Thursday, February 25, 2010

Commentary on the Rachel B. Noel Distinguished Visiting Professorship Community Event

Essence magazine once called Rachel B. Noel a “legend in her own time.” Though I knew little about Mrs. Noel before the 2010 Distinguished Visiting Professorship Community Event held in her honor, the accuracy of this statement became quickly apparent to me as I watched a few hundred finely dressed people of all races filter into the Shorter Community African Methodist Episcopal Church this past Tuesday, February 23.

What did I learn about Mrs. Noel? That she was an activist, who was a key player in ridding the state of segregation; that she founded and then chaired the Department of African American studies at Metro State; and that she was a soft-spoken but powerful and kind woman who made a lasting impression on thousands of people. (For more details on her life, the middle school named after her, and her other accomplishments, click here.)

I lucked out and was able to chat with her daughter Angie for a few minutes during the reception. I discovered that Angie Noel feels no sadness at these events, despite the fact that her mother passed away this month two years ago. Instead, she feels heartened by the fact that the community, President Stephen Jordan, and Metropolitan State College of Denver continue to support and grow her mother’s educational efforts.

“If mom were here, she would be well pleased by the progress and in Metro’s commitment to diversity,” Angie Noel explained. “Metro is advancing and deepening her legacy.”

When President Jordan spoke a few moments later, he echoed Angie Noel’s perspective by reminding people of Mrs. Noel’s ongoing positive impact in Denver and at Metro State and by Metro’s long-term pledge to continue to bring distinguished professors to the school annually. “Rachel B. Noel called for change calmly, but forcefully,” President Jordan added. “She is credited with changing the way our children are educated today.”

For more information on the event, please check in with us over the next week. I will be posting some videos of the Metro State Choir’s performance, the Metro State African Drumming Ensemble, some snippets from Julius Coles’ speech, and next Wednesday morning I’ll post the upcoming @Metro news article about the event. More photos from the event are available on the Alumni & Friend Flickr site.

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Metro State’s success begins with … Carlos A. Frésquez

Assistant Professor of Art Carlos Fresquez stands in front of his art “Un Corrido Para La Gente” (A Ballad for the People) at Morrison Road and Sheridan Boulevard on Nov. 13 during a dedication ceremony by the Denver Office of Cultural Affairs’ Public Art Program.

From @Metro, Feb. 24, 2010

When you’re three years old and using your mom’s mix of flour and water (which she uses to make tortillas) as paste to make exotic art collages, you should probably just go ahead and claim art as your major.

That’s exactly how Carlos Frésquez’s life as an artist started, and today, 50 years later, he still loves art—which is blatantly obvious after just one minute with the assistant professor of painting at Metro State.

“I think my parents saw something in me at age 3, maybe a knack to assemble items and bring them together,” says the 1980 Metro State alumnus. “They nurtured that in me and encouraged me.”

Then there was kindergarten. “Mrs. White, the teacher, put out the primary colors red, blue and yellow and let us play with them. I remember the yellow and blue became green and to me that was magic. From that moment I wanted to play with that magic forever.”

Today, Frésquez says art still feels magical. “Not just for me, but now for my students … when they move from conception to finished product, they love it. And I do, too.”

He says over the years, art “became me, it defines me and it’s so deep inside me. It’s always a challenge and I’ve always liked that challenge, to create something that’s intriguing and interesting.”

Those are certainly two words you can use to describe much of his work, which ranges from murals that cover entire sides of buildings to a much smaller George and Jane Jetson (the cartoon characters of the ‘70s) hugging in front of a map of the world.

One piece he says that’s come “to define him” is a 6-ft. by 6-ft. mural he painted in 1990, with intense colors, of a couple getting married at a church, “but no people are there celebrating, it’s like a dream. And a lot of people ask me about it.”

He explains the meaning: When the Auraria Campus was built, a Hispanic community was displaced and were promised scholarships. “But that took a while to happen, so there wasn’t a reason to celebrate without those scholarships.” But when Metro State began offering the scholarships, he repainted it and added a celebration.

When asked what he hopes people take from his art, he says he doesn’t really think about that. “I do art for myself. If someone gets something from it, that’s great.”

He says some have asked to buy his work and he remembers one such customer he saw 20 years later who still had the piece and said that he was still happy to have it. “That makes you feel good.”

Then he expands on his philosophy of art: “It should give something to you. We need to feed our stomachs and we need to fill our souls, our spirits, to make ourselves stronger, better people. I just hope my works gives something to people.”

