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Meet the 2018-2019 Salt Creek Energy Excellence Recipients

May 3, 2018

The College of Law and Salt Creek Energy Excellence Committee are excited to recognize Second-year law student Madeleine Lewis as the Salt Creek Energy Excellence Scholar for 2018-2019.

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Lewis grew up in Cheyenne, Wyo., where she began to develop an interest in energy and natural resources. She attended Carleton College in Northfield, Minn. for her undergraduate degree where she graduate cum laude with degrees in sociology and anthropology. While in college, she worked as a research assistant in environmental anthropology, integrating her interests with natural resources and her field of study. She further cultivated those interests by orchestrating two fieldwork projects related to the multiple use of public lands.

At the College of Law, she has continued to develop her skills in order to pursue a career in energy law and policy. A joint degree student, Lewis is concurrently earning her Master’s degree in Environment and Natural Resources along with her law degree. In addition to taking advantage of the energy track curriculum offer at the College of Law, Lewis has served as a research assistant for Oil & Gas Professor, Tara Righetti. In that capacity, she has worked on several projects, including research on carbon dioxide pipeline siting regulations, and surface use agreements for wind and oil & gas developers, to name a few.

With a paired interest in the inner workings of industry internationally, Lewis traveled to Spain in the summer of 2017 to tour renewable energy development laboratories. She will spend part of the upcoming summer in Peru to conduct her master’s thesis research on the right to access to energy in remote, low-income areas within a human rights framework.

“I am honored to be the 2018 Salt Creek Scholar,” says Lewis. “We all depend on energy in one way or another, but we need strong people who are willing to work toward innovative solutions for the future of the industry.  I have an immense interest in natural resource and energy law, in every aspect. I am excited to be a Salt Creek Scholar because I believe this award will give me the momentum to make positive contributions in the field.”

The Salt Creek Committee is extremely enthusiastic in welcoming Lewis into the Front Range energy community, and hopes to aid in her goals of working in the region within energy and water law.

Salt Creek Logo DerrickEstablished in 2015 by University of Wyoming law alums and benefactors practicing in the areas of oil & gas and energy law, the Salt Creek Energy Excellence Scholarship is awarded to students demonstrating academic achievement and a commitment to the study and practice of energy law. It is named for the oldest producing oil and gas field in Wyoming, which has been crucial to the livelihoods of many generations of families in the area.

More than just a scholarship, Salt Creek Scholars are announced at the annual College of Law Honors Banquet, honored at the annual Landscape Discussion on Energy Law and Policy, and promoted to potential employers throughout the Salt Creek Scholars donor network. By connecting these students to a network of friends and donors, the intent is to provide an easier transition to employment and mentorship opportunities within the field.

The Salt Creek Scholar is selected by the Salt Creek Energy Excellence Scholarship Committee, which is comprised of the director(s) of the Center for Law and Energy Resources in the Rockies (CLERR), the College of Law Oil & Gas Professor, and no less than three of the donors to the fund as selected at random by the director(s) of CLERR and as approved by the Dean of the College of Law.

Impressed with the applicants this year, for the first time the Committee decided to make two awards from the Salt Creek Energy Excellence Fund, one award for the Salt Creek Scholar, and a second award to a 1L that has shown promise and interest in the field.

This year, the College of Law recognizes Terisa Oomens as a Salt Creek Scholarship recipient.

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Oomens is a native of Holmen, Wis. She earned her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin – Platteville in Reclamation, Environment, and Conservation.

She came to Wyoming with the express interest of pursing a law degree with emphasis in the area of energy and natural resources. Also a joint degree student, Oomens is working toward her Master’s degree within the Haub School for Environment and Natural Resources.

Because the curriculum for first-year law students is set, it is difficult to cultivate interests outside of the required coursework. Oomens however, has been proactive in making sure that she is well prepared to track with the energy and natural resources law pathway. Oomens is a member of the Natural Resources Law Club, she volunteered to help with the David & Cannon Natural Resource Moot Court Competition, and competed in the Oil & Gas Negotiation Competition where she was a semifinalist as a 1L.

Impressed by her drive and perseverance at such an early stage in her law school career, the Committee is excited to help develop her fervor for energy.

“I have been committed to this field before I knew what it entailed, how to get there, or who would help me along the way,” says Oomens. “My passion for and commitment to my goal of becoming an energy and natural resource attorney continues to increase. I’m so grateful to the Salt Creek Committee in helping me pursue those goals and creating such an outstanding program to support students like myself in the field.”


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