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UW's Engagement Task Force

UW's Engagement Task Force

University of Wyoming, President Laurie Nichols

UW’s Engagement Task Force was launched in August 2017 to develop a plan for strengthening the University of Wyoming’s mission as a land-grant university and to collaborate with constituents and partners to improve and enhance the health and well-being of the state’s communities and environments. This task force responds to the third “impacting communities” goal of our new strategic plan, Breaking Through: 2017-2022, to cultivate a community of learning energized by collaborative work among students, faculty, staff and external partners, which is committed to active outreach and clear communication with our extensive communities.

The 16-member task force has been charged to work with the UW community to think futuristically about engagement and, in doing so, to connect the dots to create an environment of engaged education, student opportunities, scholarship, service, and faculty and staff development to build collaboration between the University of Wyoming and our constituents. Only through authentic engagement will we address the complex economic and social challenges facing UW and Wyoming. 

Specifically, the task force will use this year to create a plan for an Office of Engagement and Outreach, and to work toward the day when UW is recognized by the Carnegie Foundation as a “community engaged university.” I invite the UW community to become engaged with the task force in this effort as we build a new chapter in our long tradition as a strongly engaged campus true to its land-grant mission.

Laurie S. Nichols

Task Force Members

  • Anne Alexander, associate vice provost in the Office of Academic Affairs.
  • Chad Baldwin, associate vice president for marketing and communications.
  • Jordan Blazovich, student senator representing the College of Health Sciences.
  • Chris Boswell, vice president for governmental and community affairs.
  • Mary Burman, dean of the Fay W. Whitney School of Nursing.
  • Jo Chytka, director of UW Advising, Career and Exploratory Studies.
  • Tony Denzer, head of the Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering.
  • Shelley Dodd, director of the Office of Admissions.
  • Jeff Edgens, associate dean and director of UW-Casper.
  • Brent Ewers, botany professor and director of Wyoming EPSCoR.
  • Paul Flesher, professor of religious studies and director of Saturday University.
  • Keener Fry, director of the UW Alumni Association.
  • Jean Garrison, special assistant to the president for engagement.
  • Bret Hess, professor of animal science, associate dean for research and director of the Wyoming Agricultural Experiment Station.
  • Richard Raridon, coordinator of community engagement and service in the Service, Leadership and Community Engagement office.
  • Kate Welsh, associate professor and head of the School of Teacher Education.

The Marvin Millgate Community Engagement Awards

The Carnegie Foundation describes community engagement as, “the collaboration between institutions of higher education and their larger communities for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity.”

Outreach and Engagement is a core goal of the University of Wyoming and is an integral component of our land-grant mission because it advances a culture of engagement and collaboration involving the exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of reciprocity with the citizens and institutions of Wyoming, the nation and the world. The scholarship of engagement involves collaborative teaching and research that enables learning to take place beyond the campus walls and makes discoveries useful beyond the academic community.

The Marvin Millgate Community Engagement Awards have been established by the President Laurie S. Nichols and Provost Kate Miller, in cooperation with UW’s Engagement Task Force, to recognize individuals and groups at the University of Wyoming and in the community who have rendered exceptional engagement to Wyoming communities (community is defined as “a group of people with a common characteristic or interest”).

Award Categories

Engaged Faculty Award

The Engaged Faculty Award will be presented to one faculty member whose demonstrated scholarship and/or practice of engagement significantly advances knowledge-sharing between academic disciplines and the public. Eligibility: Full-time, tenured/tenure-track faculty member, or academic professional lecturer (extended term track). 

Award Amount: $1000

Nomination Requirements

Engaged Staff Award

The Engaged Staff Award recognizes one staff member at the university who both supports learning and development through community engagement and builds strong, reciprocal relationships between the campus and the community. Eligibility: Any full time staff member.

Award Amount: $1000

Nomination Requirements

Student Engagement Award

The Student Engagement Award recognizes one outstanding university student or recognized student organization who has been engaged in service-learning or other service opportunities that have made a tangible difference in the community. Eligibility: Any full-time student or Recognized Student Organization.

Award Amount: $1000

Nomination Requirements

Excellence in Community Partnership Award

This award recognizes community organizations that have rendered exceptional outreach and/or engagement within  Wyoming’s communities through partnership with the University of Wyoming. Awards will be presented to community organizations with a distinguished record of engagement. Recipients of these awards have made a significant contribution to their communities and enhanced the institution’s culture of engagement, further establishing and strengthening the University of Wyoming’s commitment to supporting the communities we serve.

Award Amount: $1000

Nomination Requirements

Contact Us

UW Engagement Task Force

Jean Garrison
Special Assistant to the President for Engagement
(307) 766-6119

Open Drop In & Q&A Session
Monday, February 19th  |  3-5 p.m.
Energy Innovation Center/ BP Collaborative Center Room 209

The Engagement Task Force will be available to provide assistance and answer questions regarding the Statewide Faculty and Staff Engagement Survey. This informal drop-in session is also an opportunity to engage task force members in a discussion on how a new Office of Engagement and Outreach can best serve the UW community and our statewide partners.
Listen Now!   PDF Flyer

Open Forum and Listening Session

This listening session was the first opportunity for the task force to engage with the campus community to answer questions and to hear feedback on UW’s work with community partners, University of Wyoming employees and students had an opportunity to learn about and provide input on the work of UW’s Engagement Task Force during this session.  Listen Now!  PDF Presentation

Documenting Engagement Faculty Workshop 

Listen Now!

SLCE Community Engagement Mini-Grants

SLCE is proud to support faculty initiatives to increase community engagement and service opportunities for students. Learn More!

1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
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