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Press Release

Western Foundation to host Mountaineer Award for Excellence in Denver

Thursday, March 14, 2019

The Western Colorado University Foundation will host the inaugural Mountaineer Award for Excellence, honoring Professor Duane Vandenbusche, Ed.D., on Saturday, April 29 in the Denver area. 

The event, which will take place at Cherry Hills Country Club at 5 p.m., was created to honor Western’s outstanding philanthropists, alumni and friends, while also serving as a signature event for Front Range alumni and community members.

Speakers include Western President Greg Salsbury, Ph.D., and Western Foundation Executive Director Tom Burggraf.

Western Colorado University announces new Associate VP of Academic Affairs

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Western Colorado University is excited to announce that Kevin Alexander, Ph.D., will replace Kathleen Kinkema, Ph.D., as the associate vice president of Academic Affairs.

Alexander, who has served as the chair of Western’s Department of Natural and Environmental Sciences since 2015, is a field biologist and has worked in aquatic systems, conservation biology and habitat assessment. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Biology from the University of Texas and a Ph.D. in Biology from the University of North Texas.

Dr. Gloria Beim to give Western Spring 2019 convocation speech

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Longtime local physician and surgeon Dr. Gloria Beim will address Western Colorado University’s Spring 2019 graduates at commencement on May 11.

Beim is Head Team Physician for Western Colorado University’s NCAA Sports program along with the U.S. National Wheelchair Basketball Association. She is also co-chair of the U.S. Olympic Committee’s newly formed Sports Medicine Medical Advisory Group.

Western faculty published in top scientific journal

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Two Western faculty members were recently published in a top ornithology journal, The Condor, for their grant-funded research associated with fire thinning and bird communities.

Assistant Professor of Wildlife & Conservation Biology Pat Magee, Ph.D. and Associate Professor of Environment & Sustainability and Biology Jonathan Coop, Ph.D.,  along with Jacob Ivan of Colorado Parks and Wildlife, were published in the February 2019 issue of The Condor: Ornithological Applications.

Western Colorado University hosts flute, piano faculty recital Feb. 28

Monday, February 25, 2019

Flutist Shelley Warren and pianist Martha Violett, DMA of the Western Colorado University Department of Music faculty will present an evening of chamber music and solos on Thursday, Feb. 28 at 7:30 p.m. in Quigley’s Kincaid Concert Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

The program includes Sonata V by Quantz, Hungarian Fantasy by Doppler, Kassouga by Shinohara, and Duo by Copland along with Image for solo flute by Bozza and Two Sonatas for piano by Scarlatti.

Polar explorer Eric Larsen to visit Western as part of Blister Speaker Series

Monday, February 25, 2019

On Feb. 28, Eric Larsen will visit Western Colorado University, giving a keynote address and meeting with various classes as part of the Blister Speaker Series.

The keynote address, free and open to the public, will be held at 6 p.m. in the University Center Theater.

Larsen is a polar adventurer, expedition guide, dog musher and educator who has spent the past 15 years traveling in some of the most remote and wild places on earth.

Western announces partnership with Rocky Vista University

Sunday, February 17, 2019

RVU is one of two medical schools in the state, the other being University of Colorado.

Under the Early Acceptance Program, Western juniors will be able to apply for provisional acceptance to RVU—without needing to take the MCAT.

Applications are due Nov. 1, after which Western designees will conduct a preliminary round of interviews. Their suggested candidates are then sent to RVU for final decisions.

To be considered for the Early Acceptance Program, students must meet several criteria, including:

Western Colorado University’s Spring Concert Schedule

Friday, February 15, 2019

February 21, 7:30 p.m. | All-Colorado Honor Band Host Concert

February 23, 2 p.m. | All-Colorado Honor Band and Colorado Brass Band Concert

February 28, 7:30 p.m. | Faculty Artist Recital: Shelley Warren (flute) and Martha Violett (piano)

March 7, 7:30 p.m. | Western Vocal Department Showcase

March 9, 2 p.m. | Western Slope Choral Festival Concert

March 12, 7:30 p.m. | Opera Colorado Guest Artist Concert

March 14, 7:30 p.m. | F. George Damson Music Competition

Tenth annual Western Rail Jam features new name, location, Red Bull support

Monday, January 28, 2019

“The new venue allows us to create a larger, more fun course for our riders to compete on,” said Ryan Zimmerman, a member of the hosting student group Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship (ICE) Project.  

