ESIL program receives $1M NSF S-STEM award

Photo-ESIL-PartnersA team of faculty from the College of Engineering and Applied Science and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has received a $1 million National Science Foundation (NSF) S-STEM award to support the new Environmental Stewardship of Indigenous Lands (ESIL) program. This is the second NSF award for the program, which is currently enrolling students for fall 2018.

Timberley Roane, associate professor of integrative biology, David Mays, associate professor of civil engineering, and Rafael Moreno, associate professor of geography and environmental sciences, designed the ESIL program with a focus on land stewardship with the additional goal to recruit Indigenous students and prepare them to serve as liaisons for their tribes and organizations. Two-thirds of the S-STEM grant is earmarked for scholarships, giving full-time undergraduate students in biology, civil engineering, or environmental sciences up to $10,000 per year for up to five years, depending on their financial need.

“There are many examples, such as the Gold King Mine spill of 2015 or the Standing Rock pipeline dispute of 2016–2017, where questions of environmental stewardship have played out in the context of Indigenous lands,” said Mays, explaining that Indigenous is inclusive of Alaskan Natives, American Indians, Native Americans, and Native Hawaiians. Mays continued, “Professor Roane recognized the profound need for a new kind of educational program that would train students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) but also provide the nontechnical skills needed to serve as a liaison between tribal, state and federal organizations. We call it the Environmental Stewardship of Indigenous Lands, or ESIL, program.”

These three co-PIs have teamed up with CU Denver’s American Indian Student Services, Office of Diversity and Inclusion, and The Evaluation Center, plus external partners representing numerous tribal, state and federal organizations. At the first ESIL Partners Meeting on Friday 4/6/2018, Roane emphasized a key point that makes this program unique—The simple notion that CU Denver does not own the ESIL program, but rather provides the infrastructure for a collaboration in which each partner’s perspective, insight, and contribution is essential for the program to be successful.

ESIL students are required to meet the requirements of their home department plus those of the ESIL certificate program, which ensures that all ESIL students have a common core in STEM, social science, cultural diversity, and cross-cultural communication. Through careful curriculum planning, this program does not require CU Denver to support any new courses and does not require ESIL students in civil engineering, biology, or environmental sciences to take additional credit hours for graduation, because all the ESIL courses that are not major requirements can be taken as electives. A key feature of the program, in addition to a traditional four-year STEM degree, is participation in training and internships designed to provide background with nontechnical matters such as cultural awareness, cross-cultural communication, environmental regulations and organizational dynamics. Additionally, this educational program is designed to support recruitment of Indigenous students.

“But not just recruitment,” Roane added. “We plan to guide our students through every step of the process, from applying to CU Denver, through logistical advice on moving to Denver (if necessary), through major advising, internships, and landing their first professional engagement after leaving CU Denver.”

The focus on land stewardship has been selected not only because it demands the expertise of STEM professionals but also because land stewardship is among the top motivations for Indigenous students considering STEM careers.

“If you know a student who might be interested in this program, or if you represent an organization that might be interested in partnering with the ESIL program (perhaps providing internships or extracurricular support to ESIL students), by all means please let us know,” said Mays.

In 2017, the team also received an award of nearly $300,000 from the National Science Foundation to support the ESIL program. This award is one of 27 design and development launch pilots in the second round of NSF’s program for Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science (INCLUDES).

 

 

 

 

 

ESIL partners include (top row) Rosa Burnett, Harmony Spoonhunter, Susan Johnson, Ryan Ortiz, Kim Varilek, (bottom row) David Mays, Timberley Roane, Rafael Moreno, and Scott Aikin.

 

Grace RedShirt Tyon and Chelsea Situmeang at the ESIL Partners Meeting (Friday 4/6/2018).

Bioengineering hosts first-ever BOLT program

This August the department of Bioengineering hosted its first ever Bioengineering Opportunities and Leadership Training (BOLT) for high school students. 25 students from around the metro area participated in the week’s activities, which ranged from building an optical heart rate monitor and learning about tissue engineering to visiting the Children’s Hospital Gait Lab and Center for Surgical Innovation. The objective of the camp was to expose students to the many different facets of bioengineering and to get them excited about what a career as a biomedical engineer could look like. At the conclusion of the week students presented their rough prototypes of new designs for medical devices that could help a pediatrician before enjoying an ice cream social with the students and faculty of the BIOE Department.

