Sabrina Forbis and Kyle McDonald, both of Wyoming, are the historic first graduates of the University Wyoming's School of Energy Resources (SER).  Forbis, from Riverton, and McDonald, a native of Jackson, both received bachelor's degrees in energy resource science from the SER.

SER Director Mark Northam praises the graduates as having been terrific students.

...we are extremely proud of them.  We especially recognize the entrepreneurial spirit they demonstrated in being the first to embrace this new curriculum.

Though the graduates are both natives of Wyoming, the each had a unique journey before graduating from the SER.

Forbis, 22, says she first learned of the program when her younger brother told her about a presentation he had seen in a high school energy class.  At the time, Forbis was a sophomore at UW and was studying Petroleum Engineering.  Despite already receiving an offer for a full-time job, Forbis plans to stay at UW and complete her bachelor's degree in Petroleum Engineering over the next two years.

McDonald, 24, transferred to UW from the University of Montana to take advantage of the Hathaway Scholarship and decided at that time that energy resources seemed like a good fit.  Said McDonald, "Jackson is somewhat shielded from energy development.  I didn't really realize how big a role Wyoming played in the energy field. This program pushed me to understand that."  While in the program, McDonald developed a particular interest in water quality and he will further his education in the area of water quality, beginning work on his master's degree next semester.

UW's Fall Commencement ceremonies took place December 1-3, but final exams concluded December 9.

Northam says that nearly four dozen students are currently enrolled at the SER and a master's degree program is underway.

What we are building with our partners at the university and in the energy industry is something that gives great distinction to the University of Wyoming and an outstanding opportunity to its students.

What is also being built is a state-of-the-art $25.4 million facility, known as the Energy Resources Center.  Ground broke in November of 2010 for the facility, which is planned to be over 30,000 square feet and will house the SER.

For more information on the SER or the new facility, go to their website by clicking here.