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DU student receives USA Today national recognition

DENVER —University of Denver (DU) recent graduate Julie Markham was honored as a member of the USA Today 2010 All-USA College Academic First Team.  She was featured prominently in the June 9 issue of the newspaper. This marks the sixth year that DU students have been named to one of the USA Today All-USA College Academic Teams.

The All-USA College Academic Team honors full-time undergraduates who excel in both scholarship and community service. The team of the top 20 students was selected by a panel of judges from hundreds of students nominated by colleges and universities across the United States.  Judges considered grades, leadership, activities and how students extend their intellectual talents beyond the classroom. The 20 first team winners each will receive a $2,500 cash award. Second- and third-team members also were selected, along with honorable mentions. 

A Littleton native, Markham graduated June 4 with a bachelor of science in business administration degree in real estate/finance, a minor in leadership studies, an MBA, and a master of science in real estate and construction management.  She earned the undergraduate and graduate degrees in just five years—as part of the Undergraduate/Graduate Dual Degree program at DU’s Daniels College of Business— with a 3.99 grade point average.

While at DU, she studied microfinance—small loans to the poor for income-generating activities—in a self-organized internship in Bangladesh at Grameen Bank under Muhammad Yunus, a 2006 Nobel Peace Prize co-winner.  She wrote her thesis on microfinance as a means of poverty alleviation in Southeast Asia.

She also analyzed microfinance in Cambodia and India and most recently consulted with local officials in Kenya who are developing an eco-friendly village designed to move slum-dwellers into sustainable, affordable housing.

“The best type of learning is experiential learning. I can read about poverty in books and come up with theoretical economic policies, but it takes the field exposure to truly comprehend how to create social change,” she says.

She co-founded Social Brink, an organization dedicated to helping students interested in microfinance and social entrepreneurship.  The organization serves as an incubator for high impact social ventures by  informing students and the greater community on various topics of importance in the field of social entrepreneurship, inspiring young professionals to see themselves as current and future change agents, and initiating research and consulting opportunities.

Markham’s experience at DU has fueled her desire to work in the social enterprise sector with a socially-conscious business in microfinance.

“As a future businesswoman, I recognize that it is important for organizations to focus on the triple bottom line: people, planet, and profit. I am concerned on that there are more than 4 billion people in the world who are considered at the bottom of the pyramid because they have limited access to financial support in the hopes of rising out of poverty,” she says.  “As I continue on with my life I hope that everything I do will help me to serve as a “change-catalyst.”

While at DU, Markham was a cheerleader and a member of the figure skating team and served on the All-Undergraduate Student Association Senate.


 The University of Denver is committed to improving the human condition and engaging students and faculty in tackling the major issues of our day. DU ranks among the top 100 national universities in the U.S. For additional information, go to

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