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1000 E University Ave

Dept. 3226, Bureau of Mines

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: (307) 766-2379

Fax: (307) 766-6729

Email: uwmktg@uwyo.edu

UW Profiles

The UW Decision

Recent Department of Agriculture and Applied Economics graduate Perry Baptista says attending UW was one of the best decisions she ever made.

By Micaela Myers

When Perry Baptista of Elizabeth, Colo., chose the University of Wyoming, little did she know the journey would include travel to nine European countries, the opportunity to serve as director of the ACRES Student Farm, a second-place dance team win in the Intercollegiate Swing Battle and much more.

“Attending UW has been one of the best decisions I ever made,” says Baptista, who graduated in May 2014 with honors in agricultural business and economics.

She originally considered Colorado State University and the University of Idaho as well, since they also offered the program she was looking for. “After visiting all three campuses, UW was the clear first choice,” Baptista says. “I was immediately impressed by all the professors and students who took so much time with me, even as just a visiting student. I enjoyed the small campus population and its compact layout. Laramie seemed like the perfect size of town for me. All together, those positive first impressions were what hooked me—and I’m happy to say that all of them held true throughout my time here.”

For students to make the most of their time at UW, Baptista recommends getting involved from the very beginning. “Try anything and everything,” she says. “There is absolutely no cost to you, and who knows what you will learn? Before I came to UW, I had never danced, yet the weekly swing dance became something I wouldn’t dare miss for four years. I had never worked as a farmer, yet my leadership experience at ACRES Student Farm has shaped every summer internship I’ve had since (including summer 2014 with Bright Agrotech). I had no idea what the subject of economics entailed, yet those courses became my absolute favorites, and I added a whole major in the subject. UW has every experience to offer its students, so take as many as you can! You never know if you don’t try.”

Living on campus is a requirement for first-year students, and Baptista says she wouldn’t have missed it. “Residence life my first year was an amazing time with a group of people that I would not trade for the world,” she says. “[My] floormates became a family that has followed and supported me like no other.”

Study abroad and her involvement with the student farm also played a key role in Baptista’s UW experience. “The summer after my sophomore year was filled with highlights,” she says. “First, I spent one month in France studying their food systems and culture. The contrast in attitudes between here and there was fascinating, and we visited many inspiring businesses. Plus, the program allowed for travel around France, and I was able to spend an additional two weeks traveling to eight European countries on my own. The experiences and sights were incomparable.”

Baptista had joined the student farm her first week on campus. “After returning home, I spent the summer interning as the farm director at ACRES,” she says. “There has been no substitute for the hands-on experience in farm management that I was able to gain that summer as I learned about marketing crops through farmers markets and community-supported agriculture shares, personnel hiring and management, pest control and countless other areas. I loved working at ACRES.”

To say Baptista kept busy would be an understatement. “I was treasurer and then reporter of the Collegiate FFA. Every week, I danced with the Wyoming Swing Club and was thrilled to serve as treasurer and a member of the competitive team, Saddle Swingers, my last year. Being an honors student was much fun, and the program encouraged my academic talents,” she adds. “The courses were different than anything I would have taken otherwise and very interesting. Finally, I worked as a teaching assistant for agricultural law for two years and supplemental instructor to Introduction to Macroeconomics for two semesters. I enjoyed working directly with students and helping them succeed. The Supplemental Instruction Program in particular is a great resource for first-year and beginning students who need extra help as they start college.”

Baptista’s honors coursework and her many involvements earned her a spot as a 2014 Rosemarie Martha Spitaleri Award finalist—an award that recognizes the top graduating female students.

Not coming from an agricultural background, Baptista says the training and experiences she received at UW have prepared her well as she begins a pursuit of a doctorate in agricultural economics at University of California, Davis. “The training I received at UW is essential to achieving my goal,” she says. “My dream is to work with small-scale farmers, improving their efficiency, examining the market structures they face and empowering growers in a highly competitive market.”


One of the 10 Cowboy Ethics adopted by UW is “Always finish what you start.” Perry Baptista demonstrates this principle with her many UW accomplishments.

Perry Baptista

Perry Baptista
Baptista says the training and experiences she received at UW have prepared her well as she begins a pursuit of a doctorate in agricultural economics at University of California, Davis.

Adventures in Paris

Perry Baptista at the Eiffel Tower in Paris
“The summer after my sophomore year was filled with highlights,” Perry Baptista says. “First, I spent one month in France studying their food systems and culture. The contrast in attitudes between here and there was fascinating, and we visited many inspiring businesses."

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University Public Relations

1000 E University Ave

Dept. 3226, Bureau of Mines

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: (307) 766-2379

Fax: (307) 766-6729

Email: uwmktg@uwyo.edu

1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
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