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December 11, 2017

2017 Alumni Achievement Award Winners

Congratulations to the 2017 University College Alumni Achievement Award winners! Award recipients will be recognized at the annual holiday celebration on December 12. Read their stories below…

Recent Graduate Award: Vanessa Schoenecker
Vanessa Schoenecker (Environmental Policy and Management, 2013) currently works for the National Park Service where she helps employees manage their energy cost and consumption each fiscal year. The data collected is included in the annual Federal Comprehensive Energy Performance Report (formerly the Greenhouse Gas Report), which is sent to Congress for review. While at University College, Vanessa became involved with the Sustainability Alliance, a grassroots organization created by Environmental Policy and Management students. Vanessa went on to serve as president of the Sustainability Alliance for two years, organizing film screenings, panel discussions, facility tours, resume workshops, and more. She even stayed on as president after graduation, giving back to her fellow students and helping them form lifelong networks and friends. Congratulations, Vanessa!

Civic Engagement Award: Cynthia “Caz” Eldridge
Cynthia “Caz” Eldridge (Technology Management, 2001) has started several businesses including real estate, business and IT consulting, and even an auto repair shop. Cynthia knows the importance of giving back to the community and serves as a mentor to high school and college students, and recent graduates. She works with these individuals regularly and gives them the tools and support they need to ensure a lifetime of success. Cynthia has also worked with the DU Center for Judaic Studies to establish a program fund in memory of her late husband, Paul, who was devoted to helping others. The fund will go toward Judaic Studies and Cultural Diversity to help create awareness of social inequities around marginalized communities. Congratulations, Cynthia!

Lifetime Achievement Award: Judi Vogel
Judi Vogel (Master of Liberal Arts, 2003) has worked closely with the American Indian community, initiating projects and participating in helping indigenous tribal people. As a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Judi serves as the Chairman of the American Indians Committee for the downtown Denver Chapter and has worked with the Mayor of Denver to better acknowledge, respect, and celebrate Native American culture as a part of the rich legacy in Denver. Each year, Judi works with the Mayor’s office to secure the Proclamation for “National American Indian Heritage Month” that takes place each November. With 15,000 Navajos in New Mexico and Arizona without electricity in their homes, Judi has helped raise money to provide solar lights to these families. She consistently sends reading materials to libraries on the reservations, collects winter coats for a shelter in one of the reservation border towns, and records and transcribes oral histories of Native American elders. Internationally, Judi has become involved in learning about and helping develop sustainable agricultural enterprises for the indigenous people in the Mexican state of Chiapas. Congratulations, Judi!

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