Western's Newsroom

Press Release

Western's new Outdoor Industry MBA receives accreditation

Friday, August 3, 2018
A hiker outside of Crested Butte in Colorado

Western’s Outdoor Industry MBA program is currently accepting applications for the Fall 2018 semester. Applications are due Aug. 24; classes begin Sept. 24.

Applications received before Aug. 24 will be eligible to earn $5,000 in scholarships, provided by Steven Borick for the inaugural Outdoor Industry MBA class. For more information, please contact Peter Sherman, director of the Outdoor Industry MBA, at psherman@western.edu or 970.943.3000.

Chávez named Dean of Graduate Studies, Associate VP of Academic Affairs

Monday, July 16, 2018
Dean of Graduate Studies Abel Chávez outside Taylor Hall in 2018

Chávez has directed the Sustainable & Resilient Communities track of the Master in Environmental Management program since his arrival at Western in 2014. A global leader in community development with a renowned expertise in community-based energy, material and greenhouse gas emissions accounting, he is eager to bring his multi-disciplinary, multi-sector professional and program development experiences to his new role at Western.

Western receives CFGV grant to host free sport clinics for local youth

Friday, July 13, 2018

The grant was proposed by Western associate athletic director for development Katie Benoit.

There was an awards ceremony Wednesday, July 11 at the Gunnison Arts Center, where Benoit was awarded the check. The event was attended by CFGV board members, local government and the valley’s nonprofit community.

CFGV receives donations/contributions from more than 70 individuals, families and other entities to fund the grants annually. For more information on the CFGV, visit cfgv.org.  

Colorado Brass Band to perform free concert June 29

Tuesday, June 26, 2018
A saxophone and sheet music

The band will perform a variety of musical genres, including movie music, marches, jazz, hymns and more. In addition, various members of the band will be featured as soloists, including Buddy Laws on euphonium. Laws will give the world premiere of “Skye Boat Song” by Stephen Bulla.

The band’s 44th annual concert is free, open to the public and suitable for all ages. 

Western receives grant from Campus Alcohol and Drug Educators

Monday, June 25, 2018

As a result, Western will receive: training and technical assistance from CADE, one annual visit from CADE, $2,500 each year for projects and up to $1,000 in the second year for alcohol and other drug prevention professional development.

Funding supports awareness-raising events on campus such as “Breakfast for a Buck”–late-night breakfast burritos at the campus café.

Foundation receives 'largest estate gift in Western’s history'

Monday, June 4, 2018
Borick Business Building on the campus of Western State Colorado University

Little wanted to make sure that Western’s students continued to be helped with tuition expenses even after he was gone. Little passed away on July 11, 2017, at the age of 91. Last month, the Western State Foundation received an additional $2 million through Little’s estate, which he had designated to add to his existing scholarship endowments. In perpetuity, Western’s top business students—together with Western students in any academic discipline with extreme financial need—will receive help thanks to Bob’s incredible generosity.

Colorado Lt. Gov. lauds longtime professors Bruce Bartleson, Duane Vandenbusche

Monday, April 30, 2018
Professor Duane Vandenbusche, left, and emeritus professor Bruce Bartleson pose at a campus gala April 28, 2018

The event celebrated their collective years of teaching at Western as well as the legacies each has formed shaping the lives of thousands of students and athletes in the Gunnison Valley.

During the event—which included dinner, a champagne toast/roast and the premier of a Bartleson-Vandenbusche documentary—Colorado Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne proclaimed on behalf of the state April 28 and April 29 as Duane Vandenbusche and Bruce Bartleson Days.

Student Film Night set for May 3

Monday, April 23, 2018

"This spring’s screening is sure to please,” Lucido said. “Students have made short experimental, documentary and narrative films.”

Student Film Night is a regular end-of-semester exhibition of student creative work at Western. Typically, the screening is scheduled during the last week of classes. New this spring, the screening falls during Finals Week to allow the parents of graduating seniors to attend and stay for commencement.

“I have heard of several parents of graduating seniors planning to attend,” Lucido said. 

Buell Foundation grant worth $435K to fund library improvements

Sunday, April 1, 2018
Leslie J. Savage Library at Western State Colorado University

Buell Foundation Executive Director Susan Steele notified the university last month, according to Western Vice President of Finance and Administration Julie Baca, who forecast that design could be launched as soon as late April.

The library originally opened in 1939. None other than Denver-based architect Temple Hoyne Buell–after whom the Buell Foundation is named–designed it in the Spanish Colonial Revival style. In 1951, the library was dedicated in honor of trustee member Leslie Savage to recognize his work at Western.

Community invited to campus author presentation

Friday, March 23, 2018

The event is free and open to the public.

“American Climber” is a memoir loaded with epic climbing stories and adventures—much of which take place during Mehall’s time at Western and in the Gunnison Valley. It contains two underlying themes: a compelling narrative of the author’s tumultuous journey to climbing, which ultimately saved his life, and a detailed look at the American dirtbag climbing culture. This new version includes a complete full color photo spread.

