UW Highlights

As Wyoming’s only university, UW 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.

Connor Ortman / SpeakLikeAGirl.com

Megan Falley and Olivia Gatwood make up the feminist, spoken-word duo Speak Like A Girl. They perform their poems around the country to call attention to issues like body image, rape culture, street harassment, and the patriarchy, and their next stop is Laramie, Wyoming. They’ll be performing at the University of Wyoming in the Education building’s auditorium at 8pm Wednesday night. Gatwood and Falley joined Wyoming Public Radio's Caroline Ballard to talk about using poetry to address misogyny.

You can find out more at www.speaklikeagirl.com


The University of Wyoming Board of Trustees voted Friday to raise student tuition by 4 percent next school year. The move is in line with a policy adopted by the Board last year to review a possible increase like this annually.  

UW spokesman Chad Baldwin says the approved hike will generate $2 million in revenue.

Bob Beck

It’s been a bad year for concussions for the University of Wyoming football team. While the team does not release exact numbers due to federal health care regulations, media counts put the number above 20. And everyone involved with Cowboy football admits that’s a lot. Head Football Coach Craig Bohl said the high number is surprising.  



When the chair of University of Wyoming’s music department, Theresa Bogard, interviewed for a position at the university 24 years ago, she was told the department would be getting a new building “soon”. Now, nearly a quarter of a century later, the newly renovated performing arts center is finally here. But before the renovations, conditions were bleak.

Miles Bryan

A group of UW student protestors called “BreakthrUWYO” staged a walkout of a discussion on diversity put on by the school and attended by UW president Dick McGinity Tuesday night.


Caroline Ballard

The recent terror attacks in Paris that killed 129 people also triggered an emergency response protocol at the University of Wyoming. Three UW students are currently studying in France, though only one UW student was in Paris this weekend, but the University reached out to all of them to make sure they were safe.

Anne Alexander is the Vice President of Student and Academic Affairs. She says despite fears of more attacks, she does not think the events in Paris will impact enrollment in European study abroad programs for next semester.

Tom Rea


The news that African American football players at the University of Missouri threatened not to play a football game against Brigham Young reminded some Wyoming players of the time they got kicked off of their team prior to a game with BYU. In Wyoming lore, they are known as the Black 14.

Roger & Renate Rössing, credit Deutsche Fotothek via Wikimedia Commons


There’s a dramatic backstory to the next University of Wyoming Symphony Orchestra concert.

“If you think about it, what a composer is feeling, what a composer is thinking, can often have a profound influence on what the music sounds like,” says symphony director Michael Griffith.

In 1937, that was very much the case for Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich, as Griffith explains to Wyoming Public Radio’s Micah Schweizer.

FMC Corporation

Scientists discussed new discoveries about big game migrations this week at a conference at the University of Wyoming. The forum—called “Sustaining Big Game Migrations in the West”-- brought together experts to discuss how to protect migration routes without hurting the state’s economy.

Wyoming Migration Initiative Director Matt Kauffman says such a forum is important right now because new science shows migrating animals are easily affected by development.

University of Wyoming

The University of Wyoming is a step closer to finding a new President. The first committee involved in the search has approved a list of semifinalists for the job.

UW Trustees are keeping the names on that list private for now. They also would not share how many names are on it, but the original plan called for about 15 candidates.  

Trustee Jeff Marsh chaired the committee. He says they came up with a diverse pool, but there’s more work ahead.

Aaron Schrank

On September 26, six Native American high schoolers from the Wind River Reservation were visiting UW with 600 other prospective students for a weekend event called ‘Campus Pass.’ They planned to tour campus and watch a Cowboy football game.

“We got there in the morning, and we had some free time to go walk around and check things out, so we went to the campus bookstore,” says Kaleb Groesbeck.

Photo by Henry Patton, Flickr Creative Commons

If the entire Greenland ice cap were to melt, scientists predict sea levels would rise more than 20 feet. Climate change is speeding up melting of the ice sheet, but it’s not clear by how much. The New York Times recently profiled one of the few research projects taking direct measurements to answer that question. One of the researchers is University of Wyoming graduate student Brandon Overstreet.

Bureau of Land Management, Wikimedia Commons

With mule deer numbers plummeting all over the West, a new research project in Rock Springs is looking at why elk populations continue to thrive. 

In cooperation with the University of Wyoming and the Wyoming Game and Fish, the Muley Fanatic Foundation plans to put tracking collars on 35 elk and 50 mule deer to compare the diet, predators, disease and other factors of the two species. Muley Fanatic Co-Founder Joshua Coursey, says one reason the two species may be faring so differently is their diets.


Wyoming’s landscape stars in a new film coming this Thanksgiving. So, the UW Geological Museum and the Wyoming Office of Tourism have teamed up with Disney Pixar to promote the movie.

University of Wyoming

Lucy Lippard writes about the role of art in society. She’s at the University of Wyoming as an Eminent Artist in Residence, and she stopped by our studios to talk with Wyoming Public Radio’s Micah Schweizer.

In her book The Lure of the Local, Lucy Lippard says everybody should take responsibility for wherever they find themselves for as long as they live there. And she says that starts with simply looking around.

