Focus on CU Faculty

May 2015

University of Colorado Boulder  

Elizabeth Fenn, CU-Boulder prof, wins Pulitzer Prize for history

CU-Boulder professor Elizabeth “Lil” Fenn won the Pulitzer Prize for history for her book about a Midwestern American Indian tribe. Fenn, an associate professor and chair of the history department, was awarded the $10,000 prize for her book Encounters at the Heart of the World: A History of the Mandan People. Daily Camera, April 20

Ancient collision made Nepal earthquake inevitable

Roger Bilham, a professor of geological sciences at CU-Boulder who has studied the history of earthquakes in the Nepal region, said the shaking lasted one to two minutes, and the fault slipped about 10 feet along the rupture zone, which stretched 75 miles, passing under Katmandu. The earthquake “translated the whole city southward by 10 feet,” Bilham said. The New York Times, April 25

CU-Boulder professor Alena Grabowski helps runners go faster

Alena Grabowski, assistant professor in the Department of Integrative Physiology at CU-Boulder, and some of the students in her group are testing how changing the stiffness and height of a runner’s prostheses — artificial limbs — changes running gait, efficiency, comfort and speed. Daily Camera, April 19

 

Study links drinking behavior to mortality

A CU-Boulder study involving 40,000 people indicates that social and psychological problems caused by drinking generally trump physical drinking behaviors when it comes to mortality. For example, people who had an intervention by a doctor, family or friend had a 67 percent greater risk of death over the 18-year study period. In contrast, drinking and driving and other risky alcohol-related behaviors did not result in a significant increase in mortality rates, said sociology professor and lead study author, Richard Rogers. 9News, April 28

Brian Domitrovic named third CU-Boulder conservative scholar

CU-Boulder has appointed its third visiting conservative scholar. Brian Domitrovic, a historian and economist, will hold the position during the 2015-16 academic year. Domitrovic is an associate professor and chair of the history department at Sam Houston State University. Daily Camera, April 27

Wedge of warm seawater known as 'the blob' blamed for marine havoc

Some experts believe a 500-mile-wide, 300-foot-deep wedge of warm seawater may signal an epic cyclical change in the Pacific Ocean that could bring soaking rains to Southern California and accelerate the rise in global temperatures. Matt Newman, a climate scientist at CU-Boulder, studies the underlying processes that drive the Pacific Decadal Oscillation and says the blob doesn’t fit the pattern. He believes the warm mass of water is better explained by a stubborn region of high pressure over the northeast Pacific Ocean. Los Angeles Times, April 19

Did you ever stop to wonder why life on Earth is the way it is? So did we

In “The People Planet,” 9News partnered with nine CU-Boulder experts to examine topics such as religion, technology and why we have such trouble getting along. 9News, April 20

NASA probe circles Mars for 1,000th time

“The spacecraft and instruments continue to work well, and we're building up a picture of the structure and composition of the upper atmosphere, of the processes that control its behavior and of how loss of gas to space occurs,” said MAVEN principal investigator Bruce Jakosky, from CU's Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics. Space.com, April 9

Also:

Patricia Nelson Limerick, CU's official Fool, on why society needs humor

Society today could use a few good fools, says Patricia Nelson Limerick, a professor who directs the CU-Boulder Center of the American West. She’s biased in her opinion on the subject because she holds the position of University Fool. Colorado Public Radio, April 1

The Arctic climate threat that nobody’s even talking about

The Arctic permafrost problem hasn’t received much attention — yet. “The concept is actually relatively new,” says Kevin Schaefer of the National Snow and Ice Data Center at CU-Boulder. “It was first proposed in 2005. And the first estimates came out in 2011.” The problem is so new that it has not yet made its way into major climate projections, Schaefer says. The Washington Post, April 1

Also:

Evidence of pre-Columbus trade found in Alaska house, Live Science, April 16
'Freak weather event' sets Antarctic heat records, Live Science, April 7

University of Colorado Colorado Springs

UCCS to add master’s, bachelor’s degree programs

The degree is the result of a 2010 state law that will increase the number of hours of accounting coursework required for a certified public accountant license to 150 from 120. Most other states already have the 150-hour requirement, said Blaise Sonnier, chairman of the business school’s Accounting and Finance Department.  The Gazette, April 21

UCCS part of new partnership to boost cyber defense in U.S.

More than 50 representatives from the schools, military and industry met at UCCS to hammer out details on how the education program will work between UCCS and the seven other colleges, all of which are near Army units that focus on cyber defense. The Gazette, April 22

Colorado Springs couple to receive Lifetime Entrepreneurship Award

Jon and Becky Medved will receive the 2015 Lifetime Entrepreneurship Award May 8 from the UCCS College of Business, becoming the seventh and eighth recipients of the honor. The Gazette, April 22

New York judge OKs lawsuit targeting teacher tenure

Joshua Dunn, associate director of the Center for the Study of Government and the Individual at UCCS, says the New York lawsuit may ultimately require a judge to say students have a constitutional right to a quality teacher.

“The problem with that is we don’t know where [quality teachers] come from,” Dunn said. “We’re getting better at identifying quality teachers, but we’re not very good yet at replicating them.” Heartland, April 22

Colorado Springs business and civic leaders are Nashville bound

“They discover what works, what doesn’t and what’s making these other communities so successful.  When we go, we get to discover the secret sauce for each city,” said Stephannie Finley, UCCS executive director of University Advocacy and Partnerships. “And then we come back here and we apply what we learned.” The Gazette, April 21

Another 100 Colorado Creatives: Daisy McConnell

Curator, administrator and artist Daisy McConnell helps to keep Colorado Springs up-to-date — and sometimes even ahead of the pack — on the arts front, as director of the UCCS Galleries of Contemporary Art (GOCA). In her five years of heading GOCA, McConnell has turned the galleries into fun, lively and vital educational resources. Westword, April 9

University of Colorado Denver

Denver doesn’t earn enough to support its pro teams — but it does anyway

Woody Eckard, professor of economics at CU Denver, said Denver’s relatively low cost of living and the city’s stance as a sports-loving town come into play. “When you observe a city like Denver where you have clear evidence of success with sports teams, then you have to take another look at the theoretical measure,” Eckard said. Denver Business Journal, April 9

'Grow Your Own Teacher' bill passes education committee

Margarita Bianco sees a problem in classrooms around Colorado. The CU Denver associate professor says there are not enough minority teachers and not enough teachers willing to work in high needs schools. 9News, April 29

 

Citation nation: Nunn, Colo.

