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Facilities Management honored for excellence

The University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus has received the 2017 Award for Excellence in Facilities Management from APPA: Leadership in Educational Facilities, an organization that promotes leadership in educational facilities for professionals seeking to build their careers, transform their institutions, and elevate the value and recognition of facilities in education.

The Award for Excellence, which highlights the essential role of facilities operations in the overall institutional mission and vision, is APPA’s highest institutional honor.  Recipient institutions gain national and international recognition for their outstanding achievements in facilities management. The Award for Excellence designation is valid for a period of five years.

Anschutz Medical Campus
CU Anschutz Medical Campus

“The institutions that receive the Award for Excellence are true leaders in educational facilities management,” said Paul Wuebold, vice president of Professional Affairs for APPA and the chair of the Awards and Recognition Committee.  “In the span of twenty years, the University of Colorado has converted a 233 acre former military hospital in Aurora, Colo., into a world-class research medical campus.  The CU Anschutz Facilities Management department emphasizes communication within its staff, with the administration and with its customers to positively respond to and remedy any issues that are raised.”

The APPA Award for Excellence is designed to recognize and advance excellence in the field of educational facilities.  Award for Excellence nominations address the areas of: leadership; strategic and operational planning; customer focus; information and analysis; development and management of human resources; process management; and performance results. Nominated institutions also submit to a site review conducted by an awards evaluation team.

“It is an honor to receive APPA’s Award for Excellence,” said David Turnquist, associate vice chancellor, Facilities Management at CU Anschutz. “To be considered the Best of the Best is a tribute to the work, dedication and professionalism of the Facilities Management staff and the incredible support of the executive leadership at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.”

Universidad Panamericana Mexico also was honored with the 2017 Award for Excellence.

Leadership from CU Anschutz Facilities Management was recognized on July 22 during the awards banquet at the 2017 APPA Annual Conference in San Francisco.

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CU School of Medicine honors alumni including Elliff, Buchanan, Sharp and Camp

The University of Colorado School of Medicine will honor four alumni—outstanding physicians for their delivery of health care, pioneering research, and service to their country and communities—at its Silver and Gold ceremony May 25.

John Elliff
John Elliff

John E. Elliff, MD, and William S. Buchanan, MD, both ophthalmologists and native Coloradans, will receive the Distinguished Achievement Award for their work in bringing health care to northeastern Colorado, where access to health care has been limited. For a combined 50 years, Drs. Buchanan and Elliff served the community of Sterling at the Sterling Eye Center, which Dr. Elliff’s father, Edgar Elliff, MD, built. Both physicians served on the faculty of the School of Medicine for decades. In addition to continuing his father’s work in the community, Dr. Elliff organized and built a 110-bed nursing home in Sterling.

William Buchanan
William Buchanan

John R. Sharp, MD, a gastroenterologist, will receive the Distinguished Service Award. He served in the United States Air Force for the first 22 years of his medical career, rising through many levels of leadership before returning to civilian medicine. He greatly contributed to advancing the understanding of gastroenterology in his research and publishing, and in educating medical students. He has practiced in locum tenens positions across Colorado, New Mexico, Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri.  Currently Dr. Sharp practices locum tenens in Longmont.

John Sharp
John Sharp

Bonnie W. Camp, MD, highly regarded as a pioneer and leader in pediatric medicine, will receive the Alumni Association’s Silver and Gold Award, the School of Medicine’s highest alumni award. Dr.  Camp has published more than 100 articles, abstracts, presentations and workshops on early childhooddevelopment and language. Her early work in language development and social behavior in very young children is still cited today, nearly 50 years after her first publications, and in programs dedicated to helping young children develop intellectually and socially.

Bonnie Camp
Bonnie Camp

For more information on the Silver and Gold Alumni Banquet go to or contact the Office of Alumni Relations at 303-724-2518.

Guest Contributor:  CU Anschutz Office of Alumni Relations

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CU Anschutz faculty honored for 25 years of service


(from left) Robert McIntyre, Isabel Schlaepfer, Thomas Campbell
(from left) Robert McIntyre, Jr., Isabel Schlaepfer, Thomas Campbell

CU Anschutz recently honored more than 25 faculty members for 25 years of service to the university.  Those honored included:

