Author: Kristi Arellano

Boettcher Foundation Press Release

15 Mar Denver Post: Colorado Business Committee for the Arts reveals 2017 award winners

By John Wenzel  The Denver Post There are few places in Colorado — or anywhere, for that matter — where an energy company and a community organizer take the same stage to accept an award, or a philanthropist and a hotel company share equal honors. That was the case Wednesday at the Seawell Ballroom at the Denver Performing Arts Complex, where 700 local arts, business and civic leaders assembled for the 30th annual Colorado Business Committee for the Arts statewide lunch.    ...
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Boettcher Foundation Press Release

14 Mar Boettcher Scholar, historical reenactor helps museum with Viking exhibition

Chelsea Carr lives three lives. A 2006 Boettcher Scholar and recent graduate of the University of Colorado Law School, Chelsea is working as a law clerk in the 19th Judicial District. After hours and on weekends, however, Chelsea becomes either Svara or Sveni, twin brother and sister from the Viking-age trading town of Birka, circa 850 to 900 AD. Chelsea is an active member of the Fjellborg Vikings, a historical reenactment group dedicated to the accurate portrayal of the Viking age. The group conducts reenactments at festivals and educational events throughout the state. During those events, Chelsea dons hand-sewn clothing and historically accurate battle gear as she teaches visitors about the backstories of her two characters. The Fjellborg Vikings will be on one of their biggest stages soon as the group has been called on to assist with the Denver Museum of Nature and Science’s upcoming exhibition “Vikings: Beyond the Legend,” which runs March 10 through August 13. ”It’s a recognition of how far we have come as a group and that we are committed to this level of historical accuracy,” said Chelsea, who also serves on the Fjellborg Viking executive board. The group, which includes approximately 30 members, will perform at VIP opening events and family days, and they have contributed their own handmade, historically accurate materials, including a lute and Viking boat, to expand the exhibition. They are also helping to prepare the museum’s on-staff historical reenactors for their own roles in the exhibit. “We are helping them to create their own historically accurate ‘kits’ that will include everything from clothing to shoes to the details of their lives,” Chelsea said. While historical reenactment may seem like a fun opportunity to get dressed up and play a role, participants are obsessively committed to historical accuracy and setting the record straight when it comes to misconceptions about the Vikings A big one for Chelsea is the fact that Vikings didn’t wear the horned helmets frequently associated with them. “The beards are real; the horns are not,” she said, explaining that a pamphlet promoting an opera in the 1800s is responsible for popularizing the false characterization. Chelsea’s connection to the Fjellborg Vikings started when she was an undergraduate at CU, majoring in English and journalism and minoring in geology and Nordic studies. The Fjellborg Vikings would visit campus to participate in a Nordic market day and conduct occasional combat demonstrations. Chelsea stayed in touch with the group and joined after graduation, but she wasn’t able to commit significant time to the pursuit until she graduated from law school. “It was a way to stay active in something I really loved and keep doing something I enjoyed even though my life was taking a different path,” she said. In addition to maintaining a connection to her Nordic studies minor, Viking reenactment provides a link to Chelsea’s youth. “I grew up in the country in a small town,” she said. “I grew up making butter and sewing things.” One part of Viking life that wasn’t part of Chelsea’s youth: combat. The Fjellborg Vikings have twice-monthly training sessions where they work on their battle techniques. They are frequently assessed on their battle styles and have to pass tests before they are allowed to practice combat in front of people. The bows and arrows used by the Fjellborg Vikings are modified so they’ll never strike their target with force harder than a paintball. The group also uses handmade shields and swords that are not sharp but are heavy enough to inflict serious bruises. For her part, Chelsea prefers to do battle with an axe, and she’s hoping to become certified as an archery instructor for other historical reenactors. As Chelsea contemplates the path her life has taken since becoming a Boettcher Scholar, she’s certain that her life as Svara and Sveni – or as a law school grad – wouldn’t have been possible without the Boettcher Foundation’s support. “Getting a Boettcher Scholarship changed my life,” Chelsea said. “I came from a big family in a small town that did not have the money to send me to college. While Chelsea figured she’d find a way to pay for college, she had her sights set on a less expensive college, and she certainly didn’t consider law school a possibility. The Boettcher Scholarship also allowed Chelsea to study abroad in Sweden, helping to cement her interest in Nordic studies and the Viking Age.  ...
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Boettcher Foundation Press Release

