Picture this, for the first time in over 18 months, you are surrounded by your fellow Lynx in the heart of CU Denver’s campus. There’s excitement in the air; a collective feeling of unity like no other before. In the mix are faculty, staff, administrators, and students who are advancing CU Denver’s mission through their ground-breaking research, scholarship, and commitment to inclusivity. There’s a festive environment filled with Denver’s favorite food trucks, music, and games. You are connecting with your peers over a shared pride of the campus you call home.
Next week, this vision will become a reality at the first-ever Future Fest. All CU Denver students, faculty, and staff are invited to join on Tuesday, Sept. 28 from 1 – 3 p.m. in the Lola and Rob Salazar Wellness Center Courtyard.
Future Fest will happen every year as part of CU Denver’s welcome back festivities and replace the mid-semester State of the Campus address. But, unlike the past, when the event centered around leadership updates for faculty and staff, Future Fest takes on an entirely new format that is inspiring, engaging, and fun—that focuses on bringing people together, celebrating, and recognizing their work.
Attendees will hear from Chancellor Marks and other leaders, who are helping the university gear up for the implementation of an ambitious 2030 strategic plan that is designed to not only reset the playing field but change the game to make education work for all. Faculty and students who are conducting cutting-edge research and CU Denver community members who, from first-hand experience, know the significance of an equitable education, will share their stories in powerful four-minute, Ted Talk-style presentations, coined “Lynx Lectures.”
Sneak Peek at Lynx Lectures:
- In 2020, the NFL awarded nearly half a million dollars to CU Denver. Chris Yakacki, professor in the department of mechanical engineering in the College of Engineering, Design and Computing and co-founder of Impressio, and Trevor Young, a graduate student studying biomechanical engineering with an emphasis in additive manufacturing, orthopedic devices, and biomaterials, will share how they are using the grant to make revolutionary advances in football helmet design.
- After four years of research, Traci Sitzmann, professor of management in the Business School, received the highest honor in academic management research. Her piece “The hidden cost of prayer: Religiosity and the gender wage gap,” demonstrates how beliefs and practices reinforced by the world’s major religions account for 37% of the gender wage gap.
- Geeta Verma, professor of science education in the School of Education and Human Development, is the founder of LivedX, a platform inspired by her own immigrant story that powers diversity, equity, and inclusion using artificial intelligence (AI) technology.
- Manuel Espinoza, professor and instructor in the School of Education and Human Development, received his graduate degree at CU Denver. A Chicano ethnographer and philosopher of education, Espinoza will share his personal story of how education changed his life.
Future Fest will not only serve as a festival of ideas but also a resource for those interested in the launch of the 2030 strategic plan, a robust vision formed in the first half of 2021 with the input of more than 3,000 community members. Marks and other campus leaders will share how the community can stay involved in the implementation process over the coming months.
For the first time in more than a year, the CU Denver community will come together for a celebration that will showcase what makes it so unique and ignite enthusiasm for what lies ahead. This is an event CU Denver students, faculty, and staff don’t want to miss.