Integrated Studies and Peace & Justice Studies to host 10th Annual Symposium on Restorative Justice and the Death Penalty

Symposium on Restorative Justice and the Death PenaltyFor ten years now UVU has hosted an event focused on the issues surrounding the death penalty. Here is the schedule for this year's event:

8:30-9:45 a.m. 
Tyler McDonald, UVU Student, Death Penalty Researcher
Presentation: "Researching Utahans' Attitudes Toward the Death Penalty."

10:00-11:15 a.m.
Mark Umbreit, Professor of Social Work, University of Minnesota. Director, Center for Restorative Justice and Peacemaking. 
Presentation: “Peacebuilding Through Restorative Dialogue: A Social Movement in the Global Community.”

11:30-12:45 p.m.
Participants break for lunch.

1-2:15 p.m.
David Dow, Distinguished Professor of Law at Houston Law Center.
Presentation: “Who Benefits When the State Executes Murderers?”

2:30-3:45 p.m.
Sandy McGunigall-Smith
Professor of Behavioral Science, Utah Valley University. Specialist in Quality of Life for Death-Sentenced Inmates.
Presentation: “Autonomy in Extremis: An Intelligent Waiver of Appeals on Death Row.”

4:00-5:00 p.m.
Panel Discussion, with speakers and faculty: “Restoring Justice."

For more information go to


Philosophy professor to host a series of panel discussions on video games at UMOCA

Level UpDr. Thi Nguyen of the Philosophy & Humanities department is hosting a series of panel discussions on video games at the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art in Salt Lake City. Level Up "will question the artistic quality of environment aesthetics, investigate player experience as a greater narrative and explore the social and ethical implications of in-game economics and open world creativity on global society."

Here is the schedule:

September 3 Video Games are Virtually Art

September 17 The Narritave Experience

October 1 Simulating Economics 

October 8 The Minecraft Sensation: Creativity in Games

October 29 Enter the Uncanny Valley

For more information check out the series website


Moore WarCHSS and Department of Communication to host Ten Years After The Moore War

In the fall of 2004, just weeks before the contentious Bush-Kerry general election, filmmaker Michael Moore was invited by student government leaders to speak at Utah Valley State College. In response to the invite and the community’s distress, TV pundit Sean Hannity was invited to speak as well. The ensuing uproar surrounding these visits transformed the campus that year as faculty, staff, and students wrestled with issues of free speech, academic freedom, and national politics.

It is now ten years later and much has changed. UVSC has become Utah Valley University and now has the largest undergraduate student population in the state. But the organizers of an upcoming symposium on the Michael Moore/Sean Hannity visits also think there are still lessons to be learned.

“There is a tendency to focus on the negatives when we talk about the Michael Moore visit,” said Vegor Pedersen, one of the event organizers. “It was a contentious time for our campus community, but I think it also did us a lot of good. It put us on the map.”

The event, entitled Ten Years After The Moore War, will feature discussions with student leaders and faculty members as well as a showing of the documentary film This Divided State.

Among the participants in the symposium will be Jim Bassi and Joe Vogel, who were the student government officers who extended the invite to Moore ten years ago. “It was very important for us to bring Jim and Joe back to campus,” Pedersen said. “I am interested to see their perspective now with the benefit of hindsight.”

The symposium will also attempt to discuss and analyze some of the current issues surrounding academic freedom at public colleges and university, and how the lessons of ten years ago might be applied today.

“The event continues to resonate today,” said Phil Gordon, associate professor in the Department of Communication at UVU. “It is relevant to the issue of academic freedom that has recently emerged on a national level as well as local issues of tolerance of diverse viewpoints specific to UVU.”

Ten Years After The Moore War will be on Monday, October 20 in the auditorium of UVU’s library from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and is free and open to the public. Additional information can be found at

ADHD ConferenceThe 3rd Annual UVU Conference on ADHD

University College, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, and the School of Education are pleased to present the 3rd Annual ADHD Conference. This conference is designed for students, parents, teachers, administrators, and professionals who are interested in learning about ADHD, treatments, education and family life, available services, and practical resources.

We invite you to listen to leading experts in ADHD, and join in the breakout sessions instructed by a multidisciplinary group of professional that will share their research and best practices.

This is a great opportunity to come together as a community and broaden the awareness of ADHD. Please join us in the Student Center at Utah Valley University on September 26, 2014. Conference check-in open at 8:00am, the keynote session begins at 9:00am, and all breakout sessions will conclude at 4:00pm. Click here for the conference website. 






CHSS Back to School Retreat

UVU Wasatch CampusOn Thursday, August 21st the College of Humanities & Social Sciences is holding its annual Back to School Retreat for all fulltime faculty and staff up at the Wasatch Campus in Heber City. The retreat begins at 8:30 with a continental breakfast. Departments then get a chance to break away and have some time for planning. During the break for lunch we will have visitors from all over campus come speak with us about how they can help, and we will provide a photographer if you are looking to update your professional page. The afternoon offers another opportunity for department break outs. 

The Wasatch Campus is located along Highway 40 just north of Heber City. Click here for directions. This is a great opportunity to reconnect with colleagues before the start of the school year, and the views from campus are always worth the drive.


