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Trio of CEAS Students Named Finalists For Prestigious Honor

May 4, 2016

Todd Anderson mug
Todd Anderson
Ahmed Balogun mug
Ahmed Balogun
Tanner Harms mug
Tanner Harms

Three College of Engineering and Applied Science students recently were named finalists for the top graduating man and woman at the University of Wyoming.

Todd Anderson, Ahmed Balogun and Tanner Harms were among seven finalists for the 2016 Tobin Memorial Award as UW's outstanding graduating man. The annual award recognizes academic excellence and achievement, service to the university, participation and leadership in the community and campus activities, and citizenship qualities.

Vikram Singh, from Bangalore, India, received the Tobin Award, while Kimberly Sanchez, of Cheyenne, was named the Rosemarie Martha Spitaleri Award recipient as the outstanding graduating woman during a recent ceremony honoring all the nominees.

Anderson, a Laramie, Wyo., native, will graduate with an architectural engineering degree, while minoring in mathematics.

“My time spent at UW has been filled with many opportunities to provide leadership and service to the campus and the community. I have always tried to set and achieve lofty goals, and make a positive impact in whatever way I can,” Anderson says. “In my time here at UW, I have grown and changed in many ways. The University of Wyoming has made a significant impact on my life, and I am grateful that I have been given so many opportunities to serve and give back to the community that I love.”

One nominator says Anderson is an ambitious student, and his character is “impeccable.”

“Todd is a rare and truly special student. His design work is original, inspired and often highly successful in both concept and execution,” the nominator says. “His versatility, positive demeanor and vigorous work ethic will propel him to the top of the profession.”

Balogun, originally from Abuja, Nigeria, is a mechanical engineering major, with a minor in the Honors Program. He is the former Associated Students of UW president, meeting one of his UW goals of becoming involved on and off campus.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to contribute to my community,” he says. “I chose to get involved on campus to balance the academic rigor of mechanical engineering as I realized life could get ‘gloomy’ if I focused wholly on academics.”

One nominator praised Balogun’s work ethic.

“Ahmed is an exceptional individual; he is hardworking and responsible. He is an excellent student, dedicated to his studies and the different projects with which he is involved,” the nominator says. “Ahmed is one of my favorite students because he is so very personable and so intent on maximizing his educational experience, his career and his contributions to his home country.”

Harms, from Englewood, Colo., will graduate with a degree in mechanical engineering. He successfully balanced his academics and a starting spot on the UW wrestling team.

“Anything worthy that I accomplish is not by my own power, but the power of one much greater than me,” Harms says. “Always demanding and often disappointing, wrestling taught me to work hard, and that hard work pays off. My character was tested and strengthened through the wrestling program. Graduating from the University of Wyoming has given me so much more than a degree.”

A nominator praised Harms’ ability to excel in the classroom and also on the wrestling mat.

“I doubt I have to emphasize how rare it is for a Division 1 athlete to both excel in his sport and thrive in a major as rigorous as mechanical engineering,” the nominator says. “I have never known a nationally ranked competitor in a year-round sport who mastered a difficult academic field, devoted time to original research and held multiple leadership positions on his team and in service organizations.”

Another writes, “His selfless attitude and loyalty to the Cowboy wrestling program are qualities that are priceless to me as a coach, and I believe will serve Tanner in his future endeavors in a big way. Each adversity that Tanner encountered, he has risen to accept as a challenge and come back measurably stronger from the experience.”

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