Launching a “Great Adventure” : CU Denver | CU Anschutz as Global Crossroads
Inaugural Event Focuses on Global Engagement for Denver Communities
“I think this is a great adventure that we are launching tonight,”
announced Don Elliman, CU Anschutz Chancellor at the inaugural University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus Global Crossroads event, hosted by the Office of International Affairs. The event, which will be hosted yearly, brought together leaders from the Denver business community and Colorado government, members of international organizations, and members of the university to dialogue, network, and enjoy an informative panel discussion surrounding global engagement. The panelists’ topics focused on fostering internationalization and sustainable growth of industry and education sectors in Denver and the growth of Colorado’s economy; updates were also shared about the multi-faceted ways that the University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus, a major public urban research university, plays a strong supporting role.
City Councilman and Council President Christopher Herndon shared his viewpoints on the changes taking place in the city and state. “There are several reasons why I enjoy serving on the Denver city council; one of the reasons is that we have a city and administration that realizes we are not just competing with American cities, we need to have a global reach to be a world-class city,” he explained.
“Every department understands that,” said Herndon, “From Visit Denver reaching out to get conventions from organizations beyond our borders to the Office of Economic Development, who recently announced that the Panasonic Solutions group will be bringing businesses from Japan to Green Valley Ranch neighborhood to create a ‘smart town’ that they are currently modeling off of one in Japan to including Denver International Airport, which has connected international flights to Iceland, Panama City and Tokyo.”
Chancellor Elliman also expressed his enthusiasm for a global society. He explained how his 32 years background in the publishing industry as an executive in charge of international editions of Time magazine and his related travels provided an education in the cultures of different businesses throughout the world and in the ways that people perceived the world differently.
“Walk around the campus of CU Anschutz, and you’ll see that we look like the United Nations. We represent every corner of the globe and that makes us a richer place; our faculty travel to every part of the globe to deliver health care and education.”
Paul Teske, Dean, School of Public Affairs, University of Colorado Denver, introduced the five panelists from the Denver business and university communities who are spearheading projects, initiatives and company developments with global partners: Nina Rupp, President, Marble Empire, Inc., Robert Fogler, Founder and Managing Director of Thousand Hills Venture Fund, Lloyd Lewan, EdD, Former Chairman, Lewan Technologies, Jay Lemery, MD, Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine, Section Chief of Wilderness and Environmental Medicine, and Cynthia Banks, MS/Cert., Founder, GlobaLinks Learning Abroad. (Biographies follow.)
Teske kicked off the panel discussion with a key question: “The main theme of tonight’s panel discussion is: what is the role of an urban public research university in a global world? Our panelists are involved in so many diverse ways—businesses, nonprofits and education—throughout the world.”
Nina Rupp, Founder and President of Marble Empire, a Denver-based company that specializes in building materials, inspired the audience with visions of what is possible and what can be achieved.” I am living the American dream here in Denver. I own a building materials business and I am a Chinese woman overseeing my diverse global workforce, which includes American and German engineers, Korean artists, and highly skilled Mexican, African-American, Iraqi and Filipino workers,” said Rupp. “They all work to the tune of my speaking four languages with them.”
Rupp reflected upon the changes that are taking place throughout international businesses. Globalization is becoming an integral part of every sector of the economy.
“This is especially true of Chinese and American partnerships, which began to expand in 1972,” she said. “I am passionate about developing China-America professional and cultural relationships.”
Panelist Jay Lemery, MD, Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine, Section Chief of Wilderness and Environmental Medicine, University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus, delved into issues surrounding globalization and the medical community.
“Soft power, or white coat diplomacy on the medical campus, allows for engagement through 21st century technology,” said Lemery.
“The question across borders and seas is how can we do this together? This is not New York or Washington DC, and that is our best asset at CU Denver. There is a western openness where great ideas can sail here. Opportunity abounds!”
Robert Fogler, Founder and Managing Director of Thousand Hills Venture Fund, expressed his viewpoint that Denver should continue to strive to be a global city with globally focused businesses.
“The University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus can play an important role by providing integration and information sharing between research and real-world experience; as an academic institution, it can provide a forum for credible and balanced exploration of global issues and commerce.” Fogler continued, “If U.S. businesses are going to thrive in the new globally connected world, they must invest in understanding the frontier markets that are poised to become economic powers in coming decades. To do so requires longer-term investment in understanding frontier markets rather than simply focusing on quarter-to-quarter results.”
Fogler’s expertise includes the development of the first private equity fund in post-genocide Rwanda and he also served as the CEO of CAfrica Sports, a sports broadcasting company that operated in more than 25 countries throughout sub-Saharan Africa.
“American businesses have a lot to learn from frontier markets, where the absence of legacy systems are allowing these markets to leap-frog intermediate technologies and innovate in new ways that can be instructive immediately to U.S. businesses – for example, mobile payments systems in Africa are the most advanced and most-used mobile payment systems in the world.”
Panelist Lloyd Lewan, EdD, Former Chairman of Lewan Technologies, helped build one of the American western region’s most successful office technology companies. Lewan and Associates, which is now a part of Xerox Corporation. Lewan’s travels and his meetings with world leaders and various officials of foreign governments as well as his involvement with study abroad education have led to rich resources and insights.
“All human beings have the same needs, we only use different cultural patterns to achieve them. The only common language is humility; if you’re humble other cultures will receive you,” said Lewan.
“Don’t stop dreaming and never be discouraged. Undergraduate preparation is essential — with entrepreneurship, leadership, and international engagement.”
