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.
Featured News, Inside Western
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.
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.
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.
Mock Trial is a competition where students become immersed in a hypothetical but detailed case. Students study the relevant laws relating to the case, read through detailed statements by the plaintiff, defendant and witnesses, and review various exhibits or pieces of evidence related to the case.
“How I found student and faculty interest [about Mock Trial] was easy. I started to get more involved with other clubs including the Student Government Association and the Model UN team,” said Warren Knutson,the student who set up and started the Mock Trial.
As Quigley Hall’s beautifully renovated space sees its second semester of use, faculty and students are enjoying the freedom it has brought them to explore new creative territory. The newly installed rehearsal rooms, open to all students, promote musical exploration and composition. Additional studio and classroom spaces encourage expression by providing stunning views of the snow-topped Fossil Ridge. A new favorite of many music lovers on and off campus, the freshly redone John and Georgie Kincaid Concert Hall is now home to creative events for Western students and community members.
SOURCE grants are administered by Western’s Research Council (WRC) and encourage research, scholarly inquiry and creative activity by undergraduate students. The fund is open to any student and provides aid for both research and travel.
Western prides itself on high student initiative and providing close interactions among students, faculty and staff. The WRC is particularly interested in continuing to foster these pursuits and interactions with SOURCE grants.
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.
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.
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.
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).”
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.
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, Colo., with his family when he was seven. He faced many doubts from his peers and himself before attending Western.
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.
Featured News, Mountain Sports News
Cameron Smith qualified for the United States National Ski Mountaineering Team after just three years of competing in the discipline. He will be the youngest racer representing the U.S. when he competes at the World Championships this February.
Ski mountaineering (skimo) is a rapidly emerging sport that blends endurance and alpine skiing to test one’s overall ability to move swiftly and safely in extreme terrain. Races range from 30-minute sprints to 12-hour epics.