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Three to be Honored During UW College of Arts and Sciences Ceremony

March 22, 2018
Mark Bronston, Stephen Ropp and Patrick Willingham

Two graduates and a former faculty member will be honored during the University of Wyoming College of Arts and Sciences’ (A&S) annual awards luncheon Saturday, April 28, at the Marian H. Rochelle Gateway Center, 222 S. 22nd St.

The reception begins at 11 a.m., followed by a noon luncheon. This year, the college honors Professor Emeritus Stephen Ropp, as well as two outstanding alumni, Mark Bronston and Patrick Willingham.

The A&S awards luncheon is open to the public at a cost of $35 per person. For more information, to RSVP or pay online, visit or call (307) 766-4106.

Ropp, of Laramie, is the College of Arts and Sciences 2018 Outstanding Former Faculty Award recipient. He came to UW in 1983 and was appointed as the Milward Simpson Distinguished Professor of Political Science in 1984. Ropp taught Latin American politics and received an Outstanding Teaching Award from the American Political Science Association (2000).

During the Central American crisis in the 1980s, Ropp consulted for the Kissinger Commission and testified before the U.S. Congress on regional issues. His contributions to post-Cold War literature on human rights include several co-edited books published by Cambridge University Press. Ropp was director of UW International Studies (1992-95) and an A&S Seibold Professor (2000-01). He was a Fulbright Scholar and a Research Fellow at both the European University Institute in Florence, Italy (2001), and the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia (2011-13). A U.S. Army veteran, Ropp served with the 8th Special Forces Group in Panama (1965-68).

Bronston, the UW College of Arts and Sciences 2018 Outstanding Alumnus, earned a B.S. in geophysics (1979) and currently is a geophysicist and executive with Legends Exploration LP in Houston, Texas. An expert in seismic processing, acquisition, rock physics and seismic reservoir characterization, Bronston has broad experience and has enjoyed success in both the oil and gas and mining sectors.

Before joining Legends, Bronston was vice president of exploration at Lake Ronel Oil Co., exploration manager in Alaska for WestGold and a senior geophysicist at Amoco Production Co. He received a Ph.D. in geological engineering from the University of Mississippi. He and the WestGold exploration team were awarded the PDAC Thayer Lindsley Award (2009) for the discovery of the Donlin Creek gold deposit in Alaska.

Bronston is active in many professional organizations. He has served on the Society of Exploration Geophysicists Council and the American Association of Petroleum Geologists’ House of Delegates.

Originally from Cheyenne, Willingham, the 2018 College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Alumnus, earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in theater (1990). He is the executive director of The Public Theater in New York City, a nationally recognized cultural institution with seven performance venues that produces “theater of, by and for the people.”

Willingham received Best Musical Tony and Drama Desk awards for “Hamilton” and “Fun Home.” Before working at The Public Theater, Willingham partnered with the founders of Blue Man Group to grow the off-Broadway performance art sensation into an international phenomenon.

He has an MFA in performing arts management from Brooklyn College, where he has served as an adjunct professor. Willingham lectures frequently on “Strategic Implementation” and “Managing Creativity.” Recently, he assisted Stanford Arts in developing a program with the Stanford Graduate School of Business to encourage arts innovation and change leaders; and he serves on the board of EMCArts, a consulting firm that develops adaptive leadership in arts and culture organizations.

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