News Posts

EWC Board of Trustees vote to implement RIF policy

In a special meeting held by the Eastern Wyoming College Board of Trustees the following motion was proposed and passed unanimously:  Due to the directive of the State of Wyoming that EWC substantially reduce its expenditures, I move to instruct the administration to recommend to the Board any further efficiencies within the operation of the College; and furthermore to implement the EWC RIF (reduction in force) process and procedure as outlined in policy and administrative rule.

According to the policy, Dr. Patterson, EWC President, will now appoint a committee of one administrator, a faculty representative, staff representative and a representative from Student Services.  The committee will begin the work as outlined in the policy which can be found on the EWC website at  The Board will take action on the work of the committee at their next regular board meeting, as dictated by the policy.

The Trustees will hold a special meeting on May 31.  The next regular meeting is June 14.

MHS students earn EWC degree and high school diploma

EWC college and MHS high school graduates (left to right) Abigail Robinson, Katalina Pfeil and Bayli Buckmiller.

EWC college and MHS high school graduates (left to right) Abigail Robinson, Katalina Pfeil and Bayli Buckmiller.

Three Moorcroft High School students have earned their high school diplomas, and their associate degrees from Eastern Wyoming College.

This past weekend, MHS students Abigail Robinson, Katalina Pfeil and Bayli Buckmiller graduated.  Not just from MHS but also from EWC.  These students participated and took advantage of Concurrent and Dual enrollment courses.  Eligible MHS students may take college courses while still in high school.

“Many students take advantage of this opportunity to earn college credits and get a jump start on their college educations,” stated Mike Durfee, Associate Vice President for Outreach and Academic Services.  “Through extraordinary effort, energy, dedication and focus, all three of these students completed an Associate of Arts degree from EWC while engaged in their high schools studies.”

These are the first students at MHS to accomplish this task.

Ms. Robinson will be attending the University of Wyoming in the fall and will major in History.  Ms. Pfeil will attend the University of Montana at Missoula and major in medicine.  Ms. Buckmiller will also attend UW and will major in Human Relations Management.

Also completing their EWC degrees from Moorcroft were community members Ed Robinson, criminal justice; Justin Jones, interdisciplinary studies; and Ashley Lake, elementary education.

Mr. Robinson shared the following, “I chose EWC because of the outreach ability, and the fact that I already had credits there from when I was in the academy.  My degree is in Criminal Justice with Law Enforcement emphasis.  No future plans, just thought it was time to finish it up.”

“I graduated from Moorcroft High School in 2013 and already had a lot of credits.  In December of 2015 I received my degree from EWC, I then transferred from the University of Wyoming to Chadron State where I will be graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sports and Recreation Management in May 2017, shared Mr. Jones.

Ms. Lake plans to continue her current employment.

For more information about EWC credit classes offered in Moorcroft please contact Melissa Buckmiller at 307.756.9800.

EWC art instructor to have work on exhibition in New York

EWC Art Instructor John Cline with his oil painting Clothed

EWC Art Instructor John Cline with his oil painting Clothed

Eastern Wyoming College art instructor John Cline was recently notified that his oil painting titled Clothed was selected for exhibition in a national juried show at the Painting Center in New York.   Cline submitted three works for consideration.  The Painting Center received 3,000 submissions.  He will be one of 84 artists represented in the show, which will be titled Retrieval of the Beautiful.  The show will run from June 21 to July 16, 2016.

“Most artists I have known and worked with make art to satisfy a personal drive within them. When they are sitting in front of their easel, getting into a show is the furthest thing from their minds. Yet, it is always rewarding to be able to get one’s work out there to be seen and appreciated. Part of me is delighted for that reason, but another part of me is proud to be able to do my part to show our community that Eastern Wyoming College’s faculty are not only distinguished educators, but that we also strive actively to contribute to our individual professional fields,” stated Cline.

John Cline’s oil painting Clothed

John Cline’s oil painting Clothed

The Painting Center is a non-profit organization based in New York City that fosters dialogue, experimentation, and community among artists.  Over the past twenty-three years, the Painting Center has mounted over 200 exhibitions organized by guest curators.  In 1998, the center was included in Modern Painters Magazines 100 Gallery Guide.


