Daniels students share what they’re grateful for this holiday season

In preparation for Thanksgiving, we asked a handful of Daniels students to share their thoughts on or traditions regarding the holiday, including what they’re thankful for.


Garima Agarwal



Garima Agarwal (MSAQF 2019)

I came to the U.S. a year ago from India, so this is my second year celebrating Thanksgiving. While I am still exploring the festivities here, I associate Thanksgiving with lots of shopping and celebrations.

I am thankful for my good health and I feel lucky to be a part of this graduation journey in the U.S. I appreciate all of my professors at Daniels who were extremely supportive in my master’s journey. Also, the city [of Denver] is so calm, beautiful and full of life always! Also showing us the beautiful fall colors every year.



Julia Johnson


Julia Johnson (MSAQF 2021)  

The family tradition is to wake up on Thanksgiving in time to watch the Thanksgiving Day parade and eat freshly baked cinnamon rolls.

I’m most thankful for all of the amazing people involved in my life.  I am so lucky to have such supportive family and friends. I am thankful to have met amazing friends throughout my time at the University of Denver; they are my chosen family.

At Daniels, I am most thankful for the outstanding professors, academic advisors and career coaches. Everyone is very kind, passionate about their work and always willing to help despite having to manage so much in their professions. I’m also thankful to live in such a beautiful place like Denver. There are so many activities and opportunities to explore and grow.



Matt Payton

Matt Payton (MSBA 2020)

For Thanksgiving, I will be with my family and any extended family. We will all gather at a home, bring food, eat the food, tell stories, and, most importantly, eat some pie! I’m really hoping my mom makes her mashed sweet potatoes again!

I am most thankful for God, and He sending His only son to die for me so that I can live! I am also extremely thankful for my family, being able to breathe and having a healthy body. The list literally goes on.

At Daniels, I am extremely thankful for all the faculty who are so supportive of everything going on in my life, in and out of the classroom. I am thankful for their willingness to help me, and do what they can to help me succeed. I am also thankful for my classmates and Daniels bringing us together! They have been so helpful and it has been incredible getting to know them while learning different ways of doing things.

In Denver, I am most thankful for the Denver Nuggets! I’m also thankful for the vast number of breweries and coffee shops. The people here are extremely friendly and those who work at the breweries/coffee shops make you feel like family. I am also extremely thankful for the views of the mountains every day … like what?! What an incredible place we get to live in!


Christina Schaefer

Christina Schaefer (MS REBE 2021)

I’ll be spending the holiday with my boyfriend, his two girls, Mylah (5) and Amaya (7), and his family. I’ve noticed that the girls can, at times, be picky with food, so I thought it would be fun to let the girls pick out a few recipes, so we could test them out before Thanksgiving. They would of course help in making the festive dishes and then each of them could pick their special dish for us to make on Thanksgiving Day.

I’m most thankful for the people I have in my life—this not only includes my family back in California, but the friendships and relationships I’ve built here in Colorado since I moved to Denver in 2016. I have an amazingly supportive group of people in my life who I’m inspired by daily. I’m filled with gratitude at the opportunities and experiences that I’ve been afforded.

I’m most thankful for the network of like-minded professionals I’ve met, both the instructors and my fellow classmates, who provide guidance, inspiration, support, insight and an opportunity to grow together.

I moved to Denver after working for an IT company for 17 years. I left everything I knew and loved and came here with an open mind to be challenged and to be inspired. I am thankful to have found that in the company that hired me. Legacy Capital Partners, and its principal, Jake Mutz, have provided me with the autonomy and opportunities to find what I’m most passionate about, which led me to further pursuing a formal education in real estate and the built environment.

Sarah Sutherland


Sarah Sutherland (MBA 2020)

This will be our first year hosting Thanksgiving at our house with my parents, my in-laws and our siblings. We are looking forward to having both of our families together and merging traditions.

I am most thankful for my friends and family. I have really fun, inspirational and supportive people in my life and I wouldn’t be nearly as happy without them.

At Daniels, I am most thankful for the Denver MBA cohort. It’s a collection of really great, smart people who make the program really fun and enjoyable. Also, I’m grateful for the mountains and sunshine. I love getting outside to mountain bike, hike, ski and feel the sun on my face.



Kev Yeanoplos

Kev Yeanoplos (MBA 2021)

For Thanksgiving, I hope to relax. I travel quite a bit for work. For example, with the MBA@Denver, I’ve even attended classes online at the Kauai airport. So, a little down time is always welcome. Thanksgiving is always a time to relax and enjoy family.

I am grateful for the opportunity to learn each day and the opportunity to change the world by changing myself and impacting others in a positive way. At Daniels, I’m thankful for the chance to meet others, help others and learn from others. I’ve already made some lifelong friends.

I’ve lived in Denver from age 12 to 22. I’m 63 now and Red Rocks has been my place for pondering, centering and love. The rocks speak to me and have done so for the last 50+ years. I live in Tucson and the very first thing I do when I travel to Denver is to make a trip to “my place.” Many stories about wondrous things that have happened there.