UW develops a ‘Build the Future’ volunteer course for students

Published: Sep. 23, 2020 at 5:20 PM CDT
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (PRESS RELEASE) - Seventy University of Wyoming students are enrolled in a new course -- with a volunteer service focus -- to help the UW campus and the Laramie community move forward during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

The course, titled “UWYO 1150 - Build the Future” and commissioned by UW President Ed Seidel, commenced at the beginning of the fall semester. Originally geared for freshmen, the single-section course was opened up to UW students at other class standings.

“Students will receive one semester hour of credit for the 15 contact hours of service,” says Steve Barrett, associate vice provost for undergraduate education and a co-instructor of the new course, along with James Kretzchmar, an adjunct contract employee.

Barrett and Kretzchmar are working closely on this venture with Richard Raridon, program coordinator of the UW Service, Leadership and Community Engagement (SLCE) office, and Becky Despain, a manager with UW Advising, Career and Exploratory Studies Center’s SOAR program. SOAR is UW’s competency-based experiential learning program that focuses on service, opportunities for cultural competence, acquisition of career readiness competencies and research.

“Opportunities in Laramie are essentially volunteering with one of the local nonprofits,” Raridon says. “We are using a new platform for this.”

The platform, called VolunteerHub, can be found at

“Web-based opportunities are pretty varied,” Raridon says. “This is a list of potential opportunities that SLCE has put together, but there may be other things students find on their own as well.”

For a list of web-based opportunities, go to

“I don’t have any specifics for on-campus opportunities as we are soliciting those right now,” Raridon continues. “I know the intention is that these will focus on assisting UW with needs related to the COVID-19 response.”

For offices that can use some in-person volunteer work during UW’s Phase 2 and Phase 3 reopenings, or virtual volunteer work, email Raridon at

The “Build the Future” course will be available again in the spring 2021 semester. James Ahern, associate provost for graduate education, is working on a graduate version of the course, which will be introduced in spring 2021, Barrett says.

Copyright 2020 Wyoming News Now. All rights reserved.

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