EWC Recognizes Employees

Retirees and Service Honorees Group

Employees recognized at EWC
Back row (L to R): Keith Jarvis, Karen Parriott, Sue Schmidt, Elaine Rush, Ellen Creagar, Judy Brown, Debbie Ochsner, Heidi Edmunds, John Nesbitt.
Front Row (L to R): Mike Durfee, Donna Charron, Rick Vonburg, Larry Curtis, Henry Prado, Sue McBride.
Not pictured: Ed Bittner, Becky Lorenz, Don Snyder and Susan Walker.

Eastern Wyoming College recently held a reception to recognize and honor employees for their years of service to the College.  President Dr. Rick Patterson, Edward Meyer, Human Resource Director each spoke to congratulate and thank each person for the contributions they have made to the College.

Those employees who will be retiring from the College this year were also recognized.  Retirees include Donna Charron, 33 years; Mike Durfee, 8 years; Becky Lorenz, 37 years; Sue McBride, Larry Curtis 10 years; Henry Prado, 8 years; and Rick Vonburg 43 years.

Receiving recognition for 35 years of service to the College was John Nesbitt; 25 years, Sue Schmidt; 20 years, Ellen Creagar; 15 years, Ed Bittner; Karen Parriott; Susan Walker; 10 years, Judy Brown; Larry Curtis; Heidi Edmunds; Keith Jarvis; Sue McBride; Deb Ochsner; Elaine Rush; and Don Snyder.

EWC SkillsUSA students recognized for “Second High Chapter” in Post-Secondary Division

EWC SkillksUSA National Conference Students

National Conference Students
EWC SkillsUSA Team Members that qualified for Nationals –Left to Right; Thomas Troute – First Place Customer Service; Madison Bloodgood – First Place Nursing Assistance; Kyle Sabourin – First Place Job Interview, First Place Extemporaneous Speaking; Alyssa Barnsdale Second Place Customer Service; Paul Michael Cole – Second Place Extemporaneous Speaking.

The Eastern Wyoming College chapter of SkillsUSA finished up an outstanding year, bringing home 25 medals from the Wyoming State Leadership Conference and Welding Fabrication Competition in April. EWC was recognized as “Second High Chapter” in the Post-Secondary Division.

EWC students captured first-place in five events, awarding them a spot in the National SkillsUSA Leadership Conference. However, because of regulations allowing students to only compete in one event at Nationals, only four Lancer students will be able to make the trip to Louisville, Kentucky in June.

Kyle Sabourin, sophomore, Farson, WY placed first in both the Job Interview and Extemporaneous Speaking.

Paul Michael Cole, sophomore, Torrington, WY placed second and will compete in the Extemporaneous Speaking.

Madison Bloodgood, sophomore, Torrington, WY placed first in Nurse Assisting.

Thomas Trout, sophomore, Torrington, WY placed first in Customer Service, but will not be able to travel to Louisville. Runner-up Alyssa Barnsdale, sophomore, Lusk, WY will compete in this event.

Quiz Bowl Team

QuizBowl Team – First Place
From Left: Paul Michael Cole, Justin Griebe, Madison Bloodgood, Taylor Somsen, and Nathanial Foster

The Lancer Quiz Bowl team, made up of Nate Foster, sophomore, Sutherland, NE; Georgia Somsen, sophomore, Torrington, WY; Justin Griebe, sophomore, Yoder, WY; Sabourin, Bloodgood, Cole and Barnsdale placed first. Because many of the team members will be competing individually, the team will not be travelling to Louisville.

EWC was represented by two three-man teams at the State Welding Fabrication in Gillette. The team of Aaron Wadhams, sophomore, Mitchell, NE; Matthew Johnson, sophomore, Wheatland, WY; and Noble Hoover, freshman, Cheyenne, WY placed third, while the team of Kevin Austin, sophomore, Torrington, WY; Nate Foster, and Jake Green, freshman, Torrington, WY, were sixth.

The teams welded a Fire Pit from the prints given them. They had 8 hours to assemble and weld the project. This process allows the judges to check for Safety, Team Work, Weld process and a finished product. The students had a really good showing of their talents. The Fire Pits will be auctioned off at the Rocky Mountain Foundation Banquets in Torrington and Laramie. Half of the auction proceeds will go to the EWC SkillsUSA chapter.

EWC SkillsUSA Community Service Project

EWC SkillsUSA team members after Community Service project in Casper.

