2019 student alumni luncheon at the Tivoli

Annual luncheon connects alumni, students

September 13, 2019

Graduate student Kuntal Das and alumnus Varun Khurana (MS ’19), both originally from India, met at CU Denver’s second annual Student and Alumni Networking Luncheon. Seated next to each other in a spacious conference room overlooking the city skyline at the Tivoli, Das shared his aspirations of someday working in the computer science industry. Khurana responded with insight from his own experience—he’s a data scientist in a very similar field.

Their interaction reflects the purpose of the event: to bring together CU Denver students and alumni over shared interests and industry connections. 

“This is a gateway,” alumnus Eric Ross (BA ’10, MURP ’12), said at the Sept. 12 luncheon. “Being here is a really great first step.”

Hosted in partnership with the CU Denver Office of Advancement and CU Denver Career Center, this year’s luncheon had 83 registrations and 50 attendees, including Linda Bowman (MPA ’92, PhD ’95), the interim vice provost and senior vice chancellor for student access and achievement.

The interdisciplinary setting drew students from CU Denver’s seven colleges and schools and professionals from a number of fields in the Denver metro region–architecture, business, communications, public administration, liberal arts.

Melissa Baldwin, vice chancellor of advancement, said: “It’s always great when we can connect our successful alumni to students.”

Keynote speaker Marta Spirk (MA ’12) relocated from her home country of Brazil to pursue a master’s degree in applied linguistics from CU Denver. Now a career coach, she answered the question of how to be successful with three easy tips:

  1. You have nothing to lose when you put yourself out there.
  2. Be more interested than interesting.
  3. Think long-term, and take chances.

“You are the the one choosing your path,” Spirk said. “Choose it wisely.”

Keynote speaker at student alumni luncheon
Marta Spirk, keynote speaker at the second annual Student and Alumni Networking Luncheon.