Hosting Rail Jam at Cranor Hill expands competition to all athletes who are 18 years old or older. Previously, when the event was on campus, only Western students were allowed to participate. 

Outdoor Industry MBA students head to Outdoor Retailer

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

During the Jan. 27 to Feb. 1 trip, students will engage with one another, network at the OR show and meet with industry leaders.

“This immersion experience provides an opportunity for students to be able to develop deeper relationships with their cohort,” said Pete Sherman, dean of the School of Business.

All Western MBA candidates will be staying together at one of two houses downtown and dining at different Denver restaurants each night. Students’ tuition covers the OR pass, meals and lodging.

Western announces Blister Speaker Series

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

The guests will deliver a keynote address and hold a question and answer session, followed by refreshments. They also will spend two days on campus, visiting classes and interacting with student clubs and sports teams.

The keynotes will be video- and audio-recorded, to be released on Western’s YouTube account and Blister’s podcast.

This first-of-its-kind speaker series—coupled with Western’s first-of-its-kind Outdoor Industry MBA program—will further Western’s role in cultivating future leaders of outdoor-oriented businesses and media.

Honors Program Director leads two students to National Collegiate Honors Council

Friday, November 30, 2018

For the first time, Honors students from Western accompanied Bennett to the NCHC conference. Honors Student Advisory Board (SAB) President Madison Northen—an Economics/Environment & Sustainability double major, Data Analytics minor—and SAB member and Honors Resident Assistant Madeline White—a Business Administration (Energy Management emphasis)/Environment & Sustainability double major, Pre-Law minor—were charged with attending student-centered panels to bring back fresh ideas enhancing student leadership in Western’s Honors Program.

Western wins competitive grant to expand recycling with 'The Rocket'

Monday, November 12, 2018

Colorado has made strides when it comes to diverting trash from landfills by reducing, reusing and recycling waste, but there is still plenty of room for improvement. According to CDPHE, in 2007 the state diverted only about 7 percent of the nearly 10 million tons of household and commercial trash generated that year. Seven years later, those numbers have improved as 11 percent of roughly 9 million tons of waste was diverted from landfills in 2014. Yet Colorado still lags well behind the national average of 35 percent for waste diversion.

Nationally acclaimed violinist, pianist to perform Nov. 13

Monday, November 5, 2018

Ondracek-Peterson is a leader in numerous fields: performance, artistic direction, arts advocacy, administration, education, career research, entrepreneurship and academia. Taking pride in contemporary music advocacy, she has worked with established composers including Pulitzer Prize-winning composers Ned Rorem and David Del Tredici.

Western featured in 'Guide to 399 Green Colleges' by The Princeton Review

Friday, November 2, 2018

Published Oct. 16, the ranking can be accessed at princetonreview.com/green-guide.

The Princeton Review chose the schools for this ninth annual edition of its "green guide" based on data from the company's 2017-18 survey of hundreds of four-year colleges concerning the schools' commitments to the environment and sustainability.

Inside Western

Western students travel to Pueblo for annual Colorado Chapter of The Wildlife Society Conference

Thursday, March 7, 2019

This was a statewide conference for the Colorado Chapter of The Wildlife Society held in the Pueblo Convention Center. There are only three schools in Colorado that are affiliated with this club: Colorado State University, Colorado State University-Pueblo and Western Colorado University. 

Western's Politics Club organizes 'speed repping' event

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Western Colorado University’s Politics Club organized “speed dating” with Gunnison representatives just after Valentine’s Day. The representatives attending were: Mayor Jim Gelwicks, County Commissioner Jonathan Houck, City Commissioner John Messner, County Commissioner Roland Mason, City Councilperson Jim Mills, City Councilperson Bob Drexel and Western Vice President of Student Affairs/Dean of Students Gary Pierson.  

Resident Advisors dish out free ice cream at Escalante Terrace

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

At 8 p.m. on Jan. 31, Escalante’s RA team at Western gathered in the complex’s terrace to serve up ice cream to 40 students as well as themselves.  

Word of the event spread through voice, fliers and Instagram, where each student was asked to bring their own bowl and spoon for a helping. These bowls were filled with vanilla, strawberry, chocolate and salted caramel ice cream made from Gunnison’s fresh white snow; condensed, whole and almond milk; and served up over the course of an hour.  

Western students first in program history to present at Research Conference

Monday, March 4, 2019

SEATTLE – Western Colorado University faculty and students made school history last month as the first Western Communication Arts students to present at an undergraduate research conference.

