Posts tagged support
The City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks (OSMP) department hosted
a delegation from Ireland on Thursday, April 11. The group came to Boulder and Denver to examine issues of access for people with disabilities in education, housing and the workplace.
Ten leaders in several fields including education, human services, policy and architecture, arranged the tour to learn more about what OSMP has done to provide accessible trails that enable people in wheelchairs and those with other disabilities to enjoy and experience nature. OSMP has developed several trails, facilities and fishing areas designed to be used for people with disabilities.
The delegation was sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and the Irish Institute at Boston College, whose mission is to support the peace and reconciliation process between Ireland and Northern Ireland.
For questions about trail access for people with disabilities on OSMP properties, please call 303-441-3440 or visit www.OSMP.org.
City of Boulder media affairs
Advancing global enterprise at the university level by a billionaire seems to make excellent sense.
A better understanding of the core drivers that help great leaders innovate — and avoid failure — is key to advancing global enterprise. The Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado Boulder is now better equipped to advance this understanding, thanks to a new $2.25 million gift from the Thomas Stix Guggenheim family to establish an endowed faculty chair aimed at educating new generations of entrepreneurs on the core drivers of successful business design and innovation.
This prestigious faculty post was made possible by Thomas Stix Guggenheim and his wife Pedie, of Cincinnati and Snowmass Village, Colo., and his four children, each of whom also attended CU-Boulder.
The new chair will enhance business education at the Leeds School by offering a broader exploration of the factors that allow some firms to succeed while others fail.
The chair also advances key Leeds priorities, as it will help aspiring innovators develop the critical thinking skills that result in creative solutions to diverse and complex challenges. “Our business experience has demonstrated there is as much, if not more, to learn from business failures as from successes,” Guggenheim said. “One main aspect of our endowed chair is to case-study this belief.”
David Ikenberry, dean of the Leeds School, said the creation of the Thomas Stix Guggenheim Family Endowed Chair in Business Design and Innovation is emblematic of the school’s mission. “We have embarked on an innovation agenda that will enable graduates to evolve in a rapidly changing business climate and ensure their ability to drive value,” he said. “We are fortunate and grateful for the family’s generous support as we pursue this great challenge.”
The concept of business design is an emerging area of business education — exploring the interaction of factors such as strategy, product or service design, and entrepreneurial leadership to solve complex problems and drive economic innovation and successful business creation.
With Leeds and CU’s long-standing reputation for entrepreneurship education along with Boulder’s identity as one of the nation’s most entrepreneurial and creative cities, the new chair is a logical fit for Colorado and its economy.
The Thomas Stix Guggenheim Family Endowed Chair in Business Design and Innovation is a tribute to the successful career and outstanding leadership of the chair’s namesake. After graduating from CU-Boulder in 1950 with a degree in marketing, Guggenheim went on to lead two successful hosiery (sock) businesses.
“It’s exciting to see CU-Boulder graduates giving back to the university in such an important way so future generations of students can succeed in their entrepreneurial endeavors,” said Chancellor Philip DiStefano.
A longtime donor to CU-Boulder, Guggenheim has supported the Center for Education on Social Responsibility, which integrates ethics education across the Leeds School curriculum to develop values-driven leaders, and a popular freshman-level course titled “Profiles in American Enterprise,” which invited top executives to discuss relevant business issues.
An endowed chair gift provides a reliable and perpetual stream of funding for a senior faculty position. It is a public indicator of a program’s prestige and it helps universities recruit and retain top talent.
A global search will launch immediately to identify a candidate to serve as the first Guggenheim Family Endowed Chair. The goal is to fill the tenured post, to be housed within the school’s Division of Management, for the start of the fall semester in 2014.
The gift is one of more than 275,000 gifts made to date during Creating Futures, a $1.5 billion fundraising campaign to enhance CU education, research, outreach and health programs benefiting citizens throughout Colorado and beyond. Visit http://www.cufund.org for more information.
-CU Press Release-
CU is matched against former Big Eight/12 Conference foe Kansas in its first game on Saturday, approximately 4:40 p.m., at the Coors Events Center. The Buffs (25-6) are a fifth seed, the Jayhawks (18-13) a 12th seed. A win would send CU against the winner of Saturday’s No. 4 South Carolina vs. No. 13 South Dakota on Monday night, at 7:30 p.m., at the CEC. South Carolina and South Dakota State will tip at 2:10 p.m. on Saturday at Coors.
“I’m excited to play a Big 12 opponent; we spent a lot of years in the Big 12 and the Big Eight,” said coach Linda Lappe, who in her third season guided the Buffs to their first NCAA Tournament appearance 2004 and the 13th in school history.
Lappe initially believed another former Big 8/12 conference foe – Nebraska – might wind up matched against her team. She said she was “excited for that opportunity (but) Kansas is going to be a tough opponent; I think anybody who makes it into the NCAA is going to be high level competition.”
During their final years in the Big 12, the Jayhawks had the Buffs’ number – a 7-1 record against them in their last eight meetings. In Lappe’s first season (2010-11) at CU, KU won all three games (two regular season, one postseason tournament).
CU senior guard Chucky Jeffery can recall KU’s domination before the Buffs said goodbye and headed for the Pac-12.
