With a combination of appointed faculty from the University of Denver and adjunct faculty with extensive real-world experience in their fields, our expert faculty at University College understand adult learning theories and provide practice-based education to busy adults. Students gain the hands-on skills and foundational knowledge needed to excel in their chosen industries, all while learning from professional practitioners who work in the fields they teach.
Our faculty lead dynamic discussions in the classroom, hold rigorous academic standards, and embrace innovative technologies and curriculum designed specifically for adult learners. Learn more about the faculty at University College by browsing the descriptions below.
Robin Amadei (JD, Seattle University; BA in Political Science, University of Massachusetts) has been providing conflict coaching services nationwide since 1991 as the current owner of Common Ground Mediation Center, LLC. As a mediation consultant, Robin brings negotiation, agreement writing, and train-the-trainer knowledge to the classroom. Students appreciate Robin’s engaging and enthusiastic leadership in the classroom and her ability to bring in real life experiences to assist in her instruction. Her ability to effectively demonstrate how the concepts can be applied to professional situations is what students like best about Robin.
Jon Bausman (MBA, Anderson University; BA in Marketing Communications and Entrepreneurship, Anderson University) is a data-driven marketer with 10+ years of documented success in developing marketing strategies and managing cross-functional teams to achieve key business objectives within startups, mid-size matrix organizations, and Fortune 500 companies. Jon currently leads the social media team for Cabela's, the World's Foremost Outfitter and a multi-billion dollar outdoor retail company. Previously Jon worked for various organizations including British Petroleum, Eli Lilly, Dow, Roche Diagnostics, DowAgro, gubernatorial campaigns, and congressional candidates.
Pearl Bell (MA in International Studies, University of Denver; MA in Conflict Resolution, University of Denver; BA in Egypt and Ancient Mediterranean World, Hollins University; BA in English, Hollins University) is the current manager of assessment and evaluation/youth and adult program coordinator for the Conflict Center and has spoken on topics such as transformative mediation, social norming, bullying prevention, dating violence, Karpman’s Triangle and power, privilege and oppression. With her experience, Pearl brings knowledge in the areas of conflict, anger, communication, relationships and violence prevention to the classroom. Students appreciate the fact Pearl can bring in relevant real-world experiences to the discussions. Her ability to facilitate open and honest discussions is what students like best about Pearl.
Robert Jay Bentz (MBA, Marshall University; BS, West Virginia University) is president of Advanced Telecom Services, Inc. with offices in Philadelphia, Toronto, London, and Prague. He is also the president of ATS Mobile (http://www.atsMobile.com/), Purplegator ( http://purplegator.com/), Overture Interactive, and Olympic Internet. Bob brings real world experience to the classroom with his first-hand knowledge of mobile and digital marketing. He is the author of Opportunity is Calling (1993) and Relevance Raises Response: How to Engage and Acquire with Mobile Marketing (2016). Students appreciate Bob’s knowledge in mobile marketing and how he relates real life examples to course subjects. More information about Bob is available at http://www.BobBentz.com/
Michele Bollig (MBA Regis University; BS in Marketing, Regis University) is a senior marketing professional at Ricoh, a global technology company. She possesses a proven ability to develop and implement strategic marketing plans, lead cross functional teams and execute demand generation activities resulting in multi-million dollar revenue attainment. With her expensive professional experience, Michele brings knowledge in developing and implementing integrated, content-driven, multi-channel strategies in high tech, complex environments to the classroom. Students enjoy Michele’s insightful feedback and willingness to help and engagement.
PhD in Public Administration, Valdosta State University
MPA, Virginia Commonwealth University
BA, University of Virginia
For over a decade, Matthew has provided a suite of public and community relations services for a number of nonprofits, government organizations and small businesses and startups. He serves as deputy spokesperson for the University of Virginia and has worked as director of media relations for the UVA Darden School of Business and director of communications and public relations for Danville (Va.) Regional Foundation. Matthew’s background includes working as an on-camera spokesperson and host in Los Angeles and serving as a special investigator in New York City, investigating sex crimes against children.
Matthew graduated from the UVA Sorensen Political Leaders and Duke University Nonprofit Certificate programs and has completed coursework toward a Certificate in Leadership from the UVA Darden School of Business. He holds an Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) certification from the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).
