Author: Kristi Arellano

Boettcher Foundation Press Release

14 Aug Alumni Board Current Scholar Profile: Q&A with 2014 Scholar Elizabeth Hoffner

Members of the Boettcher Scholar Alumni Board are interviewing their fellow Boettcher Scholars to help the community get to know one another better.  Name: Elizabeth Hoffner Scholar Year: 2014 Hometown: Center College(s), Degree(s): University of Denver –  finance major, leadership and psychology minors What are you currently interested in pursuing after graduating? My current work with nonprofit organizations has shown me that it is an area I want to work in. I have realized that I am motivated and passionate when what I do daily has a positive impact on society and not just my or my employer’s bottom line.  I plan to work for a year or two before pursuing a master's. Tell us about what activities, groups and/or organizations you have joined in college and why you joined them. When I arrived at college I wanted to join everything, but I am glad I was selective and chose the ones that I did. The Pioneer Leadership Program (PLP) has offered me a great deal of knowledge regarding leadership and myself, and has also provided me with lifelong friends. In addition to PLP, I serve as a senior senator and finance chair in DU’s Undergraduate Student Government, am past-president of the Undergraduate Business Student Association and am personnel chair for Chi Omega Sorority. Tell us about an important mentor you have had. It is difficult to pick one mentor in my life as I have been blessed with so many. I have been fortunate to be surrounded by people I look up to and learn from in most areas of my life. My personal and spiritual mentor, Mimi Bailey, I met through PLP. I have many advisors that have helped me navigate being Personnel Chair. There are also many professors that keep me on track academically. Last, but not least, my parents who are constant counsel and support. What's the best advice you've ever received? “Blessed are the flexible for they will not be bent out of shape.” My mother has always said this, and it is something I believe has allowed me to overcome the challenges and enjoy the sweetness of my life so far. Unexpected things will happen, I usually can’t change them, but I can change my attitude. If you could have dinner with one or more people from history, whom would you choose and why?  I would like to have dinner with Cornelia ten Boom. As a woman that experienced the ugliness of the world, she still had the faith and determination to help others and remain optimistic of the human race. I would love an insight into the development of her character....
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Boettcher Foundation Press Release

