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Featured News, Inside Western

Mountain Sports adds road biking to roster

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

While mountain biking has been a flourishing component of Mountain Sports since the program’s inception in 2012, most riders tend to hang their bikes up when the snow begins to fly. Sophomore Ryan Trimble, a Business Marketing major from Seattle, WA, decided to break that mold and race in the Rocky Mountain Collegiate Cycling Conference (RMCCC) road biking circuit as the only representative from Western when he was a freshman.

Self-trained boxing champ's unusual Western story

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

As a Politics and Pre-Law student, Wagner is a self-motivated and self-trained high achiever. However, he identifies his community as a key part of his success as a student and athlete.

“Being involved is very important at Western,” he reflected. “Here, the close-knit community creates a sense of accountability.”

In his time at Western, Robert became involved in the Men’s Club Rugby team and served with the Peer Academic Leader (PAL) program to become connected with other students. Leadership has been a big part of Wagner’s life as a student and community member.

Chemistry Club showcases magic reactions for the ninth year

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Once a year the Chemistry Club puts together a magic show that demonstrates the reactions that can occur when mixing elements. They work with everything from acid and bases to liquid nitrogen.

“I’m the coordinator of this club and the students work on this show for a couple of months to learn about the reactions that take place,” said Ryter, who helps the club get everything together.

Western celebrates the Class of 2017

Monday, April 24, 2017

Graduation will feature 402 graduates: 342 will receive their bachelor’s degrees and 60 will receive graduate degrees. Students hail from 37 different states and three foreign countries.

Alumna Nancy Chisholm ‘90 will serve as commencement speaker. Chisholm is the former vice president and general manager of Tyco Retail Solutions, a $1 billion vertical business unit of Tyco, headquartered in Neuhausen, Switzerland.

Western promotes growth in local agriculture

Friday, April 21, 2017

From March 30-31, Western hosted the Gunnison Valley Farm-to-Table Conference, bringing together students, farmers, legislators and activists in a discussion about healthy local economies.

Now in its fifth year, this event is supported by Western’s Borick School of Business, the Colorado State University Exension and the National Young Farmer’s Coalition. This time, turnout exceeded expectations and generated hope for future growth.

Western student is the first Mountaineer to win two national championships

Friday, April 21, 2017

Konieczek has been running track for more than nine years. She is from Poland and while looking for colleges, was on the hunt for the perfect place to train at elevation.

 “I was considering somewhere to train in elevation. I asked around, and decided to come to Colorado. My brother came [to Western] in the summer for an elevation sports camp. He sent me pictures and talked about the coach,” Konieczek said.

Konieczek wanted to make sure that Western would be a great fit for her.

ICELab hosts talk by workspace visionary

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

“Googler” and former CEO and co-founder of NextSpace Jeremy Neuner spoke at the ICELab this past week to share his insights on collaborative workspaces and thoughts on why the Gunnison Valley’s entrepreneurial spirit is such a good fit for them. Listeners dragged in chairs, moved couches and flung their legs over armrests; the space appeared to manifest its creative potential before a word was spoken.

Geology student aims to influence enviromental legislation

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Thomas came to Western after a fortuitous encounter with the campus while road tripping from out East.

He previously attended a large school in his home state of Delaware, where he was unsure of his course of study and felt disengaged in his classes of over 300 students.

“I found myself losing a lot of time and credits not knowing what I wanted to do,” Thomas said.

Labor of love redefines riding at Cranor Hill

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Seavey, a Bostonian who came to Western in 2013 to pursue a degree in Exercise and Sports Science with an emphasis in Sport and Fitness Management, reveled in the prospect of snowboarding after class on mountains far larger than out East. While the wall of mountains that appear upon leaving the Gunnison city limits still capture his heart and imagination, his sights are currently set on Cranor Hill just 4 miles north of town.

Professional development events encourage female leadership

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

As Mountaineers prepared to leave for Spring Break, a group of students attended the annual Professional Development Dinner in the University Center Ballroom.

Each year, this free event equips students for the work world by providing them with networking tips, etiquette advice and an opportunity to meet others in their fields.

This year’s dinner included a keynote by former broker-dealer-president Kim Scouller, who served as an in-house attorney at Transamerica. Scouller also spoke at a luncheon designed for female students in the Borick School of Business.

Partners In The Parks offers summer program for sixth year

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Starting in 2010, Partners In The Parks (PITP) Black Canyon and Curecanti has taken between 72 and 90 students on a life changing adventure through the Black Canyon in Gunnison. These honors students experience a week in the parks learning about the history around them and the importance of having National Parks in the world. 

This year PITP is offered in 10 National Parks around the nation, with seven of them taking place during the summer time when students are more available for the weeklong programs.

Academic, outdoor pursuits go hand-in-hand at Western

Monday, March 20, 2017

Noon demonstrates how the mountains and outdoor recreation opportunities in the valley drive him to be a better student.