Nunn receives about 40 percent of its revenue from traffic tickets, about 10 times the state average. CU Denver professor Benoy Jacob, an expert in city finances, said that heavy reliance on ticket revenue could be a financial risk for municipalities.  “There is the potential that you're going to lose that revenue stream,” Jacob said. “Any time you lose a big chunk of revenue like that, that means you need to rethink the programs you’re providing.” 9News, April 27

 

Envisioning a Colorado haven for readers, nestled amid mountains of books

Kat Vlahos, director of the Center of Preservation Research at CU Denver, assigned her architecture students to draw up mock plans for the library. Vlahos called the Rocky Mountain Land Library a potential oasis amid a flurry of regional change. “It allows us to hold on to our Western heritage and traditions and historic cultural resources.” The New York Times, April 16

Kids may be more likely to use customized playgrounds

More research is needed to determine if the design of the playground explains differences in use and activity, said Peter Anthamatten, a CU Denver researcher.

“This is an important debate on how to improve physical activity among schools and there is good research to investigate whether lending equipment, organizing activities, renovating schoolyards, or improving adult supervision is the most effective strategy,” Anthamatten said. WKZO, April 7

Colorado’s proposed ‘right to rest’ law slated for debate at the Capitol

Tony Robinson, chair of CU Denver’s Political Science Department, and Denver City Councilman Albus Brooks spoke with Colorado Matters host Ryan Warner about a bill to give homeless people the right to linger in public spaces. Colorado Public Radio, April 13

University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

7 things your eye color says about your health

Variations in two particular genes, TYR and OCA2, which play a role in blue eye color, also decrease risk for vitiligo, a disease that causes the loss of skin color in blotches, says study author Richard A. Spritz, M.D., director of the genomics programs at the CU School of Medicine. Prevention, April 28

Dietary supplements linked to increased cancer risk

Tim Byers, director for cancer prevention and control at the CU Cancer Center, conducted a meta-analysis of two decades worth of research – 12 trials that involved more than 300,000 people – and found a number of supplements made a person more likely to develop certain types of cancer. CBS News, April 20

Dietitian: There is no perfect diet for everyone

When it comes to food and diets, I often encounter people who believe that a certain diet or way of eating is the only way to go. The reality is that when it comes to nutrition, there is no perfect diet, no black or white, but often shades of gray, writes Michelle Cardel, a nutritionist at CU Anschutz Medical Campus. 9News, April 23

Retirement: The payoffs of an active lifestyle

Some people are planning ahead for their physical fitness in retirement just like they plan for their financial fitness, says one of the country's top national diet and exercise experts. If you start a few years before retirement, says James Hill, executive director of the CU Anschutz Health and Wellness Center, you'll be ready to go when you do retire. Most people can make a lot of progress toward getting in better shape in a matter of a few months, he said. USA Today, April 15

Also: Exercise won’t fix the obesity epidemic, researchers argue, Live Science, April 22

Colorado doctor urges Surgeon General to say indoor tanning causes cancer

“Indoor UV tanning causes skin cancer,” said Bob Dellavalle, M.D., of the CU Cancer Center. Dellavalle says there’s no tiptoeing around tanning beds. In a commentary in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, he urges the Surgeon General to make the definitive connection between indoor tanning and cancer. CBS Denver, April 9

April 2015

University of Colorado Boulder

Why are the Great Plains a mile high? CU geologists have a theory

Geologists Craig Jones and Kevin Mahan, right, at CU-Boulder might be able to explain why Denver is a mile high. A new theory suggests that chemical reactions, triggered by water far below the Earth’s surface, could have made part of the North American plate less dense many millions of years ago, when the continents we know today were still forming. The Denver Post, March 15

 

Beetles mostly immune to mass extinction events

“By looking at the fossil history of the group, we can see that extinction, or rather lack of extinction may be just as important, if not more important, than origination,” said lead study author Dena Smith, paleontologist and curator at the Museum of Natural History at CU-Boulder. “Perhaps we should be focusing more on why beetles are so resistant to extinction.” UPI, March 18

Microbes could help clean up after fracking

“The beauty of the technology is that it tackles two different problems in one single system,” said Zhiyong Jason Ren, a CU-Boulder associate professor of environmental and sustainability engineering and co-author of the paper.

“So far, we have been able to clean up the water so that it can be used in irrigation, toilet flushing,” Ren said. “It can be used for anything except drinking at this level. If we can reuse the water, the companies don’t need to buy new water and they could even make money from selling it to other users like farmers.” CBS News, March 2

Also: Research flights probe why some oil and gas basins pollute more than others, KUNC, March 27

One of Saturn’s moons could have the ingredients necessary for life

Tiny grains of rock found near Saturn are mostly made up of silica, which is found on Earth in sand. They were uniform in size, suggesting that some unusual process must have formed them. A research team lead by Sean Hsu, research associate at CU-Boulder’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, found hydrothermal vents in Enceladus’ ocean are the most likely culprit.

