Guenther named Professor Emeritus

Staff reports

The Wyoming Community College Commission on Friday approved several new program requests from Central Wyoming College. 

Approved were two new certificate programs to start this coming fall. CWC’s Special Education Endorsement Certificate 2 and an Early Childhood Endorsement 2 were approved unanimously after a presentation by Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Kathy Wells.

These two new certificate programs are included under the college’s Bachelor of Applied Science Degree for early childhood development. This BAS program was designed in response to local school districts and current teachers asking for the options. The coursework will allows educators to obtain the approval from the Wyoming Professional Standards Teaching Board for the extra teaching credential.

The college was also approved for a program this summer in Small-Scale Farm Management. In response to student requests, CWC created this certificate option for students interested in establishing and maintaining a small-scale farm and crop management as a business. The courses required to complete the certificate stack directly into the Regenerative Small Scale Farming Associate of Applied Science degree offered by CWC.

Earlier last week, the CWC Board of Trustees approved a recommendation to name Todd Guenther a Professor Emeritis. Dean Mark Nordeen, in a recommendation for Guenther, wrote, “Todd Guenther was an endlessly enthusiastic, creative, and committed CWC classroom and field professor for 16 years. In recognition of his classroom efforts, in 2010 the student body voted him both ‘Teacher of the Year’ and ‘Meanest Teacher.’ In 2015 he was elected ‘Outstanding Faculty Member’ by his faculty peers. Todd also received numerous awards from surrounding states and national organizations for his research publications in Wyoming and regional history and cultures.”

Professor Buck Tilton said of Guenther, “Long ago, when Todd Guenther worked for the museum in Lander and my son was in middle school, Todd went far out of his way to help my son with a history project. It was my first encounter with Todd. During more recent years, years of service to the students of CWC, Todd has consistently exhibited that same attitude of genuine caring and selfless devotion to providing the best education possible. In addition, Todd has tirelessly worked to create, fund, and manage special programs that have not only provided excellent opportunities for our students but opportunities rarely offered at the community college level.”

A former student of Guenther’s, and a colleague at the college, Mara Gans wrote, “Todd embodies a commitment to the values of CWC in everything that he does. He is tirelessly invested in helping his students learn, providing them with opportunities, and cheering them on both at CWC and in their lives beyond. As a faculty member, Todd did so much more than just teach classes. He continually worked with the broader Wyoming community to build relationships with land managers and state and tribal historic preservation offices, he applied for grants so he could help pay for students to learn archeology, he took students out on field schools and taught his students not just how to do archeology and field work, but also how to be kind, brave, hard-working, and organized. Back in the classroom, Todd inspires students to think outside the box, to appreciate the many different sides and facets of history in Wyoming, and to go above and beyond in their learning.”

Finally, Outdoor Education Professor Jackie Klancher wrote, “Over the course of a decade, Todd and I have worked together on a zillion out of the box projects. Todd was ever willing to try just about anything – interdisciplinary class activities, new programs, field courses, and ICCE expeditions. Todd worked weekends and summer on his own projects, then partnered with other faculty, students, and land managers to craft additional adventures. In between he wrote grants and completed mountains of BLM paperwork. Todd would run with any project that was being cooked up – offering new ingredients to the recipes to make it better – and help good ideas transition to concrete ventures. Throughout all endeavors Todd was enthusiastic, invested, caring, and creative. He has helped our students climb mountains – academically, emotionally, professionally, and physically – and offered them the gear, time, love, and leadership they needed to summit.”

The vote to confirm Guenther as Professor Emeritus was unanimous.