“Oh yeah, we remember,” Jeffery said at a Selection Show gathering Monday afternoon. “As soon as our name and Kansas came up on the screen, we all looked at each other like, ‘This is our time right here’. So we’re excited to have them come and play on our home floor, it’s definitely going to be a good game.
“I think, like coach Lappe said, we are a better team on our home floor so they (Kansas) can bring as many fans as they need, but I think we are going to have a pretty good turnout and play well.”
The Buffs were one of four Pac-12 teams to make the NCAA Tournament, joining Stanford, California and UCLA. Those teams were responsible for CU’s five conference losses, with the Cardinal ousting the Buffs from the league’s postseason tournament. Stanford is a No. 1 seed, Cal a No. 2 and UCLA a No. 3.
Lappe said her team’s seeding in the 64-team field was near what she anticipated: “We were expecting a five or six, right in that area, so we’re happy with that. The committee took a look at what we did all season long and I felt like that was a great seed with the wins we were able to get and having no bad losses.
“I know the committee takes a lot of things into consideration so you never quite know where you are going to be, but we are happy with that seed. It shows the committee gives us a lot of respect.”
The Buffs’ 25 wins are the women’s program’s most since the 1995-96 team finished 26-9. CU’s all-time NCAA Tournament record is 17-12, which includes an 8-2 mark in first-round games (9-3 in opening games, reflecting two first-round byes).
When Boulder was chosen for a first-round site, CU’s goal was to be included in the four-team field. Lappe called playing at the CEC, where her team was 15-0 this season, “a huge advantage; it’s a place we’ve had success all year, we’ve had great fan support. Being able to have our fans come out and support us, I think it is going to be one of the best first and second round games in terms of attendance that you are going to find out there.
“I think having that support always helps you, but you can’t take that for granted, you still have to come out and you still have to play well. But to be able to sleep in our own beds and to be in our comfort zones and not have to travel will be something that really helps us out, and obviously I like the altitude as well.”
By the time they tip off in Saturday’s first game, the Buffs will be on the last day of a 14-day break. They haven’t played since March 9, when they lost 61-47 to Stanford in the semifinals of the Pac-12 tournament in Seattle.
Lappe said the layoff can be viewed in “a few different ways. We’ve used it as some time to get some rest, and get some time away, so I think that is going to be very beneficial for us. I think we feel good, our legs are going to feel great. Obviously there’s that period of time if you have a long layoff where you haven’t competed, but we have practiced hard, we have a great group of practice guys that come in everyday and help us out.
“The most important part is what we do this week. This week will be like any normal week, we have four days to practice and then we will be getting ready to play on Saturday, so it’s a pretty typical week in terms of what were used to in the Pac-12.”
Jeffery, the team’s leading scorer (13.9 ppg) and rebounder (8.3 rpg), will close out her home career with an NCAA appearance she’s dreamed of.
“It means a lot,” she said. “It just shows how far we have come as a program, and how great the coaches have been at turning it around. And it’s all a tribute to my team, we have good players and we play together and we’ve had a great season. It’s just really satisfying to go out as a senior like this, and I just want to thank my teammates and my coaches for that.”
In the days preceding Monday’s Selection Show, Jeffery and the Buffs engaged in their own “bracketology” and tried to determine who they might play and the other two teams that would land at the CEC.
“We’ve been trying to figure that out for a long time, looking at the brackets and stuff like that, but you can’t really know,” she said. “We were way off (on their projections), we thought we were going to be up with Notre Dame, but we were off. We’re excited though.”
If the Buffs win their two home games, the Irish still could be in their future. Notre Dame is the No. 1 seed in the Norfolk bracket but plays its opening games in Iowa City. CU and Notre Dame would play in a Sweet 16 game on March 30.
The Buffs reaching the NCAA Tournament has caused a quandary for the family of CU redshirt freshman forward Arielle Roberson. Her brother, Andre, is a junior forward on the CU men’s team, which plays Illinois Friday in Austin, Texas, in the men’s tournament.
In high school in San Antonio, Arielle said she and Andre competed in the playoffs at the same time, creating a similar dilemma in the Roberson family. She called this week’s NCAA play at different sites “a great opportunity for both (of us), but it’s another competition in the family – who’s coming to who’s game.”
Maybe this is what they can hope for: Arielle and the CU women win two in Boulder and advance to Norfolk, Va.; Andre and the CU men win two in Austin and advance to Washington, D.C. That’s close enough for a close family to commute.
Early next month, researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder will begin the painstaking process of interviewing hundreds of undergraduates in an effort to understand why the rates of students switching out of science, technology, engineering and math majors has remained troublingly high over the last couple of decades despite widespread efforts to address the problem.
The five-year, $4.3 million project, undertaken in partnership with the University of Wisconsin-Madison, replicates and expands on a study begun by a couple of CU-Boulder researchers two decades ago and published in 1997 as a book. “Talking About Leaving: Why Undergraduates Leave the Sciences” has since become a seminal text in the field of STEM education.
“Part of the reason why we’re undertaking this study is that the rates of students switching out of STEM majors has remained so persistent,” said Anne-Barrie Hunter, co-director of Ethnography and Evaluation Research at CU-Boulder and principal investigator for the Colorado research team. “Here we are now, 20 years on, and the rates are still roughly the same. They’re very, very stubborn.”
