Alumni Board

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....

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: Ashesh Thaker Scholar Year:  2000 Hometown: Greeley College(s), Degree(s) and Graduation Year(s): University of Colorado Boulder – BA, 2004; University of California, Los Angeles – MD, 2009 Tell us about your current work and how long you’ve been doing it. What is your favorite aspect of your current occupation? I joined the faculty at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in August 2016, after completing my postgraduate medical training, most recently a fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco. I am a neuroradiologist and have a clinical practice at the University of Colorado Hospital, where I also train residents and fellows. I particularly enjoy teaching and research, with a specific interest in understanding changes that occur in the brain during disorders of cognition, such as in Alzheimer’s Disease. It’s a real privilege to teach and work at my alma mater! What role has being a Boettcher Scholar played into where you are and what you are doing now? The Boettcher Scholarship helped me achieve my goals in ways more than just financial. The Boettcher community instills a sense of service; this ultimately pushed me towards academic medicine rather than private practice. Most importantly, I had the opportunity to return to Colorado after 12 years on the east and west coasts. I look forward to being more involved with the foundation and its many service activities now that I’m back home. Tell us about your involvement in activities, organizations or groups outside of work. My wife and I just had our first child, a baby boy, so he has been keeping us pretty busy outside of work! Having just moved back to Denver from California, we are hoping to get more involved in local groups and organizations. We are members at the Denver Art Museum, involved in the Hindu Temple and Cultural Center of the Rockies, and joined our local neighborhood civic association in Hilltop. . What’s the best advice you’ve received and what advice do you have for new graduates entering your career field? When I was a third-year medical student at UCLA on a surgical rotation, an intern (whose name I sadly can’t remember to give fair credit) gave me the great advice to “always function like I’m one level above my current position;” that is, act like an intern when a medical student, a resident when an intern, and a fellow when a resident. This is sound advice in a hierarchical field like medicine, but I think the message applies more broadly to any career. If you could have dinner with one person or a few people from history, whom would you choose and why? Though not really a “historical” figure, I would love to have dinner with Larry David, co-creator of Seinfeld (my favorite sitcom) and star of the current series Curb Your Enthusiasm. His style of comedy has always resonated with me, and I find his work refreshing. He reminds me to take life a little less seriously and a dinner date with him would be entertaining to say the least!...

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: Serene Singh Scholar Year: 2015 Hometown: Colorado Springs College(s), Degree(s): University of Colorado; political science (BA) and journalism (BA) and leadership studies (minor) What are you currently interested in pursuing after graduating? I am interested in pursuing a law degree with a focus on constitutional and human rights law. Since I am interested in becoming a Supreme Court justice, I am excited to hopefully work for the American Civil Liberties Union where I will specialize in defending free speech rights and at The Sikh Coalition where I will help defend religious freedoms. Within all this, if I could squeeze in a chance to compete for Miss America, an opportunity to act in a Bollywood film and a way to release the first Indian-American female rapper mixtape, that would be great. Tell us about what activities, groups and/or organizations you have joined in college and why you joined them. Some of the activities are The Serenity Project, the Appellate Court, the Colorado Bhangra Team, and 3P Speech and Debate. The Serenity Project is a fashion show with a yearlong “pageant reign” that helps women who are not our society’s traditional models become fashion models and ambassadors for inspiration throughout the community. The Appellate Court ensures legitimacy and defends student freedoms! The Colorado Bhangra Team is a Punjabi Indian dance team that spreads positivity. 