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Alumni Spotlight - Eric Bennett

Central Wyoming College

ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT - ERIC BENNETT

Profile photo of Eric Bennett

Eric Bennett – AA Social Science, 2017

Eric Bennett, CWC’s American Indian Studies Instructor, started teaching this fall but is no stranger to CWC. While Eric was a student at CWC he drove to campus from Fort
Washakie every weekday for three years, all the while working a full time job and acting as his younger sister’s legal guardian. Education meant that much to Eric and he was determined to finish his degree. 

During his time as a student at CWC, Eric remembers the great faculty that worked with him, seeing leadership skills he didn’t, and helping him develop those skills in himself – believing in him so much it gave him the confidence to continue pushing himself. Eric loved his time here, and credits the campus community with molding him into the leader he is today.

Eric has always had high expectations of himself and as a student that meant wanting to get good
grades and achieve as much as possible. He was a student ambassador during his time at CWC, as well as a member of Phi Theta Kappa and volunteer coordinator for Eagle Staff Running Association. After his graduation from CWC, Eric took the same high expectations to the University of Wyoming (UW). At UW, Eric’s list of accomplishments grew even longer. He was the first Native American man to serve as a student government senator, was an ambassador for the College of Education, served as a mentor during the Native American Summer Institute, led a team on an Alternative Spring Break trip, interned at the Native American Education, Research, and Cultural Center, participated in the McNair Scholars Program, and volunteer taught English to international students. 

Graduating from UW with a Bachelor of Arts in Education with a concentration in social studies/history in 2020 and a Master of Arts in History in 2022, Eric also received the prestigious Willena Stanford Diversity Award. The award recognizes students who, through their actions, have demonstrated a commitment to enhance and support diversity and equal educational opportunities for all students.

As a full time instructor for CWC’s indigenous studies courses, Eric is getting established in his role. His plan after graduating with his master’s degree was to teach high school for 4 or 5 years before returning to school to pursue his PhD. But the opportunity to teach at CWC was one he couldn’t pass up. Eric is an advocate for CWC everywhere he goes, and encourages people in the community to attend. He never thought education would bring him back to the same place he started, and now he considers it his job to build great leaders and help students believe in themselves. He did it, and now he encourages and empowers others to pursue education.