Author: Boettcher Foundation

Boettcher Scholar Year: 2007 Hometown: Littleton College/Degree: University of Denver; BA, International Studies and Spanish, MA, International Economics Tell us about your current work and how long you’ve been doing it. What is your favorite aspect of your current occupation? I’m a senior economist with legislative counsel staff at the Colorado State Legislature. I focus on state economy and fiscal policy for legislators and forecast the state prison population. I often write portions of the Blue Book before elections. I most enjoy TABOR (Colorado’s Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights) work, as it is complicated, interesting and strongly affects policy. My favorite part of my job is being part of the policy making process and helping policy makers understand the likely consequences of policy they are debating. The best policy work happens when people focus on good outcomes, as opposed to partisan stands. What role has being a Boettcher Scholar played into where you are and what you are doing now? I wanted to contribute to the wellbeing of the people who live in Colorado, a beautiful place to pursue happiness. Going to a great school gave me the education I needed to do my work well. My work helps legislators do their jobs as well as possible, and this helps me to meet my contribution to the State of Colorado. I’m a welcoming, “state-riotic” person. Tell us about your involvement in activities, organizations, or groups outside of work. The thing I’ve spent the most time on over the years is volunteering as a high school debate coach and judge. Helping high school kids to think about policy is formative for them. I’ve been able to meet some brainy, often weird, but endearing young people. What’s the best advice you’ve received and what advice do you have for current graduates entering your career field? “Never lose track of the people you intend to serve.” Now at a desk job, I often interact with legislators, but not the public. The elected officials who serve are literally responsible to their constituents. I strive to remember what I do affects Coloradans, even if I don’t work with the constituents directly. If you could have dinner with one person or a few people from history, whom would you choose and why? Harriet Tubman, her life was incredible! Her perspective would speak to a part of American history that is seldom taught. I would love to hear stories from her life.  ...

Boettcher Scholar Year: 2015 Hometown: Capulin University & Degrees: Colorado School of Mines, BS in Chemical Engineering (2019) What are you currently interested in pursuing after graduating? I am planning to go into the biomedical industry with a focus in implants and prostheses. I have recently been made aware of an opportunity to work with surgeons in an environment that allows trained personnel to assist with surgeries and advise the surgeons on how to use new devices and technology. I would love to work in this industry, as it allows me to combine my passions of helping people and engineering as it pertains to the human body. Tell us about what activities, groups and/or organizations you have joined in college and why you joined them. I have loved the small community atmosphere of the Boettcher Scholar group at Mines, and have made some very close friends within our group throughout my time here. I have enjoyed volunteering, both with organizations and on my own. I love giving back to my community and helping other people to have better experiences. I also have worked for a program that strives to strengthen the diversity of Mines. This was a program that I was able to attend in high school, and I enjoy allowing Colorado students to have the chance to have the same opportunity. Tell us about an important mentor you have had. I cannot pick one mentor, as I have had a whole support network of people without whom I would not be here today. The woman who led my first experience at Mines has always lent a listening ear, providing great advice about school and life. All of the scholar mentors I've had in the past were amazing, always ready with a comforting word, a plan of action or just a hug. I've formed bonds with professors, academic coaches and other students. If there's one thing that I've learned, it really takes a village to make a person who they are. What's the best advice you've ever received? The best advice I received was actually from a Boettcher alumni at a meet-and-greet held by the foundation. It was a message in a bottle from Raquel “Kelley” Ritz, and it was something along the lines of, "Find who and what you love, what makes you happy, and fight for it. Never settle for anything less." This resonated with me deeply and stayed with me throughout my college experience. At times the path that I had chosen was difficult, but that little quote was always in my head, pushing me through and making me keep my resolve.  If you could have dinner with one person or a few people from history, who would you choose and why? There are many people from history who have done amazing things, but the people I would choose would be my late family members. There are a few that passed away before I was old enough to know anything important about them. There are also a few that I was old enough to know, but had never considered that I might lose them before I really got to know them. Sometimes I think that we are just stories at the end of our lives, but those will still go on to shape those who come after us....

