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UN I V E R S I T Y O F D E N V E R 0 6 . 2 0 0 9


• Korbel ranking
• Budding scientists
• Groff goes to D.C.
• French bistro
• Energy sleuths
• Mathematical art

After this issue,

Community News will
no longer be available
in a print format.
Beginning July 1, the
monthly newsletter
Barry Gutierrez

will be published
online only. Go to

Graduation Glee for
daily news; click on
“Community News”
University of Denver graduate Don Tousaint smiles at his family during to read, download or
e-mail a PDF version
the May 16 Sturm College of Law graduation ceremony in Magness Arena. of the newsletter. An
archive of back issues
Tousaint was among the 292 new lawyers who joined an estimated 12,000 is available online as
well. Please e-mail
living DU law alumni. Terrance Carroll (JD ’05), speaker of the Colorado House us at
or write to us —
of Representatives, told the new class of graduates that although they enter
Community News, 2199
the professional world at a time of great challenge and uncertainty, it will be S. University Blvd.,
Denver, CO 80208 —
up to them to carry on and ensure that everyone gets a fair chance. Read more to let us know what
you think of the
Commencement coverage at change.
DU law professor Erik Bluemel dies in
bicycle accident Relay
DU’s Sturm College of Law community
for life
is mourning the loss of Assistant Professor Erik
Bluemel, who died May 6 from injuries suffered in
a bicycle accident.
More than 270
Bluemel came to DU last fall for the 2008–09 students and other community
academic year. He taught courses in administrative,
environmental and indigenous peoples law. members raised just over $20,000
His research interests included environmental
federalism, climate governance, international for the American Cancer Society
administrative law, and environmental rights.
Bluemel held a law degree from New York in DU’s fifth annual Relay for
University, a master’s of law from Georgetown
University Law Center, and a bachelor’s degree in
Life event May 8–9. During the
political economy from the University of California-
Berkeley. Before coming to DU, he clerked for
12-hour event, participants walked
Judge Barefoot Sanders in the Northern District of to celebrate cancer survivors
Texas and Judge Kermit Edward Bye in the Eighth
Circuit Court of Appeals. He also served as a and honor those the disease has
staff attorney and teaching fellow at Georgetown University Law Center’s Institute for Public
Representation. claimed. Every year, more than 3.5
“We have all lost a wonderful colleague, teacher and friend,” says Law Dean José (Beto)
Juárez Jr. “I know that the College of Law community will continue to show their support for million people participate in Relay
Erik’s family as we go through this unimaginable period. Please keep Erik’s family in your thoughts
and prayers. Erik’s family and parents have drawn from the great support and love of the College
for Life events across the country.
of Law community.”
The Denver Police Department reports that Bluemel was involved in a bicycle accident
shortly after midnight on Tuesday, May 5, along 15th Street in Denver’s Lower Downtown

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district. A memorial service for Bluemel was held May 30 in Arcadia, Calif. Donations in his UN I V E R S I T Y O F D E N V E R

memory can be made to Rails To Trails Conservatory ( or Keystone

Conservation ( w w w. d u . e d u / t o d a y
—Chase Squires Volume 32, Number 9

Korbel School ranked 12th in the world, survey says

Vice Chancellor for University
Carol Farnsworth
A DU master’s program in the Josef Korbel School of International Studies was recently Publications Director
ranked 12th in the world. Chelsey Baker-Hauck (BA ’96)
Foreign Policy magazine released a survey in its March–April issue that ranked Korbel’s Managing Editor
Kathryn Mayer (BA ’07)
professional master’s program among the top 20 PhD, master’s and undergraduate programs.
“While I am pleased to have the Josef Korbel School ranked among the world’s top 15 and Art Director
Craig Korn, VeggieGraphics
among the top four west of the Boston-New York-D.C. corridor, I will never be satisfied until
we are number one,” says Tom Farer, dean of the Korbel School.
In the master’s listing, the Korbel School tied for 12th with Yale University, the Massachusetts Community News is published monthly — except
July, August and December — by the University
Institute of Technology and University of California-San Diego. of Denver, University Communications, 2199 S.
University Blvd., Denver, CO 80208. The University
The Korbel School ranked ahead of schools such as Stanford University and the University of Denver is an EEO/AA institution. Periodicals
of Pittsburgh. postage paid in USPS #015-902 at Denver, CO.
Postmaster: Send address changes to Community News,
“For the first time, the Foreign Policy survey asked respondents to rank all of the international University of Denver, University Advancement,
studies master’s programs in the world. Previously, only U.S. schools had been ranked,” says 2190 E. Asbury Ave., Denver, CO 80208.