The Community Service project for the State SkillsUSA was at the Boys and Girls Club of Casper. The EWC students along with other SkillsUSA members from around the state washed windows, swept, cleaned the building and grounds. “A big thank you to the SkillsUSA members than worked to give back,” said Stan Nicolls, Welding Instructor and sponsor of EWC SkillsUSA.

“I am extremely proud of our students, they worked exceptionally hard, and accomplished a great deal of success.  They show the overall depth and skill of EWC students and I look forward to coaching them as they prepare for nationals,” said John Hansen, SkillsUSA sponsor.

Bittner recognized as STEM Post-Secondary Educator of the Year

Dr. Edwin Bittner has been selected by the Wyoming Department of Education as the 2015-2016 STEM Post-Secondary Educator of the Year.  Dr. Bittner will be recognized at the annual conference to be held August 1-3 at Western Wyoming Community College.  He has taught veterinary technology courses at Eastern Wyoming College for 16 years.

Dr. Bittner was nominated for this award by Dr. Susan Walker, Division Chair and Instructor of Veterinary Technology at EWC.

“In his 16 years of teaching veterinary technicians he has worked diligently to educate students and promote technicians as a critical component of the veterinary team,” stated Dr. Walker.  “He draws on his wealth of knowledge from over 30 years in practice and integrates emerging information to make his courses unparalleled in their quality and content.”

His nomination shares that he takes a great deal of time to working individually with students to help them achieve true understanding of the subject.  He is also frequently contacted by veterinary hospitals and wildlife rehabilitation facilities to recommend students for jobs or internships.

Dr. Bittner is constantly developing and refining his teaching methods.  As faculty identify areas students are deficient he has been known to develop new courses to address the concerns.  As an example, he developed an innovative math course for the veterinary technology program.  He was also integral in developing biology and chemistry courses specifically for veterinary technicians.

“This is a significant honor for both Dr. Bittner and Eastern Wyoming College.  We are fortunate to have faculty of this caliber teaching here,” added Dr. Richard Patterson, EWC President.

EWC Adult Education instructors earn National Certification

Eastern Wyoming College Adult Education (AE) program along with AE programs throughout the state of Wyoming have begun to lay the groundwork for the creation of a new infrastructure that provides services to students along chosen career pathways. This new infrastructure paves the way for Adult Education to provide a wide variety of new services to local employers, such as pre-employment trainings, and integrated education and training models developed specifically for an employer. These new services are in addition to the traditional services AE offers, such as on the job trainings, high school equivalency certification instruction, concurrent enrollments for Adult Education students, and English Language Acquisition classes.

In preparation for the delivery of these new services, three EWC instructors from the AE program earned National Career Pathways Certification as endorsed by the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning in Chicago, IL Diane McQueen, Torrington, WY; Dr. Sandy Cooper, Wheatland, WY; and Terri Griffin, Douglas, WY were presented with their Career Pathways Certification on April 22, 2016. In recognition of these completions, the Wyoming Community College Commission’s Adult Education program will officially recognize the Adult Education Centers in Torrington, Wheatland, and Douglas as official Career Pathways Centers for the State of Wyoming.

“The State certification is an important piece to the services provided for Adult Education, particularly for those students who are post-secondary bound and wish to apply for a Pell grant. Pell grant stipulations require that Adult Education students be enrolled in an officially recognized Career Pathways program and up until now, Wyoming did not have any of these programs. With these certifications, EWC’s Adult Education program now has three officially recognized Career Pathways Centers,” said Diane McQueen, AE Director.

For more information about the Adult Learning Center at EWC contact Diane McQueen at 307.532.8399.

EWC English Instructor John Nesbitt announces new book

Death in Cantera by John D. Nesbitt

Cover art for Death in Cantera

Eastern Wyoming College Instructor John Nesbitt has released a new hardcover novel.  Death in Cantera is the fifth hardcover Nesbitt has written with his current publisher and is a sequel to Dark Prairie.

“I like this book,” shared Nesbitt.  “Of course my newest book is always my favorite.  I felt like this book was harder to write, so I think I did it better.  I have a good feeling about it.  Ultimately, though, someone else is the judge.”

This newest novel is a western murder-mystery of an old crime which has gone unsolved.  The main character, Dunbar, is a fellow who comes to town and becomes interested in the questionable death of a little boy which appears to be at the hands of someone other than the accused individual in prison.  The setting is in Wyoming in the 1890’s and takes place near a rock-quarry.

