong event, which coincided this year with International Women's Day, featured workshops that addressed timely and relevant topics unfolding in the community and around the world. Two keynote addresses were delivered, one by Elaine Welteroth, former editor-in-chief of Teen Vogue, and one by Jensine Larsen, founder of World Pulse, a digital network connecting women in 190 countries.

HerDU also takes time to recognize those at the University of Denver who go beyond their job responsibilities to advocate for women on campus. The Robin Morgan Outstanding Woman Awards recognize a faculty member, administrator, staff member, graduate student and undergraduate student. Robin Morgan is an award-winning poet and novelist who has been a champion of women’s rights. She was a visiting professor in residence at DU in 1996. This year’s recipients of the Robin Morgan Award are:

Faculty: Associate Professor Terri Davis, Graduate School of Professional Psychology

  • Davis is always working to advocate for and help students, women, her peers and our community. Recently, Davis presented at the inaugural Academic Feminist Leadership Academy, where she spoke about helping women identify their strengths and unique leadership styles to highlight and utilize in various social and professional settings, empowering women to reach for the careers and work they are passionate about.

Administrator: Niki Latino, Campus Life and Inclusive Excellence

  • It takes someone with a special talent to provide, over the course of 18 years, DU students with the experiences that will make them successful throughout their time on campus and beyond. On countless occasions, Latino has worked with women students mentoring and guiding them through challenging academic and life situations.

Staff: Kayla Ham, Health and Counseling Center

  • Ham works to advocate for the needs of survivors of gender-based violence on campus. She consistently pushes for the Health and Counseling Center to become a stronger organization and adopt policies and services that ensure survivors have access to the resources and support they need.

Graduate Student: Alanoud Alqahtani, Daniels College of Business — Reiman School of Finance

  • As a student leader of the Reiman Finance Club, Alqahtani has been instrumental in re-conceptualizing the roles and activities of the club during the 2018–19 school year. She has ensured that the club engages and supports women, who traditionally have been underrepresented in the world of finance.

Undergraduate Student: Kenna Kuhn, junior majoring in environmental science with a minor in sustainability

  • ​​​​​​​As president of the DU Backpacking Club, Kuhn has inspired and empowered women to feel more confident in the wilderness. She has organized women’s- only trips to help build a sisterhood around the outdoors. She works on outreach to women to help them feel safe and build the skills for outdoor adventures. Kuhn also makes sure that all of the club’s trips focus on unity and sustainability.

Also awarded during HerDU 2019 was the John Nichols Ally Award. Established in 2016, this award is presented to a male staff, faculty, administrator or student at DU who goes beyond his job responsibilities to champion women at the University. For almost 20 years, the efforts, contributions and sacrifices made by John Nichols helped make the women’s conference a success. The recipient of the John Nichols award was:

John Gudavangen, Office of Financial Aid

  • Gudavangen’s all-women leadership team represents a variety of generations and lifestyles. Some team members are mothers; some identify as LGBTQA; some are Latinx. Gudavangen supports the needs of all his team and is credited with making his department a welcoming and inclusive workplace.