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.

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News
4:11 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

Native Bacteria Used To Clean-Up Uranium Mines

A bacteria found naturally in the soil around uranium deposits may become a powerful tool in cleaning up old mine sites. A group of University of Wyoming scientists are collaborating with Cameco, a uranium mining company in Converse County. They’re experimenting with the bacteria’s ability to convert soluble uranium that can contaminate groundwater into less harmful solid form.

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News
10:30 am
Tue July 22, 2014

UW College Of Education Responds To Criticism

Credit MDV via Flickr Creative Commons

The University of Wyoming’s College of Education is taking issue with complaints made about the quality of its graduates.

Last week, at a UW Trustees’ meeting, Governor Mead’s education policy adviser Mary Kay Hill said that the most qualified K-12 teachers in the state “are not coming from UW.”

She pointed to a 2011 report that shows nearly 70 percent of new school district hires in Wyoming came from institutions outside of the state. That’s up from 50 percent in 2000.

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Spoken Words
8:46 am
Tue July 22, 2014

H.L. Hix: The Seasons, In Verse

H.L. Hix

H. L. Hix teaches in the Philosophy Department at the University of Wyoming.  His most recent poetry collection is As Much As, If Not More Than (Etruscan Press, 2014); the poems recorded here are from his book First Fire, Then Birds (Etruscan Press, 2010). Hix has been recognized with an NEA Fellowship, the Grolier Prize, the T. S. Eliot Prize, and the Peregrine Smith Award. His poems have been translated into Spanish, Russian, Urdu, and other languages.

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Open Spaces
4:49 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

Wyoming Music Teachers Find Community At UW Summer Program

Professor Rod Garnett leads his group of graduate students in a gamelan session.
Aaron Schrank

It’s before 8 o’ clock in the morning, and there’s a surprising amount of noise coming from a basement classroom in UW’s library.

Inside is a group of about 25 sitting in a circle, playing instruments or humming along. For most of the year, these people are music educators teaching in schools all over Wyoming. But in the summer, they’re students themselves—in a UW summer master’s program. Today, they’re learning a melody by ear.

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News
2:10 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

State Lawmakers Want More Dialogue With UW

University of Wyoming Department of Agriculture
Credit Wyoming_Jackrabbit via Flickr Creative Commons

Wyoming state legislators want more communication and coordination with the University of Wyoming.

The UW Board of Trustees met with several House and Senate members in Casper this week to discuss the relationship between the Legislature and the school. Senate President Tony Ross says the meeting was a good first step, but lawmakers need to play a bigger role in the future.

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News
9:25 am
Wed July 16, 2014

UW Professor Publishes Research On Creative Thinking In Robots

Jeff Clune, a UW associate professor of computer science, and Jingyu Li, a recent Laramie High School graduate, pose with a copy of the paper they wrote that was published in the Proceedings of the Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference.
Credit Courtesy UW

University of Wyoming Computer Science Professor Jeff Clune saw his research published this week showing that robots’ problem-solving skills can be improved by encouraging ‘creative thinking’ in artificial intelligence.

The research was accepted in ‘Proceedings of the Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference,’ a peer-reviewed publication.

The robots Clune and his team experimented with were rewarded when they ‘had ideas’ they never had before—basically when their simulated neurons displayed new patterns.

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Spoken Words
10:18 am
Wed July 2, 2014

Two Poems By Kate Northrop

Kate Northrop

Kate Northrop teaches in the Department of English at the University of Wyoming. She earned a BA in English from the University of Pennsylvania and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Iowa. Kate recently received the 2014 Jeannette Haien Ballard Writers Award. Her most recent collections of poems, Clean, was published in 2011 by Persea Books.

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News
10:09 am
Wed July 2, 2014

UW Molecular Biology Professor Wins Pew Award

Jay Gatlin
Credit University of Wyoming

Assistant Professor Jay Gatlin has won the first Pew Scholar award for the campus.