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

2010 Metro State Pack the House event a success

The 2010 Athletics Department-sponsored the Pack the House event, which featured the ninth Hall of Fame induction and a basketball double header--Metro men and women versus Nebraska-Kearney.

Metro State celebrated new inductees to the 2010 Hall of Fame with an all-day affair on Saturday, Feb. 20. “Pack The House” began with the Hall of Fame luncheon at 11:30 a.m. in the lobby of the Auraria Event Center.

Five individuals and one team made up the ninth Hall of Fame class in Roadrunner athletics history and the first since 2007. The 1989-90 men’s basketball team, former men’s basketball player Lee Barlow, former volleyball player Devon Herron, former women’s soccer player Amy Leichliter, former women’s soccer coach Ed Montojo, and former assistant athletic director Joel R. (J.R.) Smith were all inducted.

More than 1500 fans attended the games, and dozens of alums attended the games and luncheon. For more information on the women's winning game, click here. For more information on the close and exciting men's game, click here.

To see a plethora of photos, visit the Alumni & Friends Flickr page by clicking here.

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Friday, February 19, 2010

The rise of the citizen journalist: blogging 101

By Lizzy Scully
This is the second of a three-part series...

So what is a blog anyway? Literally it’s a “web log”—aka a website on which individuals or sometimes groups of people publish written, photographed, or filmed “posts,” including personal stories, political rants, product raves, news exposes, etc. Blogs are created, managed, and regularly updated primarily by individuals. And most are unedited by third parties, which makes them significantly different from printed newspapers and magazines, in which content is edited numerous times before publication. Blogs can exclusively represent a person, or as with this Alumni & Friends blog, they can offer readers a more in-depth and often personal look at what an organization is doing.

No one knows exactly how many blogs exist now (to see various statistics, click here), but as far as Metro State Assistant Professor of Journalism Kip Wotkyns is concerned, the "blogosphere" is a phenomenon that has transformed the way news is disseminated and has encouraged the rise of the citizen journalist.

“Blogging allows people to be published basically with a click of a button. To have a voice in the past you had to get published. But blogging is available to anyone, and the blogosphere is now gigantic in scope.” Subsequently, traditional publications have lost much of their influence, garnering less advertising and fewer readers. People now turn to blogs for information. Take the Mumbai Massacre, cites Wotkyns. “A lot of the best reporting was actually coming from a hostage inside the Palace Hotel who was tweeting in real time and was picked up by millions of people.” (A tweet is a “post” on the micro-blog Twitter).

Unfortunately, Wotkyns warns, the blogosphere isn’t always a positive space. A lack of regulation allows people to unethically use blogs. Companies sometimes pay bloggers to rave about their products, while other business owners anonymously trash competitors in reviews. As well, “clutter” has become a problem, with people regurgitating information and/or spewing out inaccurate, unsubstantiated opinions in the form of rants.

“The era of the citizen journalist will only emerge if blogging moves beyond this rant and rave stage,” he says.

Still, blogs can be an effective way to disseminate news. “What will be precious in the end is balanced accurate information that’s original,” Wotkyns says. “Original content will become the coin of the realm. Those blogs will do fine and prosper.” And that is why blogs created and maintained by people such as Metro State alum and photographer Jeff Ball have the potential to rise above the clutter.

Ball’s blog is chock full of original photos and commentary on art and photography, and, along with his other social media platforms, has become a hub of community activity. Ball has build trust with his readers and what Watkins calls “brand equity.” He has made himself an “expert” on the subject of photography. Subsequently, his blog has helped him establish a stronger presence on the web, which drove traffic to his website and helped him fundraise, make more direct sales, collaborate with other artists, and engage with fans.

“With more and more people online searching for information and making connections through social networking sites, a blog is a great forum for self-promotion and self-expression,” Ball says. “It’s a truly versatile tool.”

See next month’s Enewsletter for the third of this three-part social media series is titled, “Creating Google Juice: How to Get Your Message Out.”

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Metro Alumni Business Brief: Eric Peterson Cruises Into the New Year

The Metropolitan State College of Denver Office of Alumni Relations profiles and/or reviews alumni-owned businesses each month as a part of its outreach efforts. Businesses will be highlighted on the blog and in the Office of Alumni Relations enews. Please email if you have a business or know of someone who has a business we should consider profiling.

By Lizzy Scully

After spending 150 nights at sea, including a four-month educational odyssey across the globe, Metro State alumnus Eric Peterson ('99, marketing) has developed a passion for the sea that runs deep. And because his work in the mortgage industry slowed significantly due to increased regulation, he opted to do what he loves best—plan cruises. But instead of arranging all the trips for himself, he started another business, Denver-based Cruise Planners in January, and will now help others chart their dream tours across the ocean.

