Author: Kristi Arellano

Dan Bishop’s varied career has included roles as a chemist, software entrepreneur, technical writer and college professor. But the common thread that unites those pursuits has always been a love of science and logic. It’s a love that has driven the 1962 Boettcher Scholar since his youth and continues to motivate his work as a community volunteer, lecturer and fundraiser in retirement. Born in Pueblo, Dan moved often during his youth, but he ultimately spent the final years of high school in Denver, where he graduated from Abraham Lincoln High School. He recalls coming of age as Sputnik and the resulting space race dominated the American psyche. High-performing students were encouraged to pursue advanced level courses in math and science. It was an area where Dan found a natural aptitude. “My dad worked at Lockheed Martin, and I kept a three-ring binder of all the launches and successes and failures” he recalls, adding that he also served in the corps of young “Sputnik spotters” on the University of Denver campus when he was a junior high student. Dan used his Boettcher Scholarship to attend the University of Colorado, where he earned a degree in chemistry. He spent a few years as a chemist for Sherwin-Williams near Oakland, California, before he decided to pursue a graduate degree in chemistry. He earned his doctorate in chemistry from the University of Kansas and taught college-level chemistry for several years before developing an interest in computer technology in the late 1970s. “It was just when personal computers were coming out, and I saw an opportunity to write some of the first educational software,” he recalled. Dan started a small business writing software, and his products included some of the first graphical laboratory simulations in chemistry. The software venture dominated Dan’s life until his wife, Ann, was transferred to Fort Collins and he once again returned to academia, this time in the engineering department at Colorado State University. After a brief hiatus, Dan became a technical writer and then a software programmer for a small company in Boulder. He was eventually lured back to teaching, this time in CSU’s chemistry department, where he taught until he retired in 1994. Retirement has been anything but quiet for Dan, who after moving to Salida five years ago, quickly became involved with the Central Colorado Humanists, a group whose philosophical approach to life focuses on science, rational thought and reason. Dan became president of the group and helped grow its membership to 150. As part of his work, Dan occasionally gives community lectures about Mars and other science-related topics, allowing him to rekindle the fascination from his youth. Dan also helps the group with fundraising for its scholarship program. Last year the group raised $7,000 – enough to fund seven scholarships for local graduates. It’s a great way to pay forward his own great fortune as a Boettcher Scholar. “I don’t think there is any way to really describe adequately the effect the (Boettcher) scholarship had on my personal life,” Dan said, adding that neither of his parents had attended college and affording college would have been a struggle for the family. In addition to his work with the Central Colorado Humanists, Dan’s hobbies include watercolor painting, playing the cello (a pursuit he took up at the age of 67) and spending time with his family. Dan and his wife have two daughters and two grandchildren....

By Joanne Ostrow  Contributing Writer, Denver Business Journal An empty darkroom used for storage at the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities has been refashioned into a state-of-the-art digital lab, open to the public and offering classes for all ages, thanks to a collaboration among public/private, arts, business and philanthropic sources. The new Digital Creative Arts Lab (DCAL) at the Arvada Center offers classes in animation, digital printmaking, green screen technology, Photoshop, wearable art and more in a lab stocked with 3D printers, laptops and tablets.    ...

