Published: Feb. 12, 2018
Helen Norton

University of Colorado Law School Professor Helen Norton, former deputy assistant attorney general for civil rights at the U.S. Department of Justice and a leading constitutional law scholar, is among the featured presenters on the first stop of Chancellor Philip P. DiStefano’s CU Boulder Next national tour.

The nine-stop tour launches Feb. 24 in Los Angeles and will span four years. The outreach tour aims to bring people together around shared interests, inspire creativity and collaboration and deepen partnerships.

DiStefano invites prospective students and families, friends of the university, alumni and business and community leaders to learn more about what’s on the horizon at Colorado’s flagship campus in the realms of research, innovation, culture and education. Read his message about CU Boulder Next.

“This exciting program showcases the phenomenal breadth of academic achievement that makes CU Boulder a top university for innovation,” said DiStefano. “We look forward to interacting with alumni, donors, parents and prospective students in cities across the U.S. beginning in Los Angeles.”

Topics to be explored in L.A. include:

  • Mysteries of the teenage brain Psychology Professor Marie Banich really does know how teens think. Her work at CU Boulder's Banich Lab uses brain imaging techniques to understand the neural systems that process emotion, social information and rewards. The research illuminates the science behind “crazy” teen behavior, but also the wonderful opportunities of youth.
  • Poetry of pop songs Beyoncé. Radiohead. Chance the Rapper. Taylor Swift. All of these artists set words to rhythm, rhyme, and image, but their lyrics are rarely recognized as poetry. But your favorite song is—among other things—a poem. English Professor Adam Bradley invites participants to explore some of the fundamental mysteries surrounding the language of popular music. Drawing on sound and video, this session will go behind the music to reveal the magic, the mystery, and the mayhem that makes up the poetry of pop.
  • Government speech in the age of Twitter At what point does our government's speech threaten equality or liberty such that it offends the Equal Protection or Due Process Clauses? Professor Helen Norton holds the Ira C. Rothgerber, Jr. Chair in Constitutional Law at the University of Colorado and is a former deputy assistant attorney general for civil rights at the U.S. Department of Justice. Participants will learn what the Constitution can do to prohibit our government from lying to us in the age of Twitter.
  • Fueling Buffs for high performance Laura Anderson, CU Athletic's director of Performance Nutrition, works with student athletes to shape their mindset when it comes to fueling for athletic performance. Anderson connects the dots between nutrition, training and performance, forging perhaps the most dynamic food conversation and health opportunity in the NCAA.

The tour programming takes a deep dive into the university’s three strategic imperatives: shaping tomorrow’s leaders, positively impacting humanity and being a top university for innovation.

Activities include: short, Ted-style talks—called Buff Talks—by faculty and students who are breaking the boundaries in research, arts and culture. In addition, there will be interactive kiosks where participants can chat informally with each other or campus representatives, and a range of inspiring performances. Participants will also have an opportunity to chat with the chancellor and other campus leaders.

Other CU Boulder Next tour stops include: Washington, D.C., Seattle, San Francisco, Denver, Houston, Chicago, New York City, and Boulder.

Learn more or register by visiting the CU Boulder Next website at