Farer. “Moreover, I am convinced that in terms of the intrinsic quality of the professional education
we provide, an education intensely responsive to individual needs and passions, and in terms of
the competitiveness of our graduates, we have few equals.” Contact Community News at 303-871-4312
The biennial survey was conducted by researchers at the College of William and Mary in or
Williamsburg, Va.
—Laura Hathaway Printed on 10% PCW recycled paper

Blockbuster roles

Wayne Armstrong
credits, signals Noodles
and Company’s DU
neighborhood debut
Broomfield-based Noodles & Com-
pany is preparing to open a new restau-
rant in an East Evans Avenue location
previously occupied by a Blockbuster
video store.
Blockbuster stopped renting DVDs
and other items on April 20. The
departure clears the way for Noodles
to finalize lease arrangements and to see
about renovations to the property.
“We’re moving forward with it,” says
Matt Wagner, communications manager
for Noodles. “As far as I know, we are
looking at an opening date somewhere
between the middle of September to the
middle of November.”
The move would be part of a flurry
of Noodles restaurant openings, some 20
of which are expected to begin operations
in 2009, Wagner said. Presently, the
chain has 36 stores in Colorado and 207 Professor Buck Sanford and students measure tree buds as part of Project Budburst, a real-life probe into
global warming.
“This is one of our most anticipated
sites for 2009. And we’re not looking to When homework isn’t homework, it’s research
slow down in 2010,” Wagner says. “We’re
one of the shining stars of these unique When first-year DU science students signed up for Professor Buck Sanford’s newest class, they
economic times.” really signed up for something bigger: a real-life probe into global warming.
Among reasons for the company’s For their class lab work, students measured tree buds as leaves emerged this spring. Then they
success was sewing up credit before the uploaded weekly findings into global databases being assembled for scientists to study today and for
recession hit, Wagner says. decades into the future.
The new Noodles restaurant at “These measurements really do matter,” Sanford warned his students as they prepared for
1737 E. Evans Ave. will be similar to the their first day of data collection. “The data you collect will be studied by a global community of
company’s other stores, Wagner says. scientists, a community that you are now part of.”
The restaurant boasts “fresh, wholesome, Sanford says scientists around the world are studying records of bud development to see if
balanced, fast” Asian, American and global warming is affecting how early tree leaves emerge. With an army of 180 students taking
Mediterranean dishes for about six or his labs in the spring quarter, and DU’s collection of trees in the campus-wide arboretum, the
seven dollars. University has an opportunity to deliver a valuable snapshot of activity in Denver every spring.
Also on the drawing board is a 15–20 Every tree on campus is tagged with a number, so students in future generations can find the
person outdoor patio on the east side of exact same tree today’s students are studying. Each student selected a bud on a tree and tagged the
the building. The patio has been in place area so the same bud could be revisited. Then, for the next five weeks, students measured their
since the location operated as Chesapeake selected bud three times a week and charted its growth as a leaf emerged and started to grow.
Bagel in 1996, but permission to use Students joined in a campaign called Project BudBurst, which gathers data in a scientific field
it ended when the bagel store left. On called phenology — the study of the influence of climate on annual natural events, such as plant
April 7, the Denver Board of Adjustment budding and bird migration. They registered on a Web site and uploaded their data, which was then
granted a variance to property owner made available to scientists around the world. Sanford says some of the earliest reliable records
Robert Wiss for an awning, lighting and of plant cycles dates back to 700 AD, data carefully collected year after year for centuries on the
seating appropriate to outdoor dining. Japanese cherry tree cycles.
The approval removed an obstacle to Sanford says his class didn’t push any one theory of global warming. Rather, it tested the
Noodles leasing the premises. hypothesis that something is altering the life cycle of plants around the world.
—Richard Chapman —Chase Squires

