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Laramie County Community College

Laramie County Community College Implements Mask Mandate For Staff

in News/Coronavirus
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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Dailyl

Laramie County Community College employees in Cheyenne and Laramie are being required to wear facemasks in college buildings due to a low rate of vaccination among the employees.

LCCC president Dr. Joe Schaffer sent out the mask guidance to LCCC employees on Thursday night, spokeswoman Lisa Trimble told Cowboy State Daily on Friday. The rules require masks when indoors on college property, including inside vehicles when social distancing is not possible.

Schaffer told employees that the requirement would be in place until either the COVID transmission risk levels in Laramie and Albany Counties is downgraded to at least moderate transmission or at least 80% of the population is fully vaccinated.

Of LCCC’s 364 employees, 206 have reported being vaccinated, which comes out to around 57%. The college would need at least 291 employees to verify they have been vaccinated for the requirement to end.

“Even when we meet these thresholds, we will continue to strongly recommend face coverings for all unvaccinated individuals,” Schaffer said.

While a mask requirement for students would be ideal, Schaffer said the college simply did not have the time or resources to enforce one, therefore masks are strongly recommended but not required for students.

Schaffer also said the college would continue to stock COVID testing supplies and make tests widely available to employees and students. Additionally, the college will re-implement surveillance testing of residence hall students who have not provided proof of vaccination.

Student athletes will be required to wear masks and be tested if they are not fully vaccinated when they are not competing.

Shaffer noted that due to the impacts COVID has had on the college’s human and fiscal resources, additional staffing and assistance would likely be required to implement the new rules.

The Cheyenne campus currently has 16 active cases, while the Laramie campus only has one.

Albany County had 150 active COVID cases as of Thursday, while Laramie County had 347.

The University of Wyoming was the first educational system in the state to implement a mask mandate for staff and students, and on Friday, the UW board of trustees voted to indefinitely extend the mandate.

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Two LCCC Students Test Positive For COVID

in News/Coronavirus/Education
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By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily

Five Laramie County Community College students are in quarantine after two of the students tested positive for coronavirus, the college announced Friday.

LCCC, which started its fall semester on Aug 24, said two students living at the college’s residence hall tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday.

One student is quarantining in an isolation room at the residence hall and the second is staying at home, the college said in a news release.

Three other students who were in prolonged contact with the two who have tested positive have also been quarantined.

LCCC officials said the college would test all residence hall students and staff for coronavirus Friday and Monday.

News of the positive testing comes on the heels of a decision by University of Wyoming officials to halt the university’s phased-in return to in-person classes until Wednesday. The decision was made because five students tested positive for the virus in one day, the threshold set by university trustees for allowing in-person classes to continue.

Cases have also been reported at Northwest College in Powell and Casper College.

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Gift to LCCC will help business students

in News/Education
business students benefit from gift to LCCC
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By Becky Orr, Cowboy State Daily

CHEYENNE – Longtime Cheyenne resident Lois Mottonen appreciated the value of education and the doors it could open.

Mottonen, who died in December 2017 at the age of 88, left an education legacy that will benefit generations of Laramie County Community College students and help them share in her appreciation.

A $2.4 million gift from Mottonen will provide new scholarships and education programs at the college.

An honors graduate from Rock Springs High School, Mottonen earned a tuition scholarship to the University of Wyoming, where she was the only woman in her class when she majored in accounting. She was also the second Wyoming woman granted a certified public accounting license.

The gift from Mottonen is really about her own story and Wyoming’s story, said LCCC President Joe Schaffer. Mottonen “pulled herself up by her bootstraps” on her own and overcame barriers, he said. “She should be an inspiration to students.”

Lois C. Mottonen Scholarship

LCCC will use $1 million of the gift to create the Lois C. Mottonen Scholarship, said Lisa Trimble, the college’s associate vice president of Institutional Advancement. Scholarships will provide up to $15,000 per student.

“Her gift will continue to open doors, provide opportunities and inspire others to make an impact,” Trimble said.

The endowed fund will provide scholarships for students who are 25 years old or older and who enroll full-time in identified programs that are part of the Rediscover LCCC.

Rediscover LCCC is a pilot scholarship program that will pay for students’ tuition and fees in high-demand degree and certificate programs for up to two years.

Scholarships will be for students who want to return to college to get a degree and who don’t qualify for most traditional scholarships, Trimble said. Endowed funds from the Mottonen scholarships will be available in the fall of 2020.

For business students, programs available in Rediscover LCCC include accounting, financial services concentration, business and finance, business management, business management supply chain concentration and entrepreneurship. These are designed for a student to complete and find a job or transfer to a university to obtain a bachelor’s degree and then enter a career.

Students who apply for the Mottonen scholarships:

  • Must be a Wyoming resident 25 or older, have lived in the state for three or more years and have a demonstrated financial need;
  • Cannot previously have earned an associate, bachelor or graduate degree, and;
  • Must choose one of the identified business programs and attend as a full-time student who maintains a B averages or above.

Center for Essential Student Experiences

Another $982,900 will be used by the college to develop a Center for Essential Student Experiences and establish the Lois C. Mottonen Student Experience Fund. The goal is to make students more marketable when they enter the workforce by giving them access to hands-on learning experiences such as internships or studying abroad, Trimble said. 

“Essential experiences are opportunities designed to provide LCCC students with real-life experiences prior to completing their degrees,” she said.

 This fund will be available in fall 2020.The college also will contribute $200,000 of Mottonen’s gift to Rediscover LCCC to help support students who take part in its business programs.

LCCC will use $300,000 of Mottonen’s gift to help develop and design a new innovative business program for students and provide scholarships to the first participants, Trimble said.

The gift will help jump start the college’s efforts to create an applied baccalaureate or bachelor’s degree of applied sciences in applied management, Schaffer said.

Endowed funds means that Mottonen’s legacy will extend into perpetuity, Schaffer added.  

“LCCC is lucky to have community members such as Ms. Mottonen, whose planned giving support will impact generations to come,” he said.

For more about how to apply for scholarships, call LCCC, 307-778-5222.

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