Northwest College

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Annual Report



Institutional Priority: Connections
Strategic Priority

Innovation and distinction in CONNECTIONS


  • Paint the Town Red – NWC’s first Paint the Town Red event drew hundreds of community members, employees and students to downtown Powell for a window painting contest, food trucks, poker run and a live concert. The event, whose planning started with a local economic development group, connected new and returning students with Powell residents.
  • Empty Bowls – The ever-popular Empty Bowls event drew hundreds of attendees, with proceeds of more than $5,000 going to a local food bank. Associate Professor of Art and Visual and Performing Arts Division Chairperson Elaine DeBuhr and her students served a simple meal of soup and bread for $10 and asked guests to keep their empty bowls as a reminder of world hunger.
  • Tackling bullies: After a bullying incident hit close to home, the NWC Men’s Soccer Team took a stand and launched its first anti-bullying campaign. To spread the word quickly and educate others about the damaging effects of bullying, the team took to social media. Once the plan was in place, Trapper midfielder Aaron Kovac put his photography expertise to the test and captured a series of poignant portraits of NWC athletes, employees and community members who volunteered to share their stories and advice to victims of bullying.
  • Professor of the Month – The Northwest College Foundation introduced its Professor of the Month Talks featuring NWC professors who shared their expertise at the Park County Library in Cody. Topics ranged from drone photography and women in STEM to history and the importance of civil discussion in modern times.
  • Wasden Reading – Award-winning author Deborah Willis came to campus in March to deliver the 2018 Wasden Reading. Born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, Willis has been honored with a myriad of awards and honors throughout her robust writing career. During the evening event, Willis shared selections from her recently published, award-winning collection of short stories titled “The Dark and Other Love Stories.”
  • Fulbright Scholar’s presentation – The English Department hosted Fulbright Scholar Holly Walters for an evening lecture in April. As an avid traveler and explorer, Walters drew from her vast experience and research to share a presentation that highlighted ritual practices, fossil folklores and Hindu/Buddhist pilgrimage in the Kali Gandaki River Valley in the high Himalayas of Nepal.
  • National Geographic writer – Critically acclaimed author and National Geographic field staff writer Mark Jenkins, a perennial visitor to NWC, presented “Camels, Climbing and St. Catherine: An Expedition to Egypt.” Jenkins highlighted his epic expedition to climb big walls in a remote land—“...about Christian monks and Bedouin nomads and about a place where tolerance is more powerful than terrorism.”
  • Photography workshop – Area photography enthusiasts enjoyed a daylong “Creative Lighting and Post Production Techniques” workshop presented by commercial photography specialists Bobbi Lane and Lee Varis. Lane is an award-winning commercial photographer specializing in creative portraits on location and in the studio, while Varis has been a photo-illustrator working in Hollywood for most of his 40-plus year career.
  • Autism awareness – Founded early in the year, the Northwest College Psychology Club served up coffee, cake and afternoon fun at its first Autism Awareness Sip and Paint at a local studio. All proceeds were donated to the Children’s Resource Center to benefit local families of children with autism.
  • Holiday season waistlines – Recognizing that the holidays are the most wonderful—but perhaps least heart-healthy—time of the year for many, the Johnson Fitness Center challenged area residents to participate in the first “Project Zero,” a no-weight-gain challenge throughout the holiday season. Those who accepted the challenge to eat healthier, increase physical activity and reduce stress received exercise and nutrition tips throughout the winter months.  


  • Jazz Festival – Vocal jazz group Vertical Voices joined the Dana Landry Quartet to headline the 35th Annual Northwest College Jazz Festival. The festival offers a two-day noncompetitive opportunity for vocal and instrumental jazz groups at all levels of proficiency. NWC’s Studio Singers and Jazz Band I, plus the Wyoming All-State Jazz Choir, were also on stage.
  • Atlantic Records labels – The music of Atlantic Records was on tap when the Music Department served up a wide variety of favorites. Throughout the show, students performed songs by Aretha Franklin, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Manhattan Transfer, Wilson Pickett, Cream and more. Founded in 1947, Atlantic Records is one of the most prominent American recording labels, specializing in rhythm and blues, jazz and soul.

Nationally-renowned portrait artist Casey Childs of Utah spoke to graduates as the 2018 Distinguished Alumnus. Celebrated as an American modern master in his field, Childs’ art passions ignited as a Northwest College student in 1997. His portraits are honored by his peers and cherished by his patrons and viewing audiences worldwide. His accolades include a second-place award in the Portrait Society of America’s recent International Portrait Competition, which drew more than 2,700 entries as well as the Oil Painters of America Board of Directors’ Award of Excellence.
The Northwest Gallery and SinClair Gallery were home to art and photography shows throughout the year. Open to the public, art displays included “Souvenirs” by an Art Department faculty member, the “Small Scale Public Art Exhibit,” “Native American Art Display,” an exhibit by the Red Lodge Clay Center and the always-popular “4x4 Exhibit and Sale.” Photography enthusiasts were treated to a Photography Department faculty member’s “Visual Treats” exhibit as well as one titled “Poetry and Motion” by a local photographer.