11 Aug 42 Colorado Teachers Honored by Boettcher Scholars

August 11, 2017 — Forty-two Colorado teachers will be recognized this evening for the significant impact they have had on some of Colorado’s top students. The Boettcher Foundation will host its 26th annual Teacher Recognition Awards Program this evening at the Denver Botanic Gardens. The program allows each recipient of the 2017 Boettcher Foundation Scholarship to acknowledge the teacher who has impacted him or her the most. At the event, each Boettcher Scholar will deliver remarks about his or her teacher, and each teacher will receive a $1,000 grant from the foundation to be used toward an educational program or project to benefit students at his or her school. “Colorado’s kids deserve teachers who are driven and passionate about the work they do,” said Tiffany Anderson, the Boettcher Foundation’s scholarship program director. “The 42 teachers selected by our newest scholars have championed excellence in their classrooms, and we are proud to recognize them for helping our scholars get to where they are today.” The Boettcher Foundation Scholarship recognizes Colorado’s most talented students by providing them with a full-ride scholarship to attend a Colorado college or university, enabling them to build a Colorado network and use their immense talents to improve our communities right here at home. This year's Teacher Recognition Award recipients are: District High School Teacher Name Nominating Scholar Academy 20 Pine Creek High School Susan Nolan Katelynn Hughes Bayfield 10 JT-R Bayfield High School Derek Smith Lenka Doskocil Boulder Valley RE 2 Broomfield High School Tara Tovar Armando Ocampo Brighton 27J Prairie View High School Jessica Mauracher Hossna Yasini Center 26 JT Center High School Katrina Ruggles Jordan Lobato Cherry Creek 5 Smoky Hill High School Adrian Holguin Leah Gibson Cherry Creek 5 Cherokee Trail High School Paul Clinton Henry Kvietok Delta County 50 (J) Delta High School Ben Magtutu Elizabeth Ward Denver County 1 Denver School of the Arts Chad Russell Camryn Daidone Denver County 1 Denver School of the Arts Amy McGrath Bridget Galaty Denver County 1 Denver South High School Jason Brookes** Keller MacLachlan Denver County 1 Denver South High School Ryan Marini Anna Renkert Denver County 1 Denver South High School Andrea Griffin** Cherokee Ronolo-Valdez Douglas County RE 1 Legend High School Brent Jackson Ansh Desai Douglas County RE 1 Rock Canyon High School Katherine Hartline Sydney Marchando Douglas County RE 1 Castle View High School Roger Felch** Jenna Trost Douglas County RE 1 Rock Canyon High School Janna Robinett** Ryan Vandersmith Douglas County RE 1 Legend High School Cynthia Henderson Niketna Vivek East Otero R-1 La Junta High School Kelly Jo Smith Anastasia Mathews Falcon 49 Falcon High School Thomas Russell Kiana Harkema Garfield RE-2 Aspen High School Jennifer Morandi-Benson* Jacob Morgan Holyoke RE-1J Holyoke High School Scott Dille Austin Herman Jefferson County R-1 Lakewood High School Jennifer Webb Jon Abrahamson Jefferson County R-1 Golden High School Shannon Garvin Shamik Bhat Jefferson County R-1 Lakewood High School Wayne Madsen Troy Jackson Jefferson County R-1 Lakewood High School Sandra Sullivan Dakota Kisling Jefferson County R-1 Jefferson Academy High School Mary Ferbrache Spencer Narowetz Jefferson County R-1 Conifer High School Joshua Nielson Benjamin Powell Kit Carson R-1 Kit Carson High School Tim Hogan** Bradley Johnson Littleton 6 Littleton High School Rodney Stutzman Lauren Weiss Mapleton 1 Mapleton Expeditionary School of the Arts Tim Stemper Tahlia Lucero Meeker RE 1 Meeker High School Michelle Selle Casey Turner North Conejos RE-1J Centauri High School Margaret Salazar-Muniz** Ariel Sandoval Poudre R-1 Poudre High School Brad Beauprez** Naitra Ramchander Roaring Fork RE-1 Basalt High School Nick Lenio Daniel Barnes Roaring Fork RE-1 Roaring Fork High School Wendy Boland Nicholas Penzel Salida R-32 Salida High School Amy Moore Harper Powell Silverton 1 Silverton High School Kelly Habecker Hannah deKay St. Vrain Valley RE 1J Silver Creek High School Steve McNichols** Jacob Fuhrman St. Vrain Valley RE 1J Skyline High School David Frick Lindsey Hamblin Wray RD2 Wray High School Angela DePue Paige Beckman Wray RD2 Wray High School Nikki Gelvin Luke Srsen  * Jennifer Morandi-Benson teaches at Aspen High School. She is being honored by a student who graduated from Coal Ridge High School. ** Denotes multiple-year recipient. High-resolution photos of scholars with their teachers available upon request after the event. 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. For more information, visit www.boettcherfoundation.org.About the Boettcher Foundation FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Kristi Arellano 303.285.6208 kristi@boettcherfoundation.org...
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Boettcher Foundation Press Release

