Alumni

Lawyer and alumnus Edgar Barraza first came to DU on the Nagel Scholarship, an annual full-ride scholarship for three international students who otherwise would not be able to afford a DU education. Photo: Wayne Armstrong

Ralph and Trish Nagel helped Dreamer Edgar Barraza reach his dream

Ralph and Trish Nagel have long been known for their philanthropy at DU and throughout Denver. In March, they were recognized for their many contributions to the University with the Founders Medal — the University’s highest honor. No one knows the power of the couple’s generosity more than Denver lawyer […]

Law school grad Sana Hamelin founded the Denver Cat Cafe. Photo: Danielle Lirette

Cats the catalyst for cool cafe concept

Three years after launching the Denver Cat Company, Sana Hamelin (JD ’12) still has all nine of her “crazy cat lady” lives. That’s no small feat. After all, opening the Mile High City’s first and only cat café — where customers can nab a java fix while hobnobbing with resident […]

"I think it’s important for mankind to push boundaries and explore. Exploration is naturally coursing through our veins," says Robb Kulin. Photo courtesy of NASA

DU engineering grad is part of NASA’s new crop of astronauts

“Star Trek” had Kirk, Picard and Spock. Now NASA has Robb Kulin (BS ’04), a University of Denver alumnus who is one of 12 out of more than 18,000 applicants to be selected for the 2017 astronaut candidate program. While his future missions may include seeking out new life and […]

Yoal Ghebremeskel is the founder of Street Fraternity. Photo: Wayne Armstrong

Alum-founded Street Fraternity helps Denver immigrants find their way

Twenty years ago, a 12-year-old boy and his family arrived in Denver from Eritrea, full of excitement and uncertainty. Yoal Ghebremeskel (BA ’07) recalls asking his mother why his family had to leave their home and come to this mysterious place called America. “For education, opportunity and to have a […]

“To serve in the highest leadership role of any organization is a privilege. To do so at an organization like Rocky Mountain PBS is truly extraordinary,” says Amanda Mountain. Photo courtesy of RMPBS

University College grad advances to the top at Rocky Mountain PBS

Amanda Mountain (MPS ’15) has been busy the last two years. Not only did she become a first-time mom, but she has risen to the top of Denver’s nonprofit media world as president and CEO of Rocky Mountain Public Media, the parent company of Rocky Mountain PBS. If anyone knows […]

Big names in business, politics and law make up the first class of DU Distinguished Alumni

Big names in business, politics and law make up the first class of DU Distinguished Alumni

When Crisanta Duran (BA ’02, public affairs and Spanish) decided to run for office at age 29, her dual bachelor’s degrees became powerful tools. “Being able to speak with people in their native language was very, very helpful” says the sixth-generation Coloradan who in November became the first Latina to […]

Stella Peterson found a network of support at the University of Denver’s Latino Leadership Institute, a program designed to elevate Colorado Latino leaders into positions of influence across sectors and industries.  Photo: Wayne Armstrong

DU helps foster a new generation of Latino leaders

By almost anyone’s account, Stella Peterson’s story was one of success. A first-generation college graduate, entrepreneur, triathlete and mother of two, Peterson already had an impressive resumé. But she wanted more—primarily to expand her network and to make contact with other Latinos in Colorado’s business world. “I wanted to connect […]

Steven Dunn's debut novel, "Potted Meat," was nominated for a 2017 Colorado Book Award. Photo: Wayne Armstrong

Veteran Steven Dunn finds his voice

Steven Dunn thought he was a painter until his girlfriend (now wife) pointed out the number of words he used in his paintings. That’s when he realized his true calling was writing. “I knew that I wasn’t doing what I needed to do with painting,” says Dunn (BA ’14). “I […]

Lisa Sasaki is director of the Smithsonian Institution’s Asian Pacific American Center. Photo courtesy of the Smithsonian

Alumna Lisa Sasaki helms Smithsonian’s Asian Pacific American Center

As the new director of the Smithsonian Institution’s Asian Pacific American Center (APAC), Lisa Sasaki expects to spend the next few years leading a team through dramatic change. One of the primary things she wants to shepherd is a change in prepositions. For too long, the University of Denver alumna […]

The Mostar Bridge as it looks today. Photo by Keith Jones

A return to Sarajevo, 20 years later

Twenty years is a long time. Technology has changed drastically. Styles and fashions have evolved. New generations have been born. And life has moved forward. For me, 20 years means something different. Something a bit more special. Something more character-defining. Twenty years ago, I had the opportunity to do volunteer […]

Left to right, DU alumni Kyle Granowski, Peter Burwell and Fred Klaas at Echo Mountain ski area. Photo: Jeff Haessler

Daniels alums make a high-altitude investment

Their love for skiing and snowboarding and their entrepreneurial spirit are driving three DU alumni to take their education and skills to new heights. Peter Burwell (BSBA ’11), Kyle Granowski (BSBA, MS ’10) and Fred Klaas (BSBA ’11) became good friends while studying at the Daniels College of Business. That […]

Distinguished Alumni Class of 2017

Distinguished Alumni Class of 2017

Debra Crew (BA ’93, Spanish and international studies), Winston-Salem, N.C. In January 2017, Crew was appointed president and CEO of Reynolds American. She previously served as president and COO of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. and held senior management positions at PepsiCo, Mars Inc. and Dreyer’s. Crew, who was ranked No. […]

Mile High Alumni: Five recent graduates who are shaping Denver’s future

Mile High Alumni: Five recent graduates who are shaping Denver’s future

Denver has come into its own in recent years, earning a reputation as a hotbed for tech, arts, dining, craft beer, entrepreneurship and an engaged millennial population. Just as DU has helped to shape Denver over the past 150 years, the University has a strong influence on the city’s latest […]

"The secret of longevity and a successful brand is ...hard work, passion, commitment to family and humanitarian efforts,” says alumnus Marc Schulman. Photo courtesy of Eli's Cheesecake

Alumnus Marc Schulman carries on a cheesecake legacy

Family is a way of life for Marc Schulman, president of Chicago-based dessert empire Eli’s Cheesecake. Schulman (BSBA ’76) inherited the business from his father, the late Eli Schulman, owner of several now-shuttered Chicago-area eateries that played host in the ’60s and ’70s to celebrities such as Woody Allen, Barbra […]

"Volunteer with a variety of organizations until you find out what really pulls at your heartstrings,” says Yvette Cook. Photo courtesy of Usher's New Look

Alumna helps Usher shape next generation of leaders

For Yvette Cook, there was no choice growing up but to serve her community. She says her civic-minded parents encouraged her to follow a path of altruism. Now Cook (BA ’82, MA ’85) heads up Usher’s New Look (UNL), an Atlanta-based nonprofit started by the multiplatinum-selling performer at the age […]