Gatlin was awarded the highly competitive research grant—which comes with 200 and 40 thousand dollars of research funding—based on his promising work in biomedical sciences.

“I study the cellular machinery,” Gatlin explained, “that’s responsible for separating the copies of DNA during cell division.”

This machinery is important, says Gatlin, because it might hold keys to new treatments for cancer—a disease marked by very rapid cell division.

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Open Spaces
3:48 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

Rare Mammoth Site Excavated In Douglas

Mammoth Rib Bone.
Melodie Edwards

In 1986, a large mammoth rib bone was found jutting out of the bank of a creek a few miles from Douglas.  The state archaeologist, Dr. George Frison, did a hasty 4-day excavation at the time.  But a thorough excavation has never been done because the land owners weren’t interested in hosting an archaeology dig on their property.  That left archaeologists with a big question--was LaPrele Creek a mammoth kill site?  But recently the land sold and archaeologists have finally been allowed to dig. 

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News
4:57 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Report Shows UW's Economic Footprint On State

University of Wyoming
Credit MDV via Flickr Creative Commons

A University of Wyoming report says that UW brings $130 million dollars in external funding into the state each year, spurs $129 million in other economic activity, and is responsible for creating more than 2,200 jobs.

The report sought to quantify economic impacts that would not occur in Wyoming if the University wasn’t in the state, including spending by non-resident students and visitors, and startup businesses stemming from UW research.

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Arts
6:00 am
Wed June 18, 2014

Summer Theatre Takes World War II Show On The Road

For the first time, Laramie’s Snowy Range Summer Theatre is doing a touring show. ‘Swingtime Canteen’ is in Laramie June 19-21 and 26-28 (opening night is free to the public). In between, the show will travel to Riverton on June 22, Rock Springs on June 23, Lander on June 24, and Dubois on June 25. Wyoming Public Radio’s Micah Schweizer spoke with the director, Leigh Selting.

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News
8:00 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Study Gives UW And Most Teaching Colleges Bad Marks

University of Wyoming
Credit Jimmy Emerson, DVM via Flickr Creative Commons

The University of Wyoming’s undergraduate elementary education program has work to do to meet standards for effective teacher training. That’s according to a report released Tuesday by the National Council on Teacher Quality—a think tank that pushes for tougher evaluations of classroom teachers. 

The report includes a ranking of U.S. teaching colleges, and found that the vast majority of programs failed to prepare teachers for the classroom.

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Open Spaces
4:24 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Wyoming Colleges Look To Increase Support For Student Veterans

Marty Martinez inside the University of Wyoming’s Veterans Services Center.
Credit Aaron Schrank

Robert Sheetz spent five years in the U.S. Navy, working on a flight deck, fixing fighter jets. When he got out, the Colorado native came to Wyoming—to put his GI Bill benefit toward an anthropology degree.     

“I was a 23-year-old freshman coming into the University of Wyoming, coming from an area where I had a huge structure system around me from being in the military,” Sheetz said.  “So I had to kind of learn to build that system for myself and figure out how to be a college student after not being in school for five years.”

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Arts
4:32 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

Laramie Mural Project Celebrates Tenth Public Artwork

Artist Lindsey Olson paints her ‘windsock’ trout.
Credit Rebecca Golden

The Laramie Mural Project will celebrate its tenth public artwork with an outdoor party on Friday, June 13. The Mural Project is collaboration between artists, the University of Wyoming Art Museum and the Laramie Main Street Alliance. Since 2011, it has decorated the sides of downtown buildings with images ranging from migrant farm workers to prairie dogs. 

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News
5:13 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

UW Hosts Veterans In Higher Education Conference

War Memorial Stadium at the University of Wyoming
Credit Wyoming_Jackrabbit via Flickr Creative Commons

Higher education institutions from around Wyoming are working together to develop strategies to better serve military veterans on their campuses.

