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 Tuesday, March 27, 2007 IssueFaculty/Staff E-Newsletter


Reaching off campus and into communities
By Jeanne McDonald and Wynn Martens, Outreach Coordinators, Division of Continuing Education and Professional Studies

CU-Boulder faculty and students provide a wide variety of outreach programs to communities across Colorado. These programs extend the scholarship of the faculty and the educational resources of the university and serve various educational, social, economic, and cultural needs. The Division of Continuing Education and Professional Studies annually supports these efforts by designating funds for the CU-Boulder Outreach Committee along with contributions from the offices of the Chancellor and Provost. The committee awards funding to faculty projects designed specifically for external audiences of all ages that highlight faculty research, creative work, and teaching. Projects feature an extensive range of disciplines, including everything from history, literacy, dance, and musical arts to physics, math, and engineering.

A project the outreach committee has supported for the past six years is the 30-student CU-Boulder African Highlife Ensemble. Music professor Kwasi Ampene, a native of Ghana, teaches the group not only the rhythms and songs but also the culture and social importance behind the music, and shares it all through performances and school assemblies in many of Colorado’s small communities. The Ensemble will end their tour with a performance in Macky Auditorium on April 21. Ticket information is available on the Highlife Ensemble website.

Additionally, seed funding has assisted civil engineering professor Joe Ryan and his students in aiding two Colorado mountain towns by analyzing drainage from abandoned mines near their communities. A team of graduate and undergraduate students has been involved in testing for metal contamination in area streams, which have been traced back to historic mines near Jamestown and Crested Butte. Watershed stakeholder groups are now prioritizing cleanup plans based on the CU-Boulder analysis. Research findings have been instrumental in securing funds from the EPA for cleanup and remediation impact planning.

These projects, supported by the CU-Boulder Outreach Committee, are only a couple of examples of how faculty and students from across campus are involved with communities throughout Colorado. Outreach proposals for 2007-2008 are now being accepted. Application guidelines can be found online and the submission deadline is Wednesday, May 2. For more information, contact

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