A message from Interim Dean Laura Goodwin

A message from Interim Dean Laura Goodwin

The close of an academic year brings celebrations of accomplishments and a time to reflect on the past academic year. This year in CAM has seen lots of exciting activities and events, as well as many much-deserved honors for the faculty and students.  A few highlights include: 

  • Rian Kerrane has been invited to participate in the 7th International Conference on Contemporary Cast Iron Art in Latvia this June.  She will be conducting a Ceramic Shell Workshops at the Alainis Studio, in Riga, Latvia, Saturday, June 14th – Wednesday, June 18th. Kerrane's workshop will focus on the ceramic shell process for lost-wax casting in iron.
  • This April, MIX and Lark, two CU Denver a cappella groups, won 1st and 2nd place respectively at the Mile High Vocal Jam.
  • In February, former CU Denver College of Arts & Media student Jeff Gipson helped team Disney score an Oscar for Frozen, a 3D computer-animated musical fantasy-comedy loosely based on Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale, “The Snow Queen.” Jeff studied digital animation at CU Denver.
  • Jessica McGaugh's film "Imagining The Law" which documents public art at the Colorado Judicial Center, was aired on Rocky Mountain PBS in February 2014.
  • In late January, Mix traveled to London to open for the Grammy-award-winning Swingle Singers at the prestigious London A Cappella Festival. The CU Denver singers received a personal invitation directly from the world-renowned singers themselves.
  • Chris Daniels, Assistant Professor (CT) in the Music and Entertainment Industry Studies Department, was inducted into the Colorado Music Hall of Fame in November, 2013.
  • Award-winning documentary filmmaker and Michigan native Michelle Bauer Carpenter returned to Michigan to present and screen her new short documentary Driven to Ride in the East Lansing Film Festival, November 2013. Driven To Ride was also an "Official Selection" of the American Documentary Film Festival.
  • CU Denver’s Assistant Professor Digital Design's Bryan Leister and Associate Professor Quintin Gonzalez's motion-based art was displayed on the giant LED screen at 14th and Champa for The Denver Downtown Theatre District and Denver Digerati's Friday Flash No.5, Septermber 2013.

Happy Retirement!  This week we say goodbye to our dear friend and colleague, Carol Bloom, on Friday, May 16th, from 2-4pm in Arts 278. Please join us to celebrate her 27 years as an actor and educator and thank her for her tireless service to CU Denver.

I want to take this opportunity to wish all of our 2014 graduates our very best wishes as you embark on your next adventures. Please stay in touch!  We want to hear about your accomplishments, plans for the future, and reflective thoughts and suggestions related to your experiences in our programs.  And I also extend a heartfelt “thank you” to all the faculty and staff for the amazing opportunity I had to work with you these past two years.  I have been constantly impressed by your talents and accomplishments, your energy and passions for your work, and your dedication to our students and the university.  It has been a great pleasure to get to know you and to be part of your college – and I will treasure my memories of times spent with you. May you all continue to grow and flourish under new leadership!

With warm regards,


86 views | Issue: May 12, 2014 | Archive: Letters from the Dean

CAM News

DAC finishes their latest animated short, "I Need My Monster."

CU Denver students pursuing their BFA with the Digital Animation Center have completed their latest short film, I Need My Monster, based on the children's book of the same name. The film is capstone project for the three-year curriculum, explains Area Head Howard Cook. "The job is to create a high-production value short film in about 22 months," he says. This year, that's culminating in the eight-minute film, which has about 12,000 frames in all, at a rate of 24 per second.

DAC, part of the College of Arts & Media, is one of only three programs in the world that has students complete a three-semester capstone film project. It's because of that experience that many DAC graduates are working as artists in studios such as PIXAR, Disney, LucasFilm, and Dreamworks. DAC graduates also have worked on high-rated video games and TV programs. “The studios recognize the three-semester capstone,” Cook says. "They recognize that as being as close to real work as you can do and when these guys sit down in an interview and start talking, the guy or the woman on the other side of the table is going to know right away that they've been through a production."

