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in our classrooms and laboratories. This is often made more complicated by the fact that students are not fully aware that thinking, reasoning, and creative skills are embedded in our goals for them. The importance of content knowledge has been strongly reinforced through standardized testing for most of I had the opportunity these students throughout their school experience. to meet and talk with many new Helping them to think “beyond the tests” is an students and their families during the important part of our challenge. orientations this summer and was reminded The learning process is made even more complicated, once again of the magnitude the transition to and potentially richer, by the important life transitions college represents. Unlike years past this reality also facing students. First-time freshmen in particular touched me at home as our daughter has headed off are confronted with enormous personal challenges for her freshman year in college. In each situation, that accompany the separation from family and all professionally and personally, the up-close view of things familiar in their lives. I know as a parent, and this major life transition inspires reflection about our from talking with other parents, the extraordinary educational mission. emotional energy students expend in anticipation of Effective teaching and learning is a complex having a roommate and moving into a residence hall undertaking made even more challenging as we room. Accompanying this anxiety is a myriad of related consider simultaneously fostering content knowledge issues that feed feelings of uncertainty and insecurity. and the development of higher order thinking skills



President Jay Helman

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W S C F ootba l l to P l a y on N ationa l T e l evision WSC football will get its first exposure on national television this fall on the CBS Sports Network. They will face Mesa State in Grand Junction on Thursday, October 16th at 6 p.m. The live televised broadcast is collaboration between NCAA Division II and CBS College Sports Network. It will also be webstreamed live at “Schools obviously love the exposure for their teams,” said Division II Vice President Mike Racy. “But, there’s also a collective benefit because our programming emphasizes so much about Division II from a broader perspective. We’re excited that CBS College Sports Network has agreed to increase that exposure.” “Our partnership has been a huge success and we’re proud to showcase even more exciting Division II games this season,” said Executive Vice

President, Content, CBSCollege Sports Network Tim Pernetti. “We are very excited to play a national playoff team on national television,” said Head Football coach, Pat Stewart. “There is a historical significance to be on television, but we will just have to go out and play the game.” “We are very honored to showcase WSC and Mountaineer football on national television,” added Athletic Director, Greg Waggoner. “We are confident that our football program is up to this exciting opportunity and we look forward to building some additional activities around the game that will be announced later.” The game will be available through the regional sports network and will be accessible via broadband at


October 2008

F rom the P resident

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NOTE: From the Faculty, is a new column in the Western Watch providing a space for a faculty member to contribute a commentary to this publication. We’d like to thank Professor of Communication and Theatre, Paul Edwards, for helping us get this column launched and we invite faculty to contact the Western Watch if they would like to contribute to the next issue. Our email is, and the phone number for the Public Relations office is 943-3038.

Throughout the summer parents shared stories with me about the upcoming life transitions for them and for their students. In each case they shared their confidence in the faculty and staff at Western. Families from New Hampshire to California and from Denver to Cedaredge expressed gratitude for finding a campus culture that would both challenge their students to grow and support them in meeting those life challenges.

The fall term is an exciting time full of hope and renewal as we launch a new academic year. Collectively we play a significant part in a remarkably challenging and exciting time in the lives of our students. There is no better place for them to learn and live, or for us to participate together in this important work. Best wishes for a great year.

F rom the F acu l t y President Helman announced in the Faculty Senate last year that in 2008-2009 the college would engage in another round of strategic planning. I’m familiar with the process, having worked on a number of strategic planning committees for local and state non-profits and on one for Western State College, so I was encouraged by the announcement. I was a little discouraged, however, by the one or two colleagues who expressed a relative lack of interest I’ve never quite understood the reluctance in higher education toward engaging in strategic planning. Corporations are always planning strategically and, in the non-profit world, the strategic plan is a sign that an organization has achieved maturity. It’s a healthy process, and without it, the institutional life of an organization becomes overly improvisational, reactive and maybe even paranoid. A former colleague of mine used to describe the organizational life of Western State College as a boxcar full of ping-pong balls. I’d also suggest that at other times, we resemble a herd of hoofed beasts running around wildly, or standing by passively observing as some predator picks off one of the weaker members. And sometimes, we resemble people in an overcrowded lifeboat. Strategic planning can render those metaphors obsolete – but the planning process has to be focused and effective. One of my skeptical colleagues remarked that he wasn’t interested in strategic planning because it was something carried out “at the top.” And he’s right that a lot of strategic plans are developed in that way – the BAD strategic plans. But we shouldn’t automatically accept as a given that Western will initiate a fatally flawed strategic planning process. There are a lot of models and a lot of resources that can ensure we will produce a plan that will make us a better college.

Here are some suggestions for how we can make this process work to everyone’s advantage: Involve ALL of our constituents – faculty, staff, students, board, alumni, Colorado taxpayers, CCHE – at key points in the process. And let’s not treat them as isolated groups. We are interdependent. If things aren’t working out for our facilities services people, for example, you can bet that will have an effect on everyone else. Make ample use of outsiders, in particular the process’s facilitator. The best strategic plans are shepherded by objective, external facilitators who keep the participants focused and in charge of the plan’s evolution. Agree to commit the necessary resources to ensure the quality of the strategic planning process. Any attempt to conduct business on the cheap will result in less than outstanding results. Face up to our problems. No lipstick on the pig. Use our imagination. Give ourselves an opportunity to dream a little as we get down to the business of developing an actionable plan. Have an excellent idea of how our world is going to change in the next five years and how those changes will affect the fortunes of Western. The rising cost of fuel, the proliferation and accelerated development of new technology, and the changes in how students learn and what they value are just a few examples of many that come to mind. Make the strategic plan comprehensive, integrating all programs (academic and otherwise), infrastructure, resources and related activities. There’s probably nothing worse for an organization than having five or six strategic or “master” plans competing with one another and pulling everyone in different directions. And finally, let’s not forget the words of Megatrends author John Naisbitt: “Strategic planning is worthless -- unless there is first a strategic vision.” We have to know why Western should continue to exist before we can plan how to ensure that existence.

