Homeownership continues to be an unreachable dream for many hardworking families living in Utah. Habitat for Humanity of Utah County, Utah Valley University's Volunteer & Service-Learning Center, and UVU's Construction Management department have partnered together to address this need in the community. The purpose of this project is to provide a local family in need of a safe, affordable, and healthy living environment with their dream of homeownership. The local Habitat affiliate, in partnership with UVU, plans to build a simple, decent, radon mitigated, and energy efficient home in Springville, Utah. This is the third local Habitat home that the University community has participated with.
This project will provide safe and affordable housing for a single mother with two small children. The family will no longer have to live in an unhealthy and overcrowded home environment with mold, electrical and plumbing issues, inadequate heat, etc. The home will be built by students in the Construction Management program at the University. These students have the opportunity to gain beneficial hands on construction experience and awareness of local affordable housing issues.
Alexis Plamer, Director of Volunteer and Service Learning, said "The impact our students will have on the community is evident by providing safe and affordable housing to a family who will become active members of our community because their basic needs have been met."
UVU Building Construction will continue to build a home with Habitat for Humanity
of Utah County
every other year.
Project Members 2011: Habitat for Humanity and UVU Construction Management Department
Project Completion: October 2011
Utah Valley University’s Department of Earth Science, in conjunction with the geology program at Provo High School and the Utah Geological Survey, will be looking for signs of prehistoric earthquakes in the heavily populated Wasatch Front urban corridor of Utah County. The program is headed up by Daniel Horns, chair of UVU’s Department of Earth Science.
“We are undertaking this study to better constrain the history of earthquakes on the Nephi segment,” Horns said. “This will allow us to better anticipate the types of earthquakes to expect in the future.”
After excavation, students will examine soils exposed in the wall of the trench. Horns said they will know almost immediately if there is evidence of prehistoric earthquakes. However, it may take months to find out the ages of the quakes with continuing analysis. “Students will apply knowledge they learned in class to address the real-world issue of earthquake hazards,” Horns said. “The methods we will use are the same methods used by consulting geologist, so students will gain marketable skills and experience.”
Project Members 2010: Daniel Horns, Darlene Batatian, Christopher De Ross, Greg McDonald,
select students from UVU GEO 4600 and GEO 3200
Project Completion: October 2010
Grants from the Center for Engaged Learning have made it possible for a few of Utah Valley University's students and faculty to experience their own version of a fictional adventure similar to an Indiana Jones movie. In 2008, Haagen Klaus joined the faculty and began to implement a ten-year plan to elevate the undergraduate program in biological anthropology to be the best in Utah if not the nation. These excursions to Peru have helped make those goals a realistic possibility. UVU is now home to the Lambayeque Valley Biohistory Project; the project examines the effects of the social developments on human biology and culture over the last 8,000 years.
“Based at UVU, this international bioarchaeology project aims to understand the way human societies impacted human biology and genetics – from the first paleoindian settlers, ancient empires, and through European conqurn day life,” Klaest to modeus said. “The study of ancient ritual violence is a part of building a broader understanding of how human beings perceived and interacted with one of the most hostile environments on earth.”
In 2007, the discovery and study of 33 victims – mostly women – of human sacrifice buried in the side of an ancient pyramid, were the first indication of large-scale human sacrifice discovered in the 100-year history of Peruvian archeology. “The blood sacrifice of a large group of women is something that is very, very unusual. It’s the first time that we’ve ever seen this,” Klaus said. The discovery was recently featured by National Geographic.
Klaus and his students analyzed the bodies in 2008 and 2009, studying each sacrifice victim down to the finest biological and forensic details to glean clues into how they lived, died and why they were so violently sacrificed. In 2010, the UVU team will return to Peru to further their work on this project.
Project members 2010: Paul Bybee, Don Homan, Haagen Klaus, Mike Shively, Sylvia Bentley,
Joseph Luce, Marissa McKane
Project completion: August 19, 2010
Utah Valley University’s racing team set a new world land speed record last weekend during the 24th annual World of Speed event held at the Bonneville Salt Flats by clocking 180 mph on the speedometer. This was made possible in part by a grant from the Center for Engaged Learning.
Completely built and raced out of the UVU Automotive Department, the 1969 El Camino with a 572-cubic inch big block Chevrolet engine with a turbocharger was driven by UVU automotive instructor Todd Low, the car’s owner/operator. It is the fifth world land speed record set in the car by the UVU racing team since 2006. “It was a great thing for the University and for the department,” Low said. “The amount of interest in our car and our program by hundreds, maybe even thousands, of people on the Salt Flats was pretty amazing.”
The entire UVU Automotive Department took part in the weekend action as staff played host to over 600 high school students from around the state. Department staff grilled hot dogs for the students on the Wolverine Racing Grill, an exact replica of the racecar minus engine and transmission, then answered questions and gave the students a tour. “It’s a chance to both show off our program and to let these potential students see that we provide real world experience,” said Don Wilson, chair of UVU’s Automotive Department.
Principal Investigator: Todd Low
Project members: Kelvyn Blackhurst, Katreena Davis, Vernon Hiatt, Jeffrey Bellon, Mike Powell, Rick Squires, Lindsey Strasburg, Tyler Timothy Daniel Allen, Chris VanWagoner, Ryan Stanworth, Jay Leithead, Kolton Bundy, Tony Anguiano and Rina Robinson.
Project completion: September 30, 2010