Campus Scene


Mobile App Kick-Starts University Tech Transfer

Software invented by a startup company co-founded by a UNC faculty member offers a revolutionary solution for improving student learning in internships and other field experiences.
The startup also paves the way for the expansion in tech-transfer projects as part of UNC’s focus on innovation.

Associate Professor Elysia Clemens, Ph.D., in the Department of Applied Psychology and Counselor Education at UNC, and her colleague Adria Shipp, Ph.D, partnered with software developers to create Apprentice, a mobile application for managing field-based experiences for students and supervisors. Clemens and Shipp came up with the idea for the software a year ago after experiencing inefficiencies in supervision of field experiences, first as graduate students and later as faculty members.

“There’s nothing like this on the market. It centralizes all field-based data points in a secure environment,” says Clemens, adding that Apprentice complies with federal confidentiality requirements. “It’s designed to facilitate student growth, align with academic standards and aggregate data for accreditation reporting.”

The first version of Apprentice was released and presented at the American Counseling Association conference in March. Clemens and Shipp say Apprentice is ready to implement with counseling programs this fall “with hopes to adapt the technology for other disciplines.”

See how Apprentice works at www.unco.edu/news/?6568


Now Enrolling: MBA Program

The Monfort College of Business is accepting applications for its new MBA degree, with classes starting this fall at UNC’s Loveland Center at Centerra.

The program is tailored to the needs of busy professionals and uses a flexible face-to-face approach in eight-week-long classes that meet twice per week. Students can take one or more classes at a time and can take a semester off if needed.

In addition to 27 credits in core business management classes, students complete nine credits in an area of specialization: healthcare administration, human resources management or business management.



Online Education Program Again Ranked Among Best

For the second year in a row, U.S. News & World Report has ranked UNC’s online graduate education program among the nation’s best, moving it up one spot to eighth out of 166 ranked institutions. Once again, UNC’s program ranked highest in the state. The magazine arrived at its rankings by evaluating the programs’ student engagement, faculty credentials and training, student services and technology, admissions selectivity, and reputation among peers.

A list of programs is available at www.unconline.edu/future


Student’s 300-Pound Plastic-Wrap Ball Leads to Reduced Use

plastic ballA waste diversion initiative in UNC’s dining operations led by student-employee Wyatt Castner, who graduated this spring with a degree in Environmental and Sustainability Studies, resulted in changes that reduced by 75 percent the amount of plastic wrap used.

Castner started saving used plastic wrap two years ago by forming it into a ball. Co-workers soon joined him in the effort and the ball’s rapid growth served as an eye-opener to how much plastic wrap was being used. The ball, displayed outside Tobey-Kendel dining room when it hit the 300-pound mark in early April, continues to grow.

UNC is dedicated to creating a sustainable culture by educating the university community and stakeholders about current sustainable activities and practices as well as researching, exploring and adopting new sustainable partnerships with the community. UNC is working to cut down on waste and recycle and reuse whenever possible.

Visit www.unco.edu/sustainability for more information


Mines, UNC Enter Partnership to Address Teacher Shortage

Colorado School of Mines and UNC are leading the way with an innovative new partnership in response to state and national shortages of teachers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

Mines, Colorado’s premier engineering university, and UNC, the leading teacher preparation institution in the state, will team up to create the unique program. It will serve as a national model amid a U.S. presidential goal to prepare 100,000 new STEM teachers over the next decade.
Mines students in the program will complete their STEM content requirements on the Mines’ campus and then complete the education courses necessary to become a high quality teacher through UNC — via a hybrid online and on-campus program. Required field experiences will occur at middle and high schools near the Mines’ campus. Nearly half of Mines students recently surveyed expressed interest in the program.

Mines students who complete the program can graduate with a degree in an existing STEM area and apply for state licensure through the Colorado Department of Education. It’s anticipated that the program will begin fall 2015.


Behind the Building

KepnerOriginally called the “Training School” because it housed the K-12 classrooms where Colorado State Teachers College students plied their craft, the building was renamed in 1931 for Harry V. Kepner, who served on the college’s Board of Trustees from 1911 until his death in 1947. A longtime administrator in Denver Public Schools, Kepner received in 1933 the college’s first honorary degree.

Fast Facts

  • The Training School was built in segments starting in 1910, making it the second oldest to Carter Hall (1906) still standing on campus. The east and west wings were added in the mid-1920s and it remained the K-12 school until Bishop-Lehr Hall was completed in 1962.
  • Following the move, Kepner Hall housed several different departments until what is now the Monfort College of Business moved into the building in 1971. The entire building was renovated in 1987.


Civic, Community Engagement Efforts Formalized

UNC’s students, faculty and staff have long been extensively involved in a range of civic and community engagement activities, not only in and around Greeley, but around the world. Those efforts were formalized during the 2013-14 year.

After helping develop UNC’s Civic and Community Engagement collaborative plan, Deborah Romero, a member of the Hispanic Studies faculty and associate director for Faculty Development, in August was named UNC’s first director of Engagement.

