Author: Kristi Arellano

Members of the Boettcher Scholar Alumni Board are interviewing their fellow Boettcher Scholars to help the community get to know one another better. The following Q&A was compiled by Boettcher Scholar Gergana Kostadinova. Name: Todd Breyfogle Scholar Year:  1984 Hometown: Lafayette College(s) and degree(s): Colorado College, B.A., Classics-History-Politics; Corpus Christi College, Oxford, B.A., M.A., Ancient and Modern History; Corpus Christi College, Oxford, M.St., Patristic and Modern Theology; University of Chicago, M.A., Ph.D., Social Thought Tell us about your current work and how long you’ve been doing it. What is your favorite aspect of your current occupation? As director of seminars for the Aspen Institute, I help successful people live more philosophically. I organize humanities-based leadership seminars in which a deep exposure to classic and contemporary texts from around the world help senior leaders become more self-aware and more self-correcting. It is rewarding to see how the liberal arts become immediately relevant to how people think about living and leading in a complex world. Ideas in action—what could be better? What role has being a Boettcher Scholar played into where you are and what you are doing now? The Boettcher Scholarship allowed me to attend Colorado College—something my family could never have afforded. And because of the scholarship, I had the freedom to pursue what I loved—interdisciplinary humanities. That freedom to pursue learning for its own sake, without immediate regard for its utility, has carried me on an extraordinary path to study at Oxford, to a PhD from the University of Chicago, to working with undergraduates (including Boettcher Scholars) at the University of Denver, to extending that love of liberal learning among senior adults who are making significant decisions all over the world. Tell us about your involvement in activities, organizations or groups outside of work. My activities outside of work are largely related to liberal education. I sit on the Senate of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, the board of the Association of American Rhodes Scholars, the board of the Alliance for Liberal Learning, and chair the American Academy for Liberal Education. I still wear my academic hat, writing and lecturing, and my book On Creativity, Liberty, Love and the Beauty of the Law was published by Bloomsbury in 2017. Most important, I spend time with my wife, Allyson, and my children, Sarah and Lucus. I enjoy hiking, horseback riding, music and running. What’s the best advice you’ve received and what advice do you have for new graduates entering your career field? The best advice for any career, and for living: know yourself. Ask yourself: How do I match my talents with one of the world’s greatest needs? Your career rarely matches what you studied in college. Pursue what you care about regardless of its perceived value. Ideally, undergraduate education gives you the time, space and freedom to understand your strengths and weaknesses, and to learn how to manage yourself. I work with a lot of CEOs and senior professionals who insist that they want people with integrity and purpose who can speak and write clearly, and who know how to learn. If you could have dinner with one person or a few people from history, whom would you choose and why? I’d have dinner with an improbable pair: Michel de Montaigne and Teddy Roosevelt, both of whom loved horses. Both were men of unusually creative intellects who found ways of combining deep contemplation with energetic action. Both were wonderful storytellers, so our conversations would be lively and witty—and would provide much-needed perspective on life today. Beyond wit, both me deepened their sense of proportion and grace as they passed through significant existential pain. Montaigne and TR also immersed themselves in the natural world and understood how connection to an order outside of ourselves helped inculcate a capacity for self-transcendence....

