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Published August 29, 2022
Students will learn more about the University of Wyoming, UW alumni will connect with their alma mater, and members of the public will find out more about UW’s presence in their community during a “UW in Your Community” gathering Thursday, Sept. 8, on the Wind River Indian Reservation.
The public is invited to the event from 5-7 p.m. at the Fort Washakie School. Free appetizers and beverages will be served.
UW President Ed Seidel will be in attendance and speak during a brief program, highlighting the university’s efforts to develop stronger ties with the reservation; prepare students for the modern economy; and boost entrepreneurism and the state’s economy, among other topics.
Additionally, UW alumna Vanessa Sorrels-Peahrora, of Lander, will talk about her educational experience and how UW prepared her for her career and role in the reservation community. Sorrels-Peahrora, a pharmacist for the Indian Health Service in Fort Washakie, was one of 24 UW alumni featured in advertising in Wyoming newspapers and other media under the banner of “The World Needs More Cowboys -- and So Does Wyoming.”
Sorrels-Peahrora graduated with her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from UW in 2019, capping a courageous journey that began when she earned a GED diploma after leaving high school before her sophomore year and becoming a young mother.
Joining Seidel and Sorrels-Peahrora will be current UW students from the Wind River reservation: Mia Holt, a pharmacy student from Lander, and Shay Jimerson, an engineering student and entrepreneur from Fort Washakie.
Also, Kyle Trumble, one of the organizers of the Wind River Startup Challenge, a regional entrepreneurship opportunity designed to distribute thousands of dollars to Native-owned startup companies, will talk about the program. The Wind River Startup Challenge involves multiple partners, including UW and Central Wyoming College.
The reservation gathering will kick off a series of “UW in Your Community” gatherings planned around the state.
“We had planned to have an event on the reservation earlier to recognize Vanessa and introduce President Seidel. We’re delighted that we are able to do so now, after the pandemic messed up our earlier plans,” says Chad Baldwin, UW’s associate vice president for marketing and communications. “Fortunately, President Seidel has been able to participate in a number of activities on the reservation already, including two powwows this summer and a spring visit with tribal leaders and school administrators. The Sept. 8 event is an opportunity for alumni and any others to engage with him directly.”
As UW’s 28th president, Seidel has made it a priority to improve the university’s relationship with the reservation community, including signing revised memoranda of understanding with the Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone business councils.