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“The mission of the Center for Excellence
is to cultivate a campus climate that recognizes, values, and promotes excellence in lifelong learning.”

  • About Us
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  • Book Discussions
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  • Oral Histories
  • New Faculty 101
  • Adjunct Faculty
  • G.I.F.T.S.

The Center for ExcellenceThe Center for ExcellenceCasper College values the contributions of the entire college community.

The Center for Excellence was created to coordinate teaching and learning opportunities for the purpose of nurturing personal, professional and academic growth for all. To that end, the Center for Excellence Advisory Board created the following mission statement:

"The mission of the Center for Excellence is to cultivate a campus climate that recognizes, values, and promotes excellence in lifelong learning."

Meet the Center for Excellence Advisory Board:
Melissa Connely
(School of Science)
Todd Cotton
(Electronic Media Coordinator)
Thom DeVoogd
(School of Fine Arts & Humanities)
Kelsey Deus
(School of Science)
Heather Huber
(School of Health Science)
Chauncy Johnson
(Human Resources)
Mary Kubichek
(School of Social and Behavioral Sciences)
David Lundahl
(School of Health Science)
(Adjunct Faculty)
Pam Jones
(Academic Affairs)
Bill Mixer
(School of Business & Industry)
Dave Mondle
(Physical Plant)
Libby Ngo
Mike Olson
(School of Fine Arts & Humanities)
David Siemens
(Educational Resources)
(Director of Assessment)
Dana Van Burgh
(School of Science)
(Adjunct Faculty)
Holly Wendt
(School of Fine Arts & Humanities)

The Center for Excellence is a member of the following organizations:

Student Reading

Summer activities are in the planning stages. You may consult the calendar at the right for updated offerings. Please contact Pam Jones with any suggestions or requests for programming.

Center For Excellence Spring 2011 Schedule

Click the image above to see
the 2013 offerings calendar

Moodle Training

Spring Book Discussions

For Faculty:

The Center for Excellence was pleased to announce this Spring's faculty book discussion title was:  Our Of Our Minds; Learning To Be Creative" by Sir Ken Robinson .  A borrowed description from Amazon appears below:

"Ken Robinson offers a groundbreaking approach to understanding creativity in education and in business. He argues that people and organizations everywhere are dealing with problems that originate in schools and universities and that many people leave education with no idea at all of their real creative abilities.OutofOurMindsis a passionate and powerful call for radically different approaches to leadership, teaching and professional development to help us all to meet the extraordinary challenges of living and working in the 21st century."

Twenty seven Faculty signed up and were divided into three groups. These book discussions were scheduled to begin in late March and were concluded in mid-April.





Center for Excellence

Center for Excellence

Center for Excellence

Fall 2012 activities included:

  • Data Entry training for Enrollment Services
  • 4th Annual Information Fair
  • Google Apps sessions: G-mail, Calendar, Mobile Devices
  • Human Resources Orientation for New Employees
  • 3rd annual New Faculty 101 and Mentoring Committee Support
  • Work Study Supervisor Training
  • Student Employee Training
  • Learning Communities Sessions
  • International Education Brown Bags
  • Foundation software Training “STARS”
  • Faculty Book Discussion “Now You See It”
  • Ted Talks
  • Redesign of Remedial Math
  • Great Advising 101
  • “Parenting your Parents” Brown Bags
  • Webinar: “Conducting Difficult Conversations”
  • And more….