Groff takes on job in Obama administration
Peter Groff’s final days as president of the Colorado state senate were spent working on a flurry
of last-minute bills and preparing for his move to Washington, D.C.
At the same time, the executive director of DU’s Center for New Politics and Policy — formerly
the Center for African American Policy — also wrapped up his teaching commitments in the University’s
Institute for Public Policy Studies.
On April 10, President Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan appointed Groff director of
faith-based and community initiatives in the U.S. Department of Education. He began work May 11,
just five days after the end of the annual four-month gathering of state legislators.

“I came to DU 12 years ago not really knowing what Chancellor Ritchie had in mind, but the
center really evolved over time,” says Groff. “I’ll really miss the classroom because I enjoyed the
interaction with students.”
 The center’s evolution included the launch of the Web site.
In addition, Groff and center co-director Charles Ellison — based in Washington, D.C. — began the
Groff/Ellison political report. The two also collaborate on a political radio series on Sirius/XM satellite
The Center for New Politics and Policy will be suspended until Groff returns from Washington,
D.C., although he readily admits he doesn’t know when that will be. “I’ll be there at least three-and-
a-half years,” says Groff noting that the timing coincides with the end of the president’s first term.
In the Department of Education, Groff will help empower faith-based and community groups,
enlisting them in support of the department’s mission to ensure equal access to education and to promote educational excellence.
Groff moved to Washington immediately after the state legislature ended its work.
Groff was appointed Colorado’s sixth African-American state senator in February 2003 and was elected to a full term on Nov. 2, 2004. In
January 2005, he was elected the body’s first African-American president pro tem. He was the third African-American in the nation’s history to
hold the post of state senate president. Groff began his career in state politics after being elected to the Colorado House of Representatives in
—Jim Berscheidt

Alumnus rolls up burritos and rolls out nutrition and value

In an industry where success is measured by inches in the grocery-store freezer aisle, entre-
preneur Phil Anson (BA communications ’00) has managed to increase his company’s dimensions
without sacrificing quality.
Last year, Phil’s Fresh Foods, Anson’s Boulder-based burrito company, increased its revenues
by 33 percent — doing $1.6 million in sales — and received $96,000 from the Whole Foods Local
Producer Loan Program.
The loan will help Anson meet his 2009 goals and expand the company’s manufacturing facil-
ity to 5,000 square feet.
But while Anson wants Phil’s Fresh Foods to become the leading burrito manufacturing com-
pany in the country, he also wants the frozen fare to remain nutritional and affordable.
“We want to redefine the burrito category. That means bridging the gap between made-from-scratch food and large-scale food manufactur-
ing,” says Anson.
Phil’s Fresh Food makes its burritos with natural ingredients — sourced from local vendors when possible — and assembles them by hand.
The most popular of the 10 varieties, which sell for about $2.50, include chicken red chili, veggie fajita and chorizo sausage breakfast.
Like his burritos, Anson’s business began simply.
Anson hoped to start a career as a photojournalist after college but instead found himself working nights at a restaurant in Denver while living
in Eldorado Springs, Colo. Bored with that routine Anson decided to try funding his modest lifestyle by selling handmade burritos to fellow rock
Although these initial attempts failed, Anson landed his first wholesale account with the Eldorado Corner Market. Now, eight years after the
idea was born, Phil’s Fresh Foods sells burritos in 1,500 mostly natural food stores across the country and in the cafeterias of Jefferson County
and Boulder Valley school districts.
“Phil is an operations genius,” says Justin Gold, owner of Justin’s Nut Butter, another Boulder-based natural food company. “He can pull logisti-
cal challenges together and make them seem easy because he is an amazing listener and he has an ability to ask the right questions.”
This logistical mastery has enabled Anson to stay true to his original intent even as he endeavors to increase production.
“The focus of our business is made-from-scratch cooking, so we pay a lot of attention to detail,” says Anson. “I want to return some integrity
to the frozen food section.”
—Samantha Stewart

