CWC announces 15 Retirements in 2015-16
July 21, 2016 by Laura Phagan
Assistant General Manager WPBS
After 33 years Bob Connelly retired from Wyoming PBS on September 30.
Connelly was born in Augusta, Maine and grew up with a military father.
“We moved a lot,” Connelly said. “I moved to Riverton from North Carolina to help build Wyoming’s first PBS station.”
Connelly got an Associate of Science degree in communications electronics from Mount San Antonio College in Walnut, California, a Bachelor of Science in instructional technology from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia and a master’s degree in mass communications from Norfolk State University in Norfolk, Virginia. His first position for WPBS was transmitter engineer which he had for 25 years. For the last eight years, Connelly served as the assistant general manager. Connelly is the last of the original employees hired to build Wyoming’s first PBS station and the longest serving full time employee with 33 years and 15 days.
Connelly plans to travel and visit family.
Executive Administrative Assistant for Student Affairs
Diana Clark started working for CWC in 1988 as a part-time division secretary for the humanities division and in November of 1989 began working full-time as a division assistant for the math, science and education division for division chair Tony Masters and later Lee Cory.
In 1991, Clark graduated from CWC with an Associate of Applied Arts in General A & S Office Occupations degree. In February 1998, Clark worked as the administrative assistant for student services for Dr. Mohammed Waheed and under Coralina Daly until her retirement in September 2015 with a title change to executive assistant for student affairs.
“For several years as Dr. Waheed’s administrative assistant, I worked very closely with the international students and consider that to be one of the highlights of my time at CWC,” Clark said. “I became ‘mom’ to several of those students during their time at CWC.”
Throughout the years Clark has served on numerous committees and sponsored the Fellowship of College Christians and the Multicultural Clubs. Clark also served as the vice president and secretary of the Classified Staff Association and worked one summer as a Gear Up coach.
“I have always taken pride in my service to students and staff and felt deep satisfaction when I’ve had opportunities to be part of student success stories throughout the years,” Clark said. “CWC has been a great place to work, learn and grow as an individual and has given me many wonderful experiences both as a student and as an employee.”
Clark has worked for CWC for about 27 years; as a part time and full time employee.
Clark plans to enjoy her retirement by spending quality time with family, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, as well as traveling, volunteer work and many other things that she said she hasn’t had time to do.
Administrative Assistant for Liberal Arts
Growing up in the little ranch town of McKinnon, Wyoming in the Southwest part of the state, Cadwallader moved to Utah and Colorado before eventually making her way back to Wyoming.
She graduated high school in Craig, Colorado and was dating her now husband, a Riverton native, long distance. Cadwallader eventually moved to Riverton in 1979 and the couple later married.
Her first position at CWC was registration technician in the Registration and Records office. She later moved up to administrative assistant in registration and records and then to her current position as administration assistant in the liberal arts, a position she obtained in March of 2008. Cadwallader received her Associates of Arts degree in general studies from CWC in 2007.
“It took me about 25 years to get my associates degree,” Cadwallader said.
Cadwallader said she has many great memories of CWC, some of her favorite memories are: riding in the Winter Fair parade in the snow with Kenna, trail rides and roller skating with the Equestrian Club, working with Danielle Hood and knowing how proud she would be of her daughter, skiing on the ice in Jackson with Jeff Hosking, going to DUG with Chestine Brohm in Washinton, D.C., going to Dallas with Mark, Corinna and John Kemp, the day J.D. Rottweiler was Little Red Riding Hood for Halloween, watching slides of the Dinwoody Glacier trip with Jacki Klancher and Todd, taking classes from Jennifer Cole and Patti, x-country skiing with Matt, Louisa and Colleen, building bird houses with Mike Myers in Ft. Washakie, and the day she retired when music faculty Sharon, Jason and Adam sang "Happy Trails.”
“I will miss CWC,” Cadwallader said.
She plans to do all the things she hasn’t had enough time for all these year. Cadwallader plans to take road trip on some dirt two-track with her husband and look at rocks, pan for gold, ride and compete with her horses, visit her mom, bake bread and best of all play with the grand kids.
“I would also like to take at least one trip out of the country,” Cadwallader said.
Professor of Equine Studies
First hired as the women’s rodeo coach, Patti Stalley helped shape CWC’s equine program into a nationally recognized curriculum before retiring this year.
Stalley, a Nebraska native from Valentine, received her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of South Dakota and later did master’s credit through Delaware Valley University in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. She taught fourth, fifth and sixth grades before moving to Riverton and working at CWC.
At the time Stalley wasn’t sure she wanted a job with three kids, especially one that included so much travel but she and her husband worked a deal with travel and the kids, so she accepted the job as the women’s rodeo coach for CWC.
“I thought it would take me five years to take a team to nationals but in three years we went to nationals and in the fourth year both the men’s and the women’s team made it to nationals,” Stalley said.