Paul Edwards

P resident H e l man P resented at C rested B utte ’ s P ub l ic P o l ic y F orum

President Jay Helman spoke at this summer’s Public Policy Forum in Crested Butte this August. The topic for his presentation was 21st century challenges for education. This covered complexities of policy initiatives and policy discussions with circumstances and challenges that education is dealing with. The next speaker in the series was Ted Turner, philanthropist and founder of the CNN network.


Megan Johnson is the new Student Government Association President for the 2008-2009 school year. She is a double major in psychology and sociology. Johnson also runs on the cross country team. She previously has been a senator and spent a year and a half as Vice President for External Affairs.

October 2008


M ark T odd R e l eases T hird B ook , M ovie on the W a y Mark Todd, Professor of English, has released his third book and also has a movie in the works. Tamped but Loose Enough to Breathe is a book of poetry, half lyrical and half narrative. A prevailing theme in these stories is the old west and the new west. From the old west, he tells stories of John Wesley Hardin, an outlaw gunfighter who killed 56 men. Todd also happens to be related to Hardin from his mother’s side. He writes from the point of view of the victims and the effect that Hardin had in their lives.

Todd also writes Gunnison stories, telling tales from the railroad and ghost stories. Despite this he says, “There’s a lot more humor in this book than my previous one.” With regards to his movie, based off the book Silverville Swindle, which he co-authored with his wife Kym, they are “trying to find finances.” The Todd’s are working with Film It Productions, based out of Denver, and plan to do the filming here in Gunnison. Tamped but Loose Enough to Breathe was published by Ghost Road Press and will be released the first week in September. The book will be available at The WSC Bookstore, the Bookworm in Gunnison, and Blue Moon Books in Crested Butte. Events are planned at the Bookworm and Blue Moon Books. Western’s English club, Wordhorde, will also sponsor a reading at the Gunnison Arts Center on Thursday, Oct. 25, at 7 p.m.

F ormer P resident H arr y P eterson R e l eases B ook Harry Peterson, President of Western from 1996-2002, recently published a book; Leading a Small College or University, a Conversation that Never Ends. Peterson, predecessor and mentor to current President Jay Helman, wrote the book for those who are leading a small institution or who are aspiring to that position. President Helman, credits Peterson for the favorable position that Western is currently in. “Harry Peterson really set up Western for success,” he said. “Western was really in a tough spot when Peterson took over leadership,” Helman added. “He was a master working with personnel and infrastructure,” Helman describes Peterson as “extremely thorough.” His book thoroughly covers a variety of subjects ranging from the organizational culture to students -they are why you are here. Peterson also recently reflected, “There are a couple

recommendations that I left out of the book that I would like to share with Gunnison and Western readers. The first is that presidents should always try to have their last job be their best job. This will be helpful in their retirement. Also presidents should try to have identified a successor who will do at least as good a job as the departing president. This also helps in retirement.” He added, “I succeeded at both.” Leading a Small College or University, a Conversation That Never Ends was published by Atwood Publishing out of Madison, Wisconsin. Peterson is now retired and living in Madison.

W riting the R ockies Participants from eight states came to Western in early June to hear including Mark Todd, Professor of English, Paul Edwards, Professor of keynote speaker Max McCoy, author of four Indiana Jones novels, and Communication and Theatre, and Larry Meredith, who recently retired other published authors at this summer’s Writing the Rockies conference. from his position as Assistant to the President at Western. It was held June 5-8. Evan Bennett, a WSC senior English major said, “It was a great workshop. McCoy, who called himself a “bad student” in high school, was told by To gather in a room full of aspiring writers, then talk about what it takes to his guidance counselor that he should join the army. Instead he started get published was a much-needed boost post semester.” working for a local newspaper, writing obituaries. “If you look deep enough Nearly everyone who participated in the conference everyone’s life is interesting,” McCoy told the conference attendees. performed work in nightly readings. Several students McCoy has now written 14 novels and currently teaches writing at chose to take the course for credit through Emporia State University in Kansas. Among other glimpses into the world Extended Studies. of writing, he challenged the students in the conference Todd and Meredith organized Writing the to, “write 500,000 words as a starting point to become Rockies with help from WSC students Kadie a fiction writer.” Aceto and Cat Stansberry. Eight current Other presenters included: Laurie Wagner students and four alumni took part in Buyer, a novelist and a poet, W.C Jameson, the conference. Academic Affairs and a prolific novelist and treasure hunter, Sam the Communication, Arts, Language Scinta, with Fulcrum publishing of Golden, and Literature (CALL) Department Anita Kushen, a literary agent from Colorado provided financial support. Springs, and Ted Bayouth, a longtime For information on next year’s Hollywood stuntman and screenwriter. conference, set for June 4-7, 2009, Bayouth spends his summers in Gunnison. Western students Kara Girk and Collin contact Mark Todd at 943.2016 or via Several WSC faculty members presented Forinash “Writing the Rockies” email



