Skip to main content Skip to main content
Presidential Inauguration of Janine Davidson

Guest speakers

Inauguration week is not just about welcoming President Davidson to MSU Denver; it’s about engaging with some of the most pressing issues of our day. Each of three panel-discussion events will feature nationally recognized experts and state leaders, tackling topics such as the future of higher education, cybersecurity and sustainable workforce development. The Investiture ceremony will include remarks from notable local and national leaders, plus a keynote address from President Davidson.


Tuesday, Sept. 4


Lunch panel: Developing a talented and diverse local workforce

Jandel Allen-Davis

Jandel Allen-Davis, M.D.

Vice president of Government, External Relations and Research for Kaiser Permanente Colorado

Jandel Allen-Davis, M.D., is vice president of Government, External Relations and Research for Kaiser Permanente Colorado. She leads the organization’s government relations and regulatory affairs, community relations and community benefit investment, clinical research activities, stakeholder engagement, communications, and advertising and marketing functions.

Allen-Davis is board-certified in obstetrics and gynecology and, after 25 years, transitioned from a physician leader to Kaiser Permanente’s Health Plan Leadership team. Her past roles at Kaiser Permanente included associate medical director of external relations for the Colorado Permanente Medical Group, regional director of patient safety and physician chief of the Wheat Ridge Medical Offices. Allen-Davis was elected to the Colorado Permanente Medical Group board of directors in 1998 and chaired the board in her final year.

A graduate of Dartmouth College and Dartmouth Medical School, Allen-Davis completed her residency at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia. Before coming to work at Kaiser Permanente, she was an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and spent four years in the Indian Health Service in Tuba City, Ariz., during which she also served as member and chair of the American College of Obstetrician Gynecologists’ Committee on Alaska Native and Indian Affairs.

Allen-Davis believes health care will improve when all the primary stakeholder groups — clinicians, patients, elected officials, community leaders and employers — can collaborate effectively to put the patient at the center. “My vision is for Kaiser Permanente to be our community’s most valuable partner in health. We want to support dialogue and collaboration to help our patients, our people and Colorado thrive,” she said.

Allen-Davis is an active participant in the community, including time spent on boards for the Denver Botanic Gardens, Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry board of directors, Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce board of directors, Mile High United Way board of directors, Colorado Education Initiative board of directors, the Denver Foundation board of trustees and CU Foundation board of trustees. In 2013, she was appointed to serve on the board of Grantmakers in Health, a national organization focused on assisting funders who are actively involved in supporting nonprofits focused on community health. She is past president of the Denver Metro Chamber Leadership

Kelly Jean Brough

Kelly Jean Brough

President and CEO of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce

Kelly Brough is the president and CEO of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, which represents more than 3,000 businesses in Colorado. She’s worked to advance Coloradans through multiple capacities in the private sector, higher education, social services and government including as the director of an internationally recognized leadership program, chief of staff to then-Mayor John Hickenlooper and the first female director of human resources for the City of Denver. Kelly currently serves on the board of directors of the Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation, Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver, the Denver Scholarship Foundation and Visit Denver; the board of trustees for Colorado Mesa University; the Graduate School - Bioscience Advisory Board for the University of Colorado Denver Anschutz Medical Campus; and the corporate board of Delta Dental.

Shane Portfolio

Shane Portfolio

Senior Vice President of Technical Operations and Engineering, Comcast West Division

Shane Portfolio is senior vice president of Technical Operations and Engineering for the Comcast West Division, with responsibility for engineering, technical operations and advanced services for approximately 8.6 million customers. Shane oversees the division’s fiber network and IP-based infrastructure, and is instrumental in overseeing testing and deployment of new technologies and resources to assist the division’s technical operations and engineering teams in delivering a reliable network and customer experience, with innovative new products and services.

Prior to joining the West Division team, Shane was vice president, Engineering for the California Region, where he was responsible for the oversight, guidance, direction and vision for all Technical Engineering aspects throughout the Comcast California footprint.

