Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Tri-Institutional Event and March Celebrate Cesar Chavez. Metro student and professor recognized for efforts in Latino community

Today, Cesar Chavez would have been 83 today had he not died. In celebration of his birthday, a tri-institutional day-long event was organized. There was a breakfast, luncheon, keynote speakers, and a march across campus (photos and video of which are on our Alumni & Friends Facebook Fan page). As well, Metro State student Anayelia Gonzalez was recognized for her active engagement with the Latino community, including her involvement with La Raza Youth Leadership Institute. The plaque she was given was designed by Emanuel Martinez, a national artist residing in Denver. As well, El Centro Su Teatro, headed by Artistic and Executive Director and part-time Chicano Studies Professor Tony Garcia, was honored.

According to Dr. Ramon Del Castillo, the Chair of the Chicana and Chicano Studies, “The march is symbolic of what Cesar Chavez did. He marched for social justice. He believed in sacrifice and giving to people and the community.” The tri-institutional event, he added, was a youth leadership development event that “embodied the work that Chavez did for four decades.”

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Sandra Cisneros to speak on Metro Campus

The English Department at Metropolitan State College of Denver has announced Sandra Cisneros as the speaker for its second annual "21st Century Arts & Letters Speakers Series." The event, free and open to the public, will be held on Weds., April 7, at 11:30 a.m. in the Tivoli Turnhalle.

Cisneros will read from her recent and past work, be available for a question-and-answer session, and sign her books.

The internationally renowned, award-winning poet and fiction writer has written numerous books, including The House on Mango Street, first published in 1984. It won the Before Columbus Foundation’s American Book Award in 1985, and is required reading in middle schools, high schools and universities across the country. It has sold more than two million copies since its initial publication.

"We are thrilled to have Sandra Cisneros speaking on our campus, and we expect a wonderful turnout and response from our students, faculty staff, and from fans of Cisneros' works from off-campus," says Assistant Professor of English Craig Svonkin, who also chairs the Speakers Series’ committee.

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Malcolm Daly discusses surviving serious climbing accident in Alaska at D’Vine Wine Alumni Networking Event, April 7

WE APOLOGIZE. THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED. For more information, please contact Stefanie Carroll at 303-556-6935

Malcolm Daly may be missing most of one leg below the knee, but that doesn’t stop him from rock climbing and living life to the fullest

Founder of climbing gear company Great Trango Holdings, Malcolm Daly started climbing rocks and mountains around the world in 1968. In May 1999, he and veteran climber Jim Donini traveled to Alaska to put up a new route on Mount Hunter. Early in their trip, while on their new route, Daly began leading a pitch. He climbed out of sight of Donini, and what happened next, neither of the two men really understood. Daly took a 200-foot fall, bouncing down the ice runnel he was climbing. He ended up 70 feet below Donini, conscious but with compound fractures in the left tibia and fibula, a shattered right talus (ankle) and frostbite of both feet. “Bones were sticking out in four places,” he says.

Because the two men were in the middle of nowhere and alone, Donini chopped a ledge out in the ice, stabilized his partner and then had to descend and hike out for help. Daly was left for two days alone on a ledge, hundreds of feet off the ground. “I knew my feet were hosed,” he says, “but I was going to get off that mountain alive.”

And he did. Come listen to Daly’s incredible story on April 7. The Office of Alumni Relations is sponsoring an Alumni Networking, Wine Tasting, and featured speaker event, from 5-7 p.m. at D’Vine Wine, 1660 Champa, Denver. The cost is $10 per person and includes wine, appetizers, and a half-hour slide show. click here for more information.

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Monday, March 22, 2010

Metro State College's 45th Anniversary Share It Program encourages alumni to share their stories about Metro

As a way to celebrate its 45 Anniversary and the students, faculty, and staff who make Metro the diverse, progressive college it is, Metro State College of Denver is promoting an online contest called, Share It. Monthly winners will be selected in each category. Thus, there are three chances for you to win each month. What can you win? Lots of things, but the two big prizes are (second prize) a Kodak Zx1 HD pocket digital video camera and (first prize) an Apple Ipad (What's that? click here to find out). Stay posted for a list of additional prizes.

So, what do you have to do? Easy. Tell us what Metro State means to you in creative, fun, or inspiring words, photos, or a video. You can get more details on posting your photos and videos by clicking here. You can submit your written story anywhere on our social media sites. Post it here as a response, or post it on LinkedIn. I will grab it and submit it on the official website for you. Thanks for participating!

Oh yeah, and take a look at this fun entry by Paul Cesare. He reminisces about the Metro versus Kentucky Wesleyan Division II National Championship that was televised.