Greta Covell (Master of Journalism in Public Relations, Louisiana State University; BA in Journalism, Louisiana State University) has more than 20 years of experience in marketing, advertising and public relations in Denver, Louisiana and Texas. As the current Director of Marketing Communications for the Iliff School of Theology at the University Of Denver, Greta brings integrated marketing communications knowledge to the classroom. Students appreciate Greta’s enthusiasm for marketing and encouraging style of teaching. Her ability to convey her extensive knowledge in a helpful and motivational manner is what students like best about Greta.
Cindy Cragg (MA in Organizational & Professional Communication, University of Denver; BA in Interpersonal & Public Communication, Northern Illinois University) has nearly 20 years experience in marketing communication with a focus on strategic content marketing and optimization, Cindy brings a high level of real-life experience and practical application to every course she teaches. Cindy's approach is unequivocally no-nonsense. She is passionate about the success of each student she comes into contact with and loves to incorporate new technologies to make the learning process as interactive as possible. Cindy has been an Adjunct Faculty at University of Denver’s University College since 2015 and has taught courses in branding, search marketing, campaign management and marketing communication. Cindy is Google AdWords certified.
Brooke Edge is Director of Research and Strategy for PriceWeber advertising and has a PhD in Communication and Media Studies from the University of Colorado, Boulder. She worked as a features reporter for a number of publications, including The Prague Post and Creative Loafing, and in public relations. Brooke’s academic research focused on healthcare messaging in popular media, qualitative analysis of audience response, and strategic communications to underserved populations.
Allison Friederichs (PhD in Communication, University of Denver) is the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for the University of Denver’s University College. Prior to that, she was the Director of Columbia College, a non-profit liberal arts & sciences college located in Denver, CO. She has taught Communication courses for University College since 2003 and was an adjunct faculty member of the Human Communication Studies Department at DU for 12 years. Allison’s extensive experience brings knowledge in professional communication, higher education assessment and curriculum development to the classroom. Students appreciate Allison’s knowledge, course discussions, engagement and useful feedback.
Richard Fullerton (MA in Applied Communication, University of Denver; BA in Business Administration, The College of William & Mary) has experience on the panel for the American Arbitration Association in addition to the Advisory Board for Jefferson County Mediation Services and board for Community Alternatives, Inc. As a facilitator, mediator, and arbitration consultant, Richard brings knowledge in contract and employment conflict for business organizations in construction, real estate and HOA disputes to the classroom. Students appreciate Richard’s knowledge on the subject of facilitation and his timely responsiveness. His ability to convey his passion for the subject is what students like best about Richard.
Kim Hosler (PhD in Educational Technology, University of Northern Colorado; MEd in Education, Kent State University; BA, French, Bethany College) has over 25 years in the learning and professional development field. Kim is a published researcher in peer-reviewed journals and the author of several book chapters. Kim brings knowledge in learning and professional development and industrial design to the classroom. Students appreciate Kim’s informal facilitation style, her learner centered approach and the timely and detailed feedback she provides students.
Chris Huizenga is Co-Founder and Principal at Borough + Block, an innovation and brand studio in Chicago and Denver. Since launching Borough + Block in 2015, he has worked on many equitable learning revitalization projects across the country that have included education and public placemaking initiatives. In 2008, Chris and his wife Erin launched the nonprofit EPIC, which has partnered with thousands of professionals in advertising, design, marketing, and digital storytelling to provide 50+ social services nonprofit organizations with over $4M in creative pro-bono services. Chris is an Assistant Professor of Instruction at Columbia College Chicago, where he leads students in civic media courses, and in 2014 he was a Visiting Lecturer teaching nonprofit marketing at the University of Economics in Prague, Czech Republic. Chris holds a Masters in Nonprofit Administration from North Park University (Chicago) and a BA in Organizational Communication from North Central College (Naperville, IL). Chris specializes in courses on reputation management, branding, consumer behavior, social change communications, social media, and PR strategies.
Erin Iwata (MA in Applied Communication and ADR, University of Denver; BS in Business Management, University of Denver) is VP of Digital Marketing for Heinrich, a 38 year-old integrated advertising agency in Denver. Erin has over 19 years of experience and has developed and implemented successful marketing and communication plans for clients like the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, Cherry Creek Arts Festival, Hach Company, AT&T, Qwest, Wells Fargo, Kroger, Harley Davidson, Fifth Third Bank, ING Financial, US Bank, IMA, Walmart and Macy’s. With her experience, Erin brings knowledge in client-side and consulting experience in the areas of digital, integrated and direct marketing, brand development, and partnership marketing in both B2B and B2C environments to the classroom. Students appreciate Erin’s industry knowledge and useful feedback.
