VanCoug Democracy Day launch

On Wednesday, Feb. 20, Washington State University Vancouver will host the VanCoug Democracy Day event on campus. WSU Vancouver Chancellor Mel Netzhammer will be introducing the project as an initiative to advance social, political and civic programs to students and the community. Netzhammer will also be receiving The Plater Award at this event.

“[VanCoug Democracy Project] focuses on the value engagement has on the overall educational experience,” said Audrey Miller, co-student lead for the VanCoug Democracy Project. Miller is a graduate student in the WSU Vancouver masters of public affairs program.

“This event will bring together the campus, surrounding community and collective higher education institutions to become educated about the possibilities of this new initiative. The breakout sessions and the keynote address will be such a great learning opportunity,” Miller said.

George Mehaffy, vice president for academic leadership and change with the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, will discuss the role of technology and civic engagement in his keynote address. Mehaffy will also present the William M. Plater Award to Netzhammer.

Netzhammer will receive the Plater award for his work as provost and vice president of academic affairs at Keene State College. The Plater Award recognizes excellence in leadership through the advancement of civic learning in programs serving the greater knowledge and development of skills for undergraduates.

“Chancellor Netzhammer is receiving the award for his commitment to advancing the civic mission of Keene State College,” Miller said.

The event will also provide an opportunity for attendees to choose one of three workshops led by visiting Keene State College faculty – the workshops will focus on enhancing skills in civic engagement with co-curricular programming and to develop involvement and partnerships with the local community.

Representatives from the WSU Center for Civic Engagement will also be special guests at the event to provide their expertise on engagement. The CCE’s mission is to develop partnerships with communities and facilitate student engagement. “[The CCE] fosters a sense of self, a sense of place, and a sense of purpose to effect positive change,” as stated on the CCE’s webpage.

“As the VanCoug Democracy Project grows we hope to bring members of the community and WSU Vancouver together often to discuss the concept of building engagement to nurture our democracy,” Miller said.

The event is free and open to all students, faculty, staff and community members. For more information on the VanCoug Democracy Project or to RSVP online, visit: admin.vancouver.wsu.edu/adp.

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