-Lizzy Scully

Paul Cesare
Memory: My Metro State Memory by Paul Cesare

Watching Metro State's 1999-2000 Men's Basketball Team on National television (CBS Sports) win the NCAA Division II National Championship game against Kentucky Wesleyan.

Who would have ever imagined it? Winning the national championship put Metro State front and center in the national spotlight. Metro's image/reputation would never be the same again. As a college representative in the Office of Admissions, I can vouch for it. I'll never forget the solid team effort, especially on defense and the remarkable ball-handing and scoring performance by Denver native, DeMarcos Anzures! The team was coached by Mike Dunlap, who was hired after the first-choice coach accepted another position at a Division I college.

The 1999-2000 Metro State's Men's basketball team's Home record was 19-0, - no one could touch us in our own backyard. The noise by the ever-increasing fanbase at the Auraria Events Center home games was thundering and as deafening as I've ever witnessed. The team's 33-4 overall record was the best finish by any Colorado college team in history! Metro State - the once obscure, forgotten college in downtown Denver with no-name players and coaches on that fateful day in March 2000 became a nationally recognized champion - what a memory!

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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Metro State College of Denver enjoys successful Grad Fair

Metro State College of Denver enjoyed one of its busiest and most successful Grad Fairs this past Tuesday and Wednesday, March 16, 17. Some highlights of the event were that four Alumni Scholars donated a total of 18 hours volunteering at the Grad Fair, and dozens and dozens of people stopped by to check out the official College ring collection at the Jostens table.

Additionally, the Office of Alumni Relations organized its first “Your Metro Experience in Three Words” photo booth. Photographer and College Communications intern Jason Braddock took photos of 50 graduates holding a written version of their message. Those photos will be posted to the Metro State College of Denver Alumni & Friends Facebook Fan Page on Friday, March 19, 2010, by 10a.m. Photos from the Official College Ring Launch are available on Flickr.

According to key organizer Gini Mennenga, “Grad Fair is one of my favorite events because of the connection we make with our students. This year it was a huge success!”

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Business Brief: Terrence Trieu

When Phoenix Visual Arts owner Terrance "Terry" Trieu won an Emmy for the animation he created for Walt Disney’s True Life Adventures Sea of Sharks episode a decade ago, he was shocked. Up against animation done by the Discovery Channel and National Geographic, he expected to lose. But he went to the event anyway. Sitting in the very back of a football-field sized dining room, he said it felt like forever walking to the stage to accept his award. But ever since then, that experience has been a hallmark of his flexible and fascinating career path.

Though Trieu started at Metro State with the intention of becoming a professional pilot, a variety of fortuitous events led him down a different path. Instead of flying, he began to create animation and then eventually generate videos for companies, create commercials, do surveillance video clean-up and enhancement and 2-D and 3-D graphics, and build information kiosk programming programs, among other things.

He started at the Museum of Natural History's Planetarium(now Denver Museum of Nature and Science) after an aerospace internship didn’t work out. There, he spent time building special effects. He then moved on to the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), where he created 3-D models of weather systems depicting how they affected aircrafts on takeoff and landing. “I found it more interesting, and so I shifted majors,” he explains. “I found I had a knack for doing animation.” From there, he returned to the museum, where he worked in the exhibits division. He finally started his own business, and after around two decades, still loves what he does.

“I enjoy the process of being able to create things out of thin air,” Trieu says. But, he adds, the best part of the job is “learning what other people do.” For example, when he does animated intros for television shows or videos, each video actually has dozens of people working on different components.

“We are only getting to scratch the surface of what the full picture is,” he says. “You get to learn about all kinds of strange things people do in the world—trekking across Iceland, climbing Mt. Everest, creating a native type of boat and going to the Galapagos Islands. It’s inspiring.”

Trieu also gets inspiration from his community building efforts. Rather than grow his company, he works on the board of his local HOA and continues to build relationships with other local organizations. For example, he works with various police departments in the Denver area doing forensics work. “It’s a direct relationship to what is going on socially, and it benefits society,” he explains. “Plus it’s interesting to see the kinds of things people try to get away with.”

However, no matter how passionate Trieu is about his job, he makes sure to spend time as much time as possible with his wife, Krys, and his sons. He regularly participates in sports with his 16-year-old twin sons, Mica and Mason, and he often works with and/or talks with his older son, Tashi, an aspiring film maker. With a solid career, and a regular dose of family, fitness, and community, Terry Trieu is one satisfied alumnus.

