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Zachary Peters Earns 2009 Tobin Memorial Award

May 1, 2009

Zachary Peters of Buffalo is the 2009 winner of the Tobin Memorial Award as University of Wyoming's outstanding graduating man. The award is based annually on academic excellence and achievement, service to the university, participation and leadership in the community and campus activities and citizenship qualities.

"Zach Peters represents the very best of his generation and the very best that the University of Wyoming has to offer," says Margaret Flanigan Skinner, an academic professional lecturer in the University of Wyoming Department of Zoology and Physiology. "You have not heard the last of this young man."

Amanda LeClair received the Rosemarie Martha Spitaleri Award as the University of Wyoming's outstanding graduating woman.

Peters, a zoology and physiology major who will graduate in May, says he's been profoundly changed by the volunteer work he has done while at UW. He has been especially involved with two student organizations, Face AIDS and SexPERTS, worked in the community with the Hospice of Laramie and Habitat for Humanity and played a key role the past two years with the Wyoming AIDS Walk.

"Zach," says Tracey Owens-Patton, an associate professor in the UW Department of Communication and Journalism, "is an inspiration."

Adds Tanie Heitz, volunteer coordinator at the Hospice of Laramie, "Zach is one of the most active volunteers Hospice of Laramie currently has and this is not an easy trait to find in most people of his age. Zach's willingness, maturity, dedication and work ethic make him an asset to the Hospice of Laramie team."

Through volunteerism, Peters has done more than help others. He says he's helped himself.

"I am now embarrassed to admit that my primary motivation for becoming involved in the community was to build a resume," says Peters, the son of Kirk and Lisa Peters of Buffalo. "Through these organizations, I realized that volunteering my time and talents could help people locally, as well as globally, live healthier, happier lives. I now volunteer out of a desire to help others rather than out of self-gain."

In fact, Peters has been so moved by his volunteer work with various AIDS groups that he has decided to postpone medical school for a year or two to volunteer at the Arusha Health Centre for Women and Children in Tanzania.

"I know he will continue to do great things in his life," says Owens-Patton. "What an honor for the University of Wyoming to have him as an alumnus." 


Posted on Monday, May 04, 2009

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