Matteo Pistono to be Honored as 2014 Distinguished Alumnus

By: Lisa S. Icenogle

May 2, 2014 | Alumni News

The Casper College Alumni Association will honor the 2014 Distinguished Alumnus, Matteo Pistono, at its Autumn Gala on Saturday, October 4, 2014. Pistono is a writer, photographer, social justice campaigner, and the author of two books, “Fearless in Tibet: The Life of the Mystic Tertön Sogyal” and “In the Shadow of the Buddha: Secret Journeys, Sacred Histories, and Spiritual Discovery in Tibet.” Pistono’s images and writings about Tibetan and Himalayan cultural, political, and spiritual landscapes have appeared in The Washington Post, BBC’s In-Pictures, Men’s Journal, Kyoto Journal, and HIMAL South Asia.

Pistono was born and raised in Lander, Wyo. He earned an associate degree in international studies in 1991 at Casper College, and then attended the University of Wyoming, completing his undergraduate degree in anthropology. In 1997 he obtained his master’s degree in Indian philosophy from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London. Pistono worked with the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. on Tibetan cultural programs, then lived and traveled throughout the Himalayas for a decade. He focused on China’s human rights abuses in Tibet, gathering accounts and photos of the Chinese suppression of the Tibetan people.

Pistono is also the founder and director of Nekorpa, a nonprofi t working to protect sacred pilgrimage sites around the world. His other activities include serving on the Executive Council of the International Network of Engaged Buddhists, Rigpa Fellowship, and the Conservancy for Tibetan Art and Culture. Pistono and his wife, Monica, divide their time between Wyoming, Washington, D.C., and Asia. Pistono was the 2012 Casper College Commencement speaker and was nominated by Casper College for the 2012 American Association of Community Colleges “Outstanding Alumni” award. Casper College Distinguished Alumni are selected by the alumni board of directors for their extensive contributions to professional, philanthropic, or humanitarian work. The cover story of the Winter 2011 Footprints, “Pilgrimage and Politics: An Alum’s Spiritual Journey for Justice,” recounts Pistono’s path from Wyoming to Tibet.

Media contact: Lisa S. Icenogle

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