October 2008

W i l derness P ursuits Leadership C hanges Jake Jones has passed the torch -and the climbing rope- to Janna Hansen. Jones stepped down as the Director of Wilderness Pursuits (WP), and Janna Hansen has been promoted to the position. Hansen was previously the Assistant Director of Campus Life at Western. Jones has been the director of the program

Gunnison County Trails Commission, the Crested Butte Nordic Center, and the Junior Achievement program in Gunnison County. He is also president of the board of directors at the Crested Butte Avalanche Center. Jones notes that relationships have been built with the Gunnison Valley School, the Gunnison High School, Adaptive Sports in Crested Butte and the Gunnison Parks and Rec. Additionally snow safety programs have been improved under his leadership, via free beacon clinics and avalanche seminars, and partnerships with Crested Butte Mountain Guides. Jones also formed a new dimension to WP, international travel. This past January WP made a since 2004. “It’s an incredible job,” he said. volcano climbing expedition to central Mexico. “It’s very inspirational to work with students. The trip was extremely successful and the group My favorite part of the position has been successfully climbed to the summit of an 18,400 assisting with students as they become outdoor foot volcano. professionals.” An existing program, the Peter Terbush Jones left WP to become the Director of Parks Memorial Summit, a training and evaluation and Recreation in Crested Butte. course for climbing and mountaineering The administration at Western credits him guides, thrived under Jones. Terbush was with improving a variety of aspects with the a Western student who died in a climbing program. “Jake Jones provided exemplary accident in Yosemite and saved his partner’s life leadership and vision for the WP program,” Gary in the process. Jones and Jim Terbush (Peter’s Pierson, Associate Vice President for Student father), discovered that the program serves its Affairs, said. “He was also an outstanding participants best when the program enrolls 15ambassador for the college through his service in 20 people. The Summit completed its seventh numerous leadership roles in the year this summer. local community.” Risk management and safety are two other Leadership positions in the community that realms Jones was successful in during his time Jones holds are numerous. Jones has served at WP. Jones credits his years working for on several community boards including: the Outward Bound and collaborations with other

peer institutional organizations such as those at Mesa State College and Fort Lewis College. He also notes the relationship with the Recreation department at Western. “There is no formula to risk management,” Jones said. “But my personal philosophy is to be dynamic and to always look at handling risk better.” “Jones really improved everything that happened over at WP,” Kevin Nelson, chair of the Recreation Department, said. “He helped assist with our risk management plan, and conferred with our department on a variety of different issues.” Jones feels good about his replacement, “Janna knows the students of this campus. Having someone promoted internally will make this transition more seamless.” Pierson agreed. “We are excited about promoting Janna Hansen. She is a proven campus leader with all of the requisite skills and background necessary to provide excellence for WP.” Hansen, who graduated from Western in 2001 with a bachelor’s degree in recreation and worked for WP as a student is excited about her promotion. “Jake has done such a great job with seeking out qualified leaders at WP. I am glad to be taking leadership from such good hands. WP is a cornerstone of what makes Western a leader in the outdoor recreation field.” Hansen has a master’s degree in experiential education from Minnesota State University. She also was the head of operations for the Dunn School Outdoor Education Program in Los Olivos, CA. “Jake Jones was an excellent mentor for his student leaders and always put student safety at the forefront of WP’s mission,” Pierson said. “Undoubtedly Janna Hansen will continue the proud tradition of WP and will excel in her new role.”

H igh A l titude P erformance Laborator y

( HA P L A B ) to O ffer M assage T herap y Services Beginning this fall semester the WSC HAPLab will offer massage therapy services to student athletes, students, faculty and staff, as well as the competitive sporting community of the Gunnison Valley. The HAPLab is located on the second floor of the Wright Gymnasium in room 202 and is part of the WSC Exercise and Sports Science (ESS) Department. The services offered by the lab will be carried out by Certified Massage Therapist, Mike Certified Massage Therapist Mike McCarthy is now offering McCarthy. McCarthy massages in the HAPLab. is also an ESS student.


The modalities offered by the HAPLab will include Neuro-muscular Therapy, Assisted Stretching, Manual Lymph Drainage, as well as on site, pre and post sporting event services. By aiding in every facet of the recovery process, massage therapy will help athletes stave off the symptoms of overtraining. Also by maintaining proper biomechanical structure throughout the human system, athletes will be less susceptible to debilitating injuries caused by over use. Fees for massages are reduced for WSC students, faculty and staff through the HAPLab. For more information on charges contact Mike McCarthy at 774364-4864 or via email, Contact via email is preferred.

The new shiny Safe Ride van - can now be seen on the streets of Gunny.


October 2008

F acu l t y and S taff N otes Photo by Jason Dunning

Jeremy Nelson, Electronic Resources and Government Documents Librarian, presented a digital poster session on Western’s new institutional repository at the Colorado Academic Libraries Consortium’s 2008 Conference in Denver this May. Chris Hickman, a junior at Western, copresented with him.

