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Saturday University Professors Examine Heart Mountain, Health Care, Politics

September 26, 2012
Buildings being moved by tractor
Barracks from the Heart Mountain Relocation Center were hauled from the site to serve a variety of purposes on local farms and ranches. (Shoshone Irrigation District)

What remains of Wyoming's World War II Heart Mountain Japanese-American Relocation Center? What does health care reform mean for Wyoming residents? How has the Supreme Court reshaped the political landscape for election 2012?

Three University of Wyoming professors will answer those questions at Saturday U -- the university’s  free one-day college education program -- from 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6, in the National Museum of Wildlife Art Cook Auditorium in Jackson.

Saturday U is a collaborative program that connects popular UW professors with lifelong learners in Jackson Hole. Offered twice a year, Saturday U is sponsored by the university, the UW Foundation and Wyoming Humanities Council; and presented by Central Wyoming College, the National Museum of Wildlife Art and Teton County Library Foundation.

Listed are program topic descriptions and UW representatives lecturing. Individuals can attend any or all of the sessions.

9-10 a.m. -- “Wyoming's Heart Mountain Relocation Center: A Living Legacy,” Eric Sandeen, professor and chair, UW American Studies Program. During World War II, more than 14,000 Japanese and Japanese-Americans were detained in barracks at the Heart Mountain Center between Cody and Powell in Park County. After the war, eager homesteaders carted off these temporary structures and incorporated them into local farms and ranches. Many remain to this day -- some easily identifiable, others thoroughly disguised as homes, sheds and out buildings.

“What do these buildings reveal?” Sandeen asks. “How did their inhabitants change the character of the Big Horn Basin?”

10:15-11:15 a.m. -- “What Does Health Care Reform Mean for Wyoming? Health Exchanges, Medicaid & Provider Challenges,” Anne Alexander, economist and director of International Programs. The Affordable Care Act and healthcare provision present special challenges to Wyoming. Many parts of the Cowboy State have extremely limited access to primary care, and the state’s small population presents challenges for financing insurance pools as well as recruiting and retaining primary care providers. What are the challenges and long-term trends for health care in Wyoming, from financing to workforce needs?

11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. -- “Election 2012: Democracy in the Wake of the Citizens United Decision,” Jim King, professor and head of the Department of Political Science. The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission altered the landscape of campaign finance, opened the door for the creation of Super PACs, and generated volumes of commentary about the decision’s effect on the political process. What did the court say in Citizens United and how has the electoral process been changed as a result? What are the myths and realities of campaign financing today?

12:45-1:45 p.m. -- Lunch and roundtable with all three speakers, plus audience question-and-answer session in the Wapiti Gallery.

For more information about Saturday U, visit the website at  or contact Teton County Library adult humanities Coordinator Oona Doherty at (307) 733-2164, ext. 135; or email

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