Shane served as the vice president of Engineering and XOC in Comcast’s Central Division before moving to California. In that role, Shane was responsible for a team of 350 employees. Prior to that, Shane was the senior director of Network Operations for Comcast’s EPS organization.  He has also served as Comcast’s director of IP Operations.

Shane began his career in cable as a Comcast account executive answering technical phone calls.

Shane holds a Bachelor’s degree from Metropolitan State University of Denver, as well as master’s degrees from Regis University, the University of Denver and programs at Dartmouth University and Notre Dame University. He is currently auditing classes at Stanford University’s Master’s in Engineering program.

He is on the board of directors for WICT and the National Diversity Council and is vice chairman of SCTE Advanced Engineering and the Region One director for SCTE. He is also a former platoon sergeant and leadership instructor for the U.S. Army and successfully completed the Army’s Primary Leadership Course, Officer Candidate School and Senior Leadership Course.

 

Donna Tikkanen-Davis

Donna Tikkanen-Davis

Donna Tikkanen-Davis is Vice President, Global Employee Capability with Arrow Electronics

Donna Tikkanen-Davis is vice president, Global Employee Capability with Arrow Electronics.  Her 25 years in the human-resources profession spans various industry sectors to include financial services, retail, professional services and technology. The theme in her career has been transforming organizations via transforming leaders. She has played key roles in organizations growing their footprint, transforming their brand or expanding their product lines. In her current role, she leads a global team of HR professionals focused on talent development, talent pipelining, inclusion and diversity, and workforce analytics. Donna is an avid learner, holding a Master of Education in Instructional Design and Master of Arts in Organizational Psychology. She is a music enthusiast and enjoys creative writing and traveling.

 

Mark S. Yoss

Mark S. Yoss

Production Principal, Lockheed Martin Space

As a principal at Lockheed Martin Space, Mark represents the Production organization on all new business pursuits, make-or-buy decisions and research and development for advanced manufacturing technologies. Additionally, he represents LM Space on the Lockheed Martin Corporate Production Council. His position requires collaboration across the entire Space enterprise of 18,000 employees nationwide and the corporation of over 100,000 employees worldwide.

Mark started his career as a manufacturing engineer writing work instructions that technicians used to assemble electronics boxes for rockets and satellites. He then progressed through the ranks of management from floor supervision to general foreman to senior manager, leading teams of 10 to 100.

Throughout his 34-year career, Mark has been passionate about continuous improvement. He was first certified as a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt in 2001 and is now a Master Black Belt.

Mark is the Lockheed Martin focus school advisor to Metropolitan State University of Denver, serving on the Aerospace and Engineering Sciences Industry Advisory board, and coordinates the highly successful workforce co-op program.

Mark is serving his second year as a board member of Colorado’s Advanced Manufacturing Association. CAMA is a statewide, member-based trade association exclusively dedicated to advancing manufacturing in Colorado by helping its members stay competitive, build prosperous relationships, stay informed, save time and money, grow their workforce and advance their business through education, connections and strategic resources.

Mark graduated from Illinois State University in 1983 with a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Technology. He was a member of the Golden Key National Honor Society and served as the vice president of Iota Lambda Sigma, a professional industrial-technology fraternity. Mark is a published author and occasional presenter at Aerospace Manufacturing Industry conferences and symposiums.

Mark is an active company and community volunteer, donating 100-plus hours a year for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math education in grades K-12. For the past 20 years, he has sponsored “Space Day” at local elementary schools with the intent of inspiring students to continue the stellar work of today’s space explorers.

Wednesday, Sept. 5


Breakfast panel: the future of higher education

Portrait of Dan Baer

Dan Baer

Executive director of the Colorado Department of Higher Education

Dan Baer was appointed executive director of the Colorado Department of Higher Education by Gov. John Hickenlooper and assumed the role June 8. An accomplished advocate for human rights and democracy, he is a diplomat in residence at the University of Denver’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies.