Seniors Chris Doucet, Clark Thompson and Katie Lyons attended the 16th Annual Seattle Undergraduate Scholars Research Conference on February 22 to present their research, titled “An Analysis of Media Distribution and Consumption Through Music Streaming Services.”  

For Doucet, the experience was an inspiring one.

Clubs at Western: many in number, open to all

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Do you find yourself looking into the horizon in search of yourself? Do you have free time set aside that you wish included something more? If you answered yes to either of these questions, it may just be time for you to consider joining a club.  

Western has a grand total of 37 clubs for all students to contemplate joining, with religion, culture, gaming, fishing and dancing being just a few of the focuses they offer. To join, all you need to do is drop in on a club meeting and introduce yourself and you may find yourself with new friends and maybe a new passion.

Western offers unique Trail Running Team

Friday, February 1, 2019

The team first started out as a student-based leadership team with advisers for guidance. The team began to grow, and when it did Western invested in coaching and officially added the Trail Running Team to the one-of-a-kind Mountain Sports program.

“It’s cool to be the only colligate trail running team because it is a different take on trail running,” said Maddie Hart, a runner on the team. “We show up to races with the big Western van, and people wonder who we are, and it draws attention to us.”  

Wilderness Pursuits hosts annual Gear Swap

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Everyone can come to Wildernewss Pursuits's annual Gear Swap to find great deals on any kind of gear they may need. On Nov. 28 in a ballroom at the University Center, there were skis, boots, clothes and rafts—all at low prices. Some of the gear was brought in by students or people in the community, and some of the gear was old WP gear. 

“I think that it is cool students can let go of their gear and find nice, cheap, cool gear," said Kate Stern about the Gear Swap. "It’s also a great way to get the community involved as well."

Michael Kodas visits Western to discuss importance of journalism

Monday, January 21, 2019

On Nov. 13, Kodas spent approximately 90 minutes covering numerous fires in recent history along with his personal experience around them for an audience nearing 100. He explained that many of humanity’s worst forest fires—such as The Fourmile Canyon Fire in 2010, The High Park Fire and Waldo Canyon Fire in 2012, and The Black Forest Fire in 2013—are the result of poor human practices.

MGES student lands Gallery Manager position from internship

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

In May 2018, Master in Gallery Management & Exhibits Specialization (MGES) student Kristen Grant was hired as Gallery Intern—through Western’s MGES internship program—and hit the ground running. She began assisting the Manager and the Director with daily tasks and correspondences, packing and shipping artwork, installing shows, doing social media, among other tasks.

Western Student Teachers Choose to Stay Local for Residency

Thursday, December 13, 2018

The Education Department at Western emphasizes the importance of hands-on learning when considering what it takes to be a full-time teachers. Because of this, every student in the education program at Western is afforded the opportunity to student teach for an entire school year. Although residency programs at Western allow students to complete their residency period anywhere in the world, some students choose to stay in the Gunnison Valley and begin their teaching experience locally.

Western's Community Council goes to Utah for leadership conference

Thursday, November 29, 2018

This year is Western’s second year of affiliation with IACURH and National Association of College and University Residence Halls (NACURH) and the second year Western students attended the conference. NACURH is the largest student-run organization in the country and is split up into eight different regions. This year the regional conference was at Brigham Young University in Provo. 

Club Sports Council gives students opportunities beyond athletic participation

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

For students who want more of a traditional athletic experience, Club Sports offers men’s baseball, men’s and women’s boxing, coed figure skating, men’s and women’s ice hockey, men’s and women’s rugby, men’s and women’s soccer and women’s volleyball.  

A unique feature of Club Sports at Western is a council powered by students that runs, improves and promotes the program. Club Sports Council (CSC) President Mackenzie Bode explained what CSC does.  

Air Force veteran researching hormonal changes in wounded soldiers  

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Students who attend Western Colorado University have their own stories on how they found this school located deep in the Rocky Mountains.

“I discovered [Western] after moving to the Gunnison Valley in the fall of 2015,” Otero said. “I actually had no intention of returning to school after my military service ended. However, once I uncovered my own need [and] desire for additional life learning, I began to explore what college would look like for me.”  