The attention to real-world training makes the program successful for students. "We're somewhere between 60 and 70 percent of our students getting hired out of school within nine months," Cook says. "That's in a wide range of fields. We have kids working in forensics animation, medical animation, all the way to working Disney or Pixar or places like that."

182 Views | Issue: May 12, 2014 | Archive: News Archive

Rian Kerrane is exhibiting her work at the Arvada Center this summer.
Rian Kerrane is exhibiting her work at the Arvada Center this summer.

Unbound: Five Installations opens June 5 and runs through Aug 31.

The exhibition takes advantage of the center’s Main Gallery’s unique architecture and expansive space. Kerrane is one of five invited artists who created a one-of-a-kind, site-specific art installation.

Participating artists/installations include:

Nicole Banowetz - Erupture: My Microscopic Life-cycle
Katie Caron - Drosscapes
Sophia Dixon Dillo - Forming Light Installation
Rian Kerrane - Knitting Wallpaper
Laleh Mehran - Entropic Order

Opening Reception: Thursday, June 5, 2014, 6:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Free and open to the public

To schedule a free docent-led tour, please call 720-898-7255

124 Views | Issue: May 12, 2014 | Archive: News Archive


University of Colorado Denver to debut nine episode original series at Cinefest 2014

Sanction, shot and produced by the University of Colorado Denver, Film and Television Program, has reached its completion. The students in the program have gained experience and knowledge in all aspects of the production process. The webseries is a part of the course Producing Episodic Television. Sanction centers around two sisters, Monica and Arabella, as they move back home to care for their ailing mother. The girls struggle to confront their tumultuous past, their conflicting worldviews, and their changing ideas of reconciliation and family.

 “This is a series about a family triangle that revolves around two estranged sisters and their struggle to attain a lasting domestic peace under the shadow of their mother's terminal illness.”– Craig Volk, Faculty Advisor

“…The series is an interesting exploration into the matrices of female communication and family identity.” - Nikki Mahoney, Co-Creator/Produce

“We had an amazing group of students come together to make this series and I think that really shines through in the final product.”– Kevin Fournier, Line Producer 

From concept to post production, Sanction has been nine months in the making. It follows Monica and Arabella as they cope with their mother’s recent diagnosis and must try and come together to find the peace their mother has always wanted for her daughters.

Sanction will be shown at Cinefest on Thursday, May 15, 2014 at 6pm in Tivoli Theatre 12, Auraria Campus.

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JPB4GrQE9LU

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/sanctionwebseries

234 Views | Issue: May 12, 2014 | Archive: News Archive

Faculty Awards

Provost Nairn has announce CAM's faculty award winners April 24. This annual tradition is a chance to stop and recognize the excellent work that goes on at our university every day in the areas of teaching, research and creative activities as well as service.

Excellence in Service–

Paul Musso, Department of Music and Entertainment Industry Studies

Excellence in Teaching–

Erin Hackel, Department of Music and Entertainment Industry Studies

Excellence in Research and Creative Activities–

Michelle Carpenter, Department of Visual Arts

Faculty Development Grant Awards:

Rian Kerrane and Melissa Furness were awarded a Faculty Development Grant for their proposal “Laden interfacings, a collaborative installation” in the amount of $2,000.00.

David Liban was awarded a Faculty Development Grant for his proposal, “UFVA Conference Presentation” in the amount of $1,500.00.

Peter Stoltzman was was awarded a Faculty Development Grant for his proposal, “Technical and Curricular Consulting with DPS Piano Labs” in the amount of $2,000.00.

Travis Vermilye was was awarded a Faculty Development Grant for his proposal, “Sculpture for Surgeons" in the amount of $5,000.00.

Congratulations to the award winners!

89 Views | Issue: May 12, 2014 | Archive: News Archive

CAM Outstanding Seniors announced...

Adam Blair:  Theatre, Film & Video Production Outstanding Senior Spring 2014

From David Liban

Adam Blair has an active mind, a marvelous imagination and a lot of nerve. His academic work is unusually insightful, creative and wide-reaching, and done with genuine and deep feeling for the goals of mastering and understanding information and artistic tradition. One of his unique accomplishments is his film "Hipster, the Musical," a feature film that among other things required the most important qualities for an artist -- tremendous talent and extraordinary nerve. Adam Blair is a student (and person) of significant achievement and great promise.

