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Alumni share their expertise at Masters Program

Aspiring professional photographers need to hit the ground running, photographer and alumnus Aaron Huey told a class of young shutterbugs on April 5.

“When you get out of here there are no minor leagues. You’re in direct competition with me and every other photographer you’ve ever heard of,” said Huey (BFA ’99), who urged students in Associate Professor Roddy MacInnes’ Personal Histories of Photography class to travel and to force themselves into uncomfortable situations in order to make compelling photos.

“[It was interesting] to hear that you have to have a different angle, you can’t just take pictures of things in your world,” said Kresson Vreeman, a senior English major from Raymond, Minn. “You need to go outside your comfort zone and look at hard things.”

Huey is a photojournalist whose work appears regularly in the National Geographic magazines, The New Yorker, The New York Times and others. His appearance at DU was part of the 2011 Masters Program, which welcomed 17 distinguished alumni back to campus to share their expertise with students.

“It’s a great chance to learn from somebody who’s been out there in the world and has some experience and has had success, and then the alums really appreciate the recognition and the honor of coming back and getting an award,” Cheri Stanford, associate director of alumni programs and communications, says of the annual event. “For alums who graduated in the ’70s or ’80s, the campus has completely transformed. If they haven’t been back to campus for a while, it’s always fun to see how they react to the campus tour and seeing how things have changed.”

Huey also shared his images from the Pine Ridge Indian reservation in South Dakota, where he has traveled several times to document life in one of the poorest areas in the country. He said he will return to Pine Ridge this summer to create a new series for National Geographic Magazine.

The other alumni who returned to campus for the Masters Program were:

Joe Bagan (BS, MA ’88), chief operating officer for Clear Channel Outdoor-Americas

Kirby Slunaker (EMBA ’99), senior vice president and chief information officer for Pendulum Inc.

John Lyons (BA ’70), a Marine Corps vet and former IRS employee

Nicolas Benedict (BA ’93, PhD ’01), president and CEO of eScience Labs Inc.

Susan Albers (MA ’99, PsyD ’01), a clinical psychologist at the Cleveland Clinic Family Health Center in Ohio

David Bernstein (MSW ’75), director of the Center for Effective Interventions at Metropolitan State College in Denver

Nelba Chavez (PhD ’75), former deputy director of programs for the Arizona Department of Economic Security and former administrator of the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

John Ambler (MA ’81), vice president of strategy for Oxfam America

Christy Moroye (MA ’99, PhD ’07), assistant professor in the School of Education and Counseling at Regis University in Denver

David Gust (BS ’74), an Army vet and former CEO of Technical and Management Services Corp.

Brian Robbins (BS, MBA ’01), founder of Denver-based Riptide Games, which makes video games for iPhones and other mobile devices

Caroline Turner (JD ’76), a workshop facilitator, speaker, consultant and executive coach through her own company, DifferenceWORKS LLC

Melissa Mayhue (BBA ’95), author of the Daughters of the Glen historical romance novel series

Carter Prescott (BA ’71), president and CEO of marketing company Carter Communications International Inc.

Sue Karlin (MTM ’01), a principal IT consultant who also is an adjunct faculty member at Regis University in Denver

Beth Wolfson (MAC ’01), president of the EtyKa Group, which provides training, team building and coaching to executives and others


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