Rachel Walters always knew that she would enter a helping profession. Growing up with a police officer father, she appreciated the civic responsibility, unconventional shifts and poignant stories that her dad carried and shared with his family. When she won a Boettcher Scholarship in 2010, her choice to study nursing at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs was clear. Since graduating in 2014, Rachel has been living out her aspiration of helping others as a nurse and health care educator. After two years of working in a Surgical Trauma Step-down unit with victims of accidents, stabbings and shootings, Rachel became a nurse in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children in Denver in 2016. There, she oversees care for children of all ages with the most life-threatening conditions. As a nurse, Rachel believes her profession is not just about treating patients, but also helping families heal, even when the patient can’t. It’s these moments that lend Rachel perspective and remind her of her larger purpose in life. “I see what matters, and it reminds me what is important now,” said Rachel.” And I carry a great piece of advice from my mentor, ‘Always keep small things small.’” Beyond clinical nursing, Rachel is committed to developing the next generation of health professionals and treatments. For two years, Rachel has instructed sophomore nursing students at UCCS entering their first clinical rotations – an effort she approaches with a leadership lens. “I help my students find their strengths and weaknesses and uncover the reasons behind their decisions. Good nurses are self-aware leaders and effective followers,” she said. In addition to working directly in nursing and teaching, Rachel is a clinical educator for a medical device company, and trains nurses across the country on using products for IVs, pre-analytical sample collection and diabetes treatment. This position means Rachel has limited free time outside of work to devote to yoga, exploring, paddle boarding, hiking and audiobooks. However, unlike her high school years, she has found that being busy is not the best measure of success. “In high school success was largely based on how many things I could do, and do well. Today, I know that success is building relationships with others. It’s about impacting their lives, uncovering their potential and being a small part of their victories.” Sharing victories and life with others is a common theme in how Rachel gives back. For several years, she has volunteered as a mentor with Royal Family Kids Camp, a faith-based, weeklong camp program for children in the foster care system. This summer, she is leading a group of high school students on a three-week international service trip to a developing country, where she’ll apply her nursing skills and oversee a community development project. Though uncharted territory, this international experience is something Rachel is approaching with confidence and curiosity, mindsets she attributes in part to winning the Boettcher Scholarship. “Winning the Boettcher [Scholarship] was a vote of confidence that I was capable. They believed I had talents and something to contribute, which was a message I’d struggled to believe about myself before. Now I know that with the right people around me, encouraging me, there’s not a challenge I can’t face. I can do this.”...

Margaret (Maggie) McFadden Boettcher Scholar Year: 1959 Hometown: Monte Vista College/Degree: University of Denver, BA in humanities and English; Boston University, MA in English language and literature; Emory University, PhD from the Institute of the Liberal Arts. Tell us about your current work and how long you've been doing it. What is your favorite aspect of your current occupation? I’m currently retired from a career in academia. I am working on my second book, which profiles six women activists between WWI and WWII. My first book Golden Cables of Sympathy is about 19th century connections between women in the U.S. and Europe. What role has being a Boettcher Scholar played into where you are and what you are doing now? The scholarship gave me a sense of the importance of Colorado. I always claim Colorado as home. In academia, you are concerned about getting a job, and I couldn't always get full-time work in Colorado. An offer to work at Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C. came during the recession of 1975. I stayed there for 40 years. While at ASU, I started the first women's studies program in North Carolina. Tell us about your involvement in activities, organizations, or groups outside of work. In February and March, I help people in the retirement community where I live with preparing their taxes. I also sing with the “Raging Grannies” gaggle on social topics and in the church choir. Later, I want to get back to playing the cello. In my community, I'm part of the movie committee for weekly showings of popular films, the flower committee, women's rights study group, etc. There's lots to do here. I try not to do too much! What's the best advice you've received and what advice do you have for current graduates entering your career field? I always tell students, “Don't listen to what anyone tells you to do! Listen to your passion.” If you could have dinner with one person or a few people from history, whom would you choose and why? One would by my hero, Gerda Lerner, a historian and women's rights activist. The other would be Rachel (Ray) Strachey, an English feminist and secretary for Lady Astor, the first female member of parliament....

