Author: Boettcher Foundation

From going through the same degree program to working at the same company, Boettcher Scholars Christopher Allison and Jake Fuhrman have a lot in common. Christopher always wanted to be an astronaut – and that’s still his dream. A 2009 Scholar, he majored in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder, the same program Jake is in as a 2017 Scholar. Both Scholars shared a few of the same professors. “CU was the obvious go-to for aerospace,” said Jake. He always wanted to build airplanes after growing up watching his dad fly them as a pilot. After graduating, Christopher traveled to all seven continents and even ran his first half-marathon in Antarctica. He currently owns four restaurants in addition to his Senior Systems Engineer – Federal Agencies Integration Lead position at Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC). At SNC, Christopher is responsible for licensing high-tech projects through the appropriate federal agencies. “Basically, I’m a translator of technical-speak to government-speak,” Christopher said. Jake is a Technical Intern at SNC, a position he had applied for as a sophomore and junior but had received rejections both times. He applied a third time after seeing Christopher’s profile in a newsletter from the Presidents Leadership Class, a leadership program at CU Boulder that both Scholars were (and are) involved in. Jake reached out to Christopher and they connected as Boettcher Scholars. “I knew the cloth Jake was cut from,” said Christopher. “The vetting had been done from other organizations.” As a Technical Intern, Jake has a plethora of different projects he’s working on. “My main focus right now is taking a high-level overview of a project – a whole life cycle – and breaking it down into individual steps,” Jake said. Christopher’s entrance to the company was not too different from Jake’s. He was actually at a Boettcher Finalist event when he made the connection to SNC. “I sat at a table of a prospective Scholar whose dad was a program manager at Sierra Nevada,” said Christopher. “I asked if he determined internships at SNC, and he said he was pretty integral.” After following up, Christopher was offered a job. Both Scholars are now working at their dream aerospace company – one that allows them to not only practice their skills but challenge them. “These projects haven’t existed before. My favorite aspect is the futuristic innovation – like having the technology to put humans on the moon,” Jake said, referencing SNC’s Lunar Lander project. “Every day is a new adventure,” added Christopher. “We have audacious goals and we’re always pushing the envelope. In the paradigm of regulation, there’s isn’t a script written on how you do this.” Outside of work, Jake enjoys hiking on Boulder’s many trails and playing tennis. He plans to graduate next year and potentially pursue a fifth-year master’s program. Christopher brews beer and wine and loves to cook. COVID-19 has put some plans on hold – including his now-rescheduled wedding – but with four restaurants to look after, Christopher is still plenty busy. Christopher and Jake offered some advice for Boettcher Scholars. “Take advantage of all the opportunities,” said Jake. “And be grateful for all that Boettcher gives you. Without Boettcher, many opportunities would have never been open to me.” “Don’t be afraid to take opportunities, but also learn to say ‘no,’” Christopher said. “We say ‘yes’ to everything as Boettcher Scholars. Know your limitations.” Both Scholars encourage others to be bold and reach out – just like they did....

Boettcher Scholar Year: 2015 Hometown: Eads, CO University & Degrees: CSU, B.A. in Journalism and Media Communication What are you currently interested in pursuing after graduating? I graduated last year and am now working as a grain merchandiser with Tempel Grain in Wiley, CO. I also do freelance web design and social media management. I grew up on a fifth-generation farm and ended up at Tempel Grain by being part of the community. I’m able to apply my communication skills to the role I now have. Tell us about what activities, groups and/or organizations you have joined in college and why you joined them. I looked for things that sparked my interest - some agricultural and some political. I kept myself busy, though I do wish I would have tried a few more clubs and organizations outside of my comfort zone. Involvement: - College Republicans - Sigma Alpha (agriculture sorority) for professional and social connections - In my freshman year at DU, I participated in CRU and in the Presidents Leadership Program (PLP) - At CSU, I participated in honor societies Experiences: - The highlight at CSU was my study abroad trip to five countries in Europe, where I saw media outlets. We were in London during the royal wedding madness, which was good representation of major media events. - We recorded my cousin’s first album in Nashville, and I worked to help promote his first album and shows. Tell us about an important mentor you have had. My dad has been one of the best mentors. He always encouraged me and never had any doubt that I could do anything. He would listen, nod and say, “OK. Go do it.” What's the best advice you've ever received? Take chances. You’ll never know unless you try. Applying for the Boettcher was one of those stretches that worked well. If you could have dinner with one person or a few people from history, who would you choose and why? Joan of Arc and/or Harriett Tubman. Both were so selfless and brave for their beliefs. That is what I aspire to be....

