December 2022 Newsletter

December 2022 Newsletter

Provost Vaught's Thoughts

Classes are over, finals have been administered and winter break has begun. We extend our deep gratitude to you for your time, effort, and dedication in providing an exceptional educational experience for our students here at Utah Valley University. Thank you! To recognize your efforts, we wanted to leave the year on a positive note, so here is a very small selection of the wonderful things faculty and academic staff have contributed to at UVU. To keep the good news as authentic as possible, the articles were written and submitted by students, faculty, and staff.


The Office of Academic Affairs wishes you all a wonderful and safe holiday season and a happy new year!

Dates to Remember

December 15

Deadline to Submit Request for Rank Advancement Form to Department RTP Chair

December 17

End of Semester

December 22

Final Grades Due

December 23 - January 1

Holiday break (campus closed)

January 12

Adjunct Institute (for new adjuncts only) - Register Here!

February 1

Adjunct Institute (for new adjuncts only) - Register Here!

SEGO Survey Results

The SEGO survey administration was successfully completed. We received around 35k students’ responses from 1730 different courses. We appreciate and value all faculty who participated in this process to help improve Engaged learning experiences for the students. The Innovation Academy has randomly selected 120 students and 120 faculty for a thank-you prize. We anticipate the data analysis and reporting in February 2023. Please contact Dr. Alaa Alsarhan for any questions or information.

sego survey results chart


Open Applications for Global Spotlight Spring Semester 2023

The Global Spotlight Initiative is an effort led by the Office for Global Engagement to promote global awareness throughout Utah Valley University. It is carefully designed with the intent to trigger global and intercultural engagement across campus and within the community. Go here for more information.

The Office of Faculty Development: Spring Learning Circles, POET, & SOCT

Learning Circles are small communities of faculty that meet on a regular basis during a single semester. Each community reads a particular book or set of articles on learning and teaching and discusses the book during their sessions. Learning Circles are open to all full-time and adjunct faculty. All participants receive a Certificate of Participation for their Faculty Portfolio. Books are provided to each participant. Starting the first week of the semester, books can be picked up outside from FL 416 between 9am - 4:30pm. Spring learning circles are now open for registration. To learn more about the books available, dates, time, and registration click here!


Peer Observation for the Enhancement of Teaching (POET) is program to engage reflect on your teaching by engaging with other faculty from across the campus. The goal of the program is to reflect on your teaching by observing and interacting with other faculty. POET will begin Wednesday February 8, at 1pm at our kickoff session that will be held on Teams. Register to participate here.


The Student Collaborators on Teaching  (SCOT) program enhances student learning by providing instructors feedback from an informed student perspective. SCOTs strive to contribute to the culture of engaged teaching and learning excellence at UVU through faculty-SCOT partnerships that promotes exploration of teaching practices. SCOTs can observe class, conduct focus groups, and review Canvas courses. Click here to learn more about SCOTs and request one.

A librarian helping a student while seated at the library’s Research Help Desk.Archive & Access Student & Faculty Scholarly Research

Faculty: Are you mentoring undergraduate student researchers? Do you know students who are applying to funded research programs offered through the Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Works? Encourage them to submit their finished research projects to the Showcase of Undergraduate Scholarly and Creative Works digital archive.

It’s easy! Students submit their work using the online permission/submission form, and the Fulton Library’s Digitization Librarian does the rest.

You can also archive and share your own scholarly work by creating a site in the Fulton Library’s Scholars’ Open Archive. Including your mentored work and indicating you’re a mentor on the site helps students who need mentors find you. Additionally, you can see how users access your work while gaining valuable usage statistics from the author dashboard, which can be used for retention, tenure, and promotion purposes.

You and your students work hard to produce significant scholarly contributions. Your work will have even more of an impact if it’s preserved and accessible to other researchers now and into the future. Contact Catherine McIntyre, Digitization Librarian, with any questions at [email protected] or (801) 863-8821.

December Service-Learning Superstar Winner!

We are pleased to announce Dr. Julie Nelson as the December Service-Learning Superstar!

Dr. Julie Nelson is an Assistant Professor in the Behavioral Science department and the Family Science Internship Coordinator. Julie has collaborated with UVU’s Wee Care and Stronger Families Project to mentor service-learning students volunteering with FAMS 3800, SOC 1020, and FAMS 3000. Students are prepared to teach children, implement age-appropriate lesson plans, developmental assessment, parent outreach, observations on child socio-emotional, cognitive, and physical development, and make a positive impact the family system through wholistic learning. Additionally, she teaches FAMS 481R, a community practicum course, that offers high impact, engaged learning through an off-site internship. Since 2018, she has supervised year-round up to 65 interns per semester, each student completing 120 field hours. The individualized internships reflect compelling connection to psychoeducation or other professional endeavors related to formal teaching, family intervention and education, curriculum and resource development, social services, family policy, marriage enhancement, parenting skills, rehabilitation, trauma-informed care, financial, or military family support. She has established sponsoring agreements with over 100 approved businesses or agencies along the Wasatch front.    

