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UW License Plate Sales Fuel Scholarships for Three Students


March 4, 2009 — Three University Wyoming students are the first recipients of UW Alumni Association (UWAA) License Plate Scholarships.

They are Heidi Biggs, Mountain View; Mark Pearson, Pinedale; and Laurel Wimbish, a graduate of Hanau American High School in Hanau, Germany.

Scholarships, funded by revenues from UW license plate sales, are available to undergraduates that fall into the categories of outreach students, non-traditional students or fifth- or sixth-year students. Funding for additional scholarships will be available this fall.

License plate scholarships are funded by the $100 fee paid by UW alumni and friends who purchase the special UW license plate. These scholarships add to the existing UWAA Scholarship Program, in addition to providing for newly created awards. To date, nearly 3,000 license plates have been sold, providing $300,000 in scholarship funding.

Through the program, nine four-year in-state scholarships and one out-of-state scholarship at $1,500 per year for incoming freshmen will be available. Two scholarships to non-traditional students and one to the grandchild of a UW graduate also is available along with three scholarships of $1,500 each per year for a fifth- or sixth-year undergraduate student. One is for a student pursuing a second bachelor's degree; another for a student enrolled in an outreach credit degree program; and a one-year award to a recognized student organization seeking programming funds for a project that benefits the campus or community.

Also available through the UW license plate scholarship program is a $6,000 award provided through eight consecutive semesters to the grandchild of a UW graduate.

"There has been a great deal of interest, so we are pleased to be able to offer this opportunity for UW families across the generations," says Robbie Darnall, UWAA director.

Biggs, 34, a non-traditional student, is a single mother returning to UW. She hopes to work as a school or family counselor.

"Every day I feel blessed to be a part of UW and to be working on my education. I love my classes and have been impressed with my instructors and staff in several departments," she says. "For me, UW has been a godsend. This money will be spent with great care and respect for its donors; I will do my very best in my studies to make everyone proud I have been chosen for this outreach scholarship."

Pearson, 41, married with two children, started his college career by taking outreach classes from Western Wyoming Community College. For a year he commuted the 100 miles from Pinedale to Rock Springs. He plans to graduate in May and then attend graduate school to pursue an M.S. degree in geochemistry.

He says he chose UW, not only because of its location and affordability, but also for the excellence of its geology and chemistry departments.

"The reputation of both departments influenced my decision," he says.

Wimbish is the non-traditional scholarship recipient. Her maternal grandparents and mother are UW alumni. She is a single mother who attended college in Connecticut until moving to Laramie to help care for her grandmother. While working with the Department of Family Services (DFS), she realized she was interested in a criminal justice career.

"Working with DFS in juvenile services, I was able to meet and work with judges, police officers, lawyers and child advocates. My goal is to graduate with a degree in criminal justice and perhaps work toward a master's degree in social work," she says.

Application information for all UWAA scholarships is available on the Web site www.wyoalumni.com/.

Posted on Wednesday, March 04, 2009

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