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.

The sounds of Brazil are coming to the University of Wyoming. Sunday’s concert will feature Brazilian violist Glêsse Collet with UW professor of piano Theresa Bogard.

Collet says the unique Brazilian classical music style began in the 1800s. "The Portuguese king, he had to leave Portugal and live in Brazil for a long time," explains Collet. "And with him they brought composers, they brought teachers for music and very fast, they mixed. Portuguese mixed with the slaves, with the Indians and then we had this very rich time in Brazil."

Irina Zhorov

The University of Wyoming canceled classes and business services Tuesday after heavy snowfall and a continued power outage.

Despite what some consider harsh winter conditions, it is unusual for the University of Wyoming to cancel its operations. Chad Baldwin, a UW spokesman, says the University originally decided on a delayed start to operations, but after the power outage continued along with the snowfall, the decision was made to close for the remainder of the day.


A viral essay written by a University of Wyoming computer science student is inspiring real change at the university.

Aaron Schrank

University of Wyoming senior Ashlee Enos is in a crowded campus ballroom, watching a hip-hop artist from the Crow Nation who goes by the name ‘Supaman’ do his thing.

“I think it’s awesome that we have someone who’s so into the culture, and wants to give cultural awareness to the public,” Enos says.

Enos is a member of the Eastern Shoshone tribe. She says there aren’t many others at UW.

“It’s a very small number,” she says. “Maybe less than five.”

Less than one percent of total students here identify solely as American Indian—just 91 of more than 13,000.

Taylor Brorby and Ice Cube Press

Fracking: the technique for boosting oil and gas production has been around for decades, but chances are you didn’t hear about it until recently. In just a few short years, the fracking boom has transformed communities across the country… and elicited plenty of emotions from all sides. Fracture is a new book of essays, poems and short fiction on the topic of fracking.

Erik Larson

So-called Historical Mystery Writer Erik Larson is coming to the University of Wyoming this month. UW libraries will host Larson April 20th at 1:30 p.m. in the College of Education auditorium and that evening, UW libraries will host a dinner with Larson.

Spence Law Firm Historical Production

The University of Wyoming College of Law will hold  the second annual Spencer Law Firm Historical Trial Production. This year, it's a mock trial of John Wilkes Booth, who famously murdered President Lincoln. The objective of the mock trial is to apply modern evidence law standards to a trial that would have taken place in the 19th century.

Stephanie Joyce

Wyoming needs to start planning for a lower-carbon future, according to panelists at a University of Wyoming discussion about the Clean Power Plan, an Obama administration rule that would cut carbon emissions from power plants.

The panel of coal and utility industry representatives and academics was largely critical of the rule, calling it a clumsy vehicle for carbon reduction. But at the same time, the panelists all agreed that with or without the rule, carbon reduction will happen. 

The 20th anniversary of the Shepard Symposium on Social Justice kicks off Wednesday, April 6th. The event was started by two members of the College of Education at the University of Wyoming. In 2002, it was renamed in honor of slain UW student Matthew Shepard. Since then, the symposium has grown into a network of organizations and individuals working toward equality. On this milestone, symposium organizer Michelle Jarman says it’s time for a retrospective. 

University of Wyoming Libraries Facebook

The University of Wyoming Board of Trustees has appointed Dr. Ivan Gaetz as the new dean of libraries. He will replace Maggie Farrell, who has accepted a position at Clemson University. Gaetz is currently the library director at Colorado College, and he has also served in positions at the libraries of Regis University, Regent College and Columbia University.

Bob Beck

Due to declining revenues and cuts mandated by legislature, the University of Wyoming is preparing for a minimum of $7 million dollars in budget cuts with the expectation that they could be greater than that.

During the UW Board of Trustees meeting on Wednesday, Vice President for Administration Bill Mai said the state revenue picture continues to decline. And he reported that while the University’s deans and others have been told to prepare for $7 million dollars in cuts, they should probably identify closer to $14 million.           


This week’s University of Wyoming Symphony Orchestra concert features a homecoming. Matthew Inkster grew up in Laramie and attended the University of Wyoming, where he played trumpet in the UW Symphony. On Thursday, he’ll be guest conducting the orchestra.

Bob Beck

Wyoming basketball coach Larry Shyatt said he is stepping down and assistant coach Allen Edwards has been hired to replace him.

Shyatt was emotional when he made his announcement but made it clear he thinks the team is in good hands. Shyatt said that in some ways he found himself out of vogue with college basketball and thought that after 43 years as a basketball coach that it was time to step aside.

Wyoming Outdoor Council

This May, the University of Wyoming will award an honorary doctoral degree to Tom Bell. Bell is 92 years old, a writer, World War II Veteran, and renowned conservationist. In 1967 he founded the Wyoming Outdoor Council and in 1970 started High Country News. He joined Wyoming Public Radio’s Caroline Ballard to talk about how conservation has changed since he first came to Wyoming.

