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Evanston Woman Recipient of 2016 Maggi Murdock Scholars Award

May 3, 2016

Mary J. Hipol, of Evanston, who received her Bachelor of Arts in psychology through the University of Wyoming Outreach School, is one of two recipients of the 2016 Maggi Murdock Scholars Award.

This year’s other recipient is Brianna Anderson, of Bar Nunn, who graduated with a Bachelor of Science in technical education.

Hipol was selected for the award because of her strong academic record, her commitment to civic engagement and her spirit of volunteerism. Since 1998, she has worked at the Uinta County Library, most recently as a reference assistant.

Chris Laviola, former adjunct instructor at Western Wyoming Community College, described Hipol’s academic work as “conscientious, intelligent and consistent.” Hipol was inspired to attend college with hope “to better assist gifted children in her community.”

“Participating in Outreach education has empowered me to attain academic goals, maintain leadership positions, and better serve myself, my family and my community,” she explains.

Since 2002, Hipol has volunteered as a 4-H Leader at the Boot’s Lone Star project, an equine access project that provides physical therapy and social opportunities for developmentally delayed children. She currently is reorganizing a nonprofit that’s focused on women’s historical reenactments and public education demonstrations at Fort Bridger, Fort Laramie, Pinedale and the Museum of the Mountain Man.

Since 1995, Hipol has led an Evanston quilting club and organized more than 10 quilt shows. From 1995-2005, she also taught quilting classes at Evanston Middle School. In 2014, she served as a committee member on the Uinta County Suicide Prevention Task Force.

Hipol’s achievements include the following: securing a $7,500 grant from the Wyoming Community Foundation to replenish library materials; obtaining a grant from the Wyoming Historical Records Advisory Board for a workshop on archival book repair; and receiving a tuition grant from the McMurry Library Endowment to attend a library science class where Hipol learned archival repair, bookbinding, letterpress printing, gilding and leather binding. She now uses these skills to provide free book repair services to community members at her local library.

The Maggi Murdock Scholars Award recognizes and supports outstanding nontraditional students attending UW through the Outreach Credit Programs or the University of Wyoming at Casper (UW-Casper). To be eligible, students must excel in academics and have a positive impact in their community, state, nation or world. Students are nominated for this award by faculty, staff, advisers and regional academic coordinators who have worked with them while pursuing their degrees.

Nominees must be Wyoming residents; exhibit academic excellence; graduate in the year the award is given with a degree or certificate offered through the Outreach School; show a propensity to civic activity and humanistic endeavors; and demonstrate strong qualities of character, professionalism and respect for peers and colleagues.

Outreach Credit Programs and UW-Casper support the Outreach School’s mission to deliver UW learning opportunities to the people of Wyoming and beyond. More information about the Outreach School can be found at

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