“The ability to sell and plan cruises provides me with all of the passion and excitement that I missed working as a mortgage agent,” he explained in a recent email. And that enthusiasm, he adds, translates to an ability to really dial in to what his clients are looking for.

“Knowing that I have cruised around the world and continue to seek out new cruising adventures will help my clients to feel confident that buying a cruise from my agency was the right decision,” Peterson explains. There are a lot of people in the industry who never travel via cruise ship. Not Peterson. He’s been to dozens of ports of call, from Japan to Vietnam and Egypt to Cyprus. When his clients book a trip, he likely has first-hand knowledge about the ships and ports of call they are interested in.

“I believe I can truly recommend the vacation that best suits their needs,” he says. He can also offer them deals just as good as ones they would find online, but without the hours of searching. As a franchise of Cruise Planners/American Express, Peterson has relationships with every cruise line in the industry.

And, to keep up with the ever changing industry, Peterson will regularly scout new opportunities. He goes to Mexico on a five-day reconnaissance mission this spring, and regularly travels around on his 28-foot Lancer sailboat, “the amiga”.
In addition to traveling often to keep his business perspective fresh, Peterson one day hopes to regularly charter an entire ship and to create and maintain several themed cruises.

Traveling by ship, he says, “is an experience of a lifetime. Why not share it with as many other people as possible?”

Eric Peterson’s most memorable time at sea…

My junior year at Metro State, I spent the entire Fall Semester (1997) on Semester at Sea, which is a globe-circling educational odyssey that takes 600 students around the world over a four-month period. We spent one week each in Japan, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Vietnam, India, Egypt, Cyprus, Greece, Spain and Morocco. I spent countless hours staring over rail at the sea with amazement. Ever since that journey, each time I get on a ship, the excitement level never wanes.

September of that year, it took us 15 days to cross the Pacific between Vancouver, BC and Kobe, Japan. During that voyage, we encountered two typhoons, and sea conditions that were unfathomable to me. Watching our ship take on 50-70 foot waves was frightening and fascinating at the same time. We were stuck indoors for five days because the winds were too dangerous to be on the decks of the ship. While sitting in class one day, a rogue wave hit the side of our ship and all of us fell over in our desks. The chalkboard rolled across the classroom and shattered into pieces as it slammed against the wall. Luckily, I was not seasick. Several of my classmates could not leave their cabins for days. I learned to respect the sea and to never underestimate it.

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Metropolitan State College of Denver Announces Availability of College Ring Collection

"For the first time in the history of Metropolitan State College of Denver, we have an official college ring collection. This new tradition reminds us that every day is a great day to be a Roadrunner and that your degree from Metro State is a source of pride."

--President Stephen M. Jordan

The official college ring collection, designed for and by students, alumni, staff and faculty, is now available and exclusively offered by Jostens.

Visit the Metro State College of Denver -- Alumni & Friends Facebook Fan Page and enter to win a free ring from the collection!

Be the first to purchase this unique and lasting symbol of your lifelong connection to your alma mater. Your official college ring does a lot more than rekindle fond memories. It will:

• Connect you to your campus community and fellow alumni.
• Act as a networking tool. Your distinctive Metropolitan State College of Denver ring makes it easy for alumni and potential employers to identify you with your alma mater.
• Symbolize your accomplishment and pride in your school.
• Last forever; protected by Jostens lifetime warranty.

Order an Official College Ring

The official college ring collection can be previewed at the following events. You will be able to purchase a ring from Jostens at this time. In addition, a link to order your ring online will be coming soon.

Spring 2010 Graduate Fair: Tuesday, March 16 from 10am-2pm and Wednesday, March 17 from 12-6pm, St. Cajetan's, Auraria Campus

Special Lunch Preview: Thursday, April 29 from 11am-1pm, Office of Alumni Relations, 1059 Historic Ninth Street Park, Auraria Campus (Enjoy free pizza; this event is open to the entire campus and alumni community.)

Cap & Gown Pick-Up: Tuesday, May 11 from 10am-6pm and Wednesday, May 12 from 10am-6pm, Multicultural Lounge, Tivoli Student Union, Auraria Campus

Spring Commencement: Sunday, May 16 from 7am-9am, Auraria Soccer Fields, Auraria Campus (Commencement begins at 9am.)

