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.

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University of Wyoming Symphony Orchestra conductor Michael Griffith has been awarded third place in a nationwide competition for his excellence in orchestral programming. The American Prize, which is awarded annually in multiple categories, was founded in 2009 and seeks to “recognize and reward the very best in the performing arts in the United States.”

 

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Incoming University of Wyoming President Laurie Nichols has a lot to do prior to taking over her officials duties. She is already working with trustees and UW officials on a transition plan to get off to a fast start when she begins the job May 16th. Nichols plan to come to Laramie for a couple of days a month until that time and also plans to stop by the Wyoming legislative session. She tells Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck that she’s working hard to make the transition smooth.

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The American Cancer Society has awarded a University of Wyoming Researcher nearly 800-thousand dollars for what he hopes will be groundbreaking cancer research. Daniel Levy is an assistant professor in molecular biology. He tells Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck that he’s been studying cancer cells for a number of years.  

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What should be the top priorities of the University of Wyoming's new president when she takes office later this year?

Comment on this topic on the Wyoming Public Media Facebook page.

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The incoming President of the University of Wyoming said she is busy setting the stage for a fast start when she begins her new job late this spring. 

Laurie Nichols has been working on hiring a new Provost and looking at the best ways to review degree programs on campus. 

Wyoming men’s basketball coach Larry Shyatt is furious that the Mountain West Conference did not consult with coaches or athletes before deciding this month to only allow eight of eleven conference teams to play in the Mountain West Conference basketball tournament.

The decision was made in a meeting of conference President’s and Athletic Directors and Shyatt says it was done secretly.

"No notice, no inclusion, no communication, not one word uttered to an assistant commissioner in charge of basketball, there seems to be a degree of behind the scenes plotting."

University of Wyoming

The University of Wyoming College of Education has received a $4.5-million-dollar grant to improve its preparation of K-12 educators.

The grant comes from nonprofit The Daniels Fund, which gave the college $500,000 earlier this year to plan its initiative to achieve national prominence in teacher prep.

UW Board of Trustees President Dave Palmerlee says that initiative began after trustees met with legislative leadership last year.

sdstate.edu

The University of Wyoming Board of Trustees unanimously selected Laurie Nichols Friday to be UW’s next president.

Nichols is a provost and vice president of academic affairs at South Dakota State University. She will be the first female president in the University’s 130-year history.

The trustees have been searching for a new president since March. Nichols and two other finalists visited campus this month to interview for the position. Board President Dave Palmerlee says public input played a large role in the hiring decision.

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University of Wyoming trustees have chosen South Dakota State University administrator Laurie Nichols to be the next president of UW. She is the first woman to hold the post. 

Rebecca Martinez

A legislative committee has approved a bill that would increase the dollar amounts provided to students through Hathaway scholarships by 10 percent.

The full legislature will consider the proposal in February’s budget session.

The Joint Education Committee had asked its staff to draft a bill that would have increased the scholarships by about 19 percent, but lawmakers amended it down on Tuesday.

Laramie Senator Chris Rothfuss was among those who wanted to keep the proposed increase higher.

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The third and final candidate for the University of Wyoming presidency visited the Laramie campus Monday.

Jeremy Haefner is Provost at the Rochester Institute of Technology. The next President may need to cut the U.W budget by as much as $5 million. When Haefner was the Dean of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs he was faced with a 20% budget cut. He says his approach was to brainstorm with faculty and staff about what could be done. Haefner says he’d take a similar approach at Wyoming.

Leigh Paterson / Inside Energy

Carbon dioxide emissions have a pretty bad reputation these days. The Paris Climate Conferencebrought together delegations from all over the world in an effort to cut carbon emissions and avoid catastrophic global warming. But right now, the dirtiest fuel - coal - still supplies nearly 40% of the electricity in the U.S. and in even more in many developing countries.

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Wyoming has long considered itself a leader in carbon management... how to capture and store carbon. And with the world's attention focused on the climate talks in Paris, the question of how to keep carbon out of the atmosphere has never been more pertinent. 

Kipp Coddington is the new head of the University of Wyoming's Carbon Management Institute, and he sat down with Wyoming Public Radio's Stephanie Joyce to talk about the future of carbon storage technologies.

Aaron Schrank/WPR

The second of three candidates for the University of Wyoming presidency visited campus Wednesday to interview for the job.

Laurie Stenberg Nichols has served as a provost at South Dakota State University for the past 7 years. She also earned her degree there as a first-generation college student. Nichols told students, faculty, staff and others at a public forum that she connects with UW’s land grant mission.

WPR/Aaron Schrank

The first of three finalist candidates for the University of Wyoming presidency visited campus Monday to meet with faculty, staff, students and others.

Duane Nellis has been the President of Texas Tech University in Lubbock since 2013. Nellis says serving under a chancellor in the Texas Tech system can be a challenge—with no clear line of authority.

University of Wyoming

The University of Wyoming Board of Trustees has chosen three finalists to be considered for the University presidency.

They released the names Friday, after nearly eighth months of planning and executing the search.

Miles Bryan

On a snowy, cold day in the Denver suburbs Glenn Vogel is tinkering in his laid back garage workspace.

“Welcome to the mess,” he said when he threw the door open.

Vogel’s a metal worker by trade. He lives part time in Glendo, Wyoming, but for years he’s run a custom metalworking business in Colorado. A few years back Vogel hit on a design for a new kind of high-end wine rack, he calls “Element.”

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

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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.  

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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.

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