September Newsletter 2023

September Newsletter 2023

Provost Vaughts Thoughts

Dear Faculty,

As we transition into this new semester, let us reflect on the remarkable achievements of our university. In this month’s newsletter, we share dates to remember, upcoming events, policy news, and opportunities for collaboration!

Thank you for your commitment and dedication to our students. Your contributions make our institution exceptional. Please do not hesitate to reach out to the Office of Academic Affairs. We’re here to support you in any way we can.   


Explore Fulton Library’s ChatGPT & Faculty Guides

Prepare for a successful fall semester with the Fulton Library’s faculty resource guides.

These guides offer in-depth overviews across a range of subjects, including source citation, faculty research and publishing, classroom resources for DEI, and more.

Designed to elevate your research and teaching pursuits, our faculty guides are approachable roadmaps, providing subject insights and suggested books, articles, and resources to kickstart your research.

Dive into our latest faculty guide, which addresses a higher education hot topic: ChatGPT and AI. Regardless of your stance on AI, the ChatGPT and AI Text Generators guide offers a comprehensive introduction to the advantages, limitations, and potential applications of AI in universities. With tips on writing AI prompts, citing AI-generated content, and finding additional articles, our guide empowers you to use AI text-generators and understand their impact on higher education.


Contact your subject librarian for research assistance or questions about the library’s faculty guides.


A librarian points at a computer screen and provides research help to two students seated across a desk.



Faculty Development Programs


The Student Collaborators on Teaching  (SCOT) program enhances student learning by providing instructors feedback from an informed student perspective. They can observe your class, do a focus group with your students, or review your Canvas course to give you feedback from a student prospective. You can find out more information and request a SCOT from the SCOT homepage


Peer Observation for the Enhancement of Teaching (POET) is a program to engage and 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. It is a great way to meet faculty from outside your department. If you want to participate, you can register here. The introduction meeting is Monday, September 25 from 1-2 pm on Teams; the meeting will be recorded for those who can’t make that time. 

Dates to Remember

September 25

Application deadline for David R. Keller Sustainability Prize

October 6

Graduation Application Deadline for Fall Semester

October 7 

The RTP committee submits the tenure review portfolio and recommendation to the department chair. If the candidate IS a department chair: The RTP committee submits the tenure review portfolio and recommendation to the dean

October 15 

Th department chair shall report the Fall semester faculty workload to their dean.

Supervisor review of goals and guidance must be completed. 



Upcoming Events

September 19-20

STEM fest

September 20

Degrees to anywhere lecture series-CB 510

September 21

Martha C. Nussbaum- Justice for Animals: Practical Progress through Philosophical Theory. 2:30-4:00 PM, CB 511

September 25-29

Ethics Awareness Week - Ethics in Global Contexts

September 28

Roots of Knowledge speaker series - Drylands: From the Center of Knowledge to the Peripheries of the World

Ethics Awareness Week- Ethical Dimensions of Public Health: 11:30 am-12:45 pm CB 511




Faculty Research Support

Need assistance with statistical aspects of your research?

Dr. John Kidd is establishing a lab with undergraduate students who can provide statistical assistance for the needs of researchers at UVU.

This lab will provide these undergraduate students the opportunity to become more involved in research and gain experience in statistical analyses while being overseen by senior members of the statistics faculty.

The goal is to have these students provide both analytic support as well as recommendations for study design and data collection as needed.

If you are in need of statistical support for your research, please email Dr. Kidd ([email protected]).

Calling All Project-Based Learning Faculty -

Join our Summer 2023 Excelerate Program Team!


excelerate program students

Help your students succeed in the classroom and beyond, by collaborating with the Innovation Academy’s Excelerate summer program! Excelerate aims to support first-generation, underrepresented, and first-year students in excelling at the challenges of higher education.


Excelerate courses provide a great way to share your passion and excitement for your subject matter while building opportunities for students to gain valuable, applicable skills. Impact the lives of your students for years to come by creating an unforgettable classroom experience!



As part of Excelerate, you will:

  • Lead an engaging summer GE class with an embedded collaborative project.
  • Design a hands-on project with an external partner.
  • Provide exciting, real-world project experiences that apply course content and teach workplace skills.


Past participating faculty and students have had wonderful experiences throughout their time with Excelerate:

“As an instructor, I think we have an expert mindset where we don’t see where the students are starting from. It is a great opportunity to put ourselves back in their shoes… I teach through projects because that is how we learn.”

“By understanding the process in the university setting, we can better help our students prepare for industry.”

“It is a great idea to participate in projects through the university and with other students, we really learn together.”

"As an undergrad, this was an amazing opportunity to network and get [the] advice I needed as I continue in my major. Every single one of the professors were welcoming and helpful and I feel more prepared than ever to continue in my major."


For more information or to speak about joining the Excelerate program faculty team, contact Amanda Diaz at [email protected]. For more information on the Excelerate program, visit:




Research Institute at the Women’s Success Center

Bonnie Ballif-Spanvill Endowed Fellowship (BBSEF)

The Bonnie Ballif-Spanvill Endowed Fellowship 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 next BBSEF proposal cycle opens in January 2024.

