Campus & Community

Panel explores the potential of interdisciplinary collaboration

Through new collaborative efforts among colleges, interdisciplinary education is taking shape at DU.

Consider the recent Master Scholar CEO panel discussion, sponsored by the Sturm College of Law and featuring alumni from four colleges and five industries, who gathered on campus to share their professional experiences with students and community members.

The panel was in step with Chancellor Rebecca Chopp’s call for increased interdisciplinary education, which enjoys a star role in the draft strategic plan she previewed during her Sept. 18 inaugural address.

“[We are] developing a connected, intentional, united community that supports our alumni as key collaborators in our mission and as global ambassadors, while providing lifelong engagement in learning and career networking,” Chopp said.

A variety of industries, campus units and perspectives were represented at the panel discussion, which addressed a range of topics including ethics in business, women in the workplace, dealing with regulations and compliance, interdisciplinary problem solving and legal issues.

Panelists included Katherine Mulready (JD, MPS ’11), chief strategy officer and vice president of legislative policy for the Colorado Hospital Association; Bill Holland (JD ’62), former CEO of United Dominion Industries; Colleen Abdoulah (EMBA ’94), chair of the board for WideOpenWest Networks LLC; Doug Wilwerding (BS ’85, MBA ’86), managing principal of the Optimas Group; and Bridget Coughlin, vice president of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science and interim CEO of Share Fair Nation, a DU-housed annual program that offers free professional development classes to teachers.

“The panel highlighted the depth and breadth of knowledge that comes out of the University of Denver,” Mulready said. “As an alumna, it’s exciting to return to campus to share my experiences, and it was inspiring to hear other graduates’ perspectives on their passions and careers.”

Discussions among the panel members covered everything from the physical security of facilities such as the Denver Museum of Nature and Science to the regulatory and legislative aspects of health care to the importance of building a supportive workplace.

“I can honestly say I consciously evoke lessons from DU on a daily basis,” said Wilwerding, who led discussions on interdisciplinary problem solving. “The focus on critical thinking and an ethical foundation has often led to unconventional but ultimately very effective decisions that have served my businesses well and served the people who are employed in and served by my businesses well.”




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *