LEAP Student Highlight – Renee Badertscher


Renee Badertscher is a second year graduate student in the Arts Leadership and Cultural Management program.

Renee was born in California but has lived in Colorado most of their life, having moved to Boulder with their family when they were 10. In speaking with Renee, they explained that they moved to Fort Collins to attend Colorado State University “as soon as I could when I turned 18!” Renee received their Bachelors in Art History and Anthropology from Colorado State University and explained that in her undergraduate studies, they were mostly interested in the arts and cultural aspect of their education. But, as an undergraduate student Renee felt that teachers “didn’t really explain what I could do with my degree. Most people assume you’re going to teach, which I wasn’t sure that I wanted to do.” At first Renee thought maybe they wanted to get their master’s in Art History but then decided to go in a different direction. They found the LEAP program sort of serendipitously while researching possible career paths that fit their interests on the internet. Renee explained that when they found the program they exclaimed, “Oh, oh this exists! This is what I wanted to do – oh there’s a name for it – I was sort of stunned. I didn’t think there were programs like this because no one had ever told me.”

Since her acceptance, Renee hasn’t looked back. In speaking about the program they enthusiastically explained, “in the program you’re going to be taught things that you have to know, even if it’s not your favorite, and you might not do great at them but then there are the classes that introduce you to the things that do interest you and it exposes you to what you might want to do with your life. I feel that structuring the coursework that way ensures that everyone gets all the information and it also ensures that you also get to find exactly what you want to do and it specifically allows what you want to get out of the program.” Additionally they explained their positive interaction with the staff explaining “The faculty always seems willing to work with you, they’re always ready to answer questions or help you out and I really appreciate that. I like when I can have a sit down with a professor and really hash stuff out if I’m struggling or just knowing they’re going to answer my questions.”

Renee’s positive attitude and continuous participation in opportunities associated with the program is leading to more doors for Renee to open. We’re just as excited for Renee to work through their last two semesters as they are! Have a great fall semester and keep up the great work!