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.

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.

Willow Belden

Sublette County has an ozone problem. Ozone is produced by emissions from the oil and gas fields and contributes to smog, which can cause health problems.  Several times in the past few years, ozone levels have exceeded federal limits, and the Environmental Protection Agency has given Wyoming three years to fix the problem. The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality has been working with local residents and industry to come up with a solution. But that’s hard to do, because nobody understands the exact chemistry of ozone formation.

mywindpowersystem.com

A group of University of Wyoming researchers received $508,000 from NASA to study aerodynamics and wind resistance at Wyoming’s Supercomputing Center.

The U.S. Department of Energy reports that Wyoming has one of the highest capacities for wind power production in the country. But University of Wyoming Mathematics Professor Stefan Heinz says most wind farms aren’t arranged as efficiently as they could be. He says the wake of one turbine often disrupts the turbines around it, reducing efficiency.

University of Wyoming just initiated a new program out of its burgeoning School of Energy Resources. The professional land management concentration will train landmen. Those are people who look for untapped oil and gas and other resources and negotiate contracts between their owners and companies that want to develop them.  Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov reports that the program is just in time.

[sound from meeting]

UW Athletics

In the 2011-2012 academic year, UW athletes involved in NCAA sanctioned sports brought in an average GPA of 3.04. That’s the highest GPA in a decade, and it’s even higher than the general student body average. Wyoming Public Radio’s Sara Hossaini reports.

SARA HOSSAINI: Women’s basketball forward Chaundra Sewell is a fan favorite with nearly a thousand points scored at UW. She’s also a pharmacy student with a 4.0. She says that academics are more important to her than athletics.

The University of Wyoming School of Energy Resources is getting $4.4 million from the Hess Corporation to help fund a program that will investigate the flow of oil and gas through tight shale and sandstone.  It’s part of a UW effort to research unconventional oil and gas reservoirs through the Center for Advanced Oil and Gas technologies.   The Hess donation will specifically go towards the Nano Resolution Imaging Laboratory.  State matching funds make it a gift of nearly $9 million.  Governor Matt Mead says the gifts will lead to creative ways to improve energy development in Wyoming.

The ESPN/USA Today Basketball Coaches poll has ranked the unbeaten Wyoming Cowboys 25th in the nation.  The Cowboys just missed being ranked in the top 25 of the Associated Press poll by gathering just enough votes to place 27th.  

Head Coach Larry Shyatt is downplaying the ranking, comparing his team to riding in a car.

Shyatt is impressed with Wyoming's focus

Jan 4, 2013

Wyoming Cowboys basketball Coach Larry Shyatt says he is thrilled with the way his team has remained focused throughout its 13 game winning streak.  Despite the fact that Wyoming is unbeaten, it has failed to crack the national rankings.  Shyatt said the players have not let that distract them.

“And I think they have been really, really good at being at what I called it earlier laser focused on what’s important now.  They seem to repeat the saying that we’ve had around here that happy is for March.”

Sara Hossaini

A Wyoming Archaeologist’s work in Mongolia is shedding new light on the prehistoric people of the Rocky

Mountains. Wyoming Public Radio’s Sara Hossaini reports.

SARA HOSSAINI: University of Wyoming archaeologist Todd Surovell spends a lot of time thinking about how humans organize the space around us. In particular, our junk.

TODD SUROVELL: I don’t think archaeologists commonly portray themselves as studiers of trash, but that’s what we do. Ninety-nine percent of what we find in the archaeological record is refuse.

During the campaign season, many fossil fuel developers dreaded the idea of a second term for President Obama.

Bruce Hinchey of the Petroleum Association of Wyoming says during the last four years, it’s been harder to secure oil and gas leases on federal land, get drilling permits, and have environmental impact statements approved.

But Bob Spencer of the Equality State Policy Center says it’s prudent for the administration to strike a balance between mineral production and preserving land for wildlife and public enjoyment.

Architectural Design Students at the University of Wyoming are helping to re-design Buffalo, Wyoming’s historic downtown. The focal point will be an antique carousel with a unique local flair. 

UW Professor Phil Roberts on the WY Democratic Party’s Rise and Fall

Nov 2, 2012

University of Wyoming History Professor, Phil Roberts, says Wyoming’s Democratic Party lost many of its constituents when the state lost its large railroad and mining labor unions. But the Party also failed to make up for that loss by not painting itself as the party for the modern cowboy.   

Willow Belden / Wyoming Public Radio

The computing center that houses one of the world’s most powerful supercomputers opened today in Cheyenne. The new supercomputer, called Yellowstone, will replace an older computing facility that the National Center for Atmospheric Research has been using in Colorado.  Tom Bogdan is president of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, which manages the new computing center.

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