For more information on Trieu’s business, visit his website. Also check out his Emmy-award-winning animation, click here.

The Business Brief is a monthly article published by the Office of Alumni Relations. If you would like to have your business considered for an article, please contact escully at mscd dot edu.

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Where Are They Now?

A Profile of Retired Faculty Member Charlie Branch

Article by Lizzy Scully

Photos by Kenn Bisio

Just a year before he turned 50, Charles “Charlie” Branch found his way to Metro State College of Denver and became the Dean of the School of Education. Three decades later, this dapper 80-year-old still dresses in a suit and tie, combs his now white gray hair neatly back, and drives to work. Of course, he retired two years ago, and so now only works a couple days per week. But his passion for his job remains the same.

“At age 80 I feel very, very good,” Branch says. “I feel like there are a lot of things yet to be done.” He currently teaches applied behavior analysis, a “scientific psychological way of solving human problems. I love teaching the course! I jumped at the chance to get back after being out for six months. I have a problem with being cooped up. I love working with people.”

According to three-decade Metro veteran, Debora Martin, the office manager for the Department of Human Services, students love working with him, too. “What I hear from students is that he is wonderful to work with, and they enjoy his classes. He is a really nice, genuine guy.”

Branch came to Metro State after getting his PhD from the University of Florida.
After stints at various colleges, including Ball State University, he landed in Denver. “I was excited about Metro because it was a new institution and an institution that had the potential and diversity that I valued highly,” he explains. “We were making history, and we still are.”

One of the main drawing cards was the fact that he had the opportunity to work with thousands of Denver-area K-12 teachers who needed to renew their teaching certificates. “I thought that was a gold mine out there,” he adds. “Nobody was furnishing their needs.”

Branch would plan programs based on the expressed needs of the teachers. “They would tell me their needs, and we could write curriculum and give it to them three days later,” he says. “It would normally take three to four years to get a curriculum change, whereas out here we could change it momentarily. We filled a need within a community. That has kept me around for a long time.”

Things aren’t like that these days, he admits, but he still feels the institution is flexible, and that President Stephen Jordan is carrying Metro State “onward and upward.” Plus, he says, “The quality and commitment of the faculty here is unbelievable compared to other institutions.” Wanting to add to the roster of excellent professors, Branch decided to transition into full time teaching himself.

“I saw that as an opportunity to make an even bigger difference with students,” he says. “It’s exciting to see the ‘aha’ moments students have and their growth.” The diversity on campus also pleases him.

“It’s not just ethnicity,” he says. “I’m talking about academic background diversity, age diversity. I like working in an environment with adult learners and young learners. They learn more from each other than they do from me.”
And that is how Branch likes it. He tries to facilitate a classroom environment that encourages people to search for the truth and to work with each other to do that. “Nobody does anything by him or herself that has any lasting meaning,” he explains.

Branch has always applied this attitude in his dealings with staff members as well, says Martin. As dean, he always encouraged people to come to his office to talk to him about anything, anytime, she says. “When I think of Charlie, I think of a person who is dedicated and always here. He is not afraid to take on conflict and deal with issues that come up, and he does that in a positive manner. He brought a lot of openness to Metro State.”

Plus, he inspired her and others with his work ethic. “He’s the type of person who would be in here at 6a.m. and get a couple hours of work done before we even got here. And, he really worked hard to give students great customer service.”
Though he only teaches one class at Metro now, Branch hopes to work in some capacity for the institution as long as he can.

“I still feel a part of Metro,” he says, “and I will until my last breath.”

This is the first in a series of monthly articles about retired faculty.

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Monday, March 15, 2010

Win a Ring Contest Winners!

More than 120 people entered our Win a Ring Contest on Facebook in the last three weeks. It was a tight race. There were so many creative, inspiring, and/or fun entries. We chose the top ten most voted on entries, plus a couple additional entries that didn't garner votes, but that the Office of Alumni Relations thought were excellent. We ended up with these top three:

Grand Prize Ring: "Metro is my Band of Gold," by Cameron Clemmer

Second Prize $150 Gift Certificate to Auraria Campus Bookstore:
"A Breath of Fresh Air," by Rachel Bernath

Third Prize $75 Gift Certificate to Auraria Campus Bookstore:
"My Inspiration," by Dawn Gilbert

These other seven were among the top ten:
***Note: If you are one of these winners, please come to the Office of Alumni Relations to get your gift bags. We are at 1059 9th Street Park (two buildings down from Einsteins)***
"Lifelong Learner!" by Sherill Sullivan
"It’s taken me 29 years to graduate!" by Nanci Daquino
"Art Through Movement," by Derik DaSilva
"A Proud Alum," by Thomas Wilson
"Can’t stop me!" by Alida Britt
"A Roadrunner Thanks You," by Steve McBride

And this one deserves a special mention for being so inspiring: “Fight for Life,” by Michael Korsen

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Friday, March 12, 2010

The Hidden Job Market: What is it, and how can it help you find a job?

