Spring graduation May 10



Graduation ceremonies are 1:30 p.m. Saturday, May 10, in the UW Field House.

There will be 83 undergraduates and 23 graduate students participating.

Speakers are graduating students Sami Jo Heitsch, Cheyenne, B.S. in agricultural communication, and Tyler Harran, Jamestown, North Carolina, B.S. in agroecology with a minor in insect biology.

Heitsch is the daughter of Pastor Jeff and Stephanie Heitsch and sister to her two older brothers Travis and Mitchell. Heitsch grew up in Cheyenne, graduated from Cheyenne East High School in 2010, and finished her associate’s degree from Laramie County Community College in 2012. During her first two years of college, she served as the Cheyenne Frontier Days Miss Frontier.

She will graduate with her bachelor’s degree and with minors in agriculture and applied economics and marketing communications. Her extracurricular activities have included serving as a college ambassador, serving in the Cardinal Key Honor Society, interning for the Wyoming Athletics Marketing Department, Wyoming Agricultural Experiment Station, and UW Extension, serving as a member of the Ranch Horse Versatility Team, and working part-time for the Hilton Garden Inn.

Heitsch will move to Omaha, Nebraska, to work for RFD-TV in its social media department. Her goal is to continue educating the world about the agricultural industry.

Harran is the son of John and Robyn Harran. He has one brother, Austin.  His father is from New York, and his mother from Texas. Together they grew up in North Carolina. They took many vacations, most of them involving long drives. The most memorable was following the Lewis and Clark Trail. They would drive to the Saint Louis Arch (“Gateway to the West”) and far beyond into places like Omaha, Laramie, Coeur D’Alene, Helena, Des Moines, and Spokane – always camping along the way.  This is where he says he discovered his love for the West and what ultimately led him to UW.

After graduating from Ragsdale High School in 2009, he left his hometown to come to the University of Wyoming.  He spent time in the Air Force ROTC and College of Business before discovering agroecology in 2010 through a friend and professor.  Since then, he has been infatuated with figuring out ways to produce more food with fewer resources, he says.  Harran has been a College of Agriculture and Natural Resources Ambassador for four years, received the Brand of Excellence Scholarship for four years, and received the Wyoming Weed and Pest Council Scholarship in 2013.  He has volunteered at Wind Cave National Park in South Dakota, gone to Hawaii to live and work on a sustainable farm, and received grants to attend the Wyoming Agri-future Conference in 2012 and 2013.

He has been treasurer of the Agroecology Club and elected as the Gamma Sigma Delta Outstanding Senior in Entomology. Harran hopes to apply plant sciences in ways that use novel solutions to feed a growing population. Harran says he wants to take the concepts and applications of agroecology and focus them in a way that is for the greater good: from controlling pathogens in banana production, to increasing water retention on the range, he says these are the things that excite him.