Prior to joining the department, Baer served as U.S. ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe from 2013 to 2017. He previously served as deputy assistant secretary of state for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor from 2009 to 2013. Baer was an assistant professor at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business, a faculty fellow at Harvard’s Safra Center for Ethics and a project leader at the Boston Consulting Group. 

Baer has appeared on CNN, Fox, MSNBC, BBC, PBS Frontline, Al-Jazeera, Sky and “The Colbert Report,” and his writing has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Foreign Affairs, Politico, The Christian Science Monitor, Foreign Policy, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Westword, The Denver Post and several other publications.

Baer holds a doctorate in international relations from Oxford University, where he was a Marshall Scholar, and a degree in social studies and African American studies from Harvard. A Colorado native, Baer lives in Denver with his husband, Brian. 

Rebecca Chopp

Rebecca Chopp, Ph.D.

Chancellor of the University of Denver

Rebecca Chopp, Ph.D., has been chancellor of the University of Denver since September 2014. Informed by a planning process that consulted thousands of community members, she developed the DU IMPACT 2025 strategic plan, focused on the 21st-century transformation of knowledge, the holistic education of students and the University’s engagement in local and global organizations and communities. A visionary leader, Chopp emphasizes the importance of developing DU as an intentional community – among students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends of the University – and creating a welcoming and inclusive global community and a campus where people from all backgrounds can thrive.

From 2009 to 2014, Chopp was president of Swarthmore College, founded in 1864 outside Philadelphia and ranked the third-best liberal-arts college in the United States by U.S. News and World Report. At Swarthmore, Chopp passionately upheld the College’s longstanding commitment to admitting the most highly qualified students without regard for their financial circumstances. She supported innovative ways for faculty and students to interact at Swarthmore and extended the distinct role the school plays in educating students to build inclusive communities and to become leaders motivated to contribute to the common good.

Before joining Swarthmore, Chopp served as president of Colgate University, where she led a comprehensive strategic plan that expanded the university's academic space, strengthened academic programs and developed new interdisciplinary centers. She also served as provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at Emory University and as a dean at Yale University.

Chopp is a widely published author and editor. Her six books include “Remaking College: Innovation and the Liberal Arts” (2013), which she co-edited with Haverford College President Dan Weiss. Her other notable publications are “The Praxis of Suffering: An Interpretation of Liberation and Political Theologies” (1986) and “The Power to Speak: Feminism, Language, God” (1989). She has published more than 50 articles.

Chopp serves on the governing board of the Association of American Colleges and Universities. Previously, she was on the board of the National Survey of Student Engagement. Chopp has also served as a member of the executive committee of the Annapolis Group and the Board of Trustees of the Carnegie Foundation for Teaching and president of the American Academy of Religion.

A native of Kansas, Chopp received a B.A. from Kansas Wesleyan University, a MDiv from St. Paul School of Theology and a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. Each of her alma maters has honored her with distinguished awards, and she has received six honorary doctorates from other colleges and universities.

Chopp is married to Frederick Thibodeau. They have three sons, one living in Colorado, as well as other family who also reside in the state.

Foster

Tim Foster

President, Colorado Mesa University

Tim Foster has served as the 10th president of Colorado Mesa University since March 2004, when he was appointed by the Colorado Mesa University Board of Trustees. A former member of Colorado Gov. Bill Owens’ Cabinet, Foster has served as the executive director for the Colorado Commission on Higher Education. He was initially appointed to the position by Owens in 1999 and reappointed in 2003.

Foster also served as head of the Department of Higher Education, which includes the Colorado Historical Society and the Colorado Council on the Arts, and served on the boards of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, the Denver Chamber of Commerce and its Committee on Science and Technology. Prior to directing the Colorado Commission on Higher Education, Foster was elected to the Colorado House of Representatives in 1988 and served as the Majority Leader from 1993 to 1996. He received numerous awards from diverse groups such as the Sierra Club and Ducks Unlimited, as well as the Iron Skillet award from the Colorado Restaurant Association and the Guardian Award from the National Federation of Independent Business. During that time, Foster was also a partner in the general-practice law firm of Foster, Larson, Laiche and Griff in Grand Junction. The Grand Junction native’s numerous community activities include service on the Board of Governors of the Colorado Bar Association and the Board of Powderhorn Ski Area, and chairmanships of the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce and the Grand Junction Economic Partnership.

