Anselmo Villanueva is new Compass 2 Campus executive director at WWU

Western Today staff

Anselmo Villanueva has been selected as executive director of the award-winning Compass 2 Campus mentoring program at Western Washington University’s Woodring College of Education.

Villanueva, a career educator with more than 30 years of experience, succeeds Compass 2 Campus founder and executive director Cyndie Shepard, who is retiring.

An open house and "passing of the torch" event was held Wednesday morning, June 22, in the Miller Hall Collaboration Space. Numerous WWU faculty and staff turned out to thank Shepard for her years of service to Western.

“With vision and tenacity, Cyndie Shepard and the Compass 2 Campus team have built one of the nation’s premiere mentoring programs for public school students from underserved communities in our region.  We have been amazed at the impact of the program on schools, communities, and students from our own university community,” said Woodring College of Education Dean Francisco Rios.

Rios said that Villanueva will continue the excellent work of the Compass 2 Campus program.

“Dr. Villanueva brings a wealth of experience as a public school teacher and administrator, a strong commitment to underserved communities, and a passion for fostering the kinds of mentoring relationships that inspire.  We are confident that he will build on the successes of the Compass 2 Campus (C2C) program, continuing its upward trajectory of excellence,” Rios said.

Villanueva, who has a doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Oregon, Eugene, was hired following a national search.

"I am very pleased and honored to be named the new executive director.  Along with the dedicated staff of Compass 2 Campus, I plan to continue to build upon the legacy left by Cyndie Shepard. I look forward to working with the Woodring College of Education faculty and staff to provide successful experiences for all students who are part of the C2C program,” Villanueva said.

Villanueva has been a career educator at all levels, from elementary school through higher education. He has been a classroom teacher, counselor, reading specialist, assistant principal, school principal at three schools and central office administrator. He also served as a program advisor with the Center for Research, Evaluation and Assessment, Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory, and as an equity specialist with the Pacific Resources for Education and Learning in Honolulu.

Villanueva also has been an instructor in teacher preparation programs, ethnic studies and international studies at Lane Community College, the University of Oregon, Pacific University, Northwest Christian University and Western Oregon University. He has served on many boards, task forces and initiatives relating to diversity and equity issues, locally, statewide and at the national level.  He has received numerous awards, including as Outstanding Community Leader, Center for Multicultural Academic Excellence, University of Oregon.

Compass 2 Campus is a proactive effort that sends trained WWU student mentors into schools in order to get more kids to see themselves as lifelong learners.  The highly successful program, started in 2009 by Cyndie Shepard at Western, provides Western student mentors in school districts throughout Whatcom and Skagit counties.

The Washington State Legislature established legislative support for the program in hopes of increasing the number of low-income students, diverse and first-generation college students in higher education.

Last year, Central Washington University opened Compass 2 Campus, encouraging their local youth to consider college in their futures, as well.  CWU partnered with Western to adopt the program.

C2C has won several prominent awards. C2C Executive Director Cyndie Shepard was nationally recognized with a Daily Point of Light Award, which honors individuals and groups creating meaningful change in communities across America. The award was founded by former President George H. W. Bush during his presidency to engage individuals, families, businesses and groups to solve community problems through voluntary service.

The predecessor to Compass 2 Campus, Phuture Phoenix, is now in three universities in Wisconsin after starting at the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay. Shepard co-founded the Phuture Phoenix program at UW-Green Bay, where her husband, WWU President Bruce Shepard, was chancellor.

For more information, please visit the Compass 2 Campus Web site.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016 - 10:35am
Anselmo Villanueva has been selected as executive director of the award-winning Compass 2 Campus mentoring program at Western. Villanueva succeeds Cyndie Shepard, who is retiring. Photo by Rhys Logan / WWU

Anselmo Villanueva has been selected as executive director of the award-winning Compass 2 Campus mentoring program at Western. Villanueva succeeds Cyndie Shepard, who is retiring. Photo by Rhys Logan / WWU

An open house and "passing of the torch" event was held Wednesday morning, June 22, in the Miller Hall Collaboration Space. Numerous WWU faculty and staff turned out to thank Shepard for her years of service to Western. Photo by Rhys Logan / WWU

An open house and "passing of the torch" event was held Wednesday morning, June 22, in the Miller Hall Collaboration Space. Numerous WWU faculty and staff turned out to thank Shepard for her years of service to Western. Photo by Rhys Logan / WWU

Photo by Rhys Logan / WWU

Photo by Rhys Logan / WWU

Photo by Rhys Logan / WWU

Photo by Rhys Logan / WWU

Photo by Rhys Logan / WWU

Photo by Rhys Logan / WWU

Photo by Rhys Logan / WWU

Photo by Rhys Logan / WWU

Photo by Rhys Logan / WWU

Photo by Rhys Logan / WWU

Photo by Rhys Logan / WWU

Photo by Rhys Logan / WWU

Photo by Rhys Logan / WWU

Photo by Rhys Logan / WWU

Photo by Rhys Logan / WWU

Photo by Rhys Logan / WWU

Photo by Rhys Logan / WWU

Photo by Rhys Logan / WWU