Voices (blog)


Western Wisconsin Workshop May 20th

In a month, several universities, colleges, and community partners from Western Wisconsin will meet in Eau Claire for a day-long workshop on the EPIC model. 

Jason Vargo of UW-Madison's UniverCity Year

The national conferences have been some of the most productive events for introducing and promoting the EPIC Model. New schools and cities get to attend together and learn about the model while they discuss the adaptations they think will lead to a successful partnership. Several programs, including the one we've started at the University of Wisconsin-Madison started like this. In April 2014 I attended the SCYP Conference in Minneapolis and retuned to Madison where I identified a pilot partner within a month or two. This Fall we'll kick off a year-long partnership with the City of Monona and match over a dozen classes to their projects. 

Many other programs started even more quickly. Several attended a SCYP/EPIC Conference in the spring and were up and running by the fall. Still, attending a national conference can be a big investment of time and money for a small school or city.  last year, a state conference was organized and held in San Francisco for California Schools. The day-and-a-half long workshop was sponsored with the help of EPA Region 9 and was tacked onto another conference with the theme sustainability and Higher Ed. The workshop had over 80 attendees and at least 5 programs started as a result of it. 

Next month a small 1-day workshop will be held in Eau Claire, WI for schools and communities in the area. The Event is being hosted by the UW-Eau Claire, with the help of the Wisconsin Chapter of Campus Compact. Trainers from UW-Madison,  the University of Minnesota, and St. Thomas University will all be there to introduce the EPIC Model and help folks start their own program on campus. Communities are , of course, encouraged to attend as well. 

With more programs up and running, there are more qualified people on the academic/programatic side than ever to lead these trainings. and with year after year of partnerships and projects, there are continuously more community voices to help describe the value of the work for improving the places we live.