“Basically, we think that hot water interacting with rocks leeches out silica,” Hsu said. “And as the temperature drops, nanoparticles start to form. Depending on the condition of the silica solution, the particles will form at very particular sizes, like the ones we’ve detected.” The Washington Post, March 11

Also:

Police agencies line up to learn about unconscious bias

Researchers caution that there’s not enough evidence to show that implicit bias training is effective. In the real world, “your brain is going to rebuild those associations,” said Joshua Correll, a social psychologist and associate professor at CU-Boulder. Correll said that while studies show the training can decrease bias, they also show such improvements are often short-lived and might even increase racial bias. He said more research is needed to address whether the training could actually endanger officers by making them hesitate. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, March 15

Cory Gardner defends controversial letter to Iranian leaders

Ken Bickers, a political scientist at CU-Boulder, downplayed the significance of the feud and compared the debate over protocol to “arguing over the salad fork.” He said Congress long has played a vocal role in global policy and that the latest episode is more representative of the partisan divide between Obama and Republican leaders than anything else. The Denver Post, March 10

Snow is delicious, but is it dangerous to eat?

“Never eat snow that's been plowed,” advises Mark Williams of the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research at CU-Boulder. It’s likely to contain sand and chemicals such as magnesium chloride, he said. “All this gets incorporated into the plowed snow and is bad for you.” National Public Radio, March 5

Media portrayals of Africa promote paternalism

The backlash against how media and aid organizations portray Africans has reached a fever pitch. A wave of criticism has pointed out how American journalists only cover Africa’s outbreaks of disease, disaster and violence, while overlooking the region’s many political and economic success stories, writes Andy Baker, associate professor of political science at CU-Boulder. The Washington Post, March 5

University of Colorado Colorado Springs

UCCS partners with Colorado Rapids

Students with a passion for soccer will be able to pursue a business degree with an emphasis in soccer management beginning this fall at the UCCS College of Business. Students in the program will gain hands-on experience through professional practicums with the Colorado Rapids organization.

“I’m delighted to see the realization of over two years of hard work between UCCS and the Colorado Rapids,” Business Dean Venkat Reddy said. Colorado Springs Business Report, March 10

Colorado Springs medical device manufacturer expanding rapidly

By the end of 2015, CEA Medical Manufacturing will have increased its Colorado Springs workforce by about 50 percent from January 2014. The company’s reach extends to the College of Engineering and Applied Science at UCCS. It’s working with students to help design new products and has hired a few recent graduates. The Gazette, March 12

Five reasons region’s theater scene is on national map

UCCS assistant theater professor Kevin Landis produces the interdisciplinary Prologue Lecture Series. The roster of heavy hitters the teacher/actor/director has brought in is impressive: The Public Theater's Oskar Eustis, playwright Sarah Ruhl, Shakespeare master Tina Packer and theater company founder Young Jean Lee among them. The Denver Post, March 1

Red Cross Hometown Hero: chancellor vision for campus, community earns award

“Lifelong cheerleader” would have been a fitting caption under Pam Shockley-Zalabak’s senior picture in her high school yearbook. The chancellor of UCCS has been a tireless champion, a strong supporter and what many call a visionary leader of the campus. The Gazette, March 18

Poll gives insight on voters in Colorado Springs

Joshua Dunn, professor of political science at UCCS, said taxpayers in Colorado Springs tend to vote in favor of things they will use, for instance a large majority of the poll takers said ‘yes’ to the extension of the TOPS tax, the one-tenth of a cent sales tax going toward maintaining parks. Fox 21, March 4

University of Colorado Denver

‘Advertainment’ is on the rise in pop music, says CU Denver study

A CU Denver study analyzed 1,583 top 30 Billboard songs from 1960 to 2013 and found a steep increase in “advertainment,” a term used to describe product placement and brand name dropping in music.

“As a professor of music business and a fan, I recognized that this was happening. Now, as a researcher, I have the data to prove it,” said study author Storm Gloor, associate professor of music business at the College of Arts & Media. Denver Business Journal, March 10

College class features students making music with mobile devices

If you’ve ever seen an iPad commercial or played with a drum kit app on your phone, you know it’s easier than ever to create music without traditional instruments. But a class at CU Denver is taking this to a whole new level. Fox 31, March 4

Wal-Mart wage hike hides deeper problem for U.S. economy

A 2006 study of Costco and Wal-Mart-owned Sam’s Club showed that what’s good for employees can be good for the business in the long run.

“In return for its generous wages and benefits, Costco gets one of the most loyal and productive workforces in all of retailing, and, probably not coincidentally, the lowest shrinkage (employee theft) figures in the industry,” study author Wayne Cascio, professor of management at CU Denver, wrote in the Harvard Business Review. Christian Science Monitor, March 18

Relations between Denver police chief, officers sink amid protests

“(Avoiding confrontation) may have been the right decision, but the police standing there are thinking, ‘I’m not doing my job. They are not letting me do it.’ For the officers, that is a very personal hit to see the memorial defaced like that,” said Mary Dodge, director of criminal justice programs at CU Denver’s School of Public Affairs. The Denver Post, March 5

 

Did Denver police really shoot Jessie Hernandez out of self-defense?

Lonnie Schaible, assistant professor in the School of Public Affairs Criminal Justice at CU Denver, says it’s not uncommon for a DA to shy away from prosecuting police officers who claim self-defense, since it’s a universal policy to allow the use of lethal force if the officer feels his or her life is being threatened. VICE, March 11

University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

New targeted treatments extend the lives of patients with deadly cancers

New and experimental drugs are extending the lives of people with the deadliest forms of cancer. At the CU Cancer Center, Ross Camidge, M.D., leads clinical trials for lung cancer, which kills more people each year than breast cancer, colon cancer and pancreatic cancer combined. I-News Network, March 18

 

How far would you go to save your child?

