UW Highlights

As Wyoming’s only university, UW 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.

Aaron Schrank

Robert Sheetz spent five years in the U.S. Navy, working on a flight deck, fixing fighter jets. When he got out, the Colorado native came to Wyoming—to put his GI Bill benefit toward an anthropology degree.     

“I was a 23-year-old freshman coming into the University of Wyoming, coming from an area where I had a huge structure system around me from being in the military,” Sheetz said.  “So I had to kind of learn to build that system for myself and figure out how to be a college student after not being in school for five years.”

Rebecca Golden

The Laramie Mural Project will celebrate its tenth public artwork with an outdoor party on Friday, June 13. The Mural Project is collaboration between artists, the University of Wyoming Art Museum and the Laramie Main Street Alliance. Since 2011, it has decorated the sides of downtown buildings with images ranging from migrant farm workers to prairie dogs. 

Wyoming_Jackrabbit via Flickr Creative Commons

Higher education institutions from around Wyoming are working together to develop strategies to better serve military veterans on their campuses.

The first-of-its-kind, three-day conference features representatives from colleges and vocational schools statewide.  They say veterans returning to civilian life face challenges and have special needs—and entering into a higher education setting adds to that.

Conference organizer Marty Martinez is project coordinator at UW’s Veterans Services Center.  He says becoming a veteran-friendly school is easier said than done. 

Aaron Schrank/WPR

Hess Corporation President Greg Hill joined Gov. Matt Mead at The University of Wyoming Thursday to announce the company’s plan to donate $4.3 million more to help build UW’s new energy and engineering research complex.

Hess has now committed a total of $10 million to the university, $8.7 million of which will be matched by state funds.

The gifts support the High Bay Research Facility, which will be used for large-scale experiments and research aimed at tapping ‘unconventional reservoirs.’

The newly discovered abundance of domestic oil and gas is creating a shortage of something else: the petroleum engineers who regulate drilling activities. Government petroleum engineers approve companies’ drilling plans and inspect wells after they’re completed to make sure they’re not at risk of contaminating water or blowing out, but as Wyoming Public Radio’s Stephanie Joyce reports, there just aren’t enough petroleum engineers to go around.  

Bob Beck

The Mountain West Conference Track and Field Championships are taking place in Laramie this weekend. Shot Putter and Discus thrower Mason Finley is certainly a headliner. While Finley wants to do well this weekend…he also has his eyes on some upcoming meets. Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck reports.

The University of Wyoming is hosting the Mountain West Conference Track and Field Championships this week.  Head Coach Bryan Berryhill says the home meet is special for the Cowboys and Cowgirls and that both squads have high expectations. Sprinter and school record holder Kereston Thomas says she and her teammates are excited.

“Especially since this meet is here on our track I know that we will come out here with a lot of fire and a lot of excitement," Thomas says. "I know that our team is going to put on a show and I hope we will place in the top three for both our teams.”

UW

The University of Wyoming police saw an uptick in the number of reported sexual assaults in 2013.  15 sex offenses were reported in contrast with the eight or nine typical in a year.

In 2012 five were reported. UW Police Chief Mike Samp says he’s sure the increase is due to greater education about the importance of reporting such crimes.

University of Wyoming President Dick McGinity says he will soon be looking to find permanent replacements for a number of interim administrators at U-W. 

McGinity says he is currently searching for a new Dean of Engineering and will soon try and fill the position of Vice President of Academic Affairs.  He says the Interim Vice President Maggi Murdock has decided to resign and return to her faculty post after the two had differences on some issues.  

Micah Schweizer

Four students from Julian Saporiti's 'American Popular Music: Songwriting' class at the University of Wyoming stopped by the WPM studios on May 8 to record two songs they wrote during the class.

Billing themselves as 'The Millenials,' the group performed a song written in the style of a '60s girl group but with lyrics written from the perspective of a 21st century woman.

Stay tuned for an upcoming feature on Single Shot Live

UW Professor of history Phil Roberts tells the story of how Thomas Boylan—the late owner and operator of The Fossil Cabin outside of Medicine Bow—protected the identity of local Japanese Americans from relocation officers during World War II.

University of Wyoming

For the first time in many years the University of Wyoming is changing its general studies program, the coursework required for all students pursuing a Bachelor’s degree at UW.  Faculty Senate Chair Ed Janak says it should simplify the course selection process for everyone and simply transfers to the university. 

“There’s no longer this giant alphabet soup, this is going to be really straightforward, it’s this and this and this and we are really happy about that,” Janak says.

A Swedish shooting guard will join the Wyoming Cowboys basketball team next season.  Alex Aka Gorski was given a scholarship by Wyoming. He's expected to provide an offensive boost to the team right away.  Head Coach Larry Shyatt calls him the kind of deep shooter that UW needs in order to compete in the Mountain West Conference.

“He’s mature, he left home as a 9th grader and went to Stockholm to play at the highest level in his country," Shyatt says. "He’s been extremely well coached, he knows how to play off the dribble as well as within the game.”

University of Wyoming football coach Craig Bohl has been a winner at a number of places.  While an assistant Coach at Nebraska the Cornhuskers won two national championships and his last three teams at North Dakota State won the last three Football Championship Subdivision titles. 

He is taking over a Wyoming team that has struggled with consistency in recent years, especially on a defense.  Bohl is friendly, but businesslike.  Unlike most football coaches he wears a jacket and a tie to work.  He told Bob Beck that the transition to Wyoming has been a good one.

