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Audrey Kleinsasser
Wyoming Hall 415


Office Associate:
Beth Wiley
Wyoming Hall 412

Mailing address:
1000 E. University Ave.
Dept. 3374
Laramie, WY  82071

Fax: 307-766-3792

Wyoming School-University Partnership
Community Engagement Initiative

Community Engagement Initiative

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About  |  Scope  |  Progress  |  Possible Ideas  |  Timeline  |  About Project Facilitator  |  Co-Sponsors

Community Engagement Initiative

Join in the mission to empower Wyoming's youth to improve their communities across the state and eventually the country!  The initiative opportunity is open to Partnership members

Read the press release by clicking here!

About the Project

The goal of the initiative is to expand the idea of empowering youth to improve their communities throughout the Wyoming School-University Partnership and eventually across the NNER.  After initially piloting the idea in seven Nebraska schools and their communities, we have a basis of knowledge based on experience that is ready for application in another setting.  By expanding to the Wyoming Partnership, new insights can be gained and useful educational experiences for students and educators in each of the partnership districts are possible.  Contact John Anderson, Project Facilitator, about this initiative!


The eventual scope of the effort is large, and the next step is to engage in a phased development in Wyoming and Nebraska.  The first phase in Wyoming involves a two-year process designed to accomplish several goals.  First, we want to work with four districts, arts and science faculty (including community college faculty whenever possible) and the communities in each district.  Second, we plan to expand the engagement of university faculty beyond what happened in Nebraska so more than a few are engaged in the project.  Third, we will seek funding from a variety of sources and intend to develop a model based upon support from each of the institutions that is sustainable, including the community support.  Finally, we will implement tools for evaluating the success of the projects that meet the demands for accountability at the level of each institution and community.


Pinedale High School, Worland High School, and Torrington Middle School have been selected to participate in an innovative school-community engagement initiative that will begin this fall. John Anderson, a political scientist who teaches online for the University of Wyoming, will guide the initiative. To view the full press release click here.

Worland--Kitsy Barnes' biological field studies class at Worland High School was recently selected as one of three classes from across the state to serve in a pilot program at the University of Wyoming. To read the full release from Northern Wyoming Daily News click here.

Possible Ideas:

  • Community Sculpture Garden
  • Open/Renovate Movie Theater
  • Water Quality Study
  • Air Quality Study
  • Wildlife Survey
  • Initiate Community Design
  • Survey Issues in Community
  • Create Community History CD/podcast
  • Initiate Community Festival
  • School Improvement Project
  • Open Cooperative Store      


The two-year plan starts now and ends at the start of the 2012-2013 school year.  Following the first phase, a second phase will begin and districts will be able to renew their engagement while other districts will be offered the opportunity to engage.  In the words of one scholar, we do not intend to make this a "drive-by" project. The tentative schedule follows:

Timeline for the Community Engagment Intiative


About John Anderson, Project Facilitator

John Anderson, Community Engagement FacilitatorJohn Anderson is a current resident of Pinedale, Wyoming.  He returned to his home state recently after a 30 year teaching career.  His teaching career started at the Wind River Schools and was completed after 18 years of teaching at the University of Nebraska at Kearney.  He became a professor of Political Science and taught and did scholarship related to making democracies work in communities.  Much of that work included the role of education in a democracy. 

Professor Anderson has also been deeply involved in the work of the National Network for Educational Renewal and is currently an Agenda for Education Scholar.  He began working with students and schools to bring about changes in communities through student engagement in Nebraska, where he and his colleague, Peter Longo, engaged seven different school districts in community or school improvement projects.  Anderson is now committed to bringing that effort to Wyoming, with hopes that the work will spread to every district as well as to other settings in the NNER. 

Contact John Anderson, Project Facilitator, about this initiative!

Initiative Sponsors:

Thank you to all of our sponsors, listed below:

The Wyoming School-University Partnership

National Network for Educational Renewal

University of Wyoming Student Affairs

University of Wyoming Service, Leadership, and Community Engagement

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