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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
Photo of Alumnus Beth

“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.  

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

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. 

Sophomore competes on Freeride World Tour

Wednesday, February 14, 2018
Grifen Moller Banner

The Freeride World Tour accepts only three new male skiers from North America each year.   

“There were about 500 skiers competing for those three spots, so qualifying was very difficult," Moller said. "I was very fortunate to have two second-place finishes and a fourth-place finish, which got me the third spot."  

Just five qualifying competitions are held in North America, and the tour takes competitors' best three results.  

"So consistency is key," Moller said. 

Western’s Polish pipeline: Three siblings race into record books

Friday, January 19, 2018
Aneta, Dawid and Alicja Konieczek posing together in the Mountaineer Field House

Dawid, the oldest, and Aneta, the youngest, are separated by four years. It’s arguably a perfect range; spread enough in age that the three can live and experience independently, but close enough to draft off of each other’s accomplishments. But how did they end up all together at Western, a small college in the Rocky Mountains thousands of miles away from their home?

Child’s play

The Konieczeks are a serious trifecta of runners; a tally board is needed to count the number of national podiums they have stood atop. This talent must run in the family.  

Student Government Association looks to grow their community with the student body

Friday, January 12, 2018
All members of Student Government Association pose for a group photo in front of the University Center

All undergrad students pay a fee with their tuition that goes toward the SGA, which then allocates that money out to different clubs, programs and bills. 

All students can go to the SGA website and submit a bill for a funding request. The bill is sent to an SGA senator who then writes the bill to be voted on.  

Women’s Volleyball stays positive through adversity

Friday, January 12, 2018
The women's volleyball team stands together in a huddle

The team finished a with a 2-25 record, 1-17 within the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC).    

 “Staying positive in the midst of a drought is definitely a challenge,” said freshman defensive specialist Bonnie Brode, “but all the girls on our team are really good at building one another up, pushing each other to be better and keeping everyone focused.”  

While the Mountaineers have struggled, they have also strengthened on another and the team’s chemistry.  

Student atheletes travel to Virginia for health, wellness training

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Natalie Anderson (Women’s Cross Country/Track), Katelynn Martinez (Women’s Basketball), Benjamin Price (Men’s Wrestling), David Traynor (Men’s Wrestling), Pete Kadushin, Ph.D. (assistant professor of Exercise & Sport Science) and Kim Miller, Ph.D. (associate director of Athletics) made the trip to the APPLE Training Institute.

Educating and promoting student athlete health and wellness and drug use prevention were the main topics of this event.

L.A. Chargers running back Austin Ekeler reflects on his college days at Western

Thursday, November 9, 2017
Western running back Austin Ekeler carries the football against Colorado Mesa in 2016

On the recruiting process: “Western brought me to campus for the first official visit. They were definitely interested, and I was interested in them as well. It showed me they actually wanted me to be on their team. On the first official visit, I’m the running back that they’re bringing in. That was special for me. That went a long way for me. No other school had me for their first official visit.”

Former Western running back Austin Ekeler overcomes odds, defies doubters to play in NFL

Thursday, November 9, 2017
Chargers rookie running back Austin Ekeler carries the football

Take, for instance, his first game in the backfield against West Texas A&M in the 2013 season opener. Ekeler started as a true freshman for Western before the home crowd at the Mountaineer Bowl in Gunnison. It was an inauspicious start.​

“My first college game ever, as a freshman,” Ekeler said, “I had 10 carries for 10 yards.”

It’s pretty easy to do the math there on yards per carry.

Press Release

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

Monday, April 30, 2018
Professor Duane Vandenbusche, left, and emeritus professor Bruce Bartleson pose infront of Taylor Hall.

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.”

Western receives 2017 Tree Campus USA award

Friday, March 9, 2018
A tree on the campus of Western State Colorado University

“Students are eager to volunteer in their communities and become better stewards of the environment,” said Matt Harris, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. “Participating in Tree Campus USA sets a fine example for other colleges and universities, while helping to create a healthier planet for us all.”

Tree Campus USA, an Arbor Day Foundation program, is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. The Tree Campus USA program honors colleges and universities for effective campus forest management and for engaging staff and students in conservation goals.

Western hosting 14th Summer Teacher Institute in June

Friday, March 9, 2018
The Summer Teacher Institute at Western State Colorado University in 2017

The Institute offers a variety of graduate credit content courses designed specifically for K-12 educators who want to enrich their existing curricula. Participants enhance their content knowledge, share pedagogy, learn creative ways to deliver lessons and network with educators from throughout Colorado and beyond. Intensive seminars with qualified instructors immerse participants in their subjects. 