StoryCorps

Bill Schilling is the president of the Wyoming Business Alliance. He was instrumental in getting the Hathaway scholarship passed through the legislature, and he says it’s one of his greatest accomplishments.

The Hathaway allows students to get money for college if they meet certain academic criteria. Here, Schilling talks with former dean of the UW Business School Brent Hathaway. (In case you were wondering – no, the scholarship is not named after him.) Schilling recalls how the Hathaway scholarship came to be.

A famous Chinese orchestral work and a famous Chinese violinist are the centerpieces of the University of Wyoming Symphony Orchestra’s season finale on Thursday, May 1.

The Butterfly Lovers Concerto is one the most beloved classical works in China. It was written in 1956 and is now making inroads into the western repertoire.

David Sedaris At The University Of Wyoming

Apr 30, 2014
Wyoming Public Media

Wyoming Public Media presents NPR humorist and best-selling author David Sedaris at the University of Wyoming’s A&S Auditorium Oct 31st. This event features new and unpublished readings of Sedaris's work and a book signing and optional Halloween costume contest.

Palace of the Governors Photo Archives 050884

Racial diversity is not one of the things for which Wyoming is best known. According to census data, only one-point-five percent of the state’s population is African American. Now, a class at the University of Wyoming is documenting the largely untold history of black people in the West. The class is confronting black invisibility—real and perceived.

Heidi Ross

Bestselling novelist Ann Patchett will speak at the University of Wyoming Tuesday, April 22. The free talk includes a Q & A, followed by a book signing.  In addition to the talk, she will meet privately with UW students, including MFA candidates in the creative writing program.

Joe Riis

Scientists in Wyoming have recently discovered the longest mule deer migration route that’s ever been recorded. The animals travel 150 miles, from the Red Desert to the Hoback Basin. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden spoke with Hall Sawyer and Joe Riis, who have been documenting the migration. Sawyer is a research biologist at Western Ecosystems Technology,  and Riis is a wildlife photographer. Sawyer says he discovered the migration route kind of by accident.

The will of a wealthy Denver philanthropist who has died contains an incentive for the University of Wyoming and Colorado State University to use a ranch for agricultural education rather than sell the property.

Amy Davis died Wednesday. She was 86.
 
Davis' personal representative, Tyson Dines, said Thursday that Davis' will sets aside a considerable amount to support teaching at the Y Cross Ranch. He wouldn't specify the amount.
 
University officials said they were saddened by Davis' death but had no additional comment.

Anna Rader

John Fadial teaches violin at the University of Wyoming. On Thursday, April 17 he’ll perform with pianist Theresa Bogard at 7:30 pm at the Buchanan Center for the Performing Arts concert hall. Fadial says the recital emphasizes contemporary repertoire for violin and piano written since 1995, including works by Richard Danielpour, Aaron Jay Kernis, and Arvo Pärt.

University of Wyoming President Dick McGinity wrapped up his first legislative session last month and he calls it quite a learning experience.  He joined Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck to review the session.

courtesy UW

Last month the University of Wyoming opened a Literacy Research Center and clinic that should enhance literacy at all levels across the state.  It will allow face to face tutoring, train tutors and teachers, and use technology in interesting new ways.  Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck reports.  

VICKI GILLIS:  “I see this as being on the cutting edge of work in literacy, K-12, and beyond.

Tyler Nordgren

An exhibit opening this weekend at the University of Wyoming Art Museum is among the first major displays of astrophotography as art. ‘Starstruck: The Fine Art of Astrophotography’ is a dazzling exhibition, ranging from night skies and landscapes to deep space photography.

University of Wyoming Geological Museum

The life-size copper Tyrannosaurus Rex statue that stands guard outside the University of Wyoming Geological Museum celebrated its 50th birthday on April 11, 2014. The museum hosted two cake parties in celebration for the beloved statue. Wyoming Public Radio’s Anna Rader and Micah Schweizer visited the T. Rex and heard from passers-by and well-wishers.

carnegiehall.org

Grammy Award-winning soprano Dawn Upshaw will perform in Laramie Wednesday evening. The singer is a world-renowned opera star and the winner of a MacArthur Genius Grant. Her recital is part of the University of Wyoming’s Eminent Artist-in-Residence program, and Upshaw says she’s looking forward to performing at UW.

The University of Wyoming Muslim Student Association is inviting the public to experience Muslim people and culture first-hand during Islam Awareness Week, April 8-13.

One of the organizers is an education student from Morocco. Adil Bentahar has lived in the U.S. for four years, and he says many Americans know very little about his religion, Islam. “When I watch the news, I see that much of what is being communicated does not describe me as I am.”

Diana Denison

Wyoming Public Radio welcomed All-Mountain West First Team University of Wyoming Cowboy basketball player Larry Nance Jr. as guest DJ on Morning Music.

Grady Kirkpatrick talked with Larry about Final Four weekend basketball and played some of his favorites in good old R&B:

A change in University of Wyoming course requirements is causing controversy among faculty and students.

The change affects the general education curriculum of the entire university.  Students seeking a bachelor’s degree have to take the courses required under this program.

The new requirements are scheduled to take effect in the Fall of 2015.  It eliminates diversity, global awareness, and foreign language requirements from the required undergraduate curriculum.  It also reduces science and math requirements. 

Pages