Rock Springs Resident Named Outstanding Graduate at Western

Rock Springs Resident Named Outstanding Graduate at Western

Kisa Monzon of Rock Springs was named an Outstanding Graduate during at recent awards banquet at Western Wyoming Community College. Photo courtesy of Western Wyoming Community College

ROCK SPRINGS A student from Rock Springs was the recipient of one of two Western Wyoming Community College Outstanding Graduate awards for the 2023-2024 academic year. 

Kisa Monzon and Lehi, Utah resident Emma Granthem received the honors during the Student Government Awards banquet April 23. 

In all four recommendations, Monzon’s calm character, leadership, and academic excellence are highlighted. Throughout her time at Western, Monzon has actively worked on herself, joined her peers as a member of the Student Nursing Association (SNA), and diligently pursued her studies. 

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“Kisa consistently goes above and beyond in clinical and school, demonstrating exceptional competence, empathy, and professionalism in every patient and student interaction. She is going to be a true asset to the healthcare community after graduating,” Assistant Professor of Nursing Julie Leavitt wrote in her recommendation, 

Monzon serves as president of SNA where she has worked to coordinate student efforts in area communities. This has included SNAs participation in Trunk or Treat, organizing a diaper drive for United Way, raising food for local food banks and Western’s Student Storehouse, and more.

When asked about choosing a career in nursing, Monzon shared that it was something she’s wanted to do for a long time. As a child, Monzon spent time at Primary Children’s Hospital due to illness. The nurses who helped care for her set her desire to join their ranks. 

“I could never be a pediatric nurse seeing all that they do,” Monzon said. 

Instead, she plans to become a psychiatric nurse. During her 48 hours of ‘choice clinicals,’ where she could choose which field to experience, Monzon spent them at the Wyoming State Hospital in Evanston. Once her clinicals were completed, She said she couldn’t, “…see myself anywhere else,” and has since applied for an open position with the institution.  

 “Never let your age hold you back, regardless if you’re young or older,” she said when asked what advice she would share with others. 

Monzon linked this advice to her decision to enroll in Western’s Dual and Concurrent program in high school to prepare her way for the nursing program.

Emma Granthem was also selected as an Outstanding Graduate. Photo courtesy of Western Wyoming Community College

In her nomination, Granthem was recognized for her leadership in the classroom and on the field as a captain for Western’s women’s soccer. Soccer played a major role in Granthem’s final decision to come to Western. While she wasn’t looking to play at college, a friend reached out about joining Western’s team. Being offered a team position and Western’s affordability sealed the deal for the past two years. During her time at Western, Granthem maintained a 4.0 GPA, was a student government member, taught a silversmithing class through Enrich Wyoming, and more. When considering her learning experience she said, 

“My experience at Western has been nothing short of nurturing,” she said of her experience at Western. “Not only did I learn, and enjoy, the material taught in my courses, but also how to interact with professors, manage my time, and how to work with my peers in an effective and uplifting manner.”

The next step in her journey is currently up in the air. While she does plan to pursue a bachelor’s, she’s waiting for the right opportunity. Until then, she’s planning to go into business with her sister and work on other entrepreneurial ideas.

Western’s Outstanding Graduate is selected by a committee that includes administrators, professionals, faculty, and staff. The nomination criteria and scoring rubric is based on campus involvement, leadership roles, positive impact on other students, and the nominee’s ability to positively represent Western in the future. 

Western’s 2024 graduates will be honored at the Commencement Ceremony on Friday at 5 p.m. in the Rushmore Gym.

The Nurse Pinning ceremony will be held on the same day, at 1 p.m. in the Western’s theater.