Stalley started going to horsemanship clinics to help improve the program at CWC. She wrote a curriculum for the National Handicap Riders Association which they later adopted.
Stalley plans to enjoy retirement by working with horses and playing with her grandchildren. She plans to continue the family business of raising and training horses.
“I’ll miss the students,” Stalley said. “I enjoyed watching them progress and flourish in life. I love to hear from past students and share what they’ve learned at CWC.”
Director of Student Support Services
Originally from Mexico City, Duncan moved to Riverton after meeting her husband Tom, who was originally from the Lander area. The two met in Mexico while he was there teaching education communication and media in a center for teaching improvement, part of the Mexican Department of Education. He became her grant writing adviser and the relationship blossomed throughout time.
Duncan was living in a nice colonial city in Mexico the first time she visited Riverton.
“I thought this was the most horrible town I had ever seen in my life,” Duncan said. “You have to be out of your mind to come to live here.” This statement, she said was not funny but a great lesson for her because after living here for more than 31 years she loves Riverton and the great life her and her husband built together.
“The lesson? Don’t judge a book by its cover,” Duncan said.
The couple moved to Riverton just before their first son was born.
Before Duncan was the director for Student Support Services, a position she served for since 2001 up to her retirement, she worked in other various positions at the college. She taught Spanish in 1990 and later taught interpersonal communications and small group communications. She also worked in the ABE/GED/ESL program and in the fall of 1999 Duncan worked as the curriculum coordinator for the Gear Up program.
Now that Duncan has retired she said she doesn’t have a bucket list or any specific plans.
“I have never invented my own life from scratch,” Duncan said. “The one I am concluding was built by my decisions along with decisions made by my parents, teachers, work supervisors and social expectations of me. I am about to start a life designed by me with two main purposes in mind, to enjoy every day learning, discovering having fun and sharing and to help others do the same.”
Duncan has bachelor’s degree in social communication from the National Autonomous University of Mexico and a master’s in adult education from the University of Wyoming. She has touched the lives of many students and helped them with their path to succeed.
Professor of Business
Teaching for more than 25 years, Beth Gray retired on May 18 with plans to move back to Nebraska with her husband. Gray is originally from North Platte, Nebraska and will be moving to Ceresco.
Gray started as a part time adjunct instructor in 1988. She started teaching DOS and word perfect before coming into her full time position in 1994 as a business professor.
Gray earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a master’s in business administration from the University of Wyoming. Before working at CWC she was the director of business office at the Riverton Hospital.
In her retirement Gray plans to learn how to make beer. She also plans on spending time with her sister riding motorcycles.
“I’m going to learn new things and learn new ways to cook,” Gray said. “I’m going to miss CWC so much. It really is about the people. I will always treasure the friendships I have made.”
IT User Support Specialist
Starting his career as a student worker in the CWC computer networking technologies program in 2002, Nico Homburg worked on a project re-cabeling for IT. He was hired full time in 2005 and simultaneously finished his associate’s degree in computer technology. Homburg’s was hired as a video technician and transitioned to a user support services IT personnel in 2006.
“For me, CWC has been good,” Homburg said. “I have worked for many folks in my life and this has been a great place to work. The people are the best part. It’s always good to socialize with the people who work here.”
In his retirement, Homburg will continue working for “Healthy Changes,” a business he and his wife started which teaches people nutrition and cancer education.
“I will finally have time to work on the website and work on the business though we have had it for three years,” Homburg said.
Director of Lander Outreach Center
When Ken Colovich visited his wife’s grandparents in Lander each summer they decided to move to this quaint little town to enjoy its many opportunities and to raise a family.
“Gina and I decided it would be a great place to raise our kids and we have no regrets what so ever,” Colovich said.
With associate degrees in electrical and automation from Utah Trade Technical School, a Bachelor of Science in industrial technology education from Utah State University and a journeyman mechanic from the US Department of Labor, Colovich was hired as a maintenance technician for CWC.
Colovich moved to Sinks Canyon Center coordinator before coming into his final position in 2010 as the outreach director for CWC Lander and Sinks Canyon Center.
Now Colovich has plans for his next adventure in life, retirement.
“I am going to ride my motorcycle to Alaska and spend more quality time with my family,” Colovich said. He also will help care for his dad and do service projects for the community.
Instructional Technologist for Online Learning
After more than three and a half decades of service to CWC, Dr. Olsen retired on June 30, 2016.
Olsen has a Bachelor of Science in business education from Brigham Young University, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude. Her Master of Science degree was also from BYU in business education with a minor in organizational behavior. After teaching three years at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, she was hired as an instructor at CWC, where she taught business office technology courses.
Olsen, later went on sabbatical and used several summer sessions to earn a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois in Education. She taught many computer application courses including windows, word processing, database, multimedia, just to name a few. Eventually, she began putting these courses online and developed an online certificate program.
