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UW College of Arts and Sciences to Honor Outstanding Former Faculty Member and Alumna

April 18, 2016
Katie Groke Ellis and Walter Langlois

A longtime faculty member and a national leader in communications and marketing will be recognized during the University of Wyoming College of Arts and Sciences annual awards Saturday, May 7, at the UW Conference Center, 2229 Grand Ave. The reception begins at 11 a.m. followed by lunch at noon.

The awards luncheon is open to all interested persons at a cost of $35 per plate. To learn more, or to RSVP and to pay online, go to

Professor Emeritus Walter G. Langlois, of Laramie, is the Outstanding Former Faculty Award winner, and Arvada, Colo., native Katie Groke Ellis is the college’s outstanding alumna.

Langlois, who earned a B.A., M.A. and Ph.D., all at Yale, joined the Department of Modern and Classical Languages as department head and professor of French in 1974. His primary area of interest focused on the French writer and statesman André Malraux, about whom Langlois published four books and established and edited two scholarly reviews.

A World War II veteran, Langlois was decorated with the Bronze Star and the Croix de Guerre (Military Cross of France) for his valorous efforts as a translator, which he humbly describes as hand gestures and a few French words, between the Russian and United States militaries.

During his career, Langlois was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Florence (1952), a Guggenheim Fellow (1967-68), an American Council Learned Societies Senior Fellow (1970-71), a National Humanities Senior Fellow (1980-81) and a visiting professor at Osaka University, Japan (1984-86). He was a member of the Modern Language Association, American Association of Teachers of French, the Malraux Society and the Manuscript Society. He also directed the National Endowment of the Humanities summer sessions at UW (1984, 1988, 1989 and 1990).

Although Langlois retired in 1994, he continued to teach select courses, specifically Asian studies, and maintained a well-recognized record of scholarly publications. In addition to teaching at the Laramie campus, Langlois also offered classes for UW in Casper.

In honor of his late wife, Sheila Langlois, a well-known watercolor artist who painted landscapes of the American West, Langlois established the Sheila Langlois Memorial Fellowship for Study Abroad in Art History and the Humanities in 2014.

Groke Ellis came to UW in 1999 after accepting a scholarship to play women’s soccer. While starting as a defensive back for the UW team, Groke Ellis also double majored in women’s studies and political science, graduating in 2003.

While in college, she completed an internship with Choice USA (now known as United for Reproductive and Gender Equality [URGE]), which led to a full-time job with the organization until it was forced to reduce staffing. She then moved on to Springboard Enterprises, a company that helps to build high-growth, technology-oriented companies led by women.

When Groke Ellis became homesick for the Rocky Mountains and her family, she relocated to Colorado, where she worked for Planned Parenthood for six years before becoming regional director of the White House Project (an American national nonprofit organization that worked to increase female representation in American institutions, businesses and government); two years later, she was named national program manager.

In 2013, Groke Ellis became the communications and marketing director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colorado, where she oversaw all external and internal agency communications, public affairs and marketing outreach. She now is a senior associate at SE2, an integrated communications agency that works to change policy, opinion and behavior.

Groke Ellis earned a master’s degree in public administration at the University of Colorado, at Denver, and she and her husband, John, have two children, Chloe and Gus.

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