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.

U-W's Sternberg is pushing hard for pay hikes

Aug 13, 2013

University of Wyoming faculty and staff have not had a pay raise since 2009, and U-W’s new President says that needs to be addressed.  Bob Sternberg says U-W has lost important faculty to other institutions and morale among staff is low.

“Everybody knows who has a job that when your morale goes downhill, people don’t do their best work and we have a real serious morale problem here at the University of Wyoming and I’m really committed to resolving it.”

www.uwyo.edu

Last month, Bob Sternberg took over as the new president of the University of Wyoming. In recent weeks, has explained that he wants UW to attempt to be an inclusive University that doesn’t focus on things like a student’s ACT scores, and rather looks more at the whole package. 

President Sternberg tells Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck that it’s more important to make sure students are properly prepared for higher education, and their future is much more important than test scores. 

Rebecca Huntington

Roughly three years ago, two women undertook an effort to take a group of middle school girls in Jackson under their wing with the goal of helping them get into college.  The effort is called College Bound Latinas and the program has had some early success.  But a recent interaction with a University of Wyoming Professor is taking the girls even further as Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck reports.

Willow Belden

Each year, millions of dollars are spent controlling invasive species in Wyoming. Just about every agency you can think of is involved – from local weed and pest districts, to the Department of Game and Fish, and even the Bureau of Land Management. Many people see their efforts as an important way to protect Wyoming’s diversity. But others worry that removing invasives could sometimes do more harm than good. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden reports.

Rebecca Martinez

Ever since the 1999 shootings at Columbine High School in Colorado, law enforcement agencies across Wyoming have been have been preparing for how they might handle an active shooter situation.  

This summer, authorities from agencies across Albany County gathered in Laramie for some high intensity training… together. Rebecca Martinez reports.

OFFICER: Come out with your hands up.

The National Science Foundation recently awarded University of Wyoming assistant professor John Oakey its prestigious Faculty Early Career Development Award.  Oakey, a chemical and petroleum engineer, will receive $400,000 to fund a project that will potentially make tissue regeneration experiments much faster, especially when studying diseases such as osteoarthritis. 

UW Trustees request $13M for pay raises

Jul 26, 2013

The University of Wyoming’s Board of Trustees decided Friday to ask the state for $13.3 million to cover merit-based raises for faculty and staff.


Former University President Tom Buchanan tried unsuccessfully to secure raises in the past, and Board President David Bostrom says UW is now seeing an “exodus” of high-performing employees.

UW provost will resign

Jul 26, 2013

University of Wyoming Provost Myron Allen has announced he will resign this fall.

A press release from UW President Bob Sternberg’s office says he accepted Allen’s resignation, which will go into effect on September 1. The release did not offer a reason for Allen's resignation.

Sternberg is asking the UW community and stakeholders to offer input and recommend an interim vice president for academic affairs. He invites anyone to send him an e-mail at uwpres@uwyo.edu.

University of Wyoming

The University of Wyoming has not given a pay raise to its faculty and staff in four years now and the board of trustees is concerned that scrimping on salaries has begun to adversely affect the education the university offers.  David Bostrom, the president of the UW Board of Trustees, says that employee salaries don’t just need to compete state-wide but must also compete nationally and internationally within their fields.

The University of Wyoming has not given a pay raise to its faculty and staff in four years now and the board of trustees is concerned that scrimping on salaries has begun to adversely affect the education the university offers.  David Bostrom, the president of the UW Board of Trustees, says that employee salaries don’t just need to compete state-wide but must also compete nationally and internationally within their fields.

Russell Harrison

Wyatt and Bridger Feuz and Hudson Hill didn’t plan to write about trees when they visited an abandoned arbor in Cheyenne, but that’s just what happened. The Horticultural field station hadn’t pruned any of its trees since the 1950s, and the educators were surprised to see many thriving. So they wrote “Scrappy Trees: Raw and Exposed.”

This month, the University of Wyoming will host a field course where students will explore the geographic, historical and religious significance of Heart Mountain in northern Wyoming.

Two educators will split the teaching of the course, one focusing on history, and the other on religion. The latter, Mary Keller, is a historian of religions and a lecturer at U-W. She spoke with Wyoming Public Radio’s Rebecca Martinez from the Big Horn Radio Network in Cody about what makes Heart Mountain so special.

Julianne Couch is the author of Traveling the Power Line, a book about the many energy sources we tap into for our power needs – from oil and gas, to wind, to solar and uranium.

Couch teaches at the University of Wyoming and has also written Jukeboxes and Jackalopes: A Wyoming Bar Journey and Waking Up Western: Collected Essays. She now lives in Iowa but stopped by the studio to talk to Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov about her book.

Sternberg takes the reins as UW president

Jul 1, 2013

The University of Wyoming’s new president, Robert Sternberg, started work today.

He says he’s looking forward to meeting educators, lawmakers, and citizens in Wyoming. And he says he has big plans for the university.

“My goal at UW is to collaborate with all stakeholders to help the University of Wyoming become the top land grant institution in the country, meaning that it will become the university that best educates and develops the ethical leaders who are going to make a positive, meaningful and enduring difference to the world,” Sternberg said.