Boettcher Scholar Year: 2016 Hometown: Fairplay University and Degrees: University of Colorado Boulder – BA in environmental design, sustainable planning and design; minor in leadership studies (May 2020) What are you currently interested in pursuing after graduating? After graduation, I'd like to work toward solving affordable housing and other complex issues that our cities face. I believe that decent, affordable and safe housing is something that can help under-served communities and change not only their quality of life, but also give them new opportunities in life. I'd like to provide housing to people that need it and empower them to become self-advocates and for their communities. Housing is something that affects every facet of our lives, yet it is a commodity that so many people lack. Tell us about what activities, groups and/or organizations you have joined in college and why you joined them. I am a very active member of the President’s Leadership Class at CU Boulder. I have been on their student staff for two years; I was first a social media coordinator and currently am a first-year class advisor. PLC has been an amazing community full of incredible people that has helped develop me into a better leader and professional. I have also been very active in my architecture club, AIAS. I joined the CU triathlon team this year as well. I completed my first triathlon just this last fall. Most recently, I joined the Boettcher Scholar Alumni Board as a student representative, and I am excited to help work on the new initiatives the board is pushing for. Tell us about an important mentor you have had. My parents were the most important mentors I've ever had. They have always pushed for me to do the best I can, and to never take anything less than that. Looking back now, their support and sacrifices for me to get an education are what really have shaped me into the person I am today. It's thanks to them that I have the opportunities I have today and am the first in my family to go to college. What's the best advice you've ever received? "Always help those who have less than you." -My Father When I was young, I distinctly remember my father having just helped a woman change her tire in the snow when he told me this. We were eating tacos from a food truck in our warm car. Outside, a woman needed help, and was clearly having trouble changing the tire. Without saying anything, my dad selflessly helped her change the tire in the cold, without eating his tacos. When he finished, he came back to his untouched tacos and told me this quote. This memory is one of the most influential moments in my life that really defines the type of person he was, and who he inspired me to be like. If you could have dinner with one person or a few people from history, who would you choose and why? Antoni Gaudí and Zaha Hadid. Gaudí was a revolutionary Spanish architect, whose style could be considered his own. Some of his works include the Park Güell, the Casa Milà, la Sagrada Família and the Casa Batlló. His works were largely inspired by nature and the forms found naturally in our world. Zaha Hadid was one of the most prominent Iraqi female architects in history. She won the most prestigious award in the architecture profession, the Pritzker Prize, for her innovative designs. Furthermore, she overcame many barriers as a woman of color. Both are incredible designers who pushed the creative limits of what was possible, defied expectations, and are an inspiration to any designer....

“Constructive contrarian” – someone who questions the way things are and provides potential solutions – isn’t a common vocation. But that is how Jeff Bauer, 1965 Boettcher Scholar and Colorado College graduate, describes his diverse and ever-evolving career. Jeff, 72, is an accomplished health futurist with more than 275 publications on health care delivery and a decade as a vice president for health forecasting and strategy for a Fortune 500 company. Before working in the for-profit sector, Jeff’s career included roles as a visiting professor at the University of Wisconsin medical school, a consultant for multi-hospital networks and a health policy advisor for Colorado Gov. Richard Lamm. He also spent 11 years as a teacher and administrator at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, where his constructive contrarian nature led to inspiration. While overseeing the creation of a common basic sciences program for medicine, nursing, pharmacy and dentistry in the 1980s, Jeff began to question the assumption that physicians were better trained than the professionals in the other schools. “I learned that our non-physician advanced practitioners were as competent as the medical doctors within their respective state-authorized scopes of practice,” he said. In 1993, he published Not What the Doctor Ordered, an analysis of the need for competition between all the health professions who met the criteria for being a captain of the ship. This challenge to physicians’ traditional authority earned him an invitation to testify before Congress. His advocacy for giving consumers direct access to comparably qualified, lower-cost providers such as nurse practitioners and certified nurse midwives faced opposition from large medical groups but helped pave the way for the rapid growth of advanced practice programs. “Health reform that doesn’t provide access to the full range of independently qualified caregivers care is wasteful,” said Jeff. “This is an issue of consumer rights and social equity.” Jeff’s propensity to explore questions began early on in his life. Jeff seized the opportunity to work on atmospheric research and physics for the National Center for Atmospheric Research while still a student at Fairview High School in Boulder. He credits this experience for successfully breaking the ice in his interview discussion with Mae Boettcher, who was also interested in the same subjects. While studying economics and French at Colorado College, Jeff was selected for an experimental program of the Ford Foundation that provided four years of independent study with no formal course requirements. The sense of independence and curiosity instilled from this experience led Jeff to earn a certificate in political science from the University of Paris, a PhD in economics from CU Boulder, and to make the decision to raise his family on a 275-acre organic farm outside of Brush for 20 years. Jeff also acknowledges the scholarship for instilling in him a desire to give back. “The Boettcher Scholarship, even more than my four-generation Colorado heritage, tied me deeply to the state and its people, and my community.” Although Jeff lives in Madison, Wisconsin, he continues to stay involved with the Boettcher and greater Colorado community. This spring, 25 years after his first publication of Not What the Doctor Ordered, Jeff is releasing a third edition whose profits will support the education of advanced practitioners at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. Jeff is also a nonprofit board member and frequently gives his time and talent as a speaker on numerous topics. During the 2018 Scholar Signature Event, Jeff shared his passion for art with the Boettcher community. In his newest career chapter, Jeff is working to become established as a conceptual artist whose unique acrylic paintings are infused with his “constructive contrarian” nature. “One of the greatest topics among artists is whether a painting can make a political statement. I believe words can. So, in my word-based art as much as my books, I seek to grab people’s attention and draw them in through words that lead to interesting conversations.”...