Spring 2013 activities included:

  • “Stars” training (scoring scholarships)
  • Leadership Institute
  • Webinar:  “Training Front Line Staff”
  • D.U.R.T. training
  • Mentoring topics
  • “EvaluationKIT” presentation (new evaluation tool)
  • G-mail and Calendar training (IT)
  • iPad learning initiative
  •  “Parenting your Parents” lunch discussions
  • “Crisis and Emergency Response” sessions (Lance Jones)
  • “New Employee Orientation” by HR
  • Accommodative Services presentations
  • What is the “Oral Communication Lab?”
  • “Sales Force Training” for Foundation
  • National Weather Service presentation
  • English Department Placement changes
  • School of Business and Industry Facebook Ad creation
  • Learning Communities sessions
  • Online Catalog training
  • International Education presentation (Japan)
  • “The Flipped Classroom” (Paul Marquard)




Center for Excellence Return Week Information Fair

"Conversation-Creative Concepts-Colleagues"

In August 2009 during return week, the first annual Information Fair was created by the Center for Excellence with the following purpose in mind:

  • Faculty and staff will share information about programs, campus events, student labs, teaching strategies, etc. so that new employees may interact with those employees with more experience from the diverse areas of campus, in a fun, informal atmosphere.

The following goals were to:

  • Disperse information about diverse campus programs, events, & services
  • Meet new colleagues from across campus and reunite with old
  • Generate a collegial atmosphere for on-going conversations about excellence in teaching and learning
  • Have a lot of fun!

The first and second annual Information Fairs were held in the Roberts Commons Ballroom. Attendance was around 150 people each year. All employees were e-mailed a confidential survey following both Fairs using “Survey Monkey” to provide feedback. Results were compiled and showed that the majority of people thoroughly enjoyed the event and found it valuable. The 2009 survey results may be read here:

Information Fair Feedback Report 2009

In the fall of 2011 due to the move in late July to the Gateway building, it was determined we would not ask our overburdened colleagues who were moving, to additionally prepare for an Information Fair during return week. The Fair was postponed until early September and was moved to the new conference area on the 2nd floor of the Gateway building. This year it was held over the lunch hour and “fair food” was provided, which proved to be very popular. Unfortunately, because school had begun, many of the staff and faculty were unable to participate due to classes being in session or seeing to student needs. Although there were many students who attended the Fair, survey feedback showed attendees preferred the atmosphere created by holding the Fair during return week. The 2011 survey results may be read here:

Information Fair Feedback Report 2011

The Fourth Annual Information Fair was held August 15, 2012 from 12:00-2:00 p.m. on the second floor of the Gateway Building in conjunction with the President's Luncheon. This was the first time these activities were held at the same time. A "survey monkey" document was distributed and the feedback can be found here:

Information Fair Feedback Report 2012

Watch for the 5th Annual Information Fair, 2013, now in the planning stages for Return Week this fall.

Click to viewIn the fall of 2010, the Center for Excellence along with the Casper College Western History Center and the Tate Geological Museum recognized that there were multiple efforts to collect Oral Histories on campus. It became clear that a coordinated effort involving these areas was necessary. Members representing these areas of campus met to hammer out an agreement and formed one single entity which was named the "Casper College Oral History Cooperative". Below is the action plan along with important links to documents being utilized.

Casper College Oral History Cooperative

We propose the establishment of a cooperative oral history project to provide consistency and cohesiveness to independent efforts presently being made by four areas of campus:

  • The Casper College Western History Center
  • The Center for Excellence at Casper College
  • The faculty and students involved in oral history projects
  • The Tate Geological Museum at Casper College

Further, we wish to foster a relationship with, a permanent and searchable encyclopedia of Wyoming history, which will enable us to share these histories widely.  To that end, we propose the following mission statement:

"The mission of the Casper College Oral History Cooperative is to collect oral histories relative to Casper College and the community of Casper, preserve them and provide equal access to them for all interested persons."

Identifiable goals which are noted to be relevant to this project are:

  • Establishing high quality standards for collecting these histories;
  • Utilizing, maintaining and improving college facilities and the equipment needed for this on-going project;
  • Publicizing the existence of this cooperative project and these histories;
  • Providing equal opportunities for access to all.