Wyoming Outdoor Council

Longtime conservationist Tom Bell will be awarded an honorary doctoral degree from the University of Wyoming. Bell is 92 years old and founded both the Wyoming Outdoor Council and High Country News.

Bell says when he founded the council in 1967, no one was paying attention to the health of the planet. Over time, he says people have slowly changed their minds about conservation for a few reasons.


The University of Wyoming received funding for some major initiatives in the recently approved state budget, but administrators say cuts to UW’s block grant will put a strain on existing programs.

Lawmakers cut that funding by about $5.8 million for 2017 and 2018, and did not approve funding for UW employee pay raises.

Wyoming basketball Coach Larry Shyatt is not shedding any light on the dismissal of five players for the remainder of the season, but he’s hopeful that the impact will be limited.

Shyatt dismissed the five for “failing to meet the expectations of Cowboy basketball off the court.” UW officials says there will be no further comment on the details surrounding the suspensions.

Wyoming is preparing to face Utah State Wednesday in the Mountain West Conference tournament in Las Vegas. Shyatt said the team will have a shorter bench than usual and they are preparing for it. 

Wyoming State Science Fair

This weekend, students in grades 6-12 will compete in the Wyoming State Science Fair. The Science Fair is a competition where students conduct original scientific research - and collect and analyze data. The students present their findings on a poster and are interviewed by judges in their respective fields. The earlier rounds include individual school competitions, followed by regionals. About 900 students enter in the earlier rounds, but only a third advance to the final round, the State Science Fair.

Mark Jenkins

This week, National Geographic adventure writer Mark Jenkins embarks on what he calls his World-to-Wyoming Tour. Every year, he visits the state’s community colleges and talks about his latest expedition. This year he says he’ll tell a bittersweet story about twice failing to climb the highest peak in Burma. But he says, he won’t just be telling stories.

Cory Richards

In the 1980’s, Laramie native and National Geographic adventure writer Mark Jenkins came upon an old book called Burma’s Icy Mountains. It was written in the 50’s by an eccentric British explorer, Frank Kingdon Ward. Jenkins was hooked, especially when he learned that no one knew for sure which mountain was the highest peak in Burma: Gamlang Razi was officially measured at 19,259 feet in 2013, but as for neighboring Hkakabo Razi, no one had ever stood on top and gotten a GPS reading. Some said it was higher, some lower.

Art collector Jordan Schnitzer bought his first painting as a teenager. Since then, he’s amassed one of the largest private collections in the country: 9000 prints by contemporary artists.


Wyoming basketball legend Kenny Sailors died last week at the age of 95. He was widely credited with creating and developing the modern day jump shot and was the first to use it as a pro basketball player. But what should not be missed is that he was one of the great players of his time. Sailors led the Wyoming Cowboys to the national title in 1943, he was a national player of the year, a three time All-American, and one of the pioneers of the NBA. But most of his life was outside of basketball.


Around 12,000 years ago, hunter gatherers began to settle in one place and farm the land. It’s widely thought to be the first time the human population began to grow at a faster rate. However, a recent study published in the scientific journal PNAS and funded by the National Science Foundation is challenging that idea.

The Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Days of Dialogue takes place this week at the University of Wyoming. The week-long event features a march, a movie panel, and numerous presentations and discussions.

Organizer Ryan McGarry says this year, there has been a change in who is driving the conversations. "One of the things I am most proud of is the extent to which student voices being showcased but also given space to drive the conversation, and I think it’s a fantastic week of programming because of the level of student involvement," she says.

The Wyoming Athletics program is fondly remembering three time All American and former national player of the year Kenny Sailors who died in his sleep Saturday at the age of 95. 

An award-winning Broadway play makes its Wyoming premiere this weekend. Laramie-based Relative Theatrics is staging David Ives’ 2010 play "Venus in Fur" at the Gryphon Theatre in Laramie. The show is directed by Anne Mason and features local actors Dan Keegan and Aili McLellan.

USFWS Mountain Prairie, Flickr Creative Commons

In the Wyoming Range in western Wyoming, mule deer numbers have plummeted by 20,000 animals since the early 90’s. One problem has been the high number of fawns that don’t make it to adulthood. Now, a new study of that herd shows a rare disease called adenovirus may be a culprit.

University of Wyoming professor Kevin Monteith is working closely with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, the Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resource Trust and Animal Damage Management Board on the study.

University of Wyoming

Two University of Wyoming archeologists are co-authors on a new paper in the scientific journal PNAS that challenges the traditional understanding of human population growth.

Human population has soared in the last 200 years or so because of the industrial revolution and advances in medicine. Before that, it was thought that the first significant change in human population growth happened around 12,000 years ago, because of the agricultural revolution.

WPR/Aaron Schrank

The University of Wyoming Board of Trustees launched the first phase of an initiative to improve teacher preparation at the College of Education.

So far, the Denver-based Daniels Fund has donated $5 million dollars to the effort to be used over the next five years.

College of Ed Dean Ray Reutzel says the next step is a 2-year planning and evaluation phase. Teams of Wyoming educators plan to visit top teaching colleges across the country.