The study, which is being funded by the National Science Foundation and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, is the first to be run out of CU-Boulder’s new Center for STEM Learning.
When the original study began in the early 1990s, the high rates of students leaving STEM majors — between 40 and 60 percent, depending on the discipline — were known, but the reasons for the switching were just conjecture. Some thought that the students who switched didn’t have the necessary ability to succeed in tough science classes, while others blamed teaching assistants with difficult-to-understand accents or the lack of experience of teaching assistants in general.
CU-Boulder researchers Nancy Hewitt and Elaine Seymour set out to determine whether any of the speculation was true by asking those who should know: the students. The pair led a research team that interviewed more than 400 undergraduates, both “switchers” and “persisters.”
“Our evidence didn’t support what they thought,” said Seymour, who is also involved with the new study. “We were really surprised.” As it turned out, “switchers” and “persisters” were equally bright and teaching assistants were often a much-needed lifeline for struggling students. In fact, both sets of students faced the same set of challenges, the largest of which was the way science classes were taught.
“What we discovered was that an incoming interest in the sciences was dissipated over the course of the first two years by the way the courses were taught,” Seymour said. “The teaching in those days was predominantly stand-and-deliver lecturing.”
Since Seymour and Hewitt’s book was published, there has been a nationwide effort to improve the quality of undergraduate science education. “Change is going on all across the country,” Seymour said. “But it may not be sufficient to move the needle.”
For “Talking About Leaving Revisited,” the researchers will interview undergraduates at the seven institutions that hosted the original study to find out if the reasons for switching have changed. But the new study will also go further by interviewing course instructors, observing classroom teaching practices and analyzing the transcripts of students across institutions to look for patterns among switchers and persisters. When the study is concluded, the research team plans to publish another book.
Talking About Leaving Revisited is one of the inaugural grants affiliated with CU-Boulder’s Center for STEM Learning, which was officially formed in December. The center, which was organized over four years with the backing of a $1 million institutional transformation grant from the National Science Foundation, aims to provide an infrastructure that will support the more than 75 existing STEM education programs on campus and allow them to more easily collaborate.
“We will provide a network and support structure designed to catalyze and provide links among these people, ideas, tools and resources,” said physics Professor Noah Finkelstein, one of the people who helped lead the effort to create the new center.
The Center for STEM Learning, which will also strive to be a state, regional and national resource, has three main thrusts: to transform the way STEM classes are delivered, to support research into the best practices for STEM education, and to help recruit the brightest to become STEM teachers.
For more information on the study visit http://wceruw.org/projects/projects.php?project_num=956.
Interdisciplinary thinking bolsters innovation. That’s the concept behind the University of Colorado Boulder’s new nLab, a mobile hub that allows students to develop their entrepreneurial ideas through peer and mentor-based collaboration, sustainability resources and other tools.
The free resource, launched last fall by CU-Boulder’s Deming Center for Entrepreneurship at the Leeds School of Business, is designed to help students campus wide tap into communities beyond their academic spheres. The CU Environmental Center, an nLab partner, offers specialized support to integrate sustainability into student ideas.
The nLab supports cross-campus entrepreneurship curricula, the CU New Venture Challenge business plan competition and individuals who want to explore ideas.
“You don’t have to be a business major to think like an entrepreneur,” said Costa Raptis, a junior in geography at CU-Boulder. “You just have to be driven and have a versatile mind and kind of know what you’re after.”
Raptis, who’s interested in cultural anthropology and marketing, is exploring his idea — a talent agency that operates without a traditional hierarchy — using the nLab. He’s been paired through nLab with an employee-owned solar company for mentorship.
Other student ideas that have been brought to the nLab are a cosmetic line and a job-search website called Startups 2 Students, which matches students with position openings at unique companies.
The nLab includes a website where users can post ideas and browse existing projects. It also hosts weekly co-working sessions on campus and provides a mobile kiosk intended to spark both planned and impromptu meetings, and to serve as a workspace. Faculty also can enlist nLab.
“I’m beginning to use nLab as an additional tool to give my students a safe, welcoming and helpful place to apply course material to ideas of their own and others,” said Eben Johnson, a CU-Boulder lecturer in the Lockheed Martin Engineering Management Program. “The value of nLab is that it’s for the whole campus. From music to biology, history and finance, great ideas for new products and services are found everywhere.”
Johnson teaches an undergraduate and graduate-level course called Marketing and High-Tech Ventures. Each semester, his students conceptualize new ideas from lithium ion batteries for cell phones to algae nutritional supplements, and nLab will be a resource for such projects, he said.
Other campus supporters of nLab are CU’s Technology Transfer Office; the Silicon Flatirons Center for Law, Technology and Entrepreneurship; the Alliance for Technology, Learning and Society, or ATLAS; and the Lockheed Martin Engineering Management Program.
University of Colorado Boulder Chancellor Philip P. DiStefano, Athletic Director Mike Bohn and new head football coach Mike MacIntyre today unveiled a $170 million, multi-year proposal to upgrade CU-Boulder’s football facilities before the Intercollegiate Athletics subcommittee of the CU Board of Regents at the board’s monthly meeting in Colorado Springs.
CU will rely on $50 million in private support to execute the project, and a significant effort to raise funds from donors will now begin to support it. In addition, other athletic revenue sources will be used to finance this major initiative.
