Western Washington University Changemaker Campus

“Active Minds Changing Lives” is an essential element to understanding Western Washington University’s campus and community. It is a definition, an explanation, a motivator and our vision for the future. We are changemakers now, and we strive to be better.

Western provides its community with an abundance of opportunities to actively engage in meaningful, experiential learning in and out of the classroom. This has led to campus and community engagement, which is especially evident in our strong connection with non-profits that are committed to social change.

We have more than 260 active student clubs, most oriented around social activism and long-term change. We have self-organized faculty groups who continually reaffirm our campus commitment to providing meaningful education for students.

Sustainability at WWU

From renewable energy and waste reduction to sustainability-minded courses and Western's Sustainability Committee, we incorporate sustainability into many areas of campus operations and academics. Students have access to curricular sustainability programs as well as the supporting structures to expand and explore specific areas of interest through the Associated Students, including initiatives such as bottled water and locally sourced food. Faculty and staff organized The Sustainability Academy as a means to continually develop sustainability as a signature theme at Western. The Outback, a joint program of the Associated Students and Fairhaven College, is a 5 acre farm and wetland restoration site that gives students a range of opportunities to learn about, develop, and implement sustainable land use practices.

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Associated Students (AS)

An organization designed and run by Western students, the AS works to help students define themselves, find allies in the community, and engage in their university surroundings as they work to create change. The AS provides funding, space, and services to Western students uniting around common interests for long or short-term activities. Students gain strong complements to their academic careers and opportunities to build connections while fostering relationships within the surrounding community. More than 230 student clubs help Western students realize their changemaking interests. Most of these clubs have social change activities as an integral part of their annual calendars. WWU’s Social Entrepreneur Society, one such club, works to unify changemakers across campus while providing support, offering skills training, and creating opportunity for meaningful experiences.

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Center for Service Learning (CSL)

The Center for Service-Learning serves at the center of Western's commitment to community engagement and promotes the university's mission to “... develop the potential of learners and the well-being of communities.” Every quarter, more than 1000 students in more than 50 courses are engaged in community-based learning that support K-12 schools, hunger and homelessness, healthy environments, community wellness, arts and culture, aging people, and more. The CSL places Western students in the community through structured service-learning courses both locally and abroad. The CSL also coordinates a fellows program that has supported more than 90 faculty in building content into their courses to help their students become Changemakers. Through active learning, engaged teaching and meaningful partnerships, the CSL is working together to create positive social change.

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Brian Burton Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs

Social entrepreneurship gelled for me as a combination of my faith in the entrepreneurial spirit and my teaching, research, and practice in social issues and business ethics. It just makes sense that we need to innovate to solve centuries-old problems. At Western we are Active Minds Changing Lives; I can make change personally through my own entrepreneurial efforts on campus, but I also can bring all of our changemakers together to boost their efforts in every aspect of changemaking on Western’s campus and throughout the region. Supporting and facilitating all these great activities, and working with the great people at Western, motivates me to continue to innovate to help them help society.

Danica Kilander Change Leader

One summer my community rallied to help a local family in need. People brought what they could. Some had time, others had ideas. We shared connections, money, music and gifts; it was like the children’s story “Stone Soup”. Before that summer I knew certain concepts but once I lived through the process, I understood them in a different way. I can’t go back now. I can’t un-see the potential of people. I can’t un-know that we are better together, -genuinely, even if the collaborative process is messy and sometimes takes a while. I see the solutions all around and within us. I see that this is about choices we make every day, systems we participate in, and that together, we can change the world.

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Craig Dunn Dean, College of Business and Economics

My personal purpose is to resolve social injustice(s); this drives virtually all my thinking, doing, and being. I have spent twenty-five years in University praxis imagining the ways in which business knowledge, skills and abilities might be applied to this purpose. But not just imagining. Convinced that free-market capitalism is on the cusp of an evolutionary disruption, I have worked assiduously to equip college students to take all that they know about traditional business practice…and imagine how such practice can be applied to creating sustainable, market-based revenue streams in support of, well, making the world a more equitable place. And not incon[sequentially, in the process to hold forth to students a vision of meaningfulness in their own lives, as they engage with truly redemptive work.

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Marie Eaton Professor of Humanities and Education

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Manca Valum Director of Advancement for Strategic Initiatives

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Casey Hayden Coordinator of Student Activities

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Jack Herring Dean, Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies

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Joseph E. Garcia Professor of Management

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Dominique Coulet du Gard Senior Instructor, Fairhaven College and Anthropology Department

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Art Sherwood David Cole Professor of Entrepreneurship

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Joanne DeMark Leadership Development Specialist

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Tim Costello Director of Center for Service Learning

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Renee Collins Director of Outreach Services/ Associate Dean

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Kathy Kitto Dean, Graduate School and Vice Provost for Research

Victor Nolet Professor, Secondary Education/Education for Sustainability

Seth Vidana Campus Sustainability Manager

Changemaker Campus

Launched in 2008, Ashoka offers the Changemaker Campus designation to leading institutions in social innovation education. These institutions share the vision for higher education to become the next global driver of social change by transforming the educational experience into a world-changing experience.