Before his appointment as President of Utah Valley University, Dr. Holland was an associate professor of political science at Brigham Young University, where he taught courses in political philosophy and American political thought. A popular teacher, his commitment to applied learning concepts led to his selection as BYU’s “Civically Engaged Scholar of the Year” in 2008 by Utah Campus Compact. His scholarly research on how ideals of Christian charity influenced the development of American political life garnered national attention. In 2005, he won Princeton University’s James Madison Fellowship. In 2007, his book, Bonds of Affection: Civic Charity and the Making of America, was published by Georgetown University Press, and selected as an “outstanding academic title” by Choice Magazine.
He graduated from Brigham Young University with honors in 1991, and was valedictorian for the political science department. That same year he was awarded the Raoul Wallenberg Scholarship for a year of graduate study at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Before going on to earn his master’s degree and Ph.D. in political science at Duke University, President Holland served as chief of staff for the top executive of the international consulting firm Monitor Group and, later, as special assistant to then-Governor Michael O. Leavitt.
Currently, he serves on numerous community boards, including the editorial advisory board of the Deseret News and the boards of the Utah Valley and Salt Lake City Chamber of Commerce. He and his wife, Paige, have four children, Jacob, Mitzi, Grace and Dan.
Dr. Bracken specializes in general and exercise physiology of humans with specific expertise in pulmonary physiology. PhD in Exercise Physiology from Brigham Young University. B.S. in Zoology emphasis Human Physiology and Anatomy from Brigham Young University.
Karen M. Clemes is Utah Valley University’s first-ever General Counsel, bringing a broad range of in-house and large law firm experience to UVU with an emphasis in labor and employment law. She provides legal and strategic counsel to the University and works in conjunction with the Utah Office of the Attorney General.
Karen specializes in legal issues related to employment, benefits, ethics/compliance, risk management, investigations, drafting and negotiating commercial and other agreements, employee and management training, and litigation defense. She has served as Associate General Counsel for Ancestry.com, been Of Counsel with Ballard Spahr LLP and was Director of the HR Legal Division and Chief Standards (Ethics) Officer for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. For nearly a decade she was an associate and then partner at the California law firm Luce, Forward, Hamilton & Scripps LLP. She has also worked as a law clerk for the Hon. David R. Thompson of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Karen earned her juris doctor at California Western School of Law, where she graduated
summa cum laude as first in her class. She completed her master’s degree in humanities
and bachelor’s degree in comparative literature at BYU. She previously served as an
adjunct faculty member at San Diego State University, Mesa College, and Palomar College,
and currently teaches Employment Law at BYU’s J. Reuben Clark Law School.
Scott Cooksey began at Texas Tech in 1997 as director of development and external relations for the Texas Tech University College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. In 2008 Cooksey was named associate vice chancellor for Texas Tech University System. In February 2015 he was selected to be senior associate vice chancellor for Institutional Advancement. He began his current position at UVU in January 2016.
In 2012, Cooksey’s fundraising accomplishments were recognized with the Outstanding Fundraising Professional Award from the Lubbock Association of Fundraising Professionals. He has also received the Founders Distinguished Service Award from the National Agricultural Alumni and Development Association and the Institutional Advancement Excellence Award from the Texas Tech University System.
Prior to joining Texas Tech, Cooksey was director of development for a large nonprofit organization in Atlanta. He has a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Texas Tech University and is a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE).
Birch Eve was appointed to the UVU Board of Trustees on May 1, 2016. He was born in Louisville, Kentucky and moved to Utah in the fall of 2010 after graduating high school. Birch began his studies at UVU in biochemistry, but switched to Business Management after seeing the countless opportunities afforded him by the Woodbury School of Business. While attending UVU, Birch has been actively involved in the Student Alumni Association as the director of traditions, and most recently as the UVUSA Senator representing the Woodbury School of Business where he has been instrumental in starting the college’s own student advisory council.
As the 2016-2017 Student Body President, Birch and his council plan on celebrating the student voice by seeking to inspire passionate involvement and excellence by connecting and educating students on the resources and opportunities available at UVU.
Birch intends to graduate at the end of his term as president, and then pursue a Masters degree in Finance. He then plans on moving back to Kentucky to further the success of his family’s business. While Birch isn’t answering emails and representing the students at UVU, he can be found spending time with his wife or competing in Spartan races.
Linda L. Makin serves as the Vice President for Planning, Budget and Human Resources at Utah Valley University. The division of Planning, Budget and Human Resources includes Planning, Budgets, Institutional Effectiveness,
Institutional Research and Information, Human Resources, and Policy. Linda manages UVU’s Planning,
Budgeting, and Assessment (PBA) process and serves as the university’s chief budget/planning officer and as the university’s policy administrator.
Linda earned a master’s degree in public administration from Brigham Young University in 2007, a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Utah Valley University in 2002, and has over 29 years of higher education experience. Linda has received several awards including CFO (Chief Financial Officer) of the Year 2009 by Utah Business Magazine, 2007 UVU Board of Trustees Excellence Award, Fall 1997 PACE Distinguished Employee Award, and 1998 CCBO Regional Outstanding Business Officer. In 2010, Linda was elected to the Board of Trustees of the
Utah Foundation and serves as a member of the UVU Alumni Board.
