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.

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Land grant institutions, like the University of Wyoming, were designed to provide a practical education. In a recent editorial, UW’s president makes the case that the humanities and fine arts are also part of that practical education.

Since becoming UW’s president earlier this year, Sternberg says he’s heard lots of conversation about engineering, agriculture, and business, but not so much about the humanities. As a psychologist, much of Sternberg’s work has focused on creativity.

Anna Rader

Nicole Riner is a recitalist, clinician, and freelance flutist. She teaches at the University of Wyoming. Composer Katherine Hoover, who wrote ‘Winter Spirits’, is known for evoking Native American flute sounds in her flute pieces.

Rebecca Martinez

In such an arid state as Wyoming, water is precious. Last year, the University of Wyoming created the Wyoming Center for Hydrology and Geophysics, combining field experts and state-of-the art technology to better understand where water goes in after it falls from the sky, since much of it ends up in snowpack or underground.

There isn’t too much information available about that, but it’s important to state and local water managers, who need to know just how much water they have to work with. Rebecca Martinez reports.

(beeping)

Stephanie Joyce

Many retired people take up a hobby -- knitting, bird watching, bingo. But two Laramie retirees have decided to spend their days in pursuit of a decidedly less mainstream pastime: solving the energy challenges of our time. Wyoming Public Radio’s Stephanie Joyce has the story.

STEPHANIE JOYCE: It’s a sunny fall day, and Dave Earnshaw is standing outside the central energy plant at the University of Wyoming, staring out over the empty field that sits next to it.

Chelsea Biondolillo

Wyoming might not be the first choice for grape growers and aspiring vinters, but a group in Sheridan is working to change that. Professors, graduate and undergraduate students at UW and Sheridan College are using advanced techniques to identify traits in different grape varieties that make them well suited to Wyoming. Wyoming Public Radio’s Chelsea Biondolillo reports.

Playwright William Missouri Downs says Ayn Rand’s rational, objective philosophy helped him through college. But in Downs’ newest play, certainty is lacking. Writer and philosopher Ayn Rand is put on trial, and the audience is the jury. Wyoming Public Media’s Micah Schweizer spoke with William Missouri Downs.

Nina McConigley is a lecturer in the University of Wyoming’s English Department. Her new book is a collection of short stories called Cowboys and East Indians.

Her book tells the stories of a variety of Indian characters living in Wyoming, and explores what, often, reads as an unusual combination. McConigley’s father is an Irish-born petroleum geologist, and her mother, Nimi McConigley, was the first Indian-born person to serve in the Wyoming Legislature.  Nina tells Wyoming Public Radio's Rebecca Martinez she grew up in Casper.

As part of the University of Wyoming Law Week, the College of Law is bringing in Walter Echo-Hawk to speak about human rights in Native America. Echo-Hawk is a lawyer and advocate for Native American rights and culture.

He says with the passing of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples by the United Nations, there’s hope for optimism.

The US Department of Agriculture has funded a grant for the University of Wyoming to study the business of beekeeping. The grant is just under $50,000 and will be used to study methods to maximize the economic impact of bee keeping in Wyoming.

Associate professor in agriculture and applied economics, Mariah Ehmke, was one of the researchers awarded the grant. She says that colony collapse disorder has contributed to declining honey bee numbers in the US, but that isn’t the only issue facing the beekeeping industry.

Author, poet, and filmmaker Sherman Alexie spent the past several days on the University of Wyoming campus as a guest of the American Indian Studies Program. His visit started with a public lecture--more like an improv comedy sketch about Native American identity--and Wyoming Public Radio’s Micah Schweizer sat down with Alexie to discuss some of the themes in his talk.

Michelle Fowlis

Over the past decade, traditional singer Julie Fowlis has built a career singing songs in the native language of her Scottish island home. Wyoming Public Media’s Micah Schweizer reached her by Skype in advance of her performance Friday, Oct. 18 at the University of Wyoming in Laramie.