ASCE Rocky Mountain Regional Student Conference Results

On April 6 – April 8, the CU Denver ASCE Student Chapter competed in the Rocky Mountain Student Conference hosted by the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. This annual competition brings together civil engineering programs from 14 institutions across the intermountain West.

  • Concrete canoe: Despite suffering a crack in transit from Denver to Salt Lake, the concrete canoe team passed their submergence test and successfully competed in numerous races. Our 2016/2017 concrete canoe team included Wesley Engel (captain), Ahmed Aljamal, Mustafa Alogaili, Kahlil Elarier, Stephanie Espinoza, Miranda Mooney, Phil Taylor, and Nathan Werner.

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  • Steel bridge: After a final practice assembly on the green between the North Classroom and Science buildings, our steel bridge team passed their horizontal deflection test and earned 3rd place in Steel Bridge Display. Our 2016/2017 steel bridge team included Aaron Blahut (captain), Erik Causey, Ben Johnk, Xavier Montoya, Jackson Pedziwiatr, Stephen Sowal, and Dahria Uwamahoro (who also rowed for the concrete canoe team).

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Both teams vanquished their cousins from the University of Colorado Boulder.

Congratulations to our ASCE students!

Three engineering students receive UROP mini grants

This fall, the Office of Undergraduate Experiences offered a second 2016 round of Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) grants.  UROP is a competitive program designed to financially support undergraduate research, most broadly understood as including all creative and other scholarly activities.  The goal of UROP is to provide an opportunity to extend learning outside the traditional classroom, laboratory, or studio.

Three students from the college received one of these mini grants. Congratulations to Aimee Lam, bioengineering; Jackson Osborn, electrical engineering; and Adam Rauff, bioengineering.

CVEN student Stephanie Espinoza and the benefits of the Boots to Suits program

f1-1-article1_closeup_bob_stephStephanie Espinoza is a senior in civil engineering and an Army veteran. Through the university’s Boots to Suits professional development program, she was matched with mentor Bob Armstrong, an Air Force veteran and vice president of the global water resources engineering firm MWH now part of Stantec. They meet regularly, and Armstrong work in wastewater piqued Espinoza’s interest.

Read the entire story.

Golkowski and Marshall receive campus-level faculty awards

Mark Golkowski, associate professor of electrical engineering, and Wesley Marshall, associate professor of civil engineering, have both been named the CU Denver faculty award winners for teaching and research, respectively. This is the first time in recent history college faculty have received both campus-wide awards. They’ll receive their awards at a luncheon on September 21.

Congratulations!

For a list of all the award winners, read the Provost’s Post.

 

Bioengineering Graduate Programs ranked #63

In the most recent U.S.News & World Report rankings, the CU Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus bioengineering graduate programs ranked #63. This is a jump of nearly 20 since last year.

Our programs are the TOP ranked bioengineering programs in Colorado, and at #63, we’re tied with University of California Riverside; University of Alabama, Birmingham; SUNY, Buffalo; Michigan Technological University; Marquette University; and Notre Dame.

It is also worthy to note that the bioengineering programs at all the above universities have been around much longer than ours, which was established in 2010.

Congratulations to the bioengineering department on this fantastic accomplishment!

Denver Post features new Bioscience 2 Building

New building on Fitzsimons campus will house CU bioengineering students

By Megan Mitchell
YourHub Reporter

The University of Colorado Denver and the Fitzsimons Redevelopment Authority are ready to begin construction on the 578-acre health campus’ second medical research incubator building, Bioscience 2.

“This is our first, real collaboration with CU,” said Steve VanNurden,  president and CEO of the FRA, which was formed in 1996. “We meet every week to work on the design and final details. This project has been in the works for six or seven years.”

Crews are working on the 112,000-square-foot Bioscience 2 building at East Montview Boulevard and North Troy Street after the groundbreaking Wednesday.

Lynx Motorsports represents college at CU Denver Block Party

photoThe weather was hot, the music was loud, the food was good, and on August 22, students from the 2012/13 and the 2013/14 Lynx Motorsports baja racing teams represented the college at the second annual CU Denver Block Party. They drove the car over from the Hub and showed video from the SAE baja race in Rochester. Milo the Lynx stopped by and posed for a photo in the car, and students, faculty and people from the community stopped by to admire the students’ work and ask questions about the program. The Office of Events and Outreach estimates nearly 1,000 people attended the event, and we’re looking forward to next year’s party!