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Campus Life Education COVID-19

Graduates Reach Hard-Earned Plateau in One of the Most Challenging Years in Memory

Take a moment to be inspired by a few stories from the Class of 2020

Author Staff | Publish Date December 10, 2020
What You Need To Know

This year hit us with a whopper of a surprise, but SARS-CoV-2 watch out: the members of the CU Anschutz Class of 2020, brimming with brilliant minds, relentless determination and acute resilience, are coming for you. Here are just a few of their remarkable stories.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to ripple through our lives, leaving a sense of anxiety and uncertainty in its wake, take a moment to be inspired by these CU Anschutz Fall 2020 graduates. Each student faced various obstacles, but intelligence, fortitude and purpose propelled them to graduation and beyond.

They also acknowledge they couldn’t have reached this plateau without considerable support from friends and family, as well as faculty members.

Every student has a story, and this year – of all years – we wish we could share them all. We hope you get the chance to experience their hard-earned reward through virtual commencements or, at the very least, social media feeds that promise to overflow with creative posts celebrating the moment. 

With great pride, we share just a few of the uplifting stories of CU Anschutz’s Class of 2020.

Empathy Turns Anesthesiology Into Passion for December Graduate

Possessing a strong sense of empathy – as well as being an academic standout – pushed Fabienne Haas to the top of her Anesthesiologist Assistant program. Learn what drew her to anesthesiology, as well as how her journey took her from a small German village to the Colorado Front Range.


Ravyn Hardaway

December Graduate: Pandemic Has Underscored the Importance of Physical Therapy

Ravyn Hardaway believes the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of physical therapy. Patients recovering from COVID have significant limitations in endurance, and that’s where physical therapists come in, Hardaway notes. Also, the distancing guidelines require many outpatient clinics to develop a model that requires treating one patient at one time, which allows for better individual care.

CU Nursing Graduate Fights for Diversity While Changing the Face of Midwifery from Within

While working in women’s health and getting exposure to midwifery, E’Jaaz Abdulkabir learned the shocking truth of maternal mortality rates in the United States, and it appalled her. “Black women are nearly four times more likely to die than white women,” Abdulkabir said. “I asked myself, ‘What could I do?’”

Hurricanes. Typhoons. When Natural Disaster Strikes, Who You Gonna Call? Lauren Ledford.

Lauren Ledford’s interest in natural disaster response began with a five-week search and rescue-training course in Colorado, and a stint coordinating an international program with pre-med students to Nicaragua. In 2012, a super typhoon hit the Philippines. Everything changed for Ledford when she was asked to pull together a team from her program to help respond.


E'Jaaz Abdulkabir

Personal Experience With Genetic Disorder Drives Graduate’s Interest in Physical Therapy

For many who pursue healthcare professions, especially physical therapy, their initial motivation often lies with a personal experience. For Kylie Shafer, who grew up with osteogenesis imperfecta, a genetic disorder that mainly affects the bones, her personal experience goes far beyond a traditional rehabilitation experience.