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UW College of Arts and Sciences Names Deans Graduate Scholars

Patricio Arriagada, Alice Stears and Kathryn Tay

A total of 23 University of Wyoming students recently were named Dean’s Graduate Scholars by the College of Arts and Sciences.

Annual funding from the dean’s office provides master’s and doctoral-level students a $2,500 award to be used for one month’s summer salary and special travel funds.

The 2019-2020 recipients came from many areas of study and concentration. They include Kathryn Tay, from the School of Politics, Public Affairs and International Studies; Alice Stears, of the Department of Botany; and Patricio Arriagada, with the Department of Modern and Classical Languages.

A native of Cheyenne, Tay is in the first year of pursuing a master’s degree in political science. Her research focuses on public policy formation regarding autonomous vehicles. She is analyzing public, state and federal reactions to an autonomous vehicle striking a woman in Tempe, Ariz., as well as factors such as the ethics and social justice aspects of the new technology, to understand how public policy will be formed around this emerging transportation innovation.

She will use the funding to travel to Tempe to conduct interviews with public officials, residents of the city and those with stakes in technology companies developing autonomous vehicles to understand their different points of view when it comes to regulating autonomous vehicles as a mainstream and marketable transportation option.

Stears is a doctoral student, from Billings, Mont., who is working through the Program in Ecology. She is studying how interannual climate variation affects plant reproduction and survival in Western grassland ecosystems. Her work seeks to quantify how climate variation from year to year impacts how likely plants are to survive and grow. She is interested in understanding how these plant responses to climate, at both the individual plant and species levels, are changing the plant communities across Western landscapes.

She will use the funding for fieldwork this summer, primarily for a continuing study of a rare plant species in southeastern Wyoming and northern Colorado.

Arriagada is in his first year of a master’s program in Spanish. The Parral, Chile, native is researching retrocapitalism, the nostalgia of the collective unconscious in market societies. The purpose of retrocapitalism in his research is to describe how the aesthetic-literary analysis of diverse nostalgic artifacts can provide reliable information about the American collective unconscious approach, as members of a complex and diverse market society that seeks to recover, rediscover or discover its identity.

He will use the funding to conduct field research at urban shopping centers across the U.S. To learn more, visit his website at

Here is a complete list of 2019-2020 honorees, listed by hometown, degree being sought and area of study:

Anchorage, Alaska -- Jason Mercer, doctoral, botany.

Billings, Mont. -- Alice Stears, doctoral, botany.

Blacksburg, Va. -- Lindsey Boyle, master’s, zoology and physiology.

Bozeman, Mont. -- Dana Liebelson, master’s, visual and literary arts.

Brawley, Calif. -- Isiah Dale, master’s, English.

Burlingame, Calif. -- Janette Davidson, master’s, botany.

Casper -- Alyssa Canepa, master’s, English.

Cheyenne -- Kathryn Tay, master’s, School of Politics, Public Affairs and International Studies.

Chicago, Ill. -- Cait Falco, doctoral, psychology.

Costa Mesa, Calif. -- William Kingsland, master’s, English.

Cypress, Calif. -- Cody Pridmore, master’s, geology and geophysics.

Dillon, Mont. -- Ashleigh Rhea, master’s, zoology and physiology.

Doylestown, Pa. -- Cole Messa, doctoral, geology and geophysics.

Fort Davis, Texas -- Winona Leon, master’s, visual and literary arts.

Gainesville, Fla. -- Sarah Allaun D’Lopez, doctoral, anthropology.

Hastings, Minn. -- Alex Lewanski, master’s, botany.

Mountain View -- Zach Williamson, doctoral, psychology.

Parral, Chile -- Patricio Arriagada, master’s, modern and classical languages.

Reston, Va. -- Shane Scoggin, master’s, geology and geophysics.

Saegertown, Pa. -- Mark Kirk, doctoral, zoology and physiology.

Salt Lake City, Utah -- Will Chick, doctoral, physics and astronomy.

Sanga, Nepal -- Rabindra Dulal, doctoral, physics and astronomy.

Wiaga, Ghana -- Evans Akangyelewon Atuick, master’s, anthropology.



Contact Us

Institutional Communications
Bureau of Mines Building, Room 137
Laramie, WY 82071
Phone: (307) 766-2929

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