DU Here and Now

Making history, one story at a time

DU Here and Now is a project dedicated to telling the stories of the University of Denver’s students, alumni, faculty and staff—the stories that tell who we are at this moment, here and now.

Want to be a part of history? Contact us to set up an interview!

Want more stories from the University of Denver community, here and now? DU junior Laura Siekman, founder of Humans of DU, offers proof that everyone has a story to tell, a lesson to teach and wisdom to share.
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"How did you decide to go into law?"

"My uncle actually got me into law. I expressed to him that I had an interest in it and he kind of nurtured me through high school and college, and now I'm here."

"Is he proud of you?"

"Proud-ish. He'll be proud when I graduate."

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"My brother and I used to make comic books when we were little, and even though they didn't really make sense we'd always act them out. A few days ago I was visiting home and was cleaning out my dressers I found them."
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"Always be prepared."

"Was there ever a time you were caught unprepared and it didn't end so well?"

"Yes - I'm in an accounting class, and they always call on you and you have to know the answer. You stand up and have to answer questions. You can't say "um." Once I was called on and I didn't know the answer and I had to stand up and say I don't know. That never happened again."

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"I grew up in the Bay Area. I collect posters, as well. That one was my first poster -- I got that at a record store when I was twelve. I like that it's both playful but it's serious art. I love the fact that they're artists -- they're making art, they're presenting themselves as artists -- but they're very much tied to this to this counterculture identity."
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"I’ve always been into fitness. I ran cross-country and track, I played basketball in high school. Just staying healthy and eating healthy is important to me."

"What is your favorite vegetable?"

Carrots.

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"If you could give a room full of people a single piece of advice, what would it be?"

"Work hard and get enough sleep!"

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"What are your favorite subjects in school?"

"Reading."

"Lunch."

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"We are representing the DU Department of Theatre, so we're just wearing props and did some face painting. We just had auditions last night and we're about to do a great play called "The Nina Variations" and Checkov's "The Seagull" later this quarter. We have a lot going on right now."
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"That’s the whole idea. I am trying to get people pumped."
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"I’m half Thai, half Canadian. My Dad was traveling, met my mom in a roller disco in Thailand. He came back to Canada, they wrote letters back and forth, then he went back to Thailand and married her."
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"My art history teacher was the best. M.E. Warlick. She was just fun—I liked the way she taught."
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"Our goal? Manage our time, be healthy, don’t get hurt."
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"What is your proudest moment as a parent?" (Dad speaking.) "My proudest moment was a sad moment in a chapter of our family. It was when [my wife’s] father passed... Everyone was getting up and saying words. [My son] was seven years old. I have never heard someone speak from the heart, so prolifically. It was amazing. I thought, if he can do this at this stage... it’s boundless. He just got up and spoke from his heart better than the adults did that knew [his grandfather] his whole life. I knew he would be okay."
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(On why she chose biochemistry as a major.) "I did a project in high school on cancer and how it actually works, how it gets into cells and changes the RNA structure, so that is how I have been exposed to it."
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"We were all in the [IAALS building] cleaning, and we could hear somebody in the kitchen like moving around with bags but there wasn’t nobody there, and then the elevator started going up and down.  We just heard...stuff."
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"Back in our day, I actually had a phone in my dorm room—a wall phone, not a phone in the hallway. Letters and stamps, that’s how you basically communicated with home."
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"My aunt and uncle adopted me when I was 18—it was an unusual adoption. My aunt was a lifelong United Airlines employee and it opened me up to travel. It was free so long as I was a full-time student. I’m also an adopted alum—I’m a Colorado Women’s College alumna. I attended school in the 80’s over on the current Johnson & Wales campus. The current building is beautiful and I love that the original arch is here."
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“Tell me about the most inspiring moment of your life?”

“I’m still waiting.”