Boettcher Scholar Year: 1999 Hometown: Dillon, CO (still hails from Ames, IA, from where he moved to elementary school in Highlands Ranch, CO) College/Degree: Colorado College, Mathematics Major; Denver Seminary, Master of Divinity Tell us about your current work and how long you’ve been doing it. What is your favorite aspect of your current occupation? After training to be a math teacher, I got involved in youth ministry. Now, I am helping start new nondenominational churches near Bountiful, Utah. I was a pastor in the church in Ogden, Utah that started this new church. Utah is growing. My favorite parts of this work are the organizational development and strategy for expansion. I love people and have a pastoral heart. It is sacred to be with people in their highest highs and lowest lows. In my area there is no local theological education, so we raise up people within the church who have a call to serve. What role has being a Boettcher Scholar played into where you are and what you are doing now? On one side of the coin, the scholarship was a gift for me and my family. My sister, brother and I were raised in a single parent household where attending a private college, like Colorado College where we all ended up, was not affordable. All three of us were Boettcher Scholars at CC. We were fortunate to receive a gift of great value from the Boettcher Foundation. On the other side of the coin, I am paying the gift forward. Even though I live outside of Colorado, I keep the commitment to service and apply what I have been given to find strategic ways to invest in the lives of people for the good of the community. This means making intentional choices and keeping an open hand for others. In the COVID crisis that is coming to Davis County, I will be reaching out to residents strategically for the good of the community. Tell us about your involvement in activities, organizations, or groups outside of work. Since 2014, my wife Jennifer and I have been foster parents. I have a growing family with three daughters (3rd, 5th, 6th grades). In warm weather, I am the softball coach for my oldest daughter. We may or may not get a season this year. For us, homeschooling is a new thing. It is hard to balance work and teaching. We are looking to buy a house with our growing family. Also, we have a small group of Boettcher Scholar Alumni in Utah that I’m happy to be organizing. What’s the best advice you’ve received and what advice do you have for current graduates entering your career field? “It takes five years to recover from seminary.” You’ll learn more than you ever learned in school after you graduate. Love learning as a discipline. Succeed for the sake of others. Apply learning to more learning. If you could have dinner with one person or a few people from history, whom would you choose and why? Corrie Ten Boom:  She was a Dutch woman who bravely assisted Jews escaping the Nazi regime and showed incredible courage and forgiveness to lead, serve, forgive and battle without murdering everyone in her path. Rich Mullins: He was a Christian musician who at first struggled with making money. He chose poverty by setting up his estate worth millions of dollars (from his tours and albums) to go to charity while he was paid the average wage of single person. He lived in New Mexico among Native Americans. He was killed in a car accident....

