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portrait of CWC employee Rory Tendore

This fall, Central Wyoming College hired Rory Tendore as the American Indian Student Coordinator. The position may be new, but novelty is not unfamiliar to Tendore.

“I’ve been the first to do a number of things,” she said.

As a first-generation college graduate, Tendore was also the first FBI Community Leadership Awardee from Wind River Indian Reservation in 2018, and in 2019, she was the first American Probation and Parole presenter from WRIR for Juvenile Service. 

Tendore applied for the American Indian Student Coordinator position at the recommendation of her mentor. She felt the job, which involves promoting leadership and success opportunities for current and prospective American Indian students and creating a supportive network and campus environment, aligned with her values.

The opportunity to help a tribal student develop a plan, identify their strengths, and understand their motivation to succeed is very personal to me because we're restructuring the health and socioeconomic improvement for our families. That statement alone is a philosophical goal I never thought I would be able to have a substantial opportunity to reach, and I am grateful for the experience and the positive impact I hope to bring to the college. ”

Tendore has impressive goals in mind to fulfill her role at CWC.

“My hope would be to assist our students transitioning to a four-year or advanced degree program,” she said, “but to also work with the Shoshone and Arapaho tribes to identify tribal economic development.”

An enrolled member of the Eastern Shoshone Tribe, Tendore lives in Fort Washakie with her three children.

Tendore brings expertise from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education.

She also has experience in human services and completed the Leadership Wyoming program in 2020. 

“I have worked for the past five years for the Eastern Shoshone tribe as the director of the juvenile probation program and for a short time as the director for the Eastern Shoshone Department of Family Services,” Tendore said.

Tendore, who is a member of the English as a Second Language (ESL) generation, aspires to establish a learning center that supports tribal language and oral history. 

She said this will allow dual-language instructors the opportunity to network with other instructors locally and nationally to develop strategies to work with families while they learn to engage with their tribal dialect.

“The ability to document and tell these stories are important to the goal of fluency,” she said. “I believe Central Wyoming College could host these conversations and professional development opportunities without requiring our speakers to travel outside of our area.”

Tendore is looking forward to her role in supporting tribal communities and students as they incorporate their hereditary knowledge into their academic careers.

“As an educator and community member, I feel this endeavor has been a long time coming,” she said. “I am happy to be a part of the momentum to support the relationship between Wind River Indian Reservation and Central Wyoming College.”