Members of the Boettcher Scholar Alumni Board are interviewing their fellow Boettcher Scholars to help the community get to know one another better. The following Q&A was compiled by Boettcher Scholar Gergana Kostadinova. Name: Paula Pulido Scholar Year: 2016 Hometown: Lone Tree College(s), Degree(s): University of Colorado Boulder, civil engineering with minors in business and leadership, graduating in 2021 with my BS/MS What are you currently interested in pursuing after graduating? I am studying civil engineering because it is a degree that will allow me to improve the lives of people. Civil engineering is a central part of community development; economies and society cannot improve without basic and enabling infrastructure. I will improve the lives of people in developing countries by creating my own engineering company partnering with local and global organizations to help deliver infrastructure projects and enable economies to grow. After graduating I hope to complement my engineering degree with a master’s degree in business administration. Tell us about what activities, groups and/or organizations you have joined in college and why you joined them. My favorite activity in college is the computer science and engineering after school class that I teach to fifth graders. I teach at a low-income elementary school in Boulder, and many of the kids have never imagined themselves attending college one day. I love this job because I get to show my students what engineering is, why it is so exciting and why they should aspire to attend college one day. I love to see their faces when I take them to Google, and they all tell them they will study computer science one day so they can work there. They know that they are working towards college one day. Additionally, this class is typically the first exposure the girls have to coding and engineering—I love to empower them so one day they can choose to study engineering without any hesitation. Tell us about an important mentor you have had. Teachers make an immeasurable difference in the lives of their students. Mrs. Lay, my seventh-grade algebra teacher, was the toughest, strictest teacher I had ever had. And her algebra class was the first time I truly felt challenged at school. It often brought me to tears. I loved it. I felt that Mrs. Lay saw something special in me, but was never easy on me and always made me prove myself. She taught me to work hard. I was remembering that class last semester while taking Calculus 3. (Which is the second hardest math class I have ever taken – a close second to my seventh-grade algebra class!) What's the best advice you've ever received? Work hard and always be honest. I learned this from my parents. They taught me to love and value education. I don’t know who I’d be without them! If you could have dinner with one or more people from history, whom would you choose and why?  Sir Richard Branson. He is the founder and CEO of the Virgin Group. I love his story about his early years—his rebellion in his youth and decision to change his path and become an entrepreneur. His imagination is wild—his mind has no limits, his company ranges from spaceflight to music records!...

As a journalist and investigative reporter for 9News, Chris Vanderveen has been recognized at the national level for coverage of the Aurora Theater Shooting, opiate abuse, and a query into the fuel lines of combusting helicopters that prompted a federal investigation. For these stories, Chris received Reporter of the Year awards from the National Press Photographers Association and a regional Edward R. Murrow Award. However, when asked which stories stand out the most from his 22-year career, the 1992 Boettcher Scholar noted, "It’s the small ones – stories that would have remained untold otherwise, about humble people living remarkable day-to-day lives.” Chris Vanderveen’s own story began in suburban Denver in 1973. While other kids watched cartoons after school, Chris grew up consuming television news and the daily paper: “When something was going on, I wanted to know more about it.” Chris’ inquisitiveness helped him earn a Boettcher Scholarship to attend CU Boulder, where he studied broadcast journalism and anchored the campus radio station. From there, he landed a job as a photographer in Casper, Wyoming, and soon was anchoring weekend newscasts. There, Chris realized a career in journalism was a match for his inherent curiosity and love of storytelling. “Journalism starts with something as simple as a curious reporter asking the questions that no one else is,” Chris said.  From there, “the story develops into something much bigger, something that can profoundly impact our community.” One of Chris’ most memorable stories took place in 2010, when he met an Army veteran who had been shot in the neck in Iraq and paralyzed. Over the course of a year, Chris documented the veteran’s recovery and his dream to have children. The day Chris received a call that the veteran’s wife was pregnant with twins was “one of the coolest moments to capture” in his career. Sharing remarkable stories fuels Chris’ passion for journalism and service, even in the face of adversity. While many might perceive the current social and political environment as an obstacle for journalism, Chris sees a unique opportunity to discuss free speech and advocacy. “I’m more proud and more excited to be a journalist, writer, and investigative reporter than ever,” stated Chris. “It’s a fascinating time in our country. We are having overdue discussions, and that’s a good thing.” Chris is a strong advocate for the First amendment, and lent his thoughts to the ongoing discussion about college campus speech: “We must listen to things we don’t agree with. Yes, we’ll hear things we despise. But supporting the ability of people to speak who you may not agree with is a critical form of leadership.” One of the ways Chris employs his skills to give back to the community is as a board member for The Blue Bench, a sexual assault prevention and support center in Denver. As an advocate for victims and the father of a young daughter, Chris is optimistic about the direction of recent discussions and the #metoo movement. “This country is having an overdue discussion about the role of powerful men and victims’ voices,” he said. “Victims need to feel they have an avenue to be heard and for justice to be pursued, and that’s finally coming to light. It’s okay to be uncomfortable.” Looking back, Chris admits at the age of 18 he was unsure about accepting the scholarship, when his dream had been to attend a program out of state. Yet today, he is grateful for the financial freedom and the encouragement to give back to Colorado that the scholarship provided him. “[The scholarship] was one of the greatest surprises that could have happened to me. I don’t take that gift for granted, especially with the perspective I have now.”...