Boettcher Scholar Year: 2017 Hometown: Silverton College/Degree: Regis University – Majoring in biology (emphasis on pre-veterinary medicine), minor in art history What are you currently interested in pursuing after graduating? I would like to pursue a doctorate in veterinary medicine after graduating. I’m highly interested in the pharmaceutical aspects of animal sciences, disease research and the biomedical application of drugs in agricultural industries. Tell us about what activities, groups and/or organizations you have joined in college and why you joined them. I am currently involved in multiple clubs on campus and contribute to a research project under the biology department head. The research I am working on focuses on the bioluminescent systems of two particular genus of deep-sea fish: Paratrachichthys and Aulotrachichthys. The clubs I am currently an active member of are the Regis Ramblers Musical Theater Club, the Crochet Club, the Ski and Snowboard Club and the Tri-Beta Biological Honor Society. I participate in these clubs because they reflect my interests and cultivate student communities of which I want to be a part. Tell us about an important mentor you have had. An important mentor who has impacted my life for the better is my high school ski coach, Sally Barney. She not only helped me improve my skiing abilities, but also gave me confidence in myself and pushed me to define my core life values that I live by today. Her encouragement and support broke down my fears of failure, and as a Boettcher Scholar at Regis University pursuing my passion for life sciences and art history, I certainly am better for it. What's the best advice you've ever received? The best advice I have ever received was given to me by my father in the spirit of Leo Tolstoy’s three questions: “Always stop and reflect on when is the best time to do things, who is the most important one and what is the right thing to do”. If you could have dinner with one person or a few people from history, who would you choose and why? I would choose to have dinner with Marie Curie, St. Thérèse of Lisieux and Mahatma Gandhi. I would choose these individuals because their humility is beautiful in alliance with their amazing influences on the world. None of them are overly grand in their philosophies and seem like they would be relatable and create an interesting conversation between each other. I also would add comedian Victor Borge to my dinner party because I think we all need someone to make us smile and laugh. ...

Boettcher Scholar Year: 1992 Hometown: Black Hawk College/Degree: Colorado State University – B.S. finance (1996); Harvard Business School – M.B.A. (2000) Tell us about your current work and how long you’ve been doing it. What is your favorite aspect of your current occupation? I'm currently on sabbatical after 13+ years at Google and a little under two years at Tesla, where I served as the CFO. I loved my work as a finance executive and CFO. It was a daily search for truth. In its simplest form, my role was to bring insights and foresights to the table each day to optimize resource allocation and decision making for the organizations for which I worked. What could be better than that? What role has being a Boettcher Scholar played into where you are and what you are doing now? The Boettcher Scholarship was quite literally my only ticket to higher education. I have always felt that since I was granted this wonderful gift that I have an ongoing obligation to the foundation – and to the scholars that have followed – to make good use of it. My view is that the Boettcher Scholarship shouldn't be thought of as an end. It's the beginning of a life dedicated to the values of intellectual achievement, leadership, community involvement and character. Tell us about your involvement in activities, organizations, or groups outside of work. I keep myself busy with a variety of different things. I'm a serial team manager for our kids' sports teams. I serve on the audit committee of Sacred Heart Schools and on the alumni board of the Boettcher Foundation. I've also served on the national board of Positive Coaching Alliance. For the past two years, my wife and I have also been very active in politics – we have gotten to know many aspiring U.S. House of Representatives candidates and have helped campaign and raise money for them. Physical fitness is also a big deal in our house.  I'm psyched to have completed the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon twice, once in 2012 and again last summer. What’s the best advice you’ve received and what advice do you have for current graduates entering your career field? On values (from a business school professor): Integrity is binary. On excellence (from a former boss & mentor):  Winners don't believe in trade-offs or diminishing returns. My practical advice for new graduates entering finance: Hone the skills necessary to turn data into analysis, into insight and ultimately into action. When you drive action, you are adding value. The rest is just part of the journey. If you could have dinner with one person or a few people from history, whom would you choose and why? This answer changes depending on what I am learning about at any given time. The easy answer here is Abraham Lincoln. Leonardo daVinci as well. Currently though, I have a real interest in Lyndon B. Johnson. From my perspective, his domestic policies were a great legacy overshadowed by his handling (or not handling) of the Vietnam War. I'd really like to get inside his head and understand the calculus that ultimately led him to not seek re-election and indirectly pave the way for Richard Nixon to come to power....

