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UW Student Affairs Recognizes Outstanding Contributions

April 18, 2016
woman with a group of people
Assistant Professor Mary Jo Cooley Hidecker, left, discusses a project with some of her students who nominated her for the UW James C. Hurst “Each Student-A Person” Award. From left are Maddie Deutsch, Kailey Symes, Allison Long and Clarissa Petres. Other nominators not pictured are Payton Crawford and Adele Riley. (UW Photo)

Students, faculty and staff from the University of Wyoming Division of Student Affairs and across UW were honored at the division’s recent annual recognition luncheon.

Each of the individuals recognized at the event embodies the Division of Student Affairs’ vision of “STUDENTS FIRST” through demonstrated excellence in the workplace and involvement in the university community, says Sara Axelson, vice president for student affairs.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to honor our excellent colleagues and students who were recognized through this process, both the nominees and the winners,” Axelson says.

Those honored for their contributions to the Division of Student Affairs were:

UW James C. Hurst “Each Student-A Person” Award -- Mary Jo Cooley Hidecker, assistant professor in the UW Division of Communication Disorders.

The award recognizes James C. Hurst, who was UW's vice president for student affairs from 1981-2000. Hurst is remembered for his warm and caring demeanor, wisdom and dedication to student success.

Hidecker was nominated by six students who praised her passion for her work and her positive influence on their educational experiences.

“Dr. Hidecker is extremely dedicated to her research and the classes she teaches, but she is always willing to help her students learn and understand as well as empower them to do great things,” one student wrote. 

“She is humble, empathetic and genuinely passionate about her work and mentorship role with students. She makes classes fun, educational and engaging. If anyone deserves this award, it is Mary Jo Cooley Hidecker!” another student wrote.

Outstanding External Contributor -- Kira Lawrence, programmer analyst, senior, IT/Application and Database Services.

Her nominator noted, “Kira’s help has enabled us to streamline many processes that have positively impacted not only operations within our office, but also for all of our prospective students applying to the University of Wyoming and our colleagues in associated Student Affairs departments.”

Outstanding Student Contributor -- Mahin Sandoval-Chavez, lead student programmer, Friday Night Fever.

Sandoval-Chavez worked to create, plan, budget and execute up to 30 unique programs each year designed to appeal to the student body.

Outstanding General Staff -- Macki Snyder, project coordinator, Associated Students at UW (ASUW).

During her almost three years in the ASUW office, Snyder has promoted an appreciation for social justice and diversity while dedicating her time, energy and support to student leaders, according to one nomination letter.

Outstanding Professional Staff -- Nancy McGee, psychiatric nurse practitioner, Student Health Service.

Her nominator wrote, “She is so passionate about helping students who struggle with mental health. She is so kind and fair to all students besides being a tremendous health care provider. The work Nancy does can be so emotionally draining, and she always does it with a smile on her face and love in her heart.”

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