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Hughes Finalist for UW’s Top Graduating Woman

May 11, 2017
head portrait of a woman
Ellen Hughes

Ellen Hughes, from Elizabeth, Colo., 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, recognizes a student for exhibiting the finest leadership, academic integrity and citizenship qualities.

Sarah Maze, of Ranchester, was named the Rosemarie Martha Spitaleri Award recipient, while Anthony Farmer, from Cheyenne, received the Tobin Award, as the outstanding graduating man during a recent ceremony honoring all the nominees.

Hughes will graduate with dual degrees in history, and environment and natural resources, with minors in museum studies, sustainability, statistics and the Honors Program. She says that her experiences at UW helped her realize her passion for improving the lives of others.

“My experiences at UW brilliantly and unexpectedly confronted, transformed and developed assumptions I held about myself and the world,” she says. “I credit my undergraduate career at UW as the catalyst responsible for refining my concern for improvement of the lives of others through leadership in collaborative education, meaningful scholarship and work.”

One of Hughes’ nominators notes that Hughes is an exceptional scholar, who is clever, vibrant and passionate.

“In a nutshell, she is an exceptional young scholar, engaged in the sort of interdisciplinary, public-facing work that many humanists point to as the future of our field,” the nominator writes. “Her energy is a marvel and a source of inspiration to so many of us fortunate enough to know her.”

Another person says that Hughes is diligent and an outstanding student.

“Ellen is, in short, an outstanding student. She is exceptional among her peers for the depth of her commitment,” the nominator says. “She has a vision for how to fit different kinds of academic inquiry together, and she seems to approach each subject and volunteer activity with equal vigor, commitment and success.”

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