Phil Crossley, Professor of Geography, gave a paper entitled “Investigaciones sobre la chinampería de la Cuenca de México. El agua, la historia ambiental y el paisaje agrícola periurbano” (Research on the Chinampa Farming Zone of the Basin of Mexico: Water, Environmental History, and the Periurban Agricultural Landscape) as part of the Alexander von Humboldt Seminar at the Center for Environmental Geography Research, UNAM-Morelia in Morelia, Michoacán, Mexico.

Scott Drum, Assistant Professor of Exercise & Sport Science, successfully defended his doctoral dissertation (titled: Physiological Differences between Cancer and Non-cancer Participants during Exercise Training) on June 27 at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, CO. Drum’s final graduation date is August 2008. Drum wishes to thank the entire OLRM ESS Department for their support over the past few years and the many colleagues who recently attended mock dissertation defense presentations the week prior to the “real deal.” The feedback was extremely helpful and gave Drum extra “thick skin” prior to June 27! The next step entails submitting a manuscript to Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, a major journal within Drum’s field.

Dr. Lynne Hansen, Professor of Language, recently delivered a paper at the annual conference of the American Association of Teachers of French held July 15-19 in Liège, Belgium. Her paper was entitled “The 21st-Century Anglo in France: A New Rash of Fiction and Non-Fiction Comparing Cultural Values.”  She will also deliver a paper in October at the conference of the Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association in Reno, Nevada.  That paper will be entitled “Lingering North African Identity in Beur and non-Beur Girls in Georgette!, Kiffe Kiffe Demain and La Vie Après. Additionally Hansen, recently received second prize in The D.K. Bookie short story contest, sponsored by Sunstone magazine, for a story entitled “Scotoma.”

Western joined in on Colorado’s Bike to Work Day on June 25th. We plan to do another event, which includes those who walk to work, during upcoming year.

E meritus P rofessors Participate in T en M inute P l ay C ompetition Emeritus professors John Cope and Phil Klingsmith recently submitted plays to the Crested Butte Theatre’s “Ten Minute Plays” competition. The plays were performed this in the Paragon Art building in Crested Butte. Cope’s play starred emeritus professor Paul Gery. Klingsmith’s play starred Adam Bond, who just completed a European shoot with Matt Damon, in his yet to be released movie. This Western Watch has been published by the offices of Publications and Public Relations. We can be contacted at

The Western Watch has a new look and we are curious what you think. Please send any comments to, or give us a call at the office of Public Relations at 970-943-3038. Thanks from the offices of Publications and Public Relations, Liz Davis, Sean Parsons and Luke Mehall

C ongratu l ations ! Paul Tame and Brooke Moran are the proud parents of a boy, Hayden Charles Oliver Moran (8 lbs.). He was born July 10. Tame and Moran are both Professors of Recreation. Molly Diachok -Mugglestone and her husband Jon Mugglestone welcomed Janey Rose Mugglestone in November. She is loving life at Tenderfoot while her mom teaches Politics and Government and English classes. Lindsey Nelson, Administrative Assistant in the Admissions Office, and her husband Lars Nelson welcomed Prestyn Elizabeth Nelson in the world on August 27th. She was 7 lbs 3.8 oz. and has lots of red hair.



October 2008

M oving the U nion As the spring semester came to a close and students were moving on, another major move was about to occur - out of the College Union. The Union was torn down this summer to make way for a new building. Currently all of the services have moved out of the Union into various locations across campus. Many of these services have moved twice. Ute Hall is serving as the College Center until the new building is constructed. Conference Services used Ute Hall for lodging during June, which is the busiest month for that program. During that time many services were located in Taylor Hall. “This has been a team effort,” said Janna Hansen, who was the Assistant Director of Campus Life this summer (she is now the Director of Wilderness Pursuits). “We have been trying to minimize downtime, and the Bookstore was able to remain open throughout the move.” “Closing wasn’t an option,” said Teri Haus, the Bookstore Manager. “We had to stay open to sell books to summer school students.” Haus called the move, “a real clean transition. Facilities did an awesome job.” Eric Vandenbrink, in Mechanical Trades in Facilities, spearheaded the physical act of moving everything out of the union. “The hardest part about this move has been storage,” he said. “We are plum full.” Marilyn Kaiser, in Finance and Administration, reports that an auction on June 1st of many items from the Union raised over $24,000.

Vandenbrink notes that there have also been unexpected challenges, such as moving furniture out of the lower level of the library, where the bookstore is now. He adds that everyone has been, “trying to keep it positive.” Vandenbrink’s crew consisted of only three people; himself and two students, Andrew Payton and Daniel Weinburg. His technique has been to work on the edges of the building and then the center. Vandenbrink has experience in this and was part of the move of Taylor Hall in the mid-1980s. Svea Whiting, Director of Conference Services, also commended the work of Facilities Services, “They do so much behind the scenes work.” Kaiser, seconds that. “It was unbelievable what they had to do.” Another important element of the move was getting phone and computer services to new offices. Chad Robinson in Computer Services noted that, “the phone service was the most difficult element. Phones need a wire and many of the rooms that are being used as offices don’t have that wiring.” A webcam is installed on the northwest corner of the library for those who wish to witness the College Center being constructed. This can be accessed at The grand opening of the new College Center is planned for January of 2010.