Voila Vert!
Alums go together like wine and cheese in new Wash Park bistro

I t may have taken a jaunt across the

Atlantic Ocean for Noah Stephens
(BA art history ’05) and Emily Welch
(BA international studies ’06) to cross
paths, but when they did, the alums
formed a friendship over food.
The two met in Paris after
they graduated from DU. Both were
attending culinary school. After they
finished, they returned home —
Stephens to Minnesota and Welch
to San Francisco — to work at
But Stephens wanted to bring
European-style cuisine to the Denver
area. He bought a space in the West
Washington Park area, oversaw
construction for eight months, went
antiquing every day for a month
to create the right atmosphere and
asked Welch to join in the project.
Voila! Vert Kitchen, located at
704 S. Pearl St., opened in February
With just 13 seats and about
750 square feet, the location is small
but ideal, the owners say.
Wayne Armstrong

“We really wanted to be a part of

this community,” Stephens says. It’s
fairly easy to see the French influence
of the shop. The décor evokes a small Parisian bistro and their food is “most definitely” influenced by traditional French cuisine, they say.
Their sandwich choices are a bit out of the box: Their turkey sandwich (their most popular item) has figs, chevre and pine nuts; a skirt steak
sandwich includes arugula and walnut mustard; and a lemon tuna confit features albacore, chervil, cucumber and Greek yogurt. Their personal
favorite, they say, is the tortilla Española, a classic Spanish dish.
“We’re still working on getting that recipe as authentic as possible,” Welch says.
Stephens handles day-to-day operations while Welch is in charge of ordering the food. Vert has just one other employee, so most of the
work rests on the pair’s shoulders.
Hours are 9 a.m.–6 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday.
“It’s all been fun,” Stephens says, adding that he’s forgotten all about the hard parts of managing a business. “When a customer’s plate
comes back completely clean, that’s when I’m happiest.”
A new food business in a slow economy? Their survival lies in their lunch specialty, they say.
“With the economy the way it is now, it’s better to spend $15 at lunch for a good meal than an expensive dinner,” Welch says. A gourmet
sandwich in a European atmosphere makes it more of an experience and less like a rushed lunch, she says.
Sandwiches top out at $10 (and average around $9); salads, soups and sides are anywhere from $3–$9.
Vert, which means green in French, also signals their desire to keep their business organic.
“You have to put love in your food,” Stephens explains. For them, love means using fresh, local, organic food.
“It’s better for the environment,” Welch adds. “It’s important to me. I don’t like to eat chemicals in my food.”
—Kathryn Mayer

Energy efficiency
Campus energy sleuths shed light on saving power

W hen it comes to sleuthing out clever ways to save electricity in a giant building, Allen Wilson is every bit the detective Sam Spade is.
Maybe better.
Spade, the hero of Dashiell Hammett’s famous novel The Maltese Falcon, unraveled the riddle of the black bird. Wilson unraveled the
lighting systems in Hamilton gym, Gates Fieldhouse and Joy Burns Arena and saved the University more than $121,000 a year in power
Wilson, director of building services, also helped dent power costs at Ritchie by replacing the base beneath the Joy Burns ice arena with
concrete, which takes less power to freeze. He also refitted the arena’s lights with
energy-efficient bulbs.
Now he’s working on a way to rig Magness Arena so its high-wattage bulbs
won’t have to remain lit while crews are cleaning the arena or converting it to
other uses. It’s one more way to save money and reduce carbon emissions.
It isn’t always easy.
The Ritchie Center, for example, is a 440,000-square-foot recreation and
sports showcase that’s also DU’s third-biggest energy gobbler. Keeping it humming
costs around $1.1 million a year.
“You’ve got two sheets of ice and 750,000 gallons of water heated to 81
degrees in the pool,” Wilson says. “Everything we do is just trying to reduce the
consumption already programmed into the building.”
So every bit of energy savings counts. Take Hamilton Gymnasium, for
example. Until the lighting was refitted, the facility was illuminated by 116
individual 1,000-watt metal halides bouncing light off the ceiling about 20 hours
a day.
The hot lights blazed even when the gym wasn’t in use, in part because halide
lights take about 30 minutes to cool down before they can be turned back on.
So Wilson and campus energy director Tom McGee figured out how to get the
same illumination from fixtures with high-efficiency T5 fluorescent lights. The
fluorescents had plenty of light for athletics and TV broadcasts, used less power,
and turned on and off with a flick. They also set the lights at half-strength for all
uses except games and installed infrared motion detectors. If there’s no activity
on a court for 10 minutes, the lights turn off. Walk onto the court and the lights
return, no power-up required.

