Rachel Banks

Prior to beginning law school Rachel Banks was a pre-kindergarten teacher for several years in Baltimore City where she implemented a critical race pedagogical curriculum for her young learners. While teaching in Baltimore, Rachel received her Masters of Science in Education from Johns Hopkins University. Throughout her undergraduate career, Rachel worked as a Program Coordinator and Dialogue Facilitator for the non-profit Building Bridges (Seeking Common Ground). She directed programs in empathy building and activism for students in Northern California, the Badlands region of South Dakota and Israel/Palestine. Rachel has also worked extensively in the West Bank and Gaza through organizations such as ICAHD (Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions) and FFIPP (Faculty for Israeli and Palestinian Peace).

Utsarga Bhattarai

Utsarga graduated with distinction from Colorado College in 2012 where he studied evolutionary biology and economics. As an undergraduate, Utsarga was involved in botanical/ecological research, the Responsible Investment Committee, and the Curriculum Review Committee. Following his graduation, Utsarga worked as a Project Associate for Meridian Institute where he assisted in designing and implementing processes that brought experts – government officials, business leaders, scientists, foundation executives, and NGO representatives – together, to create the right conditions for creative, practical solutions to complex public policy issues. His projects covered issues related to global climate change mitigation frameworks, disaster risk reduction, community resilience, international development, agricultural policy, food security, and state-level conservation and land revitalization.

Utsarga likes to ski and hike, and is thrilled to be a part of the DU community and to remain in Colorado.

Izzy Breit

Izzy grew up in Denver and is very excited to join the DU community. She attended East High School and spent her junior year abroad in Patagonia, Argentina where she learned Spanish. Upon her return to Denver, Izzy joined the Constitutional Law team at East and won the National Championship in Washington D.C. This experience was her first exposure to studying law and propelled her to focus her future studies on political science and social justice. Izzy attended Lehigh University where she earned a degree in English, Political Science, and Women’s Studies. Her interest in gender studies led her to join Lehigh’s sexual violence prevention and awareness group. In this role Izzy managed the campus’ 24/7 crisis reporting hotline, led trainings on sexual violence prevention on Lehigh’s campus, and worked with university staff to develop strong programming and internal resources to support survivors of sexual violence and to prevent future incidents on sexual violence on campus. During college, Izzy spent one semester at the University of Cape Town in South Africa where she continued to study issues pertaining to race, gender, and politics. This experience motivated her to spend her next semester of college working on a social entrepreneurship project in Ghana.

Upon her return from Africa, Izzy spent the summer working as an intern at the Denver Office of the Colorado State Public Defender. She spent much of her time reviewing discovery with clients who spoke Spanish. She came to believe that many of these clients would be on a different trajectory had they been afforded the opportunity to make informed choices. This prompted her to think about the root cause of this issue – education – and her role as an advocate within this system. Izzy believes that education is one of our country’s greatest modern day civil rights issues and that unequal access to educational opportunities is a catalyst for social injustice. She wanted to work to improve this system of inequity from inside the classroom so after graduating college, she moved to Chicago to teach Pre-K in a bilingual Head Start program. Izzy joined Teach For America as part of the Early Childhood Initiative in Chicago. Izzy’s primary goal as a teacher was to equip her students with the knowledge and skill set they will need in order to make informed choices in their futures. While in Chicago, Izzy earned her Master of Science in Education with endorsements in Early Childhood Education and ESL. As part of her master’s program, Izzy spent a summer in Hyderabad, India teaching 4th grade in a remedial summer school program.

After much soul searching Izzy decided to leave the classroom in pursuit of a legal education. She hopes that her experience as a teacher and advocate combined with a legal degree will provide the foundation for her career serving the public good.

Julia Davis

Julia Davis was born and raised in Raleigh, North Carolina. She attended Wake Forest University where she graduated with honors in French and minors in Political Science and International Studies. While at Wake Forest, she spent a semester studying in Paris. Immediately following graduation, she moved to Mulhouse, France, to teach English to high school students. Julia fell in love with teaching and decided to pursue her teaching certification.