As Travel GCB puts it, “When you attend college in an awe-inspiring location like Colorado's Gunnison Valley, academics and recreation often have a symbiotic relationship. For Western State Colorado University Senior Peter Noon, outdoor pursuits are a motivating factor rather than a distraction.”

Business students seek to elevate leadership at Western

Friday, March 17, 2017

Business and entrepreneurship professor Tom Miller joined Western last year because, he says, “I got to a spot in my career where I wanted to teach.” He had also recently written a book, Lift: A New Paradigm for Influential Leaders, which redefines and revalues influence and encourages the building of communities and character.

Western's participation in the National Student Exchange fosters diverse learning

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The program allows students from participating universities to spend a semester at another institution in the United States, its territories or Canada. This means Western students can spend time elsewhere, returning to Gunnison with new perspectives and diversifying the learning experience back on campus. Meanwhile, many students from other universities and colleges choose to “study abroad” at Western, bringing with them new ideas and points of view.

Professor John Hausdoerffer publishes new book, essays

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

John Hausdoerffer, Ph.D., recently published an edited collection, Wildness: Relations of People and Place, through the University of Chicago Press.

The book includes essays by Hausdoerffer himself as well as Western's David Rothman, in addition to works by internationally acclaimed authors and activists Gary Snyder, Vandana Shiva, Joel Salatin and Wes Jackson, among others.

Peace Corps Prep is perfect for Western

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Peace Corps Prep is a Western program run in conjunction with the international service-oriented Peace Corps. It focuses on specialization in one of the corps’ six sectors: education, health, environment, agriculture, youth in development, or community economic development, in addition to developing foreign language skills, intercultural competence, professionalism and leadership through selected coursework and service projects.

Embracing difficult conversations

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Amidst making great strides in increasing enrollment, adding new academic programs and renovating facilities, matters of diversity, equity and inclusion are working their way to the forefront of Western’s attention.

Earlier in the semester, passionate students from all corners of campus made clear that diversity is an absolutely essential component for a vibrant learning community. The administration and student organizations responded readily with initiatives that have shown a promising commitment to increasing diversity and promoting equity and inclusion across campus.

ICELab opens for business

Thursday, March 9, 2017

The Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship (ICE)Lab is a space that provides startups and expanding businesses with the materials and support needed to succeed. Occupying Escalante Hall, the space is officially open for businesses to enter and for entrepreneurs to commit their visions to ventures.  

Western’s determination to make the ICELab a reality follows a trend of educational institutions nationwide playing integral roles in the economic development in their areas. The ICELab is now a critical catalyst for economic development for Western Slope communities.

Western's participation in the National Student Exchange fosters diverse learning

Thursday, March 9, 2017

The program allows students from participating universities to spend a semester at another institution in the United States, its territories or Canada. This means Western students can spend time elsewhere, returning to Gunnison with new perspectives and diversifying the learning experience back on campus. Meanwhile, many students from other universities and colleges choose to “study abroad” at Western, bringing with them new ideas and points of view.

New direction for business studies at Western

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

In recent years, Mountaineers studying Business fields have seen a great deal of new opportunities emerge. As one of the most popular areas of study on campus, the majors under the Business umbrella—which include Business Administration, Accounting, and Economics—have seen significant growth.

Faculty and students are optimistic about future developments in Business curriculum. The interest in Western’s Business programs has generated support for new areas of study, some of which will be arriving in Fall 2017.

Communication Arts Department hosts 25-year verteran of media programming, sports broadcasting and media management

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

The Communication Arts Department hosted a “Good Morning Event” with guest speaker Bruce Levinson, who described his life in the media and how he did not start there right after graduation.

“Majoring in hotel management, I got an opportunity to work at a hotel in New York. I went to work in a tuxedo every day, it was a crazy way to start my professional career. I found that the hotel business was absolutely not for me,” said Levinson chuckling.

Black History Month keynote speaker brings message on inclusivity to Western

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

In an address entitled “Dare to be Powerful,” Greenfield encouraged Mountaineers to build community during challenging times. Joined by performers, student leaders, and faculty, Greenfield spoke passionately on some of the biggest issues facing students today.

Held in Western’s university theater, the black-tie keynote address encouraged attendees to leave the room with a newfound respect for other people. The event was sponsored by numerous organizations on Western’s campus, including the Student Government, Black Student Alliance, the Office of the President and the Lead Office.

Travel abroad through Extended Studies

Thursday, March 2, 2017

The Extended Studies Program, located in Taylor Hall 303, works to provide any student or community member with opportunities to expand their academic horizons.

While many small courses offered through Extended Studies use the Gunnison Valley’s geographical blessing as a limitless laboratory, the introduction of many new international courses helps bring different cultural influences and perspectives back to Western through students who have had experiences in a foreign environment.

Study abroad provides Mountaineers with new perspectives

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

As the Study Abroad program at Western grows, so does the scope of the Western learning experience.

This year, a number of Mountaineers are learning across the world, enhancing their studies through working and living in new environments. Some, like sophomore Elizabeth Beggs, are learning about international business while exploring life in Europe. Others, such senior Alexa Nofsinger, document their experiences via blogs and photography.

