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Eric Krszjzaniek


Eric was born in Madison, Wisconsin, and grew up wanting to be a filmmaker. Making movies with his high school friends, the group showed their films on a weekly public access television show in Madison that mercifully existed well before YouTube and the Internet. All this led to a year of film school, which then led to the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point where he ended up earning degrees in Mass Communication, Political Science, and English.

Stevens Point, with its abundance of outdoor activities and proximity to the Great Northwoods, enticed Eric to stick around for awhile. Over his 11 years there, he ended up: working for Krause Publications as a writer and associate editor; writing curriculum for the Department of Energy on photovoltaics; teaching renewable energy and sustainable living at a non-profit; getting elected to the County Board of Supervisors; losing elections to the School Board and City Council; getting into triathlons; getting out of triathlons; and living in a notoriously haunted house.

So full was this time with merriment, that few believed he would ever leave…so how did he end up in Wyoming? It all sprung out of an impromptu road trip to see a Wilco concert in Jackson Hole after being laid off from Krause Publications in 2008. It was during this journey that Eric initially fell under the spell of Wyoming and vowed to his travel companion that he would someday attend the University of Wyoming for grad school. He also vowed to never return to Mitchell, South Dakota, after his Subaru broke down there for three days on the return trip.

Four years later, the prophecy came to pass, and Eric moved to Laramie to earn his Master’s in English and Environment & Natural Resources. After completing his Master’s work, Eric earned his PhD in Marketing & Sustainable Business Practices. After finishing his PhD in 2018, Eric earned the title of “Most Blessed” and became a lecturer in the College of Business, where he gets to connect with students over his love of consumer behavior, sustainability, and Wyoming.

A collector at heart (a trait he constantly fails to keep in check), Eric has a variety of collections. Naming just a few, he—for some reason—has 52 different editions of Trivial Pursuit, an unnecessary 29 Hawaiian shirts, and a completely reasonable 168 books on or about Wyoming history, people, and/or places. This is not to mention dozens of historical and contemporary Wyoming maps. The books are reasonable as they aid him in his summer hobby of wandering around the state photographing wildlife and landscapes, searching for fossils and forgotten communities, and basically just enjoying all the vastness and often desolate beauty Wyoming has to offer. In an example of attempting to justify his anti-social hobby, Eric was lucky enough to have his photography selected for this year’s Governor’s Capitol Art Exhibition. Beyond exploring the big empty spaces, it is Eric’s personal goal to visit all 99 incorporated communities in Wyoming—he has 22 to go!

For the times when he cannot escape to the open spaces, Eric finds his joy in community involvement. Since moving to Laramie, he has served on the Big Hollow Food Co-op Board of Directors, the Rocky Mountain Wild Board of Directors, was privileged to be an inaugural participant in the SAFE Men program through SAFE Project, and is an appointed member to the Environmental Advisory Committee for the city and county.

Eric also has one son named Wallace. This son is a cat. Eric has a cat.

Clay Fellows | Honors Course

HP 3152: Race and Consumer Culture
Instructor: Eric Krszjzaniek
Modality: Traditional
Honors College Attributes: 
Upper-division elective
USP Attributes: 
(H) Human Culture
A&S Attributes: None
Race in a Consumer Culture The “marketplace” is held up as the pinnacle of equal opportunity in Western culture. The almost sacred space where the individual is judged on the merits of their offerings, and they succeed or fail because of their own efforts or errors. It’s a great thought—so great, in fact, that we use the marketplace as that value-neutral playing field for almost everything in our society today. Policies ranging from education to healthcare to social programs (and so much more!) are judged of their worthiness by how they perform in the fabled marketplace. All while we pretend that race doesn’t influence these successes or failures. However, what if the marketplace is not the value-neutral institution so many exalt it to be? The marketplace, after all, is comprised of actors and identities that are governed by rules (written and unwritten), and these factors can greatly impact individuals’ ability to succeed when we use the marketplace as the proving grounds of the individual. Yes, we may think we are not influenced by history, or we may have our own experiences that justify our belief in equity and fairness, but, as James Baldwin said, “history is literally present in all that we do.” In this discussion-based course, we’re going to complicate the idea that markets and marketing are the great equalizers we are taught to believe they are. From glimpses into the past, we’ll see how the influence of race and racism have carried over to the present, and we’ll even attempt to understand what the future may hold. Through readings, videos, guest lectures, activities, and our own desire to co-create knowledge, we will use this course to develop a deeper understanding of the role of race in marketing and markets, as well as how markets and marketing influence how we understand and see race.

Eric Krszjzaniek sitting on a sand dune
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Laramie, WY 82070

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Fax: 307-766-4298


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