CU Denver CityCenter Announces 2022-23 TIAA Chancellor’s Urban Engaged Scholars

May 10, 2022

One faculty member from each school and college has been selected to receive the TIAA Chancellor’s Urban Engaged Scholars award for the second year. Presented by CityCenter, this award recognizes the outstanding contributions of CU Denver faculty to the Denver-metro region through research and creative activities that drive our community forward. 

The 2022-2023 TIAA Chancellor’s Urban Engaged Scholars are:


Ersin Dincelli, PhD, MBA, Assistant Professor, Business School

Dincelli’s research focuses on cybersecurity and human-computer interaction (HCI). His research highlights individuals’ decision-making processes and behaviors in the context of information security and privacy, and HCI design for emerging technologies.


Owen Kortz, Senior Instructor, Faculty Director, College of Arts & Media

Kortz shares his love and knowledge of songwriting to empower youth experiencing homelessness in their self-expression through music and music production.


Priyanka deSouza, PhD, MSc, MBA, MTech, Assistant Professor, College of Architecture and Planning

deSouza’s research focuses on how to make cities around the world more resilient to the impacts of air pollution and climate change. A key element of her research explores the health impacts of pollution to vulnerable populations. 


Wes Marshall, PhD, Professor, College of Engineering, Design and Computing

Marshall studies the road safety and active transportation issues facing the Denver metro region. His laboratory is our streets, and he is passionate about building a more livable and resilient city for everyone. 


Jennifer Reich, PhD, Professor of Sociology, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and Faculty Director, University Honors and Leadership. 

Reich’s research focuses on vaccine hesitancy and decision making for families and individuals. Her research was invaluable during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. 


Margarita Bianco, EdD, Associate Professor, School of Education & Human Development

Bianco’s Pathways2Teaching program helps to recruit and retain teachers of color to create spaces of educational equity. Additionally, Bianco researches strategies to create Grow Your Own teacher programs for high school students of color in urban and rural communities.


Todd Ely, PhD, Associate Professor, School of Public Affairs

Ely’s research focuses on improving stewardship of government and nonprofit financial resources for public purposes in the Denver-metro region and beyond.


The research of the Urban Engaged Scholars addresses current urban issues in the Denver-metro region, while emphasizing community partnerships, local impact, and student involvement. In addition to recognition of their scholarship, recipients of the Chancellor’s Urban Engaged Scholar’s award receive: 

  • Opportunities to share their research with the Denver community
  • Coverage of their scholarship through university communication channels
  • A monetary prize of $4,000

Congratulations to the Urban Engaged Scholars! Stay tuned for information on upcoming events highlighting the scholars’ research and to learn more about their impact on our city.