By: 
Marcia Layton Turner
University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming
Honoree: 
University of Wyoming

The University of Wyoming’s 7,220 foot elevation is a point of pride for the school.

That’s why its student-athlete success initiative, Excellence at 7220, references its lofty location.

Athletes who had graduated told the school that they would have welcomed their own life skills classes.

Games and practices forced them to miss such programs offered to other students.

E7220, for short, provides student-athletes with training in three key concepts: leadership, wellness and life skills, says Taylor Stuemky, director of academic services at the University of Wyoming athletic department.

Steamboat Society

  • This PD program for women in athletics requires a two-year commitment and meets every other month for two hours, providing leadership training and guidance for women to succeed and progress.
  • Plans to expand include captains of teams, which could increase participation by up to 50 new members. If juniors and seniors are included, that would boost the numbers by as many as 150.

“We know the schedules and time demands of student-athletes, and found a way to provide programming catered to that particular population, which have different time demands than regular students,” says Stuemky.

That starts with holding sessions at times students aren’t at practice or games.

Leadership training is open to student-athletes and staff members.

The health and wellness component covers nutrition, stress management and sexual assault.

Life-skills training addresses career exploration, financial planning, résumés, job interviews and networking, says Stuemky.

E7220 serves 350 to 400 student-athletes each year, plus around 200 staff and spirit team members.

E7220 also provides professional development for its employees, who are then better equipped to serve as role models for student-athletes.

“Many schools serve their students, but not their staff,” says Stuemky.

“By mentoring our staff, we can better mentor our athletes.”