13 Mar Alumni Board Scholar Profile: Q&A with 2015 scholar Suraj Renganathan

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: Suraj Renganathan Scholar Year: 2015 Hometown: Fort Collins College(s), Degree(s):University of Denver, International business and public policy/leadership What are you currently interested in pursuing after graduating? I am currently considering several different options upon graduation. On one hand, I would like to pursue a career in government relations and serve as a liaison between the public and private sector. Specifically, I would like to perform economic and market research in investment or corporate banking, thereby functioning as an advisor for policymakers, other businesses and interest groups. However, I am also considering applying for post-graduate fellowships and pursuing a master’s degree abroad. Tell us about what activities, groups and/or organizations you have joined in college and why you joined them. Rather than focusing on a few activities and going “all in,” I have always preferred to involve myself in a wide variety of pursuits. Right now, I am the president of the University of Denver Roosevelt Institute, which is an undergraduate policy think-tank. The Roosevelt Institute attempts to promote a cause dear to me, namely youth engagement in politics. In addition, I am also a research assistant at the Pardee Center for International Futures. Perhaps one of my more “surprising” extracurricular endeavors is acapella, where I sing bass and beatbox for the DU Idiosingcrasies. Tell us about an important mentor you have had. Probably the most significant mentor I have had in my life was my AP U.S. history teacher, Ms. Matthie. Not only was her class my favorite course throughout high school, but Ms. Matthie played an important role in shaping my goals and ambitions. She instilled in me a confidence to stretch myself beyond my comfort zone and tackle issues which initially seem daunting. Though I am now a couple of years removed from high school, I still consider Ms. Matthie to be a strong influence in my life. What's the best advice you've ever received? Regardless of what you achieve, always remain humble. This saying, which was constantly repeated to me by my mother throughout my life, is the most meaningful piece of advice I have received. It serves as a personal reminder to avoid the pitfalls of complacency or arrogance. Despite whatever successes I may have gained, this piece of advice helps to keep me grounded. It also functions as a motivator to constantly try and improve myself and not feel satisfied with the status-quo. If you could have dinner with one person or a few people from history, whom would you choose and why? Ronald Reagan and Alexander Hamilton. Reagan because “The Gipper” was a transformational figure in American history and Hamilton because Lin-Manuel Miranda can spit some serious rhymes about our founding fathers!...
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Boettcher Foundation Press Release

13 Mar Alumni Board Scholar Profile: Q&A with 2000 scholar Ruthie Lestikow

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: Ruthie (Martin) Lestikow Scholar Year: 2000 Hometown: Dolores College(s), Degree(s) and Graduation Year(s):Colorado College BA in biology graduated 2004; Loma Linda University, master's in physician assistant sciences, graduated 2008 Tell us about your current work and how long you’ve been doing it. What is your favorite aspect of your current occupation? I have been a physician assistant for eight years and have worked in beautiful places like San Diego and Washington, D.C. I have practiced in pediatrics, geriatrics, house-call medicine and internal medicine. For the last four years, I have worked in Highlands Ranch at a small private practice in internal medicine, and not a day goes by that I don't learn something new. Being a primary care PA is very rewarding. You are helping people be healthy and stay healthy while getting to know them and their families personally. I also feel great about being a part of a solution to the problem of a primary care provider shortage in our country. What role has being a Boettcher Scholar played into where you are and what you are doing now? Being a Boettcher Scholar has helped to instill philanthropy and service into my daily routine and mindset. It helped me to find a way to use my love of biology and science to give back to my community by working in the medical field. Turns out being a Boettcher Scholar also helped me to find the love of my life, my husband Greg. Without the scholarship I would have not been able to attend Colorado College where I met my great husband! Tell us about your involvement in activities, organizations or groups outside of work. Outside of working as a physician assistant, I also precept physician assistant and nurse practitioner students from many universities and programs from across the United States. I am also a Boettcher Alumni Ambassador and recently took on heading up the Boettcher Class Champion project as part of the outreach committee of the Boettcher Scholar Alumni Board. For fun, I love playing ice hockey and being with my family outdoors backpacking, telemark skiing, snowboarding, mountain and road biking, hiking and really just being outside all year long. What’s the best advice you’ve received and what advice do you have for new graduates entering your career field? Some of the best advice I received when considering going into the medical field was to take time and shadow, or at least talk to, multiple different people who worked in jobs or fields that I was interested in. My advice for current graduates wanting to go into medicine is to take a year or more off after undergraduate school. Allow yourself the opportunity to travel or gain experience in the field you would like to work in. When you go back to school you will be refreshed and can bring so much more experience to the table. If you could have dinner with one person or a few people from history, whom would you choose and why? The first two people from history that come to mind that I would love to have dinner with are the physicist and chemist Marie Curie and the Dali Lama. I would love to pick Marie Curie's brain about her experiences as one of the first females in science to make significant discoveries. I also like to think that just by sitting next to the Dali Lama I would gain more mindfulness and patience. For a person to still be so loving, kind and thoughtful after all the pain and persecution he has suffered is truly inspiring....
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Boettcher Foundation Press Release