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Monday, February 15, 2010

Rowdy the Roadrunner visits North Middle School HEalth Sciences and Technology Campus

On Monday, February 8th, Rowdy the Roadrunner, the official mascot of Metropolitan State College of Denver (MSCD), visited North Middle School Health
Sciences and Technology Campus students during lunch, accompanied by Mr. Ron Christian, the Assistant Athletic Director at MSCD. Mr. Christian spoke to students about Metro and the colleges on the Auraria Campus in downtown Denver, and the benefits of attending Metro State, including strong, championship athletic programs and 86 different college majors. North students had a great time with Rowdy who gave away many fun prizes, including free tickets to see a Roadrunner’s Men’s Basketball game for all students at North!

Rowdy’s visit was one of many activities at North during “College Week,” a week dedicated to celebrating and reinforcing our vision in Aurora Public Schools (APS)that, “We will graduate every student with the choice to attend college without remediation.”

College Week culminates with student-led, parent-teacher conferences and College Night on Wednesday, February 10th from 4:00 until 7:30 p.m. Many colleges, universities, LIGHTS APS feeder high schools, and more will be represented that evening. All parents and students of all grade levels are invited to attend. We hope to see you there!

From North Middle School's website.

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The Chronicle of Higher Education has various Metro State jobs advertised.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Brand awareness expert to conduct name assessment for College

From @Metro
Feb 10, 2010

Metro State's Board of Trustees passed a resolution at its Feb. 3 meeting to assess the College's name.

Beginning now and continuing through April, Sector Brands will conduct a name assessment to determine its contribution to the College's vision, loyalty, brand and image. Findings will be reported to the College beginning in June.

This assessment is part of a series of brand assessments that have been taking place since 2006.

"It's very natural for people to start going towards the discussion of a name change, but this is an assessment and we will not be talking about a name change," says Cathy Lucas, associate vice president of communications and advancement, who will oversee the process. "We look forward to the results."

According to Stacy Lewis with Sector Brands, the timing of the assessment couldn't be better. "When the economy turns south, it's a smart time to take a look at every aspect of your brand to make sure your organization is positioned for success."

She adds: "Like everything else, logo, publications, and messages, the name is just another element. It's not uncommon. It's best practice for any organization, higher education or otherwise, to take a look at things such as names and branding, especially when you are going through as much evolution as the College has in the last few years. This has come about literally as part of administration evaluating all of the factors of success for the school, including master's programs, advertising, admissions and First-Year Success. This literally falls in that bucket."

The question for all of these is "does [the name] support our mission of preeminence?" says Lewis, who notes that they are seeing a real spike among their clients wanting to do name assessments.

During the assessment, Sector Brands will implement a combination of methodologies with internal and external stakeholders. They expect to sample about 500 alumni and students through an electronic survey. In addition, they plan to have about 125 in-depth discussions through focus groups and individual interviews with community and business leaders on and off campus.

The assessment will explore the name's strengths, limitations and impact on the College's brand and reputation. A key audience during the study will be alumni, according to Lewis.

"Alumni have always been very vocal and concerned about the College on many levels," she says. The assessment is estimated to cost $25,000.

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Josh McGuckin built this wild composite vehicle as a part of Metro State program

I was fortunate enough to be selected to be part of the AXYS vehicle concept design and build team. This is a hand selected program at Metro State College of Denver. The premise of this project is to build an entire composite vehicle, design all the elements of the vehicle (except the body shape) and present the vehicle to the public by the spring of 2010.

The presentation portion of this will be a soft presentation, the vehicle will not be fully functional at that time and the interior will not be completed, but most of the design should be finished and the vehicle should be presentable enough to show off what it is going to be in the end.

Overall this is quite the process there is an incredible amount of work to do including sanding, finishing and forming this whole thing by hand...

Read more here.

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Torres speaks in DC briefing on College’s work to serve Latinos

Feb 10, 2010
From @Metro

Deputy Provost for Academic Affairs Luis Torres co-chairs Hispanic Serving Institution Task Force.

Last week in Washington D.C., Deputy Provost for Academic Affairs Luis Torres participated in a briefing on the role of Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) in President Barack Obama’s national college completion goals for the next decade.

Held at the Cannon House Office Building, the briefing featured a panel of six speakers, including Torres, U.S. Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) and Director of the White House Initiative on Excellence for Hispanic Education Juan Sepulveda. The panel discussed the finding of a report by Excelencia in Education that examines how a growing number of U.S. colleges and universities are adapting their educational practices and policies to better serve the needs of Latino students. Metro State is one of four institutions featured in the report for its successful efforts to effectively serve its Latino students.