The positive effects from the oil from marijuana come mostly from parent reports. Better info should be available soon, says the CU School of Medicine’s Edward Maa, M.D., who’s overseeing the nation’s first observational clinical trial on it. “From what we know, it appears to be safe. But we need more data,” he said. Good Housekeeping, March 15

Also: Can medical marijuana ease Parkinson's symptoms? Colorado Public Radio, March 9

‘Troubling’ use of solitary in federal prisons

“This is a very troubling report,” said Jeffrey Metzner, M.D., a professor of psychiatry at the CU Anschutz Medical Campus, who has been assessing correctional mental health systems for more than 30 years. “It shows the (Bureau of Prisons) haven’t been doing a very good job at establishing a mental health system on their own.” The Crime Report, March 16

How to get kids to exercise more

“For a child to be active, they have to really enjoy the activity,” says Stephen Daniels, a professor of pediatrics at the CU School of Medicine. “We have to find activities they like and settings that promote activity, so this really helps us understand how to do that and emphasizes the fact that having friends involved can be a big motivator.” TIME, March 3

 

Is fat the sixth taste? Denver Museum-goers help scientists with mystery

Tom Finger, a taste scientist at the CU Anschutz Medical Campus, has followed the museum’s work. He said the scale of the experiment allows for much better analysis. The population is also a lot more diverse than those found on the typical college campus, said Finger. “They’ll enroll thousands of subjects, whereas previous studies would have 100 subjects at most,” he said. “So they get a much better statistical analysis of their data and they can see small factors in the data that would be missed by smaller studies.” KUNC, March 16

Statins may seriously increase diabetes risk

 “It’s a good news-bad news scenario,” says Robert Eckel, M.D., past president of the American Heart Association and professor of medicine at the CU School of Medicine. “Although there is convincing evidence that patients on statins are at increased risk of new-onset diabetes, the benefit accrued [from statins] in reducing risks of heart attack, stroke and fatal heart disease trumps the effects of being new onset diabetics.” TIME, March 4

March 2015

University of Colorado Boulder

Tips and tricks to get you through tax-filing season

It’s time to gather your receipts, W-2s and lots of patience as you prepare to meet this year’s tax deadline of April 15. It’s not an easy chore — and it’s not getting any easier.

“Every year the forms, laws, rules and exemptions get more complicated,” says Susan Morley, a senior tax instructor at Leeds School of Business at CU-Boulder. “None of it is user-friendly.” But there is help. The Denver Post, Feb. 2

Panel urges more research on geoengineering as a tool against climate change

Waleed Abdalati, a professor at CU-Boulder, said that geoengineering research would have to be subject to governance that took into account not just the science, “but the human ramifications, as well.” Abdalati said that, in general, the governance needed to precede the research. “A framework that addresses what kinds of activities would require governance is a necessary first step,” he said. The New York Times, Feb. 10

States weigh overhaul of how police lineups are handled

According to the Innocence Project, a national criminal-justice overhaul group, 72 percent of the 325 U.S. cases in which a falsely convicted person was exonerated based on DNA evidence involved at least one witness misidentification.

Melissa Zak, chief of the CU-Boulder police department, said eyewitnesses and victims faced “insurmountable” pressure to pick a suspect out of a lineup. She said it was critical to remove that pressure from the identification process. Wall Street Journal, Feb. 26

Some states put parents in charge of student spending

Education savings account (ESA) programs give money based off of the state’s per-pupil funding to parents of eligible students to spend on approved educational expenses.

Kevin Welner, director of the National Education Policy Center and an education policy professor at CU-Boulder, said targeting ESA programs to students with special needs is a savvy way to get a bill passed, and from there, proponents can slowly expand the program to include broader swaths of the student population.

“It’s the camel’s nose under the tent,” he said. Education Week, Feb. 25

Also:

CU-Boulder scientist played role in probing effects of rare solar ‘shockwave’

Dan Baker, director of the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at CU-Boulder, is a co-author of a paper on a rare solar shockwave. The shockwave roared past Mercury and Venus, then the moon, before streaming toward Earth. It rendered a massive blow to Earth’s magnetic field. That, in turn, triggered a magnetized sound pulse around the planet. Daily Camera, Feb. 22

Beware, houseguests: Cheap home surveillance cameras are everywhere

You’re allowed to record yourself in your own home, of course. But when others share your space, the legal issues get murkier.

“I would be shocked to learn that there’s a bright line where you can spy on anyone you want in your own home,” says Paul Ohm, a privacy scholar at the CU-Boulder Law School. “There’s still a reasonable expectation of privacy if you’re crashing on someone’s couch. Even if it’s his house, you would expect privacy when he’s away if you’re not informed about a camera.” Fusion, Feb. 18

Conservation and recreation don’t always mix well

One of the most significant challenges faced by frontline land managers is being tasked with the dual mandates of protecting wildlife/resources and public access. Sarah Thomas, visiting scholar and environmental historian at CU-Boulder’s Center of the American West, said there is tremendous lack of public awareness about recreational effects on land and wildlife. The Denver Post, Feb. 18

University of Colorado Colorado Springs

Tennis star poses in Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition

Elizabeth Daniels, assistant professor of psychology at UCCS, has studied female body image and the media portrayal of women, her work including a paper called “Athlete or Sex Symbol: What Boys Think of Media Representations of Female Athletes.” Daniels said studies show that 4 percent of sports media coverage in the U.S. is devoted to female athletes. Her issue is not with female tennis athletes agreeing to be photographed as much as it is with sexuality being so much more valued than athleticism, she said. New York Daily News, Feb. 10

Decoding your kids: How text acronyms are fooling parents

“We all know BRB (Be Right Back), OMG (Oh My God), but I think things have changed and probably kids are just making it up on the fly,” said Laura Eurich, director of undergraduate studies in UCCS Communications Department.  “Probably they’re talking about things they shouldn't be talking about.” KOA, Feb. 4

Charter myths and realities

Charters aren’t systematically shutting out disadvantaged students. But few English-language-learner students apply to attend charters, for perhaps understandable reasons, writes Marcus A. Winters, an assistant professor at UCCS. New immigrant families might be less aware of schooling options beyond the neighborhood public school. Language barriers might also hinder parents of ELL students. City Journal, Feb. 25

UCCS gets new dean for College of Education

An Ohio University professor with a deep background in higher education will head the UCCS College of Education. Valerie Martin Conley, 49, will take over as dean of the college on July 1, filling a position that became available when Mary Snyder retired after leading the college since 2011. Conley said she plans to focus on expanding access to post-secondary education for students across southern Colorado. The Gazette, Feb. 3

Colorado Springs drawing millennials to downtown

The Epicentral Coworking is a business that opened in 2012 to cater to young professionals who are mobile, high-tech savvy and starting or running small businesses.