WHCPlan of action:

  • Identify partners;
  • Seek approval and support of project by the Administration of Casper College along with IRB approval;
  • Draft a minimum standardization for questions (more detailed questions will differ for each agency);
  • Create release forms for use of these oral histories;
  • Establish equipment needs;
  • Write and submit an innovation grant to purchase equipment;
  • Establish timeline for project implementation;
  • Identify  and select interviewers and interviewees (This may need to be based on age and health factors);
  • Provide training workshops for interviewers;
  • Coordinate efforts among all stakeholders;
  • Establish outlets for these Oral Histories (at Casper College: Western History Center, Center for Excellence, Tate Geological Museum and additionally at 

7/7/2011 Program Update: The CC Oral History Cooperative received an innovation grant and purchased the necessary equipment and IRB approval was given.  A workshop on how to conduct Oral histories was given by Teri Hedgpeth, Western History Archivist and the project, which is on-going, has begun.

Please see: Casper College Western History Center ~ Casper, Wyoming for more details.

To view supportive materials you may click on the following links:

For further information on the Casper College Oral History Cooperative, contact Libby Harlin at 268-2367.

New Faculty 101 Participants

New Faculty 101

In the summer of 2010, the discussion which had begun earlier that spring on developing sessions coordinated by the Center for Excellence for new faculty, was shaped into a new series called “New Faculty 101”. It was hoped this series would supplement the activities of the existing mentoring committee. Advisory board member Melissa Connely, Dean of the School of Science, created the following proposal which was supported by the Deans and the Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dr. Carmen Simone:


The purpose of this program is to provide new faculty training and information that will help them integrate into our College Community and have a successful first year. This course is not designed to replace the Mentoring Committee but to enhance the first year orientation and the faculty handbook.


Participants will recognize and interpret basic policies, procedures, and technologies.


A variety of training and informative sessions will be conducted and offered by experts on campus at the frequency of one hour per week. Each session will cover a unique topic. The sessions will be informative and interactive by offering discussion opportunities, insight, and helpful resources.

As with all new initiatives offered by the Center for Excellence, this program was evaluated by a dozen of the participants after it was completed, via a confidential “survey monkey” tool. The results were gathered by the Director of Assessment who then created this program report: New Faculty 101 2010-2011. The survey offered many constructive comments which necessitated changes to the program for the new faculty group joining the campus in the fall of 2011. The recommendation from the survey was to condense the program, providing the vital information as early in the semester as possible. To that end, a two-day “retreat” style mode was developed and multiple presentations were made to the new faculty during the first two days of return week. That left four final sessions of information that still needed to be shared and these were spaced out over four Fridays in September, thereby concluding the fall 2011 program.

Finally, it was the newest faculty’s turn to review the revised model and they were given the same survey to answer, again using “survey monkey”. Those survey results for the newly restyled program were compiled once again by the Director of Assessment and can be found at: New Faculty 101 Fall 2011. Those results were used to shape the NF 101 sessions scheduled for August 13 and 14th in BU 126 and followed a "return week only" model. The Mentoring Committee led by Erich Frankland will continue to offer new faculty informational and mentoring sessions for the remainder of the fiscal year.

New Faculty 101 for 2013 is scheduled for August 19-20 in buildings across campus and presenters will include Human Resources, the President and Vice Presidents, the Library Director, Director of Accommodative Services, Security and Fire Science personnel, Assessment and Distance Education departments and many, many more. A return week schedule will be forthcoming.

A brief history of Center for Excellence involvement in adjunct support:

In December of 2008, the C for E Advisory Board voted to focus energies on adjunct faculty by enhancing communication with this group and reaching out to them with program offerings facilitated through the Center. Since then, sessions have been designed for adjunct faculty and teaching professionals which help fill voids in communication. These sessions were taught by Alison McNulty and Nita Romero and were well attended.

