UW Highlights

As Wyoming’s only university, the University of Wyoming is committed to explore, create, and share knowledge. Wyoming Public Media captures the work of scholars, learners, and leaders who are committed to serving the state of Wyoming and contributing to national and international intellectual growth. You can hear some of our stories and features on these pages. They reflect the work of hundreds of individuals dedicated to the University of Wyoming vision to imagine the future and to create it.

Caitlin Youngquist

The University of Wyoming (UW) is embarking on a new age by increasing its focus on economic development and entrepreneurship. One new project is taking this vision even further by trying to develop a new niche agricultural market for the state by producing first-grains, and the key to this innovation is actually ancient. 

Tennessee Watson


Over the last year, Wyoming Public Radio’s education reporter Tennessee Watson put together an award-winning series on sexual assault at the University of Wyoming. Watson’s conversations with students revealed confusion about the reporting process and uncertainty about the university’s willingness to take action. This spring UW conducted a campus climate survey to get a better handle on the prevalence of sexual violence and what happens in its aftermath. She sat down with UW President Laurie Nichols at her office to discuss the survey, the results and what's next.

Melodie Edwards

In the last few years, researchers have discovered the earth is literally filled with microbes, those little single-celled critters we sometimes call germs. They’ve even been found living as deep as the earth’s core. And they say these microbes could help us gain access to thousands of years of knowledge. Now scientists at the University of Wyoming want to use those layers of ancient history to help us recover from wildfires as the climate warms up.

Ben Licera


Over the next week, dance students from around the state will come to the University of Wyoming to learn from renowned performers as part of the Snowy Range Summer Dance Festival. This year’s event will feature dancers from the Limón Dance Company based in New York City. They will teach throughout the week, then dance a performance at the festival’s gala. Logan Frances Kruger is a member of and the rehearsal director for the Limón Dance Company. She told Wyoming Public Radio’s Caroline Ballard that her history with the company started when she was very young.

Melodie S. Edwards / Wyoming Public Radio

It’s year two in a major project to catalog the microbes of Wyoming, and now University of Wyoming scientists have a robot to help them do the job.

Tennessee Watson / Wyoming Public Radio

The University of Wyoming (UW) officially launched its controversial new marketing plan with a presentation, Tuesday, to orient staff to the campaign's central slogan: “The world needs more cowboys.” But it’s raised the question: what about more cowgirls?

University of Wyoming President Laurie Nichols pushed the need to upgrade aging dorms before the UW Board of Trustees at a recent meeting. She wrapped up her presentation on the implementation of the university’s strategic plan by telling the trustees that housing needs to be a top consideration.

Wyoming Department of Education

The Wyoming Department of Education is collaborating with the University of Wyoming to host the Week of Academic Vision and Excellence (WAVE) conference later this month.

The second Native American Summer Institute wrapped up last month and grew from 28 students last year to 38 this year. Participants were high school Native American students with an interest in coming to the University of Wyoming. Most students were from the Wind River Reservation, but also from as far as Billings, Montana. The students participated in workshops over the week that included student-driven talks about being Native American.

Design: Tennessee Watson

Some colleges and universities do a better job than others at helping graduates advance financially so they can earn more than their parents. That’s according to the Equality of Opportunity Project, which studied anonymous tax data from 1999 to 2013, to create Mobility Report Cards. The project ranks colleges based on their impact on intergenerational mobility -- a term for when kids earn more than their parents.

Wyoming Department of Education

The Wyoming Department of Education is currently taking public comment on the Hathaway scholarship, following changes made to the program during the 2017 and 2018 legislative sessions.

UW Board of Trustees June 13, 2018 Report

The University of Wyoming Board of Trustees approved close to a $500 million budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1. That budget includes a $5.5 million allocation for salary adjustments. Eligible staff will see a pay bump in their August paycheck. 

Tennessee Watson / Wyoming Public Radio

The University of Wyoming Faculty Senate, the administration and the Board of Trustees have reached an agreement on changes to regulations regarding how the university will respond to financial challenges in the future.

Investigators with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights are conducting interviews this week at the University of Wyoming. They’re following up on complaint filed in 2017 by a student who said her report of sexual assault to UW was not handled properly.

 

Tennessee Watson

Starting next fall, students at the University of Wyoming should find it easier to sequence classes without conflict and complete their degrees.