Foster earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics with honors from Kenyon College in 1980. He completed graduate coursework for a master’s degree in mineral economics at the Colorado School of Mines from 1982 to 1984. Foster also earned a Juris Doctorate from the University of Denver - College of Law in 1984. The married father of four sons, Foster is an avid bike rider, skier, swimmer, soccer player and coach. In June 2008, he placed third in his division in the annual Alcatraz Sharkfest Swim.

Joe Garcia

Joe Garcia

President of the Colorado Community College System (CCCS)

Joe Garcia is the President of the Colorado Community College System (CCCS).  As CCCS President, Garcia leads the state’s largest system of higher education, which serves 137,000 students annually at 13 colleges and 39 locations across Colorado.

Prior to his role at CCCS, Garcia served two years as President of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (“WICHE”), an interstate compact created to provide access to, and improve the quality of, higher education opportunities for residents of the western United States. 

From 2011 to 2016, he served as the Lt. Governor of Colorado and as the Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Higher Education. During his time as Lt. Governor, Garcia focused on increasing equity in outcomes for all students, particularly those from low income backgrounds and communities of color.

For nearly a decade, Garcia served as President at both a four-year and two-year institution. From 2006 to 2010, he was President of Colorado State University-Pueblo, which was named the 2008 Outstanding Member Institution by the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities. From 2001 to 2006, Garcia was President of Pikes Peak Community College, Colorado’s second largest community college.

Garcia’s previous public service positions included serving as a member of the Cabinet of Governor Roy Romer and as a White House appointee under President Bill Clinton. He was the first Hispanic partner in the 100-year history of Denver based Holme Roberts & Owen where he focused on public education law. 

Dorothy A. Horrell

Dorothy A. Horrell, Ph.D.

Chancellor of the University of Colorado Denver

Dorothy A. Horrell, Ph.D., began as chancellor of the University of Colorado Denver in January 2016. As Colorado’s public urban research university, CU Denver educates over 15,000 students annually in over 100 bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral and professional degree programs. Her administration is focused on CU Denver becoming an indisputable asset of the city by prioritizing student success, scholarly excellence, community impact, inclusive excellence and financial sustainability. 

Horrell brings an extensive background in higher education to this role, having served as president of the Colorado Community College System (1998-2000) and president of Red Rocks Community College (1989-98) and as a gubernatorial appointee to the Colorado State University Board of Governors (2009-15) and chair from 2013-15. 

From 2001-13, she was president and CEO of the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation, Colorado’s leading foundation supporting the arts and nonprofit leadership. The Livingston Fellowship program, which she conceptualized and developed, stands as a lasting legacy for Colorado’s nonprofit sector.  

She currently serves on the boards of Downtown Denver Inc., the Metro Denver Economic Development Commission and the Coalition of Urban Serving Universities. Her past community involvement includes service on a number of education, health-care and business boards – many of which she served in leadership roles.   

Inducted into the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame in 2018, Horrell has also been honored by the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce – Top 25 Most Powerful Women and 2016 ATHENA leadership award; Colorado 4-H Hall of Fame; Public Education and Business Coalition – Investing in Education Award; Progressive 15 Alumni of the Plains; and the Colorado State University College of Applied Human Sciences Honor Alumna; and as the Mile High Council of Girl Scouts Woman of Distinction.

A Colorado native, Horrell earned her bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from Colorado State University.​ She resides in Wheat Ridge with her husband, Ted, and they are the parents of one daughter, Meghan, and the grandparents of 6-year-old Ailie.  

Thursday, Sept. 6


Cybersecurity Panel: Securing the future

Steve Beaty

Steve Beaty, P.h.D.

