About Us

The Consumer Issues Conference is an ongoing interdisciplinary project under the auspices of several University of Wyoming Colleges, including Law, Agriculture, Health and Business, as well as partnering organizations like Colorado State University Extension and the Wyoming Department of Health. It is designed to focus on public policy issues affecting consumers and the consumer marketplace, and to inspire people to be active in bringing about change in the legal and market environment. The conference is the result of the hard work of the planning committee, listed below. Feel free to contact us. This year's conference is the 13th conference in the series. A list of past conferences and links to their websites, if available, is also included below. The conference does not have its own staff, and so we also rely on the assistance of the staff at the sponsoring colleges, for which the planning committee is very grateful.

The Consumer Issues Conference addresses consumer problems or issues. We define these as threats of fraud or misinformation, unfair advantage relative to consumers, or problems that cause some harm or risk to consumers. As a planning group our objectives are to

  • Develop an understanding of consumer issues and awareness of resources available to prevent and address them,
  • Empower consumers to address specific consumer concerns through education, collaboration, and participation in the public policy process,
  • Contribute to professional preparation of those who work with consumers in various ways including education and consumer protection,
  • Create opportunities for networking that can lead to collaboration among interested parties with different perspectives on consumer issues,
  • Improve consumer wellbeing through changes in personal actions and state and local government policy, (e.g. legislation introduced and/or passed, regulation, and funding), and
  • Empower students to create well researched position papers and presentations on a specific consumer issue to relevant experts and policymakers, including legislators.

The Planning Committee

  • Dee Pridgen, College of Law, University of Wyoming, Carl M. Williams Professor of Law and Social Responsibility (cochair)
  • Virginia Vincenti, Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, University of Wyoming, Professor (cochair)
  • Sharla Allen, Wyoming Department of Health
  • Trena Anastasia, Women's Advancement and Research Center, University of Wyoming
  • Catherine Carrico, Wyo INstitute for Disabilities
  • Cole Ehmke, Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, University of Wyoming, Extension Specialist in Personal Finance and Agricultural Entrepreneurship
  • Elizabeth Goudey, Esq., Students' Attorney Office, University of Wyoming, ASUW Students' Attorney
  • Bryr Grace, College of Law, University of Wyoming
  • Ann Marie Hart, School of Nursing, University of Wyoming
  • Laura Kelley, American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences Club
  • Laurel Kubin, Larimer County Cooperative Extension, Colorado State University, Director
  • Christine McKibbin, Department of Psychology, University of Wyoming
  • Lindsey Overstreet, Department of Social Work
  • Terri Rittenburg, College of Business, University of Wyoming, Department of Management and Marketing, Associate Professor

Past Conferences

  • Consumer Financial Protection: Who's in Charge? (2012)
  • Pills, Potions and Profits (2011)
  • Unlocking the Digital Marketplace: Legal and Ethical Issues (2010)
  • Food Safety, Security and Sources (2009)
  • Focus on Energy and Telecommunications (2008)
  • Money Matters (2007)
  • Home on the Range (2006)
  • Consumer Activism: Health Issues (2005)
  • Cars and Consumers (2003)
  • Credit Cards Marketed to Youth and Privacy Rights (2002)
  • Addressing Consumer Fraud (2001)
  • Rental Housing Inspection (1999)