10 Mar Eastern Colorado Boettcher community gathers to celebrate 1952 scholar

By Tracy Wahl Boettcher Scholar Alumni Board Eastern Colorado is one of the most sparsely populated parts of the state of Colorado, especially as you move closer to the Kansas and Nebraska borders. But, Boettcher Scholar alumni have an outsized impact in those places – serving a variety of community and business leadership roles in the small rural towns, surrounded by wheat, corn, alfalfa and sorghum fields. In February, the Boettcher Scholar Alumni Board hosted a meetup in the Eastern Plains community of Sterling to honor Dr. William Buchanan, a 1952 Boettcher Scholar, who recently retired after serving as an eye doctor in Sterling for more than 50 years.  Eleven scholars attended the gathering. The retirement celebration was spurred by Boettcher Scholar Landan Schaffert, who was one of Dr. Buchanan’s patients for years. Landan is legally blind, and he credits Dr. Buchanan with making it possible for him to achieve his goals. Landan is a high school science teacher in Otis (population estimated 475 in 2015). Joining us to honor him were Boettcher alumni from all over the eastern part of the state. Carl McGuire is a district judge for the 13th Judicial District. He lives in Akron (population 1700 in 2010). Lindsey Paulson is a doctor, specializing in family medicine in the town of Wray (population 2342 in 2010) near the Nebraska, Kansas state lines. She is one of only five doctors practicing family medicine at the Wray Community District Hospital. Meghan Neumann, Kaitlin Neumann Johnson and Charlie Johnson -- all have connections to the rural part of the state. Sisters Meghan and Kaitlin are both from Wray. Kaitlin's husband Charlie Johnson, also a Boettcher Scholar is from Kit Carson (population 233 in 2010) and now manages his family's ranch and sells drought insurance. Beth Baker Owens, who now lives in Denver, has family in Sterling, and used the event as an opportunity to visit the area while reengaging with the Boettcher community. Beth noted that her mother was a patient of Dr. Buchanan’s as well. Cinde James lives in Frederick but her family’s roots in Iliff, which is east of Sterling, go back more than hundred years. She works as a seamstress, specializing in wedding dresses and other complex projects. Another small world connection: her dad is the brother to my aunt. JulieMarie A. Shepherd Macklin made the drive from Aurora, which is just on the edge of the agricultural part of the state. She is a member of the Aurora School Board and a talented baker who brought some thematically appropriate sugar cookies to the event. My own family roots go back in Akron to the late 1800s, and both my maternal grandparents were born there in the early 1900s, so the event was a welcome opportunity to return to my home base. It was a great gathering and provided the opportunities for the small town stars in the sparsely populated part of Colorado to meet and greet with one another. I was very proud of the way that Boettcher leadership exists in all parts of the state. At a time when the national story has been the divide between urban and rural America, the Boettcher Foundation has clearly made it a priority to be geographically diverse. I can’t wait for us all to meet up again....
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Boettcher Foundation Press Release

