Profile: Michelle Travis
other month, Staff Notes Monthly spotlights a stochastically chosen staff
member. This month we profile Michelle Travis, a treasury analyst in Finance
An unconventional commute:
Most people probably dont know that Michelle Travis, who handles
financial matters for Finance & Administration, used to commute to
junior high school on a unicycle. It was only a mile, she
laughs, but I thought I was cool and different.
Michelle lived in Los Angeles then, but she moved to Boulder shortly
after digging out from the earthquake of 94. She completed a degree
in international affairs at CU-Boulder and toyed with the idea of leaving
town after graduation. There arent a whole lot of international
opportunities here, but I didnt want to leave lovely landlocked
Boulder, she explains. And so she never left.
As a good Boulderite she gets plenty of physical activity, even if she
doesnt unicycle to her Center Green office. She telemark skis, plays
ultimate Frisbee and soccer, and competes in the Denver Womens Hockey
League. She also hikes and backpacks and would like to try scuba diving
or a flying sport like skydiving or paragliding in the future.
Michelle on her unicycle.
Balancing the books:
Michelle came to UCAR as a temporary employee and then worked as an administrative
assistant before moving into her current position. As treasury analyst,
she works with Dan Wilson, the director of UCAR Treasury Operations. She
prepares board financial reports, tracks UCARs investment activities,
and helps monitor some of the organizations funds, pre-and-overspending,
and cash and debt obligations. UCARs acquisition of buildings and
the related construction projects keep her busy tracking costs in enormous
But spreadsheets arent the only thing shes known for around
the organization. Michelle was a judge in the Spring Fling lip sync contest
last May. That was me in the silly wizard hat, she admits.
She also got talked into carrying the cake on behalf of Finance
& Administration for the first leg of this years Up-the-Hill
Love of kids:
Michelle has always liked kids, from infants through teenagers. In the
past she worked in daycare and as a teachers aide. Shes even
given thought to a career in teaching. I could see myself moving
on, she says. You never know.
Right now she participates in Boulder County Partners, an organization
that pairs adult volunteers with at-risk youth for long-term friendships.
She and her 15-year-old junior partner have gotten together
at least once a week for the past two and a half years to play frisbee,
go bowling, ride horses, raft the Colorado River, and enjoy other activities.
Travel and photography:
One thing that Michelle plans to do more of is travel. She spent a year
in Austria and Germany on a study abroad program in her early 20s. Mostly
I tried to learn German and skied a lot, she recalls fondly. She
recently went back for a visit. It was great to practice my German.
I got off the plane and couldnt say anything at first, she
She would like to go to Alaska, Peru, New Zealand, and Southeast Asia
in the near future. I enjoy the challenge of a different culture,
new language, new friends, she says. I definitely want to
When she does, shell probably take her camera. An amateur photographer
and self-described old-fashioned, heavy film camera person,
Michelle makes calendars and stationery out of photos from backpacking
A band geek, but not a cheesehead:
Michelle reveals that she was a band geek back in high school.
In addition to woodwind instruments, she has dabbled in piano and guitar
over the years. Apparently it runs in the family: her brother, who lives
in Boulder, is the drummer for String Cheese Incident, a modern-day Grateful
Deadtype band whose music blends folk, bluegrass, rock, and jazz.
I go to one or two concerts a year, but Im not a cheesehead
in that sense, Michelle says, referring to the core of diehard String
Cheese Incident fans who follow the band on the road from concert to concert.
Thats not to say she cant be a little crazy. At a Halloween
party last year, she dressed as a clown and juggled with devils
sticks on the streets during a snowstormwhile riding the same unicycle
she had in junior high. Nicole Gordon
Also in this
the thick of climate change
quilters stitch for babies
for a Realignment
from Steve Dickson
Question: Nap room
tomorrow's cities have clean air?