After teaching for more than 25 years, she switched to instructional technologist and LMS administrator and began helping faculty put their courses online.
“She has been instrumental in helping many faculty and adjunct faculty get ready for upcoming semesters,” said John Wood, chief information officer. “She has influenced faculty to participate in many WyDEC and in-service presentations on innovative topics about online teaching and learning, and has done so herself. Donna provided faculty with support, mentor ship, vast amounts of institutional knowledge, guidance, and a great work-related friendship.”
This May Olsen was awarded the Master Distance Educator award at the 2016 WyDEC conference for her many contributions to web base learning at CWC.
Administrative Assistant III for Student Learning
During her 15 years at CWC, Retha Reinke helped many students and various departments. Starting her career as CWC’s cashier, Reinke moved up to assistant for distance education and later became a jack-of-all-trades in the Dobler Center. She is now retiring in her current position as administrative assistant III for student learning.
Reinke grew up on a farm in Keeline, Wyoming and graduated high school at Niobrara High School. She moved to Riverton to be close to her parents after her father’s health started to fail. While working at CWC, Reinke earned an office specialist certificate.
Reinke is known as a friendly face around campus and one who wrote words of encouragement on the whiteboard outside of the Dobler Center. She also brought fun traditions to campus such as a hot chocolate bar and Italian sodas just to name a few. Reinke enjoyed country fair time and brought many of her award winning baked goods to share with campus members.
“I love the people and the family atmosphere,” Reinke said. “I really enjoyed working with students and watching them succeed. CWC’s been good and there will be lots of tears when I leave.”
In her retirement Reinke plans to quilt, cross-stitch and spend time with her two sons. She also plans to spend more time at her Dubois home with her husband.
Ron Hammer's career at CWC began in 1981 when he enrolled in an introduction to broadcasting class with Gerry Garber. Hammer said he started taking art classes with David Young, Willis Patterson, Sally Wesaw, and many other ‘caring’ professors.
“I have always felt at home at CWC,” Hammer said. “The friendly staff encouraged me to continue taking classes while working various jobs for several years.”
After the completion of the Main Hall building, Hammer was hired as the grounds supervisor in 1994, a job he knew would be a challenge.
“Tom Heald, a county extension agent at the time, told me I stepped into a landscape nightmare. I was up for the challenge,” Hammer said. “It has been a rewarding challenge all the way to this day. Pruning trees is my favorite job. It is like you are creating a living sculpture of the tree. ”
Hammer continued to take classes while working a full time job and graduated in 1997 with an associate of arts degree in general studies. During his career at CWC he studied, tested and became a certified landscape technician and a certified arborist.
The campus has grown tremendously the last 22 years with new buildings, remodels, new landscapes, with more trees and grassy lawns, he said.
“To me, the campus grounds are basically a really big yard that requires constant attention and work. It is a labor of love that I have enjoyed immensely,” Hammer said.
A few major accomplishments he recalls are improving the campus irrigation system, planting trees, designing and installing the community garden irrigation system and maintaining the beautiful landscape. He also supervised more than 100 student workers during his 22 year tenure.
“I have had student workers go on to be engineers, teachers, arborists, welders and mechanics,” Hammer said. “They helped inspire me to keep looking forward with a positive attitude for a better future.”
“Although I am retiring from the position, the CWC community will always be in my heart. I am grateful to have worked with so many good people and friends. I know that those before me gave me the foundation for success,” Hammer said. “I hope my achievements will give those following me a solid foundation as well.”
Wyoming PBS Director of Engineering
Bob Spain started working at WPBS in 2004 and with more than 11 years of service retired June 30, 2015.
Community Service Coordinator-Riverton
Sherry Shelly started working for CWC in 1991 and has coordinated many events for the community. With more than 24 years at the college Shelly retired July 31, 2015.
Accounting Technician II for Accounts Payable
Cindy Keenan started her career at CWC as the accounting technician accounts payable at the college in 2004. During her time here she was nominated for the Rustler Salute Award in June of 2005. Keenan has worked for the college for more than 10 years and retired June 30, 2016.
Professor of Criminal Justice
Mike Manning started his career at CWC in 2003 as an instructor of criminal justice. In March of 2007 he was nominated for the Rustler Salute Award and after serving for more than 12 years at CWC he retired June 30, 2016.
Assistant Dean of Enrollment Services
Jacque Burns started her career at CWC in 1983 as a financial aid officer and worked her way to director of financial aid in 2002. In 2008 Burns was promoted to assistant dean of enrollment services where she had oversight for financial aid, registration and records, advising and admissions. With more than 32 years of service Burns retired September 30, 2015.
Dean of Commerce and Technology, Safety
Charlotte Donelson started her career as a division chair of the commerce and technology division in 1971, a role she served for nearly 31 years. In 2002, Donelson moved into the role of associate dean for the CATS division and six years later became the dean of that same division. With more than 43 years of service, Donelson retired September 30, 2015.