By Lori Prok 1992 Scholar Alumni Board Chair Greetings Boettcher Scholar community! On behalf of my fellow board members, happy 2018! We are looking forward to a productive and exciting year for our scholar alumni community. First, some acknowledgments and introductions: I would like to extend a huge thank you to Peter Maiurro, our outgoing alumni board chair. His commitment and contributions to the board and alumni community have been very valuable and are much appreciated. He has spent many hours commuting from Colorado Springs in order to lead our team, and we are all very grateful for his leadership and innovative ideas. I also offer my sincere gratitude to our outgoing board member, Rick Zier, who has given his time, creativity, and positive energy to continue to improve our alumni outreach efforts. Please join me in a heartfelt welcome to our new board members: Brian Peagler and Ruthie Lestikow. We are excited to work with you! Next, some thoughts on the priorities of the Boettcher Scholar Alumni Board this year, and events to highlight on your calendar: Our board VISION: A connected, engaged and empowered family of Boettcher Scholars whose collective impact of service, leadership, character and achievement is exponentially greater than the sum of individual scholars acting alone. Our board MISSION: In partnership with and in support of the aims of the Boettcher Foundation, we cultivate, inspire, and collaborate with the community of graduated and current Boettcher Scholars to further professional and personal growth, promote ongoing learning and pursuit of life passions, and enable positive civic impact. This year, we are focusing our efforts in several specific areas: Our collective potential as an alumni group - in our local, national and even international communities - is immeasurable. Our biggest ongoing goal as a board is to facilitate using that potential for more impactful and meaningful relationships with the communities where we, as Boettcher Scholars, work and interact, and where our civic impact can be greatest. You will likely be contacted by your scholar year “Class Champion,” a fellow scholar who will be your class contact point. He/she will be furthering our alumni outreach efforts, with information about upcoming events and ways to become more involved in the alumni community. If you are interested in being the Class Champion for your scholar year, please contact me! We are also making mentorship a priority this year, with hopes to streamline ways for Boettcher Scholars to connect with each other for professional and personal mentorship and other opportunities. Stay tuned… Our Alumni Ambassador program continues to expand, connecting alumni with middle and high school students in underrepresented schools and communities, and raising awareness about the scholarship program. We will be offering educational and service opportunities throughout the year – more information is always available in our email newsletter or on the Boettcher foundation website. On that note, we are very excited about this year’s inaugural Boettcher Scholar Signature Event, which will be held at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science June 22-24, 2018. This will be an opportunity to connect with other Boettcher Scholar alumni, hear some amazing TED-style talks from fellow alumni, engage in service opportunities, explore Denver and the surrounding areas, and have fun with your family and friends. Watch you email for a registration link. In addition, secured a discount hotel block at The Maven Hotel for $169/night. Book a room by calling 844.432.9374. And finally a request: I would love to hear from you! Our alumni community is such an interesting, diverse, thoughtful group of people. In the spirit of achieving our biggest goal – leveraging the alumni community to make a real and meaningful impact on the community – I would so value your ideas about ways to expand our communication, programming, event offering, and involvement in our local Colorado communities. I’d also be interested in your personal or professional endeavors and accomplishments, service efforts, or life events you would like to share with the Boettcher community. You can reach me at lori.prok@ucdenver.edu. Thank you and here’s to a great year!...