School of Dental Medicine

Douglas Heller, DMD


School of Medicine

Arne Beck, PhD

Thomas Beresford, MD

Thomas Campbell, MD

Richard Dart, MD, PhD

Debra Dyer, MD

Satish Garg, MD

Michael Hall, MD

Joy Hawkins, MD

Barbara Helfrich, MSc

James Hill, PhD

Edward Hoffenberg, MD

Allison  Kempe, MD

Susan Mandell, MD, PhD

Robert McIntyre, Jr., MD

Glenn  Merritt, MD

Gregory Owens, PhD

Robert  Quaife, MD

Jane Reusch, MD

Virginia Sarapura, MD

Isabel  Schlaepfer, PhD

Jeanelle Sheeder, PhD

Ann Watlington, MD

Jonathan Woodcock, MD

Liping Yu, MD


Skaggs School of Pharmacy

Douglas Fish, PharmD

Cathy Jarvis, PharmD


CU Chancellor Don Elliman presented the faculty with commemorative medallions and thanked them with these remarks:

“Our faculty—your talent—makes this place what it is. Over the last 25 years, you have revolutionized the field of healthcare. Only 18 years ago, virtually everything here today, except for building 500, didn’t exist. You, quite literally helped build this campus from the ground up. I want to thank all of you for your many years of hard work and dedication to the university.”

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Graduate programs at University of Colorado earn national accolades

The University of Colorado’s four campuses earned dozens of rankings in just-released lists of graduate programs compiled by U.S. News & World Report, which annually highlights the best in research and teaching across the country.

U.S. News ranks programs in business, education, engineering, law, nursing and medicine. Rankings are based on expert opinions about program excellence and statistical indicators that measure the quality of a school’s faculty, research and students. The publication aims to provide a tool to students and parents who are comparing college programs at accredited public and private universities in the United States.

Below is a sampling of CU’s rankings from the 2018 edition of Best Graduate Schools (U.S. News Media Group), as made available in advance by U.S. News. Some rankings include ties with other institutions:

University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

School of Medicine

  • Top 10: The school ranks third nationally for family medicine, sixth for pediatrics, sixth for rural medicine and eighth for primary care.
  • The school ranks 35th overall for research.

College of Nursing

  • The college’s nursing master’s degree is 26th; doctor of nursing practice, 34th.

Graduate School

  • Top 10: The master’s program for physician assistant ranks fifth.
  • Among master’s/doctorate programs in physical therapy, the program ranks 15th.

Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

  • The school ranks 22nd nationally for the doctor of pharmacy program.

University of Colorado Denver

  • CU Denver schools and programs that are ranked include health care management (23), School of Public Affairs (34), biological sciences (75), the Business School’s part-time MBA program (84) and the School of Education and Human Development (120).

University of Colorado Boulder

  • No. 1: CU Boulder holds the top ranking nationally for atomic/molecular/optical physics.
  • Top 10: CU Boulder holds a top ranking for ceramics (fifth). It also lands spots for environmental law (sixth), environmental engineering/environmental health engineering (ninth) and aerospace/aeronautical/astronautical engineering (10th).

University of Colorado Colorado Springs

  • At UCCS, the part-time MBA is No. 46. The nursing master’s degree at the Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Beth-El College of Nursing and Health Sciences ranks 52nd; the doctorate of nursing practice, 54th.

The U.S. News data come from statistical surveys sent to administrators at more than 1,970 graduate programs and from reputation surveys sent to more than 16,500 academics and professionals in the disciplines. Surveys were conducted during the fall of 2016 and in early 2017.

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Record number of students receive NSF Graduate Research Fellowships

CU Anschutz students set a new campus record this spring, with seven students being awarded with the National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship (GRF). More than 17,000 applications were submitted for just 2,000 awards, which grants stipend support of $34,000 a year for three years in addition to $12,000 toward the cost of tuition, for first and second year graduate students.

Graduate Research Fellowship recipients

Seven CU Anschutz students were awarded with the National Science Foundation’s prestigious Graduate Research Fellowship. From left to right, back row: Cayla Jewett , Amanda Richer, Katrina Cable, Christal Davis, Ethan Guthman and Ashley Bourke. Front row: Alexandria Hughes

“This award is very prestigious,” said Shawna McMahon, assistant dean of the Graduate School. “This is an incredible achievement that each one will have on their CV for years to come and is an indicator of their potential as a researcher.”

McMahon credited the record-setting number of recipients to the caliber of students, who must demonstrate their potential as researchers and a commitment to broaden participation in STEM disciplines from underrepresented groups.

In addition McMahon said that workshops held for students interested in the Graduate Research Fellowship Program and faculty review sessions may have played a role in strengthening applications.

“There are keys to success and to conveying qualifications to the review committee,” McMahon said. “The workshops and review sessions we held were done to ensure that our students would stand out.”

Looking toward next year, McMahon said the Graduate School anticipates that the number of recipients could continue to increase, especially as faculty and staff across campus begin to explore a formalized process for helping students prepare their applications. This review process would also be rolled out to CU Denver, increasing the potential number of recipients for both campuses. Between CU Denver and CU Anschutz there are currently 10 Graduate Research Fellowship recipients.