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Richard Khleif (PhD in Communication, University of Colorado at Boulder; MA in Integrated Marketing Communications, University of Colorado Boulder; BA in Political Science, University of New Hampshire) has nearly two decades of public and private sector experience spanning leadership roles in communications and engagement, strategy, business development, sales, services and training. He has taught university courses since 1999, holds several technical certifications and has been the recipient of various business and academic awards. Khleif currently leads communications and development functions for a multibillion-dollar division of Oracle Corporation, with past positions at Fortune 500 corporations, start-ups and government agencies. His broad international background brings a global multicultural perspective to the classroom. Students enjoy Richard’s knowledge, engagement in course discussions and useful course materials.
James Krefft (PhD in American Literature, Tulane University; MA in English, Tulane University; BA in Philosophy, Notre Dame Seminary College) has 25 years of international experience as a human resources consultant and an executive coach to C-level corporate leaders. Before consulting, Jim worked for ExxonMobil as a human resources executive, a management development director, and a recruiting and staffing manager. He has an impeccable track record in implementing large-scale organizational change. With exceptional know-how in organization design, competency-based selection, human performance systems, and performance coaching, Jim has to date enabled clients to save $2.7 billion. James brings knowledge in leadership, partnering, behavioral interviewing, team building, and performance coaching and oral and written communications to the classroom. Students appreciate Dr. Krefft’s timely and valuable feedback, innovative use of technology in the classroom and good humor. His ability to deliver core competencies and impart his large wealth of knowledge of the HR industry is what students like best about Dr. Krefft.
Michelle Kruse-Crocker (PhD in Higher Education Administration and Adult Studies, University of Denver; MS in Exercise Science, Colorado State University; BS in Health Education, University of Wisconsin) is the Manager of Academic Projects for University College, which includes experiencial learning, academic internships, international study, service in non-profits, faculty recruitment, curriculum planning, English teaching for Japanese teachers, Emerging Leaders in Development and specialty academic programs. With research interests in higher education and wellness, Dr. Kruse- Crocker brings knowledge in financial aid, college student persistence, health education, wellness, and training to the classroom. Students appreciate Dr. Kruse-Croker’s encouragement, feedback on assignments and professionalism.
Katie Leimkuehler (MFA in Fiction Writing, Roosevelt University; BA in Journalism with a Business Emphasis and Creative Writing, Miami University of Ohio) runs a social media coaching and marketing company called Leimkuehler Media where she trains startups and businesses on the best social media and marketing practices to build their brand. Prior to this, she was the Social Media Director at International Studies Abroad in Denver, where she oversaw and managed social media and content marketing and led new successful social campaigns including the Twitter Chats and managed the 40+ student blogger program. Previously, she was the Manager of Social Media and Communications for the International Interior Design Association and Journalist and Community Manager at The Chicago Tribune. She has been a contributing writer for several publications including Social Media Examiner, Business 2 Community, Ignite Social Media, Rocks Digital, Online Super Ninja, The Sun Times, Networlding, Built in Colorado, Social Media Today, Lifehack, and Technori and has also spoken at Chicago Social Media Week.
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Karen Morales (MA in Communication, University of Denver; BA in Journalism and Public Relations, University of Northern Colorado) has experience in training, facilitation, instruction, and communications. As the current owner of Communication Infrastructure Group, Karen focuses on creating and managing comprehensive strategic communication planning processes for long-term, high-impact public infrastructure projects. Students appreciate Karen’s fun and engaging teaching style, in addition to her in-depth course outlines. Her ability to convey real world examples and share her extensive knowledge is what students like best about Karen.
MPS in Organizational Communication, University of Denver
BA in Communications, Kean University of New Jersey
Bob Nogueira has more than 25 years of non-profit, government, start-up, and publicly traded corporate experience encompassing roles leading call centers, training, employee communications, and human resources. He holds certifications in human resources, executive coaching, change management, and accreditation in a variety of employee development, team effectiveness, and multi-rater instruments. Nogueira is a human resources leader for Comcast, a Fortune 30 corporation with more than 8,000 employees in Colorado. Bob’s diverse organizational experience brings both a community and corporate perspective to his teaching. Bob's infectious energy and curiosity inspires others to engage and take action.
