Name: Mandolyn Jade Meyer
Where you work: Hospital Pharmacy West, Wyola School
What you do: At Hospital Pharmacy West I manage the human resource and marketing departments, as well as run the pedorthic’s clinic. At Wyola School I help develop and write our school title grants.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Big Horn, and attended Big Horn School K-12.
If you attended college, where and what did you study?
University of Wyoming: 2001-2006 — BS in health and kinesiology; BA in Spanish
Wake Forest University: 2006-2008 — MS in exercise physiology
How did you end up working at the pharmacy?
I joined my husband and his family at Hospital Pharmacy in 2009. At the time I was on leave from a PhD Neuroscience Program, and had moved back to Sheridan, in part to decide if neuro was my correct professional path, and in part to be closer to my husband, Matthew Meyer, and my family. I worked as an adjunct faculty member at Sheridan College for a number of years teaching microbiology, health and wellness and English.
The university and collegiate collective experience is something I am extremely passionate about; I love teaching, research and the ideas and personal growth inherent to upper education. For various reasons, such as limited department positions, working with any permanence at the local college, has been difficult. But, this has resulted in a number of outside-of-the-box pursuits and experiences that have been very exciting and rewarding.
I started working with the pharmacy full-time in 2014, and started my work as a consultant at Wyola School in August 2017.
Sheridan is rich in tradition, including many family owned businesses. How do you feel about that legacy and how do you aim to continue it?
The Meyer family has run Hospital Pharmacy for almost 40 years, which is significant! The tradition of working in a family business just isn’t as common anymore; and yet we see family businesses in Sheridan thrive and just done well, like King’s Saddlery, Koltiska Distillery and Hammer’s Chevrolet. I love being a part of the family owned business fabric of our community. I love working with people, and getting to be a part of the unique business buzz Sheridan has!
Family business owners are some of the hardest working, most giving people you will meet; they put their hearts into their craft, which I think contributes to our Sheridan legacy of tradition, hard work and success.
The integrity and value of family owned businesses cannot be overstated, and I am always interested in helping keep the family business buzz alive! We are all stewards of the Sheridan community, and we’d do well to support local business because their survival ensures the community we love continues to thrive.
You’ve also helped with some grant writing for the Wyola Schools. How did you get involved in that?
I started at Wyola this last academic year, at the request of Christy Wright, who assumed the principal/superintendent position, as I have experience at the collegiate level writing grants, as well as research grant management, Superintendent Wright was a former teacher and coach at Big Horn School, when I was younger. Mrs. Wright is someone I deeply respect and just thoroughly enjoy, so I knew working with her would be such a great opportunity!
What has this experience been like? The pros? The cons?
This experience has been brilliant — it’s been a weekly cultural immersion from my work/life in Sheridan into a Crow Sovereign Nation. It’s been fascinating to learn about the Crow Tribe itself, its organization about the Elders or ‘Wisdom Keepers’, stories and traditions, all of which is only 25 minutes from Sheridan.
But mostly, I love the collective educational experience, so it’s been gratifying to be working in an educational setting again, especially in a school whose teachers and principal are so passionate about what they do. A definite plus has been working with the Crow elementary students — most are bilingual, and all are resilient. They are your average happy, excited kiddos there to get an education.
One of my biggest challenges has been developing the grants themselves; I am an out-of-state grant consultant with limited native school experience. It’s been difficult to learn a new state’s Office of Public Instruction and grant system, and create grants that accurately assess the Wyola educational climate with meaningful solutions. In addition, these are competitive grant funds, so Wyola School often competes against other schools across the state, with very different socioeconomic demographics for resources. Those are huge challenges!
Wyola is just a few miles over the Wyoming/Montana state line. How can we do a better job of including the residents there as part of our community?
Sheridan does work hard to practice inclusivity, and celebrate cultural diversity, which is fabulous. I personally would be interested in more cultural immersion opportunities for both Wyola and Sheridan residents, perhaps starting at the student and collegiate levels. Community colleges are natural places for these initiatives, and it would be interesting to see expanded native studies courses, and even a Native American Arts Council be developed, perhaps in partnership with Little Bighorn Community College.
I do think there can be a disconnect between the residents of these two towns, despite our large cross-over, as many Sheridan individuals are employed at Wyola, and many Crow people come to Sheridan for shopping, medical, tourism, etc.
There are so many multi-cultural relationships and exciting opportunities between these two historical towns, and I think anything we can actively do to promote this would be beneficial to both communities. Ideas to approach this may need to come from the top down, perhaps with a Sheridan City Council-led task force that includes Wyola leaders, as well.
What is one issue you wished Sheridan County residents would pay more attention to? Why? And how do we raise awareness?
Crow art and more exposure to the incredible contemporary art scene from up north. There are artists receiving international acclaim, such as Mona Medicinecrow and our very own Wyola art Instructor, Maggy Carlson, who has permanent exhibitions at the Yellowstone Art Museum in Billings, Montana. If you can, seek them out!