Outreach Awards support 28 community outreach projects

Back to news

By Sue Postema Scheeres


More than 20,000 people in Colorado and beyond will benefit from community-based initiatives, K-12 programs, legal clinics and other projects in the coming year, thanks to support from the 2020–21 CU Boulder Outreach Awards.

These annual awards fund faculty-led research, teaching and creative work that address substantial community needs. The CU Boulder Outreach Committee, composed of faculty and staff from many disciplines, selected 28 projects for awards this year. 

“Project teams are reaching beyond the university to partner with nonprofits, schools, government agencies, businesses and more,” said Sara Thompson, dean of Continuing Education and vice provost for outreach and engagement. “While in-person events and meetings with community members may not be possible, CU Boulder faculty, staff and students are finding innovative and creative ways of adapting their programs to virtual environments.”

Thompson also noted that these projects align with the division of Continuing Education’s mission of providing lifelong learning opportunities for diverse populations across Colorado. 

The Office of the Chancellor, Office of the Provost and the Division of Continuing Education fund these awards, and the Office for Outreach and Engagement within Continuing Education administers them. Since 1999, 836 projects have received awards. 

These projects represent a portion of the outreach work involving faculty and staff. Currently, there are more than 200 programs that connect faculty research, teaching and creative work with public needs.

2020-21 Outreach Award recipients

College of Arts and Sciences

Attention, Behavior, and Learning Clinic: Affordable Childhood Evaluations
Research Associate Nomita Chhabildas and Professor Erik Willcutt
Department of Psychology and Neuroscience

Brain Behavior Clinic and Boulder County Homelessness
Associate Clinical Professor Emily Richardson
Department of Psychology and Neuroscience

Colorado Classics Day 2020
Professor Dimitri Nakassis and Assistant Professor Zachary Herz
Department of Classics

Literacy Practicum
Professor Kira Hall
Department of Linguistics

CU Contemporary Dance Works Residency Tour
Assistant Professor Helanius Wilkins and Production
Outreach & Engagement Liaison Ondine Geary
Department of Theatre & Dance

School of Education

2020 Children’s Book Festival
Associate Professor Bridget Dalton
Literacy Studies

Family Inquiry on Elementary Reading and Digital Literacy
Assistant Professor Silvia Noguerón-Liu

Public Impact Project on Affordable and Quality Housing
Executive Director Roudy Hildreth and Faculty Co-Director Siomara Valladaries, CU Engage
Graduate Research Assistant Beatriz Salazar

Special Educator Roles in Multi-Tiered System of Supports
Research Associate Professor John Hoover 

Graduate School

Colombian Displaced Communities: Planning and Urban Design Seminar
Assistant Professor Jota Samper
Program in Environmental Design

Colorado Law

The Acequia Project: Helping San Luis Valley Farmers
Professor Sarah Krakoff
Deputy Director Shaun LaBarre, Getches-Wilkinson Center for Natural Resources, Energy, and the Environment

Constitutional Literacy in Colorado High Schools
Professor Suzette Malveaux, Adjunct Professor Matthew Cushing
Clinical Professor Colene Robinson and Senior Assistant Dean Jennifer Sullivan

Criminal Clinic/City of Boulder ID Project
Clinical Professor Ann England

Expanding Representation for Colorado’s Workers
Associate Clinical Professor Zachary Mountin

Implementing Indigenous People’s Rights through the UN Declaration
Professor Kristen Carpenter

Supporting Native Voting Rights during a Global Pandemic
Clinical Professor Carla Fredericks

College of Music

Middle School Ensembles Program
Associate Professor David Rickels

Research Institutes

Girls at the Museum Exploring Science (GAMES)
Assistant Professor Jingchun Li, CU Museum of Natural History and Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Science Education Coordinator Gianna Sullivan, CU Museum of Natural History

Interdisciplinary and Faculty Group Awards

CU Restoration Ecology Experiential Learning Program
Professor Tim Seastedt, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR)
Professor Sharon Collinge, Department of Environmental Studies
Instructor Tracy Halward, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Academic Services Associate Director Kristin Lopez, Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology

Empowering Economically Disadvantaged Adolescents with Complex Communication Needs
Clinic Faculty Member Sherri Tennant and Assistant Professor Christine Brennan
Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences

Expanding Awareness of Colorado’s Latinx History and Culture
Distinguished Professor Emerita Marjorie McIntosh, Department of History
Associate Professor Arturo Aldama, Department of Ethnic Studies
Senior Instructor Kent Willmann, School of Education
Director Jason Ramero and Advisory Council Member Linda Arroyo-Holmstrom, Latino History Project

Indigenous Connections at Rocky Mountain National Park
Professor Patricia Limerick and Research Associate Brooke Neely, Center of the American West
Associate Professor Clint Carroll, Assistant Professor Angelica Lawson and Doctoral Student Natasha Myhal, Department of Ethnic Studies and Center for Native American and Indigenous Studies
Professor Andrew Cowell, Linguistics and Center for Native American and Indigenous Studies

Lyripeutic Storytelling Project: Urban Youth Learning Initiative
Assistant Professor Kalonji Nzigna, School of Education
Associate Professor Arturo Aldama and Doctoral Student Shawn O’Neal, Department of Ethnic Studies

Pesticide Exposures in Agricultural Workers and their Families
Professor Shelly Miller, Department of Mechanical Engineering   
Research Associate Lupita Montoya, Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering

Rural District Partnerships for Post-Pandemic Planning
Professor Valerie Otero, School of Education
Professor Angela Bielefeldt, Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering
Director of Curriculum and Assessment Shelly Belleau, Director of Professional Learning Emily Quinty and Director of District Partnerships Jonathan Mann, School of Education

Shakespeare and Violence Prevention in Schools
Director Beverly Kingston and Research Assistant Laurie Keith, Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence
Associate Professor Kevin Rich and Associate Professor Tamara Meneghini, Department of Theatre & Dance
Outreach Director Amanda Giguere and Outreach Coordinator Heidi Schmidt, Colorado Shakespeare Festival

School of Education-University Hill Partnership for Equity
Associate Professor Andrea Dyrness and Professor Deborah Palmer, School of Education
Assistant Professor Enrique Sepúlveda, Department of Ethnic Studies

Science-Engineering Inquiry Collaborative In Rural Colorado
Senior Research Associate Daniel Knight, Professor Michael Hannigan and Associate Professor Greg Whiting, Department of Mechanical Engineering
Associate Dean and Professor Joseph Polman, School of Education

Download a copy of the 2020-21 Outreach Awards brochure.