August 29, 2016
Several notable changes and events occurred at UCCS, including the hiring of several new staff, the opening of the National Cybersecurity Center, a sizeable donation made to GOCA and a political campaign rally for Donald Trump.
New vice chancellor for student success appointed
Sentwali Bakari was named the new vice chancellor of student success. Bakari was formerly the dean of students at Drake University.
Bakari was chosen during a national search of potential candidates for the position and is set to replace Homer Wesley who left in February.
Bakari’s dedication to student life is what set him apart during the hiring process, according to chancellor Pamela Shockley-Zalabak.
Shockley-Zalabak was responsible for making the hiring decision based on an 11-member committee that was responsible for recommending candidates.
“When we researched his background, we found that his attitude toward student development was very similar to what we believe to be the approach for our student body,” said Shockley-Zalabak.
Shockley-Zalabak continued by explaining that Bakari also has experience in international programs that will be beneficial in his position.
New Athletic Director
Nate Gibson has been named the new athletic director for UCCS following the retirement of Steve Kirkham, who held the position for 12 years. Gibson worked on Kirkham’s staff for over 10 years.
The transition between directors did not pose any problems due to Gibson’s experience, according to Shockley-Zalabak.
“I think we had a really smooth transition, because the culture we have developed in our athletic program is very strong. (Gibson’s) largest professional experience has been with us, and he has grown up in our programs, professionally speaking,” said Shockley-Zalabak.
“Nate brings a lot of energy and experience to our planned expansions, and he will be highly visible and working with students.”
National Cybersecurity Center
UCCS is to house the National Cybersecurity Center, a separate 501c3 corporation. The center is not directly affiliated with UCCS, although educational programs will be involved with it, according to Shockley-Zalabak.
The center looks to be the hub for all things related to cybersecurity in the country.
“Students will have an opportunity for internships, research, and other programs to experience. Even though we won’t be running all of it, we are going to be working very closely with them,” said Shockley-Zalabak.
Donald Trump political campaign rally
A controversial campaign rally was held in the Gallogly Events Center at UCCS on July 29 at 2 p.m.
Over 4,000 people waited in line to enter Gallogly as protestors stood together with signs on Cragmor Lawn. Donald Trump spoke to the crowd around 2:45 p.m. after additional speakers Mark Geist, Rep. Doug Lamborn and U.S. Senate candidate Darryl Glenn spoke to the crowded room while they waited for the Republican candidate to speak.
“With the Trump visit, any presidential kind of visit to the campus or anywhere else in the city is, of course, an intense amount of work,” Shockley-Zalabak said.
“(It) isn’t open to everyone because of the amount of tickets and seats available. So it is one of those events that both makes people happy and makes people unhappy.”
$1 million donated to UCCS for new GOCA gallery
To accommodate for the GOCA art gallery in the anticipated Ent Center for the Arts, the Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation donated a $1 million gift which will also fund future visual art programs.
This is the largest donation GOCA has received since 1981.
The new gallery will be named the “Marie Walsh Sharpe Gallery of Contemporary Art.”