December 2023 Newsletter

December 2023 Newsletter

Provost Vaught's Thoughts 

Dear faculty, 

As we approach the end of the semester, I want to express my sincere appreciation for your hard work. Together, we've created an enriching academic environment, fostering growth and learning for students. Your commitment to excellence contributes greatly to their success. 

As we step into the holiday season and Winter Break, I encourage each of you to take a well-deserved rest and cherish moments of joy with loved ones. 

Please do not hesitate to reach out to the Office of Academic Affairs if you have questions, comments, or concerns. Thank you for your exceptional contributions, and here's to the new year!

Warm regards,

Wayne F. Vaught 

Faculty Success Scheduled System Downtime

Please note that the Watermark Faculty Success system will undergo scheduled maintenance, requiring some downtime on Sunday, December 17th, 2023 for the majority of the day. 

This maintenance window will include hardware maintenance and upgrade work needed to ensure the system operates as efficiently as possible.

Please reach out to Laurie Toro ([email protected]) or Trevor Morris ([email protected]) with any questions.

UVU Thrive: Wellness and Balance 

With just a few weeks left of the semester, students are wrapping up their final assignments and getting ready for next term. During this busy time, some students may ignore their physical and mental health and focus on finishing out 2023 strong. It’s important for students to balance their schoolwork with taking care of themselves, and UVU has resources available for them. 

UVU’s Wellness Programs include health coaching, a stress reduction room, and other services to help students feel their best. Encourage the students you work with to use these resources for the rest of the semester and when the next semester starts in January. 

Important Dates 

December 11-15

Finals week

December 16

Semester ends

December 20

Grades Due

December 22-January 1

Holiday Break

December 26-January 1

Holiday Closure 

January 2

Faculty Returns 

January 8

Classes begin 

January 15

Martin Luther King Jr. Day - Holiday

January 16

Waitlist period and Open registration period ends

January 17

Tuition late fee begins 



December Student Snapshot 

December doesn’t just mean the end of the semester—it means winter break is coming, too. As students are preparing for finals, they may also be worried about whether they will still be able to access the campus resources available throughout the semester. From the food pantry and the SLWC to mental health services through SHS or other campus partners, students rely on resources for support they still need during the break. 

UVU's campus is closed both physically and virtually from December 22-January 1. However, the following resources are available during the campus closure: 

Get immediate help 24/7/365. The Trevor Project's crisis counselors are just a text, chat, or phone call away. Completely confidential and free LGBTQ hotline.

Celebrate Your Students!

Dear esteemed faculty,

We invite you to nominate your outstanding students whose academic achievements deserve recognition and celebration. Celebrate student success with us! Share recent awards or accomplishments using this form. Your input increases the likelihood of their recognition by the administration. Let's spotlight our students' achievements together! 


Qualtrics Survey | Qualtrics Experience Management

UVU Survey on Interest in External Collaboration Opportunities


Dear UVU Faculty,

I trust this message finds you well. As we embark on a journey to enhance collaboration and exploration of new opportunities at Utah Valley University, we seek your valuable input to help us connect you with initiatives that align with your expertise and interests.

To facilitate this, we invite you to participate in a brief survey designed to gather information about your areas of expertise, research interests, and openness to collaboration both within our campus community and with industry partners.

 Survey LinkFaculty Expertise and Collaboration Survey

The insights gathered from this survey will be utilized to identify potential collaborations and opportunities that match your profile. Our goal is to create meaningful connections and provide you with avenues to engage in projects that align with your academic interests.


We anticipate that completing the survey will take about 10-15 minutes.


Your participation is crucial to the success of this initiative, and we genuinely appreciate your commitment to advancing the mission of UVU.

Thank you for taking the time to contribute to this collaborative effort. We look forward to leveraging your expertise to explore exciting possibilities.


Best regards,


Tammy Clark

Associate Provost, Innovation Academy

Utah Valley University



Service Learning Superstar!


We are pleased to announce Maureen Andrade as the December Service-Learning Superstar!


