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UW recognizes faculty, staff and students

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

With spring semester quickly coming to a close, the University of Wyoming (UW) recognized outstanding faculty, staff and students during the month of April, including a few from UW’s College of Agriculture, Life Sciences and Natural Resources (CALSNR). 

Presidential Scholarly Achievement awards

In an April 25 press release, UW Ag News announced President Ed Seidel awarded faculty members who demonstrated high achievement in scholarship through the 2024 Presidential Scholarly Achievement Awards.

“Started by Seidel in 2022, the awards include two tracks – one for tenured faculty members and one for early-career faculty members,” reads the release. “Each track includes a monetary award and recognition at the President’s Commencement Dinner on May 9.”  

“This year’s cohort of faculty receiving the Presidential Scholarly Achievement Awards show exceptional commitment to scholarship to advance their disciplines, UW and the state of Wyoming,” Seidel says. “I am grateful to have such talented faculty at UW.” 

This year, tenured faculty honorees came from UW’s colleges of business and education and included Ali Bicer, associate professor of mathematics education; Todd Cherry, John S. Bugas Chair and professor of economics; Ana Houseal, professor of elementary and early education and Linda Price, professor and Dick and Maggie Chair of Business Administration.

The Presidential Scholarly Achievement Awards for early-career faculty were given to several instructors in CALSNR, including Grace Shearrer, assistant professor of human nutrition and food; Ellen Aikens, assistant professor of zoology and physiology in the School of Computing and the Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources; Curt Davidson, assistant professor of outdoor recreation and tourism management in the Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources and Riley Bernard, assistant professor of zoology and physiology.

Other awardees include Dana Caulton, assistant professor of atmospheric science in the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences; Katelyn Kotlarek, assistant professor of craniofacial disorders and imaging in the College of Health Sciences; Alison Mercier, assistant professor of elementary education in the College of Education; Kasey Stanton, assistant professor of psychology in the College of Arts and Sciences and Patrick Witz, assistant professor of accounting and finance in the College of Business.

UW School of Graduate Education awards

On April 24, the UW School of Graduate Education and Graduate Council recognized graduate students and their mentors for outstanding teaching and research. 

In recognition of the commitment to graduate student mentoring by an outstanding faculty member with 10 or more years of academic experience, the 2024 Distinguished Graduate Faculty Mentor Award was presented to Department of Modern and Classical Languages Professor Conxita Domenech.

The John P. Ellbogen Outstanding Graduate Assistant Teaching Award was presented to five individuals, including Department of Psychology’s Christopher Cannon of Raleigh, N.C.; Division of Kinesiology and Health’s Aimee Gray of Pinedale; Ecology, Evolution and Life Sciences Program’s Jonathan Lautenbach of Grand Rapids, Mich.; Creative Writing Program’s Lena Newlin of Laramie and Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering and Construction Management’s Cesar “Gerardo” Freyre Pinto of Merida, Yucatan, Mexico.

Additionally, UW recognizes a graduate student for their exemplary master’s thesis with the Outstanding Master’s Thesis Award, as well as a graduate student for their exemplary doctoral dissertation with the Outstanding Dissertation Award. 

ChooiKim Lau of Laramie, a student in the Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering and Construction Management, received the Outstanding Master’s Thesis Award, while Tayler LaSharr of Glendale, Ariz., a student in the Program of Ecology and Evolution, was presented the Outstanding Dissertation Award.

Corrine Knapp, an associate professor in the Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources, was the recipient of the Early-Career Graduate Faculty Mentor Award, which is given to a faculty member with less than six years of experience for their commitment to mentoring graduate students. 

The Mid-Career Graduate Faculty Mentor Award, given to a member with six to 10 years of experience at UW, was presented to Department of Plant Sciences Associate Professor Randa Jabbour and Division of Kinesiology and Health Associate Professor Evan Johnson. 

A new award, the UW School of Graduate Education Dean’s Distinguished Service Award, was given this year to a UW administrator or staff member for their exceptional service to the university’s graduate students.  

The first individual to receive this award was Zebadiah Hall, vice president of the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. 

Top first-year instructors 

Earlier in April, 36 UW instructors – including four from UW CALSNR – were presented with the 2024 Promoting Intellectual Engagement (PIE) Awards as well. 

“PIE Award recipients were nominated online by first- and second-year students, and then they were selected by a committee based on the number of nominations and students’ comments. The committee reviewed nearly 400 nominations this year,” explains an April 11 UW Ag News press release.

PIE Award recipients receive a pie from UW Residence Life and Dining Services, and five-time recipients get an individualized pie plate. 

The four CALSNR instructors who received the award are Timothy Collier and Brian Sebade of the Department of Ecosystem Science and Management, Mark Lyford of the Department of Botany and Jonathon Prather of the Life Sciences Program.

Hannah Bugas is the managing editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to

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