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A Day in the Life

April 19, 2018
woman looking at antique bottle
Thielk at work in the Archeological Repository

Ride along with UW student Emma Thielk as she enjoys an action-packed day in and around campus. 

By Micaela Myers 

Emma Thielk of Aurora, Colo., chose the University of Wyoming for its campus, recreational opportunities, sense of community and the chance to tailor her academic interests. She is majoring in American studies with minors in museum studies, history and honors.

The senior has made the most of her time at UW, packing in student research, work on campus, clubs, honors societies, education abroad, outdoor adventure, fun with friends and more. If you’re wondering what a day in the life of a busy student looks like, come along for the ride. 


Thielk lived in the residence halls on campus her first two years, then got an apartment two blocks west. A coffee lover, she often stops by Turtle Rock Coffee & Café on her way to class.

After class is usually a time for research or visiting professors during office hours. Through the Honors Program, now the Honors College, Thielk worked on undergraduate research with Professor Susan Aronstein studying Disney’s ink and paint girls.

“I’m looking at gender in the Walt Disney Studios from the 1920s–’40s,” Thielk says. The ink and paint girls were responsible for all of the animation color work in the studio during the early period.

“I got to choose a topic, and I got to really tailor it to what I want to do,” Thielk says. Her research included trips to Disneyland and the Walt Disney Family Museum.

Through the Honors Program, Thielk also took a faculty-led study abroad trip to Japan. 


At midday, you can often find Thielk at one of her favorite on-campus eateries, Rendezvous in Ross Hall, which is home to Caliente Grill, Nellie’s Deli, Sizzling Salads and Snake River Roasting Co. If the weather’s nice, she also enjoys packing her lunch and eating it while soaking up one of Laramie’s approximately 231 days of sunshine on Prexy’s Pasture. 

After lunch, Thielk usually heads to work. She started her campus work at the Learning Resource Center and then moved on to the Archeological Repository in the Anthropology Building. At the repository, Thielk brings artifacts collected from all over the Black Hills up to museum standards and catalogs them into a universal database. The job is a perfect fit, as Thielk hopes to land a job in a museum after graduation.

Thielk also loves working out at the newly renovated Half Acre Recreation and Wellness Center, home to cardio and weight training areas, group fitness studios, multi-activity courts, a 38-foot climbing wall, swimming pools and a heated spa. She also enjoys heading outdoors to one of the area’s many recreation

“I love rock climbing, hiking and snowboarding,” Thielk says. For snowboarding, she heads to Snowy Range Ski Area, and for rock climbing and hiking, she makes the short drive to Vedauwoo.

Late afternoons may include club meetings—Thielk is involved with Cowboy Catholics, the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and Phi Kappa Phi—or studying.

“I’m always at the library,” Thielk says of her favorite place to study and conduct research. UW Libraries, anchored by the main Coe Library, are home to 1.3 million books, plus ebooks, databases, study rooms, laptops, Wi-Fi, music, movies and a café. 


An ideal evening for Thielk includes dinner downtown with friends. When out-of-town friends or family are visiting, she loves to show them Laramie’s dozens of murals painted throughout the downtown area’s buildings.

On Wednesday nights, you can often find Thielk and her friends swing dancing at the Cowboy Saloon, which welcomes students 18 and up on Wednesdays.

The historic downtown Laramie is home to dozens of unique restaurants and retail establishments, all a short distance from one another.

“There’s so much stuff to do in Laramie,” Thielk says. She feels UW’s campus and the town itself are welcoming and make the transition to college life easy. 

So Much to Do

UW keeps students busy with a host of entertainment, sporting and cultural events. The university’s 7220 Entertainment provides free movies, fine arts and lectures programming, large-scale entertainment from comedians to musicians, and late-night events. UW is also home to more than 250 registered student organizations (RSOs), with something to meet nearly every interest. Students get free admission to most athletic events and can join club and intramural teams through Campus Recreation. Campus Recreation also operates the newly renovated Half Acre Recreation and Wellness Center (free to full-time students) and the Outdoor Program. The departments of Theatre and Dance and Music regularly put on performances, and UW Presents brings in performing artists of international distinction. Annual events include several days of service, Homecoming, the Shepard Symposium on Social Justice, Martin Luther King Jr. Days of Dialogue, The Good Mule Project, Family Weekend, Ag Appreciation, international celebrations and much more. In addition, Laramie is located less than an hour from Cheyenne, just one hour from Fort Collins and a little more than two hours from Denver. July brings the local Laramie Jubilee Days and Cheyenne Frontier Days, the world’s largest outdoor rodeo. 

Dining Around

Hungry students can choose from a plethora of on-campus dining options. Located near the residence halls, Washakie Dining Center offers up marketplace-style dining, with stations for salad, pizza, sandwiches, dessert, world flavors and more, including options for vegans and those going gluten-free. Inside the Wyoming Union, you’ll find Panda Express, Grassroots, Pita Pit, Los Vaqueros, The Gardens, Rolling Mill Café and CJ’s. The Buchanan Center for Performing Arts is home to Encore Café; the Classroom Building houses Elements; Ross Hall serves up Rendezvous’ many options; and at Coe Library there’s The Book and Bean. To learn more, visit

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