Carmen Rasmussen hired to direct Campus Community Coalition

Carmen Rasmussen has been named the coordinator for the Campus Community Coalition, a diverse partnership involving Western Washington University, the City of Bellingham, and a number of local community partners.

"Carmen’s unique and varied set of experiences make her an ideal choice for this role. We are excited to have her assume this leadership position and to utilize her strengths in keeping the partnerships and the work of the Coalition strong and firmly grounded in our local community,” said Eileen Coughlin, senior vice president and vice president for Enrollment and Student Services at WWU.

Rasmussen assumed her duties on Nov. 3.  Her role is to serve as a bridge to the larger community, to provide leadership to the Coalition, and to oversee Coalition projects, including the Hospitality Resource Alliance, the Bellingham Advice on Tap campaign, co-sponsored workshops on rental rights and responsibilities, and efforts in the local neighborhoods.

“I am pleased and humbled to have the opportunity to serve as coordinator of the Campus Community Coalition. I'm eager to work with the many dedicated and passionate partners who make up the Coalition as we continue to promote a safe and connected community.” Rasmussen said.

Rasmussen, who has a bachelor’s degree from Washington State University, has extensive experience serving with community organizations. Most recently she was a high risk legal advocate for Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Services in Bellingham. She also has served as a program coordinator/supervisor for Lutheran Community Services Northwest; as an elected City Councilmember, City of Marysville; as a community outreach coordinator, Snohomish County Health and Safety Network, and Hero Program coordinator, Granite Falls School District. She also was the owner/operator of Alpine Outfitters and a corrections counselor and officer for Snohomish County Corrections.

Through grant funding, the Campus Community Coalition was founded in 1999 by Western Washington University and the City of Bellingham to address issues of mutual concern, such as student alcohol misuse. It has a strong history of promoting working relationships and shared responsibility through collaborative education and problem-solving.  In 2008, the Coalition expanded its membership and scope to include other area colleges and local agencies in dialogue concerning issues of health, safety, and quality of life.

Western, led by President Bruce Shepard, is highly committed to building relationships with the local community. The WWU President’s Office provided the ongoing funding needed to support the work of the Coalition and to ensure that its efforts would continue beyond the time covered by the grant.

Rasmussen succeeds former coordinator Ann Russell, who left the Coalition to assume the newly created WaterWork Program coordinator position at Re-Sources.