Boettcher Scholar Year: 2015 Hometown: Denver University: Colorado School of Mines – B.S. in computer science (December 2018), M.S. in computer science (anticipated December 2019) What are you currently interested in pursuing after graduating? I am enrolled in a master’s program with plans to work for the defense industry after graduating in the winter of 2019. Tell us about what activities, groups and/or organizations you have joined in college and why you joined them. As of this fall, I have been doing theater for almost a decade. So when I came to Mines, I joined the theater community where I act in, direct and produce shows. I am also the editor for the Oredigger newspaper's arts and culture section. I think it is important to pursue passions outside of what you are doing in school to avoid burning out on the same subjects. Tell us about an important mentor you have had. When I've needed advice, I've turned to a lot of professors at Mines. Some of the best career and life advice I've received has come from my data structures professor, for whom I went on to be a teacher's assistant. He worked in industry for years before going into teaching, which is the same path I'd like to take with my career. What's the best advice you've ever received? The best advice I've received recently was from my stage manager while I was directing a show. We had a rough dress rehearsal for the show, and I was rather stressed. She reminded me that everything comes together in the end. In theater, perfection isn't necessary for a good show. As in life, perfection isn't always worth the stress. If you could have dinner with one person or a few people from history, who would you choose and why? I would love to have a conversation with Julie D'Aubigny because she has an absolutely fascinating story which really needs to become a play or a movie. Long story short, she was a 17th century French woman who was an accomplished swordsman, opera singer and rogue. As an aside, there is a musical about her which debuted in 2017....

Boettcher Scholar Year: 1983 Hometown: Brush College/Degree: Colorado State University – B.S. in chemical engineering 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 my own business providing project management and custom database software for agricultural businesses in Colorado, including the country’s largest satellite cattle auction firm and several irrigation companies. In 2007, I combined my children’s participation in competitive gymnastics and my knack for event planning to become first the coordinator, and now the director, of the Rocky Mountain Open Men’s Junior Olympic Gymnastics Meet, held every year at the Air Force Academy. My work is different every day, which keeps life interesting. What role has being a Boettcher Scholar played into where you are and what you are doing now? After graduating from CSU, I moved to Los Angeles to realize my dream of working for the space program. As a design engineer with AlliedSignal Aerospace, I worked as part of the team developing the carbon dioxide removal system currently flying on the International Space Station. Being a Boettcher Scholar gave me the courage to make this first big move, but I always hoped to return to Colorado. In 1994, my husband and I moved back, started our family and raised two amazing children, Paul and Sydney. I’m excited for the opportunity to give back to the Boettcher community through the Boettcher Scholar Alumni Board. Tell us about your involvement in activities, organizations or groups outside of work. Most of my volunteer activities have been associated with my children’s interests. I was a Girl Scout troop leader for 13 years, treasurer and volunteer coordinator for the Highlands Ranch High School Band Boosters for three years, a member of the School Accountability Committees at both Highlands Ranch and Rock Canyon high schools for seven years, and the event organizer for the Rock Canyon/Regis Jesuit High School “Catch for the Cure” breast cancer awareness softball game and fundraiser from 2014-2016. Now that I’m an empty nester I’m looking for new opportunities to get involved in the greater Colorado community! What’s the best advice you’ve received and what advice do you have for current graduates entering your career field? The best advice I received at my first engineering job was not to worry if you don’t have all the answers but to ask questions and learn something from each person you interact with. I would offer this same advice to all new graduates. Never feel like you must know all the answers, but always stay curious and open to new experiences. Getting a degree is hard work and takes a lot of dedication, but it is not the end of your education. In fact, it’s really the start! If you could have dinner with one person or a few people from history, whom would you choose and why? I would enjoy having dinner with the astronauts from the Mercury program. My dream of working for the space program started when I saw the movie The Right Stuff. Talking with John Glenn, Scott Carpenter or Alan Shepard about their training and experiences in space would be fascinating. I would want to know more about how they and their families dealt with the excitement and the dangers of early space travel, what motivated them to join the program and what they want their legacy to be....