15 Feb Alumni Board Scholar Profile: Q&A with 1997 scholar Alex Gordon

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: Alex Gordon Scholar Year: 1997 Hometown: Denver College(s), Degree(s) and Graduation Year(s): University of Denver, B.A. in communications, 2001; starting executive MBA program at DU in spring 2017 Tell us about your current work and how long you’ve been doing it. What is your favorite aspect of your current occupation? Since co-founding Syntrinsic Investment Counsel eight years ago, I have served in a variety of roles at the firm. Currently, I am the chief operating officer as well as the chief compliance officer. As a boutique investment firm that specializes in financial stewardship advice for nonprofit organizations, I have been able to blend my problem-solving skills with my passion for giving back to the broader community. In addition, I enjoy moonlighting on the weekends as a DJ and videographer for weddings and private parties. This allows me to explore my artistic side and love for music. What role has being a Boettcher Scholar played into where you are and what you are doing now? Twenty years ago I had no idea that becoming a Boettcher Scholar would be one of those key inflection points that changed the course of my life. Not only was I receiving the financial award to finish my education debt free, but there was a longer-lasting benefit. I was welcomed into an extended family of scholars that provide such a diverse network which I can tap into for professional or personal advice. Now I am continuing that tradition by finding ways to be a role model for the next generation of scholars. Tell us about your involvement in activities, organizations or groups outside of work. It has always been important to me to have three pillars in my life - a loving and supportive home life, an engaging professional life and an authentic community life. When all three are solid, I feel happy and content. My community life has included coaching my sons' soccer teams, leading 13-year-olds through an unforgettable trip to Costa Rica and serving as a board member of a supporting foundation. More recently I have chosen to expand my knowledge of Denver through my involvement with the Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation’s Leadership Denver program. What’s the best advice you’ve received and what advice do you have for new graduates entering your career field? One of my favorite memories of my first rock concert, Jethro Tull, was the song "You’re Never too Old to Rock ’n’ Roll if You're Never too Young to Die." These words have been ingrained in my soul ever since. The first part is a reminder that you should never forget to do the things that you love best, no matter what age you are. The second part solidifies the statement by putting the listener on notice that tomorrow is not guaranteed so you better live in the now. If you could have dinner with one person or a few people from history, whom would you choose and why? There are plenty of people I would love to have dinner with that are still alive, but I am going to hold out hope I may still have that chance. So, I would like to have dinner with a fictional character from the book and musical Les Miserables. Jean Valjean’s life is one that was filled with amazing challenges and tests of his character. I admire his ability to make the most of the chances he was given and stay true to his life of paying it forward. I would also enjoy the opportunity to hear a personal performance of the best songs from my favorite musical....
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30 Jan University of Colorado Denver’s Nadeen Ibrahim named Student Leader of the Year

DENVER— University of Colorado Denver senior Nadeen Ibrahim was named Colorado Leadership Alliance (CLA) 20167Student Leader of the Year at the CLA Summit on Saturday. The award is given by the Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation and the Boettcher Foundation annually. Ibrahim has made an impact in the community and on campus. She was named the 2016 Community Builder of the Year by the University of Colorado Denver and is the youngest Coloradan to serve on a governor-commissioned board, appointed in 2015 by Gov. John Hickenlooper to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Board of Health.  ...
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Boettcher Foundation Press Release

25 Jan Boettcher Scholar helps refugees and hospital patients during visit to Kurdistan

When a recent trip to visit her ailing grandmother meant traveling to Iraq, Laveen Khoshnaw, a 2015 Boettcher Scholar, used her time to reconnect with family and while helping the local community. Laveen was born in the Kurdistan region of Northern Iraq. Her family fled the region in 1998 after her father’s work with an American humanitarian organization caused him to be targeted by Saddam Hussein’s regime. After spending time in Guam, the family relocated to Colorado Springs where Laveen grew up and graduated from high school. As a sophomore at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs, Laveen is majoring in biomedical sciences and minoring in biochemistry, political science and leadership. She plans to attend medical school and harbors a dream of becoming the U.S. Surgeon General, although her more practical ambition is to practice medicine and help repair the Middle East. “It’s such a rich, wonderful place that’s just in the wrong hands,” she said. Because she still had family in the region, Laveen has had the opportunity to return to Iraq to visit her family in recent years. But her most recent trip, prompted by her grandmother’s stroke last year, quickly evolved into a humanitarian mission and an education on Iraq’s health care system and how that system is being impacted by refugees from southern Iraq and Syria. “There are so many families in the streets, and the public hospitals are completely packed,” Laveen recalled of her summer in Iraq. “There is no shelter or housing (for refugees), so they seek refuge in the hospitals. They’re just looking for a place to sit and get out of the heat.” When describing the hospitals, Laveen, who is a Certified Nursing Assistant, is quick to note that they are nothing like American hospitals. In addition to less sanitary conditions and overstretched staff, she noted that patients’ families are expected to fulfill many responsibilities, like feeding and cleaning up after their relatives who are hospitalized. Seeing the need, Laveen and her family began working to help stock the hospitals and provide better supplies. They brought in basics like bottled water and disposable sheets they obtained via an uncle in Switzerland. Similarly, the family went into refugee communities and brought in supplies to help them build better shelters. “It was so heart-wrenching to see the situation and not be able to do even more,” she said. Laveen returned from her summer in Kurdistan with a new resolve to help people, especially refugees in the Middle East. She and her friends are planning to host a fundraising gala to help Syrian refugees. Laveen is also considering a second journey to assist struggling health care systems. This time, she’ll be headed to Nicaragua with members of Global Medical Brigades, an on-campus organization of pre-med students that provides medical support in struggling countries. In addition to her work with Global Medical Brigades, Laveen is an associate chief justice with UCCS’ student government association and is active in the pre-health society, while also working at a local optometrist’s office. “I’ve always wanted to go back and make change in the Middle East, but now it is more focused on the health care system,” she said, adding that she expects she will practice medicine in the United States but start or work with a group of people to effect change in the Middle East as well. “I know I’m not going to be the one person who changes, it, but if I can get a team of likeminded people – as cheesy as it sounds – I think we can make a difference.”...
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Boettcher Foundation Press Release

