Welcome Back and Welcome New Students
On behalf of the Colorado School of Public Health faculty and administration, welcome back to the start of another fall semester and a warm welcome to all of our first year students. As we begin a new school year, we have the opportunity to recommit ourselves to the mission of promoting and protecting the health of our communities.
As diverse health professionals, our efforts and mission may focus on communities further from home, those in the greater Rocky Mountain region or around the world, but this summer we found the need to refocus our mission much closer to home. During the summer our community faced many tragedies, the High Park Fire in Fort Collins along with other fires across the state, the theatre shooting in Aurora, and the most recent apartment fire next to the Anschutz Medical Campus. Each tragedy brought with it real loss and sadness felt by all. But, I am confident that the resilience of our community enables us to emerge ever more committed to our mission at home. We are focused on supporting those who need our assistance, as well as finding new ways to protect and promote the health and safety of our local communities.
I’m pleased to say this effort begins on Day 1. After orientations conclude next week, our new students are collectively volunteering at local community services centers – Project CURE and Food Bank of the Rockies. Although this is the second year that we committed to a Welcome Back/Orientation service project, I believe the 2012 initiative will occur with a greater awareness to the real and meaningful impact of each student’s contribution. Of course efforts to support our community should and will continue beyond this project. Thank you for your generosity of time and energy.
While we take care to support our communities through service, we also need to take care of ourselves. Your enthusiasm for the start of term may soon be tempered by the stress of classes, pending exams or career planning. I encourage you to reach out to our academic and student services staff to connect with school and campus support resources. Associate Dean Jack Barnette is a key point of contact for each of you should you need to access academic, school, campus, counseling or other support services. You may reach him directly at Jack.Barnette@ucdenver.edu. He is available to chat with you or direct you to the resource that will best meet your need.
Beyond this I encourage each of you to attend one of our welcome back social events. These informal gatherings are wonderful times to catch up with classmates, and meet new students and faculty. You can access our schedule of new student and welcome back events online. Thank you all for your commitment to public health. I look forward to meeting you and wish you a wonderful fall semester.
David C. Goff, Jr., MD, PhD
Dean and Professor