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AVP for Graduate Education Finalists

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Bret HessBret Hess – Professor, Animal Science and Associate Dean for Research & Director, Wyoming Agricultural Experiment Station

Dr. Hess joined the University of Wyoming in 1996 as an Assistant Professor in Animal Science. Since joining UW, Dr. Hess has moved through the ranks (promoted to Professor in 2008) and served in numerous leadership positions, including as interim head of the Department of Plant Sciences, interim director for the Sheridan and Powell Research and Extension Centers, and assistant director of the Wyoming Agricultural Experiment Station. Since 2010, Dr. Hess has served as the Associate Dean for Research and Director of the Wyoming Agricultural Experiment Station. As Assoc. Dean and Director, Dr. Hess provides administrative support for research in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, and manages the human, physical, and fiscal resources associated with UW’s Research & Extension Centers, Wyoming Seed Certification Service, and Wyoming State Seed Laboratory. He has been a strong supporter of graduate education in his administrative position. Before joining administration, Dr. Hess was an accomplished scholar, teacher and graduate student mentor – he has published 87 scientific articles; chaired or served on 35 graduate committees, with many of his students receiving regional or national awards for their research; and has been recognized for exceptional teaching and graduate student mentoring, including being nominated for the Lawrence Meeboer Teaching Award and being recognized as both an Outstanding Master’s Thesis Advisor and Outstanding Dissertation Advisor by UW.

James Ahern

James Ahern – Professor & Department Head, Anthropology

Dr. Ahern joined the University of Wyoming as an Assistant Professor in Anthropology in 2000, being promoted to Professor in 2014. He has served as the Department Head for Anthropology since 2014 in addition to numerous other leadership experiences, including: serving as Director of the UW Archeological Field School in Croatia, completing the UW LEAD program, serving on two University Studies Task Forces (including chairing USP Task Force III’s Human Culture, Physical & Natural World, and Wyoming and U.S. Constitution (V) committee), and serving on Anthropology’s graduate and PhD curriculum committees. Dr. Ahern is also an accomplished scholar, teacher and graduate student mentor. As a College of Arts & Sciences Seibold Professor, he studied the effects on graduate education of the implementation of the Bologna System at the University of Zagreb. His research has covered many aspects of human biological and biocultural evolution, ranging from work on the origin of the hominin lineage to the peopling of the Americas. Much of Dr. Ahern's current research focuses on the complex biocultural dynamics that coincided with the Neandertal/modern human transition in Central Europe. He has taught a variety of courses in biological anthropology, won multiple awards for his teaching including the Beatrice Gallatin Beuf Golden Apple of the Hesperides Award for Outstanding Freshman Teaching, Mortar Board Top Prof, and the College of Arts and Sciences Extraordinary Merit Award for Teaching. Since joining UW Dr. Ahern has also chaired or served on 31 graduate student committees.

Scott Miller

Scott Miller – Professor & Department Head, Ecosystem Science and Management

Dr. Miller has been at the University of Wyoming since 2002 when he joined the Department of Ecosystem Science and Management (formerly Renewable Resources) as an Assistant Professor. He was promoted to Professor in 2015 and has served as Department Head since being promoted. Dr. Miller has also served as Chair for both the MS Program in Water Resources and the interdisciplinary PhD Program in Hydrology. Dr. Miller currently serves as the Co-Director for the NSF-EPSCoR Wyoming Center for Environmental Hydrology & Geophysics (WYCHEG) research program. He has taught numerous undergraduate and graduate courses, and has been recognized for exceptional teaching – including being nominated for the Lawrence Meeboer Teaching Award and receiving the NACTA Teaching Award of Merit. Dr. Miller is an accomplished scholar and graduate mentor – he has published over 40 scientific papers, more than half of which were co-authored with graduate students, has chaired 19 graduate committees and served as a committee member on 64 others, and has attracted over $28 million in extramural funding while at UW.

AVP Graduate Education Search Committee

  • Ben Rashford (Chair) -- College of Agriculture & Natural Resources
  • Bryan Shader -- College of Arts & Sciences/Office of Research and Economic Development
  • Temple Stoellinger -- College of Law/Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources
  • Paul Dellenback -- College of Engineering and Applied Science
  • Jayne Jenkins -- College of Health Sciences
  • Michele Peck -- Office of Academic Affairs
  • Klaas van 't Veld -- College of Business
  • Lay-nah Morris-Howe -- College of Education
  • Alyson Hagy -- College of Arts & Sciences
  • Lauren Stanton (Student Representative) -- College of Arts & Sciences

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