Tennessee Watson

When the University of Wyoming trustees met last week, the campus was abuzz with concern about proposed changes to the authority of the board. What the administration is calling a routine update to university regulations was seen by some as a power grab that would give trustees the ability to more easily eliminate academic programs and ax faculty.

Tom Koerner, USFWS

Early one spring evening, I meet University of Wyoming Biodiversity Institute’s Zoe Nelson at a rest area between Gillette and Buffalo. Shadows grow long on red bluffs and green sagebrush prairie. It’s that time of night when all the birds are going bonkers. We’re out here as part of a program to get regular folks like me and my husband, Ken—he’s tonight’s driver—to help keep track of short-eared owls. The program is called WAFLS or Western Asio Flammeus Landscape Study.

Wyoming State Geological Survey

On a bright, cloudless day in southwest Wyoming, Rick Hebdon, a commercial fossil collector, drove over a steep dirt road to one of his quarries within the Green River Formation. He’s been uncovering fossils for most of his life, but it still holds a thrill for him.

Despite warnings from President Laurie Nichols and her staff last June the University of Wyoming Board of Trustees voted to transfer close to $140 million in cash into reserve accounts. The cash was pulled from individual campus units like colleges and departments.

Wyoming Community Colleges/ENDOW/University of Wyoming

Less than half of adults in Wyoming have completed education beyond high school, but Governor Matt Mead says for the sake of Wyoming’s economy that must change. In fact, his first executive order of 2018 called for 67 percent of Wyomingites to have advanced degrees by 2025. To address achievement gaps and to encourage underserved populations like first-generation college students and adult learners to pursue higher education, the governor's economic diversification committee ENDOW recommends the creation of a need-based state financial aid program

Sam Eagan

The Official NCAA wrestling season is over, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t still wrestling going on. University of Wyoming’s freshman are still preparing to compete in this month’s U.S. Open.

Native Wellness Institute

Native American students, faculty, and staff at the University of Wyoming in Laramie recently participated in a wellness training. The idea was to explore how to process trauma left behind by a dark history. 

Dennis and Judy Shepard
Bob Beck

20 years ago this fall, an openly gay University of Wyoming student was robbed, tied to a fence, brutally beaten, and left for dead on the outskirts of Laramie. He died a few days later. The murder of Matthew Shepard was called a hate crime by local law enforcement officers and it lead to worldwide attention on the topic of LGBTQ rights. His parents Dennis and Judy Shepard remain residents of Wyoming and have dedicated themselves to fight discrimination in the name of their son. Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck talked to them about a number of topics including what it was like to return to Laramie.

Jewlicious

At the Matthew Shepard Symposium hosted last week at the University of Wyoming, protesters gathered outside with signs denouncing the LGBTQ community. The group was from the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, and nearly 20 years ago, they also picketed Matthew Shepard’s funeral.

But inside the symposium, a former Westboro Church member was preparing to speak. Megan Phelps-Roper was there to explain that when she started engaging in civil dialogue over Twitter, her entire worldview changed.

University of Wyoming NO MORE

The #metoo movement might have given the impression that disclosures of sexual violence are more out in the open. But Matt Gray, a clinical psychology professor, says in actuality very few survivors officially report what they’ve experienced, and that’s true at the University of Wyoming as well. Tennessee Watson spoke with Professor Gray, who recently completed a campus climate survey looking at the prevalence of sexual misconduct on campus.

Johnathan Despain, Wyoming 4-h

Fewer than one in five adults from rural communities have college degrees, according to 2017 data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. But Wyoming 4-H wants to foster a culture that encourages young people to attend college.

Maggie Mullen

The University of Wyoming is the latest college to launch a new app aimed at preventing sexual assault. 

Tourists crowd downtown Jackson last summer.
Bob Beck


The University of Wyoming will be launching an Outdoor Recreation and Tourism Management degree this fall. It’s been a three-year effort, but those in the industry have wanted the degree for almost 20 years.

Cooper McKim/Wyoming Public Radio

Sustainability has a become a buzzword when it comes to facing environmental challenges. But one researcher believes resilience is a better answer. 

Jimmy Emerson via Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Mountain West states like Montana, Colorado and Utah are seeing unprecedented population growth right now. In fact, Idaho is the fastest growing state in the nation. But that’s not the case in Wyoming where the population is shrinking. 

 

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