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UW College of Arts and Sciences to Hold Annual Keith and Thyra Thomson Honors Convocation

October 4, 2012

Wanda Burget, director of sustainability for Peabody Energy, will be the keynote speaker at the University of Wyoming College of Arts and Sciences annual Keith and Thyra Thomson Honors Convocation Friday, Oct. 12, at 3:30 p.m. in the A&S auditorium.

Each year, the College of Arts and Sciences honors its top students who have made the President’s, Dean’s or Freshman honor rolls the preceding year. The honors convocation is open to the public and free of charge. For more information about the event, visit the A&S Web site at

“These are the students who make academics their highest priority and, consequently, are the students with the highest probability of graduating, pursuing successful careers, and becoming leaders in our state’s and our nation’s democratic government,” says Oliver Walter, College of Arts and Sciences dean.

This year marks the 25th year for the honors convocation, which was endowed by the friends and family of Keith and Thyra Thomson in 1997.

Burget is in charge of training, project development, analysis and reporting for Peabody’s corporate and social responsibility initiatives in the United States. Her previous experience includes senior manager for Regulatory Services—West, where she provided leadership, expertise and knowledge in management, communication, and resolution of western and related national regulatory and governmental relations issues. Eli Kinney-Lang

She has served on numerous governing boards of public and community service organizations, as well as official state and national committees and associations. She received a bachelor’s degree in biology with a minor in chemistry, Cum Laude, from Augustana College, in Sioux Falls, S.D.

Margaret TabernaTwo undergraduate scholars, Laramie native Eli Kinney-Lang, a senior majoring in mathematics with minor degrees in Spanish and chemistry; and Margaret Taberna, a senior from Big Horn majoring in international studies, will present their research. Also, the Singing Statesmen, directed by Department of Music Assistant Professor Nicole Lamartine, will perform.

Kinney-Lang’s project focuses on neurons, the basic building blocks of the brain that connect to each other through neurodevelopment and send-out processes (neurites) from the cell body. The project, which applies both real-time imaging and mathematical modeling techniques, was funded through National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants.

During the past spring semester, Taberna and 11 other students from colleges across the nation were accepted into a School for International Training (SIT) program called “Senegal: National Identity and the Arts.” While in Senegal, she studied a string instrument, the ekonting, and took voice lessons. Her study abroad was funded by the Dick and Lynne Cheney Study Abroad scholarship, SIT Spring scholarship and an International Programs scholarship.

(top)Wanda Burget, director of sustainability for Peabody Energy, will be the keynote speaker at the honors convocation Friday, Oct. 12, at 3:30 p.m. in the A&S auditorium.

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