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Seidel Names Inaugural UW Presidential Fellows

September 12, 2022
Chelsea Escalante, Ray Fertig, Adrienne Freng and Mark Lyford

Four University of Wyoming faculty members have been selected by President Ed Seidel from among 26 applicants to serve in the first cohort of UW’s Presidential Fellows Program.

The program is designed to stimulate and facilitate projects by faculty members to help realize institutional goals. The faculty selected by the president as fellows will work in close collaboration with the Office of the President and other units to develop projects that enhance the academic, research, economic development and civic engagement missions of the university.

The inaugural fellows are:

-- Chelsea Escalante, an assistant professor of Spanish and applied linguistics in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages. She will work with the Office of the President on international partnerships and continue her work on dual language immersion programs in K-12 schools across the state.

-- Ray Fertig, an associate professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. The Wyoming native and UW alumnus will work with the Office of the President and Vice President for Governmental Affairs and Community Engagement Mike Smith on state government and community relations.

-- Adrienne Freng, a professor in the Department of Criminal Justice and Sociology, and former Faculty Senate chair. She will work with the Office of the President on strategic alignment, helping implement ideas generated in joint sessions between administrators and Faculty Senate representatives earlier this year.

-- Mark Lyford, the executive program director of the Science Initiative and an academic professional in the Department of Botany. The Wyoming native will lead efforts to engage in science with Wyoming communities across the state.

“After personally speaking with all 26 applicants for these inaugural fellowships, I was so impressed with all of them and their ideas to move the university forward,” Seidel says. “While we hope to find ways to implement all of their ideas, these four stood out as we participate in a campuswide effort to envision UW’s future; identify challenges; celebrate the potential and successes we already have; and then weave that all into a real action plan we can all work toward.”

The Presidential Fellows Program is funded by the Office of the President, and the time commitment can vary from four to 20 hours per week. The length of the fellowship is expected to be a full academic year, full calendar year or another 12-month period.

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