DENVER, May 22, 2020 — The Boettcher Foundation has selected eight researchers to receive funding through the Boettcher Foundation’s Webb-Waring Biomedical Research Awards program. The recipients, known as Boettcher Investigators, represent five of Colorado’s top research institutions: Colorado College, Colorado State University, National Jewish Health, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, and the University of Colorado Boulder. The $1.88 million in awards support promising, early career scientific researchers, allowi­ng them to establish their independent research and make it competitive for major federal and private awards. Recipients are awarded $235,000 in grant funding to sustain up to three years of biomedical research. “This class of Boettcher Investigators are the example of Colorado’s innovation in bioscience research that aims to improve our preparation, response, and deepen our knowledge of human health issues,” said Katie Kramer, president and CEO of the Boettcher Foundation. “We are proud to support their expert work at this significant juncture in their research careers.” Including the class of 2020, 76 Boettcher Investigators have received funding through the Webb-Waring program. Since 2010, Boettcher Investigators have gone on to earn a collective $80 million in subsequent independent research funding. Ninety-five percent of award recipients remain at Colorado research institutions, advancing the foundation’s mission of keeping Colorado’s top scientific minds in the state. “Colorado BioScience Association congratulates the 2020 Class of Boettcher Investigators,” said Jennifer Jones Paton, president & CEO of Colorado BioScience Association. “Boettcher Foundation and the Webb-Waring Biomedical Research Awards support our state’s most promising scientific researchers. Our life sciences ecosystem applauds Boettcher Foundation’s investments in early-stage research and looks forward to collaborating with the newest Boettcher Investigators.” The Webb-Waring awards announcement comes one week after the Foundation announced its grantees of nearly $1 million in biomedical research funding to fight COVID-19 and potential future pandemics.  The Boettcher Foundation has been a leading philanthropic supporter of biomedical research in Colorado dating back to the 1940s. The 2020 Class of Boettcher Investigators and their research topics are: Colorado College Jennifer F. Garcia, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Molecular Biology – RNA degradation and autophagy Colorado State University Daniel Regan, D.V.M., Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Cancer Pathology – Tumor microenvironment modulation of metastasis and anti-cancer drug response National Jewish Health James Scott-Browne, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Biomedical Research – Transcriptional Control of T cell Function University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus Petter Bjornstad, M.D., Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine – Mechanisms underlying early diabetic kidney disease Suet Nee Chen Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Medicine, Cardiology Division – Molecular genetics and pathogenesis of inherited cardiomyopathies Andra Lee Dingman, M.D., Department of Pediatrics, Division of Child Neurology – Chronic changes in brain plasticity after neonatal stroke Sridharan Raghavan, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Medicine – Understanding genetic and non-genetic contributors to diabetes risk University of Colorado Boulder Justin Brumbaugh, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology – Post-transcriptional regulation and stem cell biology For more information about the Webb-Waring Biomedical Research Awards, visit the Boettcher Foundation website. High-resolution photos of individual recipients are available by request. About the Boettcher Foundation: At the Boettcher Foundation, 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....

DENVER, May 18, 2020 — The Boettcher Foundation today announced that it is recognizing a group of standout Colorado teachers for their exemplary influence in educating some of the state’s top students. As part of the Boettcher Scholarship Program, which provides Colorado’s most talented students with scholarships to attend a Colorado college or university, the Boettcher Foundation also honors the teachers who have committed themselves to supporting the high-achieving students who compete for the scholarship. “We know that teachers are a critical component in the success of Colorado’s students,” said Tiffany Anderson, director of programs at the Boettcher Foundation. “For every student who leads a