Christopher Kimmel: Music & Entertainment Industry Studies Outstanding Senior Spring 2014

From Erin Hackel–

Chris had worked for only one semester in 9th Street Singers when I recognized his talent as a one-man rhythm section who needs no instrument. His sense of finding creativity within rhythm, and mostly, his incredible sense of style set him apart as one of the best beat boxer/vocal percussionists I have ever heard.  It wasn’t until he joined Mix that I found out he was equally as talented as a rapper and dancer. His stage presence as a drummer in the a cappella world is truly unique; he has garnered fans across the country, and while we were in London, Sara Brimer of the Swingle Singers turned to me as we listened to Mix perform and said: “He is an absolutely incredible vocal percussionist.” Tall praise from a singer in arguably, the best a cappella group in the world.

Chris’s work with Mix has been impeccable.  All Mix singers commit to three 3 hour rehearsals per week. That’s 8-11am, M/W/F with extra rehearsals called on weekends. Punctuality is a problem at that hour, but Chris is at every rehearsal first. Every single rehearsal, he arrives at 7:30am. It’s a point of pride for him.  He is also absolutely engaging, funny and ready to work every single rehearsal. I have never encountered any thing like the sense of maturity and commitment he has demonstrated from an undergraduate: it’s absolutely extraordinary.  His sense of professionalism extends to his creative work with the group. His original raps and dance breaks have brought down the house at both the Boston Sings a cappella competition and SoJam a cappella competition in North Carolina. He helped Mix win both those competitions, and also took home the prize for Best Vocal Percussionist at SoJam.

Chris was recently chosen by the Denver band Funkiphino (www.funkiphino.com) as their exclusive rap artist; this band gigs upward of 80 times per year in the Colorado area.  His GPA speaks for itself; he’s graduating summa cum laude from Recording Arts with all 155 credits from CU Denver. 

Angela Wing – Visual Arts Outstanding Senior Spring 2014

From Travis Vermilye

It has been my privilege to work with Angie over the last few years – to see her grow as a student, a designer, a leader, and an individual.  I will do my best to list her many achievements here.

  • She is a UHL student and a leader in that program as well as her chosen major.
  • She (nearly) single handedly resurrected the Digital Design Student Club, acting as president, encouraging involvement from her peers, and has successfully passed the torch to a new crop of students who are eagerly following her lead.
  • She has championed the Scientific Media Design track, playing many roles from student, advisor, recruiter, willing test subject, and leader to those following in her footsteps.
  • She has been active in research and creative work on multiple levels, applying for UROP grants two years in a row, conducting self-driven research studies on the use of comics in biology education, and exploring speculative design and behavior theories in her BFA thesis project.

We have many high–achieving students in CAM, but it is rare to see a person who encompasses so much of what we value.  Angie is that rare student who exhibits passion for her chosen field of study, compassion and understanding for others, and an ability to overcome her fears in order to reach her goals.  She is a student leader at the University and I have no doubt she will become a professional leader in Denver or wherever she decides to live in the future.

103 Views | Issue: May 12, 2014 | Archive: News Archive

Student hourly Chuck Kelly is graduating!

Veteran student hourly Chuck Kelly is graduating this May (he is earning a bachelor’s in History) and may be leaving these hallowed halls soon. Thank you, Chuck, for all the great work and incredible humor and personality you have have brought to the CAM Front Desk. You will be sorely missed!

It has been rumoured that he *might* be working through the summer semester which gives us all time to contact his mom and convince her that he needs to apply to graduate school so we can keep him on staff as long as possible!

97 Views | Issue: May 12, 2014 | Archive: News Archive

CU Denver MIX and LARK took 1st and 2nd place at MILE HIGH VOCAL JAM!
CU Denver MIX and LARK took 1st and 2nd place at MILE HIGH VOCAL JAM!

Congratulations to CU Denver a cappella ensembles MIX and Lark for sweeping the top spots in this years Mile Hi Vocal Jam for a second year in a row!  

