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Class Notes: Spring 2021


DU Phi Gamma Nu
When old friends from the Phi Gamma Nu business professional sorority meet for their annual rendezvous, the memories make for great conversation. They last assembled in December 2019, just before the coronavirus pandemic sent everyone into social isolation. From left to right Marty Howard Neilson (BA ’65), Gisele Pezzetta Denton (BA ’61), Barbara Hurt Cox (BA ’62), Bonnie Carpenter Muenstermann (BA ’63), Carol Burn Hewitt (BA ’60).


Sharon Coggan (BA ‘74), clinical associate professor and director of the religious studies program at University of Colorado Denver, has published “Sacred Disobedience: A Jungian Analysis of the Saga of Pan and the Devil.”


Pete Weir (JD ’79) has been recognized for his outstanding career and partnership with Jefferson County Law Enforcement agencies and the citizens of Jefferson County. Pete served two terms as district attorney (2012–20) for Jefferson and Gilpin counties.

Z.J. Czupor (MA ’79) has released a new collection of haiku poetry, “The Big Weird: Haikus in Times of Pandemic and Chaos,” inspired by the stress of the COVID-19 pandemic.  

CJ Box


Charles James “C.J.” Box (BA ’81) has published “Dark Sky,” a new book in his Joe Pickett series set in his native Wyoming. 


Eric Friedman

Eric Friedman (BA ’82) was named the eighth president of New Jersey’s Bergen Community College. 


Steve Shappell (JD ’83) joined the Denver office of Alliant Insurance Services as executive vice president of specialty claims and legal. 


Bruce Baizel (MA, JD ’86)
joined the New Mexico Environment Department as legal director. Bruce previously was energy program director at Earthworks.


Melanie Wong (BSBA ’87) was appointed to the Assiduus Global USA Board of Advisors. Melanie is a real estate industrialist and ex-CEO of Premium Inc. 

Maria Encarnacion Berkenkotter (JD ’87) was appointed to the Colorado Supreme Court. Maria previously served as an arbiter with the Judicial Arbiter Group Inc. and as a district court judge for Colorado’s 20th Judicial District. 

Jeffrey Rolston (BA ’87) was appointed to the board of directors for Normative Services Inc. in Sheridan, Wyoming. 


Carlos Samour (JD ’90), Colorado Supreme Court justice, delivered the first-ever virtual keynote speech at the fall 2020 commencement ceremony for the University of Colorado at Denver.


Tanya Pierson

Tanya Pierson (BSBA ’93) has been promoted to senior managing director for HVS. Tanya is based in Minneapolis.  


Linda Purdy (JD ’96) was named division president for TRI Pointe Homes Colorado. Linda  joined the division as vice president of land acquisition. 


Seth Ryan (MBA, JD ’97) has been appointed district attorney for Colorado’s 7th Judicial District, where he has been a prosecuting attorney for more than 13 years.

Christine Hume


Christine Hume (PhD ’00) published her fourth book, and first book of prose, “Saturation Project.” Christine is a professor of English at Eastern Michigan University. 

Meghraj Arvindrao Gore (MS ’00, MBA ’02) was appointed CEO of HealthCare Global Enterprises. 

Robert Zentner (MBA, JD ’00) has been appointed assistant district attorney for Colorado’s 7th Judicial District. 

Kyle Brennan


Kyle Brennan (JD ’01) has been named athletic director at Illinois State University. 


Kathryn Kurtz

Kathryn Kurtz (JD ’02) has been appointed the first female presiding municipal judge for the city of Arvada, Colorado. 


Jason D. Carrithers (JD ’03) was appointed judge for the 1st Judicial District. Jason previously was a district court magistrate for the district. 


Kimberly Martin (JD ’04) was promoted to managing director for Otten Johnson Robinson Neff + Ragonetti PC.

Nancy Rodgers

Nancy Rodgers (JD ’04) was selected by the Broomfield City Council as the new city and county attorney. Previously she was the Aurora deputy city attorney.  