“This plan represents a carefully conceived, strategic investment in our future in the Pac-12 Conference,” said Bohn. “It will position us to attract the best student-athletes in the nation. It will improve the performance of our student-athletes on the field and in the classroom, and it will enhance our fan experience.”
The first element will consist of a new academic center that will boost student-athletes’ already substantial progress in the classroom. The new facility will provide focus for student-athletes by moving study areas to a new complex beneath the east stands, away from the distractions of the Dal Ward Athletic Center. Additionally, as part of the project’s first element, the north side of Folsom Field’s east stands will be supported against the shifting ground beneath it, improving safety for fans and visitors.
The second element will significantly expand Dal Ward to consolidate football operations, bring coaches and student-athletes from a number of sports together, and provide more physical resources for all in one unified space.
The third element of the plan establishes a permanent indoor practice facility adjacent to outdoor practice fields north of Boulder Creek, creating a year-round practice complex, easing traffic congestion off of Arapahoe Avenue with new streets and transportation enhancements, and forming a new plaza-like entrance to campus from the north.
The plan also includes a study to redevelop family housing that now sits west of Folsom Street and south of Arapahoe. The university has for several years been re-envisioning the possibilities of a more modern family housing complex with greater appeal for residents and greater density to make more efficient use of space.
The final element of the football athletics redevelopment project includes redevelopment of the Folsom Field west-side stands.
Future enhancements not included in the initial cost estimate are planned at the Coors Events Center to further improve the student-athlete and fan experience there.
DiStefano heralded the plan, saying it “balances equally our commitment to the academic success of our student-athletes, the comfort and safety of our fans and the long-term success of our combined coaching staffs.”
“This affirms our institutional values, and positions us well as we move ahead in the finest conference in the country,” DiStefano added.
CU President Bruce Benson said the project marks a bold new era of partnership with donors, alumni, fans and stakeholders.
“Intercollegiate athletics is the front porch of the university,” said Benson. “This plan will help bring people from across Colorado and around the country together in support of CU, and it will challenge all of us as donors, alumni and fans to work together to make this vision a reality.”
MacIntyre said the support from every level of the university – from fans and donors to the athletic director, the chancellor and the president – was gratifying to him and to CU’s other coaches and players.
“This is a strong commitment to success by the president, the chancellor and the university as a whole,” said MacIntyre. “These facilities will represent to our current and future players the dual commitments to excellence, and to be successful year-in and year-out, at the University of Colorado. The entire university community wants to sustain excellence in everything we do, and at the same time, keep moving forward. This commitment represents both of these desires.”
CU-Boulder amphibian study shows how
biodiversity can protect against disease
The richer the assortment of amphibian species living in a pond, the more protection that community of frogs, toads and salamanders has against a parasitic infection that can cause severe deformities, including the growth of extra legs, according to a new study by the University of Colorado Boulder.
The findings, published Feb. 14 in the journal Nature, support the idea that greater biodiversity in larger-scale ecosystems, such as forests or grasslands, may also provide greater protection against diseases, including those that attack humans. For example, a larger number of mammal species in an area may curb cases of Lyme disease, while a larger number of bird species may slow the spread of West Nile virus.
“How biodiversity affects the risk of infectious diseases, including those of humans and wildlife, has become an increasingly important question,” said Pieter Johnson, an assistant professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and lead author of the study. “But as it turns out, solidly testing these linkages with realistic experiments has proven very challenging in most systems.”
Researchers have struggled to design comprehensive studies that could illuminate the possible connection between disease transmission and the number of species living in complex ecosystems. Part of the problem is simply the enormous number of organisms that may need to be sampled and the vast areas over which those organisms may roam.
The new CU-Boulder study overcomes that problem by studying smaller, easier-to-sample ecosystems. Johnson and his team visited hundreds of ponds in California, recording the types of amphibians living there as well as the number of snails infected by the pathogen Ribeiroia ondatrae. Snails are an intermediate host used by the parasite during part of its life cycle.
“One of the great challenges in studying the diversity-disease link has been collecting data from enough replicate systems to differentiate the influence of diversity from background ‘noise,’ ” Johnson said. “By collecting data from hundreds of ponds and thousands of amphibian hosts, our group was able to provide a rigorous test of this hypothesis, which has relevance to a wide range of disease systems.”
Johnson’s team buttressed its field observations both with laboratory tests designed to measure how prone to infection each amphibian species is and by creating pond replicas outside using large plastic tubs stocked with tadpoles that were exposed to a known number of parasites. All of the experiments told the same story, Johnson said. Greater biodiversity reduced the number of successful amphibian infections and the number of deformed frogs.
In all, the CU-Boulder researchers spent three years sampling 345 wetlands and recording malformations — which include missing, misshapen or extra sets of hind legs — caused by parasitic infections in 24,215 amphibians. They also cataloged 17,516 snails. The results showed that ponds with half a dozen amphibian species had a 78 percent reduction in parasite transmission compared to ponds with just one amphibian species. The research team also set up experiments in the lab and outdoors using 40 artificial ponds, each stocked with 60 amphibians and 5,000 parasites.