18 Jan Boettcher Foundation Board of Trustees welcomes former Denver Post editor Greg Moore

DENVER, January 18, 2017 — Gregory Moore, former editor of The Denver Post, has joined the Boettcher Foundation Board of Trustees. Moore brings a deep knowledge of the issues impacting Colorado’s communities as well as a commitment to advancing the state. “Greg’s experience telling the stories of our state and highlighting the people who are making a difference in Colorado make him an ideal candidate for the Boettcher Foundation Board of Trustees,” said Tim Schultz, president of the Boettcher Foundation. “Greg has also displayed a strong commitment to the nonprofit community at both the national and local level, and we are excited he will be sharing his wisdom and talent with us.” Moore was editor of The Denver Post for 14 years. During that time, the newspaper won four consecutive Pulitzer Prizes. His journalism career spanned 40 years, with stops in Dayton and Cleveland, Ohio and 16 years at The Boston Globe, where he rose to managing editor. He currently teaches journalism at the University of Colorado’s College of Media, Communication and Information. “The Boettcher Foundation has had a significant impact in Colorado, and I am honored to contribute to an organization that is helping Colorado’s students, teachers, researchers and nonprofit community,” Moore said. A native of Cleveland, Greg is the oldest of five siblings. He graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and political science. He and his wife, Nina, have two daughters, Jasmine, 14, and Jaden, 12. The Boettcher Foundation Board of Trustees also announced its new slate of officers for 2017. Russell George, retired president of Colorado Northwestern Community College, will become chair. Paul H. Chan, general counsel for the University of Denver, will become vice chair, and Theodore F. Schlegel, M.D. will serve as past chair. Sharon H. Linhart, founder of Linhart Public Relations, will continue as secretary, and Donald McG. Woods, regional CEO of USI Insurance Services, will continue as treasurer. The board of trustees also renewed the terms of Kenzo Kawanabe and Judith B. Wagner, both of whom were initially appointed to the board in 2014. Kawanabe is a partner and commercial trial lawyer with Denver law firm Davis, Graham & Stubbs LLP. Wagner founded and served as president and CEO of Wagner Investment Management Inc., which was merged into CoBiz Wealth in 2010. For detailed bios on all Boettcher Foundation Trustees, visit boettcherfoundation.org/boettcher-staff-and-trustees. 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...
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Boettcher Foundation Press Release

17 Jan Alumni Board Scholar Profile: Q&A with 2013 scholar Jordan Rudman

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: Jordan Rudman Scholar Year: 2013 Hometown: Denver College(s), Degree(s) and Graduation Year(s): Colorado College, molecular biology major, music minor, graduating 2017 What are you currently interested in pursuing after graduating? I’ll be applying to medical school this summer, to begin in the fall of 2018. I’m interested in pursuing emergency medicine, but I’m certainly open to other possibilities as well. In the meantime, I’ll be moving back to Denver where I hope to continue working as an EMT in either a hospital emergency department or with a local ambulance company. Additionally, I hope to continue my musical hobbies: playing jazz piano and singing. Tell us about what activities, groups and/or organizations you have joined in college and why you joined them. I’ve been in far too many music ensembles: choir, jazz combo and Balinese Gamelan, to name a few. I have appreciated the opportunity to pursue music along with my pre-medicine studies; I hope to always have that balance in my life. I also help run CC’s student EMS squad. We respond to medical emergencies on campus and provide education and training opportunities in pre-hospital medicine. It’s been extremely rewarding to help lead an organization of students caring for other students. Tell us about an important mentor you have had. I had a middle school teacher, David, who would play geography trivia with me on the school bus ride to soccer practice. He saw me for exactly who I was and taught me to embrace it; for that I will always be extremely grateful. I no longer play soccer, but I still love trivia. What's the best advice you've ever received? When playing in a jazz band: listen more than you play. As someone who is very comfortable talking, that’s been an important lesson and one that I’ve found vastly improves many aspects of my life. If you could have dinner with one person or a few people from history, whom would you choose and why? Dr. Oliver Sacks. He was the most beautiful embodiment of an artistic scientist....
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