In the summer of 2009, adjuncts received a mailing at their homes which included a booklet entitled, “Teaching Strategies & Techniques for Adjunct Faculty” by David Greive. Also in that mailing was notification that e-mail user names and passwords had been assigned to all adjunct faculty who did not yet have a college e-mail account. The Center for Excellence strongly encouraged them to use those college e-mail accounts to help keep them in the loop on all CC activities. In addition, in that mailing was an invitation to attend the Info Fair held during return week in August. Following the Info Fair, a survey showed that seven percent of the attendees at that event were adjuncts, compared with 30+ percent in the other categories: Full-time Faculty, Administrative, and Staff personnel. Survey results also showed 86% of attendees learned something about the campus they had not known before and that overall, 95% of attendees rated the Info Fair as “successful to highly successful”.
Membership in NCSPOD: The North American Council for Staff, Program and Organizational Development.

In the spring of 2010, the C for E at Casper College joined NCSPOD, (The North American Council of Staff, Professional and Organizational Development) to help us support programming for the C for E. Through NCSPOD, Casper College contracted with to provide training and support designed with Adjunct Faculty’s unique needs in mind. This resource was developed by nationally-recognized experts in this field, and provided up to twenty of our adjunct faculty with a series of 15 Webinars in which they could participate either at group sessions scheduled in the C for E, or from their home or office. In addition, this website also provided the participants access to a rich set of printable resources usable in their teaching, an eNewsletter with teaching tips aligned with the rhythm of the academic year, and access to over 100 Web sites focused on teaching and learning topics.

In the fall of 2010, adjunct faculty were mailed a letter inviting them to participate in this pilot project. Twelve adjuncts signed up for this opportunity but conversations with several of these adjuncts after the program concluded revealed that many had not taken the time to avail themselves of these resources. Actions for a more guided process are being pursued for future programming for our adjunct faculty. Adjunct faculty are encouraged to contact the Center for Excellence to request specific programming or training.

In the fall of 2008, the Center for Excellence kicked off a series called "G.I.F.T.S.,” a “Teaching Idea Exchange.” “G.I.F.T.S.” stands for: “Great Ideas For
Teaching Students” and is modeled after the very popular National Communication Association G.I.F.T.S. sessions. Presenters were current faculty from across campus who volunteered to present a great teaching idea. These sessions were open to all faculty, with new faculty members especially encouraged to attend. This activity can be described as a dynamic, round table, "timed" event, where participants spent a fixed period of time at each table, then moved to the next at the sound of a bell. The goal was to expose them to a number of new teaching tips based on the number of tables at the session. In addition, they networked, shared other related ideas, and had a lot of fun!

To further benefit CC faculty, the presenters of these sessions provided handouts to be mounted on the web for those who might not have been able to attend. Below are a sampling of those attachments:

(Great Ideas for Teaching Students)

G.I.F.T.S. is way for faculty to exchange classroom teaching ideas, management strategies, etc. Note: click on the link to access the specific activity.

Classroom Management
A Proposal is an idea regarding the incorporation of a “clicker” feedback system for use in the Public Speaking and Interpersonal Classrooms. 
Roll Call Review incorporates a review and reinforcement of important concepts while taking attendance. 

Study Skills
F.A.C.E. is a study guide or note-taking device designed for student use. This simplified “outline” format helps students to focus their reading and to remember the key concepts and principles.
Outlining A Theory is a note-taking page to guide students in their study of Communication Theory.  Students use the handout to take systematic, clear and easy-to-comprehend notes on their assigned reading of various communication theories. 

Class Activities
Human Outline Activity  is helpful for CO/M 1010 Public Speaking classes.  This activity applies recent learning research to fully engage an entire class in learning and comprehending the speech outline format and process.
"Your Call" Group Discussion Activity, involves the analysis of communication and its effects in specific relational situations. This analysis incorporates the needs that motivate communication, elements from the transactional model of communication, and key communication principles and misconceptions. 
Cross Cultural Discussion Activity is a small group/large group activity promotes students’ understanding of the role communication plays within a culture, as well as across cultures.

Lifelines strategy for giving quizzes and tests.

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