The reason for the decline in parasitic infections as biodiversity increases is likely related to the fact that ponds add amphibian species in a predictable pattern, with the first species to appear being the most prone to infection and the later species to appear being the least prone. For example, the research team found that in a pond with just one type of amphibian, that amphibian was almost always the Pacific chorus frog, a creature that is able to rapidly reproduce and quickly colonize wetland habitats, but which is also especially vulnerable to infection and parasite-induced deformities.
On the other hand, the California tiger salamander was typically one of the last species to be added to a pond community and also one of the most resistant to parasitic infection. Therefore, in a pond with greater biodiversity, parasites have a higher chance of encountering an amphibian that is resistant to infection, lowering the overall success rate of transmission between infected snails and amphibians.
This same pattern — of less diverse communities being made up of species that are more susceptible to disease infection — may well play out in more complex ecosystems as well, Johnson said. That’s because species that disperse quickly across ecosystems appear to trade off the ability to quickly reproduce with the ability to develop disease resistance.
“This research reaches the surprising conclusion that the entire set of species in a community affects the susceptibility to disease,” said Doug Levey, program director in the National Science Foundation’s Division of Environmental Biology, which helped fund the research. “Biodiversity matters.”
The sheer magnitude of the recent study also reinforces the connection between deformed frogs and parasitic infection, Johnson said. Beginning in the mid-1990s reports of frogs with extra, missing or misshapen legs skyrocketed, attracting widespread attention in the media and motivating scientists to try to figure out the cause. Johnson was among the researchers who found evidence of a link between infection with Ribeiroia and frog deformities, though the apparent rise in reports of deformations, and its underlying cause, remains controversial.
While the new study has implications beyond parasitic infections in amphibians, it does not mean that an increase in biodiversity always results in a decrease in disease, Johnson cautioned. Other factors also affect rates of disease transmission. For example, a large number of mosquitoes hatching in a particular year will increase the risk of contracting West Nile virus, even if there has been an increase in the biodiversity of the bird population. Birds act as “reservoir hosts” for West Nile virus, harboring the pathogen indefinitely with no ill effects and passing the pathogen onto mosquitoes.
“Our results indicate that higher diversity reduces the success of pathogens in moving between hosts,” Johnson said. “Nonetheless, if infection pressure is high, for instance in a year with high abundance of vectors, there will still be a significant risk of disease; biodiversity will simply function to dampen transmission success.”
CU-Boulder graduate students Dan Preston and Katie Richgels co-authored the study along with Jason Hoverman, a former postdoctoral researcher in Johnson’s lab who is now an assistant professor at Purdue. The research was funded by NSF, the National Geographic Society and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.
To view photos and a video about the research, visit http://freshwatersillustrated.org/link/AmphibianDeformities.
BOULDER, CO: An army of zombies, a catalyst in bringing awareness to critical student crises/issues, is set to invade Fairview High School at noon on Tuesday, Feb. 19. Richard Goode-Allen, of CU-Boulder, will be shooting an Awareness Drive week “zombie-video” about problems such as substance abuse, cutting, stress, depression and eating disorders.
Students aren’t scheduled to attend class that day, leaving the school mostly vacant for the video production. Fairview’s Zombies vs. Humans Club is serving as the nuclei in the video, and club members and participants will receive professional makeup and costuming provided by Theatrical Costumes, Etc. of Boulder. The video will be used to promote the Awareness Drive week at Fairview during the week of March 18-22. This effort is a pilot for what organizers hope to roll out to other schools in the district and beyond.
“A lot of kids aren’t getting the help they need,” Goode-Allen said. The goal of Awareness Drive week is to provide tools, internal and external resources, and guidance to students dealing with critical personal crises and issues. The zombies in the video represent the “zombie emotions” that can cause destructive behaviors, such as cutting and eating disorders, Goode-Allen said. “It will give the students the ability to look metaphorically at these issues.”
The video, to be available during the week long event and online at a planned AwarenessDrive.org website, will help make students aware of the support that is available to them to deal with these challenges.
“The commonality is that we really need to promote awareness, tools, support and make sure students don’t feel like they are alone,” Goode-Allen said.
The Awareness Drive week events are as follows:
Tuesday, March 19 – “Voices Out of Silence” to present in Choir classes
Wednesday, March 20 – Resource Fair during block lunch
Thursday, March 21 – Resource Fair and Denver Gay Men’s Chorus presentation during block lunch
Friday, March 22 – “We Are Fairview” Day
Story by Caryn Maconi, CUBuffs.com
University of Colorado senior guard Chucky Jeffery earned her 1,500th career point and 26th career double-double Friday night in a 61-47 win over Oregon State.
It was a long-awaited return to the Coors Events Center for the Buffs, who wrapped up a four-game California swing with a split against UCLA and USC last weekend.
The CU women wore pink-accented uniforms in honor of the annual “Play 4 Kay” game to support breast cancer awareness.
“It was breast cancer week, and coach talked about attacking because that’s what the women with breast cancer have to do,” said junior guard Brittany Wilson, who grabbed a game-high five steals. “They have to attack, they have to fight. So we came down, we attacked, we came after loose balls, and forced them into those (24) turnovers.”
CU put the heat on the visitors early on, going on a 9-0 run before OSU scored its first basket of the game with 14:09 left in the half.
Wilson said that solid start was crucial for the Buffs, as they were battling a strong defensive team ranked sixth in the nation in blocks at 6.1 per game.