Service-learning superstar Naureen Andrade

Dr. Maureen Snow Andrade is a professor in the Organizational Leadership Department at Utah Valley University, where she teaches organizational behavior and leadership. She holds the distinction of Principal Fellow from the Higher Education Academy in the UK for leadership in teaching and learning. Dr. Andrade is a former associate vice president, associate dean, department chair, director, journal editor, and associate editor, and is currently serving as assistant department chair. Her research interests include job satisfaction, work-life balance, leadership, business education, service learning, organizational change, and flexible learning. She has published extensively in academic journals and is a regular conference presenter.
Dr. Andrade shared the following about her service-learning classes and projects:
In my service-learning course, I implement a number of high-impact educational practices, such as teamwork, collaborative assignments, writing intensive assignments, and ePortfolios. During the semester, students collaborate in teams to resolve management challenges and arrive at theory-based solutions, which they document in a team ePortfolio. This prepares them for a consulting project where they work with a community partner to collect and analyze data about a real-life management issue and make recommendations based on the theories they are studying.
As students work in teams on their assignments and consulting projects, they develop skills in resolving conflict, understanding diversity, communicating, managing conflict, and leading—all topics in the organizational behavior course; thus, students are applying course concepts. Students are exposed to situations and people unlike themselves as they partner with and gain an understanding of real-life management issues in a community organization and recognize how academic theories can help address these issues. ePortfolios are an innovative way to demonstrate learning as opposed to more traditional assessments.
I have collected extensive data related to the efficacy of these approaches to help students develop employer-valued skills such as teamwork, written and oral communication, problem-solving, critical thinking, and application of learning to real life, and published several related articles.
Please join us in congratulating Maureen for her incredible service-learning efforts!
Dr. Jonathan Westover
Academic Director, Center for Social Impact
Dr. Ezgi Sertler
Associate Academic Director, Center for Social Impact

Help us highlight you and your students! Share your story using the CSI Success Stories form.

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. Ezgi Sertler ([email protected]) with a 250-word description of the nominee, department affiliation, and service-learning course activities.


The Undergraduate Research and Creative Works Office offers five different grant opportunities to support faculty research. GEL Grant awards range in amounts from $3,500 to $15,000 and can be for one to two years. The Juntos (Hoon-Tohs) can be for one year for up to $10,000 and two years for up to $15,000 per year. The Faculty Led Student Professional Experience (FLSPE) Grant provides faculty funds to engage entire undergraduate classes in discipline-specific activities with awards up to $10,000.

Each grant provides faculty with the opportunity to engage students in several ways. Helping students succeed in their chosen discipline while benefiting from the expertise of faculty and providing faculty the time and financial support to conduct any type of research/project.

Get support while you share your time, passion, and experience incorporating students in your research and field of study by applying for one of our grants today at 

Grant Information Workshop

The Undergraduate Research and Creative Works is pleased to offer a grant information workshop for all UVU faculty members interested in learning more about the grant offerings available and how to submit a proposal. The workshop will discuss all grants offered through the URCW office to faculty as well as those that are offered to your students. We will cover timing, dollar limits, allowable expenditures, and processes.

Please use the link below to sign up and come ready to learn more and ask all your questions.

Seating is limited to first come first serve. Snacks will be provided!

‘Tis Streaming Season: Free Video Streaming from Fulton Library


This holiday break, stream movies for free from the Fulton Library. Ditch the DVDs and subscription fees—we offer a wide range of films in our online video databases, including Oscar nominees, Sundance award winners, educational documentaries, and more. All you need is a UVID and password! With 18 video databases to choose from, you can incorporate streaming into your courses by embedding videos directly into Canvas or simply stream from your computer.


To search for streaming videos, click the “videos” search tab on the library’s homepage. Search by topic or title and select the “online streaming” option to filter out DVDs and Blu-rays. If you don’t have a specific film in mind, browse movies in our video databases.


Explore a few of our favorite video databases:

- Swank – This database includes classics, foreign films, and popular releases, like Asteroid City, Everything Everywhere All at Once, and Moonlight. Create an instructor account to browse additional films available for the library to purchase.

- Kanopy – With a mix of feature films and documentaries, Kanopy includes movies like Hereditary, Parasite, and I Am Not Your Negro.

- Academic Video Online (AVON) – This database features a wide variety of scholarly videos, including documentaries, interviews, performances, news programs, and more.

- Docuseek2 – Search Docuseek2 for documentaries from educational film distributors like Bullfrog Films, Collective Eye Films, Icarus Films, and more.

- Performing Arts Video Databases – Browse our fine arts performances, like Dance in Video, Opera in Video, Classical Music in Video, Classical Performance in Video, and On the Boards.


For questions about these resources, ask a librarian or stop by the library’s first-floor circulation desk.

For assistance adding films to a Canvas course, contact Alan Stephens.

Two UVU students walk by Fulton Library, with a library entrance and two other students in the background

Save the Date: Faculty development





Research Institute at the Women's Success Center

Bonnie Ballif-Spanvill Endowed Fellowship


The Bonnie Ballif-Spanvill Endowed Fellowship (BBSEF) aims to support women scholars and their collaborators, scholars of any gender who mentor women students, and scholars of any gender whose work focuses on women. The BBSEF provides up to $10,000 in scholarship funding to selected applicants. The 2024 BBSEF proposal deadline is March 22, 2024. Please visit this website to learn more about the fellowship and the proposal requirements.