Julie is also the Faculty Director of the UVU Stronger Families Project (SFP) that provides a community-based, family life education internship every fall and spring semester. Since 2008, the program has served nearly 1,050 families in 15 Utah counties. The SFP leverages student engaged learning experiences to help families achieve meaningful and successful lives. Interns teach in-person classes (English and Spanish) to Utah county residents as well as virtually to any Utah resident to improve their interaction and emotional patterns within the family. UVU's SFP immerses students in practical, functional skill-building to persist in college and carry them forward after graduation. Interns with SFP carry many workforce-ready credentials upon completing the program and graduation. They have been mentored and supervised by Julie and other professionals including UVU faculty, community partners, social service workers, and the program coordinator. Community partners include South Franklin Community Center, United Way, Alpine and Provo School Districts, Kids On the Move, Early Learning Essentials (formerly Mountainland Headstart), PG Cares, and Utah Department of Workforce Services. Interns are assigned a program site in the service area where they lead all program outreach, marketing, recruitment of participants, intake, teaching, reporting, and participant survey satisfaction. As they finish the SFP internship, they qualify to receive the Certified Family Life Educator-P certificate, the Qualified Educators certificate through "Family Wellness Associates," as well as the Domestic Violence Coalition 101 and 102, Columbia Suicide Training, and Psychological First Aid. They complete a professional e-portfolio in the 10 content areas documented by the National Council of Family Relations.

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Julie Nelson for her incredible service-learning efforts!

Dr. Julie Nelson headshot.

We welcome nominations for future Service-Learning Superstars on a rolling basis, and self-nominations are encouraged. To nominate, please send an email to Dr. Jon Westover ([email protected]) and Dr. Leandra Hernandez ([email protected].) with a 250-word description of the nominee, department affiliation, and service-learning course activities.

Stories from Across Campus



Students and Faculty in Art & Design take home 10% of the Top Awards at the AIGA SLC 100 Show

At the annual AIGA SLC 100 Show, a showcase for the top 100 pieces of graphic design created in the state, 10 works were selected from our incredible students and faculty. The fine art book UTOPIA took home one of the awards. Students involved were Joslynn Taylor, Miranda Tarter, Maddie Hogan, Emmeline Smith, Morgan Muir and Aaron Smith, with faculty Gareth Fry. The book is a collaborative effort where a theme is selected (Utah and Utopia) and artwork from all disciplines in the Department of Art & Design is included. The graphic design students then designed and created the book. 

Another award winner was a special collaboration between the Department of Culinary Arts and the Department of Art & Design. J’Adore, which is a recipe book, features recipes from faculty in the culinary arts who then prepared the dishes. These were photographed by Art & Design photography students and faculty and formatted into a book. Project co-directors were Gareth Fry, Assistant Professor, Graphic Design; John Rees, Associate Professor, Photography; Todd Leonard, Associate Professor, Culinary Arts; Travis Lovell, Associate Professor, Photography; Melissa Barrett, Graphic Designer, School of the Arts.

Micro STEM Fair Kit

In September of 2021, Dr. Krista Ruggles an Associate Professor of Elementary Education in the School of Education was approached by Claire Webber a student in her EDEL 325G: Equitable Technology class to collaborate on an Honors project. After brainstorming some ideas, the pair selected to design and pilot a Micro STEM Fest Kit. Claire spent several months researching STEM Fairs and their successful components. She then created ten engineering and technology challenges that would be appropriate for 1st-5th grade students and addressed the Utah Science and Engineering (SEEd) Standards. She also researched what non-consumable materials could support the challenges.

One of the unique features of the design of these kits is the emphasis on equitable learning experiences for all students. STEM Fairs typically take place in the evening and involve parent participation. These challenges were designed for 6th-grade students to facilitate the Micro STEM Fest during the school day for younger students. This model supports participation by all students.

After the Micro STEM Fest challenges were designed, Claire and Dr. Ruggles recruited a 6th-grade teacher at Trailside Elementary school in Vineyard to help facilitate the Micro STEM Fest. Mr. Bowman’s class of 35 students hosted an hour-long Fest for 125 2nd-graders. The 2nd-grade teachers were struck by how engaged their students were during the entire event. They were also impressed by how prepared the 6th-graders were in facilitating the challenges. The success of the pilot led Dr. Ruggles to submit a panel presentation for the Utah Coalition for Educational Technology (UCET) conference.  In March 2022, Dr. Ruggles, Claire Webber, and Mr. Bowman’s class shared their experiences.