Professor of Computer Science, MSU Denver

Steve Beaty, Ph.D., has an extensive background in both the theoretic and pragmatic aspects of computers and networks.  He wrote compilers at Cray Computer, managed a large group of developers and was a software test architect at Hewlett-Packard.  He was also the security team lead at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder.
At Metropolitan State University of Denver, Beaty is currently a professor of Computer Science and has served as chair of the Mathematical and Computer Sciences Department and interim vice-president for Information Technology. He works on a number of open-source projects, consults with a variety of businesses and interviews regularly with the media.
Jennifer Kurtz

Jennifer Kurtz

Manufacturer’s Edge

Jennifer Kurtz works with Manufacturer’s Edge clients to protect their information assets and achieve compliance with security standards such as ISO 27001 and NIST 800-171.

Since 2011, Jennifer has promoted the success of hundreds of small businesses through work with the Denver Metro and Pikes Peak SBDCs, and co-led the Leading Edge for Transportation/Construction Industry and the Growth Catalyst Business Coaching programs. She has developed and taught graduate courses in cybersecurity and project management at Regis University since 2011; authored “Hacking Wireless Access Points: Cracking, Tracking and Signal Jacking” (2016) and a chapter of “The Data Breach and Encryption Handbook” (2011); written numerous articles on cybersecurity, economic development and e-government; and designed online cybersecurity courses for small businesses and individuals.

Before moving to Colorado, Jennifer was IT manager for an international automotive manufacturer, project manager for the Indiana manufacturing extension partnership, affiliate faculty at Ball State University and award-winning director of e-commerce for the State of Indiana. She holds an MBA and PMP certification.

LINKS TO ONLINE COURSES

Cyber Security Awareness: Mobile Device Security https://www.pluralsight.com/courses/mobile-device-security-cyber

https://www.lynda.com/IT-Infrastructure-tutorials/Cybersecurity-Awareness-Identifying-Personally-Identifiable-Information/651216-2.html

Cyber Security Awareness: The Protection and Destruction of Portable Data https://www.pluralsight.com/courses/portable-data-protection-destruction

https://www.lynda.com/IT-Infrastructure-tutorials/Cybersecurity-Awareness-Protection-Destruction-Portable-Data/651217-2.html

Cyber Security Awareness: Identifying Personally Identifiable Information (PII) https://www.pluralsight.com/courses/identifying-personally-identifiable-information

https://www.lynda.com/IT-Infrastructure-tutorials/Cybersecurity-Awareness-Identifying-Personally-Identifiable-Information/651216-2.html

 

Venkat Reddy

Venkat Reddy

Chancellor, University of Colorado Colorado Springs

Venkat Reddy, a professor of finance, was appointed in May as the seventh full-time chancellor of the University of Colorado Colorado Springs. In his 26-year span at UCCS, he has served in the roles of interim chancellor, associate vice chancellor for Online Education and dean of the College of Business. Reddy received his Ph.D. in Finance and master’s in Agricultural Economics from the Pennsylvania State University. 

Reddy continues the student-focused and community-engagement tradition of UCCS. He works closely with administrators, faculty, staff, alumni, CU system and community leaders in executing the mission of UCCS and continuing its positive trajectory. Reddy’s focus is on enhancing the learning experiences of students inside and outside the classroom by attracting and retaining the best faculty and staff, increasing internship, undergraduate-research and study-abroad opportunities, increasing the number of scholarships, and expanding online education among other learning experiences. He is also pursuing initiatives such as cybersecurity research, teaching and workforce development as well as mission-aligned public-private partnerships. Reddy has served on the boards of Wells Fargo Bank, Goodwill Industries and the Colorado Springs Police Foundation, and he continues to serve on the board of the Colorado Springs Chamber and EDC. Colorado Springs Business Journal recognized Reddy as one of the 17 leaders in Colorado Springs to watch in 2017.