Members of the Boettcher Scholar Alumni Board are interviewing their fellow Boettcher Scholars to help the community get to know one another better. The following Q&A was compiled by Boettcher Scholar Gergana Kostadinova. Name: Beth Skelton Scholar Year:  1984 Hometown: Littleton (currently in Crawford) College(s), Degree(s) and Graduation Year(s): German Language and Literature (BA, 1989) with secondary teaching licensure; Curriculum and Instruction in Multicultural Teacher Education (MA, 1994) Tell us about your current work and how long you’ve been doing it. What is your favorite aspect of your current occupation? I am an independent educational consultant. I support schools and educators across the United States and internationally in their quest to provide equitable education for English Language Learners. I love the challenges and variety in my work and the ability to impact students’ education. I have the opportunity to work directly with students, coach teachers, support principals, and facilitate workshops. Since I began consulting in 2002, I have worked with schools in 19 different states, in 12 different countries and on five different continents. What role has being a Boettcher Scholar played into where you are and what you are doing now? During my junior year at Colorado College, I won a scholarship from the college to study abroad in Germany for a year. I was able to put my Boettcher Scholarship on hold for that year, which meant I had an additional year of funded undergraduate study. During this fifth year at CC, I used the Boettcher Scholarship to earn my teaching certificate, which unexpectedly launched me into my career. I continue to be an involved Boettcher Scholar alumni serving as an Alumni Ambassador and on the Boettcher Scholar Alumni Board. Tell us about your involvement in activities, organizations or groups outside of work. In addition to serving on the Boettcher Scholar Alumni Board, I also serve on the board of the Colorado Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages. I regularly do yoga, hike, cross country and downhill ski, canoe, work in our organic garden and spend as much time outside as possible. I’m also an avid reader and have been part of a local book club for the past 19 years. This past year I took on a new challenge and started learning to play marimba with a local group. What’s the best advice you’ve received and what advice do you have for new graduates entering your career field? In my first week of college, a senior Boettcher Scholar advised me to “major in professors, not classes.” This older Boettcher Scholar pointed me toward the best professors in all academic fields, and I ended up taking courses from calculus to philosophy in the first year. “Majoring in professors” meant that I was interested in every class and learned a lot about the magic of teaching from these dynamic and engaging individuals. I would advise current graduates entering education to share their passion freely with their students. Ignite them with your love of your content and set them on the path to lifelong learning. If you could have dinner with one person or a few people from history, whom would you choose and why? If I could share a meal with anyone from the past, I would choose my mother. Although isn’t mentioned in a history book, she made a huge impact on my life and the lives of the nearly 1,000 kindergarten and first-grade students she taught to read during her career. She left this earth before I turned 30, and I would love the chance to talk to her again. I would ask her the personal questions that were never posed while she was alive and discuss educational issues with her again. Most of all, I would love to introduce her to my daughter, her namesake....