Allison O’Grady (ABJ in Advertising, University of Georgia; BS in Psychology, University of Georgia; MA in Higher Education, University of Denver) currently works as an Instructional Support Specialist at University College. In this position, Allison assists faculty with course design and assessment measures, implements new technology into UCOL courses, trains faculty in the use of instructional design strategies, and contributes to strategic planning initiatives to enhance academic quality at University College. Allison specializes in presentation design, instructional technology, portfolio design, editing, and writing across academic and professional mediums.
Victoria O’Malley (MA in Publishing, Oxford Brookes University; BA in Journalism, University of Arizona) has marketing experience in non-profit, B2B, and B2C environments. As the Director of Marketing and Communications at DU’s University College and a freelance marketing consultant, Victoria brings strategic, tactical implementation, and analytics knowledge to the classroom. Students appreciate Victoria’s responsiveness and knowledge in the subject. Her ability to utilize and leverage technology is what students like best about Victoria.
Dr. Magdelana Red (PhD in Communication and Media Studies, University of Colorado, Boulder; MA in Latin American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin; BA in Politics from the University of San Francisco) is the Academic Director of the Communication Management program at the University of Denver's University College. She has been an instructor of Communication, Media Studies, and Women and Gender Studies at the University of Colorado, Boulder and has also taught at the Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver. Dr. Red brings knowledge in foundational communication skills, media studies theory, and critical and cultural studies of the media to the classroom. She has published in the areas of global media, and youth and popular culture studies. To enhance the Communication Management program, she regularly engages with industry leaders in the fields of marketing communication, training, and alternative dispute resolution, frequently attending conferences, networking events and workshops. Students appreciate Dr. Red’s engagement in course discussions, and ability to push students to be deep thinkers.
Johanna Robb (MPA, University of Texas at Austin; MA in Latin American Studies, University of Texas at Austin; BA in History, University of California at Berkeley) is a coach and trainer at the US Department of Energy, where she implements career and professional development services. In her current position, Johanna facilitates career development workshops, manages a mentoring program and provides coaching and team building using assessment tools including the MBTI, Strengths Finder and DISC. She is a Certified Professional Coach (with the International Coach Federation), a Professional in Human Resources (PHR), a Project Management Professional (PMP) and a Global Career Development Facilitator (GCDF). With her extensive professional background, Johanna's brings knowledge in federal project management, statewide meeting and workshop facilitation, instructional design and delivery, and policy development and implementation to the classroom.
Chelsie Ruge (MA in Humanities, University of Chicago, BA in English and Modern Studies, University of Virginia) has over ten years of experience learning about and teaching literature, research and writing. As an Instructional Support Specialist at the University of Denver’s University College, Ms. Ruge brings a clear understanding of course development and teaching practices to her curriculum. Students appreciate Ms. Ruge’s interactive approach and organized style. Her ability to share her own insights and provide appropriate feedback is what students like best about Ms. Ruge.
Grant Simmons (MPS in Organizational and Professional Communication, University of Denver; BA in Human Communication and Minor in Leadership, Colorado Christian University) has 10 years’ experience in small group and organizational communication along with 5 years focusing on learning and talent development. Currently, Grant is the Global Talent Management Partner for ServiceSource, focusing on culture, performance management, organizational development, engagement and team effectiveness. Grant strives to communicate both basic concepts and new ideas in ways that students can apply to real life scenarios. His focus is to create a highly collaborative classroom environment and offer assignments that foster student-focused growth and development.
Andrea Sisk (Ph.D. in Human Communication, University of Denver; MA in Organizational Communication and Conflict, University of Denver; BA in Advertising, University of Florida) is a teacher, researcher and practitioner within the field of human communication studies, specializing in interpersonal, organizational and conflict communication. As a university instructor in human communication for more than a decade, Andrea brings experience in both private and public university settings and the private sector to the classroom. Students appreciate Andrea’s relevant and timely feedback, along with her enthusiasm for the subject. Her ability to actively engage in discussions and provide a fruitful experience for the class is what students like best about Andrea.