10 Aug Alumni Board Scholar Profile: Q&A with 2001 Scholar Travis “TC” Ritz

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 Angelique Diaz. Name: Travis "TC" Ritz Scholar Year:  2001 Hometown: Frederick College(s), Degree(s) and Graduation Year(s): Colorado State University, BA, double major in philosophy and economics, 2005; Colorado State University, BS, mathematics, 2006; London School of Economics, MSc, finance and economics, 2007 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 currently Head of Northern and Eastern Europe Energy Origination at Morgan Stanley, based out of London - which means I help large corporate clients manage their exposure to energy prices. I’ve been in this role at Morgan Stanley and previously Barclays for the past eight years, before which I worked in investment banking at Barclays in Frankfurt, Germany. The best thing about my job is working with people of diverse, multi-cultural backgrounds. I spend a significant amount of time traveling across Europe to meet with clients. Cultural differences and diverse ways of seeing the world is not only really exciting, it's what makes the world beautiful in my opinion. What role has being a Boettcher Scholar played into where you are and what you are doing now? It gave me the confidence to aim for anything - and the financial springboard to take the most daring option which presented itself. A good example was when I graduated from CSU in 2005 and had a great job opportunity at the Federal Reserve Board in Washington, D.C. Instead, I took an option which scared (but excited) me much more - a Fulbright Scholarship to Germany, which has turned out to be one of the most important life choices I’ve made. Another important role the Boettcher has played in my life is as a link back to our great State of Colorado, along with a strong sense of wanting to give back. Tell us about your involvement in activities, organizations or groups outside of work. Through volunteer work here in London, I’ve become a strategic advisor to NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children), the UK’s largest children’s charity, with whom we have partnered to build the UK’s first Child's House - a hugely important social effort to help kids who have suffered sexual abuse. Working with the NSPCC also led me to take part in the London Marathon this year (my first) - another hugely enriching experience. I have also recently accepted a position with the AgIndustry Leadership Council at CSU under Dean Ajay Menon, where I hope to marry three passions of mine - agriculture, technology and finance. What’s the best advice you’ve received and what advice do you have for new graduates entering your career field? Make sure you love and are motivated by what you do. That’s first. If you can, try to match that (or at least elements of that) with something you’re good at and what’s valued in the marketplace. I’ve found that being valued and recognized for something you do helps keep your fire burning. If you can do what you want, where you want, with the people you want - you’ve hit the sweet spot of modern life, and even just two of those is fantastic. And the great thing is that it’s out there. If you could have dinner with one person or a few people from history, whom would you choose and why? Given current events on this side of the Atlantic, I’d have to say Winston Churchill. I’d love to understand his views on the UK and the European Union and what he would make of recent political developments around the world. It seems to me the world will continue to change at an ever-increasing pace, with its natural ups and downs, and the real challenge will be to continue working together. The ‘how’ and ‘to what extent’ will be the interesting questions....
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Boettcher Foundation Press Release

17 Jul Alumni Board Current Scholar Profile: Q&A with 2015 Scholar Isaiah Koolstra

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 Angelique Diaz. Name: Isaiah Koolstra Scholar Year: 2015 Hometown: Cope College(s), Degree(s): University of Colorado Boulder, Chemical and biochemical engineering What are you currently interested in pursuing after graduating? Although I very much enjoy my area of study, I am not sure where I want to go with it.  After graduation I either plan to enter a graduate school program in chemical engineering or immediately work in industry.  I am most interested in engineering positions in energy or biotechnology. Tell us about what activities, groups and/or organizations you have joined in college and why you joined them. The organization that I have been most involved with at CU is the Presidents Leadership Class which I have benefited from in the form of enriching experiences and amazing friends. I have also joined several chemical and biological engineering specific extracurricular clubs that help me explore opportunities in my field. I have also enjoyed fun-oriented organizations such as the hiking club and intramural sports. Tell us about an important mentor you have had. Although I have had many mentors who have advised me on my strengths, I have had relatively few mentors who guided me through my weaknesses. In this last year of school, some of my personal weakness became apparent and resulted in frustration and dissatisfaction in several areas of my life. Tiffany Anderson, the scholarship program director at the Boettcher Foundation, has been a great mentor for me through this. She is both approachable and encouraging while at the same time straightforward and realistic. Tiffany has given advice and support that has made me confident and excited for next semester. What's the best advice you've ever received? The best advice I have ever received is “Make a different mistake.” If you could have dinner with one or more people from history, whom would you choose and why?  If I could have dinner with anyone from history, it would be Ernest Shackleton. He was an Antarctic explorer who loved adventure and was well known for the lengths he would go for his crew....
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Boettcher Foundation Press Release

