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Laramie Student Finalist for UW’s Spitaleri Award

May 1, 2018
head portrait of a woman
Alanna Elder

Alanna Elder, from Laramie, was among six 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. She is the daughter of Nichol and Brent Bondurant.

Sophia Kwende, of Cameroon, was named the Rosemarie Martha Spitaleri Award recipient, while Gabe Selting, of Laramie, received the Tobin Award, as the outstanding graduating man during a recent ceremony honoring all the nominees.

Elder, who graduated in December with a degree in agroecology, and environmental and natural resources -- and minors in sustainability and the Honors Program -- says UW challenged and prepared her in her studies.

“Engaging in action for social and environmental change takes a willingness to think outside of my assumptions and push beyond easy answers,” says Elder. “I am grateful for how my time at UW has prepared me to explore the stories that surround agricultural and environmental issues, stories that in their telling could make the world a better place to live.”

One of Elder’s nominators says her character is rare and unique.

“Alanna Elder would not call herself a powerhouse, but I would,” the nominator says. “Her verve, intellectual appetite, compassion, cultural curiosity and personal sense of justice are inspiring, uncommon and totally impressive.”

Another nominator recognizes the example Elder sets for other students.

“She quietly sets an amazing example for others; she makes choices that directly address the pressing challenges she sees around her; and she takes immediate action that is efficient and organized to accomplish an impressive amount of work in a limited time,” the nominator says.

Elder plans a career in journalism and public service.

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