Central Wyoming College will send four outstanding nominees to this year’s Wyoming Association of Community College Trustees Awards ceremony and Legislative Reception in Cheyenne, Wyoming Feb. 8.
WACCT’s mission is to educate community leaders, policymakers and college trustees with a focus on leadership development and advocacy. Each community college in Wyoming was asked to select at least one nominee for the honor in each category: student, professional staff, classified staff, faculty, volunteer service and Board of Trustees member. CWC will send four; professional staff, faculty, classified staff and a student.
Professional staff nominee Carol Kraft was nominated because of her pleasant demeanor and willingness to learn and help others. Kraft has been with the college for nine years and operates with impeccable values, is attentive to details and is always willing to learn and help others. As the executive assistant to the vice president for student affairs, Kraft keeps the large and ever-growing division organized. She helps with multiple types of reporting, budget management, travel and paperwork. Kraft was on the Continuous Quality Improvement committee, where she helped create a template for committee charges to promote efficiency. Kraft dedicates time helping others be successful. She has volunteered in the mentor/mentee program for employees, created to help new employees become acquainted with CWC. She is an advocate for student success volunteering her time at new student orientation and career building events. She also volunteers at Wyoming PBS for numerous events. Kraft is a co-advisor for a travel club that raises funds for historical and cultural experience outside of Wyoming. Kraft positively represents the college and puts support into CWC through her actions and positive attitude. She has a pleasant demeanor and brings joy to those around her.
Classified staff nominee, Stefan Petersen has been diligent in making CWC’s campus beautiful and has started initiatives to make CWC part of Tree Campus USA. Petersen started his career as a grounds technician and quickly advanced to grounds supervisor. Since his time at CWC, he has worked hard to maintain and expand the beauty of the college grounds. Petersen and his small crew of two manage more than 200 acres and more than three miles of sidewalk. He is currently working to make CWC part of the Tree Campus USA, a program that is part of the Arbor Day Foundation. CWC received a state grant of $7,000 for the project. His focus is to create a more sustainable campus. He is passionate about recycling and teaching others about the importance of nature. Petersen went on the Interdisciplinary Climate Change Expedition with students and faculty. The group trekked more than 57 miles in six days to conduct research near Gannett Peak. He entered a large blue spruce measuring at about 12.5 feet in circumference to the Wyoming State Forestry Division for the Wyoming Champion Trees. The tree which is located at CWC Sinks Canyon Center is now recognized as the largest blue spruce in the state. Petersen is also a training captain for the Lander Fire Department.
Faculty nominee, Jeremy Nielsen is an asset to CWC and is instrumental in changing lives of students by motivating them to follow their passions. His passion for film and teaching is blended together to create an environment that fosters growth and learning. Nielsen worked in the film industry as a cinematographer, director of photography, editor and as a composer of musical scores. He has made the film program a premier degree at CWC. He has expanded his knowledge in the industry by creating scripts and submitting them to festivals. He has now co-wrote two scripts with a student which resulted in Best Drama Script at the New York Television Festival, accepted to the Sundance Film Fellow, Sundance Institute Episodic Writing Lab and a finalist at the Austin Film Festival. Not only does he have a wide variety of knowledge of the industry he also provides access to some of the best equipment such as the RED digital cinema camera for students. In addition, his students work to develop projects that they will feature and screen in an annual student film festival on campus.
CWC student nominee, Jenn Pfisterer is the non-traditional student every community college is honored to serve. At eight years old, she spent nearly a year at Children’s Hospital in Denver, prepping to be a bone marrow donor for her older brother. Those nurses inspired her to become a nurse and after her daughter was diagnosed with tumors on her vocal cords and spent time at the Children’s Hospital once more she knew she needed to pursue her dream. She unfailingly demonstrates a deep commitment to patients in her care and always earns high scores in her work. Pfisterer manages to balance her home life, with four young children, school and managing her husband’s businesses. As the vice president for the CWC nursing association, she organized Thanksgiving baskets for those in need through the Christian Food Store. She also led a bone marrow registry drive on campus which has now become an annual event. She is currently organizing a trip to Haiti to participate in a cultural exchange and service experience in which they will perform health assessments side-by-side with Haitian healthcare providers.