“We halved [energy use] on the initial install,” Wilson says, “then we halved it
again because we’re running only half-light most of the time.”
The old halide bulbs also generated heat. When they went away so did the
heat, meaning the building’s cooling system didn’t have to work as hard.
Completion of DU’s new soccer stadium, conditioning complex and art annex will add to the mechanical load, Wilson and McGee
concede. And the art annex has a good amount of interior air space that will need to be heated and cooled.
That keeps Wilson at the drawing board, seeking out new ways to conserve power. Cutting back temperatures at night or zoning areas
of buildings might work, he suggests. Or maybe a geothermal system, which pumps heat from the earth into buildings in winter and heat
from the buildings into the ground in summer.
“Geothermal has some merit,” he says, “but it takes a lot of space.”
Solar is hot right now, he adds, but it won’t catch on until the systems can provide enough benefit to justify their cost, especially for
tax-exempt entities like DU.
Wind is nifty, McGee says, but fickle.
Which leaves the energy detectives quietly hunting for ways to save watts by asking a lot of questions. Magness Arena and El Pomar
pool are the next targets.
“The answer for our campus,” Wilson points out, “is to do a little bit of a lot of things.”
—Richard Chapman

Mathematical art
It all adds up to art for DU math professor

S ometimes a mathematical formula can be so perfect, so elegant, those who understand it might call
it art. Other times, a mathematical formula actually creates art.
DU mathematics professor Stan Gudder (pictured) has seen the beauty in math since the 1960s,
plugging instructions and formulas into graphics programs to create artwork of startling beauty. His
work reflects an otherworldly blend of bright colors, angular lines and perfect arches and curves — all
created by variables plugged into complex instructions.
“I really can’t draw, but it is art,” Gudder says. “Instead of a brush, I use a computer.”
While he doesn’t call himself an artist, his work says otherwise. A gallery in his Denver home is filled
with mind-bending images, and it’s hard to imagine each started with a series of numbers and xs and ys
that a computer interprets.
“I’m usually surprised at what I see once we put all those into the computer,” he says. “Sometimes, I
don’t like it. But I’m always interested.”
Gudder got his artistic start in the 1960s, when his work required stacks of punch cards to enter a
program that instructed a room-sized computer to move a stylus to create images. Today, he uses a large, commercial printer hooked to a
home computer in his basement gallery. It’s been a lifelong passion, even leading him to pen a book on the topic in the 1970s.
Gudder’s first-year seminar class, Mathematical Art, shows
students how mathematical instructions that start out as
“Shadowplot 3D (Sin [x2] Cos [y2] , (x, -2, 2) …” create a strange,
brightly colored image on a computer screen.
First-year communications major Jamie D’Angelo of Denver
seems a quick study, manipulating Gudder’s equations on her
computer screen, deftly creating new images by tweaking variables
and substituting values into formulas.
“It’s not exactly what I had thought it would be,” D’Angelo says.
“But I’m remembering a lot of math that I haven’t done in years, and
that’s a good thing.” Gudder, who offers the seminar to non-math
majors, says the trick is to teach a math course without making it
seem like a math course.
Gary Greenfield, a professor of computer science and
mathematics at the University of Richmond, edits the Journal of
Mathematics and the Arts. He says the combination of math and art
is a complicated marriage viewed differently by artists. As he points
out, some use mathematics to create art, and some find artistic
inspiration in mathematics. It’s all about finding a creative outlet.
“Regardless of how you categorize it, or which kinds of art or
artists are included,” Greenfield says, “in my opinion the reason
the imagery exhibited often has such widespread public appeal —
even though it is often disdained or ignored by the established art
culture — is because we humans are instinctively drawn to order,
symmetry, regularity, geometry, pattern, etc.”
“We see mathematics all around us, even in nature,” Gudder
says. “Perhaps that’s why some of my art looks like it reflects a
natural scene. You just have to look for it.”
—Chase Squires


