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Connor Rindler Receives UW’s Outstanding Undergraduate Award

April 27, 2022
man with a dog
Connor Rindler

Before coming to the University of Wyoming to continue his education in nutritional science, Connor Rindler, of Laramie, was a professional chef. Now, as a nontraditional UW student, he has approached his classes in a different way.

“I have been able to treat my classes as a job,” says Rindler, who will graduate next month with a 3.9 grade-point average and will receive a B.S. degree in family and consumer sciences, with a concentration in dietetics. “My previous career in the kitchen installed a maturity and unique attitude that helped me develop solid study habits as a student.”

Those qualities helped make Rindler one of three recipients of the Tobin Memorial and Rosemarie Martha Spitaleri Outstanding Undergraduate Award as an outstanding graduating student. The award recognizes students for exhibiting the finest leadership, academic integrity and citizenship qualities.

Also receiving the award were Wendy Luna Garcia, of Wheatland, and Hannah Rhymes, of Oklahoma City, Okla.

Rindler has been accepted into a dietetic internship and master’s degree program at Drexel University in Philadelphia, where he plans to study sports nutrition.

“While my individual pursuits and accomplishments have been a valuable part of my academic career, I also have appreciated the opportunities to lead, guide and shape fellow students,” he adds.

Throughout his UW career, Rindler has been active in several organizations, such as Phi Upsilon Omicron as its president; the Student Dietetics Association as vice president; and Mortar Board in various capacities. Additionally, he has volunteered with Healthy Kids Rx; was an AmeriCorps Vista summer associate for Feeding Laramie Valley; and is a teaching assistant for classes in the UW College of Business as well as in the UW Department of Family and Consumer Sciences.

“Connor is an excellent leader with a positive attitude; a willingness to engage and empower others; and responsiveness to any request or question, whether it is with instructors, peers or students,” says Jill Keith, an assistant professor in the UW Department of Family and Consumer Sciences. “He is relational and shares open and engaging conversation with everyone he interacts with. Connor is an outstanding student who is passionate about the role of nutrition in health and physical performance.”

Christine Wade, chair of the UW Department of Family and Consumer Sciences and adviser to UW’s chapter of Mortar Board, cites Rindler’s work outside of the classroom that makes him a student deserving of the award.

“I have had the pleasure of working closely with Connor, as he has led our Mortar Board events this year,” Wade says. “I cannot speak highly enough of his work ethic, tenacity, dedication and overall positive attitude.”

With all of his academic endeavors, perhaps his proudest moments among his many accomplishments have come during his community involvement.

“As a community member, I have been blessed to spend time working with kids at Healthy Kids Rx, providing nutritional education to parents and leading physical activities for children ranging from kindergarten to high school,” Rindler says.

As an AmeriCorps Vista summer associate stationed at Feeding Laramie Valley, Rindler says he had the opportunity to help shop, plan, cook, package and distribute more than 6,000 meals to children and adults who needed summer meal assistance.

“Each day I spent at UW shaped me into the man I am today,” he adds. “I am grateful that UW has put me on a path to success in future careers.”

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