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June 2011: Community News

June 2011: Community News

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Published by: University of Denver on Jun 01, 2011
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08/07/2011

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 Student author
 Middle East expert
 Graffiti exhibit
 Building dedication
 Nonprofit advocate
 Forest steward
Inside
06.2011
[
 
CAMPUS|NEIGHBORHOOD LIFE|RESEARCH ARTS|EVENTS|PEOPLE 
]
   R   i  c   h   C   l  a  r   k  s  o  n   &   A  s  s  o  c   i  a   t  e  s
Pioneers turn in historic season
The DU men’s lacrosse team has turned in the greatest season in program history, culminating with theprogram’s first-ever trip to the NCAA Final Four.While the magical season ended with a 14-8 loss to eventual NCAA champion Virginia in the nationalsemifinals on May 28, the program can look to a host of other accomplishments.The Pioneers won the inaugural Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) tournament championship aswell as the ECAC regular season title while going undefeated in conference play. Signature victories aboundedthroughout the season. DU’s first NCAA tournament victory in program history — over Villanova — was alsothe first NCAA lacrosse tournament game played west of the Mississippi.DU then went on to beat a powerhouse Johns Hopkins team in the NCAA quarterfinals to advance to theFinal Four. The regular season brought wins against Ohio State in the Rocky Mountain Lacrosse Showcase andan upset of the then-No. 4-ranked Duke Blue Devils in New York.“This is a special group of student-athletes,” head coach Bill Tierney says. “They worked hard, cametogether as a cohesive unit and believed in themselves all season. What they achieved was remarkable.”The season also brought DU its highest-ever ranking — No. 4 — and by season’s end, a 15-3 record.DU’s Mark Matthews, a junior from Oshawa, Ontario, won conference player of the year honors and was namedsecond-team All-American. The accomplishment is the highest All-America honor for a DU lacrosse player.“Mark has played at a high level all season,” Tierney says. “He is a very unselfish player who is one of ouroffensive catalysts. Mark is certainly deserving of the second-team honor.”Sophomore Chase Carraro of Louisville, Ky., freshman Jamie Faus of Lakeville, Conn., and sophomore CamFlint of Georgetown, Ontario, were named All-American honorable mentions.
 —Nathan Solheim
Today’sdU newsToday 
 Want more DU news?Check out the University of Denver’s online newssource,
DU Today 
, where you’ll find a plethora of stories about upcomingevents, profiles of professors and studentsand reports about thelatest DU news andinformation. All youhave to do is visit www.du.edu/today.
The DU Pioneers won the ECAC conerence tournament on May 7.
 
 www.du.edu/today
Volume 34, Number 10
eitril dirctr 
Chelsey Baker-Hauck (BA ’96)
 aitt eitril dirctr 
Greg Glasgow
Mgig eitr 
Nathan Solheim
 art dirctr 
Craig Korn, VeggieGraphics
Community News
is published monthly by theUniversity o Denver, University Communications,2199 S. University Blvd., Denver, CO 80208-4816.The University o Denver is an EEO/AA institution.
Contact
Community News
at 303-871-4312or tips@du.eduTo receive an e-mail notice upon thepublication of 
Community News
, contact uswith your name and e-mail address.
UNIVERSITY OF DENVER
 
[ ]
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Creative writing student receives accolades
 Joanna Ruocco says she always wanted to be a writer. As achild, she spent countless hours lying at on her stomach writing her epic novel about mice by pencil. The novel never came to ruition,but Ruocco’s dream came true.Ruocco, who is pursuing a PhD in creative writing at DU,has already published two books and just received the $15,000Catherine Doctorow Innovative Fiction Prize or 
 Another Governess/ The Least Blacksmith-A Diptych rom Fiction Collective Two (FC2)
.“Joanna’s success is impressive and a testament to her discipline,” says Brian Kiteley, proessor o English. “She’s a belovedstudent.”Ruocco already has an MFA rom Brown University but saysshe attended DU because o its community o writers.“I’m totally blown away by the talent o people I’m in classes with,” she says. “It’s a privilege tobe around them.”Others eel the same about Ruocco. Kiteley describes her as modest, but tough. He says she’sone o the smartest students he’s ever had.“Her fction is very precise,” Kiteley says. “It strikes me that she almost never does anything that’s wrong or out o place; whatever rules she’s setting or hersel, she sticks to them.”Ruocco seems to delight in setting rules or dierent projects. She explains how in
The Mother-ing Coven
(Ellipsis Press, 2009) she used wordplay and drew on the Saxon and German languages tocreate a language or the witches in the novel.David Simon, in his review or 
The Nation
, described the book as “a laboratory in which sheconducts experiments by combining language and language-like systems — those that display bothregulated coherence and infnite exibility.”Ruocco says when she tackles a project with such heavy language she fnds that she oten works simultaneously on a piece with language that’s much more mundane. She did that with
 Man’sCompanions
(Tarpaulin Sky Press, 2010).“I change a lot rom project to project,” she says. “I get excited about fguring out a dierentnarrative, the logic and vocabulary. I try not to have a set idea about what I’ll produce — I like thatmysterious space eeling out what could happen with the language.” While Ruocco relishes her mysterious space, her ans know her success is no mystery. Still, sheis overwhelmed by her recent award by FC2.“It’s really exciting and overwhelming,” she says. “I eel very lucky that my work is beingrewarded with this kind o recognition.”
 —Kristal Grifth
DU receives national honor for community service andservice learning
May typically is the time o year when students receive recognition or their academic achieve-ments. This year, the University o Denver also is being honored.DU was named to the 2010 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll by the Corporation or National and Community Service (CNCS).The honor recognizes DU as a leader among higher education institutions or supporting stu-dents, aculty and sta in volunteerism, service learning and civic engagement.Out o 851 colleges and universities that applied, 511 were admitted to the 2010 honor roll.CNCS selects institutions based on several criteria, including the school’s commitment to long-termcommunity partnerships, measurable outcomes o community service, and the extent to whichservice learning is embedded in a school’s curriculum.During the 2009–10 academic year, more than 1,400 DU students were involved in servicelearning and at least 4,000 students perormed community service, which amounted to more than540,000 hours to help their communities.
 —Amber D’Angelo Na
TEDxDU was rad
TEDxDU, an independently organized TED event dedicated to ideas worth spreading, brought20 speakers and performers to DU’s Newman Center for  the Performing Arts on May 13under the banner of “radicalcollaboration.” Speakers includedscientists, inventors, spiritualleaders, artists, students and teachers. Watch videos of thespeakers at tedxdu.com.
 
