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: 2014
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 Malcolm 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?!