Governor Matt Mead has appointed Laura Schmid-Pizzato to the University of Wyoming Board of Trustees following John MacPherson’s resignation. MacPherson, who was appointed to the board in 2011, said he hoped his replacement would bring fresh perspective to the board.
Schmid-Pizzato earned a Bachelor’s in Spanish from UW, and went on to get a Masters in Social Work from the University of Utah. She now works as the recovery services manager for the Southwest Counseling Service in Rock Springs. She said that her background as a licensed clinical social worker and an addiction recovery specialist helps her think about UW’s role in a unique way.
“As a social worker, I see all of the difficulties that our residents face,” said Schmid-Pizzato. “I specialize in addiction. I do quite a bit with abuse, mental health issues, sexual abuse, all of those types of things.”
She said UW is already doing important research to help the state find and implement solutions to these issues, and as a trustee she wants to highlight and support that work.
She’s also hoping to bring ideas about how to best support students who might be facing addiction and mental health issues.
As a social worker, she said she comes in contact with Wyomingites who want to pursue a four-year degree but struggle to move to Laramie.
“One of the areas that I think we are doing well in, but definitely we can see some expansion, is working to get education out to the far reaching areas of the state.”
Schmid-Pizzato said online learning could be a powerful tool for single parents and people with disabilities, for example. Her first board meeting is coming up on September 11.