General Robert E Schmidle Jr

Lt. Gen. Robert E Schmidle Jr., USMC ret., Ph.D. (DLS)

University Advisor on Cyber Capabilities and Conflict Studies at Arizona State University

Lt. Gen. Schmidle is the university advisor on Cyber Capabilities and Conflict Studies at Arizona State University. Schmidle is also a professor of Practice in the School of Politics and Global Studies. Additionally, he is a senior fellow in the Center on the Future of War at Arizona State. While on active duty, he served as the first Deputy Commander of United States Cyber Command, responsible for standing up the command while concurrently executing full-spectrum cyber operations. Subsequently, he was the head of Marine Aviation, and his final assignment on active duty was as the principal deputy director, Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation in the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

Schmidle has extensive operational flying experience, amassing nearly 4,700 hours in tactical fighters and participating in combat operations in Iraqi and Bosnia. He commanded an F-18 squadron, VMFA-251 in combat and aboard USS America as part of Carrier Air Wing One. He was also selected for an extraordinary second operational command of another F-18 squadron, VMFA-115. As a colonel, he commanded the Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force (Experimental), planning and executing the Marine Corps Warfighting Experiments. As a brigadier general, he was the deputy chief of staff for the Office of the Secretary of Defense Quadrennial Defense Review Team and the deputy director for Resources and Acquisition Joint Staff J-8. As a major general, he commanded the First Marine Aircraft Wing, which included all Marine Corps aviation in the Pacific Theater. He also led the Marine Corps Quadrennial Defense Review Team. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Drew University, a master’s degree from American University and a doctorate from Georgetown University. His thesis, recognized with distinction, was titled, “The Power of Context in Shaping Moral Choices.” He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Defense Science Board. His numerous publications are in the fields of moral philosophy, social psychology and military history.

Brenden Smith

Brenden Smith

Chief Information Security Officer

Brenden Smith has spent the past 12 years in the security industry, 10 of which are with FirstBank. As chief information security officer, he has worked to implement industry-leading controls and processes such as application whitelisting or red team testing. Notable accomplishments include being a member of Google’s Security Hall of Fame and researching black-market economies.

Friday, Sept. 7


Investiture ceremony

Rebecca Chopp

Rebecca Chopp, Ph.D.

Chancellor of the University of Denver

Rebecca Chopp, Ph.D., has been chancellor of the University of Denver since September 2014. Informed by a planning process that consulted thousands of community members, she developed the DU IMPACT 2025 strategic plan, focused on the 21st-century transformation of knowledge, the holistic education of students and the University’s engagement in local and global organizations and communities. A visionary leader, Chopp emphasizes the importance of developing DU as an intentional community – among students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends of the University – and creating a welcoming and inclusive global community and a campus where people from all backgrounds can thrive.

From 2009 to 2014, Chopp was president of Swarthmore College, founded in 1864 outside Philadelphia and ranked the third-best liberal-arts college in the United States by U.S. News and World Report. At Swarthmore, Chopp passionately upheld the College’s longstanding commitment to admitting the most highly qualified students without regard for their financial circumstances. She supported innovative ways for faculty and students to interact at Swarthmore and extended the distinct role the school plays in educating students to build inclusive communities and to become leaders motivated to contribute to the common good.

Before joining Swarthmore, Chopp served as president of Colgate University, where she led a comprehensive strategic plan that expanded the university's academic space, strengthened academic programs and developed new interdisciplinary centers. She also served as provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at Emory University and as a dean at Yale University.

Chopp is a widely published author and editor. Her six books include “Remaking College: Innovation and the Liberal Arts” (2013), which she co-edited with Haverford College President Dan Weiss. Her other notable publications are “The Praxis of Suffering: An Interpretation of Liberation and Political Theologies” (1986) and “The Power to Speak: Feminism, Language, God” (1989). She has published more than 50 articles.

Chopp serves on the governing board of the Association of American Colleges and Universities. Previously, she was on the board of the National Survey of Student Engagement. Chopp has also served as a member of the executive committee of the Annapolis Group and the Board of Trustees of the Carnegie Foundation for Teaching and president of the American Academy of Religion.