A Couple Stories from Across Campus 

Research Institute at the Women’s Success Center


RI@WSC Scholarship Spotlight: Janine Knighton


We are thrilled to shine the spotlight on Janine Knighton, associate professor – theatre. Janine is a talented scholar whose creativity has graced international stages. Janine’s recent works, Drawing Under the Microscope and Sing in Me, Muse, have captivated audiences and showcased her love of writing plays that pivot on female stories and majority female casts.

In September, Janine’s short play Drawing Under the Microscope was featured at the Baron's Court Theatre Reboot Festival in London. The play delves into the life of Beatrix Potter. After ten years of dedicated study and drawing, Beatrix Potter is ready to claim her destiny – as a mycologist   (scientist of fungi). Image of a microscope in blue and redWhen the   chance arrives to present her   potentially revolutionary   paper to the Linnean Society   of London, her dreams of   making her mark on this   world collide with her   anxiety. Will her former   governess and lifelong friend help her find the courage to stand by her findings and submit what she has discovered? Set just 10 minutes away from Potter’s childhood home, Baron’s Court Theatre provided a fitting backdrop for this exploration of passion and personal courage.


In October, Janine had another play, Sing in Me, Muse, as part of the Cellunova New Play Festival in New York. sing me in museThis imaginative work introduces Calliope, who has quit her job as the head Greek Muse – or so she thought. When she is sent on another assignment against her will, she must figure out if helping her new artist, a young Florentine by the name of Leonardo da Vinci, will also help her find her own artistic voice.


Janine’s inspiration for her craft stems from two great loves in her life - her daughter and her younger self. When speaking of her daughter, Janine shared, “Watching her grow, imagine, learn, and interact with the variety of stories the world is offering her, I desire to write the stories that open her up to all her possibilities. To give her role models to follow. To see females in all their glory and complications and challenges and potential. I want to create stories that help her question and dream and wrestle and embrace the unique voice that exists within herself.”


The second source of inspiration, Janine's childhood, fuels her desire to connect with audiences personally. When she was a child, stories served as Janine’s refuge, allowing her to escape into different time periods and cultures. “Stories helped me know that I wasn’t alone. And so, I continue to write the stories that I needed as a child and that I still need today, to hopefully connect with those like me, and offering them the same salvation so many writers gave me,” said Janine.


In each carefully crafted play, Janine Knighton invites audiences to question, dream, and embrace their unique voices. Her dedication to nurturing female stories and characters resonates not only with her own past but with a broader audience seeking representation and inspiration.


We are delighted to celebrate Janine’s accomplishments and look forward to the continued impact of her work!


The Research Institute is always looking to amplify the faculty work being done by, for, and about women at UVU. Please use this form to tell us about your or your colleagues’ impactful work!

UVU Students Make a Big Impact at the United Nations


Every year since 2017, UVU College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS) sends a student delegation comprised of members of the Utah International Mountain Forum (UIMF), a coalition of student clubs at Utah Valley University (UVU), to a session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) at the UN Headquarters in New York City. This year they hosted a parallel and a side event during the 67th session of CSW from March 6-10, 2023. The delegation comprised twenty-eight students and two faculty advisors, Dr. Baktybek Abdrisaev and Dr. Hong Pang.

The students came from diverse academic backgrounds, including International Relations, Political Science, Global Politics, and Environmental Studies, and have worked tirelessly to prepare their presentations for this event. The students presented research on various topics related to sustainable mountain development and the promotion of the state of Utah as one of the models for it, which is the focus of UIMF. All of the students presented their research during a parallel event on Monday, March 6th, 2023.

The students had another unique opportunity to meet with high-level officials at the UN. The students met with the President of the UN General Assembly, Csaba Kőrösi, in his office. “This was an incredible opportunity for the students to ask questions and hear from one of the most influential people at the UN,” stated Dr. Jay DeSart, department chair of history and political science. They also met with Ambassador Richard Mills, the Deputy Representative of the U.S. to the United Nations, inside the U.S. Embassy to the UN. This was an unexpected and unforgettable experience for the students, who were able to ask questions and learn more about the U.S.'s role at the UN.

UVU students at the UN





Orem City’s webpage is now in Spanish thanks to UVU students


The Spanish translation students of Professor Devin Gilbert at Utah Valley University have just completed translating the webpages on for the top 10 most-requested services. The 28 students split into small groups to get the pages translated over a two-week period.

“Professor Gilbert worked closely with each group to ensure that the translations were professional and correct,” said Pete Wolfley, communications and innovations manager. “The City of Orem also has a Spanish translation review committee with several heritage Spanish speakers to review the translations and offer feedback to the students and make any necessary corrections.

“Utah Valley University puts a huge emphasis on experiential learning and we have had several student groups perform valuable work and studies for the City of Orem. They have helped us with strategic marketing for our Recreation department, building a parks resource guide complete with pictures of all 22 parks in Orem, and now this effort to translate the most important areas of our website into Spanish,” Wolfley said.