“The report tells us we’re heading in the right directions,” says Torres, who co-chairs the College’s HSI Task Force with Judi Diaz Bonacquisti, associate vice president of enrollment services.

“Emerging HSIs: Serving Latino Students” concludes that emerging HSIs – institutions that enroll 15-24 percent or more undergraduate full-time equivalent Hispanic students – are not waiting for official HSI status to enact policies to better serve Latino students.

“We can learn from these emerging colleges that are producing successful results,” says Deborah Santiago, report author and vice president for policy and research at Excelencia. “As the number of college-going Hispanics and HSIs continues to grow, it’s important to understand what it means to serve Latino students well, and we can look to these colleges as models.”

The report highlights Metro State for creating an HSI Task Force, hiring culturally competent faculty and staff, adopting a strategy of ‘inclusive excellence,’ increasing outreach to Latinos in the surrounding community, and offering programs such as the First-Year Success Program, CAMP and Chicano Studies.

Torres says he is not surprised the College became a model, citing the leadership roles of the Board of Trustees and President Stephen Jordan, along with the amount of work the task force accomplished. “We approached the process in a structural and fundamental way. Many emerging HSIs are familiar with enrollment trends of Hispanic Serving Institutions, but not graduation and retention rates.”

While in DC, Torres delivered a letter to co-panelist Polis recommending that “the United States Congress consider providing funding to the U.S. Department of Education for emerging Hispanic-Serving Institutions… We recommend that, in addition to the current Title V program, separate funding is needed for emerging Hispanic-Serving Institutions to better plan and to accelerate when such institutions can become HSIs. Such planning-and-implementation funds would allow these institutions to more effectively enhance the academic success of the students and institutions.”

To read the full report, visit Excelencia in Education. A presentation by Excelencia in Education on campus scheduled for Friday, Feb. 12, has had to be postponed due to the massive snowstorm in the Northeast.

Excelencia is a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit organization whose mission is to accelerate Latino student success in higher education. Metro State has contracted with Excelencia tohelp keep HSI efforts on track and to provide feedback for the Urban Teacher Partnership initiative.

Other HSI-related news
Metro State, CCD and UCD are hosting the next meeting of the Colorado Coalition for the Educational Advancement of Latinos (CO-CEAL)on Friday Feb. 26 in Science 212. CO-CEAL was formerly known as HACU-CO.

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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Natural Veteran Duber-Smith Honored by Wall Street Journal

Excerpt from Happi.

Lauded for integrating practical business tools into the classroom.
The Dow Jones Company has presented natural products industry veteran and marketing professor Darrin C. Duber-Smith with the 3rdannual Wall Street Journal Distinguished Professor 2009 award. Duber-Smith, president of Green Marketing, Inc. and marketing professor at Metropolitan State College in Denver, CO, was chosen among nine other professors out of 1,000 candidates who were nominated nationally to receive the honor for integrating practical business tools and experiences into the classroom.

Duber-Smith had held marketing management positions with ZAND Herbal Formulas, Nature’s Apothecary, and Natural Business Communications (the founders of the LOHAS market segmentation) prior to forming Green Marketing, Inc. in 2000.

"I am truly thrilled to have the unique opportunity to work with clients, publish, speak at conferences, and bring it all directly into the classroom,” said Duber-Smith. “It’s a nice balance for all of us."

Read more here.

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Monday, February 8, 2010

Metro State College of Denver's 2010 Hall of Fame class

DENVER, Colo. - Metro State athletic director Joan McDermott announced the College’s 2010 Hall of Fame class on Tuesday. Five individuals and one team will make up the ninth Hall of Fame class in Roadrunner athletics history and the first since 2007. The 1989-90 men’s basketball team, former men’s basketball player Lee Barlow, former volleyball player Devon Herron, former women’s soccer player Amy Leichliter (pronounced “leck-lighter”), former women’s soccer coach Ed Montojo (pronounced “mon-ta-joe”) and former assistant athletic director Joel R. (J.R.) Smith will all be inducted on Saturday, Feb. 20.

The Hall of Fame ceremony and lunch will take place at 11 a.m. in the lobby of the Auraria Event Center on campus. The Roadrunners host Nebraska-Kearney for a basketball doubleheader following the ceremony. The men’s game is slated for 3 p.m. and the women will tip off at 5 p.m.

“We are very proud of our 2010 Hall of Fame class,” McDermott said. “The accomplishments of this group played a pivotal role in the success we continue to experience today with our programs.

