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UW Alumni Association to Present Seven Alumni Awards to Graduates

August 2, 2021
Maxine Chisholm Megan Degenfelder Myron Gnall Anne Mason Jennifer Nevins Jørgen Waaler Tiffany Young

Seven University of Wyoming graduates will be honored with UW Alumni Association (UWAA) awards Friday, Sept. 17.

Recipients and their awards are: Maxine Chisholm, of Mesquite, Nev., the 2020 Building a Better Wyoming Award; Megan Degenfelder, from Laramie, the 2020 Rising Alumni Award; Myron Gnall, of Hicksville, N.Y., the 2020 Network/Chapter Leader Award; Anne Mason, from Laramie, the 2021 Rising Alumni Award; Jennifer Nevins, of Wheatland, the 2020 Life Member Service Award; Jørgen Waaler, from Lunner (Oslo area), Norway, the 2020 Network/Chapter Leader Award; and Tiffany Young, of Parker, Colo., the 2021 Rising Alumni Award.

They will be recognized during the UWAA’s award recognition ceremony and reception from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the UW Conference Center, located at 2221 Grand Ave. Hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar will be available. The cost is $25 per person, and the deadline to register is Monday, Sept. 6. To register, go to Space is limited.

The Building a Better Wyoming Award recognizes UW graduates who made a difference in the lives of Wyoming residents and who are sources of UW strength and pride. The Life Member Service Award recognizes a UWAA life member who has shown outstanding and exemplary service primarily on behalf of or for the UWAA and the association’s community. The Network/Chapter Leader Award recognizes active members of the UWAA who have been leaders and actively engaged in a UWAA network or chapter. The Rising Alumni Award recognizes UW alumni who graduated in the last 10 years and have distinguished themselves through a high level of professional accomplishment in their careers.

The awards reflect leadership through the alumni network/chapter program; outstanding and exemplary service to the UWAA; professional and volunteer achievements; and for impactful work performed that benefits Wyoming and its citizens.

This is the second year the UWAA will present the awards. The 2020 recognition was postponed because of COVID-19 concerns. Premier Bone & Joint Centers and UniWyo Federal Credit Union are the sponsors for this year’s event.

“The UW Alumni Association is pleased to host our annual UWAA recognition ceremony and reception to honor alumni who have distinguished themselves in their careers and service to UW and in their communities since graduation from the university,” says UWAA Executive Director Keener Fry. “They are all passionate about their alma mater and continue to make their mark.”

Chisholm earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing (1980) and a master’s degree in nursing (1982). She worked at a nursing home with a research team as the first master’s-prepared nurse practitioner in Wyoming, and she also became an instructor at the university. Now retired, she had a successful career in nursing and was instrumental in introducing Wyoming to nurse practitioners.

Degenfelder earned a bachelor’s degree in business economics and one in political science, both in 2012. She works for MorningStar Partners, an oil and gas company, as the government and regulatory affairs manager. Degenfelder advocates for sound energy policy on the federal level as well as in Wyoming and New Mexico, fosters community and public affairs, and handles regulatory compliance issues.

Gnall earned a bachelor’s degree in political science (1996). He is a staff analyst for the New York City Transit Authority and runs the UWAA’s New York Metropolitan Area network. He is a former UWAA board member.

Mason earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in theater and dance (2011). She is the founder and producing artistic director of Relative Theatrics, which launched in 2013 in Laramie. Relative Theatrics presents thought-provoking theater that examines the joining qualities of the human race. Taking artistic risk, the theater company provides a community gathering space where thoughts can be exchanged about society, culture and the power of creativity.

Nevins earned a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy (1976). Now retired, she worked as a pharmacist for Platte County Memorial Hospital in Wheatland for 38 years. She is a former UWAA scholarship recipient and has been a life member of the association since 1977. Nevins has served in various roles on the UWAA board, including as president and past president. She is currently a director emeritus.

Waaler, originally from Norway, earned a bachelor’s degree in general business management (1982) and an MBA (1983). He returned to Oslo, Norway, in 1983 and launched the IT firm StrongPoint ASA. StrongPoint went public on the Oslo Stock Exchange in 2002. Waaler retired in 2018 and now works as a professional board member. He leads the UWAA Norway Network, dubbed the “Norwegian Buckhorn Boys.”

Young earned a bachelor’s degree in finance (2012), a Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance performance (2012), and an MBA (2015). She works as a systems engineer for United Launch Alliance, a spacecraft launch service provider, where she manages launch vehicle and spacecraft interface requirements to ensure mission success.

For more information about the awards and profiles of the honorees, visit

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