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January 14, 2014 — Nicola “Nico” Holt of Lander was awarded the first-ever Community College Transition Award from Wyoming’s Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR).
The award is granted to outstanding Wyoming students who transfer from a Wyoming community college to the University of Wyoming to pursue a science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) field. The Community College Transition Program provides financial assistance ($1,500 each semester) for two years and hands-on research experiences to support promising students’ transition to UW.
Holt recently graduated from Central Wyoming College with an Associate of Arts degree in Western American Studies with an emphasis in archeology. He plans to major in anthropology and minor in environment and natural resources at UW.
“Receiving Wyoming’s EPSCoR Community College Transition Award is really an honor,” Holt says. “I’m still having trouble trying to find the words to describe how thankful I am. It really helps pursuing that higher education by not having to worry as much about how in the world am I paying for school.”
Even before he applied for the award, Holt says he had his sights set on attending UW.
Ultimately, Holt says, he wants to work for the U.S. Forest Service or the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) as an archaeologist, or become an educator at the college level. While at Central Wyoming College, Holt served an internship as an archaeological aide with the Lander office of the BLM.
“The internship lasted for a year and a half. During that time, I learned a lot about natural and cultural resources,” Holt says. “Toward the end of my time at Central Wyoming College, I developed an interest in climate change and how it affects us since it plays a huge role in shaping our culture.”
“Nico is an exceptional student, with a strong interest in research and academics,” says Liz Nysson, Wyoming EPSCoR’s education, outreach and diversity coordinator. “We are excited he will join the University of Wyoming community this January, and we look forward to supporting his educational goals for the next two years.”
This is the first year for the award, which is modeled after UW’s IDeA Networks for Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) transition award program, Nysson says.
Wyoming EPSCoR is a federally funded program to promote the development of science and technology capacity in Wyoming. Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), Wyoming EPSCoR supports capacity building by investing in students, researchers and institutions.
Wyoming EPSCoR will begin to accept applications for fall 2014 Community College Transition Awards in late February. For questions about this or other Wyoming EPSCoR programs, go to www.uwyo.edu/epscor/ or email Nysson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nicola “Nico” Holt of Lander holds up a Pelican Lake point (Wyoming arrowhead) he found while doing volunteer work for the Big Horn National Forest. Holt received a Community College Transition Award from Wyoming EPSCoR that provides financial assistance and hands-on research experience at UW. (Bill Matthews Photo)