“Our men’s basketball team had a phenomenal season in 1989-90 and really put Metro State on the map. Coach Montojo laid a strong foundation for women’s soccer and took us to our first NCAA Tournament. Amy and Lee were both integral in Metro State’s first national championships in soccer and basketball. Devon helped lead our volleyball team to three straight conference championships, and J.R. (Smith) showed great leadership with Metro State and that’s continuing today with the RMAC.”

Metro State’s Hall of Fame currently includes 31 individuals and three teams.
1989-90 Men’s Basketball Team

The 1989-90 men’s basketball team marked the beginning of a dynasty at Metro State with the school’s first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance. The Roadrunners went 28-4 that season and won the Great Northwest Conference championship with an 8-2 mark, the first conference championship in school history. Coached by Bob Hull (Hall of Fame class of 1998), Metro State posted winning streaks of 11 and 10 games during the season. Hull went on to earn GNC Coach of the Year honors and led the team to an NCAA Tournament first round win over the University of South Dakota.

Led by a pair of All-America teammates in Shun Tillman and Gene Edwards, Metro State was ranked as high as No. 2 during the season and finished the year ranked third in the National Association of Basketball Coaches Division II top-25 poll. The Roadrunners knocked off NCAA Division I opponent University of Mississippi at the Illini Classic hosted by the University of Illinois, where they made the school’s first national television appearance on WGN-TV Chicago. Two other future All-Americans, Adrian Hutt and Ralph Rivers, were also key parts of the 1989-90 team.

A number of records were set by the 1989-90 men’s basketball team. Its 28 wins were a school record at the time, though that record has since been topped by a pair of national championship teams. However, many records still stand, including Edwards’ single game record of 38 points, a record that has been tied twice. His records for points in a season and points per game still hold, as does Tillman’s record for total rebounds.

See tomorrow's post for more information on the Hall of Famers

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The Emerging Hispanic-Serving Institution

David Moltz
Excerpt from Inside Higher Ed
February 5, 2010

WASHINGTON – The number of institutions officially recognized by the federal government as “Hispanic serving” is set to rise dramatically in the coming years, according to a comprehensive study of Latino enrollment in higher education.

In the 1980s, the designation Hispanic-serving institution (HSI) was created by the federal government to directfunding to nonprofit colleges where at least 25 percent of the full-time-equivalent students are Latino. On Thursday,Excelencia in Education, an advocacy group for Latino students, released a report identifying the growing number of institutions that do not meet the HSI enrollment threshold of 25 percent but that fit its definition of “emerging HSIs” – meaning that they “are within the critical mass range of 15-24 percent and have the potential to become HSIs in the next few years.”

“Emerging” HSIs were located in 20 states. The highest concentration of these institutions was in California, which had 52, followed by Texas, which had 42. Still, Deborah Santiago, the report's author and vice president for policy and research at Excelencia, said at a discussion accompanying the report’s release on Capitol Hill that these institutions are “not just in those places where we expect to see Latinos.” For instance, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Oregon and Utah are among the states that had one such institution.

The largest share -- 44 percent -- of the “emerging” HSIs were public community colleges. Private colleges and universities represented the second largest sector, with 31 percent. Public four-year institutions represented 20 percent, and private two-year institutions represented 5 percent.

“Call me parochial here, but I found it surprising that so many private colleges are emerging HSIs,” said Luis Torres, deputy provost for academic affairs at Metropolitan State College of Denver, an emerging HSI featured in the report. “When one thinks of a rather stereotypical view of Hispanics, it’s that we are in the public colleges. I found it very surprising and telling and interesting. That gives us a lot of opportunities.”

Read more here.

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Thursday, February 4, 2010

Metro State trumpeter heads to national semifinals

Excerpt from Feb 3, 2010 @Metro publication.

Senior Steven Jon-Billings heads to Virginia in March for The National Trumpet Competition.
After years of sweating behind the brass, 25-year-old Steven-Jon Billings has been accepted as a semifinalist in the undergraduate division of The National Trumpet Competition.

Under the tutelage of Michael Hengst, visiting assistant professor of trumpet, Billings submitted an eight-minute solo to become one of 46 finalists out of a pool of almost 500 candidates.

The competition takes place March 11-14 at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.

Billings’ trumpeting started when he was in second grade. His parents were both trumpet players, and wanted a creative outlet for their son's energy. He joined the school band and continued on to a community college to study music. He tried a number of different routes from there. He spent a semester at University of Arizona and a semester at Arizona State University before landing at Metro State.

