Central Wyoming College professor, Todd Guenther, received a Preserve Wyoming Award from the State Historic Preservation office at the 2015 Preserve Wyoming conference in Laramie this past week.
Preserve Wyoming awards are given to those who contribute to the preservation of the history of Wyoming. Guenther, director of Western American studies and professor of anthropology, history and museum studies, was awarded this honor based on his development of CWC’s Western American studies program. This program utilizes an interdisciplinary approach to explore the history, prehistory, anthropology and geography of the people who have lived near or crossed the Continental Divide at South Pass in the central Rocky Mountains.
“I’m very honored to have Todd representing CWC at these types of events,” said Mark Nordeen, dean of liberal arts at CWC. “His program is certainly “second to none” and Todd continues to demonstrate the rewards of genuinely putting student learning at the forefront. His hard work pays huge dividends for our students.”
Guenther is an archaeologist and a former curator at South Pass City and the Pioneer Museum in Lander. In addition, he is an award winning author of articles about Wyoming and regional history.
In a congratulatory letter, Senator Enzi wrote “Your love for our state’s heritage not only inspired you, it challenged you to make a difference. And you have. With your efforts you are helping this and future generations to understand how their world has been shaped and influenced by pioneers who came in pursuit of a dream.”
Guenther is a dedicated professor, who provides his students with hands-on opportunities to work at archaeological digs. Recently, students presented intensive research projects done alongside Guenther at this year’s statewide Wyoming Archaeological Society conference. One of the projects utilized human osteology, archeology, ethnohistory and facial reconstruction techniques to identify skeletal remains of a late 1800s Native American female found near Dubois.
“That’s what’s so cool about this program,” Guenther said. “While student are here, they get to experience doing things that other students only read about in textbooks.”