17 Jul Alumni Board Scholar Profile: Q&A with 2012 Scholar McKenna Asakawa

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 Angelique Diaz. Name: McKenna Asakawa Scholar Year: 2012 Hometown: Lafayette College(s), Degree(s) and Graduation Year(s): Colorado College, B.A. in sociology, minor in Spanish Tell us about your current work and how long you’ve been doing it. What is your favorite aspect of your current occupation? I’ve been working as the digital content editor for Nelson Treehouse and Supply for about a year now (you might recognize the company from the show Treehouse Masters). It’s a privilege to work at a small family business that has global reach, and to work alongside stunningly creative (and fun!) people. I write copy and manage a lot of our communications, including our blog at nelsontreehouse.com. I love witnessing the positive impact this company has on many lives: from its own staff, to local businesses, to fans from all over the world. Treehouses make people happy! What role has being a Boettcher Scholar played into where you are and what you are doing now? The Boettcher Scholarship has been a liberating force in my life. For one, the foundation’s generosity gave me the financial freedom to take a leap and move for this job after graduation. I am also deeply grateful for the foundation’s ethos of exploration – I remember hearing a Boettcher staff member discuss how she was proud of alumni for doing whatever it is that makes them come alive. This genuine, equal respect for every scholar’s pursuits— whether that be graduate school or growing a family or building treehouses— encouraged me to try the things that led to what I do now. Tell us about your involvement in activities, organizations or groups outside of work. Until recently, I was also working part-time as the development director for Sawhorse Revolution, a Seattle-based nonprofit that hosts year-round carpentry programs for diverse youth. Many Sawhorse programs involve partnering teens with design/build professionals to construct tiny homes for local homeless communities. I also am beginning to volunteer with my local chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League. My favorite pastimes include cooking with my boyfriend, Evan; listening to music and podcasts (try The Flop House!); tasting wines in Woodinville (five minutes from my place!); and basking in the summertime Pacific Northwest sunshine (gotta stock up on Vitamin D now!). 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’ve received came from Seanix, one of the Nelson Treehouse carpenters. He said, “Stop taking yourself so seriously, and start taking life and the things you love more seriously.” If I were to dole out some career advice at my wise age of 23, I’d say: 1) Don’t be afraid to change your plans as you yourself change. 2) Find the humor in it. 3) The people you work with can make or break your job satisfaction. Don’t underestimate the importance of the organization’s culture and the team you’ll be a part of everyday If you could have dinner with one person or a few people from history, whom would you choose and why? I’m reading Jacques Pepin’s memoir, The Apprentice, right now, and would love to have dinner with his mother, Jeannette. She was just a few years older than me during WWII in France (during which time she’d bike miles on her one day off a week to scrounge up enough food to feed her three sons!), and holy cow was she a tough person! I’d love to find out more about her sources of strength and time running her own restaurant. Plus, I bet the meal would be delicious!...
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Boettcher Foundation Press Release

10 Jul Leadership Coaching: What results to expect

By Katy Craig, Director of Strategic Initiatives The Boettcher Foundation’s coaching program is showing early success in helping our community of Boettcher Scholars and Boettcher Investigators to reach new heights in their chosen professions, family and personal lives. Recently, I shared some insights from current and former coaching clients who shared some of their initial concerns, questions and misconceptions about coaching, as well as the reality and benefits they encountered along the way. Another major question I hear from our busy, actively engaged community members is results-oriented—where’s the data? Well, the impact of coaching is supported by a number of industry studies. So much so that it’s being incorporated into the MBA programs of some of the top business schools in the country, and many Fortune 500 companies are investing in coaching for their employees, citing a return on investment of at least seven times the initial investment. Closer to home, Boettcher community members are seeing real results in achieving their goals and expanding their leadership. Specifically, community members appreciate the differences they’ve seen in balancing responsibilities, particularly in times of stress. “Coaching enhanced my self-awareness when undergoing stress in everyday life. I was able to develop techniques that improved my productivity and balance between school, work, and personal life,” said Fernando, a 2016 Boettcher Scholar and coaching client. 2015 Boettcher Scholar and coaching client, Kayla, agreed, citing reframing as one particular strategy she further developed through coaching. “Coaching taught me how to look at situations differently,” she said. “I've been able to focus more on how I interact with situations and people, and how to change those interactions for the better. Coaching helped me get a little bit more out of every day by helping me realize what is important to me.” The other benefit our community members often cite is having the dedicated time for reflection, and subsequent changes in behavior due to their renewed clarity. “Coaching provided me with several insights about myself and tools to apply to my professional life,” Chris, a 2012 Boettcher Scholar, said. “I came away with a better understanding of my strengths and why I do the work that I do. Additionally, I found coaching helped me uncover a better way to talk about myself. I am now able to describe myself with powerful language that highlights the ‘who’ instead of the ‘what.’ This skill has been incredibly valuable in applying for jobs, interviewing and meeting new people.” Boettcher community members also echo research showing that coaching is particularly effective in developing high-potential leaders, helping them visualize and achieve higher levels of success. “Coaching reminded me of the many ways I could still surprise myself and how it's never too late to stretch into something new,” said Matt, a 1998 Boettcher Scholar. Finally, those being coached express appreciation for the benefits they’ve gained both professionally and personally. “My personal benefits from being co-actively coached since 2015 include increased resiliency with family, improved self-care, more celebrations for milestones reached in 2016 than last year, and better balance among work, passions and family,” said Beth, a 1977 scholar and coaching client who has since become a coach herself. “The confidential coaching time is a blessing. Nowhere else do I have that focused, personal, safe space, just for me to reflect, react, dream, emote and strategize.” While Boettcher coaching clients all cited different benefits, they were united in their gratitude for the experience and their perception that it had been a positive investment of their time and energy. “I LOVE coaching! It has been one of the most beneficial things I have done in college,” said Jo, a 2014 Boettcher Scholar. “It helped me engage the skills I have, understand myself and how that fits into the world around me and was generally a lot of fun.” The bottom line is that the foundation wants each of our community members to excel at whatever endeavors they choose. We believe that investing in their hard work and leadership will enable them to give back for years to come. Coaching is just one way we further invest in our community. For more information or a free sample coaching session, please contact me at katy@boettcherfoundation.org.  ...
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Boettcher Foundation Press Release