“I came because I got the opportunity to play in an orchestra,” says Billings, a senior majoring in music. He was dismayed by the competitiveness of the schools in Arizona. Metro State gave him a chance to gain more experience, which helped him rise to where he is today.

To read the full piece, please visit @Metro.

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Jonathan Stalls video

Check out this great video featuring alumni Jonathan Stalls. Jonathan will be walking across America to raise money for KIVA, a micro-lending organization that provides small loans to people around the world. See previous post a few days ago for more information.

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7th Annual Piano Celebration, "Romancing the Keys" to take place Feb. 12-13. Event free to alums

KING CENTER - FEBRUARY 12-13, 2010: The 7th Annual Piano Celebration at Metro "Romancing the Keys" will offer two jam-packed days of workshops, concerts and master classes for both campus and community.

Piano Celebration is 1 week away!
Register online NOW!

Save Friday and Saturday for Piano Celebration: inspiration and beauty, perspectives and integrated approaches to healthy piano teaching and playing at all levels - with new composer premieres as well as traditional favorites! Shop for Valentine's Day among vendors in the Exhibit Hall and support keyboard student activities on and off campus.
Attend both Friday and Saturday events, with a variety of interesting topics and guest artists who are leaders in pedagogy and performance nationwide. Check it out and find inspiration, enrichment and entertainment, for all levels and ages!


Piano Celebration is 1 week away!
Register online NOW!

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Think Outside the Box When Looking for a Job

Standard job boards and searches are no longer effective, reporter David Migoya states in a Feb. 3 Denver Post article ("New Way Forward" pg. 7B). As the article notes, fewer than 10 percent of all jobs are found on job boards, and 80 percent of job seekers focus their efforts there. So, how can you, the Metro State Alumni, increase the likelihood of finding a job?

According to Migoya and the various experts he quoted in the article, you need to think outside the box and look for different solutions. While you still need to have excellent writing and interviewing skills, you also need to be able to market yourself.

"The key is in personal marketing, selling yourself to a specific job with a specific set of criteria," writes Migoya. He then continues to encourage job seekers to focus on being specific about how to really help a company by making and saving it money and minimizing its risks.

These are good suggestions. You certainly need to be able to convey how you can help your potential employer. But how can you actualize Migoya's suggestions? First, consider creating what Metro Alumni and owner of Your Brand Plan David Sandusky calls a "personal brand plan." You need to know exactly what you are all about--what your expertise is, what jobs you are looking for, etc. If you clearly understand your personal brand, you will be able to convey that brand to potential employers.

Once you create your personal brand, find ways to convey that brand to potential employers. Hands down, the most effective and affordable way to do this is through social online media platforms such as: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, Blogger, etc.

Not only can you create profiles on these free sites, but you can also network extensively with former colleagues, classmates, friends, and really anyone and everyone who shares an interest or industry with you. You can post your resume along with articles you have written or accolades you have won. On some sites you can even request that people recommend you. As well, you can position yourself as an expert by commenting on subjects you know a lot about. The options are limitless, and the only commitment is time. But if you have that free time now, what do you have to lose?

As Sandusky stated, "People who aren’t engaging their community in conversation and developing their network are going to find it difficult to do business in the future." Social media, he adds, is required for an individual's ability to be successful. So, figure out who you are and what your expertise is, and then spread the word in the best, most viral way possible--by utilizing online social media platforms.

See "Personal Brand: marketing may be the key to finding a job during hard times" for more info.

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Susanne Brent Reflects on Alumni Night in Phoenix

Excerpt taken from The Metropolitan.

On a mild and clear Arizona winter night in January, a fire danced in the outdoor fireplace, white lights graced the tree branches, and the moon smiled down upon a small group of fellow Metropolitan State alumni gathered to dine together.

In 1986, I graduated with a journalism degree from Metro State and moved to Arizona to work as a reporter. This dinner was the first alumni event I’d attended, and I felt excited for the opportunity to connect with fellow Metro alumni living in the Southwest.

President Stephen Jordan spoke about developments and changes at Metro State: planned graduate schools, new construction and innovative methods for student retention.

I noted how successful we all looked in our professional attire, teacher, banker, insurance adjuster, former city councilmen, and myself, a journalist. Yet, at one time, we were no different than the Metro students of today.

Placed at each table, and much to my delight, was a copy of The Metropolitan. I felt as if I were seeing a cherished, old friend again. I proudly told everyone, including Dr. Jordan, how thrilled I felt when I had my first news article published.

