Stacia Berry Named UW's Outstanding Graduating Woman

April 25, 2008

Stacia C. Berry of Cheyenne, who will graduate with honors in May with a B.A. degree in animal and veterinary sciences, received the Rosemarie Martha Spitaleri Award as the University of Wyoming's outstanding graduating woman.

John Kindle of Riverton received the Tobin Memorial Award as the Outstanding Graduating Man. Read the story.

The award, established in 1964, recognizes Berry for exhibiting the finest leadership, academic integrity and citizenship qualities.

As an undergraduate Berry, the daughter of Jay and Janice Berry of Cheyenne, achieved a nearly perfect grade point average and received numerous academic honors along the way, including being named a USA Today All Academic Third Team selection.

Doug Hixon, head of the UW Department of Animal Science and professor, describes Berry as a "doer in all aspects of her life."

"She is an outstanding young woman who is poised, personable and confident," says Hixon, who has served as Berry's academic adviser. "She has excellent interpersonal skills and has been successful in leadership roles on the local, state, regional, national and international stage."

Matt Caires, assistant dean of students, says he and Berry have worked on many projects and programs throughout her UW career.

"Especially through the various leadership positions Stacia has held during her undergraduate career," Caires say, citing her work with the Greek community and student government. "For example, because of her leadership as president of Delta Delta Delta Sorority, she has elevated her chapter to a level of national excellence."

Citing the drive to succeed after receiving a "B" in Wyoming history, Berry says she has since been dedicated and focused on attaining academic perfection. She adds that college life has been a wonderful experience.

"Although academics are the cornerstone of an educational institution, my real learning has occurred outside of the classroom," she says. "My involvement on campus in various groups has been extensive. I have truly enjoyed serving as an Associated Students of UW (student government) senator the past three years. It is exhilarating to see the changes a few students working passionately for a cause can achieve."

Outside the classroom Berry has been a four-year agriculture ambassador, traveling throughout the state promoting the UW College of Agriculture. She also served as the 2004 national FFA secretary, traveling to more than 40 states giving leadership keynote speeches, while also representing UW. At that time, she took a year off from her academic studies and traveled extensively, including trips to Japan and Mexico, on behalf of FFA.

She has served in various capacities volunteering for numerous local and state organizations and has received countless campus honors while representing several honor societies.

Berry says she is grateful for her UW education, which gave her the opportunity to travel and gain new experiences. She adds, "I have not changed the world in a big way, but hopefully in my own small way."

"Leadership skills, time, compassion and effort have been freely given to my course work, clubs and the people of those causes," Berry says. "I am grateful to have enjoyed such a time as a student at the University of Wyoming and will soon serve as a proud, active alumna."

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