Western hosting free 3-night series on local wildlife management at ICELab

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

This three-night series billed as “Wildlife 101: Management in the Gunnison Basin”–free and open to the public–is slated for three consecutive Thursday evenings: Feb. 15, Feb. 22 and March 1. Each talk will be held on Western’s campus at the ICELab off Escalante Drive from 6:30-8 p.m. The series is designed to explore the science behind wildlife management, including topics such as: the role hunting plays in conservation, population ecology, habitat management, and the challenges and opportunities in the Gunnison Basin.

President charges committee with improving university diversity, equity, inclusion policies

Thursday, January 25, 2018

This includes but is not limited to operations from marketing, student recruitment, faculty hires, programming, curriculum, institutional culture and services.

Salsbury also asked the DEII Committee to work alongside each of the strategic planning committees to ensure the groups integrate attainable, actionable, relevant, specific and temporally appropriate goals in their respective sections of Western’s next Strategic Plan.

The DEII Committee is also charged with developing and tracking metrics and benchmarks to qualify progress. 

Western adds new emphasis to Computer Science program

Monday, December 18, 2017

Beginning with the 2018-19 academic year, five new classes focused on topics such as information security, cryptography, network security, hacking and malware, software engineering, and data science will be available to students.

Western modeled its new Information Security emphasis after a renowned program at the University of Maryland, positioning Western to be a leader in this area of study within the State of Colorado.

Western to host local history event at Crested Butte museum

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Professor Duane Vandenbusche, Ph.D., will kick off the evening with a slide show on the history of the mining towns. Emeritus Professor Bruce Bartleson, Ph.D., will join him to discuss the geology of the region.

In the second half of the evening, CLCD Productions’ Cathy Carpenter Dea will join the group. Cathy will discuss her film team’s amazing experiences shooting footage of Vandenbusche and Bartleson during the San Juan Mining Tour for an upcoming documentary entitled “Breaking the Mold, Colorado Contemporaries.”

Junior, senior represent Western at national selling competition

Monday, November 27, 2017

Senior Canyon Mueller and junior Jorge Zarate Aguirre represented Western at the 42-school competition. Other competitors hailed from institutions including Baylor University, Utah State University, Pennsylvania State University, University of Central Florida and University of Texas Dallas.

At the competition, Mueller and Zarate Aguirre participated in two types of events:

Western joins forces with Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Students increase their understanding of the issues facing public land managers through hands-on experiences that allow for the application of skills developed in the classroom. The land-management agencies benefit from the completion of necessary project work, and the agency will be served long-term as diverse students pursue diverse careers. The benefits to the university include support of curriculum and out-of-class learning opportunities in partnership with the agency experts.

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service awards grant to biology professor at Western

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Bingham also received a sub-award from the University of Colorado Boulder on a collaborative award from the National Science Foundation for a digitization project using herbarium data to document plant niches in the high peaks and high plains of the southern Rocky Mountains. Western is one of several institutions in the partnership.

Western’s Chamber Orchestra and String Ensemble to perform Thursday

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

The Western State Colorado University Chamber Orchestra and String Ensemble, under the direction of Kenneth Todd, is to perform an evening of chamber string music from a variety of musical styles and periods for string orchestra this Thursday.

The concert will feature the works of J.S. Bach, Antonio Vivaldi and Edvard Grieg as well as transcriptions and adaptations of compositions by Gruselle, Joseph Brackett and Sergei Rachmaninoff. Soloists Natasha Pratt (violin), Jannett McBride (violin) and Jo Raetzel (cello) will be featured on Vivaldi’s L’Estro Armonico, Op. 3, No. 11.

Western Honors Program to host Business Ethics Forum

Thursday, November 2, 2017

The forum, which will be in the University Center South Ballroom at 7 p.m., is free and open to the public.

Smith served as CFO of HealthSouth Corporation where he was involved in a 15-year, $3 billion fraud. He voluntarily exposed the scandal, worked with authorities and accepted the repercussions.

At the forum, Smith will discuss his experiences dealing with value conflicts and ethical dilemmas in the workplace.

Inside Western

Western professor travels to Russia to talk art forgery, graduate studies

Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Jeffrey Taylor, Ph.D., the Grosland Director of Western's Master in Gallery Management & Exhibits Specialization (MGES) program, visits Russia in 2017

Taylor, who has an art forensics laboratory in New York, was invited to speak about science and art—specifically issues of art forgery, which are analyzed in his lab. Taylor was invited to be a keynote speaker at the All-Russia Science Festival.

Organized by the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation, the science festival is held in many regions throughout Russia with thousands of scientifically oriented events and approximately 2 million attendees.

Featured News, Inside Western

Mountaineers lead local Puerto Rican relief effort

Thursday, January 4, 2018
Puerto Rico

The desolation that rocks Puerto Rico post-Hurricane Maria isn’t a secret. This isn’t new news, per se, but it is forgotten news.

The island is still mostly without power, clean water and food; FEMA is overworked and understaffed. The coverage comes and goes, but according to the two Western students who recently returned from a relief mission, the common thread is simple.

People aren’t doing enough.

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