University of Wyoming


The day the Berlin Wall came down and the Unification of Germany is still an important day in the mind of a University of Wyoming graduate. Andrew Denison is a long time German political commentator who came to Laramie to talk about the 25 year anniversary of unification and whether it has met expectations. He spoke with Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck.  

Gregory Hinton

Wyoming certainly has its place in LGBT history. Now, it will serve as a place where LGBT history in the West can be chronicled, as well. 

The University of Wyoming's American Heritage Center has a new archive "Out West In The Rockies," which spotlights LGBT history in the American West.

Wyoming Public Radio's Caroline Ballard sat down with the co-creator of the archive, Gregory Hinton, who spent his childhood in Wyoming and Montana. Hinton will be speaking about the archive and his own experience growing up in the West at the Sheridan Fulmer Library at 6:30pm Wednesday.

American Heritage Center

The co-creator of the American Heritage Center’s newest archive will visit Sheridan’s library.

Gregory Hinton is an author and filmmaker. He will be speaking about the archive “Out West In The Rockies,” which is focused on the experiences of LGBT people in the American West. Hinton says it’s important that the history of LGBT people be accepted as a part of American and Western history, and he says the archive at the American Heritage Center is a good first step.

The University of Wyoming launched a new program Monday that hopes to create a bridge between the school and the Wind River Indian Reservation, home of the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho tribes. Associate Director Torivio Fodder says the aim of the High Plains American Indian Research Institute is to help the state’s two tribes overcome a long history of distrusting governmental and academic researchers.

Duncan Harris, Flickr Creative Commons

“Coal keeps the lights on” is a popular refrain in Wyoming, and historically, it’s been true. But the Director of the University of Wyoming’s School of Energy Resources says going forward, that may not be the case. 

The Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan calls for cutting carbon emissions from the power sector 30 percent by 2030.

Mark Northam says he believes it is technically feasible for Wyoming to achieve its required cuts, using a combination of natural gas and renewables.

“It’s doable. Whether it’s economically doable or not is another question,” he said.



A University of Wyoming report found that race was not a factor when University police detained a group of Native American students from St. Stephens High School in the campus bookstore last weekend.

The students were there as part of a campus-visit day for students. A customer in the bookstore told employees there she suspected one student of shoplifting, and described the t-shirt he was wearing.

University of Wyoming

The University of Wyoming said it will follow the governor’s order and implement a hiring freeze, as well as try and find ways to return some money to the state. 

Governor Matt Mead this week said that the state needs to cut up to 200 million dollars from its existing budget due to a revenue shortfall. He hopes to acquire 18 million dollars through leaving unfilled positions vacant. 

The new University of Wyoming Symphony Orchestra season features music spanning five centuries. Symphony director Michael Griffith says he strives to provide programming that covers three key areas: the classics, contemporary works, and hidden gems.


Administrators from St. Stephens High School on the Wind River Reservation say their students’ rights may have been violated when a group of them were searched by University of Wyoming employees while browsing the campus bookstore.

UW officials say they are currently investigating the incident.

Ten seniors from the school visited UW last weekend as part of a program called “Campus Pass.” It allows high schoolers to check out the University’s resources and attend a Cowboys football game.


Jazz and classical students and faculty musicians from the University of Wyoming’s Music Department are performing together Monday, October 5 at the Buchanan Center for the Performing Arts. The concert features new compositions and new arrangements by pianist and faculty member Ben Markley—who will be joined on stage by 15 violinists, violists, and cellists. Markley previewed the concert with Wyoming Public Radio's Micah Schweizer.

Michael Coles for winterinthebloodfilm.com

On Thursday, an award-winning film based on a classic James Welch novel makes its Wyoming debut. Winter in the Blood follows the story of a Blackfoot man, Virgil First Raise, through his journey of self-discovery. The movie is directed by brothers Alex and Andrew Smith.

University of Wyoming

University of Wyoming President Dick McGinity said that falling energy prices could have a dramatic effect on UW’s budget request. 

Speaking during his annual address to University Faculty and Staff McGinity noted that the revenue picture for the state budget is dire and that could especially impact his number one priority, salary increases for faculty and staff.

“But we may need to face the sobering prospect that tuition increases at UW and the reallocation of resources within the University may be our most likely avenues for compensation increases for faculty and staff.”

City of Laramie

At a city council meeting tonight in Laramie, a nonprofit group will request a lease on 115 acres of city-owned land to grow food for the hungry. 

Albany County has some of the highest rates of food insecurity in the state, according to University of Wyoming Public Health Professor Christine Porter.

Courtesy University of Wyoming

The University of Wyoming and the state’s 7 community colleges are celebrating the success of the GEAR UP college access program with events around Wyoming this week—as part of national GEAR UP week.

GEAR UP—or ‘Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs’—is a federal program that provides low-income families with support and resources for college success.

University of Wyoming

This summer, the University of Wyoming’s College of Education welcomed a new dean. Dr. Ray Reutzel was hired amid a major effort by the University’s Board of Trustees to boost the College to national prominence in teacher training. Reutzel himself attended the College decades ago. Wyoming Public Radio’s Aaron Schrank sat down with Reutzel—and began by asking him what impact his experience as a student at UW's College of Ed has on his approach as its dean.