Closing wasn’t an option,

W estern R eceives F unding for T a y l or H a l l R enovation Western received news this summer that we will be receiving $21 million for the renovation of Taylor Hall. These funds have been made available through federal mineral lease revenues. Brad Baca, Vice President of Finance and Administration, reports that

Photo by Jason Dunning 6

the funds will be used for substantial renovations of the first, second and third floors. In addition to renovation, there will be an addition to the south side, providing a more prominent entry for visitors to the college. Academically, the renovated Taylor Hall will provide a home for the Communication Arts, Language and Literature (CALL) Department and the college’s Extended Studies program. It will continue to house student services such as financial aid, registration services and admissions and most administrative services including computing, media and telecommunications. Renovations are expected to begin around the winter of 2010, though this will vary with the timing of the funding. Baca reports that Western will likely be seeking Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, as they did with the new Borick Business building which was completed in August 2007, the Kelley Hall renovation which was completed this July and the College Center project which is scheduled for completion in January 2010.


October 2008

Kelley Hall

A S tate of the A rt E nvironment for Learning “This is a realization of hopes, dreams, and the use of reclaimed wood, are among other and vision coming into reality,” President Jay features. Helman said of the new Kelley Hall. Director of Environmental Studies Kelley Hall opened its doors to students this John Hausdoerffer calls Kelley Hall, “an fall after receiving $5.5 million renovation. The environmental building that is State of Colorado provided $4.3 million with financially responsible.” the remaining $1.2 million coming from the Hausdoerffer and Bill Niemi, chair of the Western State College Foundation and the BASS department, were part of an executive college reserves. The building is named after the first president of Western, James Kelley and was originally constructed in 1957. Kelley Hall’s renovation provides a home to the Environmental Studies Department, which previously had its faculty in separate buildings, and will continue to house the Behavioral and Social Sciences (BASS) Department. The building will be LEED Gold Certified. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. It is a system developed by the US Green Building Council that provides standards for environmentally sustainable construction. Kelley will be the second LEED certified building in the entire Gunnison Valley, following the Borick Business Building, which received the Silver Certification. It will be the first to receive the gold designation. WSC Graduate Scott Borden and student Shawna Campos The general contractor for the project was FCI Construction Inc. out of Grand Junction. The committee that also included John Sowell, architect was Chamberlin Architects, also out of Vice President of Academic Affairs and Baca. Grand Junction. Long Energy Consultants did “We wanted the building to be environmentally the LEED consulting. sustainable,” Niemi said. “We also wanted it to Brad Baca, Vice President for Finance and be state-of-the-art educationally,” he added. Administration, points out that the LEED The makeup of the building is significantly certification process for Kelley is different different than the original building. On the than it was for Borick. “It’s more about how we first floor, a Center for Environmental Studies function within the building once we’re there,” provides a place where students and faculty can he said. discuss and generate ideas. There is a recycling Elements that will make the building more center in the building and a mural graces energy efficient and environmentally friendly the entrance. include solar panels, insulated windows, lowThere is a vibrant seminar room in the Center, water native plant landscaping, motion lighting, which features a skylight, and a lounge for recycled paper fiber in the ceiling, compact students to discuss ideas. A solar powered kiosk florescent lighting and a highly efficient boiler will greet visitors, explaining the features of the system. Interfaced carpeting (carpeting that is building, and will provide monitoring of installed in individual squares), cork flooring, energy use.

“Students learn from the buildings they study in. In Kelley Hall, our building will be more consistent with the material that we are teaching,” Hausdoerffer said. The second floor, home to the BASS Department, is also state of the art for the 21st century. A lounge with windows that overlook the south aspect of campus is a place where faculty and staff can interact. There is also a seminar room. The Animal Care Facility, a new feature to Western, provides graduatelevel equipment for research. The feel of the classrooms is significantly different than the Kelley Hall of old. Classrooms have been made up to date through the use of the above mentioned energy saving features and through new technology. Ceiling mounted projectors have been installed in each of the classrooms. Carbon dioxide monitors ensure that maximum ventilation is maintained. If a professor would like to take their students outside to learn, an outdoor classroom will be inside Kelley Hall located on the west side of the building. A native plants garden will be located on the east side of Kelley Hall. A significant amount of art will also grace the hallways and stairwells; in fact, the law required that 1 percent of the renovation budget be spent on art. Many of the pieces, which range from paintings to sculptures, are by local artists. President Helman is very proud of the building, and spent his first five years at Western teaching in the building. “Kelley Hall has seen a wonderful transformation and the students who get to walk into that building now will be in a great learning environment,” he said. He added that he is seeing a transformation in the way people view environmentally friendly buildings. “We are witnessing that it is not so radical to think green.”

an environmental building that is financially responsible.