“It’s the wave of the future,” said Fred Crowley, an economist at UCCS. For a minimum monthly fee of $200, about 90 members have round-the-clock access to desk space, meeting rooms, Internet and even coffee and snacks.  KRDO, Jan. 30

Also: Colorado Springs sales tax revenues tallied for 2014; city officials face big decision, The Gazette, Feb. 18

University of Colorado Denver

Rail in Denver: Boom, bust and boom again

“Without the railroad, Denver would be just another of the 500 ghost towns in Colorado,” explains Thomas Noel, CU Denver history professor who's also known as Dr. Colorado. “Without the railroad, Denver stagnated. In between 1860 and 1870, it gained only 10 people – from 4,759 to 4,769.” Confluence Denver, Feb. 25

Also: In its 125th year, Denver's Fairmount Cemetery eyes the future, The Denver Post, Feb. 14

Bikes vs. cars: The deadly war nobody’s winning

Last year CU Denver published a study in the journal Accident Analysis & Prevention reporting that greater numbers of riders actually make streets safer. Accidents involving cyclists and motorists at a given intersection, the researchers noted, were less likely to occur when more than 200 riders traversed it daily. One theory goes that the presence of more cyclists raises drivers’ awareness and causes them to adjust their driving behavior. Outside Magazine, Feb. 17

Should we be laughing at celebrities with mental disorders?

“Celebrities are people who, for better or worse, make a living out of being a spectacle,” says Kevin Everhart, an associate professor at CU Denver’s Psychology Department. “And I think there’s a sense of schadenfreude going through people’s minds when they see a celebrity suffering. Typically, those who take pleasure in someone else’s suffering have low self-esteem.”  Vice, Feb. 17

 

Tips on how to talk to teens about sexting

CU Denver professor Amy Hasinoff says that using a scare tactic, such as telling teens that if they sext their photos will be distributed, can have a negative reaction. She says teens will tune out messages like that because they don’t match up with experiences they or their friends might have had. 9News, Feb. 9

 

Southwest ‘upcycles’ old airplane seat leather into bags, balls, shoes

“For a long time, companies focused on economic value; now they’re focusing more on social value,” said David Chandler, assistant professor of management at CU Denver and author of Corporate Social Responsibility: A Strategic Perspective. It can translate into more business, better supplier relations or happier employees, he said. Dallas Morning News, Feb. 10

Strehling’s disappearance: The need to track people who vanish on federal land

Heidi Streetman, who teaches at the CU Denver ESL Academy, created a petition to “Make the Department of Interior Accountable for Persons Missing in Our National Parks & Forests.”

“I started this petition because there is no legal requirement that federal records be kept of the circumstances surrounding a person’s disappearance, whether or not remains or belongings are recovered, or if a person is located alive and well,” Streetman writes. Westword, Feb. 6

University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

Hickenlooper effort targets prescription drug overdoses in Colorado

“It’s a silent epidemic,” Robert Valuck, CU School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, said of prescription drug overdoses. “People die one at a time. But, in 2013, overdose deaths were almost double the number of deaths related to drunken driving. And people have no idea.” The Denver Post, Feb. 24

 

Massage as medicine

Among other benefits, massage is thought to reduce cortisol levels and regulate the body’s sympathetic nervous system – both of which go haywire when you’re stressed, says Lisa Corbin, an associate professor at the CU School of Medicine’s Division of General Internal Medicine. U.S. News and World Report, Feb. 12

 

Colorado continually ranks high in suicide rates

Michael Allen with the CU Anschutz Depression Center in Aurora said early intervention is critical to stopping suicide.

“You don't want to get people when they’re on the ledge,” Allen said. “You want to get them while things are still more manageable.” But, getting men in the door of places like the Depression Center is a problem. 9News, Feb. 26

Balance of power: Right to die?

Jean Abbott, M.D., from the CU Anschutz Medical Campus Colorado Center for Bioethics, argues a right to die proposal is ethical and that modern medical technology traps a small group of people between life and death. The proposal was rejected in early February by Colorado lawmakers. 9News, Feb. 8

Diana DeGette is working with Fred Upton on new law to fight disease

A bill by Diana DeGette and Fred Upton aims to reduce the time it takes to get breakthrough drugs from the laboratory and into the hands of patients. One expert who helped inform the bill in its early stages was Dan Theodorescu, director of the Cancer Center at the CU Anschutz Medical Campus. The Denver Post, Feb. 10

February 2015

Federal Trade Commission seeks to restrict Internet of Things data

Internet-connected wearables, cars, door locks, thermostats and such are all the rage. But those devices can come with security and privacy holes that leave consumers exposed, regulators warn.

“Researchers are beginning to show that existing smartphone sensors can be used to infer a user’s mood; stress levels; personality type; bipolar disorder; demographics (e.g., gender, marital status, job status, age); smoking habits; overall well-being; progression of Parkinson’s disease; sleep patterns; happiness; levels of exercise; and types of physical activity or movement,” said CU Law School professor Scott R. Peppet. The Wall Street Journal, Jan. 27

Winter snow cover not easily compared, scientists say

Measuring snow over the years is not a simple concept, said Klaus Wolter, a climatologist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration at CU-Boulder. Wolter has studied trends in extreme storms and concluded there were no significant trends for snowstorms the past century.

“If you look at the last 50 years, it looks like that last half-century is snowier than the earlier one, but there’s still reasonable doubt about the quality of snow measurements before the 1950s,” Wolter said. Los Angeles Times, Jan. 28

Colorado to California: Hands off our water

Douglas Kenney, a western water expert at the CU Law School, said it has never been a secret that upstream states such as Colorado consume more water.

