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photo of the City of Bellingham looking back to the Old City Hall.

Participant Testimonials

"One of the most invaluable experiences was the strong sense of community that always surrounded me. It was refreshing, empowering, and energizing to be around the Fellows."

– Sura Alqudah, Engineering and Design, WWU

"The program got me out of my office on a more regular basis to connect with others in my community.  It gave me “brain space” to think about big picture issues facing Whatcom County and the ways that we can collaborate with our partners in higher education to solve them.  The program introduced me to a variety of interesting, civic-minded, inspirational people who in turn led me to make other connections that will enhance the services we provide at the Whatcom County Library System.  Thank you, it has been invaluable!” 

– Christine Perkins, Whatcom County Libraries

“You could be part of the CE Fellows endlessly and it would be a valuable experience every time. Each session provides a wealth of inspiration, new contacts and collaboration opportunities.”

- Julia Burns, Campus Community Coalition

"CE Fellows is a great way to build community! Not only is it a great way to meet a diverse group of people, but they become a support group that offer advice, trouble-shooting, problem-solving, and lots of laughs!"


-Irena Lambrou, Social Sciences, Whatcom Community College

"The program connected me to people and resources on and off campus that it would have taken me years to find otherwise. It's one of the best ways for a new faculty member to get involved at our institution and in our community."

–Josh Cerretti, History and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, WWU


"The program has been a great way to meet many great people outside my own little microcosm. Conversations are always lively and insightful and there is a growing sense of strong community."

–Doug Banner, Health and Community Studies, WWU


"The CE Fellowship allowed me to collaborate on pedagogy with faculty outside of my discipline, which is something that I rarely get a chance to do. I was surprised at how creative the feedback process was and how rich of a resource network we had, which I attribute to interdisciplinary nature of our group."

–Georgianne Connell, Biology, WWU


"The program has been a great experience for me. It is almost like a class, prompting me to follow-up and research ideas I don't know about.  I appreciate the new connections I have made and am excited to learn about the projects my 'fellow fellows' are working towards."

–Kate Foster, Learning in Community Service, Woodring, WWU


"I find it enlightening and energizing to find out all of the creative projects my colleagues are a part of!  What a diverse group of talent we have in our group.  I have made some connections that can help me with my own professional growth."

Lauren McLanahan, Secondary Education, WWU


"This is the first time I've been involved in a fellowship program of any kind. CE Fellows let me take a step back from the day-to-day of my work life to consider a bigger picture: how community and campus overlap (and sometimes not, but should); community perception of Western and vice-versa; the diversity of work and life experience in our group and in Bellingham in general. I have valued the experience and support any effort to continue the program."

Meri-Jo Borzilleri, Bellingham Alive Magazine


"As a new professor to WWU, this was a great opportunity to make contacts and create synergies with local partners.  It has been invaluable for me and I’m excited about the potential for future collaborations."


-- John All, Mountain Environments Research Institute, WWU


"I joined the CE Fellows at a dark time in our nation’s history (fall 2016) and my cohort gave me such hope personally- through their vision, engagement, compassion, and thoughtfulness- and professionally – via a significant networking system that has helped me take York Community Farm to the next level. And, Travis has done and is doing a superlative job gathering and leading my cohort in community-building. A stimulating and worthy endeavor all round!"

Mary Loquvam, York Community Farm


"Being a member of the CE Fellows has been a terrific experience.  The meetings have connected me with such a wide variety of creative, interesting, and hard-working people here in Bellingham that I would never have connected with otherwise.  Our interactions have been helpful, fun, inspiring, and I truly look forward to our meetings."


- Evan Mueller, Theatre & Dance, WWU


“The meetings allowed me to meet people that work in Western and outside Western in a setting that invited me to a more personal interaction. I felt part of a community of people interested in building a diverse and emphatic community aside the specificities of our jobs”.

Blanca Aranda, Modern and Classical Languages, WWU


"Participating in the CE Fellows program gave me an opportunity meet colleagues from WWU and the greater Bellingham Community. I enjoyed exploring and discussing the many projects and ideas of my colleagues in diverse disciplines.  The CE Fellows discussions and meetings were always a highlight of my week."

– Patrick Roulet, Music, WWU


"The Community Engagement Fellows provides time and support for building practical, manageable, and sustainable connections, especially between Western and local non-academic communities. Working regularly with a hybrid group of people from throughout Bellingham has helped reduce the anxiety of community engagement and shape my interested into a realistic project."

Andrew Brown, Fairhaven College, WWU


Participating as a Community Engagement Fellows member has been time-saving and inspiring. The workshop conversations, whether or not they directly related to my project, help me focus my efforts as well as connected me with potential partners much faster than if I had remained in my silo.

Suzanne Carlson-Prandini, City of Bellingham Libraries


"The CE Fellows program served as a catalyst to get me acting on the ideas I had about community engagement. Without the support provided and connections made through my participation, the science communication workshop that was my project would not be happening this September."

Greg O’Neil, Chemistry, WWU


“The CEF program is a community-level realization of the ethos that higher education should partner with and serve as a resource for the communities of which it is a part. It strives to make Western an adjunct of the Bellingham and Whatcom County rather than an institution unto itself. I think all of us came to our projects via the recognition of a need in this city and county, and the desire and commitment to address that need. In many cases, certainly my own, I had definite ideas about where I wanted my project to end up, but I was less clear about how to get there. Ironically, the most important thing I learned as a result of my participation in the CEF program was to embrace the process rather than focus on the outcome. That process is necessarily dynamic and never-ending and full of unexpected opportunities.”

Becky Spithill, Real Change News


"CE Fellows has helped me focus on a project that I've long wanted to get off the ground. I've been able to receive feedback to aid development, trouble-shooting and the scope of my original idea. But more important to me than the project itself is the cross-campus (and cross-campuses, and community) connections I've made. CE Fellows has expanded who I know in town, and that's been a professional boon but also a social and personal delight."

–Kristiana Kahakauwila, English, WWU


"The Community Engagement Fellows program has been an invaluable experience in that I have been able to make amazing, worthwhile and productive connections with not only colleagues across higher ed institutions in Whatcom County but also with community members across interests and disciplines. I have been engaged in community service learning for many years, but this fellowship has given me so many more opportunities to meet and work with a wide variety of community members and colleagues."

– Deb Currier, Theater and Dance, WWU


"I am glad that I have participated in the 2017 CE Fellows program.  This program has given me the opportunity to meet colleagues from WWU, WCC, and other local organizations.  The scheduled topics provide a framework for us to get to know each other, and learn about each others' work.  I have already partnered with several of the participants on projects, and I am excited about the team who will be collaborating on my CEF proposal.  I think this program allows for a level of engagement that creates friendships and gives participants a real appreciation for each others' learning styles and what they are passionate about."

Katherine Freimund, Whatcom Literacy Council

"The Community Engagement Fellows experience gave me time and space to reflect on how campus-community collaborations can enrich all involved. My time with the cohort was invaluable for thinking through the reasons why we do these projects, as well as hammering out the logistics for how best to carry them out."

- Kirsten Drickey, Modern and Classical Languages, WWU

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