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Cody Student Finalist for Highest UW Graduate Honor

May 5, 2016
head portrait of woman
Sierra Jech

Sierra Jech, of Cody, was among seven finalists for the Rosemarie Martha Spitaleri Award as the University of Wyoming's outstanding graduating woman.

The annual award, established in 1964, is for exhibiting the finest leadership, academic integrity and citizenship qualities.

Kimberly Sanchez, of Cheyenne, was named the Rosemarie Martha Spitaleri Award recipient, while Vikram Singh, from Bangalore, India, received the Tobin Award, as the outstanding graduating man during a recent ceremony honoring all the nominees.

Jech, who will graduate with dual degrees in earth systems science and chemistry, with a minor in queer studies, says being a member of the national champion UW women’s Nordic ski team has helped her become a better leader.

“Holding positions on the UW Nordic ski club has molded my leadership skills, such that now I recognize the ways in which I am a good leader and those which need improvement,” she says. “I have treasured memories from UW that inspire my life, and principles which will continue to feed my academic passions into graduate school and beyond.”

One of her instructors praises how Jech is driven to succeed in her goals.

“I have seldom met a student who was more focused and clear on what it was she wanted to do, and who was more likely to accomplish what she wants,” the instructor writes. “Aside from being very smart and hardworking, she is mature and focused to a remarkable degree, and is truly committed to going on in science to make a difference.”

Another nominator reflects on Jech’s individual traits.

“Poise, elegance and pulsing energy that lights a room, Sierra is extraordinary. She bounds up mountains and leaps into immediate leadership roles on the UW ski team,” the nominator says. “No letter written on a two-dimensional page could ever capture someone so holistically well-rounded as Sierra.”

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