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New UW Faculty, President to Visit Fremont County This Week

September 29, 2015
people looking at machinery in a small tunnel
UW faculty members toured a trona mine in Sweetwater County during a previous Wyoming Rendezvous Tour. The UW outreach program for new UW faculty members to visit a region of Wyoming will be in Fremont County Oct. 1-4. (UW Photo)

President Dick McGinity and 25 new University of Wyoming faculty and staff members will visit Fremont County Oct. 1-4 as part of a university outreach program.

In its 17th year, the Wyoming Rendezvous Tour provides UW faculty members with an opportunity to visit a region of Wyoming and to gain an appreciation for the state’s geography, culture and economy, says Milton Ontiveroz, UW Institutional Communications specialist who has organized each tour on behalf of the President’s Office.

“Participants are typically faculty members who are relatively new to UW, but the tour is open to veteran faculty members as well,” Ontiveroz says. “Residents and community and state leaders have an opportunity to meet and become better acquainted with UW personnel and to share personal and professional interests.”

This year’s tour will visit Fremont County the entire three and a half days.

Each year, Ontiveroz, Chris Boswell, UW vice president for government and community affairs, and Chad Baldwin, associate vice president for communications and marketing, select a different region of Wyoming for the Rendezvous Tour. Ontiveroz relies on area UW Board of Trustees members, community and educational leaders, and legislators as a resource when putting together the agenda for new faculty.

“I make sure that we try to visit as many communities as possible in that particular region to give new faculty a sense of what drives the local economy,” Ontiveroz says. “The new faculty members learn about the area’s rich history as well.”

It has been eight years since UW’s outreach program has come to Fremont County. Faculty from such areas as business, marketing, accounting, Latina/o studies, communication disorders, family and consumer sciences, ecosystem science, agricultural and applied economics, statistics and history will be on this year’s tour.

McGinity and two of his administrative team members -- UW Vice President for Student Affairs Sara Axelson and Susan Frye, UW Outreach School dean -- will join the UW group for a reception and tour of Central Wyoming College (CWC) Thursday afternoon on the tour’s first stop. CWC President Cris Valdez and his team will host the UW contingent. Valdez, Vice President Brad Tyndall, and Marketing and Public Relations Director Lori Ridgway all will speak.

The UW tour group will then travel to Crowheart, where McGinity will host a barbecue for the university’s new faculty at his ranch.

“When putting together the itinerary, I make sure that the president visits at least one high school,” Ontiveroz says. “Not only does the president like to visit with students, but this also shows new UW faculty how the Legislature supports education in Wyoming, from public schools to community colleges and the university.”

The UW group will tour Wyoming Indian High School in Ethete Friday afternoon and have lunch with students. McGinity will talk with students to stress the importance of seeking a higher education. Former UW Trustee Sara Robinson, of Fort Washakie, will then discuss the history of the Wind River Indian Reservation.

The UW group will tour the new Devon Energy Sand Draw Enhanced Oil Recovery facility and also the Wind River Casino and Hotel during the day.

Former UW Trustee James Trosper, of Fort Washakie, will host the UW group at his home for a Native sweat lodge ceremony, followed by a traditional family meal to conclude Friday’s activities.

UW’s tour contingent will be in Lander Saturday for two events. In the morning, National Outdoor Leadership School personnel will host the group at its downtown offices, followed by an outdoor activity in Sinks Canyon. Later in the day, UW folks will tour the Carrisa Mine at South Pass City.

The day concludes when McGinity and the group host Fremont County legislators for a dinner at Svilar’s in Hudson.

On the way home Sunday, the group will stop at the historic Split Rock site before reaching campus in the afternoon.

“Our Wyoming Rendezvous Tour group will only get a sampling of what to see and do in Fremont County. From an energy tour, an education visit, a Native history lesson and traditions to historical visits, plus just the scenery of the beautiful Wind River Mountains as a backdrop, will make this a memorable trip for some of UW’s newest faculty members,” Ontiveroz says. “The tour is an excellent opportunity for new UW faculty to see a part of the state. As a Wyoming native myself, I want them to know that this is a great place to live and raise a family.”

Past Wyoming Rendezvous Tours have involved energy tours such as oil and gas and coal and trona mine tours; visits to numerous high schools and six of the seven Wyoming community colleges; unique Wyoming businesses; a tour on a military base; an inside tour of Wyoming’s men’s and women’s prisons; state and national historical sites; museums; and many agricultural-related operations.

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