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UW to Host Lecture, Screening of Running Documentary March 3

February 25, 2020
Helene Neville and Liz Vassey

An inspirational speaker and a television actor, both avid runners, will share their stories at the University of Wyoming Tuesday, March 3.

Laramie resident Helene Neville will present “Rethink Impossible” in the UW College of Business auditorium at 4:30 p.m. Neville is a cancer survivor, nurse, health advocate and author. She is the first person to run solo across all 50 states of the United States.

Neville has given speeches in all 50 states. Her accomplishments have been featured in magazines and newspapers, including People, Runner’s World, Outside, the New York Times, the Miami Herald and the Las Vegas Sun.

Liz Vassey, a television actor, made her directorial debut with the documentary feature, “The Human Race.” The documentary, which chronicles the stories of six runners over the age of 50, will be screened in the UW College of Arts and Sciences auditorium.

The event will begin at 7 p.m. with a ceremonial performance dedicated to Kaylee Jones, a UW freshman from Laramie who will undergo brain surgery March 4. UW graduate and singer Alexandra Garcia and guitarist Bill Froehlich will perform with dancers from the Laramie Dance Center and members of the Laramie Drummers.

After the performance, the documentary will be screened, followed by a question-and-answer session with Vassey and Neville, who is featured in the film.

Vassey made “The Human Race” as an outlet for her emotions after her mother died. She says she firmly believes running kept her centered. She decided to travel around the country and meet some senior runners. She was blown away by their tenacity, their energy and their heart, she says.

“The Human Race” follows the featured runners as they train, race and tell how running has helped them through various struggles. The film was named by Runner’s World as one of “The Top 20 Best Running Documentaries That Will Inspire You to Move.”

Vassey is a two-time Emmy-nominated actor. Her television credits include roles on “All My Children,” “ER,” “Two and a Half Men” and “Brotherly Love.” She is known for her five-year run on “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” as DNA technician Wendy Simms. In addition to acting, Vassey has written for television.  

The UW College of Business’ Sandberg Speaker Series and the Honors College co-sponsor the events, which are free and open to the public.

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