We advance the mission of the university, as well as its reputation and identity as a leading academic and research institution.
Through strategic communications planning, media relations, branding, marketing, executive communications, and a wide range of digital media, we tell the stories of the university and its people.
Vice Chancellor of University Communications
Leanna oversees a talented team of marketing and communications pros. She builds visibility for the university by helping to set strategy for and supporting her team in marketing, media relations, social media, internal communications, and outreach to the community.
Leanna is a Colorado native who grew up in Littleton and earned a journalism degree from CU Boulder. She worked in Denver radio right out of college, then did a stint as a television reporter/anchor and producer in Nebraska before moving into marketing and PR via the nonprofit arts. From there, she fell in love with the agency business, working at several marketing communications agencies before owning her own firm, the largest PR agency in the Rocky Mountain region. Outside of work, she loves to travel, spend time with her kids and dogs, catch summertime outdoor concerts, and stay on top of the hottest new restaurants in Denver's awesome dining scene.
Assistant Vice Chancellor, Marketing and Brand Strategy
Karen directs university marketing and brand development. She oversees implementation of initiatives, including strategy, branding, advertising, digital media, web strategy and content, and creative services.
After spending her formative years in Atlanta, Karen headed west and has called each of the Four Corners states home. She enjoys modern art and design, dystopian and sci-fi novels, snow sports and coastal destinations. Some of her favorite moments include boating on Marigot Bay, seeing the Pixies reunite at Coachella, hiking the Milford Track, and visiting many of London's finest pubs (and some that weren't quite so fine).
Karen earned a BS from Georgia Institute of Technology and an MBA from Arizona State University.
Taylor supports the implementation of university marketing initiatives and communication strategies, projects, and events. In addition to wrangling timelines, projects, and deliverables, Taylor provides marketing support to CU Denver CityCenter. Originally from Seattle, Taylor traded in her rain boots for sunshine in 2006 and has been calling Denver home ever since. She received her bachelor's degree in journalism from Colorado State University and worked in both agency and in-house settings.
In her spare time, Taylor loves reading a good book, traveling to new places, and exploring Denver's culinary scene.
Social Media Coordinator
Grant is responsible for day-to-day management of social media properties, platforms, and plans maintained by University Communications, and additionally supports the digital recruitment and retention efforts of the Undergraduate Admissions office. His role focusses on the development, generation, and implementation of strategic content, specifically video editing, and coordinating with relevant individuals and units to support the university’s mission in digital and social spaces.
Grant is a Colorado native who grew up with the outdoors right in his backyard. After graduating from CU Boulder with a degree in media production, Grant now calls Denver his home, and in his free time he enjoys exploring the city, dancing, skiing, and traveling around the world with family and friends.
Campus News Specialist
Alex is responsible for finding and telling the stories of CU Denver’s people, programs, and research. She primarily oversees CU Denver News, the university’s e-newsletter and website. When she’s not pitching stories or writing on deadline, she’s tracking audience engagement and collaborating with her team members in University Communications.
Alex brings nearly four years of experience as a reporter at a community newspaper in south metro Denver, where she covered suburbia, mental health, and public education. She received her bachelor’s degree in journalism from CU Boulder and spent a stint of time in New York City before settling in Denver.
Alex was born in Boynton Beach, Florida and raised in Basalt. In her spare time, she enjoys catching up with friends over a good meal, jogging around Washington Park, and planning her next outdoor adventure.
Media Relations Manager
Sarah pitches media, writes announcements and content, and leverages the university’s digital content platforms to reach target audiences. She also assists with results reporting, leadership communications, and special projects.
Sarah served as PR specialist for CU South Denver, overseeing their strategic communications, media relations, and content marketing initiatives. She secured brand-enhancing earned media coverage in outlets including 9News, the DBJ, 5280 and more. She serves on the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce Membership Committee, PRSA’s Young Professional Committee.
Sarah was born in Alaska, has a cat named Puffin, and loves to practice kickboxing.
Kelly supports all marketing and communication strategies, projects, and events on behalf of the university. Ranging from marketing research to digital asset creation and management, she assists on a diverse array of projects and loves the thrill of always having something new and exciting on her plate.
Born and raised in Orlando, Florida, Kelly left palm trees behind when she attended Indiana University earning her BA in Media. She was a member of the Student Affairs marketing team during her time at IU, which is what inspired her to continue to do meaningful work in higher education.