Deb Sperlak (JD, Chicago-Kent College of Law; BA, University of Illinois) worked as a practicing attorney for over 34 years, 7 in Chicago and 27 in Denver. Ms. Sperlak's primary areas of practice as an attorney included alternative dispute resolution, various types of litigation, commercial loans, loan workouts, title insurance, and commercial and real estate transactions. Ms. Sperlak has served as a mediator since 2004. Ms. Sperlak has also served as an arbitrator since 2008, and a conflict coach since 2014. Ms. Sperlak has worked as a mediation coach in various trainings since 2005, including mediations trainings put on by the University of Denver's University College and the Colorado Bar Association. She has coached lawyers, judges and other professionals and students. In September 2009, Ms. Sperlak was designated a citizen lawyer by the President of the Denver Bar Association for her work with the bar associations' court mediation program.
Nolan Sundrud (MBA in Business and Marketing, Colorado State University; BA in Communications, Brigham Young University) has worked in branding, web presence creation, and marketing, including 10 years spent at Hewlett-Packard in executive communications, PR, and marketing. As the current senior communications consultant at Willis, Nolan brings knowledge in executive communications, advertising, company branding, sales materials, and internal communications to the classroom. He currently serves on the board of the Colorado chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) as Vice President of Finance. Students appreciate Nolan’s effective and engaging teaching style, in addition to his demonstrated deep knowledge of the materials. His ability to skillfully facilitate the course discussions is what students like best about Nolan.
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Maria van Dessel
PhD in Marketing, Queensland University of Technology (Brisbane, Australia)
Dr. van Dessel principal teaching and research cover the general area of marketing communications with a focus on advertising. Her teaching assignments have included undergraduate and postgraduate courses in marketing, market research, ethics in marketing communications, direct marketing, contemporary issues in advertising, advertising management and foundation advertising subjects. Maria has served on a number of School committees, including an extensive assignment that launched an assurance of learning initiative throughout the School. She also was a member of the team that conducted and delivered a large-scale research project to facilitate relationships between industry and universities. She is currently engaged in a number of research and consulting projects involving expert witness research, content analysis of marketing communications in the business-to-business (B2B) sector, along with customer experience metrics and philanthropy in the cable industry. Her most recent publications involved a content analysis of advertising objectives and results (forthcoming in the Journal of Marketing Communications) and a study on the use of creativity in B2B (forthcoming in the journal of Industrial Marketing Management). Maria is a Senior Fellow at The Cable Center and a Research Scholar in the Department of Marketing in the Daniels College of Business, University of Denver.
MBA, Arizona State University
Mindy Weinstein is the founder and president of Market MindShift, as well as a national speaker, trainer and digital marketing strategist. She has worked with and trained companies of all sizes, including Facebook, The Weather Channel, Rosetta Stone, Investor’s Business Daily, HBO, Fandango, Telemundo, LL Bean, Cisco, Transamerica and Sportsman’s Guide. Other digital marketing agencies come to Mindy to learn the latest trends, concepts, and methodologies.
During Mindy’s marketing career, she worked for various agencies and supervised a team of 40 content writers, editors and SEO analysts. She has helped businesses throughout the country catapult their presence online. Mindy co-authored The Marketing Avengers and Rich and Thin: Slim Down, Shrink Debt, Turn Calories Into Cash (McGraw-Hill). She is a contributor to SearchEngineJournal.com and co-host of SEM Synergy, which airs on WebmasterRadio.FM. Mindy has been interviewed on Fox, NBC and ABC. She has also been quoted as an expert in The Huffington Post, The Washington Post and The Arizona Republic and featured on KTAR 92.3 FM and Bloomberg Radio.
G. Travis White
Travis White (Ph.D. in Higher Education, University of Denver; MA in Library and Information Science, University of Denver; BA in International Relations and Latin American History, University of Delaware) has worked for a series of successful (and sometimes unsuccessful) hardware and software companies since 1983. As the current owner of Travis White Strategy & Communication, Travis brings product management, communications, training, marketing, and customer service knowledge to the classroom. Travis has helped customers in many countries derive strategic value from their IT investments. Travis also led a number of branding efforts for public companies, including Software for a Changing World for J.D. Edwards and Simpler is Better for Lawson Software. He’s an expert in delivering technical information–including market positioning–to non-technical audiences. Students appreciate Travis’s responsiveness, in addition to the engaging nature of his courses. His ability to provide helpful tips and tricks for marketing (and life) is what students like best about Travis.