The study abroad experience can be confusing and challenging, particularly when in an area that is totally unfamiliar.

School of Business welcomes high school students to the third annual Borick Scholars Weekend

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

From February 17 to 19, students from all over the nation came to Western to work together, create an idea and present it to faculty of the Borick School of Business. This is the third year that the business school has hosted this event.

“This year we had a total of 17 students attend this scholarship event. This is the largest group we have had since starting. The question that they are working to answer is ‘How might we reimagine the classroom experience to improve learning outcomes?’” said Annie Westbury, a Program Coordinator at Western who was working the event.

Campus program encourages servant leadership

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Within Western’s community lies a smaller one—a group of students and faculty dedicated to leadership, campus involvement and service work. The Academic Leadership Program Scholarship, commonly known as ALPS, provides both tuition support and guidance for first- and second-year Western students. Through ALPS, a trend toward service-based learning is transforming the Mountaineer experience.

AAMG Welcomes New Colorado State Rep. Dr. Heather Orr

Monday, February 27, 2017

GUNNISON, Colo. – Professor of Art, Art Department Chair, MGES Associate Director Heather Orr, Ph.D., was recently appointed the State Representative of Colorado for the Association of Academic Museums and Galleries (AAMG).

Orr said about the partnership, “This position will directly connect us nationwide with professionals, galleries, museums and potential students in the field. In addition, we will have access to undergrad/grad scholarships for our students to attend the national and regional annual conferences (expenses fully covered).”

Conservation Priorities connects students and lawmakers

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Increased efforts across campus to promote sustainability have opened new doors, allowing Mountaineers to address environmental issues in state government.

On February 4, students and Gunnison residents gathered in Quigley Hall for the Conservation Priorities Summit. Hosted by Conservation Colorado, the event provided information about Colorado environmental measures and efforts. It also enabled lawmakers to hear the voice of Western’s student population.

Roommates become best friends after being placed together

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Freshmen Hannah White and Melanie Turner met through Western’s roommate selection program online. They both were heading to Gunnison from out of state and needed to find a roommate for when they moved into the freshmen dorms on campus.

When choosing a roommate, White “was just looking for people that had good biographies.” Turner was not looking for a roommate but was contacted by White about living together and agreed to do so.

“Hannah just asked if I wanted to be her roommate,” Turner said.

Campus rail jam reemerges

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Students involved in the Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship (ICE) Project defined bringing the famed rail jam back to campus as a top priority after its cancelation in 2015-2016. It has been a prominent event for several years and continually attracts dozens of talented student-riders and hundreds of enthusiastic spectators despite frigid temperatures and busy homework schedules.  

The event was held on Taylor lawn for the first time instead of its old location outside the University Center.

Amigos club member leads thriving youth mentorship program

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Alejandro Alejandre is a first generation college student who narrowly decided to pursue higher education the summer after graduating high school. He is now a senior clinical psychology major and has devoted much of his free time to growing and leading the Hispanic Leadership Program at Gunnison Middle School.

Alejandre was born in La Barca, Jalisco, Mexico and moved to Cedaredge, Colorado with his family when he was seven. He faced many doubts from his peers and himself before attending Western.

Inside Western

Western professors, students publish report on environmental effects of wildfire mitigation

Monday, March 6, 2017

A $200,000 grant from the Join Fire Science Program—an interagency research program—funded the study, “Integrating Fuels Treatments and Ecological Values in Piñon-Juniper Woodlands: Fuels, Vegetation and Avifauna.”

The researchers set out research the effects of fuel fire reduction program on area ecology, particularly on bird species. Most frequently, these programs involve thinning out trees as a way to reduce fuel levels in the event of a forest fire. 

Featured News, Press Release

Press Release

Western to host Tri-Beta Biological Honor Society conference

Monday, March 20, 2017

In addition to oral presentations, an awards ceremony and tours of the local ecosystem (as well as the High Alpine Brewery), the meeting will feature keynotes by University of California, Davis’ Gail Patricelli, Ph.D. and Adam State’s Megan Sherbenou, Ph.D.

Patricelli, a professor and Chancellor’s Fellow in the Department of Evolution and Ecology at UC Davis, will speak on new technology—such as microphone arrays, biomimetic robotics and remote telemetry—used to study breeding behaviors, bioacoustics and the effects of noise pollution on birds in the wild.

Western Wind Symphony to Perform Thursday Night in 65th Annual Firemen's Host Concert

Tuesday, February 21, 2017


GUNNISON, Colo. – The Western State Wind Symphony will be performing on Thursday, February 23 at 7:30 p.m. in the John and Georgie Kincaid Concert Hall. The event marks the 65th Annual Firemen’s Host night concert. The public is invited to attend and admission is by donation benefitting the Gunnison Volunteer Firefighters.

On Thursday evening, the Wind Symphony will be performing a wonderful transcription of Danzon No. 2, by Arturo Marquez.  This composition of Mexican Heritage includes shades of Mariachi trumpets, Dance music, and Love songs.

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