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October 20, 2023

Celebrating Teaching Excellence: University College’s Esteemed Award Winners

This week, when the University of Denver honored some of its most outstanding faculty and staff, University College was represented by not one, but TWO award recipients.

Alexandria (Alex) Vasquez Parnell received the Crimson and Gold Award, which recognizes a DU employee who demonstrates outstanding commitment to and support of the University.

Parnell is the college’s Assistant Director of Student Services, and was recognized for her exceptional efforts in keeping scholars on track, from getting started on Canvas to readying students for degree completion. Parnell leads a five-person student support team, and is also a member of the goodness committee, a staff-led group dedicated to promoting positive employee experiences, and the tactical team, which unites co-workers to address challenges facing the UCOL community. Colleagues say she “goes above and beyond in her commitment to the University and, most importantly, to her team and our students.”

Parnell organizes University College’s hooding ceremonies, which draw over 200 people every year, including students who fly in from out of state, many coming to campus for the first time. Her efforts ensure a distinctive celebration to cap students’ hard work.

Janney Carpenter, who teaches in University College’s Nonprofit Leadership program, was awarded the 2023 Ruth Murray Underhill Teaching Award. This award recognizes excellence in teaching by an adjunct faculty member.

Carpenter has been helping social enterprises and mission-driven organizations design social impact strategy and become more effective for 20+ years. She designed and teaches the Social Enterprise Principles course at University College, among other social enterprise courses. She also teaches at DU’s Korbel School of International Studies, and the Daniels College of Business in the areas of microfinance and social enterprise. Students say she goes out of her way to support them and connect them with career opportunities.

University College is special on the DU campus in its mission to educate and serve busy adults with accessible and relevant programs. We take pride in our exceptional faculty and staff, and we’re honored to have their contributions recognized.

Congratulations, Alex and Janney!


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