Western awarded grant to provide scholarships to nontraditional students

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

The Boundless Opportunity Scholarship is designed to benefit motivated nontraditional students who recognize the power of education in creating a better life for themselves and their families.

“As always, we are looking to help students be successful, and this is another opportunity we have been granted to do that,” Western Assistant Director of Financial Aid Tanner Stillwell said. “We are extremely thankful and look forward to awarding scholarships to some great candidates.”

Inside Western

'Mountain Folsom' documentary to premiere at Western on Sept. 20

Friday, September 7, 2018
W Mountain in Gunnison, Colorado

“Mountain Folsom,” a half-hour documentary by Western professor of communication arts Jack Lucido, chronicles the archeology work of Western professor of anthropology Mark Stiger on the top of Tenderfoot Mountain.

Stiger’s discoveries have dramatically changed the study of archeology in recent decades. Archeological digs and research by Stiger and several of his Western field school students uncovered the prehistory of Folsom people living on the mountaintop overlooking campus 10,400 years ago.

Writing Center expands services, relocates from Taylor Hall to library

Thursday, September 6, 2018
Student writing

While the Writing Center will continue to accept walk-ins, students can also schedule 25- or 50-minute appointments. New this year: an online appointment system that allows students to make or change appointments. The system, which can be found at western.edu/writingcenter starting mid-September, also issues text and email reminders.

Also new this year is the option for each student once per semester to submit up to 1,000 words for critique and feedback without an in-person consultation.

Western gets early start on Campus Safety Awareness Month

Thursday, August 23, 2018
Pamphlets and flyers available in university center. Main brochure features sources of strength on cover.

September marks Western’s Campus Safety Awareness Month campaign (WCSAM). WCSAM is designed to disseminate information and educate the campus community around relevant campus-safety topics.

“This year’s focus is in part due to data we collected last spring during our spring student trainings, particular around awareness of how and where to report sexual harassment,” said Western Title IX administrator Chris Luekenga.

Contemporary art museum curator instructing at MGES Practicum

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Most recently, she co-curated “We the People: Contemporary American Figurative Art” and “AltRealities: The Fantastical Worlds & Creatures of Contemporary Artists” at the museum.

Fairall will be teaching the graduate students about the role of a curator, and how to construct and plan an exhibition from concept to installation.

Western’s MGES program welcomes new director

Monday, July 2, 2018
Heather Thiessen-Reily and Heather Orr pose together outside of Quigley Hall

Thiessen-Reily has served as an MGES collaborator and recently added a Public History emphasis, which has museum-studies components, to the History major at Western.

“Dr. Thiessen-Reily will bring her expertise, background in working with her students in museum-related areas, and vision for development and growth in the MGES,” said Dr. Heather Orr, outgoing MGES Program Director.

Honors director reflects on two years of grant-funded experiential education

Friday, June 29, 2018
A student sketches at the Denver Art Museum
Kelsey Bennett, Ph.D., Honors Program Director, earned in 2017 a two-year National Endowment of Humanities (NEH) grant, a competitive funding opportunity. This grant has allowed her to lead two enduring questions courses, gateway courses for students entering the Honors program in the Spring 2017 and 2018 semesters.

Western unveiling Outdoor Industry MBA for 2018-19

Tuesday, May 8, 2018
A Western instructor climbs a mountain with students

The two-year, online program includes an MBA core as well as specific tracks for either the product or service side of the outdoor-recreation economy, which generates $887 billion annually in consumer spending, according to the Outdoor Industry Association. The program also includes residencies, immersion experiences and guest lectures from outdoor industry experts.

First class: MGES program’s inaugural cohort graduates

Tuesday, May 8, 2018
The first cohort of Western's MGES program celebrates graduation at a campus reception May 4, 2018

“The Master in Gallery Management & Exhibits Specialization program was proud to celebrate our first group of graduating students at Commencement this spring,” said Western art history professor and MGES program director Heather Orr. “Ruthann Cranford, Jill Fahey, Torrie Nickel and Barbara Sibley all walked the stage to receive their M.A. degrees Saturday!”

ESS students prepare athletes for annual Crab Feed fundraiser

Friday, April 6, 2018
A pile of cooked red crabs

Organized by senior-level students, the Crab Feed serves as a final project for ESS Event Management students and a volunteer opportunity for student athletes.

Nearly 30 athletes volunteered to act as wait staff for the event, representing Western’s football, swimming and women’s soccer divisions.

“A lot of people will be there, a lot of people who pour into this program and pour into athletics as a whole," said Zach Manchester, a sophomore Business Management student. “It’d be great to serve them.”

Featured News, Inside Western

Featured News

Showing by iconic chrome sculptor Aug. 27-Sept. 21 at Quigley Gallery

Monday, August 6, 2018
Two sculptures displayed in Quigley Gallery

Guerrero of Crested Butte is a famous chrome sculptor with works displayed across the country. Gunnison Valley residents might recognize his work in Crested Butte, including the knight/dragon as well as the large “Pepsi horse” at the Center for the Arts. He has begun to attract national attention through his participation in the Bombay Beach Biennale, which takes place in Salton Sea, Calif.