October 2008

F eatured D epartment

E nvironmenta l S tudies

In the west wing on the first floor of the newly renovated Kelley Hall signed by President Helman after encouragement by Western students. the Environmental Studies (ENVS) department is settling in to its first “People here understand that our actions have implications on the permanent home. Previously faculty members had their offices located in planet,” he added. various buildings across campus. Hausdoerffer has been impressed with the projects that students have ENVS was first offered as a minor in 1992 and as a major in 2000. spearheaded, and he calls the relationship between activism and learning John Hausdoerffer is the Director of the Environmental Studies in the classroom, “mutually reinforcing.” He also stresses the importance department. “A physical home gives the Environmental Studies student a of asking, “What are the problems with our solutions?” unique identity,” he said. “It also gives the entire campus a place to join the “Learning requires action but there must be an intellectual distance conversation (about environmental issues) and to help us with solutions.” (between those actions), “ he stated. “The activities of the environmental The wing has been named the Center for Environmental Studies. It is movement are strengthened by the critical questions from academia.” not simply a physical space but a hub for student projects and a place to Hausdoerffer also comments that schools of thought from other gather and discuss ideas. Additionally disciplines are essential in ENVS. the projects that the ENVS program In fact the ENVS major requires supports are included in the Center. courses from several other areas of Western students with professors John “We have accomplished so much study. Hausdoerffer and Monica Hausdoerffer and Mark Lung in Kenya. without a home,” Hausdoerffer said. Newman, the chair of the Business, “I can’t imagine what students will Accounting and Economics accomplish with one.” department, report that a double Among the projects that ENVS ENVS and Business major is in the students have been involved with are planning stages. “You cannot answer the college’s Environmental Charter, Environmental Studies questions the President’s Climate Commitment without perspectives from other (PCC), an increased recycling disciplines,” Hausdoerffer said. program, the Sustainability Fund Danielle Slaby, a junior ENVS and and the Kakamega Environmental Exercise and Sports Science seconded Education Program (KEEP) in Kenya. that notion. “An interdisciplinary The Sustainability Coalition is a approach is important, so that we popular student organization. are not just seeing things from the Loren Ahonen, a junior ENVS and classic environmentalist approach.” political science major at Western, As the ENVS department finally and Mandi Leigh, a senior biology major, used the sustainability fund, settles into its first central location in a building on campus Hausdoerffer feels which is allotted from student fees each semester, to pay for solar panels the program is in a position to become a top program in the country; in an that will be installed in Kelley Hall. This marks the beginning of the use of ideal location. solar at Western. Ahonen hopes their efforts will, “spark more ideas about “There is no place with more research opportunities than here,” he said. student led initiatives to make our campus a better place.” “Because of our complicated economic issues, the amount of public lands, Ahonen was himself inspired by the PCC, which establishes a target for diverse environmental organizations and the biodiversity of the area there Western to reduce its CO2 output 80% by the year 2050. The PCC was is no better laboratory for the 21st century than at Western.”

N ews from E x tended S tudies

Summer S tudy in F l orence , I ta ly May 10-June 6, 2009 With Dr. Don Seastrum Pictorial Compositional: Florence and Tuscany Italy, is a course designed to teach students the application of two dimensional composition elements and principles as they relate to representational imagery and a responsibility for the overall structuring of the pictorial surface, as well as the applied contextual concepts of the art of Florence and the Tuscan region addressing the nature and essence of those works of art including the aspects of process, product and response. Developed against the backdrop of Florence and Tuscany, this course provides an in-depth


investigation into issues of compositional studies facing students in a Fine Arts degree program. The course will examine these compositional questions working from urban Florentine and rural Tuscan landscapes, as well as the compositions of Italian Masters. A majority of the work will be done on site in and around Florence, and the Tuscan landscape, as well as at the galleries, museums, churches, basilicas, and cathedrals of Florence and Tuscany . In addition studio time at SRISA will be used for the preparation of onsite assignments, demonstration of techniques, as well as individual and group critiques. The cost of the program is $4200* + $250

housing deposit for undergraduate, $4400* plus $250 housing deposit for graduate. (*Price estimate, finalized once airfare is booked)  This includes 3 undergraduate or graduate credits, airfare, student housing, designated excursions,  and welcome activities.   Program cost does not include textbooks, personal needs,  individual travel, or other activities outside the established program schedule.  A $500.00 non-refundable deposit is due with this application form on or before October 3, 2008; a second deposit of $1000 is due by Dec.1, 2008. For application visit the website or contact Dr. Seastrum.

October 2008


W estern State C o l l ege P l aces in T op 2 5 in A l l Sports C ompetition Western State College placed 23rd in the United States Sports Academy Directors Cup for 2007-8. Western has now placed in the top 25 for the last 13 years in the Division II category. Over 280 institutions are involved in competition. The cup ranks institutions results with regards to seven sports, both men’s and women’s. “We are very proud of our outstanding coaches, support staff and student athletes,” said Athletic Director, Greg Waggoner. “They represent our institution at a high level in many dimensions. We are also appreciative of the support from the community and Western’s administration, faculty and staff, alumni and boosters. The success of Mountaineer athletics is truly a team effort.”

Western is only one of two Division II institutions to place in the top 25 for the last 13 years. They have placed as high as fifth three times. Results can be seen on the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) website at

Q uast N amed N ew S ports I nformation D irector Nicole Quast is the new Sports Information Director (SID) at Western. She replaced Bobby Heiken, who resigned to become the SID at Southern Oregon University. Quast began this July. Quast has been serving as an intern to the Sports Information Director at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, as well as an intern to the Director of Media Relations at the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) in Colorado Springs.

Quast is, “looking forward to have the interaction with all the sports that Western State offers.” Athletic Director, Greg Waggoner, is excited about her as the new SID. “Quast’s work ethic, people skills, passion and professionalism will exceed her experience and we are confident she will be an asset to WSC athletics for many years to come. She has experience and knowledge in the RMAC in the institutional level and the conference level.”