Upon her return to the United States, Julia moved to Washington, D.C., and became a member of the D.C. Teaching Fellows program. She spent a summer teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) in a public high school. She then moved to a socio-economically disadvantaged elementary and middle school in the D.C. Public School system where she was an English as a Second Language Instructor and Coordinator for three years. Her students and their families were recent immigrants from all over the world, including Central America and West Africa. Julia spent much of her time working with families both inside and outside the classroom. She established a connection with the local Food Bank to bring healthy food options to students in need. She tutored the parents of her students in English grammar and conversation skills.

Many of the students and their families were in Washington, D.C. because of conflicts in their home countries. Julia watched as they struggled to understand the complicated immigration system in the United States. Despite her best efforts, she knew she did not have the expertise or the knowledge to help them. This sparked a desire to pursue a law degree, in the hopes of advocating for those without a voice within our legal system.

Allison Dunlap

Allison is a Colorado native committed to human and civil rights. She earned her B.A. in English and theology at Georgetown University and her M.A. in English and women’s studies at the Pennsylvania State University, where she held the McCourtney Distinguished Graduate Fellowship and taught rhetoric and composition.

Upon graduation, Allison left for Sucre, Bolivia to volunteer with a small NGO working to promote literacy in rural and remote areas. She later shipped off to the Dominican Republic, where she served as a Peace Corps volunteer promoting literacy and human rights in a small town on the Dominican/Haitian border. In both cases, she learned about working across national, cultural, racial, and economic borders to achieve a common goal. As part of that work, Allison came to appreciate the value of advocacy, capacity-building, and collaboration.

She has also worked as an analyst of education policy at McREL International, where she aimed to improve U.S. education systems through research and advocacy, and as a volunteer legal assistant with Colorado Legal Services, where she interviewed applicants seeking help with dissolution of marriage, allocation of parental responsibility, and domestic violence.
Allison is honored to be part of the Chancellor Scholar community and looks forward to a career serving the public good.

Lanna Giauque

Lanna is a Colorado native, and can’t get enough of her home state or her beloved DU campus. After completing her B.A. in Geography as a Boettcher Scholar at DU, she decided to stay for another year to complete her Masters of Business Administration.

Lanna has long been passionate about helping communities by bringing them together for positive change—as a fourth grader, she convinced her community to start recycling newspapers and aluminum cans to help raise $8,000 for her school’s elementary art classroom. Her commitment to local activism only grew from there, and as a senior in high school, after witnessing racial tensions in her school and community in the wake of growing immigrant communities, she organized a weeklong festival to celebrate diversity that was successful enough to still be an annual event today.

Lanna’s belief in the ability of one individual to make an impact in communities pushed her to take advantage of every opportunity she could throughout her first five years at DU. In more than a dozen countries abroad, she worked on everything from building community infrastructure in Nicaragua to helping Tibetan refugees in Northern India. She also completed independent research on sea turtle conservation programs and their relationship to local communities, which was published in 2015. At home, she volunteered with Share Our Strength’s Cooking Matters to help low-income families learn how to cook healthy meals on a budget. She also worked with the Department of Energy’s Denver Metro Clean Cities Coalition to help reduce petroleum consumption in the transportation sector and with the Denver Mayor’s Office of Sustainability to help the city on its path to meet its 2020 Sustainability goals. She fostered her love of writing and learned a great deal about leadership, patience, and innovation during her time as Editor-in-Chief of DU’s undergraduate student newspaper, the Clarion.

Each of these experiences, in unique ways, taught her the value of the law. She enters DU Law with a passion for learning and a commitment to use what she learns to help more communities in need.

Sarah Spears

Sarah, a California native, moved to Colorado in 2011 and is proud to call Denver home. After transferring from UCLA, Sarah graduated from Colorado College with a B.A. in economics. As an undergraduate, Sarah began extensive research on transgender service in the U.S. military, which she is pleased to continue today. Inspired by her research and determined to dedicate her career to social justice, Sarah joined the ACLU of Colorado in 2013, where she served as Policy and Outreach Associate.

Sarah investigated various legal and legislative issues at the ACLU, with special focus on death penalty repeal, ending solitary confinement for prisoners with serious mental illness, and transgender rights protection. Sarah lovingly credits her experience with the ACLU as the reason she decided to practice law. Sarah is thrilled to be part of the Denver Law community and is excited to advocate for the public good as a civil rights attorney.