Putting the 'cross-discipline' into research at CU Denver

A pilot team — the CRC Faculty Fellows — to use multimedia installations to bring attention to Denver's pressing social issues

September 1, 2015

An innovative project — using multimedia installations to draw attention to some of Denver’s most pressing social issues — ushers in a new era for cross-disciplinary research at the University of Colorado Denver.

CU Denver professor John Tinnell
John Tinnell, assistant professor of English

The team of research fellows from different CU Denver schools and colleges represent the pilot year of the Creative Research Collaborative (CRC) Faculty Fellowships. Located in the Office of Research Services (ORS), the CRC is a campuswide initiative to foster innovative and interdisciplinary research that strengthens collaboration across academic units.

Four faculty members were chosen from the applicant pool for the 2015-2016 pilot year of the collaborative “team” program. This year’s fellows share research interests in mobility, mobile technologies and civic engagement. They plan to create a series of multimedia installations that draw critical attention to social issues integral to the future of our booming city. They also plan to publish collaborative research on how place-based technologies might be designed to connect citizens to local settings and stimulate public discussion about shared concerns.

Amy Adele Hasinoff, CU Denver
Amy Adele Hasinoff, assistant professor of Communications

This year’s research team is made up of Remi Holden, assistant professor of Information and Learning Technologies (School of Education & Human Development); John Tinnell, assistant professor of English (College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS)); Amy Adele Hasinoff, assistant professor of Communications (CLAS); and Tam Vu, assistant professor of Computer Science and Engineering (College of Engineering and Applied Science).

“I am excited about participating in this project because it brings together people from a range of departments and colleges across campus,” Hasinoff said. “We are all interested in mobile technologies, but from such totally different angles that we have really interesting and productive conversations. The project we chose grew out of those conversations; we all wanted to think about the potential and the limits of mobile communication technologies for social change and civic engagement, so it was just a matter of working out a project that we could each contribute to.”

CU Denver professor Remi Holden
Remi Holden, assistant professor of Information and Learning Technologies

Beginning in December, CRC Faculty Fellowship recipients will be provided office space in the CU Building “annex” next to Inworks. They also receive access to Inworks’ equipment, software and programs; a one-course reduction in teaching load (fall or spring semester, depending on needs); and up to $5,000 in faculty development funding which can be used for summer salary or conference/research travel.

Fellowship recipients are expected to offer, either individually or collectively, a series of talks, workshops and “brown-bag” lectures that highlight both the process and outcomes of the collaboration. These activities are designed to connect fellows with other faculty from across campus, with the goal of fostering even more innovative research projects.

CU Denver professor Tam Vu
Tam Vu, assistant professor of Computer Science and Engineering

“The end result of the CRC Faculty Fellowships will be outstanding research, produced by different teams every year, that benefits the city and state,” said Michael Jenson, associate dean of Academic Affairs for the College of Architecture and Planning and assistant vice chancellor for Research and Creative Activities for CU Denver. “This kind of innovative cross-disciplinary research exemplifies CU Denver’s stature as a community of scholars and a leading urban research university.”

This year’s collaborative team will report its research findings late next spring. The request for proposal for the 2016-2017 team will be announced early next spring with the fellows’ award notice around June 2016.

The CRC Faculty Fellowship Selection Committee reviews the applications and makes selections. Eligible faculty members are those holding a full-time appointment on the CU Denver campus in a tenure-track, tenured, research or clinical track rank. Collaborative groups currently undertaking research can apply, though preference will be given to newly formed groups.