Bob Beck

In our occasional series on upstart businesses we take you to Laramie to tell you about a software company that is making a dent in the world of medicine.  Mona Gamboa started Happy Jack Software in 2004 after she left her software job in Texas to join her husband who took a job at the University of Wyoming.  Gamboa got a Master in Science in E Business from U-W and started Happy Jack software in the U-W Student Union.  Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck reports.

Historian Phil Roberts at the University of Wyoming recently published a book called “Cody’s Cave,” which tells the story of a vast set of caverns near Cody. The cave was once a national monument, but was then turned over to local control, and Roberts argues that that was a grave mistake, because the site is now just a hole in the ground, off limits to the public. Roberts joined Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden to talk about the cave, and its demise.

As a graduate student in UW’s Creative Writing Program, LuLing Osofsky was fascinated by the various ways she saw Indian culture present in Laramie. South Asian students celebrated traditional festivals on campus, and the town had a good place to get curry. She writes about experiencing these pockets of India in her series of vignettes called “Wild Wild East: Finding Hints of Asia in the West.”

Kit Freedman is a graduate of University of Wyoming, who did his thesis research on the Wind River Indian Reservation. In this essay he reflects on his family’s multi-generational history in Lander.   

Wyoming NASA Space Grant Consortium / University of Wyoming

More than 500 girls from across Wyoming will gather at the University of Wyoming Tuesday for the annual Women in Science Conference.

The Wyoming NASA Space Grant Consortium hosts the event, during which the middle- and high-school students learn about various applications of science, technology, math and engineering. In past years, students have identified animal skulls, developed computer games, and learned about anatomy in UW’s Human Cadaver Lab. Many of the scientists leading the programs are women.

Oliver Walter came to the University of Wyoming in 1970 to teach political science and became dean of the College of Arts and Sciences in 1989. This summer, he’ll be retiring. Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov sat down with him talk about his tenure at UW and the future for both the school and himself. He started out talking about some changes he witnessed in his decades as dean.

Courtesy of University of Wyoming

This weekend a new set of graduates are leaving the University of Wyoming.  For some, they are facing an unknown job situation, but others are ready to jump into their careers.  The graduates also talked about Wyoming’s efforts to keep them in-state. Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck sat down with three graduates from U-W’s College of business and found that two are leaving and one thinks he’ll hang around a bit longer.

Now that Colorado State University is planning to increase in-state tuition by nine percent, a University of Wyoming official says that more students might consider U-W as an affordable option for college. 

U-W Vice President for Academic Affairs Sara Axelson says even though Wyoming’s out-of-state tuition will soon increase slightly… the cost is going to be very competitive when compared with C-S-U.  She says they will work hard to point that out to high school seniors.             

A fund has been established to help former University of Wyoming wrestler Michael Martinez cover medical costs.

Martinez was helping on his family’s ranch in Colorado when a gas leak caught fire in his field camper. He drove himself several miles to reach help and was airlifted to an Albuquerque hospital, where he was treated for burns to over 80 percent of his body.

Researchers with the University of Wyoming’s Carbon Management Institute have discovered a vast underground deposit of lithium in Southwest Wyoming. Researchers were taking deep samples in the Rock Springs Uplift to study how the state might store its oil and gas emissions when they discovered the reserve. They say it could hold up to 150 times more lithium than the nation’s current largest producer in Silver Peak, Nevada.

Schools across the country have embraced sweeping anti-bullying measures in recent years. Universities and schools districts are encouraging teachers to celebrate diversity and discourage exclusionary language, but at the upcoming Shepard Symposium on Social Justice, the University of Wyoming will host a group that say teachers need to beexplicit about their acceptance of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer or questioning students.

Activists, educators and politicians from a number of North American Indian tribes will speak at the University of Wyoming in April.

UW’s American Indian Studies Program is hosting the Building Tribal Nations Symposium, where speakers will present about energy, the environment, legal and social issues.

Program Director Judith Antell says presenters come from different backgrounds, but many tribes have common needs and goals.

University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension is working to educate ag producers about how to set up their own Community Supported Agriculture operations, or CSAs.

One thing everyone is trying to get a grip on is how the federal sequester will impact Wyoming.  Anne Alexander is an economist at the University of Wyoming.  She joined Bob Beck in the studio to discuss this.

Doctor Robert Sternberg is the incoming President of the University of Wyoming.  Sternberg is a noted Psychologist who is currently the Provost at Oklahoma State University.  In other interviews Sternberg has made it clear that a key focus of his will be on improving academics at UW and he is also a big supporter of athletics.  Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck asked him to talk about a few other issues.

This weekend, the University of Wyoming’s Board of Trustees interviewed four candidates to replace President Tom Buchanan, who will retire this summer.

The search for a new UW president was originally confidential, to allow candidates to maintain security in their current jobs, but a judge in Laramie ruled that the University must release the names of its candidates to the public. In order to stay on schedule, the Board of Trustees obliged, but not before telling candidates the search would no longer be confidential.

Pages