When I started Metro in 1982, I had been out of high school for several years. I had marginal high school grades, no scholarships or academic awards, no teacher recommendations, and no one in my family had attended college before me. Yet, I was accepted and given the chance to embark upon a college education.

To read the full letter to the editor, please visit The Metropolitan.

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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Metro State Alum Jonathan Stalls to Walk Across America to raise funds

This March, Jonathon Stalls and his dog, Kanoa, will embark on a coast-to-coast cross country trek covering an estimated 3,000 miles from Delaware to San Francisco, CA - and he’s taking Kiva with him. For more information on how you can help out, click on his KivaWalk website.

He will be walking through hundreds of towns, cities, and communities in Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, and California.

Why is Jonathon going on this cross country trek?

“Since living in Ireland (2005-2006), visiting Honduras in 2007, and swapping life stories with many ‘travelers,’ I have craved an adventure that would challenge my daily activities, expectations, and priorities. The speed and growth of our commodity driven and over-communicated culture feeds a personal call to engage in quieter, slower, and more intentional experiences with less. 
This walk will be a journey in listening, eating, sharing, and growing with: strangers, neighbors, officials, hikers, animals, wind, and dirt.”

Why is he partnering with Kiva?

"I wanted and needed a larger purpose that would stretch far beyond my own personal attractions to such a trek. I came across Kiva in my social entrepreneurship class at Metropolitan State College of Denver in the fall of 2007. I craved to do more the minute I clicked on the link, browsed the website, and began donating. After meeting and engaging Kiva staff and many hours of creative brainstorming ‘we’ have cultivated an exciting relationship to spread Kiva’s mission and build lending communities across the country. I am more than enthusiastic to work with one of our nation’s leading incubators in the fight to alleviate extreme poverty across the world – GO KIVA!” 

Jonathon is requesting the support and hospitality of the Kiva lending community. If you wish to support him, learn more here about the following ways you can get involved:

Walk: "I strongly encourage everyone and anyone to take a day, a week, or more and find a way to meet me on the trail."

Host: "Connect with me at if you or anyone you know can host Kanoa and I along the way."

Inspire: "Have me speak and be the reason to host a party that will help to raise awareness about Kiva in your community!"

Connect: "Put me in touch with someone you know at a University along the trail. I'd love to present to students and/or teachers who are interested in learning more about how to bring Kiva onto their Campus and into their classrooms!"

Donate: "Contribute to my personal walk budget"

Also, we're thrilled to announce that Jonathon has partnered with Sports Basement in San Francisco! They will be hosting a fundraising party for Kiva Walk on Wednesday, February 10th! Come out and support the walk, have a couple of drinks and take advantage of a special discount (20% discount on any personal purchases).

When: Wednesday, February 10th from 6-8 pm

Where: Presidio Sports Basement, 610 Old Mason Street, San Francisco, CA 94129

RSVP: Click here to RSVP and invite friends to the event!

How it supports the walk: Gear on Jonathon's Kiva Walk gear list can be purchased at a 20% discount! Sports Basement will ship all gear donations to him in Colorado free of charge. Discounted ski lift tickets (for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Sierra-at-Tahoe, Alpine Meadows, Homewood resorts) will also be sold at the event with 100% of sales supporting Kiva Walk!

Jonathon would like to thank Kiva staff, The Sports Basement and all friends and family who are supporting this adventure. Check out Jonathon's website to stay updated on his trip!

This information taken from the Kiva website Kiva is the world's first person-to-person micro-lending website, empowering individuals to lend to unique entrepreneurs around the globe.

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Roadrunner Review airtimes for February 2010

ALTITUDE TV (ch. 25 Comcast Denver)
Tues, Feb 2 at 4:30 p.m.
Wed, Feb 10 at 5:30 p.m.
Sun, Feb 14 at 4 p.m.
Tue, Feb 16 at 6:30 p.m.
Fri, Feb 19 at 1 a.m.
Tue, Feb 23 at 5:30 p.m.
Wed, Feb 24 at 10:30 a.m.

COMCAST CET (ch. 5 Denver)
Sat, Feb 6 at 12:30 p.m.
Wed, Feb 10 at 6 p.m.
Thu, Feb 11 at 6 p.m.
Mon, Feb 15 at 7 p.m.
Tue, Feb 23 at 3 p.m.
Fri, Feb 26 at 1:30 p.m.
NOTE: also on CET Sports VOD (video on demand)

KWHD – TV (ch. 53 Comcast Denver)
Mondays at 7:30 p.m.

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