“We knew we had to come out and set a statement or they would keep coming at us,” Wilson said, “and you can’t give a team like that confidence.”
But the Beavers answered back, hitting four three-pointers in five minutes to make it 21-16 with six minutes remaining.
Thanks to a solid 78.6 percent on 14 opportunities from the free throw line, CU was able to hold onto that narrow lead and enter intermission still up five (28-23).
“Oregon State is a good team, they hustle and they scrap the entire game,” Jeffery said. “They weren’t going away, so we knew we had to go on a run and we had to get it up a little bit … that was huge for us to get this win.”
The second half began in a similar fashion as the first, as the Buffs went on a 7-0 run with five straight points by Jeffery and two made free throws by forward Arielle Roberson.
This time, though, the momentum stuck.
Colorado built its largest lead of the game, 15, with eight minutes left on the clock. From there, the Ducks would not pull closer than eight.
Shooting 7-of-10 free throws to end the game, the Buffs widened the gap back to 14 and closed with a 61-47 victory.
Jeffery led the Buffs in scoring with 22 points, adding 11 rebounds and a season-high three blocks. Sophomore forward Jen Reese also scored in double figures with 10 points, while Roberson added nine.
Guard Jamie Weisner was the biggest force on the court for the Beavers, as the freshman scored 22 total points and added seven rebounds; she was the only OSU player with more than seven points.
“Weisner’s tough,” said Colorado head coach Linda Lappe. “She plays so hard, she’s physical, she never quits. She’s a tough matchup for anybody in the league, so you’ve got to give her a lot of credit. She kept them in the game.”
With the win, CU improves to 17-5 overall, 6-5 in the Pac-12 Conference, while OSU falls to 9-14 and 3-8 in conference play.
Colorado returns to the Coors Events Center Sunday at 1:30 p.m. to take on the University of Oregon. After falling to Utah 67-47 Friday night, the Ducks are ranked last in the Pac-12 with a 1-10 record in the conference.
In fact, the Buffs have just one opponent remaining in the regular season, Washington, that is currently ranked higher in the conference standings.
Wilson, however, said her team won’t get comfortable just yet.
“Being in the Pac-12, you never know what team is going to come out,” Wilson said. “You have to play every team and respect them. This is a bottom-to-top hard conference to play, and if you give a team confidence, they’ll keep shooting and keep coming back at you. You don’t want to relax too much.”
In hopes of better understanding nutrition and health, the University of Colorado Boulder is playing the leading science role in a “crowd funding” effort that has raised more than $340,000 for a project designed to sequence the gut bacteria of thousands of people around the world.
Known as the American Gut project, the effort raised the money through a crowdfunding effort online in which collective groups of people pool money to support various initiatives, said CU-Boulder Associate Professor Rob Knight of the BioFrontiers Institute. The $340,477 raised for the American Gut project is the largest amount of money ever raised through crowdfunding for a science project, said Knight, who is co-leading the effort with Jeff Leach, founder of the Human Food Project.
The money contributed by 2,005 funders will be used to sequence gut bacteria from about 3,500 people said Knight. Each human is believed to harbor roughly 10 trillion microorganisms — about 10 times more than the number of cells in the human body — that undertake a number of important functions ranging from digesting food to the strengthening of immune systems.
In 2009, a consortium of 200 researchers from 80 institutions organized by the National Institutes of Health, including Knight, mapped the normal microbial makeup of healthy humans as part of the $173 million Human Microbiome Project. Building on the massive NIH effort, the American Gut project will be an “open source” effort, meaning participants will have access to the data gathered to help understand how diet and lifestyle may contribute to human health through the interaction of our microbiomes, cells and genes, said Knight.
“The outpouring of public support for this research project demonstrates how public awareness of the role of our microbial systems in human health is growing,” said Knight, the project’s scientific lead who holds joint faculty appointments in CU-Boulder’s chemistry and biochemistry department and computer science department. “By looking at samples from the general public, we can get a far better sense of what a ‘normal’ microbiome is and what factors have the largest effects.”
The scientists are particularly interested in how diet and lifestyle, whether by choice or necessity, affect peoples’ microbial makeup, including those suffering from particular autoimmune diseases or who have food allergies, said Knight, also a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Early Career Scientist.
“The large number of participants in American Gut, coupled with our ongoing work in Africa and South America, will allow us to explore the impact of diet and lifestyle between western and more traditional societies,” said Leach. “We may find that our modern gut microbiome has shifted significantly away from our ancestral one, but reinstating some of that primal balance may be within our grasp.”
“I’m super excited about helping to build a system that not only integrates so much data but also presents it to the user in a useful way,” said Meg Pirrung, a graduate student in Knight’s lab. “This is an amazing opportunity for me and everyone involved.”
Daniel McDonald, a graduate student in the BioFrontiers Institute’s IQ Biology Program, said the American Gut project is allowing him to hone his interdisciplinary experience. IQ Biology students are involved in semester-long rotations that immerse them in disciplines ranging from mathematical and computational biology to biophysics and bio-imaging. “It’s an extraordinary opportunity for discovery,” he said.
The American Gut data also will also be used in the several IQ Biology Program courses taught by Knight with Manuel Lladser, an associate professor in the applied mathematics department. Last year the IQ Biology program at CU’s BioFrontiers Institute, which offers doctorates in eight disciplines, was awarded a $3 million grant from the National Science Foundation’s Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship, or IGERT.
