University of Northern Colorado (UNC)


The Colorado School of Mines has launched a new energy awareness and savings program. PowerED will retrofit facilities to be more efficient and teach students and staff how to conserve through online community engagement.

"We're training the next generation of scientists and engineers, and so we want them to go out into the world and understand energy and how people affect the energy use of buildings," said Lauren Poole, the sustainability coordinator for Mines.

Hunter Wilson / UNC

School is back in session at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley. Along with all the freshman, there's a new face on campus - President Andrew Feinstein. He replaced Kay Norton, who led UNC for 16 years.

Feinstein's tenure officially began on July 9.

KUNC's Stephanie Daniel spoke with Feinstein to learn more about his vision for the university.

Stephanie Daniel / KUNC

According to experts, one of the biggest factors is pay. In 2016, the state ranked 46 in the nation for average salary. Rural schools have an even harder time recruiting because the pay is often lower than urban areas and there's not much of a hiring pool.

"If you lose a teacher, there's nobody that you can just snag from the community to keep up," said Democratic Rep. Barbara McLachlan, a former educator.

Stephanie Daniel / KUNC

Jenny Lee is frustrated.

Due to a change in her parents' employment status, the rising senior at the University of Northern Colorado had her Federal Application for Student Financial Aid (FAFSA) flagged. Her FAFSA application was selected for an audit - or verification, as it's called in higher education.

"At first it wasn't bad, I thought, 'Sure, I'll get it done. No big problem,'" said Lee. "But as I've been stuck in this for months now, it's been frustrating and I'm just like, 'Will I get financial aid?' Because this is like one last little barrier at this point."

Luke Runyon / KUNC and Harvest Public Media

Blink while driving on Highway 34 east of Greeley, Colorado, and you might miss the former Great Plains town of Dearfield.

Abandoned towns from the early 20th century are far from unique on this stretch of plains. Withered storefronts and collapsed false-front homes are common. Boom and bust economics and harsh weather made it tough for turn of the century settlers to succeed long-term.

Few ghost towns, however, have all the elements that make Dearfield’s story so compelling today: larger than life characters, struggles to live off the land, tales of racial integration at the height of the Jim Crow era.

Courtesy of Renee McMahon

“The first time I heard it was actually when I woke up and a trailer for the film was on Facebook and my voice was in it,” said Angela Parrish.

Unless you’re living on a deserted island, you’ve probably seen the same trailer.

La La Land, a musical about an aspiring actress and musician struggling to make it big in Los Angeles, is being praised by audiences and critics alike. It’s also getting University of Northern Colorado graduate Parrish - who sings the opening song, “Another Day of Sun” - a lot of attention.

KUNC file photo

Nationwide, colleges have been working to make campuses more welcoming to all kinds of students. Many of Colorado’s major universities are no exception. One way to do this is the creation of a bias response team -- a group meant to address potentially discriminatory speech or actions. But according to a new report by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education -- also known as FIRE -- these teams may sometimes stifle free speech.

Ann Marie Awad / KUNC

Editor’s Note: This story contains language some may find offensive.

University of Northern Colorado President Kay Norton has issued a response to reports of harassment on campus. In an email sent Dec. 5 to students, faculty and staff, Norton cited “serious concerns” over reports of racially charged incidents from the student body.

“I am deeply concerned that a number of incidents which were clearly directed at individuals and intended to be aggressive have taken place on our campus in recent weeks,” Norton wrote.

Ann Marie Awad / KUNC

Erin Finnell stands up in front of the class and calls on a student.

“What are you doing this weekend, CJ?” Finnell asks.

“I’m just going with my boyfriend to the movies and we’re just going to movie hop,” CJ says. CJ talks a lot about her boyfriend in class, which isn't unusual for a high schooler. Except CJ isn’t a a typical student. She isn’t even real.

Erin Holleran

Jim Sheeler won a Pulitzer Prize for his "poignant story on a Marine major who helps the families of comrades killed in Iraq cope with their loss and honor their sacrifice." He won the prize for feature writing in 2006, at a time when the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were raging. Sheeler will talk about his work Tuesday night in Greeley, Colorado. He'll be joined by two other journalists – Linda McConnell and Barry Gutierrez.