Mark Tercek, CEO of The Nature Conservancy, visits with Boreas students.

Boreas Booyas offer a forum for building community through discussions, collaboration and fun. At least twice a semester, we invite special guests to share their leadership insights and lessons. These guests include innovators, change makers and leaders from across sectors. No need RSVP is required, but it does help us estimate attendance.

Boreas Booya Location and Time:
Select Thursdays (see below for dates), 4:30 ­– 6 p.m.
IonE Commons, Room R350 of the Learning and Environmental Sciences Center
1954 Buford Ave, Saint Paul

September 14 – Fall Kick-off
Facilitated by the Boreas Student Advisory Team
At Boreas we are looking for graduate and professional students (and post-docs!) who are interested in developing as the leaders and change agents society needs to make progress on complex challenges like sustainability. Is that you? If so, get involved with Boreas.

October 5 – Who Controls the Story of Science? An Exploration on Access and Participation in Communicating Science
Facilitated by Student Advisory Team
As scholars, researchers and scientists, we have a responsibility to locate the best scientific information, produce sound science, and communicate our results. We will explore the nexus of who has control over scientific information and how can the role of new media influence public participation and policy.

November 9 – Special Guests, The Cutting Edge of Professional Development: Lessons from Science House
Learn from the Science Museum of Minnesota’s professional development team, Science House. Science House creates dynamic training in the community focused on equity and organizational change with an outcomes-driven and research-driven edge.

November 30 – Bottling Confidence: Balancing Imposter Syndrome
Facilitated by Student Advisory Team
Being surrounded by brilliant minds in graduate school can make one feel inferior or out of place.  It can feel like a constant battle to “fake it until you make it.”  How can you embrace imposter syndrome and thwart it to be effective in school, life and leadership scenarios? We’ll talk briefly about the research on academics and imposter syndrome and then dive into practical ways to capture moments of capability that can help to sustain motivation and provide a reality check on imposter syndrome.


Booya (also spelled booyah, bouja, boulyaw, or bouyou) is a thick soup of unknown origin made throughout the Upper Midwest United States. Booya often requires up to two days and multiple cooks to prepare; it is cooked in specially designed “booya kettles” and usually meant to serve hundreds or even thousands of people. The name also refers to the event surrounding the meal.

Booya! is also an exclamation indicating satisfaction or accomplishment.

Boreas Booya goals are to enhance the Boreas community through informal gatherings centered on topics with connections to environmental leadership, graduate education, professional development or whatever participants choose. We hope to:

  1. provide a forum to tackle big questions, share insights, get feedback and solve problems
  2. empower Boreas participants by opening up Boreas programming to different perspectives, interests and ideas
  3. cultivate collegial relationships through collaboration and conversation among a diverse group of peers.

Show up! Boreas Booyas are held on select Thursdays from 4:30-6 p.m. during the semester at the IonE Commons, Learning and Environmental Sciences Building, Room R350. All University of Minnesota graduate and professional students and post-docs are invited to attend. No application or RSVP is necessary.

What happens at the weekly Booyas? Anything is fair game, but here are some possible topics and types of meetings:

Topic ideas:

  • building a career that spans traditional boundaries — be it science and policy, physics and economics, or art and conservation
  • preparing for nonacademic career paths
  • urban gardens as a tool for growing environmental awareness
  • input or feedback on an idea for a Boreas project

Types of meetings:

  • share a TED video or other talk and discuss
  • organize a panel and discussion on a specific topic or question
  • discuss a news article or short essay

Anyone is welcome to host a Booya! If you have an idea for a Boreas Booya!, write a short “pitch” explaining your idea and how you envision organizing the meeting (~200 words). Email your pitch along with at least three Thursday dates you are willing and able to host. A Boreas staff member will respond to offer feedback, coordinate scheduling and suggest additional resources or whatever else you need. And if you plan on having snacks or have special food requests, please include this information in your pitch.