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.

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.

StoryCorps

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.

UNIVERSITY OF WYOMING

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. 

uwyo.edu

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.

WPM/NPR Community Discussion Rules

By contributing your comment, you consent to the possibility of having it read on the air. 

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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.

uwyo.edu

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.”

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