3P Speech serves students across the country who are passionate and eager to be heard. My job is to help them speak effectively and to watch them change the world through their voices – a pretty awesome first job. Tell us about an important mentor you have had. Mr. Brian Hoff. For me, he was not just a high school speech/debate coach, but an individual I highly respect. Despite having attended Rampart – a school without a forensics team – Mr. Hoff took me under his wing at The Classical Academy. Mr. Hoff challenges me to push myself and to take on adversity with a smile. His relentless belief in my abilities inspired me to one day enter public service – and more importantly, believe that I could do it. Whether it be pageants, relationships or life itself – Mr. Hoff has been there to encourage me to never give up and to use my voice to serve others. What's the best advice you've ever received? The best advice I have ever received was from my mother who said, "If you want something you don't have, you have to do something you've never done." This has been a guiding philosophy in my life because I am constantly working to become a better version of myself. I often put myself in odd and uncomfortable situations in life (like when I first joined a pageant as a tomboy or when I interned at a strict Republican’s office as a social liberal) in order to remind myself that I never can stop growing and learning. If you could have dinner with one or more people from history, whom would you choose and why?  I would choose Mata Khivi Ji. Mata Khivi Ji has been an inspiration for me since I was a little girl. Mata Khivi Ji instituted free nutritious community kitchens called “Langars.” Langars are for all people – regardless of gender, race, etc. to sit alongside one another and break bread. Five hundred years ago, not only was this revolutionary, but it set up a foundation for “sewa” or selfless service to be the most central part to a Sikh’s life. Meeting Mata Khivi Ji would give me the chance to volunteer alongside an incredible figure, and learn as much as I can to be a stronger female leader in my community....

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: Karin Schantz Scholar Year:  1981 Hometown: Fort Collins College(s), Degree(s) and Graduation Year(s): CU and CC, B.A. 1986 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 on sabbatical, contemplating my next steps in life while following some passions through volunteer work, dividing my time between Lakewood, Colorado and Olympia, Washington. After graduation three decades ago, my career path has taken a few turns. I initially “delayed real life” (after canoeing the Mississippi River) and worked in Europe as a tour guide. Subsequently, I marketed Colorado as an international tourism destination, consulted on database design and management, was a financial advisor and estate planner, and most recently gutted and finished a home for resale.  I love designing, planning and working to reach a mutual goal. What role has being a Boettcher Scholar played into where you are and what you are doing now? I am eternally grateful that I didn’t have a decade of debt. I moved to Europe after graduation and explored different cultures. I improved my language skills which benefitted me in future jobs. I met lifelong friends, and my view of the world changed. I also thank the foundation for getting me through. I didn’t have a clear idea of what I wanted to be when I grew up and the scholarship carried me through graduation. In an attempt to “pay it forward”, I was active through grassroots efforts to launch a scholar alumni program which was later formalized by the foundation Tell us about your involvement in activities, organizations or groups outside of work. In recent years, I have served on the Jefferson County Horse Council board, raised a litter of Goldendoodles, was instrumental in creating a new zoning classification for my neighborhood, helped ensure Lakewood’s involvement as a sustainable neighborhood and headed up the R Cubed (recycling, repurposing, reusing) initiative; initiated and organized a community paint recycling day, which kept more than 8 tons of paint out of the landfills; raised money for the Lakewood High School Instrumental Music program; joined my boyfriend on a Habitat for Humanity Global Village trip in Paraguay; cared for aging parents and settled estates; gardened, hiked and snowshoed. 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 received right out of college was from one of my friend’s mothers and is universal advice, regardless of a chosen career field. She encouraged me to open an individual retirement account or IRA (which I also recommended to clients a few decades later). Growing up, my family did not discuss finances. I never really received any kind of financial education from them probably because they hadn’t received any from their parents. My father was retired Air Force and relied on his military pension for retirement. Pensions are rapidly becoming things of the past, and it is important to plan early. If you could have dinner with one person or a few people from history, whom would you choose and why? I would love to have dinner with my ancestors who initially immigrated to the United States. My mother has enthusiastically been researching our family ancestry and has traced back multiple generations. It’s amazing what information is archived and accessible, giving a snapshot of lives on a daily basis. I would love to hear about the decision-making process and get a sense for shared personality characteristics. Is this perhaps where I got my sense of adventure, love of education, commitment to family, setting of goals, etc.? What else could I discover about myself and my role in this world?...