Echoes of The Executioner's Song

The Executioner's Song

Utah Valley University’s English and Philosophy Departments are very pleased to welcome Lawrence Schiller, acclaimed filmmaker and Director of the Norman Mailer Center, on July 16, 2014.

Mr. Schiller’s connection to the Wasatch Front runs deep. In the late 1970s, he resided in Utah to research the context and conditions of Gary Gilmore’s shocking Utah County murders, followed by one of the most perplexing and highly-publicized Death Penalty cases in United States history. Schiller’s work substantiated the content of Norman Mailer’s massive nonfiction novel The Executioner’s Song, which in turn founded the script and production of Schiller’s film adaptation of the same title.

The impact of the Gilmore case on Utah County residents at the time was profound. Gilmore was convicted of two cold-blooded murders and sentenced to death; however, the United States had at this point discontinued penal executions for over a decade. When Gilmore, through his lawyers, insisted that the State of Utah follow through on the sentence, the nation turned its full attention. Gilmore’s death by a Utah firing squad generated social, cultural, legal, and aesthetic questions that cannot be fully obscured by time.

“I was fifteen years old the day Gary Gilmore was executed at the Utah State Prison,” said Karin Anderson, a professor in the English and Literature Department at Utah Valley University. “The season of his crimes, trial, and appeals opened a strange threshold to a new adult awareness; it was, for me, the year the ‘outside” world’ rushed irrevocably into my own private Utah Valley.”

More than three decades beyond the haunting events that first brought him here, Schiller returns to Utah this summer to direct the Norman Mailer Center’s prestigious summer writing workshops, scheduled for three weeks in July at the University of Utah. Many related events will be open to the public. Utah Valley University will host a one-day conference focused on the Gilmore case and Schiller’s powerful film. The Executioner’s Song starred a young Tommy Lee Jones and Rosanna Arquette. The movie was shot on location in the Utah and Salt Lake Valleys.

The conference is entitled "Echoes of The Executioner’s Song: Why A New Generation Should Listen.” All events will take place in the UVU Library Lecture Hall, LI 120. At 2:00, a panel of Utah Valley-based writers, scholars, and legal experts (including Michael Palmer, Managing Editor of Iron Horse Review; Rich Roberts, Civil Litigation Attorney; Nancy Evans Rushforth, Humanities Coordinator for UVU Integrated Studies) will comment on the crucial legacies of the Gilmore case. A screening of The Executioner’s Song is scheduled at 4:00, followed at 6:30 with an address by Mr. Schiller, who is happy to take questions afterward. The conference will close with an informal reception and light refreshments.

This event is free and open to the public. Please direct questions to Professor Karin Anderson of the UVU English Department at, or to Professor Michael Minch of the UVU Philosophy Department at

UVU Public Relations Students Earn International Awards

Hermes award

Utah Valley University’s student public relations campaign teams recently won three Hermes Creative Awards during an international competition sponsored by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals.

Two UVU student teams competed against some of the country’s most prestigious PR firms such as Edelman and Hill & Knowlton Strategies that submitted campaign entries for Coca-Cola, Cabelas, and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.

UVU teams were awarded Gold Awards for its PR campaign for “A New Way To Pay” for Fiserv, a Fortune 500 company, and PR pro bono work for “A Utah Valley Bachelor” for the Popmoney app. UVU students also received an Honorable Mention for the “IOUtah” campaign conducted for Fiserv. The PR teams spent the better part of this academic year conducting research and executing their campaigns.

“This recognition demonstrates that UVU public relations students have what it takes to work with some of the top PR firms and organizations in the country,” said Farah Sanders, faculty adviser. “Much of this is thanks to the engaged learning approach we are able to have in our classrooms at UVU.”

The UVU PR majors reached more than 250,000 people with their campaign work, increased user-ship of the app as well as transactions within the app. Erin Pierce with Adobe served as the teams’ professional adviser.

Hermes Creative Awards is an international competition for creative professionals involved in the concept, writing and design of traditional materials and programs, and emerging technologies. The competition has grown to one of the largest of its kind in the world.

“Our PR program has become increasingly stronger over the last four years through the efforts of our outstanding faculty. Both students and faculty have been honored at all levels from local to international,” said Janet Colvin, chair of UVU’s Communication Department. “We are very proud of the work our faculty and students are doing and the reputation that the PR program and UVU are developing for producing high competitive and stellar work in the PR field.”


Carol MorganCarol Morgan

Services for Carol Morgan

Our friend and colleague Carol Morgan passed away on Friday, May 16th, following a sudden onset of brain cancer. Carol had been the administrative assistant in the Languages department for several years. Our thoughts are with her family and loved ones at this time. You can find her obituary here.

A viewing will be held Friday, May 23, 2014 from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at Wheeler Mortuary (82 W 400 N, Mapleton) and on Saturday morning from 8:30 am to 9:30 am at the White Church in Mapleton, (31 E Maple St, Mapleton) prior to services beginning at 10:00 am. The family requests tributes and messages may be sent to Wheeler Mortuary