NWC commencement exercises Saturday

Posted 5/6/21

Northwest College’s 2021 commencement exercises are set for 10:30 a.m. Saturday in Cabre Gym, with this year’s Nurses Pinning at 3 p.m. Friday in the Nelson Performing Arts …

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NWC commencement exercises Saturday


Northwest College’s 2021 commencement exercises are set for 10:30 a.m. Saturday in Cabre Gym, with this year’s Nurses Pinning at 3 p.m. Friday in the Nelson Performing Arts Center.

Guest speakers for Saturday’s ceremony include Distinguished Alumnus Curtis Clabaugh, graduating NWC student Devon Curtis of Powell and Dave Erickson, recipient of the Distinguished Faculty Award.

Due to limited capacity in each venue, space will be reserved for graduates and immediate family only. See more details at nwc.edu/countdown.

The commencement program and Nurses Pinning will be broadcast live on the college’s Facebook, Twitter and YouTube accounts and at nwc.edu.


Distinguished alumnus

After graduating from NWC in 1973, Clabaugh transferred to the University of Wyoming, where he earned his bachelor of science in civil engineering. An experienced engineer and surveyor, he launched his career with the Wyoming Department of Transportation, which lasted nearly 43 years.

During his tenure at WYDOT, Clabaugh began as a construction engineer and was promoted to many positions of leadership throughout his career. He was among the first group nationally to be licensed as a professional photogrammetric surveyor, allowing Wyoming to become the first transportation department to fully implement digital surveying and mapping processes.  

Clabaugh has presented at many conferences, forums and training sessions for a broad variety of topics including: beginning, advanced and construction surveying; automated machine guidance and control; preliminary surveys for transportation projects; photogrammetry; Lidar, 3D technologies and end-user requirements; drones and sUAVs; and autonomous vehicles.

Clabaugh has served his community as a member of the Weston County Planning and Zoning Board, the Weston County and Newcastle Recreation Board, a little league baseball coach, the Lions Club and Cheyenne Engineers Club. In his free time, he enjoys following college sports, gardening, camping and four-wheeling. He continues to work part time and remains actively involved in professional societies. Clabaugh currently lives in Cheyenne.


Student speaker

Raised in Meeteetse, Curtis moved to Powell as a junior in high school. She has two siblings, Colton and Gracen, who also attended NWC. Curtis graduated from Powell High School in 2019. While in high school, she participated in volleyball, basketball, track, student council, National Honor Society, theater and band. During her time at Northwest, Curtis played for the volleyball team, serving as a captain and earning the Trapper award her freshman year. She also served as a resident assistant for both of her years at NWC and was sophomore representative for Student Senate. Curtis worked for Student Activities and dedicated a great deal of time to ensuring the students at NWC had a fun and memorable time. She is graduating with a degree in general studies and will go on to the University of Wyoming to pursue a degree in kinesiology. Curtis describes her experience at NWC as “a time where she discovered her true self and made memories that will last a lifetime.”


Faculty speaker

Professor of Sociology Dave Erickson is completing his 27th year at Northwest College and his 13th year serving as the Social Science and Education Division Chair. 

During his tenure at NWC, he has served on numerous campus committees including Academic Advisory Council, Central Assessment Team, Course Scheduling Committee, Faculty Development and Morale, Faculty Employment Policies Review Committee, Faculty Welfare, Rank and Tenure, the Student Appeals Board and several others.

Of his many contributions, Erickson considers his greatest professional accomplishment creating the criminal justice program at NWC.

Erickson’s previous academic awards include receiving the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development Teaching Excellence Award in 2008 and the Outstanding Service Award for Faculty in 2019.

He earned his bachelor of science in criminal justice and master of arts in sociology degrees from the University of North Dakota, graduating with honors.