Dr. Cameron K. Martin is the Vice President for University Relations at Utah Valley University with responsibility for state and federal legislative affairs, economic development, community engagement, campus events, and public relations and marketing. Dr. Martin rejoined the UVU administrative team in October 2012, after working four years for the Utah System of Higher Education (USHE) as the Associate Commissioner for Economic Development and Planning. While at USHE, Dr. Martin had stewardship for economic development, strategic planning, presidential searches and evaluations, policy administration, system student affairs coordination, and special projects, initiatives and events for USHE.
Dr. Martin earned a baccalaureate degree in political science with a minor in gerontology and a master’s degree in public administration from Brigham Young University. He completed his Ph.D. in educational leadership at BYU with a research focus on the role and organizational value of an interim university president.
Dr. Martin and his wife, Julie, are the parents of three daughters and reside in Provo, Utah.
Jeffery E. Olson was appointed senior vice president for academic affairs in July 2014. He earned a doctorate in administration and policy analysis with a higher education concentration from Stanford University and a juris doctorate from the University of Utah. His cross-disciplinary training makes him a strong proponent of general education and leaves him well-equipped to manage issues across the academic spectrum.
Prior to coming to UVU, Olson worked as the associate provost for academic assessment and the director of the division of library and information science at St. John’s University in New York City. During his 26 years at St. John’s he provided academic leadership for Institutional Planning and Online Learning and Services and served as an associate professor in the Department of Administration and Instructional Leadership.
Before St. John’s, Olson spent seven years as assistant dean and then associate dean of the University of Utah College of Law. With a wide and demanding portfolio, Olson is known as an academic leader with national expertise and a genuine enthusiasm for UVU’s unique educational mission.
Dr. Val L. Peterson is VP of Administration and Legislative Affairs at Utah Valley University. The responsibilities of this position include overseeing a budget of more than 22 million dollars, administrative responsibilities for facilities, grounds, maintenance, human resources, business office, purchasing, bookstore, printing services, police department, parking services and fleet services, information technology, telephone services, and media services. He is also the government relations liaison for the University. In 2009 he was named Chief Financial Officer for Government entities by Utah Business magazine.
Val started at UVU in 1987 and has served in a variety of capacities such as Associate VP for College Relations and VP for College Relations. He has a Ph. D. in Educational Leadership from BYU and holds a Masters in Strategic Studies from the United States War College. He has served in the National Guard for the past 26 years and is currently the Brigade Commander of the 300th Military Intelligence Brigade(Linguist).
Originally from Idaho, Val and his wife Ann are the parents of three children. Val is very appreciative of all the support from his wife and children. He also wishes to thank the President’s Cabinet, Associate Vice Presidents and co-workers for our success in building UVU into what it is today and what it will be tomorrow.
Kyle A. Reyes currently serves as special assistant to the president for inclusion, providing leadership and active support to all divisions across campus for implementing initiatives that focus on UVU’s core theme of inclusion. He also teaches multicultural education and inclusive educational leadership within the School of Education. He served as assistant to President Holland from 2009 to 2014.
Prior to his appointment in the President’s Office, Reyes worked at UVU for six years primarily in the development of programs and services for underrepresented students and communities. In 2007, Reyes created UVU’s nationally award-winning Latino Initiative to increase student achievement among the growing Latino community. Reyes has received a number of awards for his work in community outreach, service learning, and inclusive initiatives, including the National Association of Multicultural Education Exemplary Educator for Diversity Award. He has taught communication and educational leadership courses at UVU and the University of Utah. Reyes currently serves on a number of community boards and co-chaired the College Access Network for the Utah System of Higher Education from 2012 to 2014. Reyes’ scholarship focuses on the development of educational spaces for underrepresented student success in K-16 settings.
Reyes received his Ph.D. in educational leadership and policy from the University of Utah and was the recipient of the Elmo R. & Frances Bennion Morgan Fellowship. He earned his bachelor’s degree in graphic design and master’s degree in education leadership from Brigham Young University. Reyes is the adviser for UVU’s Hip Hop Club.
Michelle O. Taylor was appointed as Vice President of Student Affairs at Utah Valley University in June 2013. Her eighteen year career in higher education with her specialty in social work administration and policy has helped the institution navigate several major transitions. Prior to her present appointment she served for three years as Associate Vice President of Enrollment Management and six years as Associate Vice President of Student Services/Dean of Enrollment Management.
Following her graduation from the University of Utah with a Masters of Social Work, MSW, in 1995, Taylor worked as the Director of Accessibility Services at Utah Valley State College. At that same institution she accepted the position of Associate Dean of Student Services/American Disability Act Campus Coordinator. After earning her Masters of Public Policy Administration, MPA, and Social Work Administration, Ph. D, in 2002, she became the Acting Vice President of Planning, Information Technology, and Student Services/Acting Dean of Student Services.
Throughout her career, Taylor has initiated a wide range of strategies for the benefit of students and the academy. She has been a trusted friend and advocate of students, focusing on students with diverse backgrounds and learning disabilities. She has co-written and secured grants for a wide range of program initiatives, serves on numerous boards and committees, and presents at multiple national and international conferences annually. She has received many honors including the Outstanding Professional, Adjunct of the Year, and Excellence in Leadership, and the UVU Board of Trustees Award of Excellence.