Otero served in the Air Force for 12 years, including combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Gamer’s Guild, Library host Game Night for all

Monday, November 5, 2018

As relaxing as it was intense, Game Night in the Savage Library proved itself to be a great opportunity for hours of laughter and triumph, sharing stories of adventure and magic or simply to lounge and strike up a spirited conversation. The true magic of the event, however, was the welcoming atmosphere. Whether you were a veteran of board games or just hoping to get a sneak peek, there was always a spot to join in and experienced players willing to teach or challenge whoever took it. 

2018 Homecoming celebration includes parade, bonfire, sports

Thursday, October 25, 2018

The Parade

As the festivities for this year’s homecoming at Western Colorado University began, Western students and the community came together to celebrate. 

Students and the community lined the streets late Friday afternoon to come together to celebrate another Western homecoming.  

The parade included homecoming royalty, NCAA sports, club sports, clubs and organizations. Jim Gelwicks, Mayor of Gunnison, led the parade as the marshall.  

Student groups take sustainability head-on at Western

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

One of the biggest commitments the Sustainability Program has is helping the campus commit to zero waste by producing less waste and recycling more here on campus. There are three organizations on campus that focus on sustainability: Sustainability Coalition, Organics Guild and LEAD Sustainability. 

In the LEAD Sustainability program, there are work-study positions available for students. They act as sustainability advocates on campus. 

Featured News

The Colorado Sun spotlights 'first-in-the-nation outdoor MBA program'

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Jason Blevins—formerly of The Denver Post, currently of The Colorado Sun—connected with the graduate students during their first immersion experience Jan. 27 to Feb. 1 at the Outdoor Retailer Snow Show in Denver. The graduate students were there to attend the industry’s premier trade show and meet throughout the week with industry leaders, including Director of the Office of the Colorado Outdoor Recreation Industry Luis Benitez and various CEOs and VPs.

Gunnison Valley Health heightens treatment options, research assistantships for Western students

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

For a second consecutive academic year, GVH is providing highly qualified, licensed physical therapists to serve Western’s student-athletes—be it NCAA Division II, Mountain Sports or Club Sports. Those physical therapists are also serving Western’s general student population, faculty and staff. Coupled with upgrades in staff and facilities at the GVH/Western student clinic on campus in Tomichi Hall, this has improved medical access and care throughout Western.

Crested Butte News spotlights growth at Western

Monday, January 7, 2019

In “Western one of fastest growing small universities in the state," reporter Katherine Nettles highlighted the fall 2018 freshman class—Western’s largest in a decade—in the Jan. 2 edition of the Crested Butte News. Nettles also illustrated how in the past five years Western has seen “the highest percentage increase in the state of full-time enrollment outside of the CU system.”

Also featured in the report:

Kayaking classes offered for students, community members

Friday, November 16, 2018

Every Tuesday from 8-10 p.m., the pool in the Aquatic Center is open to any and all kayaks. The two-hour class allows people to come in to practice or learn to roll their kayaks.

The class isn’t open to just students; people from the community can also jump in. It is free for students and nonstudents pay $3.

As long as you bring your own skirt and paddle, you are ready to hop into the pool. If you need to borrow a kayak, there are some available there.

Western’s Multicultural Center celebrates its 20th Haunted House

Friday, November 16, 2018

Members of the Multicultural Center (MCC) planned, set up and performed the entire event. The MCC is home to many different clubs at Western: Amigos, Asian Pacific Islanders Club, Black Student Alliance, Native American Student Council and Polynesian Chant and Dance Club. 

All those groups came together to put together the 20th MCC Haunted House. 

“I feel like everyone got to be creative,” said Mariby Perez, a member of the MCC. “Depending on the room you were assigned, you got to make up your own character.” 

Families travel to Western to enjoy Family Weekend

Friday, November 16, 2018

The family fun activities started Friday, Oct. 26. There was a welcome table where students and their families could sign up for events, such as taking a trip with Wilderness Pursuits (WP) and solving an escape room.  

Saturday was a fun-packed day. It kicked off with a pancake breakfast in the University Center with the Jazz Band performing. 

“We are enjoying breakfast,” said Catharine Hayzlett, grandparent of student Rhys Hayzlett, “before heading to the football game.” 

Governor Hickenlooper visits Western to discuss Outdoor Industry MBA

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Hickenlooper noted the uniqueness and potential for growth of Western’s new program—a two-year, online program with an MBA core as well as specialized tracks for either the product or service side of the industry. He also announced $5,000 in program scholarships funded by the Colorado Outdoor Recreation Industry Office.

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