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Four Students Awarded the Laurie Lynn Watkins Endowment

May 16, 2018

(left to right): Gab
(left to right): Gabriel Correia De Damasco Rodrigues, Nelly Iribakwe Cyuzuza, Karen Sulem Velasquez, and Lukas Oliveira Coelho

Western Wyoming Community College awarded four international students the Laurie Lynn Watkins Endowment for International Students. The merit based scholarship fund awards more than $5000 annually.

The Laurie Lynn Watkins, J.D. Donor Advised Endowment was started by the family of Laurie Watkins in her memory. Laurie began working at Western Wyoming Community College in 1996 as the Director of Admissions. In 2007 she became the Associate Vice-President of Student Success. Laurie was a strong advocate for international students as well as WWCC. She encouraged many international students to attend Western and took them under her wing once they were on campus. Many international students credited their success at Western to the help they received from Laurie.

The scholarship is awarded annually to international students attending Western. This year’s recipients were: Gabriel Correia De Damasco Rodrigues, from Brazil, Nelly Iribakwe Cyuzuza from Rwanda, Karen Sulem Velasquez from Honduras, and Lukas Oliveira Coelho from Brazil.

“Laurie was passionate about recruiting international students to attend WWCC, knowing that all students benefit as a result of having people from all over the world in our classrooms locally.  She also recognized that many of the international students that came to Rock Springs were financially challenged and often struggled to pay for their schooling, while exceling academically. At the time, there was little she could do to help where money was concerned; however, today as many as four international students an academic year receive a financial scholarship award in Laurie’s memory.  Laurie would be ecstatic, as well as proud to see that her efforts continue,” said Rod Watkins, Instructor of Electrical & Instrumentation Technology at Western and husband of the late Laurie Watkins.

For more information regarding the Laurie Lynn Watkins J.D. Scholarship, and other scholarships, please contact Mustang Central at (307) 382-1677 or



Persons seeking admission, employment or access to programs of Western Wyoming Community College shall be considered without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, political belief, handicap, or veteran status.

For more information, contact Audrey Harton at (307) 382-1661 or
(307) 382-1600 or toll free (800) 226-1181