The University of Wyoming has solidified plans to provide financial aid to student veterans affected by the government shutdown.

Spokesman Chad Baldwin says UW has decided to assess each vet’s case individually, and will pay for tuition, university fees and on-campus housing expenses during the shutdown and hope for federal reimbursement later.

Baldwin says that the university is committed to providing this support because of a sense of responsibility towards student veterans.

Researchers seek to perfect cheaper solar panels

Oct 14, 2013

Scientists at the University of Wyoming are trying to improve solar energy by using nanotechnology.

Researcher Wenyong Wang says nanotechnology involves using very small particles to create solar panels. He says that’s different than how most solar panels are made.

“Commercialized panels are based on silicon,” Wang said. “And right now I think the efficiency is very good – it’s close to 30 percent. … But the disadvantage is that the cost is very high.”

Wyoming holds off New Mexico

Oct 12, 2013
Courtesy UW Athletics

In college football, Wyoming bolted to a 21 point lead, but had to hold on Saturday to beat New Mexico 38 to 31.                      

The Cowboys jumped ahead 21-0, watched New Mexico tied it at 24 early in the fourth quarter, before Brett Smith scored on back to back touchdowns including a 48 yard run that put the game away.  Smith was concerned that the offense stalled in the middle of the game, but he said once the Lobos tied it, it seemed to energize the team.

In College football, the Wyoming Cowboys return to action Saturday to host New Mexico.   The Cowboys will be facing a team known for running the ball nearly 80 percent of the time. 

Wyoming Coach Dave Christensen says that the Lobos offense is difficult to stop.

Museums are popular vacation destinations. When the government isn’t closed, a family trip to Washington, D.C. isn’t complete without a visit to one of the Smithsonian museums. But Dr. Elizabeth Weiser from the Ohio State University is looking at deeper meaning in these public spaces: how they reflect and shape national identity. She was recently at the University of Wyoming to speak about her research, and she stopped by our studios to talk with Wyoming Public Media's Micah Schweizer.

University of Wyoming President Bob Sternberg says that veterans attending U.W. will not see their educations interrupted due to a lack of funding caused by the government shutdown.

U.W.’s director of institutional communications, Chad Baldwin, says that the university will delay billing veterans for now, but hopes to recoup costs from the federal government later.

Baldwin says university president Bob Sternberg is committed to aiding the over 400 currently enrolled veterans because of a sense of responsibility to student vets.

Jeff Lockwood: Of Cape Cod & Wyoming

Oct 1, 2013
Jeff Lockwood

Here's a series of essays exploring "the wonderfully odd and unexpected linkages" between the Massachusetts seashore and the Wyoming prairie. Jeff Lockwood is Professor of Natural Sciences and Humanities at the University of Wyoming. This past summer, he was the writer-in-residence at Cape Cod National Seashore, where he wrote these pieces in a beach shack overlooking the ocean.

The University of Wyoming Symphony Orchestra’s new season promises classics, but some of these favorites might be new to American ears. Case in point, the Butterfly Lovers Concerto is famous in China, but likely new to audiences here. (They’ll have to wait until May for that performance.)

Mobile lab could help solve air quality questions

Sep 30, 2013
Willow Belden

Atmospheric Scientists at the University of Wyoming will soon have access to a mobile laboratory that will help them conduct advanced research into ozone pollution and other air quality issues.

Rob Field is a researcher in the Atmospheric Science Department. He says only a handful of universities have equipment this sophisticated.

Cowboys travel to face Texas State

Sep 27, 2013

The Wyoming Cowboys football team returns to the road Saturday against Texas State.  The Cowboys are coming off of their best offensive effort in 15 years and Head Coach Dave Christensen has been preaching focus and preparation with his team this week. 

He noted earlier in the week that his team hasn’t always played with the same energy every week and Christensen wants to follow-up on the Air Force win with another great effort.