Boettcher Scholars throughout the United States participated in coordinated service events as part of the national Make a Difference Day effort on October 28. Boettcher Scholars in six communities organized and publicized the volunteer opportunity to their local Boettcher communities. We were thrilled to see the impact our scholars had in their regions and the joy they experienced as they reconnected. Below are reports from sites where scholars worked to make a difference. Colorado Springs Care and Share Food Bank of Southern Colorado During the Make a Difference Day event in Colorado Springs, 16 wonderful volunteers (Boettcher Scholars, alumni, family and friends) helped to produce more than 500 senior food boxes for the Commodity Supplemental Food Program of Southern Colorado in conjunction with the Care and Share Food Bank of Southern Colorado. These food boxes will be distributed to low-income senior citizens through such organizations as Marian House, Salvation Army, High Plains Helping Hands, Eastern Plains Community Pantry, Silver Key Senior Services, Springs Rescue Mission, Connections 4 Life Center and more. Colorado Springs volunteers made a difference in the lives of more than 500 seniors! – Carina Raetz Denver A Precious Child The Denver metro area Boettcher alumni scholars and their families had an amazing morning volunteering for Make a Difference Day! We worked at A Precious Child, a wonderful organization that assists children and families facing difficult challenges such as abuse and neglect, crisis situations, and poverty. A Precious Child helps these children and families navigate community resources and connects them with needed services, opportunities and educational support. They also help them meet needs for basic items such as good-quality used clothing and infant-care necessities, through their Resource Center. This is where about two dozen Boettcher volunteers spent the morning, helping this wonderful organization “make a dent” in the piles and piles of donations awaiting distribution. It was a fun, successful and rewarding day! – Jennifer Meyers Fort Collins All Aboard Animal Rescue Annie the Railroad Dog spent her days greeting visitors who traveled through Fort Collins in the 1930s and 40s.  Since then, residents have increasingly welcomed dogs into our hearts and our homes. This is precisely the goal All Aboard Animal Rescue supports, and Fort Collins/Golden Boettcher Scholars and alumni were able to spend the day raising awareness for the group’s foster events. Sporting Boettcher Make A Difference Day totes for our supplies, we created some healthy competition between the gals and guys scholars teams of who could place informational fliers in the most creatively impactful locations across town.  A couple of us have gotten together for various social events after having met that weekend, and apparently about 30 pups found their forever homes each adoption event weekend after Boettcher volunteers jumped aboard! – Krystal Kappeler San Francisco San Bruno Mountain Watch The San Francisco Bay Area Boettcher alumni scholars had a great time volunteering for Make a Difference Day! We worked with San Bruno Mountain Watch and spent the morning on the steep slopes of San Bruno Mountain, helping to weed out invasive plant species. We learned how to use a mattock gardening tool, enjoyed learning tons of naturalist lore from our hosts, and saw a lone coyote crossing the hillside. Five of us were there representing the Boettcher Foundation: Lee Granas, Meadow Didier, Zach Gonzales, Erin Arnsteen and her husband Jess (who drove 2.5 hours each way to join us)! Afterwards we had a great lunch together and brainstormed future Bay Area Boettcher Scholar activities that we hope to try out. It was a very fun and successful day! – Lee Granas Seattle EarthCorps Seattle Boettcher alumni enjoyed planting trees, shrubs and other native Pacific Northwest plants under beautiful blue skies at Camp Long in West Seattle. Two alumni, one Boettcher guest and other EarthCorps volunteers planted 200 saplings. EarthCorps staff encouraged us to name each plant and give it our blessing, which added a fun element to the day. McKenna Asakawa (2012) proudly named our last planting, a Douglas fir, “Claude” in honor and gratefulness for our Boettcher Scholarship founder. May Washington’s Claude grow tall and serve multiple generations well! – Karin Schantz Washington, D.C. A Wider Circle During the Make a Difference Day event in the Washington, D.C. area, Boettcher volunteers Bob Slevc (‘95), Scarlett Jimenez (‘13), Tracy Wahl (‘86) and Kitty Shaw Gardener (‘65) had a great time at A Wider Circle. A Wider Circle provides basic-need items to individuals and families transitioning out of homelessness, fleeing domestic abuse or otherwise living without the essentials of life. There were some “small-world” stories shared during the day - Kitty and Scarlett realized that they both went to Hinkley High School, nearly 50 years apart! And - Scarlett and Tracy live only a few blocks from each other in D.C. but had never met! The volunteers were all impressed with the organization and are primed to do more volunteer work. It was a great day! – Tracy Wahl ...

