WWU to host national community engagement workshop Feb. 19-20

The rapid growth and impacts of WWU’s Community Engagement Fellows program have caught the attention of other higher education institutions, and this week the Center for Community Learning is hosting a workshop to showcase WWU’s innovative ways to connect higher education with broader communities.  

Additional workshop hosts include Eastern Washington University and the University of Puget Sound, which have established Community Engagement Fellows programs of their own, and Sadie Olsen, WWU’s Community Engagement Fellows intern. Olsen is a member of Lummi Nation, co-founder of Whiteswan Environmental, and current student at Whatcom Community College.

The three-day workshop, Community Engagement Fellows: State-of-the-Art, will take place in downtown Bellingham, and include participants from:

  • Azusa Pacific University
  • Hope College
  • Seattle Central College
  • University of Alaska-Anchorage
  • University of California-Davis
  • Western Oregon University
  • Whitman College


“National interest in the CEF model is one of many upshots of the growth and success of the CEF coalition of local and regional participants in our state,” said Steve VanderStaay, Western’s Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education. “With so many other colleges and universities reaching out to learn more about CEF, it made sense to offer a national conference. True to the values of CEF, attendees will have opportunities to participate in the kinds of local events that have made CEF so meaningful in our community.”

Members of the WWU community are invited to meet and connect with workshop participants at these events.

Place Matters Social Hour, Wednesday, February 19, 5:15-7:00 p.m., Twin Sisters Brewery (500 Carolina Street). This will be a low-key gathering with appetizers and conversation around the question, “What’s a good thing you see growing in the community?”

Putting Values into Action, Thursday, February 20, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Deming Library (5044 Mt Baker Hwy). This will be an interactive social learning event focused on articulating the values that guide our work, and exploring how to better implement community-based programming. Informal dinner of pizza and salad provided. Those hoping to attend are asked to RSVP:

RSVP: Putting Values into Action

These events are free and open to the public. Those who have participated in Community Engagement Fellows are especially encouraged to attend.