jwu:denver news

jwu:denver news

Service Plus
JWU Denver Campus news

Sports/Entertainment/Event Management (SEE) major, sophomore Brittany Ellingson, a non-traditional student and graduate of the Chicago School of Massage, parlayed a spot as a volunteer into a job with the U.S. Paralympics para-cycling team and trips to Italy and England.

For her hospitality program community service requirement, Ellingson opted to assist at a U.S. Paralympics booth for the National Wheelchair Basketball competition in March 2009 at the Gold Crown Foundation in Lakewood, Colo. While there, she met the coach of the U.S. para-cycling team and asked if they needed massage therapists. She sent him her résumé and was offered a chance to serve as a soigner (French for “caregiver”) at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. When an athlete on a hand cycle was injured, Ellingson took him to the hospital and served as liaison to the team.

Her performance won her an invitation to the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) para-cycling world road championships in Bogogno, Italy, in September 2009, and Manchester, England, in November 2009. “These athletes train for months in adverse conditions, are very dedicated, are disabled and they win medals, beat personal bests in competition, break world records and become world champions. And I was there,” she says excitedly. “I’m not only fortunate, I’m more than grateful.”

In November 2008, SEE major Jessica Alley sent an e-mail inquiry to the World Cup Lacrosse Web site, to ask about volunteering. The response — World Cup would pay for everything but the flight. She jumped at the opportunity.

The JWU junior spent two weeks in Prague, Czech Republic, assisting with event planning for the 10-day Women’s World Cup Lacrosse tournament. She helped with event set-up, take down and anything else that needed to be done. During the tournament, Alley was one of the key statisticians for the games.

“For two weeks, I was able to see a new part of the world, tour Prague and meet many female athletes from many countries,” she says. It opened a door to future prospects. In February, Alley headed to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, to work the Winter Olympic Games via Clean Event.

Image: Brittany Ellingson, far left, joined U.S. Paralympics paracycling team staff and athletics taking in the sights in Bogogno, Italy, when they weren't vying for a gold medal.

JWU Denver Culinary Program, Harry FairclothCooking Up a Dream Delayed
At 71, Harry Faircloth is the oldest student on campus, and as spunky as any. Faircloth grew up with 24 aunts and uncles in Louisiana —13 of whom were adopted by his grandmother. He learned to cook at nine of his “aunts’ apron strings.” Yet his path to the College of Culinary Arts has taken many a twist

Faircloth studied geology at Louisiana State University in the late 1950s. After graduation, he sold encyclopedias door to door, sold commodities in San Francisco, moved to Denver 34 years ago to sell metals to the U.S. arsenals, and was president of a land acquisitions company before becoming president of Whitehall Financial Corp. for six years. Last year, he decided with adamancy, it was time to do what he’d always wanted: cook.

In summer 2009, culinary dean, Jorge de la Torre, met with Faircloth and advised him to look at other programs elsewhere. The culinary component of JWU’s Garnish Your Degree program was grueling, de la Torre warned. Faircloth took it as a challenge. He looked, but returned to JWU. Sold by the high standards of professionalism he encountered with the staff, he also liked the fact “that you could eat off the floor.”

Faircloth loves learning here and taking what he’s learned from watching his aunts to his own kitchen. “These kids keep me young,” he says proudly of his classmates. Making the dean’s list with a 3.8 GPA is another source of pride.

It’s rumored that his wife made him come to school to learn to cook for her, but he’s quick to dispel the notion. His dream is to work in a test kitchen to refine products. “If this piece of my dream doesn’t work out,” he laughs, “then I’ll cook for my wife.”

Image: With the ever-present twinkle in his eye, Harry Faircloth poses with his chef-instructor, Kristen Cofrades.

President Bette Matkowski

“The potential our students have when they leave campus and place their roots in a community is limitless. The women and men who graduate enter places and businesses around the world where they are the leaders of tomorrow.”