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: Morgan Smith Scholar Year: 2014 Hometown: Colorado Springs College(s), Degree(s): University of Denver, BA economics and public policy, expected 2018 What are you currently interested in pursuing after graduating? I’m interested in essentially everything related to local government. I’m primarily passionate about local economic development and urban planning, but I also am deeply interested in how local government can better address real problems that affect our neighbors and friends. I believe that local policy issues are sometimes talked about in severely removed terms: an affordability crisis, for example, is usually discussed in terms of “housing stock” or “rent increases,” when in reality, it’s about families and children being displaced from stable homes. I’m really interested in addressing those intersectional issues at a local level. Tell us about what activities, groups and/or organizations you have joined in college and why you joined them. My sophomore year I helped start Roosevelt @ DU, a chapter of the nationally networked think tank: the Roosevelt Institute. Roosevelt gets young people involved with local elected officials to push policy reform on important issues. I was drawn to Roosevelt because it was non-partisan and focused on making sure young people had a seat at the decision-making table!   I’m currently the student body president, and I love it. I focus on a lot of the same things as Roosevelt, but on our campus instead of our city or state. Tell us about an important mentor you have had. Nathan Hunt is the economic justice program director for the Interfaith Alliance of Colorado. He works with people experiencing homelessness, champions initiatives and is just an incredible all-around guy. I worked for Nathan this past summer, and he constantly challenged me to think in human terms: the margins, the homeless, the poor, the foreign aren’t abstract groups and shouldn’t be described as such. They are as much human as we are and by removing our shared human connection when talking about it, we distance ourselves and presume we have no responsibility. He always challenges me to think deeper and act as such. What's the best advice you've ever received? The best advice I’ve ever received has been from Mohammed Lotif, a staffer in Campus Life at DU: “Sit with the uncomfortable. Don’t run away from it: breathe through it.” I totally struggle with this, which is probably why it’s such good advice! If you could have dinner with one or more people from history, whom would you choose and why?  I’d love to sit down with Teddy Roosevelt. Famous for his boisterous personality, I think he’d be a great dinner guest. He was a voracious reader, a dedicated conservationist and quite the thinker: I would love to just have a conversation with him and gain a deeper appreciation for his worldview....