What's the Hidden Job Market? It's only the place where 80% of jobs are "hidden," i.e. not publicized on job boards or websites. So, how do you find out about them if they are hidden? Read on by clicking here.

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Metro State to play St. Cloud in quarterfinals; Fans can now receive text message updates on Roadrunner games

Metro State fans can now receive free text message alerts on Roadrunner athletics (standard rates apply, depending on your service plan). Subscribers will receive scores, news and schedule changes the minute they occur. To sign up, click on the button on the right side of the Metro State Athletics homepage or click this link. Follow the simple steps to receive alerts on the Roadrunner teams you would like updates from.

Metro State will play St. Cloud State (Minn.) in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Central Region Tournament on Saturday at 8:30 p.m. (CDT) in Mankato, Minn. It is the 13th time in the past 14 years that Metro State has qualified for the NCAA Tournament, the most of any Division II school during that time. For more info, click here.

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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Metro Center for Urban Connections

I just discovered that the Metropolitan State College of Denver's Center for Urban Connections has a blog. Check it out here.

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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Upcoming articles

Check out the blog and Office of Alumni Relations e-newsletter later this week for our latest articles. Our weekly alumni profile highlights the efforts of Juanis K. Lual, the founder of a nonprofit that seeks to bring sustainable assistance to his native country of Sudan.

As well, we have our first "Where are they now" article on retired faculty members. We will have a written article, still photos, and some recorded Q&As with Charles Branch, a long-time professor of Human Services.

Finally, we are publishing the third in our series of how social media use can help you get a job. Entitled, “Creating Google Juice: How to Get Your Message Out.”

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Monday, March 8, 2010

Recap of some of the new content on the Alumni & Friends Blog

I've been busy writing fresh content for this blog and the Alumni & Friends job blog, and I thought I'd offer a recap of some of the more frequently trafficked articles...

Job-related articles
The Rise of the Citizen Journalist: Blogging 101. Click here.

Personal Brand (aka Your Brand Plan): Marketing yourself may be the key to finding a job during hard times. Click here to read full article.

Read about Common Interview Questions Job Seekers Should be Aware Of by clicking here.

Click here to find out How to Use The Internet in Your Job Search, including information about how "most companies use key word scanning software when reviewing resumes."

Alumni Profiles

Read about alumnus Eric Peterson and his new business, Cruise Planners, click here.

Check out where alumnus Jonathan Stalls is going on his walk across America and why he is raising funds for microfinance nonprofit KIVA. Click here.

Other News
To read about the successful Win A Ring contest on Facebook, sponsored by Jostens and the Office of Alumni Relations, click here.

Get the lowdown on the Rachel B. Noel event and to check out photos by clicking here.

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Friday, March 5, 2010

Alumnus Jonathon Stalls Walks Across America for KIVA

Remember Forest Gump, long hair strewn about as he ran and ran across America. When asked why, he responded: “When I had to go, you know, I went.” Recent Metropolitan State College of Denver Alumnus Jonathon Stalls (Independent study ’09) is going on foot across America this year, too—walking from the East to the West coast, in fact. But he’s not doing it just ‘cuz. Stalls is on a mission. He’s raising funds for the nonprofit, microfinance organization, KIVA. Plus, it’s something he just had to do.

“I sat with myself on my birthday prior to graduating, and I said to myself: ‘this is something I would love to do. I don’t know when, but I’m going to do this.’” Now, just six months later he’s on his way. He left Monday, March 1, and plans to travel well over 5,000 miles. He’s using the southern portion of the American Discovery Trail (ADT) as “a tool in carving a route for this trip.” He plans to reach the heart of the Rocky Mountains by July and so will have to take some shortcuts. His final destination is California.

The seed for this trip, he said, was planted on a visit to Europe. “I interacted with all kinds of on-foot travelers in hostels. The freedom and flexibility of their mobility and travel was this new thing for me. I recognized I was very jealous of a life like that.” Then he came back to the States and “stumbled” across Peter Jenkins’ book, “A Walk Across America,” and he met a guy in a coffee shop late one night who further influenced him.

“He sat next to me and started talking about how he was walking across the country and was on the last leg,” recalled Stalls. “The stories that came out of his mouth paralyzed me.” Soon after that night, Stalls took an extended trip to Honduras, where he “bounced around on chicken busses.” That cemented things for him, and he began to check out weather patterns and routes across the United States.

