Defining DU

What is it that defines DU? What are the characteristics, practices and experiences that make us who we are? What examples of stimulating engagement, creative collaboration or innovative activities could we expand or better support?

  • Ryan MacDonald

    For me, DU is defined by a stunning campus in an even more impressive location. DU is defined by an active student body and a sense of adventure, which creates a unique atmosphere of learning. While classes are important, exploration outside the classroom and involvement in various activities is just as big a part of students’ lives. This creates an impressively well-rounded college experience and a lifestyle that isn’t available to many other students around the country.

  • Well said, Ryan. From my perspective, a *close* connection between the teaching we do, research we do, and engagement with the community (local and global) is something many talk about…but is what DU *does.*

  • Gina Johnson

    It is impressive how many DU students participate in some form of study abroad while they are enrolled here. However we can connect that experience abroad with the rest of their time at the University and bring internationalization home will benefit the entire DU community.

  • Virginia Pitts

    When it comes to examples of stimulating engagement that I’d love to see us expand upon, I’m especially excited about the work the CCSEL (our Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning) does to support service learning/experiential learning. I would love to see that expand. In fact, could imagine a DU where that kind of experiential, community engaged learning is actually the *backbone* of all that we have students do here at DU (rather than an add on).

    For instance, I could envision having all students *begin* their experience here at DU by joining some sort of large, complex, interdisciplinary, ongoing project right off-the-bat that helps them see the need for all of their additional coursework (as well as the need for collaboration, the ability to work across disciplines, and the ability to incorporate diverse perspectives). They could then select courses with that in mind … and they’d be able to apply all that they are learning in these courses to these ongoing experiences/projects that students from across DU participate in and that are at the heart of what DU does. It would require quite the effort to design experiences that require the different kinds of knowledge and skills we want to help students develop (and quite a support structure to make that happen!), but it sure would be amazing if we could figure out how to pull that off.