In this installment of “Why I Research,” faculty members from Anthropology, Economics, History, Physics and Energy Science, and Sociology share their reasons and motivations for conducting research.

Esther Lamidi

Esther Lamidi, Assistant Professor of Sociology

I conduct research because I love the process of finding answers to pertinent questions about evolving patterns of family life. As my friends and family often say, my curious mind can’t stop asking why. I also consider it a privilege to be part of the group of scholars in my field whose research informs changes in social policies and individual and group actions. 

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Dr. Brandon Vogt, Associate Professor, Department of GES

The UCCS Communique recently covered Dr. Brandon Vogt’s capstone snow hydrology course in the Department of Geography & Environmental Studies (GES). Several of the 12 enrolled students were interviewed for the article, and they describe the course as transformative. The article was written by Anna Squires. Link directly to the article.

Matthew Copus, winner of the 2019 Grand Slam competition, presenting his research, “Magnetic Rogue Waves.” Matthew’s research mentor was Dr. Bob Camley, Professor of Physics

The UCCS Mountain Lion Grad Slam competition finals, this year an all-LAS event, will take place Friday (1/31/20) from 12-1 in Berger Hall. Graduate students will explain their research in an engaging way. Each student gets 1 slide and 3 minutes to present their research to a layperson audience. The winner of this competition represents UCCS at the Colorado Graduate Schools competition and at the Western Association of Graduate Schools competition.

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Mary Lynn Stockman (Willis), 1987 UCCS Grad, Biology

Attending UCCS gave Mary Lynn Stockman (Willis) an excellent foundation for further studies and led to a fulfilling career as a Nutritionist. She received several scholarships as a UCCS student, and felt that she would have been unable to complete her studies without them. She has a special place in her heart for single parents who are also university students and desires to pass along the gifts of scholarships.  Read more about Mary Lynn and the Scholarship she established below.

Continue reading “LAS Donor Feature: Support for Single Parents and Non-Traditional Students”
Professors Robert and Barbara Lorch, circa 1995.

The family of UCCS Professors Bob and Barbara Lorch established the Robert S. and Barbara R. Lorch Department of Mathematics Endowed Scholarship in 2009. The late Drs. Lorch taught political science and sociology, respectively, at UCCS for more than 30 years. Bob and Barbara’s son John earned a B.A. degree in math at UCCS in 1988, went on to earn his Ph.D. in mathematics, and is now a Professor of Mathematics at Ball State University in Indiana. The funding provides for merit-based scholarships for junior or senior math majors. In 2019, the eleventh year of the scholarship, the Mathematics department awarded the Lorch Scholarship to Troy Johnson and Benjamin Schwartz. Read the notes of gratitude from these students below.

Ben Schwartz

“I am immensely honored and appreciative to be presented with the Lorch Scholarship. Receiving this award has allowed me to reflect on how much help my family, professors, and peers at UCCS have given me. They have challenged me to become the best version of myself. I cannot adequately express my gratitude to them and to the Lorch family. The Lorch Scholarship will give me more time to focus on my goals so I can worry less about paying my bills. I am passionate about mathematics because I believe it is the purest form of truth, and it is a privilege to be recognized for doing something I love. After graduating, I intend to pursue an MS in mathematics with the dream of one day becoming a professor. Understanding math and helping others do the same brings me great joy.”
–Benjamin Schwartz

Troy Johnson

“I am extremely appreciative and feel immensely honored to receive the Lorch Scholarship. As an avid student and fan of mathematics the Lorch Scholarship has aided me in both the pursuit of a degree and my passion. Receiving the Lorch Scholarship has helped alleviate many financial constraints that would have influenced my senior year and has unambiguously left a positive impact on my life and education.” A very grateful Troy Johnson

This story was originally published in the Fall 2019 UCCS Mathematics department newsletter. To submit story ideas please contact Mike Kisley,

To support the College of Letters, Arts & Sciences you can visit our giving page, or contact Zuleika Johnson, Associate Director of Development at UCCS.

Two faculty from the department of Geography and Environmental Sciences (GES) were recognized at the 2019 National Council for Geographic Education (NCGE) annual meeting. Irina Kopteva, Assistant Research Professor, received an award for “Best Paper” for her publication “Humanizing Human Geography Online: The Quality Matters Journey” which appeared in The Geography Teacher this year. Rebecca Theobald, Assistant Research Professor, received the NCGE President’s Award for her contribution to geography education. Read on to learn more.

Continue reading “Award-Winning Faculty: Two From GES Honored at Conference”
GeoClub teammates Hannah Daugherty, Alex Blanco-Castano, Giselle Rangel, and Natalie Luther

The UCCS Geography and Environmental Science Club (GeoClub), from the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies (GES), joined six other teams on Saturday, 2 November at SGA to compete in the 7th Annual UCCS National Academic Quiz Tournament (NAQT). GeoClub was the only group to participate in all five rounds, losing only one round. After a quick playoff round, GeoClub faced the Dinos in the semi-finals and JT’s Team in the final (their one loss in the competition). In the end, it was the popular culture knowledge of the GeoClub’s teammates that ensured their win over JT’s Team (whose members have been in the final against GeoClub for the previous two years).

Continue reading “LAS Student Accomplishments: GeoClub Wins Third Straight Title”

In this installment of “Why I Teach,” faculty members from English, Mathematics, Philosophy, Psychology, and Women’s and Ethnic Studies share their reasons and motivations for teaching.

Laith Al-Shawaf

Laith Al-Shawaf, Assistant Professor of Psychology

I teach because there’s nothing better than sharing knowledge with other people. One of my all-time favorite things is seeing a student’s face light up after grasping a puzzling idea, an interesting empirical finding, or a novel way of thinking about the world.

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