A native of Kansas, Chopp received a B.A. from Kansas Wesleyan University, a MDiv from St. Paul School of Theology and a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. Each of her alma maters has honored her with distinguished awards, and she has received six honorary doctorates from other colleges and universities.

Chopp is married to Frederick Thibodeau. They have three sons, one living in Colorado, as well as other family who also reside in the state.

Michael B. Hancock

Michael B. Hancock

Mayor of Denver

Michael B. Hancock is Denver’s 45th mayor. During his time in office, Hancock and his administration have eliminated the city’s budget deficit, fostered a diverse economy and restored much-needed services that were lost during the recession. With a drive toward increasing opportunity for every resident, he has prioritized innovative solutions to investing in the city’s children and youth; increasing mobility options, affordable housing and services for the homeless; supporting economic mobility, entrepreneurs and small businesses; and making government work smarter for residents.

 

Michelle M. Lucero Headshot

Michelle M. Lucero, Esq.

Trustee, MSU Denver

Michelle is the chief administrative officer and general counsel for Children’s Hospital Colorado where she is responsible for leading Children’s Colorado’s Legal Affairs (including all contract and legal matters), Corporate Compliance, Information Security, and Risk Management teams. At Children’s Colorado, Michelle works closely with the senior management team and physicians, the Board of Directors, and University of Colorado key stakeholders to seek out creative and legally appropriate solutions to opportunities and challenges.
Prior to joining Children’s Hospital Colorado, Michelle was vice president of employee relations for Centura Health for six years where she was responsible for strategy and resolution regarding all employee-relation issues for more than 13,000 associates. Prior to that, Michelle served for three years in the mayor-appointed position of deputy city attorney for the City and County of Denver.
A native of Ignacio, Colorado, Michelle holds a J.D. from the University of Colorado at Boulder where she received the Edward C. King Award for leadership and scholarship. In addition to MSU Denver’s Board, she is on the Denver Metropolitan Chamber Leadership Foundation, and the Winter Park Advisory Council. Among her many accolades Michelle was named the 2016 Business Woman of the Year by the Colorado Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the 2016 Outstanding Corporate Council by the University of Colorado Law School, the 2015 “25 Most Powerful Women in Colorado” distinction by the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce, and a 2015 Trailblazer Honoree by the Latinas First Foundation.
General Darren W. McDew

Gen. Darren W. McDew

USAF, Commander USTRANSCOM

Gen. Darren W. McDew is the commander of U.S. Transportation Command, one of nine Unified Commands under the Department of Defense. USTRANSCOM is a global combatant command with functional responsibilities for air, land and sea transportation for the Department of Defense, ultimately delivering national objectives on behalf of the president and secretary of defense.

McDew was commissioned in 1982 following his graduation from Virginia Military Institute. He began his flying career at Loring Air Force Base, Maine. His staff assignments include serving as a member of the Air Force Chief of Staff Operations Group, Air Force aide to the president, chief of the Air Force Senate Liaison Division and the director of the Air Force Public Affairs office. McDew also served as the vice director of Strategic Plans and Policy for the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He served as the commander of the 18th Air Force at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, and held command positions at the squadron, group and wing levels. He deployed in support of ongoing operations in Central and Southwest Asia as an air expeditionary group commander and later as the director of mobility forces.

McDew is a command pilot with more than 3,300 flying hours in a variety of mobility aircraft. Prior to his current assignment, McDew was the commander of Air Mobility Command, Scott Air Force Base, Illinois.

John Paul Pogge, Esq.