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. Name: Joel Minor Scholar Year:  2007 Hometown: Lafayette College(s), Degree(s) and Graduation Year(s): Colorado College, B.A. Environment Policy 2011; Stanford University, M.S. Environment & Resources 2014; Stanford Law School, J.D. 2014 Tell us about your current work and how long you’ve been doing it. What is your favorite aspect of your current occupation? I am a third-year associate attorney at Earthjustice, the nation's oldest and largest public interest environmental law firm. It's my dream job.  I focus on reducing air pollution and methane emissions from the oil and gas sector through litigation over nationally applicable regulations as well as administrative proceedings to address more discrete issues in Colorado. Every morning I wake up excited to go to work and advocate to protect communities in Colorado and throughout the West from the harmful health impacts of oil and gas development. What role has being a Boettcher Scholar played into where you are and what you are doing now? I really took the idea of giving back to Colorado to heart.  I remain endlessly grateful for the opportunity to go to an amazing school like Colorado College for free. It opened my mind to so many ideas I never would have encountered, and opened doors to educational and career opportunities I never would have imagined. A big part of why I decided to come back to Colorado after law school was so that I could give back to the community that nurtured me and believed in me. Tell us about your involvement in activities, organizations or groups outside of work. I am on the Colorado College Alumni Board. I also volunteer with my local Democratic Party chapter and with the Colorado LGBT Bar Association. Right now I'm spending a lot of time campaigning for Angela Cobián, my friend from the Colorado College debate team, who is running for Denver School Board. What’s the best advice you’ve received and what advice do you have for new graduates entering your career field? Don't go to law school until you know exactly what kind of lawyer you want to be. Too many people go to law school because they aren't sure what else they want to do. They end up getting saddled with a lot of debt and taking jobs that make them miserable, working long hours in a high-pressure environment on behalf of clients they don't agree with. It's better to take a few years to try out different jobs (ideally working with or around lawyers), and be absolutely certain that being a lawyer is right for you. If you could have dinner with one person or a few people from history, whom would you choose and why? Rachel Carson.  She was so ahead of her time, and without her talent to present complex scientific concepts in an accessible, and even lyrical way, there would be no modern environmental movement. I also think it would be fascinating to eat dinner with Oscar Wilde and RuPaul. Although they lived a century apart, they fill such similar roles in LGBT culture by using art and humor to critique society.  They are also both so smart, opinionated and funny that I think I would be laughing for days!...

By Debbie Kelley  The Gazette The college admissions and scholarship application process can be like playing a game of 20 questions. Where do you start? What are selection committees really looking for? What's the best way to brag about yourself? "All the Wisdom and None of the Junk: Secrets of Applying for College Admissions and Scholarships" is a new book from the Boettcher Foundation to help demystify and simplify the process for high school students. The authors work for the powerhouse Denver-based philanthropic organization, which each year awards full-ride, in-state scholarships to well-rounded, high-achieving seniors.      ...

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. Name: Lindsey Paricio Scholar Year: 2014 Hometown: Centennial 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 Malcom 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?! ...

College and scholarship applications ask students to write hundreds of thousands of words all centered around themselves, and yet reviewers repeatedly say that arrogance is the number one thing that will turn them off from reading a student’s file. At the same time, there are students each year who are declined from selection processes not because they aren’t incredibly competitive and compelling, but because they’ve failed to fully own their achievements. We get it. It’s a mind-bender. That’s why we spend one whole section of our book, All the Wisdom and None of the Junk detailing strategies for how to own your accomplishments without sounding arrogant. The trick to striking the right balance between humility and confidence is to objectively discuss your achievements in a straightforward and factual way. This will invariably serve you better than being overly humble and therefore masking your impact or being overly proud and thereby overstating your contributions. So if you’re the president of the club, don’t tell us you “participated.” State the fact that you led it…and then stop short of aggrandizing yourself with modifiers that can rub committee members the wrong way. We give actual examples in the book, but some of these inflated adverbs are “single-handedly,” “expertly,” and “superbly.” Simply tell us what you did and leave it to us and your recommendation writers to praise you for it. Better to quantify your contributions (like citing the number of people served or dollars raised) and let those accomplishments speak for themselves. For deeper insight into this tip and other secrets of applying for college admission and scholarships, check out our new book All the Wisdom and None of the Junk. It gives students inside information – but only what they truly need to create exceptional college and scholarship applications. Learn more....

DENVER—History Colorado has announced the naming of a new gallery space set to host the latest exhibition, Zoom In: The Centennial State in 100 Objects, being presented with support by Colorado State University. The Tim Schultz Gallery presented by the Boettcher Foundation will be the home of the new exhibition, opening in November 2017. “The Boettcher Foundation is honored to partner with History Colorado to recognize Tim’s long career as a public servant and philanthropic leader,” said Katie Kramer, president and CEO of the Boettcher Foundation. “We can’t think of a better way to honor Tim than with this beautiful space that will help tell the stories of our state and its people.”  ...

