Alumni Board Scholar Profile: Q&A with 2016 Scholar Mari McCarville

Alumni Board Scholar Profile: Q&A with 2016 Scholar Mari McCarville

Name: Mari McCarville
Boettcher Scholar Year: 2016
Hometown: Crawford
College/Degree: University of Denver, Music (BA) and Psychology (BA) and minor in leadership studies, 2020; Curriculum and Instruction (MA), 2021

What are you currently interested in pursuing after graduating?

I will be starting my masters in elementary education at DU in the fall, and after I graduate, I hope to teach internationally and inspire a love of learning in students all around the world. Ultimately, after teaching and traveling, I would like to pursue a doctorate degree in educational leadership or cognitive psychology.

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

Last year, I worked for the DU Center for Sustainability because I wanted to help reduce waste on campus by organizing Zero Waste Concerts at the music school. I also played flute in Wind Ensemble, gamelan in the Indonesian Music Ensemble, and danced in the North Indian Classical Ensemble because I love everything about music and movement. After I studied abroad in Salzburg, Austria, I became the co-artistic director for the Wild Beautiful Orchestra, a collaborative group of classical musicians who play rock, pop, and modern music. These groups allow me to connect with new people and explore my interest in arts, cultures, and the environment.

Tell us about an important mentor you have had.

My kindergarten teacher, Jennifer Eyler, was one of the most influential mentors in my life. She has been an inspiration for the past 17 years, and we have kept in touch since I was in her classroom at age five. I chose her for the 2016 Boettcher Foundation Teacher Recognition Award because she set me on the path toward where I am today. Her guidance and support inspired me to become an elementary teacher, and I can only hope that one day I will be as inspirational and influential to others as she has been to me.

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

Never compare your insides to someone else’s outsides.” Balin Anderson, Boettcher Scholar and psychotherapist, shared this advice at the Boettcher Foundation’s 2016 summer orientation. “In other words,” she said, “you only know you, and when you compare yourself to others, you are comparing yourself to who you think they are.” These words stuck with me throughout the past four years of my college career. Social comparison often leads to competition and hostility. The only way to create meaningful connections and build close relationships is to set aside comparison and ask someone, with authenticity and kindness, about who they are on the inside.

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 someone from the past, I would choose to meet the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Now a successful Supreme Court Justice, RBG grew up in Brooklyn, NY and overcame tremendous adversity to attend Harvard and Columbia. Today, she is an incredible advocate for gender equality and women’s rights, and even at age 86, she maintains her activist spirit. What was she like as a fiery teen? Who was RBG in college, and what lessons could she share to help all of us forge our own paths today? I would love to ask young Ruth these questions at dinner…or maybe I should just invite the 86-year-old RBG to dinner now and save these questions to ask her in person!

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