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Welcome Back Students
"One of my greatest sources of pride as president
is the extraordinary caliber of the students who choose to attend the
University of Wyoming. They are clever and ambitious, hard-working
and eager, and able to compete with the best in the workplace. Many are
performing at an incredibly high academic standard and still finding time to be
engaged in significant undergraduate research and meaningful co-curricular
opportunities. I’m especially struck by the commitment of UW students to
making a difference in the world around them. I consider it an
honor and a privilege to lead a university that is home to students such as we
have at UW." -- UW President Tom Buchanan
Q & A with ASUW Executives
Associated Students of the University of Wyoming (ASUW) President Joel Defebaugh and Vice President Brett Kahler discuss why being a student at the University of Wyoming is special. Defebaugh and Kahler were elected by the UW student body last spring to their ASUW executive posts for the 2012-13 school year.
What makes a UW student unique?
I think a UW student is unique because of the pride in the university, and the state. Even our international students and out-of state students truly come to embrace the Wyoming lifestyle. We are tough students here, handling the climate and then embracing the landscape in outdoor recreation activities. – Joel Defebaugh
Each UW student has their own individual background that they come to this campus with. That means that there are over 10,000 individual experiences and lifestyles that contribute to this wonderful institution, and bring their own part to the larger picture. – Brett Kahler
What surprised you when you first arrived at UW?
I shouldn’t have been surprised by it, but I’d say the overall sincere kindness and the commitment to helping me adjust by everyone I met. I think it’s so refreshing each time you get greeted “good morning” across campus, and then ask someone for help and they go above and beyond to ensure you’re successful. – Joel Defebaugh
What advice would you give to a new student at UW?
Get involved! I know for a fact you will hear that more than you can count, but here’s the secret – it’s true! There will be so many opportunities, so find what works for you and go into it whole-heartedly. You absolutely will not regret it. – Brett Kahler
What do you feel is UW's strongest tradition?
UW’s strongest tradition I believe is sort of a collection of everything here, it’s the people. It’s a stretch, but football games, homecoming week, honors convocations, and even club meetings, are made that much better by the outstanding students, faculty and staff, and they are the energy behind all we do. – Joel Defebaugh
Homecoming is a wonderful event that takes place each year. It’s a great time to connect with alumni from around the state and truly enjoy the sense of Poke Pride that is shown across campus. – Brett Kahler
How has UW made you a global citizen?
I’ve interacted with my peers and faculty from all across the world. Those conversations are so enlightening in the discussions of difference of opinions and views. That, combined with amazing curriculum that strives to provide points of reference from all areas of the world. It truly is a diverse community, and getting engaged will make you a global citizen. UW has a broad spectrum of diversity. – Joel Defebaugh
There are students on campus from over 60 countries, and by learning about their culture, I have found that I learn more about the ways of my own culture and how it functions in this ever-changing global society. – Brett Kahler
Has UW prepared you for your future?
Yes. With no hesitation, the answer is yes. Not only in the education I’ve received in my going-on four years, but in the connections I’ve made with people here at the University and across the state. I feel so excited about the future, and know that my time was well spent here at the university, and that it will always be a place I can come back to for support. – Joel Defebaugh
UW has not just given me the in-class educational experience that is needed to be successful, but also provides so many extra-curricular opportunities that have set me up for being able to survive once I leave campus. – Brett Kahler
Do you have a photo that sums up your UW experience?
It’s a tough thing to put going-on four years into a photo, but I’ve chosen one (right) of Pistol Pete and I wearing the Brown and Gold. I think that through my years as an orientation leader, resident assistant, ASUW senator, and First Year Institute instructor, the thing that keeps me going is my love of the university and the pride I have in it. Pistol Pete and I represent UW with enthusiasm. – Joel Defebaugh
This photo (below) shows the vast array of activities that are going on at UW all the time. The people on this campus are what make it come to life, and every day has its own flare and zest that is different than any other. – Brett Kahler
Are there any other fun facts or stories about you or your experience at UW that you would like to share?
It’s been a good time here. I’ve loved every event I’ve gone too. I’ll always be at Dance Marathon in my Brown and Gold Toga. I’ll never miss wearing Gold to a football game, basketball, volleyball, wrestling, soccer. My biggest joy though is the students, my peers. Seeing them each as we all move around Prexy’s Pasture, is easily a highlight of each day. – Joel Defebaugh
UW has turned me into a “Yes Man,” in that I have learned that saying yes to every experience that comes my way is only going to help me learn and grow. To this point, that lifestyle hasn’t disappointed me yet. – Brett Kahler