Over the years we have read thousands upon thousands of scholarship essays. And yet despite that massive amount, the types of mistakes we see tend to fall into similar categories. Generally speaking, effective essays are emotionally honest and give insight into who the applicant is as a person. They illustrate genuine motivation and goals, rather than superficial or heavy-handed interest in issues or accomplishments that students THINK we want them to care about. Boiled down, here are the most common essay mistakes we see: The essay reiterates the resume or transcript. Don’t fill your valuable essay space with information that can easily be found in other parts of your application. Students write more about another person than themselves. Many essay prompts will ask about a person you admire or who has influenced you. Even though you’re talking about someone else, make sure that you and what you’ve learned from the other person are the focus of your personal essay. Students write more about the issue than themselves. Again, some essay prompts will ask you to write about an issue or you may simply want to do so because it matters to you. Although you’re passionate about it, don’t make the mistake of writing more about the issue than about why it’s important to you. The essay is more about what happened than its significance. Don’t build up the tension with a great story that never ties back to its effect on you as a person. The student writes about challenges but doesn’t illustrate growth. Challenges and obstacles can be some of the most compelling elements of college or scholarship applications—that is, if applicants are able to demonstrate how they’ve overcome their circumstances and grown as a result. For deeper insight into this tip and other secrets of applying for college admission and scholarships, check out our new book All the Wisdom and None of the Junk. It gives students inside information – but only what they truly need to create exceptional college and scholarship applications. Learn more....

The reality of reading applications is that review committee members read tons of them in one sitting. So it's tough when we pick up the 10th application that's clearly trying to impress rather than just owning who the person is. You know what we mean - we've all been in that social situation where someone pretends to like something just to get in with the cool clique and everyone else looks at each other uncomfortably. It’s painfully obvious when people aren’t being themselves. Sure, you can write about weighty issues like climate change or worldwide poverty, but only if you are really passionate about them write in your natural voice make reviewers want to meet you in person by sharing your genuine self Otherwise, we'd much rather read about your love of BBQ or why Marvel is better than DC (or vice versa). Being authentic illustrates healthy self-awareness, expressiveness and self-regard. Plus, if you write about something you’re honestly passionate about in your application, then you’ll write with enthusiasm. And that enthusiasm will be catching. For deeper insight into this tip and other secrets of applying for college admission and scholarships, check out our new book All the Wisdom and None of the Junk. It gives students inside information – but only what they truly need to create exceptional college and scholarship applications. Learn more....

Far too often applicants shy away from sharing the most interesting parts of themselves. As a result, their applications are flat and generic – nothing like the intriguing and multi-dimensional people writing them. Lest you hesitate to fly your geek flag and fully embrace your quirks in something so imposing as a college application, let us count the reasons why we love it when students do: People are fascinating and students who let their unique identities shine through their applications automatically hook us, Nothing is more compelling than someone owning his or her own space, Quirks are inherently distinctive, so sharing yours makes your application stand out from the pile, Embracing your eccentricities – and sharing them with strangers – demonstrates courage and self-awareness, Sharing your individuality allows us to see the person behind the application and really get to know you, Seeing the person behind the application (#5) makes reviewers want to meet you in person by inviting you to an interview or to visit campus, Knowing more about you allows selection committee members to better see how you’ll fit with their incoming class and institution, Illustrating how your particular passions translated into extra courses or other intellectual pursuits (like organizing El Dia de Los Muertos celebrations or re-enacting Renaissance jousts in authentic regalia) bolsters your academic profile by highlighting your intellectual curiosity, And did we mention that all this makes your application far more interesting to read because you sound like your own inimitable self and not like everyone else? The key is to write about topics that you actually enjoy – not that you think the committee WANTS you to enjoy. So let your dorkily unbridled pastime or your unabashed owning of your own personality sweep us up in its enthusiasm. For deeper insight into this tip and other secrets of applying for college admission and scholarships, check out our new book All the Wisdom and None of the Junk. It gives students inside information – but only what they truly need to create exceptional college and scholarship applications. Learn more....