With another magical performance, Mix took first again this year, then fellow CU Denver students performing as Lark (formerly the 9th Street Singers) scored second place. Both of these tremendously talented student a cappella groups perform under the direction of Erin Hackel, instructor.

Mix incorporates costumes, costume changes and choreography in its electric performances. The fresh, creative approach has quickly become a Mix trademark. Mix is also recording tracks tracks for their next EP release sometime this summer.

The vocal jam took place at Westminster High School on April 18th and 19th.

99 Views | Issue: May 12, 2014 | Archive: News Archive

Digital animation student wins coveted PIXAR internship
Digital animation student wins coveted PIXAR internship

Jeremy Kuehn is third DAC student to be placed in internship program at PIXAR.

Kuehn is one of only nine students worldwide selected for a prestigious and highly selective internship with PIXAR, maker of such acclaimed and award-winning films as "Toy Story," "Monsters, Inc.," "Finding Nemo," "The Incredibles" and "Cars."

"I'm very excited," Kuehn said, taking a break from a class in the Digital Animation Center.  "This is an absolutely amazing program," Kuehn said of DAC. "Students here appreciate how we replicate a studio environment. It prepares you for the outside world—actual (film) studios. At PIXAR, they want to know you're able to work on a team in a studio environment."

Howard Cook, director of DAC, said PIXAR selects its summer interns from a pool of more than 10,000 applicants. "It's a coveted internship," Cook said. "This is quite an honor for Jeremy and a great acknowledgment of our program."

Kuehn begins his 10-week paid scholarship at the PIXAR studios near Oakland on June 12. He looks forward to returning to CU Denver to continue his collaboration with classmates.

127 Views | Issue: May 12, 2014 | Archive: News Archive

Susan Dyroff joins the CAM front desk team!

Susan Dyroff joined the CAM front desk team as our newest Administrative Assistant on April 14, 2014.  Dyroff comes to CAM from Chaparral High School where she was a Counseling Secretary in their Counseling Office.

Please welcome Susan to the CAM family!

127 Views | Issue: May 12, 2014 | Archive: News Archive

CAM Spotlight

NSSE College of Arts & Media: Executive Summary and Interpretation
NSSE College of Arts & Media: Executive Summary and Interpretation

NSSE College of Arts & Media Respondent Profile Report

The National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) was first piloted in 1999 and has become a gold standard for institutions gathering student engagement data. The University of Colorado Denver (CU Denver) has been administering the NSSE since 2001 and most recently administered the 2013 version of the NSSE to all eligible first-year and senior students in spring 2013. The overall response rate for CU Denver was 33.4%. The response rates for the College of Arts and Media (CAM) were 30% (39 of 131) for first-years and 29% for seniors (79 of 275).

This report summarizes and provides meaning to the CAM versions of the Respondent Profile and Frequencies and Statistical Comparisons reports that were created by the Office of Institutional Research & Effectiveness.

NSSE College of Arts & Media: Executive Summary

CAM response rate was 30% for first-years - slightly higher than the response rate for CU Denver first-years (28%). The response rate for CAM seniors was 29% - just a bit lower than for CU Denver seniors (36%).

Some differences in the respondent profile were found:

    • More transfers were a part of the senior group (vs. the first-years)
    • Fewer full-timers, and racially/ethnically diverse students were a part of the senior CAM respondents, compared to CAM first-years
  • CAM seniors do not believe that CU Denver emphasizes supportive resources, services, and other activities to the same degree that CAM first-years do.
  • Overall, both CAM first-year and senior students rated their interactions with students, faculty, advisors, staff, and administration as "excellent" at a higher rate than did CU Denver first-year and senior students.
  • CAM senior students on the whole were more likely to engage in the High Impact Practices (HIPs) than CU Denver seniors as a whole.

Strategic questions/next steps:

  • How might we improve outreach to CAM seniors for academic support services and social events?
  • Are there certain practices within CAM that account for the increased student engagement that can be shared with other schools/colleges on campus?
  • Overall, we plan to use the NSSE data to help us identify current practices that are working well as well as ones that could be strengthened, in order to continuously improve our programs and resources for students.