After the conference, the Utah STEM Action Center and Lucid in Education became particularly interested in the project and provided $40,000 to scale up. Claire then worked to make modifications to the materials and challenges based on feedback from the pilot. Twenty-six additional Micro STEM Fest Kits were recently assembled and are in the process of being distributed across the state of Utah at 4-H. These free kits can be checked out for schools to facilitate their own Micro STEM Fairs. Dr. Ruggles, Dr. Eggington, and Dr. Goodman faculty in the Elementary Education department have recently submitted an IRB to study the impact that the implementation of Micro STEM Fests have on both 1st-6th grade students’ and teachers’ attitudes toward STEM.

stem kits      stem kits       stem kits 

UVU’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences Hosts Record Number Attendees at the 2022 UVU Conference on Suicide Prevention

The 6th Annual UVU Conference on Suicide Prevention hosted a record number of attendees at the sold-out event. The conference hosted attendees from all walks of life. Private practitioners, therapists, counselors, clinicians, school counselors, human resource managers, researchers, and more came to learn and grow together in an effort to serve their clientele and community better.

Retired California Highway Patrolman Kevin Briggs opened the conference by sharing his personal experience as a mental health advocate and how listening to understand helped him save over 200 lives from the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.  In addition to Briggs, mental health experts from around the world gathered to share their research and lead discussions on various topics, including risk factors, and protective factors, through connecting attendees with education, resources, and skills needed to change lives. The connection between mental health, education, and resources are vital to our community.

This year's conference also hosted the Resource Roundup, which brought together more than 25 exhibitors/ vendors to help break down the barriers that normally prevent individuals from gaining access to resources. The Resource Roundup helped make the connection between awareness and education in mental health.

UVU Master of Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program Addresses Crucial Need

A new program at Utah Valley University (UVU) is helping to address that need. Twenty-one students in the initial cohort of UVU’s Master of Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) program are providing thousands of hours of care for the UVU community and beyond.

Courses for the two-year program are all held in the evening, and the majority of the 21 students in this first cohort are non-traditional. Each student will provide 5-15 hours of counseling per week to the UVU community, working with entities such as Discovery Day Treatment, Alliance Behavioral Health, Circle of Life Counseling Center, The Center for Couples and Families, and Cedar Psychiatry.

Many of the clients UVU students see come from underprivileged or marginalized communities, including LGBTQ+ people. It’s estimated that by graduation from the CMHC program, UVU students will have worked with more than 7,000 individuals and families. Upon completing the CMHC program, UVU graduates will be eligible for licensure as clinical mental health counselors and able to practice in the state of Utah, either on their own or as part of a practice or clinic.

story photo

The Wolverines Elevated Program

The Wolverines Elevated program offers post-secondary educational opportunities to students with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). Our first cohort of students is now in their sophomore year of college and demonstrating determination and tenacity as they succeed in all aspects of college life. Our second cohort of students are finishing up their first semester and getting their first experience of finals week. End of semester stress is real and our students are navigating it like champs!

Our students take full course loads including classes in stress management, self-determination, psychology, auto mechanics, personal finance, and career development. They have participated in job shadowing and internship experiences all around campus and are acquiring the skills needed to be successful in their chosen careers. Participation in clubs, campus leadership opportunities, and attendance at campus events round out the Wolverines Elevated experience.

With the support of program staff, peer mentors, and their professors, Wolverines Elevated students learn the skills necessary to be successful in college and in life. As one of our students recently noted, “College can be challenging and very hard work but, if you stick with it, you WILL succeed.”

Students from the College of Science

Macy Brooks

Macy is a non-traditional student majoring in environmental science. Early in Macy's time here at UVU, she suffered a stroke and had to re-learn everything(how to read, simple arithmetic, etc.). Despite this obvious challenge, Macy has excelled during her time here at UVU and is on track to graduate this spring. In addition, Macy has spent the last few semesters conducting research with Dr. Eddy Cadet and has significantly contributed to the research being done on Utah Lake.

Kate Hickman

Kate is a first-generation student majoring in the Bioinformatics program and has participated in multiple computational biology research projects. In addition to her many accomplishments in the College of Science, she recently traveled to the University of Oxford to participate in the "Map the System" competition with other students from UVU's Center for Social Impact. They presented on the "Nuclear Pollution in the Navajo Nation." A research project that describes the impact of atomic and nuclear waste pollution that historically and currently debilitates Navajo land and people.

She is working towards a career in biology and environmental conservation and entering a top Ph.D program.

Project-Based Learning Pioneer

Dr. Ashley Egan an incredible teacher who is willing to experiment with innovative pedagogies to enhance student success. Last year, Dr. Egan became trained in project-based learning through OTL then partnered with Capital Reef Field Station and Capital Reef National Park to have UVU Excelerate students create permanent signage for plants in the park. You can see more about Dr. Egan’s Capital Reef project in this two-minute video.


If you are interested in becoming trained in project-based learning, you can earn a Teaching Excellence Certification in it through OTL during spring 2023.