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Colorado Student Named Top Graduating Woman at UW

May 1, 2015
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Callie Berman is the 2015 Rosemarie Martha Spitaleri Award winner as UW’s outstanding graduating woman.

Callie Berman, who will graduate in May with a triple major in geology, environment/natural resources and international studies, with a minor in Spanish, is the recipient of the Rosemarie Martha Spitaleri Award as the University of Wyoming's outstanding graduating woman.

The award, established in 1964, recognizes Berman, from Boulder, Colo., for exhibiting the finest leadership, academic integrity and citizenship qualities. Josh Messer of Cheyenne received the Tobin Award, honoring the outstanding graduating man.

Berman, the daughter of Andrew Berman and Janet Burns of Longmont, Colo., has had an impressive academic career at UW focused on her aptitude and desire for engaging outside of the classroom. She has been involved extensively in extracurricular activities, both on and off campus. She has been named to the President’s Honor Roll (4.0 grade-point average) for six semesters and carries an overall GPA of 3.92.

“My career at the University of Wyoming has been a privileged period in my life that has enriched me academically, allowed me to contribute to an array of meaningful institutional activities, and enhanced my skills as a leader,” Berman says. “I utilized my academic career as an opportunity for both personal challenge and to engage in a deep level of critical inquiry.”

Even as a UW freshman, Berman wanted to explore diverse fields to “gain a more accurate and holistic understanding of the world,” which led her to pursue three distinct majors.

“In doing so, I have been able to not only deepen my skill set and intellect, but contribute to a cross-fertilization of technical and social sciences at the university during classroom discussions, work assignments and an array of extracurricular activities,” she says.

Highlights include serving as the program manager for the university’s Engineers Without Borders chapter that twice traveled to Guatemala; serving as an EPSCoR research fellow; being a member of the UW Cowgirls cross country and track and field teams, and the equestrian club; and being a member of Pi Beta Phi sorority. She also is an active volunteer for the Albany County SAFE Project and has worked with the campus Good Mule project to organize volunteer events.

Her academic accomplishments have been noticed by the campus community.

“Callie is worldly, mature, intelligent and committed to improving the world in which she lives,” says Richard Schmidt, professor and head of the UW Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering. “She has demonstrated through her academic program and her service work that she has the desire and ability to offer valuable insights from both technical and cultural perspectives to environmental and natural resource issues.”

Thomas Seitz, UW assistant professor of international studies, says Berman has an unmatched work ethic and a “tremendous motivation to make a positive difference in people's lives and in their relationships with their environment.”

“She embodies, in every way, the qualities we strive to develop in our students, and serves as an inspiration to the younger students in our program -- women as well as men -- in terms of what a student can accomplish during her time at UW,” he says.

“Recognition for my academic excellence, character and demonstration of leadership throughout my time at the University of Wyoming is an utmost honor,” Berman adds. “It is my every intention to carry the experiences and opportunities for personal growth that the University of Wyoming has afforded me throughout all of my future endeavors.”

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