club, organization, or excels in the classroom, there is an inspirational educator behind the scenes who is motivating and accelerating that student's thinking." This year’s teacher honorees were selected by the 100 finalists for the Boettcher Scholarship. Each educator will receive a plaque, a personalized tribute from the student who selected them, and a $500 grant to be used for a project or activity to benefit students at their school. “These dedicated and passionate educators have championed excellence in their classrooms, and we are proud to recognize them for helping Colorado students to achieve their goals and prepare for their futures,” Anderson said. A complete list of the 2020 Teacher Recognition Award recipients follows. About the Boettcher Foundation: At the Boettcher Foundation, 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. 2020 Teacher Recognition Award Recipients School District High School Educator Name Academy 20 Discovery Canyon High School Janelle Watkins Academy 20 Pine Creek High School Kelly Newcomb Academy 20 The Classical Academy Kurt Mueh Adams 12 Five Star Schools Horizon High School Jason Stevens Adams 12 Five Star Schools Legacy High School Beth Bynarowicz Adams 12 Five Star Schools Northglenn High School (nominated by finalist from Stargate Charter School ) Kelly Lamsal Adams-Arapahoe 28J Rangeview High School Lorenzo Brown Boulder Valley RE 2 Boulder High School Nathan Hobbs Boulder Valley RE 2 Broomfield High School Zachary Hindman Boulder Valley RE 2 Broomfield High School Andrea Binion Boulder Valley RE 2 Fairview High School Peter Szameitat Boulder Valley RE 2 Fairview High School Paul Strode Boulder Valley RE 2 Fairview High School Tracy Brennan Boulder Valley RE 2 Peak to Peak Charter School Jacob Lehr Boulder Valley RE 2 Peak to Peak Charter School Andy Matthews Boulder Valley RE 2 Peak to Peak Charter School Allen Hankla Boulder Valley RE 2 Peak to Peak Charter School Nathaniel Kingsbury Boulder Valley RE 2 Peak to Peak Charter School Robert Hettmansperger Charter School Institute Animas High School Sara Price Charter School Institute Colorado Early Colleges Fort Collins High School Collin Turbert Cherry Creek 5 Cherokee Trail High School Stephen Fromme Cherry Creek 5 Grandview High School Lise Olsen-Dufour Cherry Creek 5 Smoky Hill High School Katherine Palmer Cherry Creek 5 Smoky Hill High School Catherine Keller Colorado Springs 11 Doherty High School Jeff Neumeyer Colorado Springs 11 Doherty High School Rob Duensing Delta County 50(J) Cedaredge High School Craig Cerise Delta County 50(J) Delta High School Tonya MacKendrick Delta County 50(J) Hotchkiss High School Jeannette Carey Denver County 1 Bruce Randolph High School Melodie Koss Denver County 1 Denver East High School Angela Rivas Denver County 1 Denver Montessori Junior Senior High School Rachel Balkcom Denver County 1 Denver School of Science & Technology: Byers High  School Casey Andree Denver County 1 Denver School of Science & Technology: Green Valley Ranch Madison Perry Denver County 1 Denver School of Science & Technology: Montview Kailey Buttrick Denver County 1 Denver School of Science & Technology: Montview Hannah Hathaway Denver County 1 Denver School of the Arts Miranda Popp Denver County 1 Denver South High School Jennifer Redlin Denver County 1 George Washington High School Laurie Buchanan Denver County 1 John F. Kennedy High School Paul Mahoney Denver County 1 Skinner Middle School Christopher Martin Denver County 1 STRIVE Prep – SMART Grant Thomas District 49 Sand Creek High School Nathan Wood Douglas County RE 1 Castle View High School Tia Yaryan Douglas County RE 1 Castle View High School Monte Sutton Douglas County RE 1 Douglas County High School Kelsey Faletra Douglas County RE 1 Douglas County High School Matt Leach Douglas County RE 1 Highlands Ranch High School Deborah Lynch Douglas County RE 1 Mountain Vista High School Shannon Vance Douglas County RE 1 Mountain Vista High School Jody Lanterna-Lewis Douglas County RE 1 Rock Canyon High School Susanne Petri Douglas County RE 1 Rock Canyon High School (Note: now at Cherry Creek HS) Sanae Popplewell Eagle County RE 50 Battle Mountain High School Timothy Caudill Eagle County RE 50 Eagle Valley High School Hannah Shapiro Elizabeth C-1 Elizabeth High School Robyn Poirier Estes Park R-3 Estes Park High School Barton Tofany Garfield 16 Grand Valley High School Julie Lana Garfield RE-2 Coal Ridge High School Michael Schwager Greeley 6 Greeley West High School Lea Sanford Greeley 6 Northfield High School Peter Wright Greeley 6 Northridge High School Darrin Ekern Gunnison Watershed RE1J Gunnison High School Bob Howard Harrison 2 Atlas Preparatory School Christopher Novak Hoehne Reorganized 