Another panelist having in-depth expertise in study abroad program development and business management was Cynthia Banks, MS/Cert., Founder, GlobaLinks Learning Abroad. Under her leadership, GlobaLinks sent over 30,000 students abroad with over 100 staff worldwide. Besides building and running one of the best study abroad programs in North America, she created the Foundation for Global Scholars, a non-profit organization supporting study abroad scholarships for students from underrepresented areas in education abroad.
Banks spoke about the value of learning abroad on several levels. “International travel makes students aware of another location and other cultures, but they return home more aware of themselves.”
Denver, Colorado, serves as a global crossroads that is the intersection of education, research and business opportunities on all seven continents. As a leading academic and research institution, the University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus has an extensive global reach that supports the city and state’s internationalization efforts:
- 1,856 international students from more than 130 countries.
- More than 400 international scholars and researchers.
- The university sends more than 400 students abroad for study, research and service.
- CU Denver’s Beijing degree program in partnership with International College Beijing has 370 students in Beijing and 167 students in Denver
- CU Denver | Anschutz Medical Campuses have more than 100 active international agreements to recruit students, conduct and collaborate on research, and engage in clinical activities.
- According to the Brookings Institution, international students bring more than $216 million into Denver/Aurora/Broomfield.
In addition, the Office of Development and the Office of International Affairs are launching a new Global Crossroads Scholarship for the purpose of generating funding for University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus student study abroad scholarships. The scholarship is open to students from all 13 schools and colleges at the university and the Development office has already secured two $5,000 challenge grants.
John Sunnygard, Executive Director, Office of International Affairs, explained, “The connections between education, business, and public service sectors provide a creative synergy with a momentum for moving opportunities forward in a highly competitive global environment. Our goal is to bolster the synergies between these groups to benefit our students, research, the city, and the state.”
Panelist Nina Rupp concluded,
“I think Colorado is a great place to foster global partnerships and commerce; it is a wonderful place to work, study and live; there are so many opportunities here.”
Nina Rupp, President, Marble Empire, Inc.
Nina Rupp is the Founder and President of Marble Empire Incorporated, a Denver-based company that specializes in building material. A polyglot with varied international experience, Ms. Rupp has worked as a restaurant owner in Bogotá, Colombia, served as president of an international trading import and export company in New York, and was the editor of Geology and Paleontology Science magazine at the China Academy of Sciences Nanjing Institute of Geology and Paleontology. She also serves on several boards and business organizations such as the Colorado Sustainable Business Group, Chinese Chang Chun Medical College, Colorado Chinese Chamber of Commerce, and the Arvada Sister Cities International.
Robert Fogler, Founder and Managing Director of Thousand Hills Venture Fund.
Robert Fogler is the founder and Managing Director of Thousand Hills Venture Fund, which was the first private equity fund in post-genocide Rwanda. He also co-founded and served as the CEO of CAfrica Sports, a sports broadcasting company that operated in more than 25 countries throughout sub-Saharan Africa. He is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Denver’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies, where he teaches a graduate-level course on Capital Markets in Africa, the only such course offered in the United States. Mr. Fogler serves on the Advisory Board of African Century Capital Group, a Netherlands-based financial and investment services firm, and he is currently involved in a variety of business and investment projects in sub-Saharan Africa.
Lloyd Lewan, EdD, Former Chairman, Lewan Technologies.
Lloyd Lewan helped build one of the region’s most successful office technology companies, Lewan and Associates, which today is part of Xerox Corporation. He currently serves as Chairman of the Board and Executive Dean, Emeritus for the Institute for Shipboard Education, an organization sponsoring the international program Semester at Sea and has served on the International MBA Advisory Board at the University of Denver and its predecessor boards for over 20 years. Lewan’s continued commitment to community service is evinced through his involvement with women’s economic development, gang prevention, human services, burned children; and this was his 29th year as Santa Claus for the Children’s Hospital Colorado.
Jay Lemery, MD, Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine, Section Chief of Wilderness and Environmental Medicine.
Jay Lemery is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and is the Section Chief of Wilderness and Environmental Medicine in the Department of Emergency Medicine. He is the immediate Past President of the Wilderness Medical Society and a consultant for the Climate and Health Program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He sits on the Institute of Medicine’s Roundtable on Environmental Health Sciences, Research, and Medicine and currently serves as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a Fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians. He is a Co-Editor for the book ‘Global Climate Change and Human Health’ (Jossey Bass), to press this fall. From 2005-2012, he was the Director of Cornell Wilderness Medicine and sat on the Global Health Steering Committee at the Weill Cornell Medical College. In 2014, Lemery became the EMS Medical Director for the United States Antarctic Program.
Cynthia Banks, MS/Cert., Founder, GlobaLinks Learning Abroad.
Cynthia Banks is the Founder of GlobaLinks Learning Abroad and served as the CEO for 24 years until the organization was acquired by a competitor in April 2014. Under her leadership, GlobaLinks sent over 30,000 students abroad with over 100 staff worldwide. Besides building and running one of the best study abroad programs in North America, she created the Foundation for Global Scholars, a non-profit organization supporting study abroad scholarships for students from underrepresented areas in education abroad. Over $1.4 million have been awarded since 2007. She serves on the Board of Directors for NAFSA: Association of International Educators and previously served as the Chair of the NAFSA Education Abroad Knowledge Community. She is active with entrepreneurship and women’s leadership in the state, won several honors as a top women-owned business and was selected for the prestigious International Women’s Forum in 2009.
Moderator: Paul Teske, PhD, Dean, School of Public Affairs, University of Colorado Denver.
Office of International Affairs: international.ucdenver.edu.