The first-of-its-kind, three-day conference features representatives from colleges and vocational schools statewide.  They say veterans returning to civilian life face challenges and have special needs—and entering into a higher education setting adds to that.

Conference organizer Marty Martinez is project coordinator at UW’s Veterans Services Center.  He says becoming a veteran-friendly school is easier said than done. 

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News
7:17 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

UW Gets A Big Gift From Hess Corporation

Tom Botts, Gov. Matt Mead and Greg Hill announce the additional $4.3 million gift outside of UW's Engineering Building in Laramie Thursday.
Credit Aaron Schrank/WPR

Hess Corporation President Greg Hill joined Gov. Matt Mead at The University of Wyoming Thursday to announce the company’s plan to donate $4.3 million more to help build UW’s new energy and engineering research complex.

Hess has now committed a total of $10 million to the university, $8.7 million of which will be matched by state funds.

The gifts support the High Bay Research Facility, which will be used for large-scale experiments and research aimed at tapping ‘unconventional reservoirs.’

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Open Spaces
5:08 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

Amid Boom, Regulators Struggle With Staffing

The newly discovered abundance of domestic oil and gas is creating a shortage of something else: the petroleum engineers who regulate drilling activities. Government petroleum engineers approve companies’ drilling plans and inspect wells after they’re completed to make sure they’re not at risk of contaminating water or blowing out, but as Wyoming Public Radio’s Stephanie Joyce reports, there just aren’t enough petroleum engineers to go around.  

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Open Spaces
4:29 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

U-W Track Athlete Has High Hopes

UW Shot Putter and Discus thrower Mason Finley.
Credit Bob Beck

The Mountain West Conference Track and Field Championships are taking place in Laramie this weekend. Shot Putter and Discus thrower Mason Finley is certainly a headliner. While Finley wants to do well this weekend…he also has his eyes on some upcoming meets. Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck reports.

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News
6:26 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

Wyoming Hosts Track And Field Championships

The University of Wyoming is hosting the Mountain West Conference Track and Field Championships this week.  Head Coach Bryan Berryhill says the home meet is special for the Cowboys and Cowgirls and that both squads have high expectations. Sprinter and school record holder Kereston Thomas says she and her teammates are excited.

“Especially since this meet is here on our track I know that we will come out here with a lot of fire and a lot of excitement," Thomas says. "I know that our team is going to put on a show and I hope we will place in the top three for both our teams.”

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News
9:15 am
Tue May 13, 2014

UW Police Say Increase In Sexual Assault Complaints Is Due To Education

Credit UW

The University of Wyoming police saw an uptick in the number of reported sexual assaults in 2013.  15 sex offenses were reported in contrast with the eight or nine typical in a year.

In 2012 five were reported. UW Police Chief Mike Samp says he’s sure the increase is due to greater education about the importance of reporting such crimes.

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News
8:03 am
Tue May 13, 2014

U-W President Makes Changes At The Top

University of Wyoming President Dick McGinity says he will soon be looking to find permanent replacements for a number of interim administrators at U-W. 

McGinity says he is currently searching for a new Dean of Engineering and will soon try and fill the position of Vice President of Academic Affairs.  He says the Interim Vice President Maggi Murdock has decided to resign and return to her faculty post after the two had differences on some issues.  

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Behind the Scenes
2:46 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

UW Songwriters Record For WPM's Single Shot Live

Lauren Adlhoch, Claire Korpela, Sarah Mark, and David Ginger (L to R) perform for Single Shot Live.
Credit Micah Schweizer

Four students from Julian Saporiti's 'American Popular Music: Songwriting' class at the University of Wyoming stopped by the WPM studios on May 8 to record two songs they wrote during the class.

Billing themselves as 'The Millenials,' the group performed a song written in the style of a '60s girl group but with lyrics written from the perspective of a 21st century woman.