3 Hoehne High School Constance Hass Home School Saguache County Karen Hoffner Jefferson County R-1 Chatfield Senior High School Cathy Galindo Jefferson County R-1 D'Evelyn Jr/Sr High School Becky Paschke Jefferson County R-1 D'Evelyn Jr/Sr High School Briant McKellips Jefferson County R-1 Jefferson Academy High School Eric Thimsen Jefferson County R-1 Ralston Valley High School Marcus Pennell Jefferson County R-1 Standley Lake High School Jeremiah Coraggio Jefferson County R-1 Wheat Ridge High School Arik Heim Lake County R-1 Lake County High School Cody Jump Lewis-Palmer 38 Palmer Ridge High School Debra Breazzano Lewis-Palmer 38 Palmer Ridge High School Tyler Dall Limon RE-4J Limon High School Greg Scherrer Littleton 6 Heritage High School Nathan Ubowski Mesa County Valley 51 Palisade High School Jeff Mason Pawnee RE-12 Pawnee High School Bret Robinson Platte Valley RE-7 Platte Valley High School Tonya Davies Poudre R-1 Fort Collins High School Chris Lee Poudre R-1 Poudre High School Wendi Miller Private School Colorado Academy Luis Terrazas Private School Colorado Rocky Mountain School Jeremy Wolf Private School Faith Christian Academy Courtney Waters Private School Kent Denver School Bradley Jackson Private School Mullen High School Katie Abeyta Private School Resurrection Christian School Angela Smith Private School Saint Mary's Academy Anne Evans Private School Valor Christian High School Denise Paswaters Pueblo City 60 Pueblo Centennial High School Cheryl Farrer Pueblo City 60 Pueblo Central High School Joanne Griego Pueblo City 60 Pueblo East High School Christine Kurtz Pueblo City 60 Pueblo East High School David Henderson Pueblo County 70 Pueblo West High School Sheila Sloan Salida R-32 Salida High School Todd Bright Springfield RE-4 Springfield High School Renee Loflin St. Vrain Valley RE1J Apex Homeschool Shelly Cox-Robie St. Vrain Valley RE1J Niwot High School Teresa Ewing Swink 33 Swink High School Judy Jenkins Telluride R-1 Telluride High School Derek Engebretsen Thompson R-2J Berthoud High School Allison Lanter Thompson R-2J Loveland High School Gregory Morrison Walsh RE-1 Walsh High School Joe Mundell  ...

Innovation Fund Recipients Include Expert Researchers at Colorado Universities, Hospitals DENVER, May 15, 2020 — Today the Boettcher Foundation is announcing the six grantees who will be awarded a total of just under $1 million in biomedical research funding to fight COVID-19 and potential future pandemics. The grantees represent several of Colorado’s top research hospitals and universities, including a number of collaborative partnerships. The grantees all are leading existing biomedical research efforts around COVID-19, with a collective emphasis on risk factors, treatment, testing, and vaccines. “As a group, the six projects are innovative in how they are researching multiple facets of COVID-19 and its impacts on Coloradans,” said president & CEO Katie Kramer. “We are proud to support these efforts at a time when biomedical research is a public health priority for response, treatment, and future pandemic prevention.” The Boettcher Foundation launched the COVID Biomedical Research Innovation Fund last month, creating a rapid response RFP targeted at the state’s leading investigators. More than 120 grant applications were submitted in the 10-day time frame before an initial team of experts reduced to a list of 39 finalists. From there, a review panel comprised of biomedical experts selected the six grantees last week. Awards will average $165,000. The following researchers submitted the winning proposals: James Crapo, MD, National Jewish Health and BioMimetix Elena Hsieh, MD, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus and Children’s Hospital Colorado Kara Mould, MD, National Jewish Health Rushika Perera, PhD; Brian Geiss, PhD; David Paterson, PhD, Colorado State University Theodore Randolph, PhD, University of Colorado Boulder and VitriVax Sue VandeWoude, DVM and Nicole Ehrhart, VMD, MS, Colorado State University   The Boettcher Foundation has supported biomedical research in Colorado since the 1940s. Since 2008, the investments have included more than $15 million in research grants through the Foundation’s Webb-Waring Biomedical Research Awards. The awards have supported 68 Boettcher Investigators to establish their bioscience and biomedical research, encouraging Colorado’s top scientific minds to remain in-state. “Colorado has long been home to incredible innovation, so it’s no surprise that we’re seeing an effort like this to support research around our state that could help us address this pandemic,” said Gov. Jared Polis.   About the Boettcher Foundation: 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....

