By Hannah Stewart (Comm’19)
Photos by Kimberly Coffin (CritMed, StratComm’18)

For 12 days in June, a small group of incoming CMCI students experienced their first taste of college through CMCI’s Pathways to Excellence Summer Intensive Program.

Each year, Pathways brings high school graduates from underserved communities to campus to preview CMCI classes and meet faculty. The summer bridge program aims to uplift diverse voices and build connections between students and teachers through academic enrichment and community-building activities—all before they arrive on campus as first-year students. 

“Pathways is such an important program, allowing for students with diverse interests within CMCI to build relationships among themselves and with CU faculty and staff as they get a jumpstart on acclimating to campus,” said Hadassah Ward, a PhD student in the communication department.

Professors from various departments gave samples of their classes. Associate Professor Patrick Ferrucci represented the journalism department, talking with the students about sports journalism, doing research and analyzing statistics. 

Professor Logan Gomez, a PhD student in the communication department, led the students through a lesson in communication research. She showed them how to use library resources to analyze social movements and their impact on society.

Students also toured CBS4 in Denver and met with notable CU alumni who gave them tips about college, internships and career life. 

Through the program, incoming Buffs are able to make connections with their peers, peer mentors and faculty, which eases their transition to college.

“I think this program is very successful because the students become more comfortable with the whole college experience,” said fourth-year student Sydni Garcia, a peer mentor for the 2022 program. “I love being able to see the incoming students make friends that will have their back throughout the rest of their college career.”