Rachel Carnaggio (JD ’04) has been elected a partner at Holland & Hart LLP.  


Todd Porter (BA ’05) is the new assistant dean of students at Juilliard School in New York. 


Jan Brocker (PhD ’07) was elected board president of the Gila County Provisional Community College District
in Arizona. 

Koby Polaski


Koby Polaski (JD ’09) has become a partner at Elkind Alterman Harston PC in Denver.  

Kevin Selzer (LLM ’09) has been elected a partner at Holland & Hart LLP. 

Mike Smith

Mike Smith (JD ’09) was elected judge of the 35th Judicial District in Brown County, Texas. He lives in Brownwood with his wife and two children.  

Katharine Loveland
(IMBA ’09) has joined Reggora, an appraisal software company, as vice president of customer success. 


Brittany Salsman (MA ’10) published “The Examined Life Workbook,” which contains tools to help readers increase self-awareness. 

Madoche Jean (JD ’10) was appointed judge to Colorado’s 17th Judicial District. Madoche is a first-generation Haitian American and is the first Black judge in the district. 

Brett Martin (JD ’10) was appointed to Colorado’s 17th Judicial District Court, where he previously was a chief trial deputy and a trial attorney. 

Eliza Steinberg (JD ’10), who was named one of Law Week Colorado’s “Up and Coming Lawyers” in 2019, has become a shareholder of Griffiths Law PC. 


Melina Hernandez

Melina Hernandez (JD ’11) was appointed to the Arapahoe County Court in the 18th Judicial District. Melina previously was a part-time magistrate in the Denver Juvenile Court and a bilingual family court facilitator for the Denver District Court.  

Adam Kopp (MS ’11) has joined the Denver office of Gershman Investment Corp. Adam previously led the community capital division of Mercy Housing. 

Colton Smith (MBA ’11) joined Walker & Dunlop as senior director in the firm’s Salt Lake City, Utah, office. 


Anna Stout

Anna Stout (MLS ’13) received the certified animal welfare administrator designation from the Association for Animal Welfare Advancement. Anna, executive director of the Roice-Hurst Humane Society animal shelter and adoption center in Grand Junction, Colorado, is one of 207 people worldwide to hold the designation.  


Tanner Krall (BSBA ’14) has joined the Zillow Offers partner team at Atlas Real Estate as an acquisitions analyst. 

Adeeb Khan

Adeeb Khan (MBA ’14), vice president of corporate social responsibility and executive director of the Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation, was named a finalist for the 2021 9NEWS Leader of the Year award.   

Joseph Hoover (PhD ’14), assistant professor at Montana State University, received a five-year grant to support his efforts as co-director of a National Institutes of Health Center of Excellence in Environmental Health Disparities. Joseph will oversee the center’s research with Apsáalooke (Montana) and Cheyenne River Sioux (South Dakota) communities.  


Kathy Evans

Kathy Evans (MSW ’16) is a member of the Denver Crisis Intervention Response Unit, a partnership between the Denver Police Department and the Mental Health Center of Denver. A licensed clinical social worker, Kathy rides along with police officers to aid individuals with mental health needs. 


Alex Leever (BSBA ’17, MS ’19), an independent racer from Vail, secured his first World Cup start following 11th- and 22nd-place finishes at the Europa Cups in Val Cenis, France. 

Kate Davis (MILS ’17) was appointed youth services librarian/Johnston Avenue for the Jersey City, New Jersey, Free Public Library. Kate has worked in youth library environments around the world. 

Kristy Kumar

Kristy Kumar (MA ’17) was hired by the City of Madison Department of Civil Rights as an equity and social justice manager. 


Dennis James Sweeney (PhD ’20) is recipient of the Autumn House Rising Writer Prize for his book “In the Antarctic Circle,” to be published by Autumn House Press in March 2021. Dennis is a visiting lecturer at Amherst College in Massachusetts.

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