Chair, MSU Denver Board of Trustees

Jack Pogge was elected chair of the MSU Denver Board of Trustees in December 2017. Jack was appointed to the MSU Denver Board of Trustees in 2012 and reappointed in 2013 and 2017.
He serves on the Governance Committee.
Jack comes to MSU Denver’s board having served as the president and COO of CSG International, a provider of outsourced billing, customer care, and other services supporting North America’s broadband and direct broadcast satellite markets. Prior to working for CSG, he was the chief counsel of mergers and acquisitions and vice president of corporate development at the former US West and vice president and general counsel for Applied Communications Inc. Jack earned his bachelor's degree in business administration and finance from the University of Houston and his juris doctorate from Creighton University School of Law.
Stephen Jordan

Stephen M. Jordan, Ph.D.

Former president, Metropolitan State University of Denver

When he took the helm in 2005, President Jordan put MSU Denver on the path to becoming the preeminent public urban university in the nation. Under his leadership, MSU Denver achieved university status, launched its first master’s degree programs, established a School of Education and saw plans for a Hotel and Hospitality Learning Center, a Student Success Building and an Athletic Complex come to fruition. Jordan masterfully navigated the financial downturn of 2007-09 and deep internal budget cuts to retool and reposition the University for the future.

Jordan oversaw a number of projects to improve retention and graduation rates, a defining characteristic of his presidency. Statistics point to a clear correlation between student retention and the number of full-time faculty teaching lower-division classes; accordingly, Jordan added 200 tenured or tenure-track faculty members during his time at the University. The overall result was an increased number of graduates every year, totaling nearly 63 percent over 10 years with almost 1,400 more degrees granted in 2014-15 than a decade prior.

Many of these retention and graduation initiatives were developed specifically to support students of color. Jordan oversaw the creation of a First Year Success Program, a learning community with support services for incoming freshmen. In addition, he established the University’s goal of achieving Hispanic-Serving Institution status by 2018, meaning that Latino enrollment would have to reach 25 percent. The University reached 25 percent Latino enrollment shortly before his retirement. In Jordan’s final year, the student population comprised 35 percent students of color and 32 percent first-generation students. Among the many transformed by his progressive vision were undocumented students; Jordan’s courageous leadership in creating a nonresident tuition rate in 2012 evened the playing field for Colorado’s undocumented students and heralded the ultimate passage of the ASSET bill.

Jordan’s time at MSU Denver was also notable for a focus on developing programs through public-private partnerships that fed Colorado industries. He worked with industry leaders to lay the groundwork for the Aerospace and Engineering Sciences Building, for example, which opened in 2017 and serves as a training ground for the next generation of professionals in advanced manufacturing. An integrated curriculum, developed in collaboration with industry partners, educates a highly competent workforce that contributes to Colorado’s economic vitality.

While president at MSU Denver, Jordan served as the chair of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities and chair of the AASCU’s Voluntary System of Accountability as well as on the Downtown Denver Partnership board. Among many awards, he received the Latin American Educational Foundation’s 2014 Sol Trujillo National Lifetime Leadership Award and the Anti-Defamation League’s 2014 Civil Rights Award. Both organizations honored him for his work on behalf of undocumented students. He also was recognized by the Denver business community with a Martin Luther King Jr. Business Award for his commitment to the values espoused by King.

Jordan announced his retirement from MSU Denver in September 2016 and left his post in June 2017. Since retiring, he has done consulting work for AASCU. In February, he was the keynote speaker at the Colorado College and Career Readiness Conference, where he addressed the higher-education gap.  

Jordan began his 30-year career in higher-education administration at the University of Colorado as the assistant secretary to the Board of Regents and an attendant instructor in the Graduate School of Public Affairs. From there, he took increasingly prominent positions as an assistant vice chancellor, then vice chancellor at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, before becoming the deputy executive director for finance and planning for the Arizona Board of Regents and an adjunct professor in the Center for Educational Leadership at Arizona State University. In 1994, Jordan was named executive director of the Kansas Board of Regents, and in 1998 he became president of Eastern Washington University, a position he held for seven years.

Jordan grew up in Colorado. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Northern Colorado and a master’s degree in public affairs and a doctorate from the University of Colorado Denver. He and his wife, Ruthie, have two sons, a daughter and six grandchildren.

Edit this page