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UW’s ‘Destination: Cowboy’ Offers State Students a Global Learning Experience

April 3, 2020

A trio from Cokeville High School in western Wyoming will travel across the Atlantic Ocean as part of a University of Wyoming study-abroad opportunity.

Cokeville students Eli Linford and Degory Day submitted the winning entry for UW’s “Destination: Cowboy” promotion. The students produced a two-minute video for the contest, while their sponsor, Marty Linford, provided a letter of recommendation.

The grand prize includes full participation in a first-year seminar abroad in Iceland. Directed by a UW faculty member, the program takes place in August and allows participants to explore Iceland and its rich history. The contest was limited to current high school sophomores and juniors, and a school representative to act as a sponsor.

From the November launch through Feb. 29, 34 two-person teams from 19 communities in the state submitted their video entries. In two minutes or less, they answered the following questions:

-- What does it mean to be a Wyoming Cowboy?

-- Why do you think it is important for Wyoming students to experience the world?

-- What impact would an experience like this have on you personally?

The adult sponsor also submitted a letter, answering the following questions:

-- How will this experience help you better serve your community?

-- How will this experience help you grow as an educator?

Along with the UW study-abroad class, the Cokeville group will spend about 10 days in Iceland to learn about the country’s heritage, visit museums, explore Viking history and go on sightseeing tours of the nation’s impressive glacier formations. They also will document the full experience, including video, photos and social media posts.

Event organizers believe the experience will benefit the winning team’s school community upon return, and also provide the adult sponsor the chance to see the value of international experiences and engagement.

The “Destination: Cowboy” committee received entries from Afton, Big Horn, Burns, Casper, Cheyenne, Cokeville, Dubois, Encampment, Evanston, Gillette, Green River, Guernsey, Laramie, Meeteetse, Powell, Riverton, Sheridan, Ten Sleep and Torrington.

“I am thrilled and overwhelmed with the response we got from the students in this great state,” UW Associate Vice Provost Anne Alexander says. “Their enthusiasm and high character were on full display in the submissions, and we couldn’t be happier that we received so much interest in our unique study-abroad opportunity. The hardest part was narrowing down and eventually picking the winner, because there were so many incredible entries.”

Linford and Day will be admitted to UW as non-degree-seeking students and will receive one credit hour. Their video submission may be viewed at www.youtube.com/watch?v=XMccsyV1LLg.

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