“It is an interesting topic to write about,” said Nesbitt.  “No matter how old the wrong is, a person should not think he or she could out live it.”

Death in Cantera is written from the perspective of a narrator who is a person living in the town.  There are challenges in writing with the voice of a narrator.  Important developments have to happen in his presence, and he wonders why Dunbar came to this town and what it is that might be of interest to him.

Nesbitt is currently working on the third book in this series. This is the twenty-fourth traditional western he has written.

Persons interested in obtaining a copy of Death in Cantera can find the book in most libraries, on Amazon, and other book outlets, or books may be purchased directly from Nesbitt.

As an added opportunity, Eastern Wyoming College will host the Western Writers of America for a brief event on campus this summer in June.  Watch for further details as the public will be invited to meet the authors who are visiting.

Nesbitt teaches English and Spanish courses at the college.

EWC Foundation announces 2016 Distinguished Alumni award recipient

Dr. Douglas Zalesky

Dr. Douglas Zalesky, EWC’s 2016 Distinguished Alumnus Recipient

The Eastern Wyoming College Foundation is pleased to announce that the recipient of the 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award is Dr. Douglas Zalesky from Laramie, WY.

Dr. Zalesky earned his Associate of Science degree in Ag Business from EWC in 1975.  He then went on to earn a B.S. from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln in Animal Science and Production.  He earned his M.S. from the same institution in Animal Science and the Physiology of Reproduction and Endocrinology.  Lastly, he earned his Ph.D. from Texas A & M University in Physiology of Reproduction and Endocrinology.

For Dr. Zalesky, EWC has been a family affair.  His son Sam, earned a degree in 2010, his brother Tim earned a degree in 1977, and sister Rita, graduated from EWC in the early 80’s.

Dr. Zalesky has a fondness for EWC stating that “EWC will always hold a special place in my heart, it’s where I developed a passion for education, and an ability to be more independent and think critically.”

Additionally, according to Todd Peterson, President of the EWC Foundation, “Dr. Zalesky’s professional resume is a testimony to the importance and influence EWC can have on students’ lives, particularly in the area of agriculture.”  Peterson continued, “I would like to congratulate Dr. Zalesky for receipt of this recognition and also to all former and present EWC instructors who have made a significant impact on students’ lives.”

Since 2011, Dr. Zalesky has served as the Assistant Resident Scientist and Director of the Laramie Research and Extension Center at the University of Wyoming.  He currently oversees a herd of livestock for research, a greenhouse complex, lab animal facility, and assists with student research projects.  Before UW, he was a manager and research scientist at Colorado State University, San Juan Basin Research Center, in Hesperus, CO.  Zalesky has also served as an Extension Beef Specialist for South Dakota State University and Louisiana State University.

Dr. Zalesky has published and co-published a large numbers of research publications and his current research focus is on high altitude disease in cattle and early detection.  Through Dr. Zalesky’s research endeavors, he stays at the forefront of animal science.

Dr. Zalesky will be recognized and provide the commencement address at EWC’s 67th Annual Commencement to be held May 6, 2016.


EWC golf team wins Region IX title

EWC Golf Team Region IX Champions (left to right) Coach Zach Smith, Ryder Velasquez, Denton Shaw, Eric Lovell, Adrian Torres Ruiz and Logan Harrison.

EWC Golf Team Region IX Champions (left to right) Coach Zach Smith, Ryder Velasquez, Denton Shaw, Eric Lovell, Adrian Torres Ruiz and Logan Harrison.

The Eastern Wyoming College men’s golf team has won the Region IX team title will travel to Melbourne, FL to compete in the national tournament May 17-20 at the Duran Golf Club.

Additionally, four Lancer players also made the All-Region team.  First team players were Logan Harrison, sophomore, Cheyenne, WY; Ryder Velasquez, freshman, South Ogden, UT; and Adrian Torres Ruiz, freshman, Madrid, Spain.  Denton Shaw, freshman, Lusk, WY was named to the All-Region second team.

“This was certainly our goal at the beginning of the season and I am proud of these young men as they achieved that goal,” added Coach Zach Smith.  “Every player has been an integral part of our team’s success.  We are working hard to prepare for nationals including analyzing the tournament course so that we can make the appropriate adjustments.”

National tournament daily results can be found at

EWC Registration Fall 2016