Outside of the office, you can find Kelly spending time outdoors with her 3-legged rescue, Joey, traveling, or reading a good book.
Senior eCommunications Specialist
Claire manages eCommunication initiatives for CU Denver, including email and event marketing. She provides support to users of the eComm program through onboarding, training, and continued education around best practices and strategic marketing.
Originally from Minnesota, Claire moved to Colorado in 2014 and has called the mountains home ever since. Before joining CU Denver, she spent four years on the marketing team at Accenture where she managed content creation and distribution via targeted email campaigns.
When she’s not working, you’ll find her enjoying the mountains on skis or snowshoes, playing Settlers of Catan, cheering on the Minnesota Timberwolves (#alleyesnorth), or taking excessive photos of her dog, Alpine, and cat, Elbert. Claire is a proud alum of Denison University where she played on the soccer team and got her bachelor’s degree in English, Spanish, and communication.
Senior Social Media Specialist
Ali manages the day-to-day oversight of the official university social media properties. She focuses on telling the university's story through creative means, using digital media and online platforms.
She is an Iowa native who received her bachelor's degrees in journalism and apparel merchandising from Iowa State University, with a semester at the University of the Arts London College of Fashion. She previously spent time at Meredith Media Corporation and two public relations firms. In her spare time, she can be found taking advantage of the beautiful outdoors or exploring the lively city.
Cheryl is assistant to Leanna Clark, Vice Chancellor of Communications, as well as the point of contact for all office administrative and budget processes.
She grew up in Kansas but has lived in various cities, including San Francisco, Tulsa, and Nashville. She's worked at five universities in her career.
Cheryl loves history, vintage architecture, literature, movies, and anything to do with planes, aerospace, and the golden-era of NASA. She believes chocolate should top the food pyramid.
Senior Brand and Design Specialist
Laura supports CU Denver's brand including brand standards, their application throughout the university, and designing for the university. From print to digital, she works closely with colleges and offices throughout the campus.
Laura brings nearly 8 years of agency experience as a graphic designer/art director working with clients such as General Mills, Target, Clorox, United Healthcare, and Burt’s Bees. She received her BFA in Graphic Design from Iowa State University and spent a semester studying in Rome before graduating.
An Iowa native, Laura grew up in the country just outside of Lake Mills in north-central Iowa. Her family farmed corn and soybeans, and as of more recently, raising snapping turtles (yep, you read it right). In her spare time, she enjoys yoga, reading, baking, playing cribbage, and planning travel. Laura and her husband, Matt, love to camp and hike with their rescue mutt, Murphy.
Alicita uncovers interesting facts about the university and turns them into compelling stories. She writes news and feature articles about CU Denver people, programs, and research.
An architecture and design aficionado, Alicita loves unusual cities, conceptual furniture, and abandoned places (she lived in a Colorado ghost town for 10 years). She now resides in Denver with her husband, daughter, two dogs, and two cats.
Alicita holds a BA in English Literature from Florida International University, an MFA in Creative Writing from New York University, and a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Denver.
Chris oversees the details of CU Denver's brand, including brand standards and their application throughout the university in everything from digital to print to multimedia. He works closely with all colleges and offices throughout the campus to assure brand awareness.
Chris grew up outside of Philly. Over his 15-year career, he has worked in the transportation, finance, environmental, and architectural fields throughout the northeastern U.S. and in Colorado. He is an accomplished creative leader known for utilizing his expertise in visual storytelling, strengthening and building brands, and developing internal and external relationships.
When not in the office, Chris spends his time renovating his house and designing furniture. He is currently living in western Denver.
Web Development Manager
Steve is the webmaster and eComm manager for the CU Denver News newsroom hub and e-newsletter. He also provides technical assistance for all websites managed by University Communications.
Steve is a Denver native and proud CU Boulder alum. He joined University Communications in 2008 after spending eight years building websites for the Denver home-building community.
When he's not updating the newsroom or building the CU Denver News e-newsletter, you can usually find him getting a coffee at 7-11. After work, Steve heads home to Westminster to keep up with his four kids and amazing wife.
Oliver leads content strategy for University Communications with the goal of delivering the best possible content experience for all CU Denver audiences. He works to ensure alignment with broader content marketing objectives and strategic priorities.
Originally from New Mexico, Oliver worked in media in New York before moving to Colorado in 2015 to help launch Sling TV. Outside the office, he enjoys exploring new places and scouring familiar thrift shops for treasures.
Oliver earned his BA from Flagler College, with a year at St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia.