Life After CU Denver: Accomplished Lynx Share Words of Inspiration

August 31, 2020

We realize there are many colleges and universities to pick from, and we’re so grateful you have picked (or are exploring) CU Denver. It’s a great choice we know you won’t regret. We asked our former Lynx to tell us about their favorite experiences at CU Denver, and their answers spotlight everything from real-world experiences to nationally ranked programs to caring professors. Read on to learn how earning a CU Denver degree sets you apart from the rest.


Jamie headshot

“One of the strengths of CU Denver is its adaptability and flexibility with students which is particularly critical during the situation at hand.”

CU Denver has always been adept at meeting students and working professionals where they are at to engage them in high-quality education while accommodating their unique life situation, which speaks to both the diversity and quality of students enrolled. I matriculated my PhD while running a nonprofit in Denver and launching a research institute in Uganda.  A decade later the Global Livingston Institute is engaging a range of scholars to Listen. Think. Act. from the University of Colorado Denver and 30 other academic institutions around the country through our academic programs in East Africa. My studies at UCD led to a Fulbright and a fellowship at the Wilson Institute to advance my work around the globe.”  

– Jamie Van Leeuwen, PhD ’07


Sydney headshot

“My CU Denver degree meant way more opportunities! I am so thankful for CU Denver and the Business School program. They set me up for job interviews so that when I graduated I was prepared for the real world. I’m proud to be an alumni of such a great school in the city. 💛🖤”

– Sydney Barritt, BS ’17


“The CU Denver School of Public Affairs is one of the nation’s top public affairs programs—currently tied with both Georgetown and Duke in the rankings—and ranked higher than the programs at Cornell, Johns Hopkins, Brown, and the University of Pennsylvania. The ability to obtain an Ivy League-like education is one of the reasons that CU Denver rises above the rest.”

– Erik Estrada, MPA ’06


Jose at Commencement

“Earning my doctorate degree and now leading a statewide mental health agency, I’ve ended the generational poverty cycle that has endured in my family since the inception of our last name.”

– Jose Silva, PhD ’19


Michael and another individual smiling

“My degree helped me in my now 27 years at the Department of Defense. Thank you CU Denver. :)”

– Michael Rivera, BA ’92


Serenity smiling

“CU Denver gave me access to a great and affordable education. I was able to graduate debt-free—no student loans and no personal debt. Because of this, I could take my time and pursue things that interested me. Because of CU Denver, I was able to work abroad and travel, which was one of the best life lessons I could have gotten. 

– Serenity R. L. Belo, BS ’99


“In addition to my bachelors of science degree from CU Denver, the experiential learning afforded to me by the advisors in health professions landed me a near-full scholarship to attend medical school. I will be graduating with my MD in 10 short months and I would not have been able to achieve this without my CU Denver experience.”

– Scott Cao, BS ’17 


Fred with a camera

“Great memories of my days in the old Tramway Building. I’m amazed sometimes at what I remember from my BA Arts Degree studies. Education is broadening, making life richer for decades (I’m now in my mid 70’s.) I am grateful for CU Denver and the people I knew there, staff, and fellow students.”

– Fred Schneider, BA ’73


Rhonda smiling with two children

“My degree was the foundation that my career is built on. My strong CU roots gave me the confidence and knowledge needed to take on the classroom. Now two master’s degrees later, I still use what I learned at CU in undergrad daily.”

– Rhonda Tatham, BA ’00


Michael headshot

“My CU Denver degree is the sunshine of my office at home. It symbolizes professors who truly care about enhancing their students lives, an engaging campus of inclusion, and systems I have learned and used in life on a daily basis … I am deeply grateful for my CU Denver Management & Marketing Degrees.”

– Michael Gray, BS ’00


“My degree means the world to me! From my first freshman semester, through serving as student government president and bringing in Milo, to studying abroad in Beijing, and into my current professional and life’s path—the ride has been amazing and successful! Enjoy and take advantage of all there is to be had while you’re at the university—the time goes way too quick!”

– Gordon B. Ortiz Hamby, BA ’13


Linda's side profile

“My degree is the foundation that allowed me to build a great career. It gave me freedom and confidence.”

– Linda Erickson, BS ’76