Lara Welker Leaving Campus Community Coalition
Lara Welker, coordinator of the Western Washington University and Bellingham multiple-partner based Campus Community Coalition, will be leaving her position with the coalition to join the Whatcom Alliance for Healthcare Access, a Bellingham non-profit organization.
“We are most grateful and indebted to Lara for the quality leadership, expertise, and passion she brought to her position as coordinator of the CCC,” said Dr. Eileen Coughlin, Vice President of Student Affairs and Academic Support Services and Steve Swan, Vice-President for University Relations, in a joint statement. “Most of all, we thank her for making a real difference for the students at Western and the other area colleges and the citizens of Bellingham.”
“It has been an honor to work with the many great partners involved in the Campus Community Coalition. The commitment and collaboration has been inspiring, and I look forward to seeing the group’s future accomplishments,” Welker said in reflecting on her six years with the CCC.
Welker started with the Campus Community Coalition in November 2003. She was part of many significant accomplishments, including these in the past six years:
- Implementation of a major grant from the National Institutes of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, which was submitted and envisioned by Pat Fabiano. The grant funded comprehensive community initiatives such as the Neighborhoods Engaging with Students (NEST) project, enhanced enforcement, and Late Night at WWU.
- Successful coordination of the Hospitality Resource Alliance, which brings together representatives from downtown bars, local law enforcement agencies, and Western Washington University prevention programs. This fall the Hospitality Resource Alliance launched Bellingham Nightlife: Advice on Tap, a campaign to reduce disruptive alcohol-induced behaviors among 21- to 25-year-old bar patrons in downtown Bellingham.
- Strengthening communication and relationships between WWU and Bellingham’s neighborhood associations.
The Coalition, which has a longstanding “home” in Prevention and Wellness Services of Western’s Student Affairs Division, has a primary focus of addressing health and safety issues, especially challenges related to student alcohol use. In the past year it was also positioned to assist with some other student/community related issues and to strengthen community partnerships through involvement with the WWU Office of University Relations.
“We assure you that Western is committed to building on the great work of Lara Welker and many others in the coalition, and we’ll be launching a search for her replacement soon,” said Coughlin and Swan.