Celebration Unites Current UW/CC Center Students, Alumni
The University of Wyoming/Casper College (UW/CC) Center during a recent luncheon honored 15 Myra Fox Skelton (MFS) scholarship recipients and the MFS Foundation, which donates funds for the awards.
Celebrating 10 years since the inception of this scholarship, which provides a monthly payment for single parents who balance classes with family and work, the UW/CC Center invited alumni recipients to attend and speak about their lives since graduation. Additionally, UW/CC Center administration, faculty and staff honored board member Don Chapin, who died last year. Chapin initiated the scholarship program with Maggi Murdock, associate provost for academic affairs and UW Outreach School dean.
"Don Chapin was a trustee of the Myra Fox Skelton Foundation, and the moving force behind the foundation's support for single parents attending UW through the UW/CC Center," recalled Murdock. "My most vivid memory of Don is from one of the annual luncheons ... As student after student told the story of how their lives - and the lives of their children - had been transformed by the support of the Myra Fox Skelton Foundation, Don turned to me. He was clearly moved. He said, 'The money clearly changes these students' lives. This is the best thing the Myra Fox Skelton Foundation has ever done.'"
The Foundation's contribution, now partially funded by an endowment matched by state funds, provides a monthly living allowance. This gives UW/CC Center students the opportunity to work fewer hours and devote more time to their children and studies. MFS scholars model positive educational practices for their children, as well as the importance of community service.
Katrina Ferrell, a senior in the communication program at the UW/CC Center, has been involved in various service projects during her three semesters as an MFS scholar.
"It's amazing how many volunteer opportunities are available," said Ferrell. The mother of two children who will graduate this May has volunteered at a nursing home, as a facilitator for a bipolar and depression support group at the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), and at Family Promise, an organization that assists homeless people in finding housing. She added, "As a communication major, it was a gratifying experience to use the interpersonal communication skills I've learned in school while helping people."
MFS scholarship recipients for 2009-2010 were social work students Elizabeth Davis, Ashley Hayden and Wendy Lucas; humanities and fine arts student Kara Dunham; communication students Katrina Ferrell and Lisa Johnson; elementary education students Christine Hoskins, Kelsey Katen, Linda Miller, Kayla Romsa and Jamie Stockwell; criminal justice student Janae Morton; journalism student Christopher Neubauer; and psychology students Monique Peterson-Bown and John Raehal.
UW/CC Center alumni who were MFS scholars were Jennifer Alexander, Jamie Allen, Amanda Annis, Andra Arnold, Shannon Bailey, Andrea Barelle, Vennessa Barton, Christine Becker, Megan Bickling, Roberta Boren, Jennifer Cole, Rebecca Colling, Shannon Collins, Heather Dronek, Amanda Ertman, Angela Fankhauser, Andria Fowles, Traci Gardner, Kristina George, Traci Gibson-Dekruyf, Angie Hayes, Angela Hick, Sara Hiser and Michelle Johnston.
Other UW/CC Center alumni who were MFS Scholars were Melissa Karl, Kelly Keenan, Kymberly Kirkham, Julie Laib, Cheryl Mandich, Catherine Martin, Stephanie Martin, Carolyn Montgomery, Angela Morris, Amy Moyte, Anne Marie Myers, Margaret Ann O'Dell, Rhonda Olson, Tammy Olson, Rita Pekuri, Margo Perry, Ginger Potter, Elizabeth Restad, Desiree Riley, Lisa Roth, Amanda Roy, Jamie Short, Julie Slate, Kaci Stripling, Trudy Summers, Justina Wallis, Kaili Weaver, Sherry West, Lacey Wilson and Bridget Wolden.