In spring, Romero announced the inaugural call for nominations for the Phelps Family CAP Awards, which will provide scholarships for eligible students who have demonstrated exceptional commitment to improving the lives of others through volunteerism and other acts of giving back to the community. Championed by UNC friends Bob and Bonnie Phelps, whose son graduated from UNC, CAP stands for contribute, achieve and pay it forward, the program’s overarching criteria.

For UNC’s Engagement by the Numbers, click on “Reports and Resources” at www.unco.edu/cce


Brain Bike Shows Promise in Alleviating Chemo Side Effects

brain bikeA “brain” bike being used at UNC’s Rocky Mountain Cancer Rehabilitation Institute shows promise in alleviating side effects experienced by cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.
The institute’s recumbent, computer-connected bike combines physical activity with cognitive exercises. Following a chemo treatment, patients ride the bike while using a mouse hooked up to a computer to complete memory-recall tasks.

Preliminary findings from cognitive tests before and after the three-month program show promise for reducing negative effects of the chemo treatments.

Outside organizations are taking notice of the institute. RMCRI has received more than $2 million in grant funding from a number of agencies, including the American Cancer Society, the Susan G. Komen Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the Department of Health and
Human Services.


National Recognition SpursSelf-Guided Campus Tree Tour

After receiving designation again as a Tree Campus USA in January by the Arbor Day Foundation, in March UNC’s 246-acre campus received Level 1 accreditation from the national ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program and is now listed on the national Morton Register of Arboreta.

The additional recognition coincided with the debut of three self-guided tours of campus trees using the “Campus Tree Guide,” which includes a map of each tour (numbered stops on the map match low-profile wooden markers at the base of each tree), basic information about each tree species and facts about the UNC arboretum.

Each of the tours — Central Campus, University Center and West Campus — includes more than 30 trees and takes about an hour. Printed guides are available at kiosks at the start of each tour as well as at the UNC Visitors Center, the University Center and other locations such as the Greeley Chamber of Commerce.

A virtual tour, complete with photos, species description and campus location for each tree, is at www.unco.edu/treetour

Campus Tree Fast Facts

  • Total trees on campus: more than 3,700
  • Total trees on tree tours: 110
  • State Champion trees: 4 (Kentucky coffee tree, pecan tree,
    two Amur cork trees)
  • Trees that are native to Colorado: 1,255 (34 percent)


Student Choir Performs at Vatican

ChoirUNC’s Chamber Choir spent spring break in Italy singing in the annual Festival of Peace and Brotherhood.

The group was invited to St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican to sing five songs during a St. Patrick’s Day mass. The songs, which had to be pre-approved by the Vatican’s music director, included one composed by music composition major Patrick Rooney. Covering an area of almost six acres, with a 440-foot-tall dome that dominates the skyline of Rome, St. Peter’s is the largest church in the world.

“The fascinating aspect … was the way that their sound was picked up by the dome and transported back to the very entrance of the structure with pristine clarity; delicate, clean, and nuanced, yet at the same time filling the space,” says choir director Jill Burleson Burgett. “The sound was transmitted effectively to every corner of the massive structure.”

Listen to a recording at www.unco.edu/news/?6597


Class of 2014 Inducted into Athletics Hall of Fame

The 2014 class of the Athletics Hall of Fame was inducted Feb. 28 during a banquet in the University Center ballrooms and recognized during halftime of the men’s basketball team’s March 1 game against Portland State.

The inductees were:

  • Gilbert Anderson –  Contributor, Team Physician
  • Keith Bailey – Baseball, 1973-77
  • Jill Fadenrecht –  Basketball, Track & Field, 1999-03
  • Brian Kula –  Track & Field, Football, 1991-96
  • Robert Popp – Gymnastics, 1969-73
  • Emily Russell –  Golf, 2000-04
  • 1972-73 Men’s Swimming & Diving Team — members:
    Stan Benson, Tom Bryant (flip to page 30 for Bryant’s letter recalling his experience), Hal Christensen, Tim Ebuna, Jeff Graunke, Bruce Johnson, Steve Kern, Dan Lanini, Dick Monfort, Jack Olsson, David Randel, Rick Robinson, Joseph Schretzmann, Mike Shoop, and Bryan Smith; head coach: Hal McKain; assistant coaches: Rene J. Kern, Jr. and Evelyn Richardson; team manager: Chip Glidden.

Brief bios, video tributes and a slide show of the inductees are at www.unco.edu/news/?6463



Other Innovation Under Way
The university also recently established UNC BizHub, an incubator for educational and entrepreneurial services to help build sustainable businesses. UNC is in the process of establishing a clearinghouse that would offer a suite of services to help university researchers navigate the process of bringing their innovations to the marketplace.

Visit UNC BizHub at www.uncbizhub.org

“This helps us identify the not-so-obvious struggling student.”

–Stephanie Torrez (BA-95), assistant dean of Academic Support, in describing a powerful new advising tool that uses UNC specific analytics and predictive modeling in courses (markers for success in a chosen major) to reach students before it’s too late.

More details