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UW Welcomes Freshmen with New Summit Transitions Program

August 17, 2009

Freshmen arriving at the University of Wyoming this fall will participate in a new transitions program that will get students involved and fully engaged in the college experience.

The three-day Summit Program will introduce incoming students to campus culture and academic expectations through organized interaction with faculty, older students and peers.

"Helping new freshmen make the academic and social transition into the university is one of the most important efforts we as a campus community can make at the beginning of a school year," says Sara Axelson, Student Affairs vice president. "I believe the dedication of the faculty, staff and students in supporting Summit 2009 will help ensure that the nearly 1,700 new freshmen arriving at UW in a few days will have every opportunity for success during their first year and beyond."

The summit will begin Thursday, Aug. 20, when students begin to move into residence halls and attend UW President Tom Buchanan's freshman welcome address and reception that evening. Parents and faculty are encouraged to attend the welcome address, which will serve as part of a symbolic transition to the UW community for the new freshman class.

Throughout the rest of the weekend, students will participate in a series of events designed to help them develop an understanding of the campus culture, build relationships with faculty members, and learn how their personal strengths can help them in academic work and build relationships with fellow students.

Participants will attend a keynote address Friday from Troy Stende, a student leader trainer on the college circuit and a three-time recipient of the prestigious "Best Campus Speaker" award from the Association for the Promotion of Campus Activities. His program helps students get better grades, accomplish life-long goals, increase confidence and create more meaningful relationships with family and friends.

Later in the day, students will attend a picnic on Prexy's Pasture, hosted by Residence Life & Dining Services. The picnic will be UW's first zero-waste dining event, with a goal to compost all waste from the event.

Summit participants also will interact with faculty at a special Friday "Faculty Sneak-Peek." Students will learn about differences between secondary and post-secondary academic expectations and classroom etiquette.

Students will participate in small-group activities Saturday that include outdoor and athletic pursuits, scavenger hunts on campus, a "read-in" at the library and service activities benefitting local and international communities. Activities are designed to help students interact with campus and learn about the broader goals of a college experience.

"I am excited to welcome the new students to the University of Wyoming at Summit 2009. I hope that their time at UW is as incredible as mine has been," says Matt Haigler, Associated Students of UW president and summit peer mentor.

"The more students are engaged in the entire collegiate experience, the more likely they are to experience deeper levels of learning both in and outside the classroom, gain full value from the time they spend in college and continue on to finish their degree," Axelson says.

A full schedule and more information about the summit can be found at For more information, Beth McCuskey Residence Life & Dining Services director, at (307) 766-3125 or April Heaney, LeaRN director, at (307) 766-4322.


Posted on Monday, August 17, 2009

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