Scholars to attend seven universities in Colorado DENVER, May 1, 2020 — A group of Colorado’s most talented graduating seniors has been named 2020 Boettcher Foundation Scholars, marking the newest class of students to earn the prestigious scholarship recognizing the next generation of dynamic thinkers and leaders. “This group of 42 students personify our mission to invest in the promise of Colorado and the potential of Coloradans,” said Katie Kramer, President and CEO of the Foundation. “Their collective talents, interests, and leadership are what stood out and we’re excited they have committed to our state institutions.” Established in 1952, the Boettcher Scholarship program annually awards scholarships to graduating high school seniors in Colorado. The four-year scholarship includes virtually all expenses to attend the Colorado school of the recipient’s choice: full tuition, fees, a book allowance and an annual stipend for living expenses. The scholarship also includes programming and support to ensure that students reach their full leadership potential. Scholars are selected based on academics, service, leadership and character. The Boettcher Scholar network includes more than 2,500 leaders who have gone on to make their marks in business, government, nonprofits, academia, and other industries. “Our 2020 Boettcher Scholars stood out from a highly competitive pool of nearly 1,500 qualified applicants,” said Tiffany Anderson, the Foundation’s director of programs. “This year’s class includes the founding board member of the Native American Youth Summit who has volunteered with the Pine Ridge Reservation for more than five years, the founder of a nonprofit organization that provides cyber security services, a composer for ballet and jazz routines, and a state Youth Advisory Council Representative. We’re confident that this year’s class represents the values the Boettcher family sought to encourage.” Scholar names, school districts, high schools, and photos follow. High-resolution images available upon request. About the Boettcher Foundation At the Boettcher Foundation, 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.   2020 Boettcher Scholars Isla Anderson Denver North HS CSU Colton Arciniaga Elizabeth HS DU Danny Arjona-Hau STRIVE Prep-Smart Academy CU Audrey Bankes Loveland HS CSU Ryan Bayer Pueblo East HS CSU Mikyla Bowen Northridge HS CSU Aidan Boyd Coal Ridge HS CC Mackenzie Boyd Castle View HS CC Branson Camp Colorado Early Colleges Fort Collins HS CU Jasey Chanders Apex Homeschool CU Owen Craig Cedaredge HS CU Helen Do Rangeview HS CU Benisa Ellis Springfield HS CCU Kat Falacienski Denver School of the Arts CC Sam Frykholm Lake County HS CC Ellie Gentry Peak to Peak Charter School CU Jossy Gonzalez-Franco Kennedy HS CU Jeffrey Hage Douglas County HS CU Quincy Hansen Faith Christian Academy CSU Taylor Harris Pueblo West HS CC Joslyn Hays Gunnison HS DU Colton Huff Doherty HS CU Aiden Ingenthron Castle View HS CC Caitlin Johnston Pueblo East HS CU Walt Jones Colorado Academy CC Annette Leyva Northfield HS CC Emma Logan Denver Montessori Jr./Sr. HS CC Mayerli Lopez-Hernandez Bruce Randolph HS DU Abbie McAdams Wheat Ridge HS DU Brynn McCall Saint Mary's Academy CSU Holly McCollough D'Evelyn Jr./Sr. HS CU Josh Mejia DSST: Green Valley Ranch DU Steven Oakes Grandview HS CU Angela Pena De Niz Atlas Preperatory School CU Sachi Rohilla The Classical Academy CU Sophie Russell Swink HS CSU Cameron Shelley Legacy HS CSM Shreya Shrestha Pine Creek HS CU Cassidy Simpson D'Evelyn Jr./Sr. HS CU Cassie Sterns Ralston Valley HS CU Jacob Tow Stargate Charter School CC Amy Weisensee Limon HS UNC ...

