From the Dean's Desk

Dear Friends,

We are now past graduation ceremonies on both the Laramie and UW-Casper campuses.  There were over 300 graduates from the college this spring including 2 students earning the Biomedical Doctor of Philosophy degree.  We had about 240 communication disorders, kinesiology and health, nursing, pharmacy and social work students walk at the College of Health Sciences commencement ceremony in Laramie and 12 social work students at the UW-Casper ceremony.  Our medical programs added an additional 5 graduates from the UW Family Medicine Residency Program at Cheyenne and 8 graduates from the Casper residency.   There were also 18 Wyoming students receiving their Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Washington through the WWAMI program and 8 students receiving their Doctors of Dental Medicine from Creighton University and the University of Nebraska.  I say at commencement: “One of the most rewarding responsibilities of a college dean is presiding over commencement.”  This is so true.  It is so gratifying to see the success of all of our students and faculty and to recognize it on that special day.  Our state has shortages in virtually all of the healthcare areas and we hope that many of these students decide to stay in Wyoming.

Every year at graduation we honor our top faculty and staff.  I read the following at the ceremony: “The faculty and staff who have been responsible for the education and clinical training of the students before you are exceptional in their dedication to teaching and scholarship. I want to take this opportunity to acknowledge achievements of the outstanding faculty and staff who brought you to this point in your career.  Clearly, I cannot mention each of our faculty members by name, nor can I comment on the contributions that the group has made to each of you, to the university, our community and the state and nation over the past year.  But, I do want to acknowledge those selected by their colleagues as this year’s best.”  We then acknowledge each recipient individually; this year’s award recipients are listed below in this newsletter.  We are blessed with a dedicated faculty and staff and many of them will probably never be recognized with an award because there are just so many and so few awards.  Some, like Bobbie Cesko in the School of Pharmacy, have spent their careers here.  Others are just getting started.  They all are dedicated to student success and make the UW College of Health Sciences a great place to work.  I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone at the college for doing such a great job. 

Happy Spring!


Alumni News

We proudly congratulate all of our College of Health Sciences graduates, and welcome you as Alumni of the College and of the University of Wyoming!

Weber Family Scholarship Helps Future Pharmacists
The pharmaceutical industry gave so much to Allan and Sharon Weber and it was only natural of them to want to give something back. Using their estate, they will create the Allan E. and Sharon J. Weber Family Memorial Scholarship at the UW School of Pharmacy to help foster excellence and to provide financial support to students entering the program. Read the Full Article.

Faculty and Staff News

Faculty and Staff of the College of Health Sciences were recognized for their outstanding achievements during the past school year.

Front row from left:

Cheri Bellamy: Teaching in Geriatrics Award

Cathy Ross: Presenter

Debra Shoefelt: Staff 5+ Years Award

Bobbie Cesko: Dean's Award

Neely Mahapatra: Presenter

Middle row from left:

Tonja M. Woods: Presenter

Beth Robitaille: Meritorious Service Award

Sara DeRienzo: Staff 0-5 Years Award

Ann Marie Hart: Presenter

Linda Williams: Innovation in Teaching Award

Holly Miller: Presenter

Back row from left:

Dean Joseph Steiner: Presenter

Michelle Jarman: Presenter

Mark Guiberson: New Investigator Award

Bruce Culver: Career Achievement Award

Sue Steiner: Outstanding Teacher Award.

We would like to thank the following College of Health Sciences Faculty and Staff whose volunteer efforts helped make this Spring's Commencement Ceremony a success!
Winter Hansen, Denise Gable, Maranda Brumfield, JoAnn Rule, Bobbie Cesko, Craig Vaske, Laurie Kempert, Jennifer Martin, Maria Bennett, Robin Petroski, Jackie Robinson, Kim Raska, Sherrie Rubio-Wallace, Marilyn Hall, Elizabeth Goodwin, Ann Wislowski.

Health Sciences Staff Honored for their Service to Students.

Craig Vaske
Craig joined the Preprofessional Health Advising Office 11 years ago after serving for 4 years in the U. S. Peace Corps.  He is currently serving as the Vice-President of the Western Association of Advisors for the Health Professions and recently organized their bi-annual meeting for over 200 people in Irvine, CA.

Jennifer Martin
Jennifer Martin is an Office Associate for Advising with the Division of Kinesiology and Health. Samuel Cauffman nominated Jennifer as one of those who offer "exceptional contributions to the University of Wyoming and inspiration of students."

Robin Petroski
 Robin Petroski started with Communication Disorders in 2009 and has been employed at UW since 1991. She was nominated for the “Tip of the Cap” award by Kelsey Mullikin, a senior in Communication Disorders. Robin enjoys being in a position where she can help students and make their educational experience positive.

Read the Full Article

Faculty in Communication Disorders have been busy with research and scholarship this spring!