Members of the Boettcher Scholar Alumni Board are interviewing their fellow Boettcher Scholars to help the community get to know one another better. The following Q&A was compiled by Boettcher Scholar Gergana Kostadinova. Name: Noah Hirshorn Scholar Year: 2016 Hometown: Highlands Ranch College(s), Degree(s): Colorado College; environmental science (chemistry) 2020 What are you currently interested in pursuing after graduating? I am interested in pursuing a master’s degree in environmental engineering so that I can work on the development of clean and renewable energy. After graduate school, I would like to begin work in the aviation industry to make traveling on airlines better for the environment. In my free time, I would like to finish climbing all of the 14,000-foot peaks in Colorado and learn how to whitewater river kayak on the Animas River. Tell us about what activities, groups and/or organizations you have joined in college and why you joined them. I am currently on the Boettcher Scholar Student Committee, which has been a great opportunity because it allows me to help improve the experience of all scholars while learning more about the foundation. I am also a member of the NCAA Division III Men's Lacrosse team at CC. Lacrosse has been a part of my life since I was 10 years old, and I'm glad I can continue playing in college because I believe being a student athlete helps me build character, leadership skills and time management skills. In addition, I am part of the Early Scholars Tutoring Club and visit Bristol Elementary School once a week to tutor students. Tell us about an important mentor you have had. Dr. Jake Herman was a great mentor to me in high school. As my lacrosse coach, he pushed me to work as hard as possible to become a better player. Yet, it was the relationship we had outside of lacrosse that I cherish the most. Dr. Herman supported me in all endeavors that I pursued in high school. His passion for lacrosse and science along with his ability to be a great leader all played a role in developing me into the person I am today. What's the best advice you've ever received? When I was a freshman in high school, my grandpa gave me a piece of advice that I have held onto ever since. He said that when it comes to making decisions, I should decide what is best considering the information that I already know without making assumptions. While it seems like a simple piece of advice, I have found that it has always worked. Decisions can be hard, but by only looking at what is certain, I have found that making decisions has become an easier process for me. If you could have dinner with one or more people from history, whom would you choose and why?  I would have dinner with Dave Grohl. Dave Grohl was the drummer of Nirvana and the lead singer/guitarist for the Foo Fighters, which are two of my favorite bands. Music has always been a huge part of my life and hearing about Dave’s experience in two of the most successful bands of all time would be amazing. Furthermore, I want to ask about how he believes grunge music has changed popular culture. Dave, if you are reading this, feel free to invite me to dinner next time you are in Colorado....

By Amy Hamilton  The Daily Sentinel Two Grand Junction nonprofit agencies recently received a financial boost from the Boettcher Foundation. Mind Springs Health is the recipient of a $120,000 grant for the agency to build its new West Springs Hospital, and Grand Valley Catholic Outreach received $30,000 for improvements to its Day Center building, 302 Pitkin Ave.    ...

On the high plains of Colorado, an emerging leader is driving wild mustangs and the policies that manage them. Stephanie Linsley, 2011 Boettcher Scholar, is the head trainer and equine manager at the Great Escape Mustang Sanctuary (GEMS), a Colorado nonprofit that provides training, adoption and advocacy for wild mustangs and burros. After graduating with a degree in psychology from Colorado State University, Stephanie joined GEMS full-time in 2016. Since then, Stephanie has lived and worked on a 1,000-acre ranch in the eastern Colorado town of Deer Trail, managing up to 80 horses at a time and facilitating on-range operations with a lean staff of three. Last year, the organization helped more than 200 wild horses find homes instead of being sent to holding facilities where they are often destroyed or sold for slaughter. The mission of GEMS means Stephanie’s days are largely spent in the saddle socializing wild mustangs and educating adopting owners. Unlike many horse enthusiasts, however, she wasn’t born in the saddle. Her love for horses – and psychology – emerged when she received her first horse at the age of ten: “I realized there was more to owning a horse than loving him…I recognized early on that I needed to figure out how to communicate with this horse if my life with horses were to go any further.” Soon after, Stephanie began volunteering with wild horses and decided to pursue a degree in psychology. For her, the connections between the disciplines are clear: “Working with horses, there’s a whole other animal to deal with: people. Understanding how both animals are motivated and learn is critical to horsemanship and running an organization.” Stephanie’s all-in passion for wild horses and understanding animal behavior has enabled GEMS to enact positive change beyond the boundaries of the ranch. The organization’s philosophy of cooperating with the Bureau of Land Management and other key stakeholders has given GEMS a respected voice in wild horse management, an oft-contentious issue. Last winter, the Bureau of Land Management wanted to conduct a helicopter round-up of the Sand Wash Basin mustang herd near the northwestern Colorado town of Craig. Helicopter round-ups are a quick but often traumatic method which can lead to injury or even death. GEMS successfully lobbied to conduct smaller scale bait-trapping and field sterilization with the assistance of their on-range support team. Forty-three mustangs in total were rounded up, and all have landed in safe homes or found sanctuary at GEMS. In October, Stephanie was invited to present to the National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board about these efforts. Receiving the Boettcher Scholarship was a catalyst in Stephanie becoming a leader in her field at just 23 years old: “Without that opportunity from Boettcher, I wouldn’t have had the chance to pursue this type of advocacy work at a nonprofit, in a field I love. That gratitude is always in the back of my mind, guiding me to serve.” With more than 100,000 wild horses across the country, Stephanie acknowledges that GEMS can’t tackle the whole issue. However, as the only organization in the country that provides on-range and off-range support, she believes GEMS and its cooperative approach can serve as a successful model for other states. Looking ahead, it’s clear Stephanie’s passion for horses and commitment to understanding them will continue to guide her impact: “Horses are our greatest teachers. They tolerate our mistakes, they forgive us, and they encourage us. No other creature can inspire such passion in a human, and for that, I've dedicated my life to interpreting their lessons.”...