Pair of legendary professors to be feted in red-carpet style

Friday, April 20, 2018
Professor emeritus Bruce Bartleson, left, and professor Duane Vandenbusche of Western

Bruce Bartleson, an emeritus professor who taught Geology at Western from 1965-98, and Duane Vandenbusche, a professor of History at Western from 1962-present who also coached cross country and track & field from 1971-2007, are the guests of honor among an audience of 200 for a gala dinner and champagne toast/roast. The event will celebrate 88 collective years of teaching by Bartleson and Vandenbusche at Western as well as the legacies each has formed shaping the lives of thousands of students and athletes in the Gunnison Valley.

Alumna Beth Held to participate in Roaring Fork Leadership

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

“Roaring Fork Leadership (RFL) is a nine-month training program designed to bring community members together through interactive and experiential learning,” Held said. “RFL graduates ultimately become better leaders, experience personal growth and are more engaged in the community.”  

This year approximately 20 people were accepted into the program.   

Held is currently the senior project manager at Forum Phi, an award winning architectural firm located in Aspen.  

Mock Trial Team exposes students to courtroom atmosphere

Thursday, April 12, 2018
Western's Mock Trial Team at Gunnison County Courthouse

In Fall 2016, Warren Knutson, now a senior graduating in May, hosted an information session at a Politics Club meeting to gauge interest in launching a new Mock Trial Team at Western. Less than two years later, the team, which now has 14 members, has under its belt a regional competition at the El Paso County Courthouse in Colorado Springs and a local showcase at the Gunnison County Courthouse.

Ecology study: Saving forests from fire, with fire

Wednesday, April 11, 2018
Stock image of forest damaged by wildfire

At Western State Colorado University, Master in Environmental Management (MEM) student Ryan Walker and associate professor Dr. Jonathan Coop have partnered with collaborators at the National Park Service and the U.S. Forest Service to study strategies for sustaining these forests. One question they have been examining is how some types of fire–including prescribed fire and naturally-occurring, low-severity fires–might protect forests from extreme, high-severity fires.

Colorado Rep. Millie Hamner named 2018 commencement speaker

Wednesday, April 11, 2018
Graduates applaud as they are about to receive their diplomas at Western State Colorado University in 2017

Hamner represents House District 61 at the Colorado Legislature, which includes Pitkin, Lake and Summit counties and parts of Delta and Gunnison counties. She currently serves as chairwoman of the Joint Budget Committee, a six-member group charged with drafting the state’s annual budget bill. The 2018-19 budget cycle will be her second stint leading the committee. 

"I'm honored to have been invited to speak to the graduates at Western and look forward to celebrating their achievements,” Hamner said.

West Elk Bicycle Classic returns: ‘part century ride, part gravel-grinder, part adventure race’

Friday, April 6, 2018
West Elk Bicycle Classic cyclists ride through Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park in 2015

The inaugural West Elk Bicycle Classic got its start on Western’s campus in 2012 as a road-cycling event with a mountain-biking cause.

“The mountain bike team then was hit or miss,” Western Chemistry professor Jarral Ryter said. “I had two Chemistry majors on the team in my upper-level labs also working as teaching instructors.”

Certain Western students opt for service over skiing, sunbathing for spring break

Tuesday, April 3, 2018
A group of students pose together in front of two elephant statues

“This is the third year that LEAD has hosted Alternative Spring Break,” said Sara Phillips, Director of the LEAD Office. “The purpose of alternative breaks is to provide an option outside of a traditional spring break experience by traveling and completing community service."

This year, the Western group traveled to Chicago, Iowa and Kansas to explore topics relating to sustainability, conservation, identity, food systems and food security.

Award-winning author Helen Thorpe to speak on campus

Friday, March 30, 2018
Helen Thorpe

Thorpe is famous for her work with creative nonfiction, which has been regarded as "masterful" by The Denver Post. At her upcoming appearance at Western, she is slated to discuss her new release, "The Newcomers," which details the lives of 22 teenagers in a beginner-level English class at South Denver High School. We spoke with Helen about her new release and her upcoming appearance here at Western.

Prior to your time as a published author, you were quite a successful journalist. How has your time in journalism shaped your writing today?

Second City hosts an improv workshop for Western students, faculty

Thursday, March 15, 2018
Second City improv workshop

Fifty people were invited to Taylor Auditorium that chilly Tuesday night, nametags abreast, energy buzzing in the crowd. Lots of people were familiar with Second City and came to get a closer look at the famous Chicago touring comedy company, while others were excited to learn some real-life skills at the workshop, using improv techniques in real-life situations. 

BSA hosts Black History Month cultural events, featuring poet Kai Davis

Thursday, March 15, 2018
Female students perform African dancing

The week before Presidents Day weekend was a busy one. Working with the LEAD office, the BSA managed to kick-start its celebrations of Black History Month with a few high-turnout and fun events, starting with Soul Food night and trivia on Feb. 12.  

“We fed everyone, and now we’re educating and inspiring people,” said BSA President Alicia Herbert, talking about the Black History Month’s tie ins with the diversity awareness and educational programs on campus.