Al Ramirez, a professor in the College of Education at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs, recently completed “Financing Schools and Educational Programs: Policy, Practice, and Politics,” a 256-page book outlining how U.S. public schools are financed and how other funds are raised for educational programs in elementary and secondary schools. The book is considered a resource for practitioners and education policy leaders such as school boards, foundation program officers, legislators and policy analysts at local, state and national levels. … Olivia Chadha, an instructor from the program for writing and rhetoric at the University of Colorado Boulder, has published her first book of fiction, "Balance of Fragile Things," which describes an extended family of three generations that strives to remain together in an unstable world. … Josh Dunn, an associate professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs, traces the history of Colorado Springs politics and the complicating factors in understanding the local political landscape in a 23-minute video lecture titled “Firewall or Failure: Colorado Springs and the Race for the Presidency.” Dunn tackles such difficult topics as defining the term conservative and what he calls the “ugly process of government” while explaining why individual votes really do matter. Visit http://communique.uccs.edu/?p=8617 to view the video. … Brenda J. Allen, associate vice chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Colorado Denver, has received the 2012 Feminist Teacher-Mentor Award from the Organization for the Study of Communication, Language, and Gender. The honor is presented annually to an exemplary feminist teacher-mentor who has inspired students and colleagues by modeling feminist ideals of caring, community power-sharing, and commitment while also earning individual and collaborative records of achievement. … Eve Gruntfest, research professor at the Trauma, Health and Hazards Center at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs, recently was named program director for the National Science Foundation’s Integrated Global System Science Division of Geospace Sciences based in Arlington, Va. Gruntfest will be involved in reviewing proposals for an NSF initiative encouraging interdisciplinary research in hazards and disasters.