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Virtual Resources for Students

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Virtual Resources for Students

Making the switch to learning remotely can be challenging. You may be physically away from campus, but you’re not alone. We’ve compiled some tips to make online learning easier while keeping you connected to the Western community.



  • Activate your Western Zoom account using your email and Western password.
  • Customize your Zoom background with views from campus and around the valley. Check out this gallery of Western-themed backgrounds created just for you!
  • Think outside the box! Zoom can be used in many situations outside of class, such as a virtual coffee date with a friend, a meeting of a campus club or a group study session.

Learning Management Systems

  • Check Canvas often for updates from your professors. Remember, this is new for them, too! Reach out to faculty with questions.

Office 365

  • Using your Western email and password, use Office 365 to access the Microsoft Office Suite of desktop tools (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.) as well as OneDrive for online file storage and sharing.
  • A student can install the Office Suite on up to five devices for free.


Academic Resources

Need help with class work? All your favorite campus resources are still available online.

Refer to these five tips for distance learning success:

  • Show up! I have witnessed first-hand how much your professors have put into learning and preparing themselves to be able to transform your courses to provide you with a rich, rigorous and quality distance learning experience. 80% of success is showing up, and I ask you to show up.
  • Be present and participate. Because I know you will “show up,” I ask you to be present and participate in your course via whatever distance learning modality. If it’s a synchronous (real-time) class, jump in, ask your questions, and opine on the subject matter. If it’s an asynchronous (virtual) class, post your comment, or that response, or post your own curious question on the subject matter. Participate!
  • Schedule and budget your time. You will exponentially increase your probability of success if you create and stick to a schedule for attending class, studying, reading, preparing and homework. Be disciplined with your self-designed schedule, and budget your time wisely.
  • Find a space for studying and learning. While convenient, distance learning does require us to find those quiet and distraction-free spaces that are conducive to, and allow us to, learn and study. That may be closing the door to your bedroom, turning off the television or cell phone, or simply finding that quiet space.
  • Learning and academic support. I have provided you with a list of resources that are at your fingertips (see below). These resources are for YOU. Please take full advantage of them.

Academic Support

Office of the Registrar
• Laurel Becker, Registrar, lbecker@western.edu, 970.943.7003
• Paula Lee, Degree Analyst, plee@western.edu, 970.943.7007
• Carrie Reinecke, Transfer Evaluator & VA Administrator, creinecke@western.edu, 970.943.2048

Academic Support Center (ARC)
• Katie Wheaton, Director, kwheaton@western.edu, 970.943.3216
• Cheyenne Terry*, Disability Services Coordinator/Academic Advisor, cterry@western.edu, 970.943.2113
* If you have a housing accommodation, an ESA, or Service Animal in university housing, please contact Cheyenne Terry by email to inform her if you will be leaving campus and that you no longer need housing or dining accommodations for the remainder of the 2019-2020 academic year.

Student Affairs

Campus Recreation
• Ryan White, Director, rwhite@western.edu, 970.943.3061

Dean of Students
• Gary Pierson, Dean of Students, gpierson@western.edu, 970.943.2049

LEAD & Orientation
• Sara Phillips, Director, sphillips@western.edu, 970.943.2176

EPIC Mentors
• Text the Mentors at 970.325.3647 or email epicmentors@western.edu

Multicultural Center
• Sally Romero, Director, sromero@western.edu, 970.943.2150

Residence Life
• Craig Beebe, Director, cbeebe@western.edu, 970.943.3104
• Brenda Kaffenberger, bkaffenberger@western.edu, 970.943.2101

Student Financial Services
• Carrie Shaw, Director, cshaw@western.edu, 970.943.3085
• Nancy Duetsch, Senior Financial Aid Counselor, nduetsch@western.edu, 970.943.2282

University Center
• Svea Whiting, Director, swhiting@western.edu, 970.943.7057

Online Education


Your mental and physical health is always a priority. If you are in the Gunnison Valley, help is available.

  • Gunnison Valley Family Health medical clinic: 970.943.2707
  • University Counseling Center (appointments are via Zoom): 970.648.7128
  • Gunnison Valley 24/7 mental health crisis line: 970.893.9700

Upcoming Virtual Events and Career Fairs

Browse upcoming events, or submit your own. Check the Handshake platform for a more comprehensive list of career events.


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