W aggoner S peaks at M ajor A th l etic C onferences Western State College’s Athletic Director, Greg Waggoner, spoke at two major athletic conferences this June. At the national convention for National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) Waggoner spoke as a panelist. The convention was held in Dallas, Texas. Waggoner serves as NACDA’s first vice president of the NCAA Division II Athletic Director’s Association. He is also

a member of the NACDA Executive Committee. The topic of discussion was ‘D II how to.’ Subjects covered included fundraising, marketing, increasing finances through corporate partnerships, hiring practices and creating a positive experience for student athletes. Waggoner also spoke at the National Wrestling Coaches Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada. There amongst Division I, II, and III athletic directors he also served as a panelist. The topics were, understanding the perception of the sport of wrestling from an athletic director’s perspective and the coach’s role and responsibility.

Bill Swift, a 2004 Western graduate, rode his bicycle from Oregon to North Carolina in a fundraising effort for a fellow 2004 grad. Tausha Marsh. Marsh is battling two types of cancer and is being treated in the Netherlands. Logan Marlatt, a 2005 Western graduate, provided many forms support for the ride, and was along for the entire trip. Western was a sponsor of the effort. For more information, check out their website at



October 2008

N ew G y m F l oor Western State College Department of Athletics announced that the new gym floor has been placed in Paul Wright Gymnasium. The design of the floor was done both by WSC athletic department and Sink Combs Dethlefs. The opinions of coaches and student-athletes were taken into consideration for the design. Senior Associate Fred Coester of Sink Combs Dethlefs was the architect on the project. El Paso Floor, Inc. did all the maintenance for the new floor. They ripped out the old floor and subfloor, replaced the broken joists, and laid down a new subfloor, along with a new maple floor. The graphic designs for the gym floor were also done by El Paso Floor, Inc. Something interesting about the new floor is humidity sensors were installed throughout the floor. Also brand new retractable baskets were installed by Academic Specialties. To go along with the new floor, WSC purchased a new floor covering. Done by Sport Court, CourtCover is the latest floor cover for athletics.

Along with this big project, there were repairs done on the roof. The project started March 10 and was finished May 10, 2008. This three month project was completed ahead of schedule by 13 days. There will be a floor dedication this fall and more details to come. We would like to thank everyone involved in this process: Sink Combs Dethlefs – Senior Associate Fred Coester El Paso Floor, Inc. – President Allen Schwalm, Superintendent Leonard Schwalm, Project Manager Kevin Wolfe Vice President for Finance and Administrator - Brad Baca Facilities - Steve Fortune and Rick Odom Athletic Director – Greg Waggoner Assistant Athletic Director for Internal Operations and Compliance – Scott Groom Assistant Athletic Director for Facilities and Events – Megann Powell

W estern and our 5 , 0 0 0 G uests Western State College hosted over 5,000 guests this summer. We did so without the major meeting center on the campus. As most everyone knows by now, the union has been demolished; making way for the new $27 million College Center. Colorado Wildfire Academy has been the largest group so far with over 700 coming in. “The coordination this summer has been pretty amazing,” Svea Whiting said. She is the director of Conference Services. “Not having the use of the union has made a big impact.” “The union is one of the most popular buildings to use (for conference season),”Sally Palmer said. She is a conference supervisor with Conference Services. “Though people are seeing the entire campus, the landscape, they

are getting outside to see the other buildings of Western.” Conference Services provides facilities, lodging and meals for the events during the summer. They employ a staff of thirteen. The guests that stay on campus use the college residence halls. “We are an ideal location for hosting summer conferences,” Whiting said. “Our campus is such a beautiful place, and our grounds crew does a fabulous job of making it look nice.” Whiting noted the challenges that Facilities Services at WSC has faced this year. “Normally students move out and then the facilities staff has to deal with that then immediately prepare for conference season. These buildings get used twelve months a year. They never get a break.” she said. “This year they also had to move everything out the union.”

S ubstance abuse prevention gets a boost Western State College and the Gunnison Watershed School District (GWSD) are getting a boost in substance abuse prevention this fall. Leah Goetz has been named the Prevention Education Coordinator for both entities. Her position has been funded by the Gunnison County Substance Abuse Prevention Program (GCSAPP).

“We are concerned about substance abuse at Western,” said Gary Pierson, Associate Vice President for Student Affairs. “Though our problems are not different than any other colleges, it is nice to have a point person for these issues.” “It is important to spread knowledge about substance abuse,” Goetz said. “It’s critical to be aware of the laws and the dangers of binge drinking. I will be educating students on what could happen if they choose to participate in these behaviors.” She shared her approach on substance abuse

education, “We know what college kids do. They just need to be educated when enough is enough. The majority of this is about safety. Your college years are fun and you deserve to remember all of them.” Goetz will spend 20 hours a week with the GWSD and 20 hours at WSC. Her responsibilities cover counseling, awareness, trainings, on-line surveys and grant writing. Leah Goetz can be contacted at WSC at 943-2944. Her office is room number 117 in the Ute Student Center.

K irk y O l sen competed in W or l d C l imbing C hampionships Western sophomore, Kirsten “Kirky” Olsen, competed in the World Climbing Championships in Sydney, Australia. She placed 20th, the top American. She climbed amongst 310 individuals from 36 different countries. She qualified for this event by placing 4th in this summer’s National Championships in Sunnydale, California. Olsen is from Hastings, Michigan and is a double major in Exercise and Sports Science and Outdoor Leadership. The Admissions office sponsored Olsen by


helping with some of her travel costs. Tim Albers, Director of Admissions, reported that, “This support will help her, a student, who is at a high level of accomplishment achieve her goals, while promoting Western as a place where that kind of achievement can happen.” “Kirky was wearing Western apparel to help promote the college,” he added. “With this help from admissions I represented not only the United States but also WSC in Sydney, Australia,” Olsen said. The competition was from August 27th -31st.


