Alumni Board Scholar Profile: Q&A with 2015 Scholar Andrea Poliakon

Alumni Board Scholar Profile: Q&A with 2015 Scholar Andrea Poliakon

Andrea Poliakon
Boettcher Scholar Year: 2015
Hometown: Byers
University & Degrees: University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, BS Biomedical Science

What are you currently interested in pursuing after graduating?
This summer I’m heading back to Byers to work as nursing aide. Ultimately, I want to become a neonatal nurse practitioner. I’m applying for registered nurse training at CU — Anschutz, UCCS, and UNC to start this fall.

Tell us about what activities, groups and/or organizations you have joined in college and why you joined them.
I’m the office and marketing manager for UCCS student government. I’ve enjoyed getting to know a variety of students and meeting mentors through the Office of Student Life. I like seeing how the university works behind the scenes and was able to be part of writing the UCCS Creed.

I’m president and founder of UCCS scuba club, and we just got four members certified to dive at Homestead Crater in Utah. When the waters warm up, we are planning diving trips to Aurora Reservoir and Blue Hole, New Mexico. I’m also a founder and an executive member of UCCS Women’s Student Association, a group to empower women in academics, personal, professional, and leadership areas. As a student athlete, I found women were often intimidated and underrepresented in competitive environments. Women athletes are often sexualized in media rather than recognized for their sports achievements. We mentor young women to be active and have better body positivity. We also recognized outstanding Colorado women, including Krystal Kappeler, a Boettcher Scholar Alum and employee of the Foundation.

Tell us about an important mentor you have had.
At UCCS, Jon Bogh, advisor for Student Government Association, has been instrumental in shaping my leadership style and encouraging me through difficult growing times.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
“Life is not a race.” As high achievers, we always want to move to the next thing, and it’s difficult to be totally present in moments of achievement. It’s important to be present and savor moments as they come along.

 If you could have dinner with one person or a few people from history, who would you choose and why?
Excellent question — dinner with Abraham Lincoln. I’ve read his book on leadership and he was an incredibly influential leader.

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