Two UW Professors Receive 2024 UW Foundation Stewardship Awards

Joe Carver and Mark GuibersonTwo University of Wyoming faculty members have earned the prestigious UW Foundation Stewardship Award for 2024. They are Mark Guiberson, head of the Division of Communication Disorders, and Joe Carver, director of Western Thunder Marching Band.

“Connecting with our donors, understanding their UW journey and aligning with their vision has been a true joy for me,” Guiberson says. “Together, we’ve elevated UW’s Division of Communication Disorders into a program known for innovation and excellence. I thank our donors for the role they’ve played in shaping the division’s evolution and success.”

“I am incredibly honored to receive this award,” Carver says. “Engaging with supporters of Western Thunder Marching Band is one of the great joys of my role here at UW. I am deeply grateful for the students in the band who have worked hard to better our program. Thank you to the UW Foundation for their work in providing our students the very best experience.”

The UW Foundation Stewardship Award recognizes the leadership of UW faculty members who excel in the relationship-building and stewardship of alumni and donors through effective use of private gifts, engaging former students in the activities of the university and a commitment to strong external relationships for the betterment of UW.

“Both Joe and Mark are remarkable ambassadors for their programs and for UW in general,” says UW Provost and Executive Vice President Kevin Carman. “They have a genuine commitment to their programs that is infectious and that gives donors confidence that their gifts will have a meaningful and lasting impact.”

‘Worked Tirelessly to Make Connections With Donors’

Guiberson earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of Colorado in communication sciences and disorders and his Ph.D. at Colorado State University in interdisciplinary studies. He teaches in the area of child language interventions, and his research interests include clinical practices with culturally and linguistically diverse populations. 

“Since becoming division director, Dr. Guiberson has worked tirelessly to build financial stability and independence for the Division of Communication Disorders through making connections with alumni and donors,” says Breanna Krueger, an associate professor in the department and a nominator. “He has led us through booms and busts and multiple changes in administrative leadership, all while keeping our division financially strong and growing.”

Guiberson has worked with Native American university students, researcher collaborators and communities to create interventions that are culturally consistent with caregivers’ preferences and priorities. He has conducted several systematic reviews, and the major focus of all of his research is to guide speech-language pathologists in tailoring their practices to best meet the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse children and families.

“Dr. Mark Guiberson has worked tirelessly during his tenure as division director to make connections with donors, to facilitate their continued giving and to find ways to encourage new donors to the division,” says Amy Peterson, an assistant professor in the department and a nominator.

Peterson continues, “Mark’s passion for our profession, the communities we serve and the education of our undergraduate and graduate students is contagious and has inspired other donors to give as well. He personally reaches out to donors and has helped procure large donations by being available and making contact or helping donors give during Giving Day and other times of the year. Mark’s dedication to finding donors for our division has really benefited an otherwise small division in a great way.”

An example of Guiberson’s stewardship is his efforts in establishing the Maggie and Dick Scarlett Excellence Fund and Chair, which furthers research in the Division of Communication Disorders. This large gift and subsequent enhancement gifts by Maggie and Dick Scarlett helped the division hire an internationally known scholar and to renovate a new clinic space for the program at Mountain View Medical Park into a state-of-the-art facility. The gift also has been used to bring in research consultants for individualized feedback on grantsmanship and has enabled the division to host conferences to disseminate research to local stakeholders.

Guiberson also worked with donors Paul and Judy Lerwick in endowing the Steve Elliott Scholarship in Communication Disorders. Elliott, a former client of the UW Speech and Hearing Clinic, was a lifelong friend of the Lerwicks, and Elliott established a scholarship for students who worked with him in the clinic. In 2015, the Lerwicks endowed the Steve Elliott Scholarship; in 2023, they again made a major gift to honor Elliott’s legacy. The Steve Elliott Scholarship in Communication Disorders is the division’s largest scholarship, and alumni frequently contribute to that account.