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: Joel Minor Scholar Year:  2007 Hometown: Lafayette College(s), Degree(s) and Graduation Year(s): Colorado College, B.A. Environment Policy 2011; Stanford University, M.S. Environment & Resources 2014; Stanford Law School, J.D. 2014 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 a third-year associate attorney at Earthjustice, the nation's oldest and largest public interest environmental law firm. It's my dream job.  I focus on reducing air pollution and methane emissions from the oil and gas sector through litigation over nationally applicable regulations as well as administrative proceedings to address more discrete issues in Colorado. Every morning I wake up excited to go to work and advocate to protect communities in Colorado and throughout the West from the harmful health impacts of oil and gas development. What role has being a Boettcher Scholar played into where you are and what you are doing now? I really took the idea of giving back to Colorado to heart.  I remain endlessly grateful for the opportunity to go to an amazing school like Colorado College for free. It opened my mind to so many ideas I never would have encountered, and opened doors to educational and career opportunities I never would have imagined. A big part of why I decided to come back to Colorado after law school was so that I could give back to the community that nurtured me and believed in me. Tell us about your involvement in activities, organizations or groups outside of work. I am on the Colorado College Alumni Board. I also volunteer with my local Democratic Party chapter and with the Colorado LGBT Bar Association. Right now I'm spending a lot of time campaigning for Angela Cobián, my friend from the Colorado College debate team, who is running for Denver School Board. What’s the best advice you’ve received and what advice do you have for new graduates entering your career field? Don't go to law school until you know exactly what kind of lawyer you want to be. Too many people go to law school because they aren't sure what else they want to do. They end up getting saddled with a lot of debt and taking jobs that make them miserable, working long hours in a high-pressure environment on behalf of clients they don't agree with. It's better to take a few years to try out different jobs (ideally working with or around lawyers), and be absolutely certain that being a lawyer is right for you. If you could have dinner with one person or a few people from history, whom would you choose and why? Rachel Carson.  She was so ahead of her time, and without her talent to present complex scientific concepts in an accessible, and even lyrical way, there would be no modern environmental movement. I also think it would be fascinating to eat dinner with Oscar Wilde and RuPaul. Although they lived a century apart, they fill such similar roles in LGBT culture by using art and humor to critique society.  They are also both so smart, opinionated and funny that I think I would be laughing for days!...

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: Lindsey Paricio Scholar Year: 2014 Hometown: Centennial College(s), Degree(s): Colorado State University, chemistry major, math and leadership minors, graduating spring 2018 What are you currently interested in pursuing after graduating? TEACHING!! Well, as the end goal at least. My dream career is to be a high school science and math teacher, and that is definitely somewhere you will find me within five years of graduation. Before that, though, I have a few more degrees to finish, including a master's in chemistry for next year, and a master's in education the year after that. I am really hoping to teach internationally at some point in my career, but I plan to start off at home in Colorado. Basically, I am going to be in school for life! Tell us about what activities, groups and/or organizations you have joined in college and why you joined them. To sum it up, I am an overly involved person! I have done everything from being an orientation leader, to teaching for the honors program, to research to the President’s Leadership Program. This year, I am a presidential ambassador, representing the students to donors and alumni, which has been amazing! I also am a member of our student government working in health, specifically food security, and I am the outreach coordinator for the chemistry department. For all of these, I joined because I love to talk to and teach people, and I wanted to give back to my university! Tell us about an important mentor you have had. I know it sounds cheesy, but my parents have been the best and most important mentors in my life. They are both teachers, and so we spent every day and night together growing up. They were always really honest with me about their jobs, their work and their passions, and they are always around to talk. I have tried or started a lot of different things, but no matter what adventure I’m currently on, they are always there to learn with me and help, whether it's a program, homework, or climbing a mountain. They demonstrate what it means to enable others, always. What's the best advice you've ever received? I would say that the best advice I’ve ever been given was by a family friend who was about to graduate college as I was starting it. She said that people are always waiting for an invitation. To do things, go on adventures, to be friends, to form study groups, to go on a date – all of these things require someone extending an invitation. She said to be that enabler, be the inviter, because it’s scary and the possibility of being turned down turns people away from asking. If you ask, you will create a rich life for yourself. If you could have dinner with one or more people from history, whom would you choose and why?  I would definitely choose to have dinner with J.K. Rowling, the author and activist, and I would also throw in Albert Einstein (no introduction needed) and Malcom Lindsey, the outdoor educator and explorer for whom Mount Lindsey (and I) are named. I absolutely love Harry Potter, and I would love to pick Rowling’s brain about the books, about her activism work with Lumos and about her past teaching experiences. I honestly want to ask Einstein about his life – and also for help with my quantum mechanics homework.  And who doesn’t want to know the person they are named after?! ...