Stay tuned for an upcoming feature on Single Shot Live

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Wyoming Stories
11:44 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Wyoming Stories: How A Wyomingite Protected Japanese-Americans From WWII Internment

Phil Roberts

UW Professor of history Phil Roberts tells the story of how Thomas Boylan—the late owner and operator of The Fossil Cabin outside of Medicine Bow—protected the identity of local Japanese Americans from relocation officers during World War II.

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News
6:32 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

UW Overhauls General Studies Program

Credit University of Wyoming

For the first time in many years the University of Wyoming is changing its general studies program, the coursework required for all students pursuing a Bachelor’s degree at UW.  Faculty Senate Chair Ed Janak says it should simplify the course selection process for everyone and simply transfers to the university. 

“There’s no longer this giant alphabet soup, this is going to be really straightforward, it’s this and this and this and we are really happy about that,” Janak says.

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News
6:42 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

Wyoming Recruits Freshman Shooting Guard

A Swedish shooting guard will join the Wyoming Cowboys basketball team next season.  Alex Aka Gorski was given a scholarship by Wyoming. He's expected to provide an offensive boost to the team right away.  Head Coach Larry Shyatt calls him the kind of deep shooter that UW needs in order to compete in the Mountain West Conference.

“He’s mature, he left home as a 9th grader and went to Stockholm to play at the highest level in his country," Shyatt says. "He’s been extremely well coached, he knows how to play off the dribble as well as within the game.”

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Open Spaces
3:54 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

UW Football Coach Has High Hopes

University of Wyoming football coach Craig Bohl has been a winner at a number of places.  While an assistant Coach at Nebraska the Cornhuskers won two national championships and his last three teams at North Dakota State won the last three Football Championship Subdivision titles. 

He is taking over a Wyoming team that has struggled with consistency in recent years, especially on a defense.  Bohl is friendly, but businesslike.  Unlike most football coaches he wears a jacket and a tie to work.  He told Bob Beck that the transition to Wyoming has been a good one.

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Wyoming Stories
9:33 am
Thu May 1, 2014

StoryCorps: How The Hathaway Scholarship Came To Be

Bill Schilling and Brent Hathway
Credit StoryCorps

Bill Schilling is the president of the Wyoming Business Alliance. He was instrumental in getting the Hathaway scholarship passed through the legislature, and he says it’s one of his greatest accomplishments.

The Hathaway allows students to get money for college if they meet certain academic criteria. Here, Schilling talks with former dean of the UW Business School Brent Hathaway. (In case you were wondering – no, the scholarship is not named after him.) Schilling recalls how the Hathaway scholarship came to be.

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Arts
3:31 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Renowned Chinese Violinist To Perform With UW Symphony Orchestra

Chinese violinist Sha will perform with the UW Symphony Orchestra.

A famous Chinese orchestral work and a famous Chinese violinist are the centerpieces of the University of Wyoming Symphony Orchestra’s season finale on Thursday, May 1.

The Butterfly Lovers Concerto is one the most beloved classical works in China. It was written in 1956 and is now making inroads into the western repertoire.

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Arts
2:15 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Halloween With David Sedaris At The University Of Wyoming

Humor writer David Sedaris

Wyoming Public Media presents NPR humorist and best-selling author David Sedaris at the University of Wyoming’s A&S Auditorium Oct 31st. This event features new and unpublished readings of Sedaris's work and a book signing and optional Halloween costume contest.

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Open Spaces
3:00 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

Challenging Invisibility: UW Class Discovers Black History In The West

Ranch Foreman George McJunkin, discoverer of Folsom Man site, on his horse, "Headless," New Mexico, ca. 1911.
Credit Palace of the Governors Photo Archives 050884

Racial diversity is not one of the things for which Wyoming is best known. According to census data, only one-point-five percent of the state’s population is African American. Now, a class at the University of Wyoming is documenting the largely untold history of black people in the West. The class is confronting black invisibility—real and perceived.

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