The 10 most-read CU Connections features of 2023

From accolades to AI, here’s what had our attention this year
By Staff

The 10 most-read CU Connections features of 2023

  1. Six faculty members named CU Distinguished Professors

Nov. 9 – The University of Colorado this week welcomed six new members to its roster of Distinguished Professors, a title signifying the highest honor awarded to faculty across the CU system’s four campuses. CU Distinguished Professors are tenured faculty members who demonstrate exemplary performance in research or creative work; a record of excellence in promoting learning and student attainment of knowledge and skills; and outstanding service to the profession, the university and its affiliates.


  1. Regents announce slate of honorees for 2023

April 6 – The University of Colorado Board of Regents has announced the list of individuals receiving Honorary Degrees, Distinguished Service Awards and University Medals for 2023. Honorary Degrees recognize outstanding achievement in one or more of the following areas: intellectual contributions, university service, philanthropy and/or public service. Distinguished Service Awards recognize those persons whose achievements and contributions are particularly associated with the state and/or nation. University Medals recognize those persons whose achievements and contributions are particularly associated with the university.


  1. President’s DEI Awards celebrate contributions, commitment across system

March 30 – CU President Todd Saliman announced the President’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Awards, annual recognition for individuals and units demonstrating outstanding commitment and making significant contributions to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) across CU. “It’s so important to support and reward the people in our CU community who are taking action to advance diversity, equity and inclusion across the campuses,” President Saliman said.


  1. CU Denver program helps incarcerated learners reach milestone

Jan. 26 – A CU Denver partnership with the Colorado Department of Corrections recently celebrated a milestone, holding “graduation” ceremonies for incarcerated learners who completed a seven-class sequence leading toward a Certificate in Strategic Communication.Led by Stephen Hartnett, professor from CU Denver’s communication department, CU's Prison Education program offers college communication classes aimed at giving students the skills and confidence to return to their communities. “Everybody knows education reduces recidivism,” Hartnett said. “It’s the elevator to justice. It reduces burdens on the taxpayer. There’s a lot of good.”


  1. University Counsel advises CU community on impact of Supreme Court decision

Sept. 7 – A U.S. Supreme Court decision earlier this summer prohibits universities from considering race as a factor in college admissions, but it does not affect the University of Colorado’s pursuit of a diverse student body, university leadership says. The Office of University Counsel in CU system administration is providing guidance to the CU community following the Court’s announcement of the opinion in June. The University of Colorado and its four campuses are proud to support and celebrate key programs that create a diverse campus environment.


  1. Board of Regents officially welcomes four newest members

Jan. 12 – Colorado Supreme Court Chief Justice Brian Boatright last week swore in four members of the University of Colorado Board of Regents who were elected in November. Four is an unusual number to join the nine-member board. Typically, the most seats that will turn over in any election cycle is three. In the most recent cycle, however, board Vice Chair Ken Montera had to run for the 5th Congressional District seat Gov. Jared Polis appointed him to in late 2021. Montera, R-Colorado Springs, was joined by three new board members: District 1’s Wanda James, D-Denver; District 4’s Frank McNulty, R-Highlands Ranch; and Mark VanDriel, R-Greeley, from the newly created District 8.


  1. Boettcher Foundation names six CU researchers to 2023 class of Boettcher Investigators

June 8 – Six outstanding biomedical researchers at the University of Colorado are members of the Boettcher Foundation’s 2023 class of Boettcher Investigators, recipients of grant funding through the Boettcher Foundation’s Webb-Waring Biomedical Research Awards Program. The 13-year-old program invests in leading Colorado researchers during the early stages of their careers, providing support to fund their independent scientific research. Each researcher receives $235,000 in grant funding to support up to three years of biomedical research, supporting Boettcher Foundation’s goal to retain top scientific talent in Colorado.


  1. Five questions for Beth Rudden: COLTT speaker to delve into AI’s role in higher education

May 18 – Global IT and cognitive science leader Beth Rudden will be the keynote speaker for the 2023 Colorado Learning and Teaching with Technology (COLTT) conference. Rudden has over 20 years of experience in IT and data science. In 2022, she founded, a groundbreaking corporation pioneering the future of conversational AI technology. Its aim is to empower everyone, from students and educators to doctors and marketing professionals, to interact with information in a new way so people can learn and acquire knowledge better and faster.

9. Staff Council honors exceptional CU employees

Oct. 19 – The University of Colorado Staff Council (UCSC) recently honored 10 exceptional employees across the CU system with the 2023 Staff Excellence Awards. CU staff members – two from each campus and from system administration – received the honors, which annually recognize those who go above and beyond their job duties and consistently surpass expectations. Each received a $250 award presented at the ceremony at the Hilton Inverness Denver in Englewood.

10. Dressler honored as President’s Employee of the Year

Jan. 5 – Tara Dressler, director for trademarks in the Office of University Counsel, recently was honored as the 2022 President’s Employee of the Year. Dressler and four other nominees for the award, which is presented by System Staff Council, were recognized during a ceremony at 1800 Grant St. The event also celebrated system administration employees who reached milestone years of service.

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