“Very much a surprise”

It was 4 a.m. when Ashley Bourke, a student in the Pharmacology Program, found out she had been awarded an NSF GRF. She knew that the announcement was supposed to be made, and checked her email immediately after she awoke. She didn’t see anything at first, and then saw the message had been sorted into her junk folder.

“I had a good feeling about it from faculty reviews and feedback I had received, but it was still very much a surprise,” said Bourke, who is studying synaptic plasticity.

Bourke took advantage of the workshops and faculty review sessions offered to students to polish her application. She was also able to boast ample outreach experience, having been president of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society at Michigan State. She has continued her STEM outreach at CU Anschutz through cofounding Women in STEM, which sees Bourke and her peers visiting schools and creating more opportunities for students interested in STEM disciplines.

While the award carries various financial benefits, the big takeaway from receiving the prestigious award is the ability to more freely pursue some of her own ideas as well as validation of her ability as a researcher.

“So many of us graduate students doubt ourselves and our capabilities,” Bourke said. “Having this recognition gives me confidence in myself as a scientist.”

Funding leads to more funding

Funding from the NSF was already a consideration for Katrina Cable, who came to CU Anschutz after completing her undergraduate degree at San Diego State University. While at San Diego State, Cable was part of a program focused on helping students start PhD programs and obtain research experience. The NSF was discussed extensively, and so when Cable started in the Cell, Stem Cell, and Development program at CU Anschutz, she knew that receiving a GRF could poise her for success.

“Being awarded with this fellowship is a huge weight off of my shoulders in terms of finding a lab home,” Cable said. “Because I come with funding, that weight of whether or not a lab can afford to have me working there is gone.”

To prepare the application, Cable attended the workshop hosted by the Graduate School, received feedback from her faculty mentor and also visited the Writing Center. By the time she had prepared her application, she felt she had strong chances of being awarded at least an honorable mention, and was thrilled when she received the news that she had been selected.

Thanks to the fellowship, Cable is able to take her time in selecting the lab on campus she will join. She is deciding between one that focuses on the development of the cerebral cortex in the mice model, and another that examines muscle development in the fly model. While the two areas may appear widely different, both focus on development, which is the area Cable is most interested in exploring.

Cable’s advice to her peers and future cohorts of students is to take advantage of the resources available through CU Anschutz to apply for the GRF. Aside from the immediate financial support, it could set a trend for future career growth.

“Funding builds on itself, so when you’re seeking future funding and you can show you are receiving funding in your first years, you have an edge,” Cable said. “It’s something I think everyone should be doing.”

Outreach is key

Christal Davis, a PhD student in the Structural Biology and Biochemistry Program, found her passion for science while studying at CU Denver. Davis, who double majored in chemistry and biology and is a LABCOATS IMSD grad, was fascinated with the structures of molecules and the way that even slight changes in molecular structure could cause drastic effects. While she knew she was laying the foundation for a career in research, she probably didn’t realize she was also laying the foundation to receive a GRF.

Davis was encouraged to apply for the fellowship by the director of her program. She analyzed the application and saw that while two pages were allotted for a research plan, three were given to share a personal statement.

“I knew they were looking for someone who will have potential as a great scientist in the future and someone who is willing to give back to the community,” Davis said.

Fortunately, Davis is that kind of person.

While at CU Denver, Davis served as president of the Chemistry Club and of the Chemistry Honors Society. Those activities gave her the opportunity to work with area schools, encouraging students’ interest in science. She also participated in The Bridge Project, teaching mathematics fundamentals and good study habits to students. In addition, she is currently on the board of the Inner City Science nonprofit, whose aim is to eradicate common misconceptions in science, and hopes to take on more outreach opportunities.

She believes that her outreach work helped her stand out among the candidates for the fellowship. She offered two pieces of advice for students who are considering applying for the fellowship program in the future: Apply and don’t neglect the personal statement.

“You are guaranteed to fail if you don’t even try,” Davis said. “Let who you are as a person shine through. They enjoyed what I wrote about the outreach work I have done, and I think that is what helped me to get selected.”


2016 NSF GRF recipients

Ashley Bourke, Pharmacology

Katrina Cable, Cells, Stem Cells & Development

Christal Davis, Structural Biology & Biochemistry

Ethan Guthman, Neuroscience

Alexandria Hughes, Neuroscience

Cayla Jewett, Molecular Biology

Amanda Richer, Biomedical Sciences Program

Previous NSF GRF recipients currently enrolled

Melissa Beauregard, Civil Engineering (Denver Campus)

Tanya Brown, Cell Biology, Stem Cells and Development

Jayne Aiken, Cell Biology, Stem Cells and Development

Harper Jocque, Integrative & Systems Biology (Denver Campus)

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