18 Oct Alumni Board Scholar Profile: Q&A with 1979 scholar Norma Mozeé
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.
Scholar Year: 1979
College(s), Degree(s), and Graduation Year(s): Colorado School of Mines, B.S. Mineral Engineering Mathematics, Minor in Geophysics – 1983; University Colorado Denver, Masters of Global Energy Management (GEM) – 2010; Grand Canyon University, M.A. Educational Administration, 2010
Tell us about your current work and how long you’ve been doing it. What is your favorite aspect of your current occupation?
I started my international business advisory consultancy, Afinidad Americas, two and a half years ago. “Afinidad” means “affinity” in Spanish. The vision and name came from a lifetime of personal and business experience. My passion is creating affinity between the U.S. and Latin America. Being born in Denver to an African American father and a Mexican mother, I sense I was born to this mission to bridge cultures through business, which results in deepening relationships and understanding on both sides of the border.
What role has being a Boettcher Scholar played into where you are and what you are doing now?
I am eternally grateful to the Boettcher Foundation for my scholarship. I have to share a deeply personal story: my father died on the second day of my second year in college. Without my Boettcher Scholarship, I would not have been able to continue and complete college. It still brings tears to my eyes to realize that the scholarship allowed me to complete school after my father’s death. I was able to concentrate fully on getting the best education. It also positioned me to contribute back to Denver and Colorado, and now the world.
You know it’s prestigious when every time I mention that I was a Boettcher Scholar you hear the audible “Oohs” and “Ahhs.”
Tell us about your involvement in activities, organizations, or groups outside of work.
The list is long, but the running themes of my outside interests are the cross-section of creating global understanding and education. I’m on the board of WorldDenver, a nonprofit dedicated to connecting Denver and the world through the international delegations it brings to Denver and its speaker series. I’m also on the board of Colorado School of Mines Alumni Association. I recently started up the Women at Mines interest group. We’re dedicated to fostering opportunities for women interested in attending Mines and entering STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) careers.
What’s the best advice you’ve received and what advice do you have for current graduates entering your career field?
The mind has the power to ignite or snuff out your dreams. Manage your mindset, and you’ll manage your outcomes. It all starts with getting in touch with your authentic self and drowning out the background noise of what others think you should do versus what you believe in and are passionate about. Follow your passion and personal fulfillment will follow.
If you could have dinner with one person or a few people from history, whom would you choose and why?
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the Obamas, and Mother Theresa. They all beat the odds and broke through the tide of resistance. Their resilience, dignity, grace, and resolve to unify humanity and make the world better for those that don’t have a voice or are invisible is the example I’d like to leave as a legacy. I find it important to stay anchored during this divisive political climate by remembering Dr. King’s words: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”