13 Jun Nine top researchers selected for Boettcher Foundation Webb-Waring Awards

DENVER, June 13, 2017 — Nine biomedical researchers at Colorado’s top institutions have been selected to receive funding from the Boettcher Foundation’s Webb-Waring Biomedical Research Awards program. The Webb-Waring Biomedical Research Awards support promising, early-career scientific researchers, allowing them to advance their independent research and compete for major federal and private awards in the future. Recipients are awarded $235,000 in grant funding to sustain three years of biomedical research. They also receive the title of Boettcher Investigator. “This year’s award recipients are doing important work that has the potential to significantly improve human health,” said Katie Kramer, CEO of the Boettcher Foundation. “The Boettcher Foundation is proud to help propel this research forward because Colorado can only be a leader in scientific innovation if its most dynamic scientific minds are supported at early stages in their work.” Now in its eighth year, the Webb-Waring Biomedical Research Awards honor the commitments that the Webb and Waring families made to scientific research and public service. Including the class of 2017, 54 Boettcher Investigators at the state’s leading academic and research institutions have received funding through the Webb-Waring program. “The Boettcher Investigators program reflects the best of Colorado,” said April Giles, president and CEO of Colorado BioScience Association. “We nurture talent. We grow careers. We believe in the promise of scientific research and the promise it offers to build better lives. The Boettcher Foundation and the Webb-Waring Biomedical Research Awards advance the work of talented scientists in our state.” The 2017 Class of Boettcher Investigators and their research topics are: Colorado School of Mines Andrew Petruska, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering – Magnetic manipulation for medical applications Colorado State University Erin Osborne Nishimura, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology – Gene expression, chromatin and developmental biology Kelly S. Santangelo, DVM, Ph.D., Diplomate ACVP, Assistant Professor of Veterinary Pathology – Prevention and therapy of post-traumatic osteoarthritis National Jewish Health  Camille M. Moore, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Biostatistics – Statistical methods for longitudinal RNA-sequencing data University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus  Joshua C. Black, Ph.D, Assistant Professor of Pharmacology – Epigenetic regulation of tumor heterogeneity Angelo D'Alessandro, Ph.D., Assistant Professor and Director of the Metabolomics Core - School of Medicine – Systemic metabolic reprogramming in health and disease Kristine A. Kuhn, MD, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology – Gut-joint lymphocyte trafficking in inflammatory bowel disease and spondyloarthritis Eric M. Pietras, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Hematology – Hematopoietic stem cell and inflammation biology John A. Thompson, Ph.D., Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurosurgery – Neurobiology of sensory-motor driven decision-making processes  High-resolution photos of individual recipients and the entire group available by request. 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