“That’s predictable,” he said. “States like California have certainly known this is coming. What can they do? Well, they can look to the other sources of supply, they can conserve water, they can look for creative deals ... it’s not something that sneaks up on anyone.” Fox News, Jan. 28

 W. Carl Lineberger receives NAS award

CU Distinguished Professor W. Carl Lineberger was honored by the National Academy of Sciences for his extraordinary scientific achievements.

Lineberger, the E. U. Condon Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at JILA, was named the 2015 recipient of the NAS Award in Chemical Sciences. Daily Camera, Jan. 23

CU research could improve wind power with better forecasting

Julie Lundquist, project leader and assistant professor in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at CU-Boulder, said a three-year project is being launched to evaluate current wind prediction models.

The research will be based in the Columbia River Gorge region in Washington and Oregon. KUNC, Jan. 22

 

Study sheds light on brain’s processing of pain

A study led by CU-Boulder is providing insights into the ways people experience and manage pain through separate pathways in the brain. The study shows that when people use their thoughts to dull or enhance the experience of pain, the physical pain signal in the brain — conveyed by nerves in the area of a wound, for example, and encoded in multiple regions in the cerebrum — does not actually change.

“One way to say it is maybe it’s not as important what the sensation is or the immediate pain response is, but it is important how you think about it,” said Tor Wager, a co-author on the study and associate professor of psychology and neuroscience at CU-Boulder. Daily Camera, Jan. 18

Survey sheds light on health experiences of ‘LGB’ but not ‘T’ high school students  

While the Healthy Kids Colorado survey provides hard numbers that can aid in securing funding for programs that support LGB youths, the survey fails to address the issue of gender identity.

“The fact that gender identity wasn’t acknowledged is a big deal,” said Bethy Leonardi, a research associate at CU-Boulder. “I think we discount that phrase at the end of ‘LGBT.’” Boulder Weekly, Jan. 8

 

Experts consider medical care standards for civilians in space

As the commercial spaceflight industry develops, it raises questions about how to secure the health and safety of civilian passengers in space. CU-Boulder experts Stefan Neis and David Klaus, right, associate professor of aerospace engineering, reviewed medical care standards of the civilian aviation industry and traditional space exploration sectors and consider them against the challenges posed by various types and phases of flight. Medical News Today, Jan. 15

Earthship village will soon land in Colorado Springs

Earthships aren't designed to take families out of this world to explore other galaxies. But they are taking off on this planet and will soon land in Colorado Springs.

The development is small compared with the total number of homes in El Paso County, therefore the overall impact on energy use will be small, said Kevin Gilford, assistant sustainability director at UCCS. But the village can still serve as an example for greener living. The Gazette, Jan. 25

Being a Colorado native no longer a draw as Springs club fades

, a professor of sociology at UCCS, said the Colorado Native Club likely is a victim of society's changing habits when it comes to civic engagement.

“For example, people don't join bowling clubs much anymore, even though more people are bowling than ever before,” Warner said. “There’s just a general shift away from traditional civic clubs.” The Gazette, Jan. 23

Boy has inspired UCCS basketball team while battling disorder

UCCS senior guard Darius Pardner says the honorary teammate Kavan Brown helps the Mountain Lions stay focused and relaxed during a historic season. “It is humbling,” Pardner said. “His life is simple. He is just a kid just having fun. That is a good reminder for us; we are blessed to play basketball.”  The Gazette, Jan. 9

More officers at private, public universities pack heat

UCCS Campus Police Chief Brian McPike said he is not surprised to hear more university officers are carrying firearms.

“Given the nature of our current status, and given the incidents we have had across the United States over the past several years, we want to be able to adequately protect our university,” McPike said. KRDO, Jan. 20

Making of stone tools may have led to the emergence of human language

A study in the journal Nature Communications suggests the process of making tools could have facilitated the development of language. However, Thomas Wynn, professor anthropology at UCCS, said he remains a “skeptic” that language could have developed this early in human history, adding that none of the stone tools experiments with modern humans were enough to convince him otherwise. CBS News, Jan. 14

Test for deadly gas common to Colorado Springs area

Colorado public health officials are urging residents this month to test for the noxious gas, which exists at high levels across Colorado and, in particular, the Pikes Peak region. On average, half of the houses in El Paso County are at least 50 percent above the Environmental Protection Agency’s recommended maximum exposure level to radon, said Jim Burkhart, who founded the UCCS radon lab and heads the university’s physics department. The Gazette, Jan. 12

The adult snow day is dying, and that’s sad

Sure, there are still plenty of people, like teachers and some government workers, who do get full days off for snow emergencies.  But “[f]or millions of other people in other types of jobs, that’s not the case,” said Wayne Cascio, a management professor at CU Denver. “So, really, the very concept of absenteeism doesn’t mean anything if it doesn’t matter when you get the work done and you’re really judged by results rather than the time you spent at work.” New York Magazine, Jan. 27

CU Denver career center preps grads for jobs

The CU Denver Business School prepares students on how to find work and land the job, and also how to act professionally while on the job. Sue Wyman, director of Business Career Connections at the school, talks about their efforts to connect employers to students and prepare them for the work world. Denver Business Journal, Jan. 30

Also: CU Denver business school dean Sueann Ambron to retire

The best way to combat anti-vaxxers is to understand them

Jennifer Reich, a sociologist at CU Denver, has been researching the anti-vaccination movement since 2007, seeking to understand the processes by which people come to reject vaccines. The past seven years, she has conducted in-depth interviews with parents who refuse mainstream vaccine recommendations, along with doctors, alternative healer, and public policymakers. New Republic, Jan 5

Also: Refusing measles vaccine could put others at risk

Is Spanish language dying in the U.S. southwest? One expert thinks so

Rapid changes in the use of the Spanish language in the Southwest may lead to the language’s extinction in coming decades in the region unless bilingualism is accepted and promoted, a CU Denver expert said. Devin Jenkins has found that in southern Colorado and northern New Mexico, areas with a large population of Spanish and Mexican descent, the use of Spanish is no longer growing. Fox News Latino, Jan. 7