Arts Alum gets his diploma 58 years late

6 International Youth Ballet’s Peter Pan. Lloyd Hightower isn’t
12:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Gates Concert the typical graduate you’d
Hall. Additional performances June 7 at see representing the Class
12:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. $21.
of 2009.
12 Louder than Words Dance Theatre: For one, he’s 87. Plus,
“Tensegrity.” 8 p.m. Byron Theatre. Hightower finished his DU
Additional performance June 13 at 8 p.m.
business degree in 1951.
But 58 years later, High-
15 Heart and Soul Benefit Concert tower finally has a diploma to
Wayne Armstrong

featuring Acoustic Eidolon and Fiesta

prove it.
Colorado Dance Company. 7 p.m.
Gates Concert Hall. $30. Hightower received the
diploma during a ceremony
21 Lamont Summer Pre-College at his Denver home on May 16. Daniels College of Business Professor Barbara Kreis-
Academy. Through July 5. Visit www. for man presented Hightower his diploma in front of his cheering family.
information or contact cglen@indiana. Hightower, though, was shocked. The whole thing was a surprise.
edu. “It bloomed from a little family gathering but turned into a big family reunion,”
25 Rocky Mountain Conservatory daughter Patty Matson says, adding that her father thought it was a gathering to cel-
Theatre’s Peter Pan. Noon and ebrate his 87th birthday. Hightower’s children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren
6 p.m. Margery Reed Hall Little Theatre. flew in from across the country to watch him receive the diploma.
Additional performances June 26 at noon Hightower attended DU on the GI Bill after he returned home from World War II.
and 6 p.m. and June 27 at noon and But in February 1951, he was called up as a pilot for the Korean War, months short of
5 p.m. Visit for tickets
and information. graduation. He finished his finals with correspondence courses, “but I lost contact with
them, and they lost contact with me, so I never got my degree.”
Until now.
Exhibits “Everybody hummed ‘Pomp and Circumstance’ as I walked out to the backyard,
1 2009 BFA Exhibition. Runs through June attired in my doctoral cap and gown,” Kreisman says. “Lloyd just stood there, in front of
6. Myhren Gallery. Free. Gallery hours: 8 about 25 people, and was totally stunned. We had him slip into the gown, then I draped
a.m.–6 p.m. Monday–Friday. the hood over his shoulders and everybody clapped.”
Kari Lennartson. Through June 27. After receiving a matted and framed diploma — a BS in business management —
Hirschfeld Gallery, Chambers Center. Hightower took off his cap and tossed it in the air.
Free. Gallery hours: 8 a.m.–6 p.m. “It was the biggest surprise of my life,” Hightower says.
Monday–Friday. The fact that he never received a physical diploma has never been lost on him.
“He really wanted a diploma,” Matson says (pictured hugging her father). “He
Around Campus mentioned it all the time.” Enough times that Matson decided it needed to happen, so
she called DU early this year and got the diploma a couple months ago.
1 Justice and Peace Praxis: Pedagogy
of Privilege. 9 a.m. Also June 2. $25. Now, though, the “family joke” is over, Hightower says.
Contact Phil Campbell at 303-765-3116 “When I moved back to Denver [from Missouri] with my wife in 1977, DU would
or send me these publications in the mail, or cards asking about donations. I thought, ‘They
5 Graduate Commencement Ceremony. can find me for donations and all that, but not for my degree,’” he laughs.
5 p.m. Magness Arena. He’s probably prouder than most graduates this year. “He was absolutely thrilled,”
Matson says.
6 Undergraduate Commencement
Ceremony. 10 a.m. Magness Arena. “I’m very grateful for the education I received, and I got to expand on my knowl-
edge of aviation,” says Hightower, a retired pilot.
10 Disney Keys to Excellence Program. “It only took me about 60 years to get my degree,” he says. “But I have it.”
For information and to register, visit www.
—Kathryn Mayer