October 2008

F rom Ye l l owstone to the C l assroom A dozen Colorado school teachers went to study elk and wolves in Yellowstone this summer, and they are bringing back what they learned to the classroom.

The trip was part of the Rocky Mountain Math and Science Partnership, a project created and directed by Dr. Mark Lung and funded by the No Child Left Behind Act. This August the middle school teachers, who are from across the Western

Slope, got together at Western to translate their field experiences to classroom activities. “The goal of the project is to get kids doing science,” said Mark Lung, Professor of Biology. Lung started the project three years ago. “There is so much time spent memorizing in science classes. Kids need to be included in the process of actually doing science. I thought why not include science teachers in my research (in Yellowstone).” Lung has been studying the effect of wolves on elk behaviors and habitat use in Yellowstone for the last ten years. This July, in Yellowstone, Colorado teachers were helping him design the study, gathering data, using Global Positioning System (GPS) equipment, and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software. While meeting at Western they discussed using similar equipment in their classrooms. In addition to the above mentioned equipment the

teachers are designing and implementing lessons that actively engage students in science using portable weather gauges, incline planes and soil sampling tools. Purchasing of this gear has also been made possible through the No Child Left Behind Act. Gina Pollard, who teaches physical science at Gunnison Middle School, was one of the local participants. “My experience in Yellowstone taught me the process from beginning to end of thinking like a scientist,” she said. “Another benefit was building collegial relationships with other science teachers. Having discussions with others in the field of science and teaching is invaluable.” Lung feels that this program will help young students in the classroom, “A lot of these students are just talked to in classrooms; most of them are not doing science. This program will help teachers structure a class in which students are practicing science.”

A S ummer F u l l of S ounds Music was in the air at Western this summer. The Music Department hosted the Western Chamber Music Institute and the WSC Brass Band this June, followed by a visit from the Colorado Symphony Orchestra in July. The Western Chamber Music Institute teaches mostly Colorado students from the junior high and high school level. They study wind, percussion, string, and piano with WSC faculty. “The emphasis is on individual musicianship,” said Director of Bands, John Wacker. “This builds strong individuals who can contribute to their school and community music programs. “Martha Violett organizes the Institute. Technically speaking, Martha and I both organize the Institute. She handles all the financial matters and I do everything with the students, faculty and daily organization and scheduling of the events. (Students) perform in chamber ensembles, study

privately on their instruments and take special theory and musicianship classes.” The WSC Brass Band, according to Wacker, who plays the cornet, “is made up of people associated with Western, some who have been involved for over 30 years.” Steve Asheim, the conductor, is one of those individuals. He has been involved with the band from the beginning, 34 years ago. “We are thankful for what Mr. Kincaid has created,” he said. Emeritus Professor of Music John Kincaid taught at Western for many years and is still instrumental with the “brass banding.” Rebecca Gillespie, a 1996 alum who studied Music Education, is the band manager. “Our band is like a family,” she said. “The brass band sound is unique. I look forward to this every year.”

The Colorado Symphony Orchestra (CSO) made a visit to Taylor Auditorium this July as part of its statewide summer tour. Wacker called this, “a big deal. They are only here once every 10 years or so.” The program included a performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 and Aaron Copland’s “Tenderland Suite”.

S ummer T eacher I nstitute a S uccess The Summer Teacher Institute climbed in attendance for the fourth straight year with over 200 teachers coming from as far as North Carolina and Georgia. The Institute, organized through Western’s Extended Studies, offers graduate credit courses for K-12 teachers. Courses covered a multitude of subjects from Basic Spanish for Teachers to Autism in the Classroom to Wildlife Conservation. Layne Nelson, Director of Extended Studies said, “The teachers were really positive and excited about the courses and returning to next year’s Institute.” “All the teachers received fleece vests (with Western’s logo),” Nelson added. She noted that these teachers will

be wearing the vests in the public schools promoting Western. The Institute is supported by funds provided by the Ann Zugelder Endowment and the U.S. Department of Education Learning Network Partnership in Rural Education Grant. This year the Institute generated 348 enrollments, taking a total of 617 credits. The Institute will roll into its fifth year in 2009, scheduled for June 8-20. In early September Extended Studies will be requesting proposals for the 2009 program. For information about taking a class or to discuss a course idea contact Layne Nelson at 970-943-2885.


600 North Adams Street Gunnison, Colorado 81231

New Faculity Back: Thaddeus Smith (Art), Tyler Sage (Communications, Theatre and English), Donna Ford (Accounting), John Steele (Communications, Theatre, English), Dennis Newell (Geology), Ian Martines (Math), Jonathan Coop (Biology), Ed Grauke (Business Administration), Jerry Frank (Environmental Studies and Colorado Water Workshop) Middle: Michaela Driver (Business Administration), Theresa Busse (Math), Teresa Milbrodt (English), Abbey Kuhns (Political Science), Beth Jenkins (English), Heather Roberson (Music) Front: Colie Talbert (Exercise and Sports Science), Maria Struble (Political Science and Sociology)

Western Watch  

The Western Watch is WSC's internal newsletter. It is published monthly during the 9-month academic year by the Office of Public Relations....

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