Campus & Community

Sturm College of Law’s Randy Wagner will be honored for volunteer activities at DU

Randy Wagner shows off his Zero Waste Goalie skills. Photo: Jeffrey Haessler

Randy Wagner shows off his Zero Waste Goalie skills. Photo: Jeffrey Haessler

“People at the University of Denver like to say that we’re siloed,” says Randy Wagner, administrative director of strategic initiatives at the Sturm College of Law. “People are working so hard that they don’t get around campus to see what’s going on, but you can do it, and lots of us do. Groups like the Sustainability Council and the Inclusive Excellence Collective are vehicles for that. You get to meet people who are engaged in very positive things.”

Since arriving at the University of Denver four years ago, Wagner has steadily focused his attention on sustainability and diversity on campus. For his work, Wagner will be recognized with the 2014 Crimson and Gold Award at the Oct. 2 Convocation ceremony. The award is given each year to an employee who shows an outstanding dedication to volunteer activities around the University.

“Randy is the person you hope to have the chance to work with — he is enthusiastic and positive about every project, he asks poignant questions, and he is invested,” says Jessica Neumann, executive assistant to the dean at the Sturm College. “On top of this, Randy is genuine, thoughtful, and goes above and beyond, no matter the scope of his work.”

Wagner has become an integral member of the University of Denver’s Sustainability Council, where he is an active member of the outreach and transportation committees. He has helped to spearhead the B-Cycle campaign, a municipal bike-sharing system that began on the University of Denver campus, as well as the Zero Waste Goalies initiative, in which students, faculty and staff help to foster proper recycling and composting practices at Pioneer hockey games.

Wagner says he has noticed a counter-hegemonic movement in his life, in which newer generations have become far more cognizant of environmental issues than those preceding them.

“It’s something that kind of evolved,” Wagner says. “It’s encouraging that this is a movement that has gained a lot of momentum. The younger the person I encounter, the more on board with sustainability they are. It’s like second nature to most of them.”

While Wagner’s work with the council is impressive, it’s far from all he does around campus. Wagner is also a key member of the Inclusive Excellence Collective, which calls on the different units of the University to communicate ideas, establish relationships and support inclusivity. One of the projects Wagner is involved in is the Denver Urban Debate League (DUDL), which is dedicated to improving urban education through debate. Wagner helps to recruit diverse high school students from the metro area to participate in the DUDL, which is housed at the Sturm College of Law.

“It’s an opportunity for these students to get into our building, look around and see what higher education is all about on an up-close-and-personal basis,” Wagner says. “It’s also a great opportunity for the people in our building to contribute to something really important, which is the students’ development.”

A political science professor by trade, Wagner taught at the University of Texas as well as the University of Arizona before coming to the University of Denver. He has three children: Zane, Liz and Ian.

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