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"I studied abroad in Sydney, at the University of South Wales. I lived on the beach with other DU students and it was really fun. We did so much traveling. The experience was really rewarding; when you’re not in your home environment, you really have a chance to grow up."
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"I graduated in 1972. Ved Nanda was my favorite professor.  He’s still here, he’s still active, he’s still doing a great job. He opened the world to me in terms of the concepts of what the law can do.  I’ll always be indebted to him for that."
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"I was photographing a wedding, and there was this woman on the ground doing the worm. She was doing it backwards so her skirt and everything was going forwards to reveal… a lot of information."
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"Well, I'm studying and this is the best library around. It's quiet, clean and new. My other place is McDonalds on Evans and Colorado. If I go there I'll eat too much."
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"I used to be really into competitive rock climbing."
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"I play the harp. My private lessons teacher, Suzanne Geirteg, was amazing. She was always helping me with whatever I needed to do throughout my 4 years. Dr. Morelli inspired me to look at the musicology side of things. She showed me there was a whole other world out there beyond just classical music."
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"Enjoy college while you’re there. You’re only there for a short amount of time.  Take it seriously, but at the same time don’t take it seriously."
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"My husband and I both did our undergrad and graduate degrees here, and he’s actually an assistant dean at the law school so we have lots of great memories.  We met at his highschool graduation through a mutual friend, and we both happened to go here. We both lived in JMac and kept crossing paths. My favorite memory was being crowned Homecoming King and Queen by Provost Kvistad."
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"I didn’t go to DU, but my husband went to DU’s law school and so did my son and his wife. We have three grandsons who play hockey for DU—two have graduated and one is still on the team. So we come to all the games."
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"I grew up in Colorado. I attended a pro-am with my parents when I was a kid. I was hit with a golf ball that was hit by Betty Ford. Secret Service came over and told us what happened, and just to be sure we weren’t people who would retaliate."
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“I’m afraid of not succeeding. There’s definitely a lot of pressure to succeed.”
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“This summer I’m going to work my butt off at home in Santa Fe because I’m studying abroad next year in España."
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“I see a lot of crazy things. The most recent crazy thing I’ve seen is students tying a rope from two trees and tightrope walking across it in the gardens. It’s pretty amazing that they can do that… Unfortunately they’re not allowed to do that.”
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“The Cedar of Lebanon was the biggest tree we moved. It’s considered a state champion because it’s the second largest of its kind in Colorado. We transplanted it in front of University Hall, and it looks really good there. It’s really delicate right now ... (read more)
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“One of the things I love about DU is that it’s an arboretum. Right outside is a golden rain tree. I’d never seen one before working here. It blooms yellow in the summer and gets these little lanterns on it in the fall.”
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“I finally get to go home this summer, to Michigan. I’ve always been a family person and it’s really weird being away from my family. I know I’m almost 25 but family has always been a big part of my life. I told my mom last night ... (read more)
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“I do a lot of yoga. And I love my husband and my wiener dogs.”
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“I’m most proud of the fact that I’m almost done with my PhD. I’m graduating this summer.”
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"What’s your worst moment at DU?" "I can’t tell you that!"

"What’s one you can tell?" "I’d say my worst moment at DU was sleeping through a chemistry midterm. That was brutal. I had to do a lot of groveling. It worked, though"

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“Being in the US has made me the most proud. I’m an international student, originally from Ghana. I am really proud that I was able to get out of my comfort zone—being able to be independent, go off on my own and be an individual in a new country.... (read more)
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“Do what you love. It doesn’t matter what others get out of it. You need to make sure you’re getting the most out of it for yourself.”
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“My greatest fear is not succeeding in the future. Success to me is being an officer in the Air Force. This year is really competitive for the selection rate, so I’m really worried about next year as decisions come down.”
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“I′m studying international security. I’ve wanted to do this my whole life. I’m part of the 9/11 generation; that made a big difference for me, and this is the way I want to serve.”
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“My dream job would be to ski for a living. My favorite ski mountain is Winter Park, just because I know it so well. I haven’t skied there in a few years, but I skied there for about 10 years when I was a ski bum. Now I’m studying for my master’s in energy and sustainability at University College.”
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“What gives you such a positive outlook on life?”

“You guys. You’re good people. That’s all I can say. You guys are great customers. It’s easy for me to answer that question. If you guys are smiling, then I’m smiling. Thank you.”

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(Timing us, because he only had 30 seconds) “3…2…1… The best thing about working here at DU is the satisfaction I get from doing something I love, and the fact that I get to interact with so many great people here on campus.”
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“One of the most inspiring things I’ve seen here is in one of my engineer classes. They’ve enrolled a new student who is 9 or 10 years old, and he was kicking my ass at this program that we were learning. It blew my mind.”
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“I work out every day. I like the Ritchie Center because it’s fully equipped, and they provide students work opportunities. I’ve met a lot of people by going there. I’m an international student, so going there is a great opportunity to make a lot of friends.”
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“I’m a writer for the Clarion. I think we do a great job of getting really involved in the community on campus and the community of Denver as well. I am a sports writer, so I focus mostly on doing features of athletes, or updates on what’s happening. I wrote a story about basketball player Chris Udofia a couple weeks ago, and that was super interesting ... (read more)
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“What is your favorite part about living on campus?” “The scenery. And working with Wayne.”