12 Jun Alumni Board Scholar Profile: Q&A with 2013 scholar Emily Wolverton

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: Emily Wolverton Scholar Year: 2013 Hometown: Montrose College(s), Degree(s): University of Denver, B.S. in biology; minors in business administration, leadership studies and chemistry. Graduating June 2017 What are you currently interested in pursuing after graduating? I am currently applying to medical schools all over the country, but I have a year off during the application process. I will be working as a scribe for a surgeon in Montrose until December, then I am participating in a program called Somos Hermanos in Guatemala for five months. In this program, I will take medical Spanish lessons for two months, then work in a health setting like public health outreach or as an aide in a clinic for the next three months. I have wanted to improve my Spanish skills, so I am excited to have this opportunity and hopefully become fluent! Tell us about what activities, groups and/or organizations you have joined in college and why you joined them. Throughout college I have been involved primarily in the Pioneer Leadership Program. Aside from earning a minor in leadership studies, I joined this program for the outstanding community it provided. I have volunteered in several hospitals both to stay engaged with the Denver community and to increase my exposure to the world of health. I worked as a tour guide and orientation leader at DU because I had an exceptional college experience and wanted to share my enthusiasm for the school with prospective and new students. Finally, I loved playing volleyball throughout my DU career in intramurals, a Wash Park league and just for fun on campus. Tell us about an important mentor you have had. Throughout college I have appreciated the number and quality of mentors I have been privileged to know. However, one of the most helpful mentors is one I was paired with through the Pioneer Leadership Program, and she happens to be a Boettcher Scholar as well. Claudia Temmer and I first met electronically when I was a senior in high school because my grandparents knew her family and knew she received the Boettcher Scholarship. Back then, she chatted with me on the phone and gave me some interview tips. Four years later, PLP paired us through the Alumni Mentor Program and she has been pivotal in my preparation for medical school. Claudia has been important because she has not only provided support and comfort when I get worried about the medical acceptance statistics, but she has also called me to answer my questions, read draft after draft of my personal statement and met with me in person to share her experience in medical school. What's the best advice you've ever received? There is always time to do the things you love, so if you don't have enough time, you need to re-evaluate your commitments. If you could have dinner with one or more people from history, whom would you choose and why?  I would choose to have dinner with Martin Luther King Jr. because I think he would have great stories to tell and could give me great advice about leadership and mobilizing people toward a goal....
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Boettcher Foundation Press Release

12 Jun Alumni Board Scholar Profile: Q&A with 1998 scholar Brian Peagler

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: Brian Peagler Scholar Year: 1998 Hometown: Denver College(s), Degree(s) and Graduation Year(s): University of Denver, Bachelors in Computer Engineering, Masters in Business Administration, 2005 Tell us about your current work and how long you’ve been doing it. What is your favorite aspect of your current occupation? I currently work as the finance systems manager for eBags, the world’s largest online retailer of luggage, handbags and travel accessories. I’m responsible for our back office software, which allows eBags to pay vendors, order inventory and report our financials. I’ve been with eBags for nearly five years. The favorite aspect of my current position is that I’m given a lot of autonomy in the work that I perform. I am more involved in the day-to-day business of the company, use my expertise in application development and find ways to leverage my system to improve our company performance. What role has being a Boettcher Scholar played into where you are and what you are doing now? Being a Boettcher Scholar has had a direct impact on where I am and what I do currently. Thinking back to my senior year of high school, I was dead set on heading out of state for college. Learning that I had won this scholarship quickly changed my mind. Weeks later, I had taken an internship with J.D. Edwards (a software company that has made my career) and was on my way to the University of Denver. There are a handful of life-defining moments and getting that congratulatory phone call is near the top of the list for me. Tell us about your involvement in activities, organizations or groups outside of work. A great deal of my time outside of work is spent in and around the University of Denver. From volunteering on the Alumni Association Board for the Pioneer Leadership Program to attending concerts and athletic events, I am an active alumnus and engage with the university in any way it will allow me to. The way for me to continuously stimulate my curiosity and push myself to learn new things is to be engaged in a community that fosters that environment. What’s the best advice you’ve received and what advice do you have for new graduates entering your career field? The best advice I’ve received is to find what motivates you. Once you’ve found that, align your career to that motivation as best you can. The easiest way to find work/life balance is to find a career where your life is enriched by it, not weighed against it. For current graduates entering software development – focus on how you get things done. The syntax and languages will always evolve and change, but if you have a steady focus on your process for producing great applications and tools, you’ll always have the drive to succeed. If you could have dinner with one person or a few people from history, whom would you choose and why? I feel like I should list a former U.S. president or world leader, but I would like to have dinner with Jackie Robinson. Besides the major implications he has had on the history of baseball (and American society), he is the single player that inspired me to play baseball and follow the game to this day. I feel that Major League Baseball does a tremendous job in honoring his legacy each year. I’ve read several books about his life, but I would want to learn firsthand some of the history behind playing for the Dodgers during that era....
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Boettcher Foundation Press Release