81 Views | Issue: May 12, 2014 | Archive: Spotlight Archive

CAM programs shine at TEDx Youth event April 16...
CAM programs shine at TEDx Youth event April 16...

A steady stream of middle and high school kids were exposed and captivated by our Visual Arts and Music Performance programs during TEDxYouth@Mile High at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House on April 16.  A student team led by Digital Design assistant professor Michelle Carpenter showed the students a fun way to learn about Colorado wildlife by using the devices they carry around—iPads and smartphones.

In the Buell Theatre, CAM's Digital Animation Center's (DAC) motion-capture system exhibit drew huge crowds.

CU Denver's Mobile Device Ensemble—eight CAM student and faculty performers using laptops and iPads as musical instruments and wearing CU Denver T-shirts—entertained the huge Caulkins Opera House crowd to open the second TEDxYouth session of the afternoon. 

85 Views | Issue: May 12, 2014 | Archive: Spotlight Archive

Registration is still open for high school kids interested in a music career!
Registration is still open for high school kids interested in a music career!

How about getting real world experience that could prepare you for a career in music?

The Summer Music Industry Program is still taking applications!  It's a great summer program and partial scholarships are still available!

JUNE 15-27, 2014

The brain child of CU Denver music faculty Peter Stoltzman and Owen Kortz, the Summer Music Industry Program is designed to offer high school students a window into what it takes to be a musician today. The two week camp features internationally renowned guest artists, world-class faculty, state of the art music gear, and technology...all on the CU Denver downtown campus!

For further information and updates, please visit cam.ucdenver.edu/meis/summer

81 Views | Issue: May 12, 2014 | Archive: Spotlight Archive


A NEW Summer Course, ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME is looking for students! 









For more information on the course, contact Stan.Soocher@ucdenver.edu.

92 Views | Issue: May 12, 2014 | Archive: Spotlight Archive

CU Denver Music Professor Judith Coe...
CU Denver Music Professor Judith Coe...

Resident Artist/Composer at Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Dr. Judith Coe, Associate Professor of Music at the University of Colorado Denver, is quite busy with her scholarly endeavors.  She served as the Resident Artist/Composer at Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s Tenth Festival of Women Composers in February, 2014.

Coe led a pre-festival curriculum workshop for IUP music faculty, the Dean of Fine Arts, and the Provost, “An Entrepreneurial Ethos for Training Musicians in the 21st Century,” that focused on possibilities for traditional IUP programs to re-envision pedagogy in order to address industry realities, the commercial media market, honoring tradition while finding creative ways to interface with pop music performance practices, and crafting a hybrid design for training 21st-century musicians.

She worked with festival attendees, IUP students,  and students  from the Pennsylvania Music Education Association (PMEA) in three songwriting workshops – “Songwriting and Storytelling for Youthful Spirits,” “Pop Music and World Beat Grooves,” and “Pop Music and Fusion – DJs, Rap, and Electronica” and performed an original art song composition for voice and piano, “Her Vision in the Wood” with IUP Professor of Music Dr. Susan Wheatley, on the festival opening concert, “Love Songs and New Directions by Women Singers and Composers”. Coe performed with selected IUP Music and Interdisciplinary Fine Arts majors on an evening concert that included her original pop and Celtic-infused songs and songs by Aoife O’Donovan, Judy Collins, Joni Mitchell, Souad Massi, Annie Lennox, Eivør Pálsdóttir, Sarah Jarosz, Karan Casey and Neko Case. Coe also premiered “Old Silver Tune,” a bluegrass song co-written with one of her CU Denver commercial voice students, up and coming singer/songwriter Kara O’Brien. 

Coe’s Keynote Address,  “Blasket Island Songbook — A Documentary Film and Album Project about Home, Place, and Identity in Ireland,” shared stories, film clips from video interviews, photographs and original songs about the life of Martin Kearney, a Blasket Island native. Coe weaves a magical story about Kearney immigrating to Springfield, MA as a young man and the struggles he faced in his marriage and family life while grappling with epilepsy.

