Student Spotlights- October 2017


The Western Slope Social Work Master program is underway and midterm of the first quarter is quickly approaching. During week 2 of our classes some informal elections were held to elect fellow students to two different committees. The first committee is called the Inclusive Excellence Committee (IEC) and the second is the Graduate Student Association (GSA). These different committees have different tasks including representing the Western Slope program in monthly meetings, deciding how the funds we are allotted from the University should be spent, and other various facets in representing our cohort within the entire Graduate School of Social Work at the University of Denver. Each committee has two elected officials; for the IEC program we have Mariella Arrascue and Julia Brown as our representatives, and joining in on the GSA will be Stacy Falsone and Ashley Nicole Atencio. These four young women will be acting as our spokeswomen for the school year, so let’s take a moment to get to know these great gals!
flat,800x800,075,fMariella Arrascue

Mariella joins us from the Western Slope of Grand Junction, Colorado. She hasn’t always been a resident of the Junction though, Mariella hails from the city of Lima, Peru. Interesting fact about Peru – the potato was first domesticated in Peru sometime between 8000-5000 BC. So, thank you Peru for the hash browns, French fries, mashed potatoes and deliciousness. She also lived in Africa for a year at the age of 3. Interesting fact about Africa – the African hippopotamus is responsible for more deaths a year than the lion, crocodile, and rhinoceros. ANNNNNYYYWAYYY back to Mariella. This will be Mariella’s first time as an elected student official. Mariella has many hobbies including shopping, skiing, taking naps and spending time with her family in Grand Junction. She is excited about the cohort aspect of the program and can’t wait to serve as an IEC spokeswoman!

Mariella, her husband, and son 🙂

Ashley Nicole Atencio

            Ashley Nicole was born in the beautiful, tiny mountain town of Minturn, Colorado. She ventured down to Durango to attend college at Fort Lewis college, and then headed back up to Eagle County, and currently lives in Gypsum. Ashley Nicole enjoys her time in Colorado so much, that she has never lived outside our lovely state! I mean…. Why would you? She is currently working with the Paris task force to help equip Eagle county with baby boxes. Baby boxes were started in Finland, and are basically a safe and comfortable place for newborns to sleep. They are backed by extensive, statistical research to lower infant mortality rate, as well as SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).  She is very passionate and excited about continuing her education, while also being able to work full time. In her spare time she enjoys spending time in the outdoors with her family and friends. Good thing we live in a place where the outdoors aren’t too shabby! Welcome aboard as GSA rep, Ashley Nicole.

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Ashley Nicole enjoys the beauty of Colorful Colorado.

Julia Brown

Tarzana, California is the birthplace of Blake Lively, Jon Lovitz, Hailee Steinfeld, and the man who provided the voice of the adventurous mouse “Fieval” in the classic animated film “An American Tail: Fieval goes West”.  But considerably more important, Tarzana is the birthplace to our own IEC rep, Julia Brown! Currently residing in America’s highest incorporated town, Leadville, Julia prefers the quiet, rural living, to the fast-paced city life. That was one of the main attractions for her to the MSW program in Glenwood; the focus on rural, social work. This isn’t her first rodeo when it comes to holding a student-elected position. Julia was the co-founder of the Sociology club during her undergraduate years, and the subsequent secretary and president as well! When she isn’t doing activities related to furthering her social work career, Julia enjoys working out and attending cross-fit classes at the cross-fit gym she has recently joined. She also enjoys gardening, and hopes to one day become self sustainable with her garden. Thanks for joining the IEC team, Julia!

Easy to see, Julia is an avid animal lover ❤

Stacy Falsone

Stacy also comes from Mesa County, living in Grand Junction. She was born and raised in Grand Junction, the most populous municipality on the Western Slope. She is excited for the opportunity to continue advancing her career while she also pursues a higher education. Stacy is no stranger to putting in hard work, she has already completed two marathons! Her first one took place at the Colorado National Monument. She finds social work to be the most challenging, yet rewarding work she has ever been a part of. In her free time she enjoys running, camping, hiking, crafting, and shopping in thrift stores. Looks like she is living in the right place for these activities. She is very excited to start working as our cohorts GSA rep, yay Stacy!

Stacy smiles for a selfie 🙂

So there you have it folks, our #WestCOMSW GSA and IEC reps. We are lucky to have these fine, young women represent us!


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