06:39 PM

First DU Grand Challenges Scholar Grants awarded

Kimberly Bender, Matt Rutherford, Nancy Reichman to begin work on issues that impact daily life in our communities

Two inaugural DU Grand Challenges Scholars Grants have been awarded to faculty for community-engaged scholarship that will tackle issues that impact daily living in our communities. These grant awards are provided through DU Grand Challenges, a campus-wide initiative that harnesses the expertise and innovation of faculty, students and staff to pursue ambitious goals with community partners around the DU Grand Challenges theme, Thriving Communities.

The DU Grand Challenge Scholar Grants were awarded to:

Faculty: Kimberly Bender, professor at the Graduate School of Social Work and Matt Rutherford, associate professor at the Ritchie School of Engineering and Computer Science

Title of Research: Design Thinking for Public Good: Youth Homelessness

Community Partner: Urban Peak





Faculty: Nancy Reichman, professor of sociology and criminology

Title of Research: Living a Middle-class Life in Colorado

Community Partner: The Women’s Foundation of Colorado

These proposals were selected because they use scholarship to develop shared aspirations with community partners for improving daily living in our communities. Improving daily living is a broad goal, that can include (but is not limited to) meeting basic needs, ensuring safety, advancing environmental sustainability, promoting healthy development and achieving social justice.

The community-engaged scholarship supported with these grants will take place over the next two quarters, with the expectation that findings of the research will be disseminated to community partners and the larger public, as well as in scholarly outlets.

A second call for proposals has been issued, with a deadline of Jan. 26. Approved research projects will have until the end of summer for completion. For more information, email or call Vickie Berkley, Program Manager, DU Grand Challenges at, 303-871-3499.