Born a Cowboy

woman in UW gear
Lauren Lynde (Photo by Ally Reed Photography)

Incoming student Lauren Lynde looks forward to continuing her family’s long UW tradition. 

By Micaela Myers 

Last fall, 1,627 first-time students joined the University of Wyoming, including 969 Wyoming residents. This fall, first-year student Lauren Lynde of Gillette, Wyo., will be among the incoming class.

“I come from a family full of UW graduates and have grown up so excited to become a Cowboy myself,” says the recent graduate of Campbell County High School.

As with many Wyoming families, Lynde needs both hands to count the number of relatives who are UW alumni: five cousins, both her parents, a great uncle and two aunts. Her brother, Garrett, is also a current student.

“Some of my earliest memories are of cheering for the Pokes,” she says. “World-class education and the university being a part of the WWAMI program are an added bonus.”

Lynde plans to major in microbiology and become a physician practicing in Wyoming, which is why the WWAMI program is important to her. WWAMI stands for Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho, the five states that participate in the medical education program, which is affiliated with the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. Twenty seats in the program are reserved each year for qualified Wyoming residents who want to become physicians. Accepted Wyoming students spend 19 months on UW’s campus and their final two years at clinical sites throughout the WWAMI region.

“With my dad being a veterinarian, I grew up in a household where medicine was often talked about — not only what it was and how it worked, but also how it affected the lives of the animals and their families,” Lynde says. “It seemed as if my dad came home every day with another ‘win’ through medicine. This made medicine fascinating and rewarding to me from the beginning. In high school, I had the absolute best science teachers who made me fall even more in love with learning. These two components are what I believe truly urged me into this career path.”

When she arrives on campus this fall, Lynde is looking forward to exploring UW’s Christian-based organizations, Honors College and education abroad, as well as trying the local coffee shops and taking yoga classes with her cousin. The only thing she’s nervous about is making her own food, which she hopes can compete with her mom’s great cooking.

Her advice to other students on the college hunt: “Choose a college that feels like home.”

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