Boettcher Scholar Year: 1998 Hometown: Aurora University & Degrees: University of Denver -- BAs in Graphic Design & Spanish; Denver Seminary -- MA in Youth & Family Ministry     Tell us about your current work and how long you’ve been doing it. What is your favorite aspect of your current occupation?  Currently, I’m a stay-at-home mom with two boys, ages 4 and 6-next-month. I have lots of favorite things in this work – especially the frequent, sparkling joys of watching my boys discovering or experiencing something brand new. They often surprise me with how much they’ve learned. I occasionally experienced some of this delightful joy in my previous work as a teacher and youth pastor.   How has being a Boettcher Scholar affected what you are doing now?   There has been a long chain reaction catalyzed by not having school debt. I made job and life choices I may not have made otherwise. Now, that choice is staying home with my children. I’m so thankful to be free to make the choice to be home with my family. One’s path can go multiple ways.   Tell us about your involvement in activities, organizations, or groups outside of work. Each summer, I coach Boettcher scholars working at Mission Spark and the Boettcher Foundation. I run a local Mothers of Pre-Schoolers (MOPS) group to support moms and more. This group focuses on community service and education on social justice and family issues. Of course, we also connect on parenting. I work with middle school and high school students at my church. Right now, my small group is on a pause for the Covid-19 pandemic. This year, I’m on the PTCO executive board for our elementary school. In this capacity, I support projects that help the school’s educators, including providing mini grants for teachers. As a result of the board’s work, we are now are starting a community garden for the school and have more specific curriculum for special needs students. I’m part of Moms Demand Action, a political action group working to end gun violence. I never thought I would be so busy as a stay-at-home mom!   What advice do you have for current graduates entering your career field? My advice is applicable to virtually every field, including parenting: embrace the ‘&’. It is ok to be something and, at the same time, something else. Passionate & practical. Mom & person with ambitions that reach beyond motherhood. This is a movement away from dualistic thinking and into wholistic thinking. I’m an ‘&’; I have multiple sides and facets.   If you could have dinner with one person or a few people from history, whom would you choose and why? I would like to share dinner with Jesus; my Grandmother, who I’m named after; and Tina Fey, because nobody makes me laugh like her. Each of these dinners would be full of laughter and compassion.  ...