  • Community theatre – Actors of all ages—elementary, middle school, high school, college and older adults—produced the holiday favorite, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” in December. The play was co-directed by Assistant Professor and Communication Division Chair Fred Ebert and longtime local community theatre participant Jon Andren. With a nonperishable food item for a local food bank, the cost to attend was $4, and proceeds went toward the spring children’s theatre.
  • Children’s theatre – A comical and unique twist on the timeless classic, “Cinderella,” was staged on campus for area youth. A cast of adult actors—college and high school students as well as area residents—presented “Cinderella! Cinderella!” about a young girl who, with the help of her faithful feline companion and loveable Fairy Godmother, learns magic is not the solution to her problems.


  • Multicultural Showcase – This colorful and festive perennial favorite returned to campus last spring with tastes and traditions from around the world. Food samples prepared by NWC international students featured dishes from more than 20 countries including Russia, Uganda, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, China, Vietnam, Mexico, Uruguay and Sweden. Area residents were also treated to displays of authentic collectibles and live music common to students’ home countries.
  • Travel the world – Area residents were invited to vicariously travel the world through a spring lunch series hosted by NWC’s Intercultural Programs.
  • Buffalo feast – The Native Ways Club held its 21st Annual Buffalo Feast during Native American Heritage Month in November. Musicians Andrew and Herman Vasquez played a variety of instruments. Andrew is the winner of the Native American Music Award for Best Male Artist and has been nominated for Songwriter of the Year and Best Flutist of the Year awards.


  • Health Career Fair – Nearly 20 employers participated in the college’s Nursing and Allied Health Career Fair, allowing current students to network and visit with prospective employers about a wide range of health-related careers. NWC offers degrees or certificates for Registered Nurse, Licensed Practical Nurse, Certified Nursing Assistant, Allied Health, Certified Medical Assistant, Emergency Medical Services and Phlebotomy.
  • Career Day – Partnering with high schools in Park, Big Horn and Washakie Counties, NWC hosted its annual Career Day for high school sophomores. Presenters in a variety of employment areas helped nearly 275 students explore career options.
  • Science Fair – Budding middle school scientists throughout the Big Horn Basin competed in the Northern Junior Regional Science Fair on campus. Judges evaluated a variety of biological, physical and social science projects. First- through third-place finishers qualified for the Wyoming State Science Fair.


  • Culinary Boot Camp for Kids – Helping to lay an early foundation for interest in culinary arts, the four-day camp drew 34 teenage participants in sessions sponsored by NWC’s Center for Training and Development in cooperation with Cody Coffee Company. Teens were introduced to knife skills as well as how bacteria are spread through food handling. Cody Cupboard, FarmTableWest, and J Bar 9 Ranch pitched in to help.
  • Forensics Institute – A speech and debate camp hosted on campus in late July attracted 24 high school students from Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska, Utah and Illinois. Assistant Professor of Speech Communications Jeannie Hunt organized the institute with help from returning NWC alumni.
  • Yellowstone Summer Music Camp – Approximately 100 young musicians from across the Rocky Mountains visited campus for the 28th annual Yellowstone Summer Music Camp. Campers had the opportunity to unleash their creativity in a variety of special interest classes including musical theater, piano boomwhackers, jazz combos, guitar, studio recording, songwriting, graphic arts, fun and fitness, and many more.
  • Athletic camps – Camps for soccer skill training, boys’ and girls’ basketball as well as girls’ volleyball were offered throughout the summer.


  • Guatemala and Belize – Area residents and NWC students explored the Maya civilization during a field studies trip offered by NWC’s Anthropology Department in late spring. Led by Associate Professor of Anthropology Greg Smith, who’s conducted archaeological research in the Maya area since 1994, participants traveled to the historic colonial city of Antigua, the National Museum of Archaeology in Guatemala City, Flores in northern Guatemala’s tropical rainforest, the famous Maya archaeological site of Tikal and several other areas. The class met weekly during the spring semester to prepare students for the journey.
  • Broadway and the Big Apple – Participants in the NWC on Broadway class experienced five Broadway/Off-Broadway productions, as well sightseeing tours of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Radio City Music Hall, Times Square, China Town and Statue of Liberty.

NWC chemistry students will become product testers for a German chemical company following a memorandum of understanding finalized between the college and Stannol Co. The German firm has opened an office in Powell and plans to expand U.S. operations.
NWC was in the spotlight with two presentations at the Wyoming Association of Community College Trustees Conference. Selected as two best-practice sessions were presentations by President Stefani Hicswa, whose talk covered the process the college used to develop its new Mission Statement, and Dean of Student Learning Greg Thomas, who presented on NWC’s predictive scheduling project.

Two of six statewide 2018 Leadership Awards announced by the Wyoming Association of Community College Trustees went to Northwest employees. Intercultural Programs Manager Amanda Enriquez was selected for the Professional Employee of the Year Award, and Assistant Professor of Sociology and Anthropology Aura Newlin earned the Faculty Member Award.
NWC photography students strolled around downtown Cody with their cameras as part of the Photographic Communications program’s participation in the annual “Scott Kelby Worldwide Photowalk.” A nationally renowned photographer and educator, Kelby began this idea 10 years ago to get people to explore their surroundings with their cameras. Images from around the world are then shared on his website in a day-in-the-life theme.

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