Offshore audits can return lower-quality reports, CU Denver professor’s study finds

Audits of multi-national companies that involve the use of international firms should be more transparent to help investors evaluate their overall quality, according to a new study authored by a CU Denver business professor. Carol Callaway Dee, an associate professor of accounting at the CU Denver Business School, said the study found that not only do stock prices often fall, but investors react in a negative way when they learn that audits were done by multi-national firms. Denver Business Journal, Jan. 26

107 children stricken by mysterious polio-like illness

A report from Children’s Hospital Colorado found that five of 11 paralyzed children had the enterovirus in their noses or throats, although researchers can't say for sure that it caused the paralysis. Doctors didn’t find enterovirus D68 in spinal fluid. That would have been a strong sign that the virus caused the paralysis, says Samuel Dominguez, co-author of the new study. Dominguez is a pediatric infectious disease specialist at Children's Hospital Colorado in Aurora and at the CU School of Medicine. USA Today, Jan. 8

Report: Affordable Care hospitalization program shows uneven early returns

Only a small number of community groups receiving federal reimbursement to reduce expensive hospital readmissions produced significant results. The readmissions result — less than one site in 10 significantly reduced them — “seems kind of wimpy,” said Eric Coleman, a CU professor whose previous work on care for discharged patients influenced the Community-based Care Transitions Program. He said he remains optimistic about the tests, noting that the results are preliminary. The Washington Post, Jan. 14

Tooth decay detected by laser and light systems

When a machine finds early decay, before agreeing to go under the drill, patients should ask the dentist if the tooth decay can be reversed, says Clifton M. Carey, a professor at the CU School of Dental Medicine at the Anschutz Medical Campus. Methods to reverse decay include better brushing, improved diet and a potpourri of toothpastes and gels that add fluoride and minerals to the teeth, dentists say. The Wall Street Journal, Jan. 5

Alzheimer’s disease researchers pursue early detection

Jonathan Woodcock, right, a researcher at the CU School of Medicine, and neurologist Huntington Potter, director of Alzheimer's research at the CU School of Medicine, are working to establish an Alzheimer's disease center similar to those in 19 states that receive research funding from the National Institute on Aging. Already, the CU researchers are beginning human safety trials of one of the few promising treatments, a protein released in the brain of people with rheumatoid arthritis, who don't develop the disease. The Denver Post, Jan. 4

January 2015

Colorado researcher says bias is hard to shake

“You may not personally endorse them. You may say, ‘I don’t believe that and I don’t want to believe that,’ ” said Joshua Correll, associate professor of psychology and neuroscience at CU-Boulder. “But in a culture that routinely 

communicates the association between black and danger, we all pick up on that information. You and I pick up on it; police officers pick up on it.” CBS 4, Dec. 4

These mammals are hit hard by climate change

A recent meta-analysis led by CU-Boulder professor Christy McCain examined 140 research projects on North American mammals and found that body size is by far the best characteristic to predict how an animal responds to climate change. Bigger animals like foxes, reindeer and bighorn sheep are in danger, but rodents may prove much more resilient. TIME, Dec. 1

An independent fit for Boulder

Alex Cox, British filmmaker and assistant professor to the film studies program at CU-Boulder, doesn’t only know a thing or two about independent filmmaking in Boulder; he’s doing his part. “Bill, the Galactic Hero” is a film studies program and department of theater and dance picture, with the art and art history department and aerospace engineering department lending a hand. Boulder Weekly, Dec. 18

In Navajo country, coal gives life — and takes it, some say

In his book “Fire on the Plateau,” Charles Wilkinson, a public land law scholar at the CU-Boulder Law School, details how the shadow of big coal emerged during the 1960s, when urban consumers across the Southwest sought cheap power without having to deal directly with the environmental downside of coal factories. The Los Angeles Times, Dec. 14

CU-Boulder police hire new deputy chief of support services

The CU-Boulder Police Department has appointed Ken Koch as deputy chief of support services. Koch was previously in law enforcement as the chief of police for the Taos Police Department in New Mexico. Daily Camera, Dec. 18

Universities push harder into realm of startups

Alan Mickelson, associate professor of electrical engineering at CU-Boulder, brought on a Boulder-based entrepreneur to be the chief executive of a spinoff based on his optical communications technology research. Mickelson says building the new company, Red Cloud Communication Inc., requires skills in business and manufacturing that he doesn’t have.  “I feel like my place is in the lab,” he said. The Wall Street Journal, Dec. 17

MAVEN probe piecing together how Mars’ atmosphere escapes to space

“Over the course of the full mission, we’ll be able to . . . really understand the processes by which the atmosphere changed over time,” said Bruce Jakosky, MAVEN principal investigator with the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at CU-Boulder. Space.com, Dec. 16

Also:

Using penguins to study prehistory

Paleontologists Karen Chin of CU-Boulder and Laura Wilson of the Sternberg Museum of Natural History studied the bones of Hesperornis – a genus of flightless aquatic birds that spanned the first half of the Campanian age of the Late Cretaceous period – from Kansas and the Arctic because bones act as records of major events in a vertebrate’s life. During difficult times of an animal’s life when resources are scarce – such as an Arctic winter or a stressful migration – its bone growth may slow or stop, often leaving a marker known as a line of arrested growth (or LAG). National Geographic, Dec. 12

Daniels Fund grant helps UCCS continue business ethics initiative

Ethics in business is like oxygen, says Venkat Reddy, dean of the College of Business and Administration at UCCS.  “You don’t know it’s out there, but if you don't have it, you’re going to die,” he said. “It’s critical to an organization's success.” UCCS is one of 11 universities in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming that will receive money from the Denver-based Daniels Fund to continue an ethics initiative launched in 2010. The Gazette, Dec. 9

New residency program could help alleviate doctor shortage in Pikes Peak region

The Peak Vista residency program would differ from the CU School of Medicine’s new Colorado Springs branch, which would have third- and fourth-year medical students do clinical rotations across the county. The effort signals Peak Vista's second attempt in as many years to re-establish a residency program. The Gazette, Dec. 21

The surprising origins of the #CrimingWhileWhite movement

The #CrimingWhileWhite movement “can be the start to something great if there are extensive conversations beyond the 140 characters, if there’s real action and work beyond just what we post on our Twitter or Facebook status updates,” said Stephany Rose Spaulding, assistant professor of women’s and ethnic  studies at UCCS. “It can be useful. But it just cannot remain as this performance … this distraction from what people of color need right now when it comes to justice in their community.” The Washington Post, Dec. 4

Choice: Harvard or UCCS?