Coe’s interest in Ireland and Irish music began as a teenager and was strengthened with a trip to Ireland in 2000 to attend the International Summer School of Music and Dance in the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at the University of Limerick. That study, work, and building of professional networks and friendships led to Coe teaching her first class at CU Denver on Irish music. She won a US Scholar’s Fulbright award in 2006-2007, an experience which Coe says was magical and transformative. Later, she was appointed as a Fulbright Ambassador, 2010-2012 (and now a Fulbright Ambassador Emerita).

CU Denver Honors and Leadership Program

Coe is teaching, for the third time, a CU Denver Honors and Leadership Program course on Irish Music, Peace, Politics and Popular Culture. She was recently appointed as the College Music Society Ambassador to Ireland. Her Fulbright work and subsequent work she completed during her 2011 sabbatical as a Visiting Scholar in the Ionad an Bhlascaoid Mhóir/The Blasket Centre in Dunquin, Co. Kerry, Ireland and during a Blasket Gathering event in Dunquin in May 2013 figure largely in Coe’s UHL honors teaching and mentoring activities as well as her applied singing/songwriting teaching in the Music & Entertainment Industry Studies Department.

147 Views | Issue: May 12, 2014 | Archive: Spotlight Archive

Carpenter's short,
Carpenter's short, "Driven to Ride," celebrates women motorcycle riders

Michelle Carpenter's new documentary Driven to Ride explores the fast-growing trend—and surprising history—of women on motorcycles. Carpenter, assistant professor of digital design, captured footage of five fearless Colorado riders. Driven to Ride, an informative and entertaining look at some of the personalities involved in modern female motorcycling. She traced the historical antecedents for female riding showing women who discovered the thrill of two-wheel driving – strong women have been there embracing the freedom inherent in the ride. From there, she introduces to a wide array of women whose personalities are as different as the bikes they've chosen to blaze a path.

Carpenter has submitted Driven to Ride to more than 30 film festivals. She is hopeful to screen it at the 2014 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in Sturgis, S.D. To date, "Driven to Ride" is an official selection in the East Lansing (Mich.) Film Festival and Indie Fest USA in Garden Grove, Calif.

Carpenter produced, directed and edited several award-winning experimental and documentary videos that have been screened in international and national film festivals and art galleries. Her most recent film, Above the Ashes, told the story of five men who tried to save homes from the destructive Fourmile Fire. The film won two Heartland Chapter Emmy Awards for “Best Topical Documentary” and “Best Program Editing.”

101 Views | Issue: May 12, 2014 | Archive: Spotlight Archive

CAM Events



CU Denver Theatre, Film & Video Production Department student screenings.

All films will be screened in the TIVOLI Theatre 12.  No ticket needed – free event!

  • Monday May 12 - Production 1 class
  • Tuesday May 13 – Production  2 class
  • Wednesday May 14 – Completed projects from Production 3 & 4
  • Thursday May 15 - Webseries, Awards, Reception
229 views | Issue: May 12, 2014 | Archive: CAM Events

CAM Commencement Reception

CAM Commencement Reception

CAM Commencement Reception
Saturday, May 17 • 11:00am
St. Cajetan's Center
Auraria Campus


88 views | Issue: May 16, 2014 | Archive: CAM Events

Denver Art Museum Bronze Casting Demonstrations

Denver Art Museum Bronze Casting Demonstrations

Denver Art Museum

Bronze Casting Demonstrations :: CU Denver Sculpture Program

Evening pour, Friday May 30th, 2014
Noon - 3pm, Saturday May 31st, 2014
Noon - 3pm, Sunday June 1st, 2014

In this latest sculture program the event will consist of a bronze pour into ceramic shell molds followed by an aluminum cast into an open face sand mold each day. Approximately six-ten students and two faculty will assist and run the pours. We will also create alginate (one time use) molds of fingers for the public, which we will cast in plaster (eye hooks-hardware, will be inserted as the plaster cures to allow cast plaster to be hung).

For more information contact Rian Kerrane, Associate Professor and sculpture program head at rian.kerrane@ucdenver.edu.

170 views | Issue: May 12, 2014 | Archive: CAM Events