09 Jun Leadership Coaching: Is coaching for me?

By Katy Craig, Director of Strategic Initiatives As you may recall, the Boettcher Foundation has launched a coaching program aimed at helping our funding recipients further develop their leadership characteristics. We believe that by helping our community of Boettcher Scholars and Boettcher Investigators become more effective leaders, we can help them make an even bigger difference in their personal and professional pursuits, enabling them to have an even bigger impact in our communities. Eighteen months in, we’re gaining valuable insights not only into the impact our program is having, but also into why people choose to be coached – and why they might resist it. For example, an informal survey of our coaching clients recently revealed more than 84 percent of those being coached say that coaching has helped them consider ways to intentionally navigate change, and 79 percent said they explicitly expanded their self-awareness. But what I find more interesting is that when asked to talk about their experiences, those being coached talk about their questions and concerns on the front end, followed by what’s different now. Several clients, who have been pleased with the results of their coaching, agreed to share their insights so that others might get a better sense of what to expect. One of the biggest questions most of them had before they began coaching was simply whether coaching was right for them. That makes sense. There are a lot of misconceptions about what coaching is and who can benefit from it. Many people think that the purpose of coaching is to address poor performance. But, in reality, coaching can help anyone get more of what they want out of life, making them both more fulfilled and more successful. “At first, I believed that something had to be wrong in order for me to reach out for coaching,” said Fernando, a 2016 Boettcher Scholar and coaching client. “As I was coached, I realized that I was completely wrong in my initial thoughts. In fact, coaching did not suggest any changes, instead, it served as a strategic platform for personal refection. I found that I was reaching my own conclusion after every phone session simply by answering my own questions. My coach provided the environment for me to be completely true and honest with myself.” Others may worry that coaching is not for them because of their field or level of career. Sometimes they’ve heard stories that it’s too “touchy-feely” for business-minded executives or others who work in traditionally analytical professions. That was true for Melanie, a Boettcher Investigator who initially thought coaching “wouldn’t apply to a scientist” but quickly saw the benefits to her career. “I feel like I have been learning to be a coach, and am much more comfortable managing my own staff and helping them to reach their full potential, rather than me telling them what to do,” she said. In fact, Melanie has found coaching so relevant and impactful that she’s talked to her division chief about bringing her coach in to meet with her group. Another common concern among coaching clients was simply whether it will be weird. They worried that talking about themselves would feel uncomfortable or self-indulgent. Most wrestled at some level with feeling a little selfish for taking time for themselves through coaching, and worried that things they said would come across wrong. “Before I tried coaching, I wasn't really sure what to think of it,” said 2010 Boettcher Scholar and coaching client Lanna. “I thought, ‘Is this like going to a therapist? Am I going to be sharing my weirdest self with people I respect quite a lot (and who don't know I'm weird yet)?’” Once she tried coaching, though, Lanna realized she did not feel awkward at all during her time with her coach. “My coach acted as a confidential sounding board for my ideas, concerns and goals, and helped me use my own introspection to guide action and results.” Lanna also shared another common concern, which is the perceived time commitment. Many Boettcher community members have heard of coaching programs that require extra reading and work in addition to multiple sessions a month. That kind of commitment can turn away highly engaged individuals with already-full lives. But here’s the bottom line: everything that you do (or don’t do) as a result of coaching is your choice. Those enrolled in the Boettcher coaching program sign up for two 45-minute coaching sessions per month at times and on days that work for them. Then they decide on their own action items at the end of each call, and these activities are typically carried out within their everyday activities. The opportunity is not to add something additional on top of your other responsibilities, but to approach your existing responsibilities differently because of coaching. “The time commitment was minimal, and the results were absolutely worth the time I dedicated to the process,” Lanna added. “Coaching helped me distill from the chaos of daily life what was really important to me, and helped me make my goals tangible and ascertainable. I felt like a much stronger and more self-aware person after just a few coaching sessions.” Jo, a 2014 scholar and client agreed, adding that “A couple hours a month with a coach was all it took to make a noticeable difference in my life, and I feel satisfied having spent that time working on myself because I see the benefits of it going into what I do time and time again.” Such feedback from our coaching clients has helped to reinforce the value of the Boettcher Foundation’s investment in coaching for investigators and scholars. Next month, I will share insights from coaching clients about the direct impact coaching has had on them. But if your interest is already piqued and you’d like more information or a free sample coaching session, please contact me at katy@boettcherfoundation.org.  ...
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