Michael Ciaglo, The Gazette / Associated Press

Wyoming Quarterback Brett Smith has been named the Mountain West Conference Offensive player of the week. 

Smith set Wyoming’s single game yardage record and broke some other school records as the Cowboys crushed Air Force Saturday 56 to 23. 

Head Coach Dave Christensen says he was happy with Smith’s performance.

Wyoming prepares to face Air Force

Sep 20, 2013

Wyoming and Air Force renew their college football rivalry Saturday night in Colorado Springs when the two teams meet to open the Mountain West Conference season.  Wyoming is focused on getting its offense back on track while preparing for the difficult Air Force offense.  

Air Force uses a lot of option…where the Quarterback can either hand the ball off…pitch it to a running back…or run the ball himself.  This season Air Force is throwing the ball as well and Wyoming Coach Dave Christensen says it makes the Falcons difficult to play.           

Rebecca Martinez

In this time of job insecurity and a changing medical landscape, the University of Wyoming’s School of Pharmacy Education is graduating dozens of doctoral students who – for the most part – can count on a securing a good-paying job once they get their degree, if not before. Wyoming Public Radio’s Rebecca Martinez reports.

(phone rings, “Thank you for calling Walgreens…”)

REBECCA MARTINEZ: Sarah Pence is a pharmacist at Walgreens in Laramie. She says her store fills hundreds of medications on a daily basis, and there’s a lot she loves about her job.

On October 2nd, the University of Wyoming College of Education will be hosting University of Southern California Professor Dr. Mary Helen Immordino-Yang who will be the keynote speaker at the annual Ellbogen Symposium for teaching and learning. 

She will discuss how emotions shape learning, motivation and self.  Dr. Immordino-Yang is an expert on neuroscience and education.   She tells Bob Beck that emotions and our social experiences are a big part of learning.  

The University of Wyoming Music Department’s annual festival of new music runs September 22nd-26th, with recitals and an interactive workshop for the public.

New Frontiers: The Laramie Contemporary Music Project celebrates music by living composers. For those who worry new classical music only means atonal splats of sound, Music Department Chairwoman Theresa Bogard offers some reassurance.

Courtesy UW Athletics

The Wyoming Cowboys football team beat Northern Colorado Saturday by the score of 35 to 7.  But the Cowboys offense is disappointed that it has not been more consistent.   After another slow first quarter, Wyoming scored 21 second quarter points to lead 21 to nothing.

But the offense only scored one more touchdown and failed to connect on several additional scoring opportunities. 

Despite the win, Head Coach Dave Christensen complained for the second week in a row that the offense is not executing like it should.  Quarterback Brett Smith says that he has similar concerns.

The University of Wyoming music department’s fall faculty recital series begins this weekend.

Classical music is a mainstay throughout the series, starting Sunday, August 15 with Nicole Riner and Chi-Chen Wu on flute and piano. But other styles will get an airing too, particularly during October’s Faculty Showcase, where everything from jazz piano to Moldovan pan pipes will be heard.

Piano professor Dr. Theresa Bogard says the series is a chance to put UW’s music department on display.

Cowboys prepare for Northern Colorado

Sep 13, 2013

The Wyoming Cowboys football team is hoping to make it two straight wins Saturday/today when the Pokes host Northern Colorado. 

U-N-C typically plays a level below Wyoming, and so the Cowboys are heavily favored to win.  But Head Coach Dave Christensen notes that Wyoming lost to a lower division team last year, and he’s reminded his players of that.  Christensen says that the Bears will present some challenges.

University of Wyoming

With help from a five million dollar USDA grant, the University of Wyoming and two local groups are conducting a study of the health benefits of gardening.   They found fourteen volunteers with significant medical issues to start growing food in their own backyards.  The goal is to see if gardening improves their health.  Wyoming Public Radio’s Melodie Edwards reports.

[Fade up Ambi of background garden sounds]

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