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University of Wyoming Tour Group to Visit Powell Oct. 3

By Milton D. Ontiveroz

Sept. 26, 2014 -- A group of new University of Wyoming faculty members, along with UW President Dick McGinity, will be in Powell visiting various sites in the community as part of a university outreach program.

The UW contingent is part of the Wyoming Rendezvous Tour, a four-day bus trip each fall to a different region of Wyoming.

This year’s trip will take the UW representatives -- beginning Thursday, Oct. 3 -- to Thermopolis, Powell the next day, and Cody and Casper Saturday, Oct. 4. The group returns to campus Sunday, Oct. 5.

“This is the 16th year the UW Office of the President has sponsored the Wyoming Rendezvous Tour,” says Milton Ontiveroz, UW Institutional Communications specialist, who has organized and led the tour on behalf of the university all 16 years.

In fact, the first rendezvous tour in 1998 included a stop in Powell. The last time UW’s representatives visited the community was in 2004.

The annual tour provides UW faculty members with an opportunity to visit a region of Wyoming and to gain an appreciation for the state’s geography, cultures and economy. Participants are typically faculty members who are relatively new to UW, but the tour is open to veteran faculty members as well. Residents and community and state leaders have an opportunity to meet and become better acquainted with UW personnel and to share personal professional interests, Ontiveroz says.

“Many of the new faculty on the tour each year only arrive late in the summer and have not yet had the opportunity to explore this state,” he adds. “The tour gives them a glimpse of what Wyoming has to offer, and hopefully they come away with an appreciation of their new home state.”

This year, 21 new faculty members -- plus some spouses -- will be on the tour. McGinity, Vice President for Student Affairs Sara Axelson and Chris Boswell, vice president for government and community affairs, will join the group in Powell for a day’s worth of activities.

The new faculty members represent a wide array of disciplines: American studies; Latino studies; mechanical engineering; nursing; energy resources; accounting; history; secondary education; theatre and dance; plant sciences; and also the UW Libraries; College of Business student advising; and Army ROTC.

The UW group will begin its Powell leg of the tour stopping in at Powell High School at 10 a.m., followed by a visit to Northwest College. NWC President Stefani Hicswa will host a lunch on campus, and several of NWC’s teaching faculty members will meet with their UW counterparts at the luncheon.

Other stops for the UW contingent include the university’s Research and Extension Center; the State Seed Lab; and Gluten Free Oats.
McGinity will have a special one-on-one session with PHS upperclassmen Friday afternoon.

The UW Office of the President will host a dinner later that evening at Northwest College’s new Yellowstone Building for invited community leaders and area legislators.

UW’s representatives continue their tour the following day for stops at the Heart Mountain Interpretive Center and the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody.

The Wyoming Rendezvous Tour has taken new faculty to every region of Wyoming, and some of the stops have included tours to coal and trona mines; oil and gas fields; both the men’s and women’s state prisons; the law enforcement academy; Grand Teton National Park; a buffalo ranch; historical ranches; agricultural and high-technology businesses; all seven Wyoming community colleges; and several Wyoming high schools. Participants have even ridden on Blackhawk helicopters and participated in a Native American sweat on the Wind River Indian Reservation.

Ontiveroz says the tour is geared to expose new UW faculty members to the diverse economy of Wyoming.

“Having lived in the community for seven years when I worked at The Powell Tribune, I am excited to return to Powell and show the new faculty what a great community this is, with a very fine community college in Northwest College,” Ontiveroz says. “It gives me a chance to see some old friends as well.”


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