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Like Goldilocks searching for that perfect place to take a nap in the famous fairytale, students from around the globe can find the perfect fit at the University of Wyoming, alumnus Tighe Fagan says.
“For prospective students looking for a Goldilocks environment of not too small and not too large, Laramie is the place,” he says. “The highlights of UW are the small-town feel, exposure to fellow students from around the world and a quality education. Laramie was just the right size for me. There was a lot going on if you looked for, it but I never felt lost in an ocean of people.
“I received a rock-solid education that put me on par with my peers from coastal universities when I entered the workforce.”
Fagan, who came to UW from Montana, earned his bachelor’s degree in computer science in 1995 followed by a master’s degree in 1998. He’s now a software engineer and partner at Gannett Peak Technical Services in Cheyenne, a company that specializes in software development and consulting. At Gannett, Fagan focuses on technical leadership and software architecture, providing enterprise software, web application and business-to-business solutions. He brings 11 years of full lifecycle application development, having worked as a software consultant in Wyoming and Colorado for the Wyoming Department of Health, Level 3 Communications, US West/Qwest Communications, Access International Financial Services and Raytheon.
“The university’s computer science department taught me the foundational skills I use in my career on a daily basis,” Fagan says. “As in most careers, a large amount of my training was on the job, but with the breadth of core computer science skills I acquired at the university, I was able to obtain a great entry-level position.”
He sums up his university career as a life lesson in perseverance and an education in the fundamentals of computer science.
“My time at the university exposed me to a lot of personal and professional hurdles,” Fagan says. “These experiences spanned preparing for a particularly difficult exam to leaving the university for a semester due to medical reasons. Throughout all of these challenges, I was able to acquire my degree with the support of the greater university community. This includes my classmates, instructors and my family. I learned the immense power of relying on the help of others to persevere and achieve my goal.”
Fagan lives in Cheyenne with wife and three children. He’s active in the community, serving as a board member for the Cheyenne Regional Medical Center Foundation and the UW Department of Computer Science. Fagan also serves on the steering committee for the Wyoming Business Alliance and as infrastructure strategic coordinator for Forward Greater Cheyenne, in addition to being a member of Wyoming Entrepreneurs.
To Fagan, the term Cowboy reflects someone who is an independent thinker and a risk-taker at heart.
“I came to the university hungry for knowledge and explored an eclectic set of coursework outside of computer science,” he says. “My beliefs were challenged and shaped during college, and I have tried to maintain a level of open-mindedness to always remember that what I believe to be true may actually be false. I have had to push myself in life to take risks. One of the biggest was co-founding a company and being involved in various entrepreneurial efforts.”
Tighe Fagan was A featured speaker at the event on February 20, 2020
Cheyenne | Cheyenne Frontier Days Event Center