Boettcher Scholar Year: 2016 Hometown: Parker University & Degrees: University of Denver -- BS in Physics with minors in International Relations, Math, Leadership Studies, and Chinese     What are you currently interested in pursuing after graduating? After graduating, I plan to pursue a PhD in physics. This will entail 2 years of classes and up to 4 additional years in a lab. Ideally, my research will focus on light/matter interactions or quantum information.   Tell us about the activities, groups and/or organizations you have joined in college and why you joined them. The Society of Physics Students (SPS) focuses on outreach to K-12 students, providing physics demos and encouraging students to engage with science. We try to provide exciting science-based experiences for students in order to combat the common view that science is boring. The Pioneer Leadership Program (PLP) is a strong, interdisciplinary community of good people I could relate to and have conversations with. The Honors Program is full of good people and provides interesting course offerings. Through the Honors Program, I took writing and science courses in addition to a few electives and seminars. These were some of my favorite undergraduate courses. I have worked in the same physics research lab since midway through my freshman year, which has been an excellent source of continuity throughout my time in college.   Tell us about an important mentor you have had.   I met Dr. Mark Stephens while touring DU as a high school student – he showed me his physics lab, and I was immediately enamored. Dr. Stephens invited me to start working in his physics lab right away as a freshman. I was taken aback by the experience, and it completely changed my career aspirations. Dr. Stephens also serves as the SPS advisor. In that role, he has taught me about science education and outreach. Providing further guidance, Dr. Stephens referred me to a National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship, and it was recently awarded to me. This fellowship will fund the first 3 years of my PhD classes and research. Dr. Stephens often reminds students of their “vast spare time,” inspiring us to take advantage of the opportunities which surround us.   What's the best advice you've ever received?   When I was struggling to choose between attending DU and CU, Cam Hickert, Boettcher and DU alumnus, said “Wherever you go, the physics will be the same.” This helped me see that the people I worked with would have a far bigger impact on my academic experiences than the physics itself. As I choose between graduate schools, this same advice drives my decisions.   If you could have dinner with one person or a few people from history, who would you choose and why?  J Robert Oppenheimer, director of Manhattan Project, would be interesting dinner company. His pure interest in physics drove his studies, yet his work was entangled with numerous political and ethical issues. I would ask him about how he navigated these issues. Additionally, I’d ask about the impact physics, the Manhattan Project, and the bomb’s destructive effects had on him.  ...

Trustees also approve additional grant to support Statewide Relief Effort DENVER, April 8, 2020 — Today the Boettcher Foundation is announcing the creation of a $1 million biomedical research fund to fight COVID-19 and potentially curtail future pandemic outbreaks. Called the COVID Biomedical Research Innovation Fund, the Fund’s Request for Proposals (RFP) asks researchers and investigators to complete grant applications by the close of business on Friday, April 17. The rapid response strategy is both a short- and long-term approach. “We wanted to be strategic in our COVID-19 response by supporting scientific innovation to fight the pandemic immediately and help impact Coloradans in the future,” said Board of Trustee Chair Kenzo Kawanabe. “We know the good work being done in Colorado’s biomedical research and this represents an effort to accelerate support and prioritize public health.” The Boettcher Foundation has a long history of supporting biomedical research in Colorado dating back to the 1940s. More recently since 2008, these investments have included nearly $15 million in biomedical research grants through its Webb-Waring Biomedical Research Awards. The awards have supported 68 Boettcher Investigators to establish their bioscience and biomedical research, ensuring that Colorado’s top scientific minds remain in-state. “What we are experiencing is monumental in how it has impacted every community in Colorado,” said Colorado Gov. Jared Polis. “We want to support organizations that are so critical to providing solutions to fighting COVID-19. Colorado has long been home to incredible innovation, so it’s no surprise that we’re seeing an effort like this to support research around our state that could help us address this pandemic.” The RFP for the fund can be found at boettcherfoundation.org/innovationfund. A review panel of biomedical experts will review applications in early May before funding is disbursed. Grants will likely range between $25,000 and $250,000. For more information, visit boettcherfoundation.org/innovationfundfaqs. In addition to creating Boettcher COVID Biomedical Research Innovation Fund, the Foundation’s Board of Trustees have approved $50,000 to support Help Colorado Now, the state’s COVID Relief Fund, announced by Gov. Polis last month. The statewide relief effort is being hosted by the State of Colorado and Mile High United Way. “At Boettcher we understand the significance of bioscience and biomedical research and innovation in Colorado,” said President and CEO Katie Kramer. “Our approach in initiating our own fund and supporting the state’s efforts align with our core strategies to achieve transformational impact for Coloradans.” About the Boettcher Foundation: 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....