By The Valley Courier The Boettcher Foundation Board of Trustees has awarded $615,000 in capital grants to 15 nonprofit organizations that are working to support Colorado communities including two in the San Luis Valley. “These organizations work hard every day to provide important services to Coloradans in need,” said Katie Kramer, president and CEO of the Boettcher Foundation. “From providing meals to those who are struggling with food insecurity to helping our communities improve mental health treatment, we’re happy to support organizations that are positively impacting our state and its diverse residents each day.”    ...

DENVER, December 14, 2017 — The Boettcher Foundation Board of Trustees has awarded $615,000 in capital grants to 15 nonprofit organizations that are working to support our Colorado communities. “These organizations work hard every day to provide important services to Coloradans in need,” said Katie Kramer, president and CEO of the Boettcher Foundation. “From providing meals to those who are struggling with food insecurity to helping our communities improve mental health treatment, we’re happy to support organizations that are positively impacting our state and its diverse residents each day.” The grant recipients are: Adaptive Sports Center of Crested Butte – Crested Butte, $35,000: Toward the purchase and renovation of the organization's new headquarters and programming facility American Red Cross Mile High Region – Denver, $20,000: Toward the Save a Life Denver 2.0 program which aims to improve mass-casualty response over the next three years Bridge House – Boulder/Aurora, $50,000: Toward the purchase and renovation of a building in Aurora to replicate their Boulder-based Ready to Work Program model Children's Hospital Colorado – Denver, $50,000: Toward the expansion of the Pediatric Mental Health Institute at Children's Hospital Colorado Food Bank for Larimer County – Fort Collins, $50,000: Toward the purchase and renovation of a centrally located facility which will serve as the new headquarters and warehouse for the organization Gold Crown Foundation – Edgewater, $35,000: Toward the renovation of a new after-school programming facility Grand Valley Catholic Outreach – Grand Junction, $30,000: Toward the expansion of the organization's homeless day center La Llave Family Resource Center – Alamosa, $25,000: Toward the purchase and renovation of the organization's new headquarters and programming facility La Puente – Alamosa, $60,000: Toward a comprehensive capital campaign to improve the functionality of the organization's facilities Laradon School – Denver, $40,000: Toward the renovation and expansion of the school’s aging campus Mind Springs Health – Grand Junction, $120,000: Toward the expansion of the only psychiatric hospital on the Western Slope Ralston House – Arvada/Northglenn, $35,000: Toward the construction of a new child advocacy center in Northglenn Savio House – Denver, $10,000: Toward renovations at the main campus to address safety issues The Pinon Project Family Resource Center – Cortez, $25,000: Toward the purchase and renovation of the organization's new headquarters and programming facility We Don't Waste – Denver, $30,000: Toward the new Food Rescue and Distribution Center About the Boettcher Foundation: At Boettcher, we believe in the promise of Colorado and the potential of Coloradans. Every day we champion excellence across our state by investing in our most talented citizens and high-potential organizations, because supporting their hard work and leadership will enable them to give back for years to come. Contact: Kristi Arellano 303.285.6208 kristi@boettcherfoundation.org...