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U
niversity of Denver Assistant Professor Nader Hashemi jokes that all of four people used to hear his radio program during his stintat a college radio station in Ottawa.But today, Hashemi’s audience extends far beyond his radio days. His growing media presence includes local news outlets as well asnational platforms such as “The PBS NewsHour,”
Time
magazine and
The Wall Street Journal
.Hashemi, who teaches Middle East and Islamic politics at DU’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies, is a go-to source foreverything from the recent tumult in Egypt to the ongoing debate between religion and secularism in the Muslim world.Though Hashemi was born and raised in Canada, his Iranian-immigrant parents followed the 1979 Iranian revolution closely.The family even moved back to Iran briefly in 1980 beforereturning to Canada a few years later.“I was old enough to observe a transformative momentnot only in the politics of Iran but the broader Middle East,”he says. “At a young age, it really inculcated in me an interestin the relationship between religion and politics.”His latest book,
The People Reloaded: The Green Movementand the Struggle for Iran’s Future
(Melville House, 2011),reflects his ongoing fascination with the Middle East’s politicaldynamics. The tome “demystifies a lot of assumptions peoplemake about the politics of the Muslim world,” he says.University of Denver Professor Haider Khan saysHashemi brings a unique educational background to campusas well as an empathic ear for the Middle Eastern region atlarge. The latter allows Hashemi to reach out to a broad rangeof students.Khan adds that Hashemi understands past culturalconnections between the Arab and European cultures as wellas the modern college student’s mindset.“He’s very sensitive to the need to educate people in agentle way,” Khan says. “Our job is to engage them in a non-confrontational, enlightening way so they feel comfortablepresenting their disagreements.”Hashemi’s academic career has taken him to the Universityof Toronto, Northwestern University and UCLA, and in 2008he accepted a position at the University of Denver overanother institution with a strong international component.“[Then Korbel Dean] Tom Farer really left a positiveimpression on me,” he recalls.The professor’s typical course load includes classesexploring modern Islamic political thought, the region’spolitical context and timeless books on the subject like AlbertHourani’s
 Arabic Thought in the Liberal Age
.Hashemi says he starts each of his classes with a vow to his students, one he does his best to live up to himself.“I want to get my students to challenge their unexamined assumptions about the world,” he says, “positions passed on from boththeir families and communities.”DU graduate student Clifton Martin recalls reading Bernard Lewis’
What Went Wrong?
in one of Hashemi’s classes. His classmatesfound plenty of fault with Lewis’ arguments, but Hashemi prodded them to not simply disagree but to make a better case againstthem.“It’s that extra step he takes to ask us to think about the material, question it, and come up with our own perspective. Then hechallenges that perspective. It’s a great method of reinforcing the critical thinking process,” Martin says of Hashemi, who serves as hisadviser both as a student and with the Middle East Discussion group Martin co-directs.Covering Middle Eastern issues can make for divisive conversations, but Hashemi says he is delighted when students tell him theyaren’t sure where he stands on the positions discussed in the classroom.“My position is not to preach,” he says. “It is to get my students to think critically.”
 —Christian Toto
Leading expert
Proessor quickly becoming go-to source on Middle East
DU Assistant Proessor Nader Hashemi teaches Middle East and Islamic politics atDU’s Jose Korbel School o International Studies.
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