Mary Jo Cooley Hidecker, Assistant Professor, had a recent publication in Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology commenting on the role of genetics in communication disorders. Mark Guiberson, Assistant Professor, had two studies published, one on bilingual language skills of deaf and hard of hearing children from Spain and one on a Spanish language Parent screening survey. Doug Petersen, Assistant Professor, had two research reports appear this spring showing the benefits of narrative language intervention, one on children with autism and the other on children in Head Start preschools.

In April, Mary Hardin-Jones gave two presentations on the results of national surveys on faculty salaries and education programs in communication disorders at the Council of Academic Programs in Communication Sciences and Disorders Convention in Orlando, Florida.

Mark Guiberson is wrapping up his project funded by the Mountain West Clinical Translational Research-Infrastructure Network He will present preliminary results on the use of tele-health measures to screen for developmental language disorders in Spanish-speaking preschoolers at the First Annual meeting of MWCTR-IN this summer. Mark and his team travelled around Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico to collect this data. Mark’s prolific research activity in the short three years he has been at UWyo was recognized this spring with the College of Health Sciences New Investigator award.

Doug Petersen, with co-investigator Trina Spencer of Northern Arizona University, were awarded a 3-year $1.5 million Institute of Education Science grant to further develop and investigate their tiered narrative language intervention program.

Mary Jo Hidecker was awarded a College of Health Sciences research grant to further develop a communication rating tool for individuals with cerebral palsy.

Doug Petersen and Christiane Dechert, Associate Lecturer, were awarded UW International Travel Grants to share research, continuing continuing education, and provide service to educators and children with disabilities in Guatemala. Four Spanish-speaking students from Communication Disorders, Gwynn Barrows, Jen Glodowski, Mike Soriano, and Allie Long, were awarded Cheney Study Abroad Grants and raised further funds to benefit the special needs school in Guatemala.

Children taking a break from class in Guatemala.

Division News

WWAMI 2014 R/UOP Placements Announced

The Rural/Underserved Opportunities Program (R/UOP) is a four-week, elective immersion experience in community medicine for students between their first and second years of medical school. During their four-week rotation, students live in rural or urban underserved communities throughout Wyoming. They work side-by-side with local physicians providing health care to underserved populations. It is with great pleasure that WWAMI announces the 2014 R/UOP students:

Tyler Baldwin
Sean Bell
Melissa Dozier
Andrew Fluckiger
Sarah Gregory
Kyle James
Craig Luplow
Maria McNiven
Arla Mistica
Rishi Patel
Hannah Philips
Elise Sylar

Lander, WY
Casper, WY
Buffalo, WY
Torrington, WY
Ft. Washakie, WY
Jackson, WY
Sheridan, WY
Cody, WY
Douglas, WY
Powell, WY
Saratoga, WY
Thayne, WY

WWAMI 2014 GHIP Participants Announced

The Global Health Immersion Program (GHIP) is the flagship global health program for first-year WWAMI medical students, and the only one of its kind in the country. GHIP is an intensive, academically rigorous program created for students who want to gain a firsthand understanding of the health challenges facing people in low- and middle-income countries. Participants in the program are matched to a host community in a developing country, and spend eight weeks working to identify, examine, and explore solutions to key health problems. Students then partner with local groups to develop and implement a small project aimed at improving health.

This year's participant's are:
Roberta Enes
Kymberly May
Ben Ross

Kampala, Uganda
Nairobi, Kenya
Lima, Peru


Several staff members for the University of Wyoming Family Medicine Residency Program at Cheyenne were recently recognized for their years of service. For five years: Dee Burnett, Maddy Jonker, Christie Novy, Misty Pacheco and Sheila Ruiz; for 10 years, Stephanie Schneider; for 15 years, Pamela MacMillan; for 25 years, Theresa Sheheen; and for 35 years, Kathi Zubrod. Find out more at UW Employees Honored at Staff Recognition Day.


We can all benefit from good nutrition and exercise.  Wyoming Institute for Disabilities (WIND) has materials available that propose strategies for families of children with special health care needs to maintain and improve their health. These materials are available to you through the Wyoming Family to Family Health Information Center project.

These materials specifically address the impact of obesity and nutrition for families of children with special health care needs. The recent issue of Vital Signs from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities points out the importance of physical activity for people with disabilities.

The Wyoming Family to Family Health Care Information Center provides preventative health information to families so their children who have disabilities can continue lead healthy lives. Through the Wyoming Family to Family Health Care Information Center website, families can access video modules on health topics and download accompanying factsheets on a number of topics. All materials can be accessed through:

News from the Division of Kinesiology and Health

On Tuesday, April 15, 2014, over 100 students, parents, friends, alumni, and Kinesiology and Health faculty and staff gathered to congratulate kinesiology and health majors on their achievements at this year’s Division of Kinesiology and Health 2013-2014 Awards and Recognition Dinner.  A total of 19 Scholarship Recipients and three Outstanding Seniors were honored, and over 30 students were recognized for academic achievements and/or contributions made to the division, college and university.  The event was held at the University of Wyoming, Wyoming Union, Yellowstone Ballroom.  Scholarship and award recipients included:

Campbell-Thouin-Marburger Scholarship Award - Brandon Forister, Sheridan, and Josh Gregory, Boulder, CO; Emily J. Smith Memorial Scholarship Award - Christa Munari, Cody; Floyd Hart Memorial Scholarship Awards - Kylie Graney, Casper, and Emily Radich, Cheyenne; Gordon S. and Charlott Myers Health Sciences Scholarship Awards - Eric Jacobs, Powell, Matt Peterson, Guernsey, and Jeff Wordeman, Cheyenne; John Corbett Scholarship Award - Kelsey Morrow, Casper; Kinesiology and Health Foundation Scholarship Awards - Brandon Galovich, Laramie, and Josie Bowdish, Laramie; Paul Stock Foundation Scholarship Awards; Hunter Perala, Cheyenne, and Heather Reiner, Cheyenne; Pax Ricketts Scholarship Award - Kelly Simonton, Wheatland; - Vernon K. Gale Memorial Scholarship Awards - Matt Peterson, Guernsey; Vicky L. Kmetz Scholarship Award - Dan Garcia, Cheyenne, Kristen Lessard, Chugiak, AK, and Brett Smith, Laramie; Ward Family Scholarship - Christa Munari, Cody; 2013-2014 Outstanding Seniors: Kinesiology and Health Promotion Program - Lucas Carr, Ranchester, and Todd Mirich, Loveland, CO, Physical Education Teacher Education Program - Tori Shiver, Cheyenne

A number of graduates from the Kinesiology and Health Promotion program have been admitted to professional school programs.  Students admitted to physical therapy programs include: Lucas Carr, University of Southern California; Cheston Feaster, University of Pacific in Oregon; Joel Fundaun, Regis University, Denver; Kristen Glisczinski, University of Pacific in Oregon; Erika Heinbaugh, Northern Arizona University; Ashley Hickox, University of North Dakota; Tanner Spade, University of Pacific in Oregon; and Kacie Washburn, University of Colorado, Anshutz Medical Center in Denver.  Rachel Knox, a senior in the Kinesiology and Health Promotion program, was accepted into the Occupational Therapy Program at Creighton University, Nebraska, with a start date of June 2014. Morgan Johnson, a 2012 graduate from the undergraduate Kinesiology and Health Promotion program and a 2013 graduate from the M.S. degree program in Kinesiology and Health, was accepted into the University of Washington, School of Medicine (WWAMI Medical Program), with a start date of August 2014. Colter Wichern, a 2014 M.S. graduate in Kinesiology and Health, was accepted into the Medical Program at University of Oregon Health Sciences School, with a start date of August 2014.

CHS Student News


Expanding the Professional Horizons of Social Work Students
Social Work Excellence Endowment Funds Trip to Professional Conference

BSW students Carrie Sturgeon and Jessica Rader were selected from a group of applicants to attend the Baccalaureate Program Directors Annual Conference in Louisville, Kentucky this March – an annual professional social work event that attracts approximately 600 members and individuals as well as 150-200 students from regional schools each year.

From left: Sam Burkett, Molli Rosenbaum, Sam Myers, Megan Darrow, Shelby Kappler, and Sara DiRienzo.

Student RSO Abilities was recognized this semester for their contributions to campus as the “Best New RSO”. Abilities, advised by Sara DiRienzo at Wyoming Institute for Disabilities (WIND), is a club for students with disabilities and their allies. This year the club celebrated World Disability Day, hosted a panel of students who have disabilities, and brought Miss Wheelchair USA, Ashlee Lundvall, to Shepard Symposium.

In Her Shoes

University of Wyoming at Casper BSW students participated in a domestic violence simulation, “In Her Shoes” in April. This simulation takes participants through the experience of someone in a domestic violence relationship. Participants must make decisions based on information provided on the cards trying to keep their character safe and able to leave the relationship. Different stations around the room provide resources, information, and advice for the character.  Student participant Brittney Elliott spoke of her experience during the simulation, “I really enjoyed the In Her Shoes activity. I have never really had any kind of experience with Domestic Violence, because of the environment that I grew up in. Growing up, it was always taught to us, that you do not hit unless you have to in order to defend yourself. I went to a private Catholic school, and so the kids I was around had the same kind of upbringing. Domestic violence was never in my life. This activity opened my eyes to the problem that domestic violence is. I often wondered why can't a woman get out, why does she stay? Well, it's not as easy as just being able to leave. Other than financial and intimidation factors, there are still, very real feelings attached. This activity showed me that no matter what decision a person makes, sometimes that person just cannot get out of the abusive situation.”

ComDis junior Hannah Young was inducted into the honor society Phi Kappa Phi. “The national honor society of Phi Kappa Phi, founded in 1897, recognizes and encourages superior scholarship in all curricula of the colleges and divisions of the university.”


May, 2014

College of Health Sciences
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1000 E. University Ave.
Laramie, WY 82071
(307) 766-6556

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