Posts from October, 2008

Wyoming Artist Work on Display at EWC

October 30, 2008
The Eastern Wyoming College Art Department is currently featuring and displaying the work of Wyoming artist Diana Baumbach. Her work, titled Variations on a Form, will be on display through November 8 at the EWC Fine Arts Lobby in Torrington, Wyoming. There will be an artist’s talk on November 8 from 5 pm to 6 pm.
Baumbach grew up outside of Chicago with her muralist mother, businessman father, and sister Sarah. For many years, she studied ballet. She performed with Ballet Chicago as well as the Bolshoi Ballet at the Vail International Dance Festival. After deciding to focus her attention on the visual arts, she received her BFA in Printmaking and Drawing from Washington University in St. Louis and her MFA in Printmaking and Drawing from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Most of Baumbach’s current creative research focuses on the intersection between art and design. She uses paper to create quasi-functional objects and pattern-based works. She also maintains an interest in curation and alternative exhibition spaces. She was the assistant curator for Blindspot Galleries, a mobile art gallery, in St. Louis, MO. While living in Southern Illinois, she directed a gallery within her home.
Baumbach has been teaching since 2003. She spent a year teaching at Brehm Preparatory School, a prep school for students with learning disabilities, and three years teaching at Southern Illinois University as a graduate student. Since coming to the University of Wyoming in 2007, she has taught 2D Foundations, Foundations Color, and Introduction to Digital Media. She was also selected as a Faculty Fellow to teach a course for the University of Wyoming’s Summer High School Institute.
Baumbach is committed to teaching within Foundations curriculum and will be presenting her research, “Web-Based Tools in the Development of Intellectual Communities,” at the 2009 FATE (Foundations in Art: Theory and Education) Biennial Conference in Portland, OR. This show is free and open to the public. For more information, please contact the college at 307.532.8200.

EWC Wins Awards at Wyoming Lifelong Learning Association Conference

October 30, 2008
Vanessa Ochsner receives her award for Outstanding Learner from Tom Armstrong, President at Eastern Wyoming College.The annual conference of Wyoming Lifelong Learning Association (WLLA) was held in October and several students and instructors from Eastern Wyoming College were presented with awards and/or scholarships. EWC student Vanessa Ochsner was recognized for her achievements as a lifelong learner and was awarded the District award for Outstanding Learner. Deb Proctor, an EWC adjunct instructor from Newcastle, won the award for Outstanding Adult Educator, and Amber Prell, an EWC distance learner was also awarded a scholarship from WLLA. Konne Rife, from Torrington’s Even Start Program (and an ABE partner program of EWC) won the State award for Outstanding Community Service Educator. Diane McQueen, Director of ABE in Torrington and Kim Conzelman, Newcastle Outreach Coordinator are Executive Board Members of WLLA.
For more information on lifelong learning at Eastern Wyoming College contact Diane McQueen at 307.532.8399.

Eastern Wyoming College Mobile Welding Lab Visits State Capitol

October 28, 2008
Eastern Wyoming College Mobile Welding Lab
An innovative new mobile educational facility visited the State Capitol today from Eastern Wyoming College (EWC) in Torrington.
The college’s new mobile welding lab parked in front of the Capitol and Gov. Dave Freudenthal and other state officials toured the lab, housed in a large tractor-trailer with EWC advertisements emblazoned on the outside. The lab allows the college to teach students and professionals welding skills both at the college and at job sites across southeast Wyoming.
The Governor applauded the college for its move to work with industry and to mesh its programs with the current demand for skilled labor in the state.
“This is exactly the kind of responsiveness we’ve hoped for from the state’s community colleges,” Freudenthal said. “These institutions are uniquely suited to efforts like this one that work with industry and enable students to gain the skills they need to stay in Wyoming and contribute to the state’s economy.”

There to lead the governor through the lab were EWC President Dr. Tom Armstrong, welding program director Leland Vetter, board of trustees members Carl Rupp and George Nash and college staff.

“Eastern Wyoming College is proud to step up and move forward, providing the best welding and joining training anywhere we can wheel it,” Armstrong said. “If you think the mobile rig is a ‘head turner,’ you need to check out the programs and the opportunities that we provide. We’re very proud of our programs and our students.”
Tami Afdahl, director of college relations, said the mobile lab is a direct result of the college’s communications with industry and its expression of the need for a mobile training facility.
“We’ve been trying to listen to industry and find out what their needs are,” she said. “We figured, why not take a champion program on the road so that we can respond to some of those needs?”
The mobile lab was designed to offer more flexibility for EWC’s celebrated welding program and for its instructors. There are times when an instructor will go out with the lab and train people on site, and times when outside instructors might be able to use the facility, Afdahl said.
“We have found that some business and industry people that we’ve talked to simply can’t stop operations and send a crew in for a week of training. Now, we can bring the training to them,” she said.
The lab cost just over $200,000 and was funded with one-time funding allocated to EWC through the state’s funding formula.
Welding is a program that the college is particularly proud of, program director Leland Vetter said. “We’ve got former students now working in mining, oil and gas, construction and also working as educators,” he said. “There is a significant demand for these skills in Wyoming and across the West.”
EWC’s welding program began in 1980, when Vetter held classes at the local high school until the EWC building was completed in 1981. The program began with 12 students has grown to a current enrollment of 75 students from 6 states. Since 1980, more than 200 students have completed certificates and degrees in welding from EWC.
“This mobile welding lab has been a dream of mine for 20 years,” Vetter said. “It is my hope that it will provide a regional testing and training center for business and industry that will also provide some flexibility with offerings and instructors.”
Growth in the program led to the hiring of an additional full-time faculty member in 2000 and another in 2007. The program currently has three full-time instructors and one part-time instructor.
In 1992, Vetter became an American Welding Society (AWS) certified welding inspector and welding instructor. EWC became an accredited test center, by the AWS, in 1996. The focus of the EWC program has always been on the maintenance and repair industry which is different from other programs.