Published: Oct. 30, 2020 By

FlagRemember to Vote! And enjoy that extra hour we get Saturday night with the time change.

New Additions

Sandra Sawaya has joined the Office of Undergraduate Education as our new Student Success Manager. She brings a range of expertise and skills that spans across several integrated spaces: educational psychology, mobile learning, user experience, product development, data visualization, design, and design thinking. She is passionate about using technology, data, and design to transform the student experience.

Sandra joined the CU Boulder community in 2015. Most recently, she' worked in the Office of Data Analytics where she led projects and developed data products to inform decision-making. She's also worked in the Office of Information Technology where she managed several design services and led the user experience research for Buff Portal and the LMS Selection initiative. Sandra holds a PhD in Educational Psychology and Educational Technology from Michigan State University and degrees in Psychology and Special Education from the American University of Beirut.

Riley holding baby brother Aiden

Proud Riley holding his new sibling, Aiden

When she's not working or thinking about ways to design a better student experience, Sandra makes art and enjoys spending time with her family. Welcome, Sandra!

Tim O’Neil and his wife Laura got a delightful surprise when their second child, Aiden, was born on Friday, October 23, 2020 -- two weeks early. Here’s older brother, Riley, proudly holding his new sibling. Tim will be on family leave until January 4th. (Fortunately, a slow time for UROP and PACE). Please contact Joan Gabriele with questions about UROP (or write

It's Halloween!

UEP Scholars devoted their October community gathering to celebrating Halloween. 

UEP Halloween Contest

Dorothy won, with Elton John coming in second.

Education Abroad Goes Virtual!

Anthony Nguyen standing on cliff near ocean

Anthony Nguyen

Prior to the pandemic, Spence Miller studied abroad at University of Wollongong in Australia. Anthony Nguyen originally planned to complete the in-person program as well. When the pandemic hit, Anthony became our first virtual exchange student at Wollongong, completing the program this fall! You can read about both ENGR students in an article on the College of Engineering and Applied Science International Programs website.

UROP Hosts Zoom Into Research and Creative Work

Furthering our efforts to contribute to an equitable and inclusive culture of inquiry-based learning for all students, UROP recently hosted two sessions of Zoom Into Research and Creative Work. The virtual events were a re-imagination of our annual UROP Symposium--typically a fast-paced faculty meet-and-greet where underrepresented students meet faculty and learn about their research, creative and scholarly work. Its goals are demystifying faculty and helping students imagine themselves as scholars and researchers. In partnership with SASC, UROP developed a new format for current times featuring a panel interview, followed by individual breakouts so students could continue to ask faculty about their scholar’s paths and other aspects of their lives. Corinna Rohse served as faculty interviewer. The first session featured Professors Jim Curry (Applied Math), Cheryl Higashida (English), Enrique Lopez (Education) and Celeste Montoya (Political Science, Women and Gender Studies and MASP). The second session’s faculty guests were Professors Ernesto Acevedo-Muñoz (Cinema Studies and Moving Image Arts), Clint Carroll (Native American and Indigenous Studies), Marcia Douglas (English and Creative Writing) and Jennifer Ho (Asian-American Studies and Director of CHA). More than 100 students attended! We’re immensely grateful for our collaborations and the CU faculty willing to share their stories with students. Watch recordings of the large group portions of each session here

CU Boulder McNair Scholars Present Research at Baylor University McNair Research Conference

On October 1 and 2, 2020, CU Boulder McNair Scholars presented faculty-mentored research at the virtual Baylor University McNair Research Conference.  In addition to oral and poster presentations, scholars attended a graduate school fair and networked with graduate program directors and PhD students from a wide variety of disciplines. Scholars also participated in panel discussions and workshops on strategies for competitive graduate applications in STEM fields; funding opportunities, expectations, and outcomes for graduate school; and writing personal statements.  

The McNair Scholars Program, funded at 187 universities across the nation, aims to prepare underrepresented students to acquire the knowledge, skills, and capabilities to successfully navigate a path to a PhD or EdD program.  If interested in becoming involved, please contact Dr. Yvonne Skoretz.   

“Whether or not you reach your goals in life depends entirely on how well you prepare for them.  Before you can make a dream come true, you must first have one.” – Dr. Ronald E. McNair

Efram Aredo with Dr. Abdulrhman Ahmed, Electrical Engineering, 5-G

Jorge Maximiliano Armendariz with Dr. Molly Gutilla, Anthropology/International Affairs, Educational Disparities in Latinx Newcomer Student Populations

Andrea Chamorro with Dr. Debanjan Mukherjee, Computer Science, Simulating Goal-Oriented Social Interaction in Confined Spaces via the Social Force Model

Rebecca Holmes with Dr. Blaine McCleskey, Environmental Geochemistry, Field Speciation of Hexavalent Chromium: An Alternative Method

Austen Keever with Alicja Hudson and Dr. Yvonne Skoretz, Environmental Design in Architecture, Post-Pandemic Urban Living

Molly Maceachen with Dr. Stefanie Johnson, Business & Sociology, Levers of Change at the Nexus of Business and Society in Relation to Sustainability

Josie Marquez with Dr. Alexis Templeton, Geology, Exploring Lipid Biomarker Profiles of Sulfate Reducing Bacteria in Low-Temperature Serpentinizing Systems Utilizing Batch Cultures

Jose Santos Navarro Arriola with Dr. Aditya S. Paul and Dr. Manoj T. Duraisingh, Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, Machine Learning to Predict Anti-Malarial Compounds

Louis Nunez with Dr. David Root, Psychology/Neuroscience, Opioids and How Stressor Controllability Influences Drug Seeking Behavior in Mice

Marwa Osman with Dr. Robert Spencer, Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, Red Light at Night: Identifying Unexpected Sources of Circadian Disruption

Diego Rios with Dr. Mark B. Moldwin, Astrophysics, Using Smartphone Sensors for Virtual Labs During COVID-19 Era

Gwendalynn Roebke with Drs. Ajume Wingo, Kate Semsar, and Guillermo Serrano Lopez, Philosophy, Power, Death, and Freedom: An Investigation into How Social Identity Affects our Perception of Self and Our Existential Experience

Jeremy Webb with Dr. Dimitra Psychogiou, Electrical Engineering, 3D Glass-Based RF Filters for 5G Communication Systems

Jiselle Ye with Dr. Fei Zhang, Electrical Engineering, Towards the Scaling Up of Perovskite Solar Cells: Perovskite Photovoltaic Module Modeling and Optimization