However, the trip planning couldn’t be complete until he figured out one more thing. He wanted to give back somehow. While taking a social entrepreneurship class at Metro State, he learned about the organization KIVA, which offered microfinance as a solution to poverty.

“I went online, researched KIVA and just fell in love with how they organized people to get involved in microfinance,” Stalls explained. He also liked how they “met our growing online social capacity.” KIVA utilizes social media platforms—Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter—to cultivate an online community that syncs with their interests. Stalls is taking a Blackberry with him so that he can do regular updates on the walks, the people he meets, and anything else he’s thinking about. Though he’s only been walking less than a week, his social media efforts are already paying off. He has already raised three-quarters of the $12,000 that he needs to make the trip happen, and he has more than 500 Facebook friends. He hopes this translates to real-world interactions with people.

He is looking for people to host him along the way, to walk with him on highways or through the mountains, and for whom he can do presentations and facilitate inspirational talks about microfinance.

“Join me on this trip,” he says. “Put on a pack and take in your environment. Slow down a bit. I’m really looking forward to meeting and connecting with people.”

For more information, please visit Stalls’ website. As well, the Metro State Office of Alumni Relations will regularly keep track of Jonathon in our “Where’s Jonathon” updates. And we are spending a day walking with him in the Colorado mountains as he passes through. We encourage other alumni and students to join us on this journey. Please contact Brian Ferguson at fergusob @ if you are a student or alumnus who wants to walk with KIVA.

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Win a Ring Contest Going strong with 80 entries. One week to go

Heartwarming, funny, sincere, creative... these words aptly describe the colorful array of entries submitted to the Metropolitan State College of Denver's Office of Alumni Relations Win a Ring Contest. Held on Facebook, this contest has more than doubled the number of fans on the Facebook Fanpage and has inspired nearly 80 entries to the contest. The contest ends on Sunday, March 14. Anyone can vote on entries, and the top ten most voted on entries will be included in the final vote, to be officiated by the Office of Alumni Relations staff. Three prizes are being offered: First: an official Metro State College of Denver Ring worth $300; Second: $150 gift certificate to the Auraria Campus Bookstore; Third: $75 gift certificate to the bookstore.

Entries have run the gamut. Nicole Barrientos exemplifies entries focusing on the question, "Why do you love Metro State." She said she's having Metro "withdrawals. Every day I wear my Metro State hoodie to display my Metro State Roadrunner pride! I will forever cherish my experiences I had while a student at Metro State!" She submitted various photos, including this one of a cake imprinted with her name and the Metro State logo.

Hedy Anselman's "Metro, my brain pane" melds creativity with this same pride. She wrote, "Metro State College has opened the window of my mind not only to the future, but to a new awareness and outlook into the world ... I’ve shared in things such as the development of a pre-school for autistic kids in China to Indigenous medicine in South America. I am so proud to be a student at Metro State College, my brain-pane."

And Wendy Ponns' and Alid Britt's entries bring in a bit of humor. Ponn wrote: "I smell my degree! It is so close! 82 days and a wake up and I am a Metro Alumnus!" While Britt supplied a photo of her leaping in the air on campus (photo at top of article).

Some of the more creative entries include, "Metro a Mouthful," by Kelly Keefe, and this poem by Angela Barsotti: Magnificent

Oh, for my days as a student on Auraria Campus at the college that to adults is geared.
The fun! The people! The classes! The struggle! The books, dog-eared.
To mark my achievement, a white-gold ring with onyx, lovingly worn till it disappeared.
The days have passed; my ring is gone.
Forever, the years at MSCD, revered

To read all the entries and see more photos, visit the Contest Home Page. Only people on Facebook can enter, but anyone can vote.

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Thursday, March 4, 2010

Metro State College of Denver Alumni & Friends launches Job Blog

Have an interview and want to know what to expect? Check out the new Metro State College of Denver Alumni & Friends Job Blog for a list of common interview questions, as well as resources to help you find your job and various articles that will help you in your job search.

As a result of a LinkedIn discussion the Office of Alumni Relations had with alums, we contacted the Office of Career Services to find out how we could better support you. In addition to offering other services, we created a Job Blog, to be administered by both offices.

This job blog will include original articles written by the Office of Career Services and myself (Lizzy Scully, Social Engagement Manager), as well as a plethora of resources to help you find a job. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions regarding the content of this job blog and what you would like to see, please email me at escully @, or contact me via our various social media sites.

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