Alumni Board Scholar Profile: Q&A with 2016 Scholar Eric Paricio

Alumni Board Scholar Profile: Q&A with 2016 Scholar Eric Paricio

Boettcher Scholar Year: 2016
Hometown:  Centennial
University & Degrees: Colorado State University, B.A. in vocal music with minors in physics and mathematics, anticipated 2020.

What are you currently interested in pursuing after graduating?

During my senior year in high school, I student directed the men’s choir and fell in love with teaching. I plan on becoming a high school teacher in physics, music, and/or math. I would also love to compose music — one of my hobbies since high school — and continue live sound mixing, which I have done for a cappella groups around Fort Collins the last three years.

Tell us about what activities, groups and/or organizations you have joined in college and why you joined them.

My longest and deepest involvement has been with Bassic A Cappella, a student-run a cappella group at CSU. I love making music with my peers in this environment. I’ve learned how to beatbox, and I’ve had the chance to serve as president, music director, and arranger. I have also been a Presidential Ambassador for a year now, and I look forward to leading the 15-person Presidential Ambassador team next year as the philanthropy chair.

Tell us about an important mentor you have had.

My family always relied on my grandpa — or Bompa, as we called him — for love, moral clarity, and the bonds of family. He embodied who I hope to become, always doing the right thing, no matter how hard he had to work for it. As an example, Bompa singlehandedly provided the American troops body armor in the Middle East after 9/11. Political reasons prevented normal distribution of the armor, but my grandfather didn’t rest until he made deals with companies across the world to get those troops armor. He never expected a single penny. My Bompa passed away last summer, but he is still a role model in my life and always will be.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

“Whatever seems the most urgent is not always the most important.” Dr. Tony Frank, chancellor of the CSU system, shared these thought-provoking words in a special meet-and-greet with the CSU Presidential Ambassadors. Dr. Frank told a story about statewide budget cuts and how the CSU staff were so focused on fixing that problem they almost skipped a children’s holiday caroling for the CSU president. In that moment, the budget seemed urgent, but those kids’ dreams were more important. This distinction between urgent and important has been and continues to be paramount in my life.

If you could have dinner with one person or a few people from history, who would you choose and why?

If I could have dinner with anyone from all of history, I would choose Hildegard von Bingen. Hildegard was a medieval composer, philosopher, saint, and academic widely known in a variety of disciplines. Most importantly, Hildegard von Bingen was a woman. In my music history classes, the first composer we learn about is Hildegard: a woman. She was both a composer and patron of the arts, employing many other composers. She was a radical and influential person in the 12th century, and I would love to hear her stories, experiences, and how she overcame the many struggles she faced.

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