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UW College of Arts and Sciences to Honor Award Winners

May 12, 2011

The University of Wyoming College of Arts and Sciences will honor its outstanding alumni and former faculty members during its annual awards banquet Saturday, May 21, at the Hilton Garden Inn and UW Conference Center. The event begins with a reception at 5 p.m. followed by dinner at 6 p.m.

Outstanding alumni award winners for 2011 are Marilyn Stebner Kite, James H. Nottage, Donald B. Olson and John F. Schabron. Outstanding former faculty recipients are Terry L. Jenkins, Ronald L. Steger and Ronald C. Surdam.

For more information about the banquet or to RSVP, call Jan Romsa at (307) 766-2755 or go to the website at

Outstanding alumni biographies:

Appointed to the Wyoming Supreme Court in 2000, Kite (Cheyenne) became Wyoming's first female chief justice in 2010. A Laramie native, Kite received a bachelor's degree in international affairs and French, with honors, from UW in 1970. She received a J.D. degree from the UW College of Law in 1974.

A passionate student of the art and people of the American West, Laramie native Nottage is considered by many an expert in American Indian history and the art and material culture of Western North America. He received a bachelor's degree in history in 1972 and a master's degree in American studies in 1976, both from UW.

Olson is an internationally-known scientist who has made important contributions to the study of ocean circulation dynamics, large-scale turbulence and marine ecology. A Greybull native, Olson in 1974 earned a bachelor's degree in physics from UW, graduating Phi Beta Kappa. He received both a master's degree and Ph.D. in oceanography at Texas A&M University.

Known worldwide for his studies in heavy petroleum, shale oils and coal liquids, Schabron's enthusiasm for research and professional projects is the cornerstone of his success. A scientist at Laramie's Western Research Institute, Schabron received a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Regis University in 1972 and a master's degree in physical organic chemistry from Creighton University in 1975. At UW, he earned a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry.                                                                                      

Former faculty biographies:

A dedicated mathematics educator, Jenkins received numerous teaching awards over the course of his career, including Outstanding Educator of America, the Ellbogen Award for Meritorious Classroom Teaching, UW Summer Faculty Development Award, UW Summer Faculty Fellowship and the AMOCO Foundation, Inc., Good Teacher Award. In 1989, Jenkins founded the UW Summer Mathematics Institute, where Wyoming high school math teacher's network, share experiences and discuss a current mathematical topic. Of the approximately 250 math educators in the state, 200 have attended at least one Summer Mathematics Institute and two-thirds of participants come back a second time.

From 1981-2004, Steger was the scenic designer for the UW Department of Theatre and Dance. He taught scenic design, drafting, stage makeup and 20th century theatre diversity. Steger has received numerous teaching and designing awards, including the Flittie and Seibold awards, the Wyoming Arts Council Performing Arts Fellowship, the Wyoming Governor's Arts award, the College of Arts and Sciences Extraordinary Merit in Research and Creative Activity award and the College of Arts and Sciences Extraordinary Merit in Teaching award.

Surdam, who was a pioneer in developing new ways to conserve water resources related to coalbed natural gas production in the Powder River Basin, served as a faculty member of the Department of Geology and Geophysics for 32 years before retiring in 1998. As director of the Carbon Management Institute (CMI) at UW, he may very well hold the key to Wyoming's future as one of the world's leading energy producers. Surdam has received several awards, including the President's Achievement Award, the College of Arts and Sciences Extraordinary Merit in Research award, the Wyoming Geological Association Morgan Memorial award and the American Association of Petroleum Geologists Distinguished Lecturer award.

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