Representatives of the University of Wyoming last week made the first of what are expected to be several trips to Gillette to offer individualized support to current or prospective students affected by layoffs in the energy industry in northeast Wyoming.
UW team members in Gillette were Director of Financial Aid Kathleen Bobbitt, Center for Advising and Career Services Director Richard Miller, Associate Director of Admissions Rob Dennis, and Meredith Asay and Alyson Hagy, special advisers to the president. The team was supported by Outreach School Academic Coordinator Dawn Keisel, who is permanently assigned to the Northern Wyoming Community College District and has an office on the Gillette College campus.
UW currently has 300 students from Gillette and about 300 more from other communities in northeast Wyoming. More than 200 students from Campbell County High School and other high schools in the region have been admitted for next year, and nearly 100 students annually transfer to UW from Gillette College and Sheridan College. Many others take UW courses through the university’s Outreach School.
“We want students to have the information they need to make plans for their education,” Hagy says. “Students and families faced with economic change may need real-time financial aid advice and advising about UW’s academic programs, the admissions process and how to transfer to UW from a community college.”
A handful of prospective and current students stopped by the UW Regional Center at Gillette College to meet with the university’s team the afternoon of April 19 and the morning of April 20. While in Gillette, UW’s representatives also visited with the Campbell County Commission, Gillette city officials and local legislators.
“One of the messages we received was that our presence in Gillette likely will be more important later on, when the end of severance packages, federal unemployment benefits and other issues will have people thinking about higher education options,” Hagy says. “We plan to return two or three more times, and to partner with Gillette College to meet any needs the university can fill.”
Keisel remains available at the UW Regional Center, 300 W. Sinclair St. in Gillette, to assist current and prospective students. The office is open from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, and the phone number is (307) 686-0044.
Hagy may be contacted at (307) 766-5404 during regular business hours or at Alyson.Hagy@uwyo.edu.
Incoming UW President Laurie Nichols, who takes office at UW May 16, is scheduled to speak at the spring commencement ceremony at Gillette College Friday, May 13. She will then return to Gillette on May 24 to meet with the county commissioners, other local officials, industry representatives and other members of the community. It’s part of her plan to spend a day or two of each week of her first months in office traveling around the state to meet with citizens, community college and public school leaders, legislators, alumni, media and others.