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Vice President's Corner

Sean Blackburn

A Message from the Vice President

At the “gateway” to the University of Wyoming, a woman rider breaking through a sandstone wall welcomes all to campus. “Breakin’ Through” captures the spirit of Wyoming and its university: Our students break through to the future for the Cowboy State and the Equality State.

Sean Blackburn is no stranger to Wyoming, and hopes to help even more people break through to their dreams. Vice President Blackburn began his career with the University of Wyoming as the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students starting in July of 2014, but he’s no stranger to the university or Wyoming. “I was born here in Laramie,” he says. “Both my parents got degrees here, as did two of my sisters, my grandparents and aunts and uncles. UW for me has always been the Harvard of the West. As I was going through my higher education and considering where I’d want to work, I’ve always held it on the horizon. This was the right time, the right job and the right point in my career.”

 

Blackburn earned his Masters of Education Degree in Student Affairs Administration from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) in Blacksburg, Va. Before coming to UW, he served as Associate Dean of Students at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C., and previously held positions at Virginia Tech and the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. Vice President Blackburn was appointed to his position as Vice President for Student Affairs in May of 2017. 

Goals for the future: “One of the primary services we provide is connecting students to the resources they need,” Blackburn says of the Division of Student Affairs. “In the long range, my goal is to make sure we’re really building an engagement portfolio for our students. We know that students who are engaged are more successful, they’re more supportive alumni, and they’re happier with their college experience.” As Dean of Students, and now Vice President for Student Affairs, Sean has played a pivotal role in the implementation of a new strategic plan, the creation of a 10-Year Master Housing Plan, and the development of the Center for Student Involvement and Leadership. Looking towards the future, we have many goals, but above all else, I am looking towards the future of student housing as the biggest problem facing our division in the next few years. 

Standout students: “I think we have some of the best students—they’re honest, they’re hardworking, and they have a strong independent streak in terms of doing what’s right and being responsible. I think they have some of that Wyoming ‘cowboy up’ mentality, which gives them opportunities.” Along with being proud of their hard work and dedication, Vice President Blackburn is acutely aware of the stresses and problems that come along with our 'cowboy up' mentality. That independent streak can make some students resistant to getting help, Blackburn says. “We want to get the message out that it’s OK to come forward if you need assistance. We have support systems and programs to help students be successful.

Exciting times: “I think that this is a really exciting time to be at UW, between the UW Housing Initiatives, the new Science Initiative, and the Wyoming Union Visioning Study,” Blackburn says. “We are blessed to have such a supportive Legislature, and I think President Nichols has done a phenomenal job leading us through this such a difficult chapter and preparing us for the next step. Between everything currently happening, and the goals laid out in Breaking Through, the University's strategic plan, I’m really optimistic about everything going on at the university and where we’re headed.”

 

Click Here for Official Communications from the Vice President 

 

Sean Blackburn

Sean S. Blackburn

Vice President for Student Affairs
Old Main | Suite 408
307-766-5123 | sean.blackburn@uwyo.edu
Website

Contact Us

Division of Student Affairs

Suite 408 | Old Main

Dept. 3066

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: (307) 766-5123

Email: studentaffairs@uwyo.edu

1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
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