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‘The World Needs More Cowboys’ Celebration April 15 in Worland

March 30, 2021
Ed Seidel, Gerald Mattinson, Abby O’Donnell and Tommi Olson

Students will learn more about the University of Wyoming, UW alumni will connect with their alma mater, and members of the public will find out more about UW’s presence in Washakie County during a “The World Needs More Cowboys” celebration Thursday, April 15, in Worland.

The event had been scheduled to take place last spring, but restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic forced postponement to this spring.

The public is invited to the rescheduled event from 5-7 p.m. at the Washakie Museum and Cultural Center in Worland. Free appetizers and beverages will be served.

UW President Ed Seidel will be in attendance and speak during a brief program at the celebration, highlighting the university’s efforts to boost entrepreneurism and the state’s economy, among other topics.

Gerald Mattinson, the head coach of UW’s women’s basketball team, will speak as well, along with team member Tommi Olson, who’s originally from Worland and helped lead the Cowgirls to the 2021 Mountain West Conference Tournament championship and a berth in the NCAA Tournament.

They’ll be joined by two other current UW students from Worland -- Elizabeth Martinez and Aaron Vigil -- who will discuss their experiences at the state’s university.

UW faculty members and admissions representatives will be on hand to answer questions and interact with attendees on topics including the Cowboy Commitment, UW’s merit- and need-based financial aid offerings for Wyoming high school graduates. Free UW-branded giveaway items will be available, including T-shirts to the first 50 high school students.

Additionally, UW alumna Abby O’Donnell, of Ten Sleep, will talk about how UW prepared her for her career and role in the community -- and what it means to her to be a UW Cowboy. O’Donnell is one of 24 UW alumni featured in advertising in Wyoming newspapers and other media under the banner of “The World Needs More Cowboys -- and So Does Wyoming.” She is the sales manager and corporate branding specialist for ProCorp Images, a home-based business with clients in the U.S., Canada and Australia.

The Washakie County event is the 12th in a series of events planned around the state in counties where UW alumni featured in the advertising live and work. The series, interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, is resuming now that Gov. Mark Gordon has eased restrictions on public gatherings in the state.

“It’s clear that our marketing tagline, ‘The World Needs More Cowboys,’ has connected virtually with people across Wyoming. These events are about making that connection even stronger through face-to-face interaction,” says Chad Baldwin, UW’s associate vice president for marketing and communications. “It’s a great opportunity for local students to learn more about their state’s university, for alumni to connect with their alma mater and one another, and for members of the community to meet UW’s new president along with coaches, faculty and students.”

Before the evening event, Seidel, UW political science Professor Jean Garrison and the current UW students from Washakie County are scheduled to speak to students at Worland High School.

Seidel began service as the university’s 28th president July 1, 2020. Before coming to UW, he was the vice president for economic development and innovation for the University of Illinois System, building and supporting programs that engage university, public and private partners -- and strengthening the links among higher education, research and business to stimulate economic development across that state.

His long record of leadership experience includes more than three years as director of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he was among the original co-principal investigators for Blue Waters, a federally funded project that brought one of the world’s most powerful supercomputers to Urbana-Champaign.

Previously, he was the senior vice president for research and innovation for the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology in Moscow, Russia, in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Before that, he directed the Office of Cyberinfrastructure and led the Directorate of Mathematical and Physical Sciences as National Science Foundation assistant director. He also led the Center for Computation & Technology at Louisiana State University and directed the numerical relativity group at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute) in Germany.

Seidel received his Ph.D. in relativistic astrophysics from Yale University, earned a master’s degree in physics at the University of Pennsylvania, and received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and physics from the College of William and Mary.

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