Second Genome, a biotech company headquartered in San Bruno, Calif., is working with the American Gut project to explore the connection between the human microbiome and type 2 diabetes, said company president and CEO Peter DiLaura.
“The American Gut project has succeeded in bringing together the largest citizen science network ever for human microbiome sample collection,” DiLaura said. “By building this extensive reference database, we now have the opportunity to explore the connections between the human microbiome and metabolic and inflammatory diseases.”
Although the first round of funding that enabled the project to commence has ended, a second phase also allows anyone in the world to join, said Leach. Once the scientific results are in from the initial group of participants, a third phase will allow new participants to obtain additional analyses crucial to understanding the microbiome.
“By integrating the tens of thousands of environmental samples that the scientific community has provided from around the world and applying powerful modeling approaches, we will be able to gain unprecedented insight into the links between our own microbes and those in our environment,” said Argonne National Laboratories microbial ecologist Jack Gilbert, a member of the Earth Microbiome Steering Committee.
“With advances in DNA sequencing, we are moving towards a world in which no infectious disease goes undiagnosed, and in which we have full knowledge of the microbes that inhabit us and our surroundings,” said Knight. “By participating in this project, thousands of people are helping us to make this future a reality.”
Written by Todd Engdahl on Jan 31st, 2013. | Copyright © EdNewsColorado.org
A group of 10 Republican lawmakers has introduced a measure that would allow parents to petition the State Board of Education for conversion of struggling schools.
The “parent trigger” proposal introduced Thursday, House Bill 13-1172, is similar to a 2012 bill that passed the House but died in a Senate committee (see story).
But this year’s version comes with a twist – it also proposes to convert the state’s district and school rating categories to a system of A-F letter grades.
The trigger portion of the bill is fairly mild. It would allow parents of students at schools that have been tagged with the lowest ratings – “priority improvement” or “turnaround” – for two or more years to petition the state board to take action. The board could deny the petition, direct the local school board to act or defer a decision for a year.
The state’s current accreditation law requires the state board to act on schools that have been listed in those two categories for five consecutive years. Such schools can be closed, converted to charters or otherwise converted. The system enters its fourth year next July, and the conversion clock is ticking louder for several schools around the state. (See this EdNews story about the latest district ratings andthis article for details on school ratings.)
The current system assigns five rating categories to districts and four to schools. Both would be converted to letter grades by the bill.
Letter grades for schools are a touchy issue in education. Some education reformers and conservative lawmakers think they are easier for parents to understand and would generate more public pressure for improvements, while many educators resist them as simplistic and punitive.
In Colorado the business-related group Colorado Succeeds, along with other organizations, runs a shadow rating system that uses Department of Education data to put schools into a letter-grade system. (SeeColorado School Grades.)
Medicaid vs. educationLast year’s parent trigger bill – without the A-F grades – had a prominent Democratic sponsor – Sen. Mike Johnston, D-Denver and a leading education reform voice. This year’s bill currently has only Republicans backing it. The prime sponsors are GOP Rep. Kevin Priola of Henderson and Sen. Scott Renfroe of Greeley.
Medicaid vs. education
Many Republican lawmakers don’t like “Obamacare,” including its expansion of the Medicaid program. They’re concerned that in the years ahead the state could find itself picking up the tab for that expansion, putting the squeeze on other state programs such as education. Expansion critics are unhappy with Gov. John Hickenlooper’s announcement earlier this month that Colorado would participate in Medicaid expansion. (See this Associated Press story for details.)
Republicans have expressed their dissatisfaction by introducing two bills.
The first, Senate Bill 13-006, would have banned state spending on Medicaid expansion if that caused a reduction of K-12 spending.
Sen. David Balmer, R-Centennial, made his best pitch Thursday to the Senate Education Committee, but the outcome wasn’t in doubt. The panel’s Democratic majority killed the bill on a 5-4 vote.
“I appreciate the spirit in which you brought this,” Johnston told Balmer. “I think this bill is really a debate about Medicaid rather than education. … I feel like this bill is asking us to hit a nail with a saw.”
“Sorry you didn’t have the happiest outcome, but we had a nice conversation,” committee chair Sen. Evie Hudak, D-Westminster, said to Balmer after his bill was “postponed indefinitely,” to use the the legislative term for what happened.
As it happened, another Medicaid-education bill was introduced on Thursday, but it would take a different bite of the apple.
House Bill 13-1175 would ban any state spending on Medicaid expansion until state support of higher education reaches $747 million a year. It’s currently about $513 million, plus another $100 million for financial aid. The bill’s sole sponsor is Rep. Brian DelGrosso, R-Loveland.
Speaking of trying again
Also introduced Thursday was House Bill 13-1176, a Republican-sponsored measure that would allow income tax credits for private school tuition and for donations to private school scholarships.
If this sounds familiar, you’re thinking of Senate Bill 13-069, which was introduced earlier this month and proposes the same thing.
Duplicate bills are introduced periodically, usual by minority party members who know their original proposal will be killed but who want to at least have the debate in both houses, even though they know the second version of the bill also is doomed. Legislative procedures require that every bill get at least one committee hearing.
