Gerardo Antonio Beltran Espinoza is orignally from Phoenix, Arizona. He is the second
of three children to immigrants who came from Chihuahua, Mexico. Gerardo moved to
Wyoming while he was in middle school and found inspiration for finance and economics
in FBLA at Rocky Mountain High School.
He would primarily like to thank his family. His parents for showing him the work
ethic to achieve his goals and his siblings for always being able to put a smile on
his face, regardless of how stressed out he was. Secondly he would like to acknowledge
everyone he had the opportunity to meet through MEChA. As he states, "You were all
my family away from home and I will always treausure the memories we have. Thank you
After graduation, Gerardo plans to move back to Phoenix to be with his family and
search for work in the city.
Holly Stooksbury is a native of Fort Collins, Colorado who attended the University
of Wyoming from the fall of 2017 to the spring of 2021. During her time at the university,
she developed a strong interest in learning more about the history and culture of
Indigenous communities. In addition to taking classes that focused on the history
of Indigenous peoples, she also took all four Northern Arapaho language courses offered
at the university. Holly also did an exchange program with the University of Alaska
Anchorage in the fall of 2020 where she took courses related to Alaskan Native Studies.
Her interest in Native American/Alaskan Native Studies also carried over to extracurricular
activities; she participated in the walk for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women
that took place on campus in the spring of 2019 and was the treasurer for the Native
Student Council of the University of Alaska Anchorage during the 2020-2021 school
year. Holly's interests also inspired her development of a course centered around
teaching the history and basics of the Indian Child Welfare Act for her senior Honors
Holly would love to thank her parents, Shawn and Jerry Stooksbury for all their love
and support. She would also love to thank her former high school history teacher Kurt
Knierim for being an inspiration for not only the scholarship of history but for the
importance of mentorship of young people. Finally, she would love to thank the University
of Wyoming staff that really made her college experience such a memorable and beneficial
experience: Dr. Jenna Shim, Robyn Lopez, Dr. Christopher Caskey-Russel, Dr. Joslyn
Cassidy, Breezy Taggert, Dr. Leigh Selting, Dr. Peter Parolin, Dr. Seth Ward, Melissa
Morris, Ashley Armstrong, and Dr. Isadora Helfgott.
After graduation, Holly will be going to Boston with City Year Americorps on a one-year
service mission. In Boston, she will be providing one-on-one and small group intervention
to at-risk students. Following the completion of her service year, she plans to attend
the University of Denver to obtain a Master of Social Work with a special focus in
working with Indigenous and rural communities.