Another example is the Yagi Multicultural Scholarship in Communication Disorders. This is a scholarship funded by Marisa Yagi, a recent graduate of the master’s program in speech-language pathology. Yet another is the Dr. Thom and Terry Flamboe Graduate Fellowship in Speech-Language Pathology -- a fellowship that supports students who have an interest in working with children. Guiberson worked closely with the Flamboes to develop this opportunity and to ensure that their vision for the scholarship was met.

A final example is the Lyric River Memorial Scholarship, which supports undergraduates studying American Sign Language. This last scholarship will result in 10 awards to students in the coming year.

“It is unlikely that these gifts would have been secured without the leadership and cultivation of Mark,” says Michelle Hilaire, a clinical professor, interim dean of the College of Health Sciences and a nominator. “Mark keeps in continuous conversation with our donors and reaches them at the human level. He always is conscious of stewarding all of the funds in an appropriate and fiscally responsible manner.” 

‘I Can’t Think of a Better Steward’

Carver has been associate director of bands and director of Western Thunder Marching Band at UW since 2019. He also conducts the Symphonic Band and teaches undergraduate classes in music education. Carver earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Ohio University and his Ph.D. from Ohio State University, all in music education.

“Joe Carver’s dedication to Western Thunder Marching Band, the UW Department of Music and the university is outstanding,” says Ben Markley, a professor and chair of the Department of Music and a nominator. “I can’t think of a better UW steward to receive this award. His work is public facing, and he regularly brings positive favor to our university.”

Carver served as a full-time graduate associate for Ohio State University marching and athletic bands, where he assisted the directing staff in all aspects of the program’s operation. He studied drill design techniques and served as a visual designer for pregame and halftime performances of the marching band. He also assisted in teaching undergraduate methods courses and guest-conducted several bands.

Carver was a music educator for nine years in the public schools of Ohio, where he served primarily as a high school band director. He has presented at state music conferences in Ohio, West Virginia and Wyoming. His research focuses on the musical and nonmusical outcomes of high school marching band participation and on band program recruitment and retention. He has published articles in the Journal of Band Research, the National Band Association Journal and Wyoming Windsong, and he is a co-author in the popular series “Teaching Music through Performance in Band” (GIA Publications). 

Carver’s main instrument is percussion, and he is an alumnus of the Ohio University Marching 110, the Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps and the Disneyland All-American College Band, where he served as assistant director in 2006.

Susie McMurry, the McMurry Foundation and family have always been huge supporters of Western Thunder Marching Band. Their dedicated support has benefited all aspects of Western Thunder and funded a faculty fellowship, which stabilized the leadership of the band and helped retain Carver in his position. Carver’s work continues to honor McMurry’s love of the band in many ways.

Additionally, Carver is in the process of creating an Alumni Band Association to reconnect the alumni of Western Thunder back to the program and to the university. He also has grown the program’s success on UW Giving Day, UW’s yearly celebration of philanthropy. The band’s first Giving Day campaign in 2020 brought in 72 donors and $4,000; in 2023, there were 616 donors for a total of $118,000. His efforts also helped secure the Philip Treick annual gift to the marching band.

Carver and the department have emphasized the importance of donor engagement with their students and enlisted their help on all of fundraising. Students regularly contact and connect with donors, which allow donors to feel the impact of their generosity. Currently, Carver and the department are organizing a fundraising campaign for the band’s trip to the New Year’s Day Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, Calif., which has been put on since 1890.

The UW Foundation Stewardship Award recognizes the pivotal role faculty members play in donor philanthropy. Stewardship is critical for the university, as it connects donors with the mission of campus and inspires private funding for areas that need it most. It also builds lasting relationships that promote loyalty and generosity.

“Creating a culture of philanthropy at UW really starts with the creation of a culture of stewardship,” says UW Foundation President and CEO John Stark. “When it comes to stewarding our donors and demonstrating the impact that private support can have on our university, our faculty can be our most effective ambassadors. Both Mark and Joe set the standard.”

Recipients of the UW Foundation Stewardship Award personally receive $5,000. Their colleges, divisions or departments each receive $2,500, with another $2,500 that the recipient can direct to a separate university area or unit. The UW Foundation funds the awards.

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