Another clone bill was introduced Wednesday. House Bill 13-1170 would allow individual school boards to decide whether to have staff members carry guns at school, if those employees hold concealed-carry permits. The Senate Judiciary Committee killed Senate Bill 13-009, the original version of that idea, on Monday (see story).
Temporary moratorium extended until June 10 to allow for development of Implementation Work Plan
Boulder County, Colo. – Tonight, following a public hearing on recently-adopted regulations for oil and gas development in unincorporated Boulder County, the County Commissioners voted unanimously to extend a temporary moratorium on new oil and gas drilling applications (currently set to end on Feb. 4) until June 10, 2013, and to further assess fees relative to the land use and transportation impacts of local oil and gas operations.
Expressing both a desire to see more work around developing renewable energy options for Boulder County and seeking support from county residents to take their concerns about oil and gas development to state legislators who are currently considering new state rules for drilling operations, the County Commissioners acknowledged that while they don’t think they can go far enough to satisfy all constituent concerns, they are doing everything they can to make sure “we have the most comprehensive and restrictive regulations around oil and gas drilling in the State of Colorado.“
County staff had requested an extension of the Temporary Moratorium on Boulder County’s Processing of Applications for Oil and Gas Development in order to develop a plan to implement the regulations adopted by the Board of County Commissioners in December 2012. Due to the complicated nature of the new restrictions, requirements, standards and conditions that replaced 19-year-old rules for how oil and gas development can occur on unincorporated lands, staff had asked for adequate time to create an Implementation Work Plan.
County staff also presented information from the Oil & Gas Roadway Impact Study to seek direction from the County Commissioners on how to ensure impacts of oil and gas development on the public transportation system are mitigated and the cost of such mitigation is fairly and equitably allocated. Actual fees were not considered for adoption at the hearing, but the Commissioners asked staff to come back in two to three months with a proposal for the maximum legally-defensible fees allowable to mitigate local impacts or an alternate mechanism to recover costs from industry’s impact on the county transportation system.
Staff estimated – and County Commissioners affirmed – that in order to prepare for processing of new drilling and well operation applications, four additional months were necessary. The major components of the Implementation Work Plan will include:
· Development of RFQ/RFP and hiring of consultants / outside expertise
· Staff trainings
· Coordination with involved departments and agencies
· Preparation of application materials, handouts, and public information including website
· Development and adoption of planning and permit fees
· Inspection schedules
· Updating internal databases and tracking systems
· Coordination with Industry on submission of applications
· Coordination with the COGCC to harmonize new State rules with County regulations
As of January 8, BOHO has provided safe, warm, legal sleeping to almost 5,500 guests on 57 nights of operation, an average of almost 97 guests per night. As of the same date a year ago, BOHO’s Emergency Warming Centers (EWC) had provided shelter from severe and stormy weather to fewer than 5,000 guests on 67 nights of operation, for an average of 75 guests per night.
Although our Fall weather was mild at times this year, we have had an unbroken sequence of severely cold and even stormy nights for over a month. BOHO’s EWC guests, homeless residents of Boulder, would not have had safe, warm and legal sleeping, as the Boulder Shelter for the Homeless has operated at or near capacity so far this season.
As we look ahead, we expect to provide EWCs virtually every night for another nine or ten weeks of harsh Winter weather. We have honed and polished our practices, and built up our reserves, trained our volunteers, and worked with the many congregations who provide facilities and support. We’ll still need your help as this time goes forward, providing a shelter safety net for the safety net to Boulder’s homeless residents.
Your support and donations have provided safe, warm and legal sleeping to BOHO’s EWC guests. There are more guests being served every night this year; the needs of the poor are increasing. Thank you for helping us to provide the fundamental human need of a safe, warm shelter for sleeping.
From BOHO BUZZ
Boulder County Commissioners reject agreement with Denver Water Board on the proposed Gross Reservoir expansion0
Boulder County, Colo. – Last night, the Board of County Commissioners declined to sign an intergovernmental agreement with the Denver Water Board regarding the proposed expansion of Gross Reservoir.
After hearing to more than six hours of public testimony over a span of two public hearings – Dec. 20 and Jan. 7 – and receiving more than 200 written communications from Boulder County residents, the Board of County Commissioners unanimously decided not to support the IGA.
The intergovernmental agreement was signed by the Denver Water Board on December 19, 2012, and would have served in lieu of review of the reservoir expansion project under the Boulder County Land Use Code. The IGA had been negotiated by the staffs of Boulder County and Denver Water as a way to address the impacts of the project and to define appropriate mitigation measures, but ultimately didn’t go far enough in protecting the quality of life for residents in the area in the opinion of the County Commissioners.
While they acknowledged some benefits that would result from the proposed agreement, the County Commissioners indicated that the terms of the proposed agreement did not do enough to protect the health, safety and welfare of their constituents or the environment and that they thought it was premature to enter into any agreement before the release of the Final Environmental Impact Statement, which is due later in 2013.
Following the release of the final EIS, the commissioners will work with county staff on a thorough response to the findings, and continue to work with members of the public to address ongoing concerns about the impacts of the proposed project.
Visit www.bouldercounty.org/property/build/pages/moffatgrossiga.aspx for more information. To view the archived video from last night’s hearing, visit the hearings page and select the business meeting for Jan. 7 at www.bouldercounty.org/gov/meetings/pages/hearings.aspx.