Harvard University was founded in 1636. UCCS was founded 329 years later, in 1965. Approximately 6,700 undergraduates are currently enrolled at Harvard, while UCCS welcomed 11,132 students to its lively campus this fall. Colorado Springs Independent, Dec. 17

USA Ultimate moves headquarters back to Colorado Springs

Sports Corp. President Tom Osborne said factors that contributed to the decision to return the USA Ultimate – a game played by two teams with a flying disc or Frisbee™ – to Colorado Springs included the possibility of getting interns from the UCCS sports management program and the proposed City for Champions center. The Gazette, Dec. 13

NFL owners approve new personal conduct policy

Barbara Paradiso, director of the Center on Domestic Violence at CU Denver, welcomed the NFL owners’ approval of a new personal conduct policy, saying, “I applaud the NFL for taking this seriously and moving the discussion into policy and for developing a process that’s very transparent.” Wall Street Journal, Dec. 10

Beyond color: 9News discusses race relations

CU Denver professor Ruben Anguiano talks about the importance of preparing students to work with culturally and linguistically diverse families. 9News, Nov. 26

Fair fees? Facing cuts, more schools charge for busing

“It has always been a little unclear whether transportation is the responsibility of the district or the parent,” said Paul Teske, professor and dean of the School of Public Affairs at CU Denver. “While all states guarantee free education, the language used typically doesn't include transportation in a legal sense, so it has been a gray area.” USA Today, Dec. 2

Warning teens of hookah’s dangers is tough sell

Richard Miech, professor of health and behavioral sciences at CU Denver, said he believes teens “see hookah as fundamentally different from cigarette use. Most likely they see it as safer.” USA Today, Dec. 16

The Ethical Professor: My favorite gift this year

Column: Lots of students memorize, but they don’t apply their learning.  They tell, but don’t show.  For example, they tell me they’ve done some critical thinking, but they often don’t demonstrate much critical thinking, which is the goal.  Or, they tell me that there are ethical issues involved in their topic, but they may not actually name any ethical principles, let alone apply those principles to their topic, writes Mitch Handelsman, professor of psychology and a President’s Teaching Scholar at CU Denver. Psychology Today, Dec. 16

Slide show: On the Wing

Alongside many other works at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, in Washington, D.C., hangs a series of photographs by Joann Brennan, a professor and associate dean at CU Denver. Brennan has characterized her work as “a bridge, a vehicle to create and share stories that expose nuances and the paradox of our complex relationship to wildness and the natural world.” The New Yorker, Dec. 8

Help in fight against melanoma

Rene Gonzales at the CU Cancer Center has been fighting melanoma for years. But, during that time, he has seen little progress toward a cure. In fact, for most the diagnosis has essentially been a death sentence. In the past few years, however, all of that has changed. Gonzales admits the progress he has seen in the fight against melanoma something he never expected to see in his lifetime. KRDO, Dec. 8

Running from the seizures

Jacci Bainbridge, a professor in the department of clinical pharmacy and neurology at the CU Anschutz Medical Campus, thinks there is something about exercising in the outdoors that helps interrupt the abnormal electrical discharges in the brain that cause seizures. The Atlantic, Dec. 12

Battling middle-age depression in women

Dana Steidtmann, M.D., of the CU Anschutz Medical Campus Depression Center, says many women carry genes that cause their depression, but life experiences during middle age can trigger a problem that’s difficult to recover from.  KDVR, Dec. 5

Also:

Colorado is the least obese state – but not the healthiest

James O. Hill, executive director of the Anschutz Health and Wellness Center and co-author of the weight-loss book “State of Slim,” discusses what Coloradans are doing right – and where we still have room to improve. 5280, Dec. 16

Also:

Model suggests annual mammo in 40-49 year olds yields significant lifesaving results

R. Edward Hendrick, Ph.D., with the Department of Radiology at the CU School of Medicine at the CU Anschutz Medical Campus, and colleagues evaluated the implications of recent Cancer Intervention and Surveillance Modeling Network (CISNET) modeling of benefits and harms of screening to women 40-49 years old using annual digital mammography. Health Imaging, Dec. 14

Questioning the idea of good carbs, bad carbs

“The dogma out there is that a high glycemic index is bad,” said Robert Eckel, a past president of the American Heart Association and a professor at the CU School of Medicine. “I hope that ultimately the glycemic index will be left on the shelf.” The New York Times, Dec. 16

Parents might overestimate marijuana’s effects on kid’s seizures

“I can imagine these poor families, who are just desperate for anything to work,” said the study's senior researcher, Kevin Chapman, associate professor of neurology at the CU Anschutz Medical Campus. However, it's concerning that the researchers found “that the biggest predictor of whether you respond was whether you actually moved from out of state.” Live Science, Dec. 8

Red wine might prevent cancer

Researchers from the CU Anschutz Medical Campus found that the chemical resveratrol, found in grapes’ skins and in red wine, blocks the cancer-causing effect of alcohol. “Alcohol damages cells and resveratrol kills damaged cells,” said Robert Sclafani, investigator at the CU Cancer Center and professor of biochemistry and molecular genetics. University Herald, Dec. 4

Focus on CU Faculty 2014 Archive

File Attachments