Congrats to the outgoing and incoming BBSEF fellows!

2022-2023 Fellows

                     Dr. Britt Wyatt & Dr. Josh Premo                College of Science

Gendered Science Identity Shifts: When Does One Become a Scientist?

2023-2024 Fellows 

                                    Dr. Rachel Bi & Dr. Chong Meng                                      Woodbury School of Business

        The Gender Pay Gap in FinTech: An Analysis of Women’s Compensation in the Industry


RI@WSC Scholarship Spotlight

Math Girls Rock!


Violeta Vasilevska and Carolyn Hamilton recently published their manuscript titled Mentoring Female Undergraduates in Research-Centered Outreach, which details the components and impact of Math Girls Rock!, a year-long two-tiered mathematics mentoring program. The program prepares female undergraduate mentors to facilitate high school girls’ engagement in challenging mathematics concepts through a dynamic after-school program. As reported by Vasilevska and Hamilton, the program “aims to encourage female high school students to take more mathematics and STEM classes.” This helps students build their resumes and develop sought-after skills such as problem-solving, critical thinking, and collaboration, among others!

Read the full article here:

Violeta Vasilevska & Carolyn Hamilton (2022): Mentoring Female Undergraduates in Research-Centered Outreach, PRIMUS, DOI: 10.1080/10511970.2022.2059728


Join us at this upcoming event! Open to women faculty and all allies.

Grab a Bite, Experience Belonging: A Connection Building Lunch

Thursday, November 16th, 12:00 – 1:00 pm

Mix and mingle with colleagues during lunch. Deepen relationships with faculty around campus and learn about their work.

Register Here:


September Service Learning Superstar


We are pleased to announce Dr. Meaghan McKasy as the September Service-Learning Superstar!

Dr. Meaghan McKasy is an Assistant Professor of Public Relations and Strategic Communication at Utah Valley University. She is the Major Coordinator for the Public Relations and Strategic Communication major and she teaches courses such as Communication Research Methods, Public Relations and Strategic Communication Campaigns, Environmental Communication, and Media Literacy. Dr. McKasy works with several community-focused research groups, including the Capitol Reef National Park Social Science Team and Utah FORGE, and was an inaugural faculty fellow with the Environmental Initiatives Hub with the Center for Social Impact.

Dr. McKasy believes service-learning to be an incredibly impactful tool where students get to put their education into practice to serve their communities. As such, she embraces service learning in several of her classes. In COMM 4850 Public Relations and Strategic Communication students work with community clients to design and execute a communications campaign. Students have worked with clients like the UVU Sustainability Recycling Program to develop new signage and awareness of recycling efforts on campus. Students have also worked with the UVU College of Humanities and Social Sciences to promote several programs (e.g., Spanish, Humanities, online Communication). Dr. McKasy has also taught COMM 4250 Communication and Leadership, where students bring leadership theory into practice through a self-selected ongoing service-learning project in the community. Projects have worked with local food groups, elementary schools, the Red Cross, and more. Dr. McKasy also worked to designate COMM 3570 Crisis Communication as a service-learning course where students could work with community partners to develop crisis plans in preparation for crisis scenarios.


Please join us in congratulating Meaghan McKasy for her incredible service-learning efforts!


september service learning superstar


Dr. Jonathan Westover, Academic Director, Center for Social Impact 

Dr. Ezgi Sertler, Associate Academic Director, Center for Social Impact 

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.

Message from the Dean of Students: 

In the month of September, students are experiencing many challenges and emotions. Starting a new school year and meeting people can be hard for students. UVU has programs, clubs, and events all year long to help students connect to other students and build relationships which is a critical aspect of providing support for students. If you have a student who may benefit from connecting to other students check out

Students may also begin to feel overwhelmed with their workload. As the semester progresses, there are many resources to help students when they are feeling overwhelmed and stressed. Trula is a program that pairs our students with a trained and certified peer coach to help them overcome day-to-day struggles like time management, exam anxiety, or simply needing an accountability partner.

It’s always great to check in with students and see how they are doing. College life has its ups and downs. Students can find support through it all with UVU’s mental health resources, now and throughout the semester.

If there is anything I can do for you or if you are concerned about a student please reach out to me via Teams or email [email protected].

Alexis Palmer, Ed.D

Dean of Students/AVP Student Development & Well-Being


UVU Events List

Policy Update:

On August 24, 2023, the President’s Council approved Policy 371 Corrective Actions and Termination for Staff Employees to enter Stage 1 Drafting.

Also, remember to get your comments to your Faculty Senate senator or PACE representative for Policy 211 Employee Appreciation and Recognition (Gifts and Rewards), which is in stage 2, Review by UVU Entities, and closes on October 5, 2023.

President’s Council also approved Policy 607 Course-Based Fees for Credit to extended stage 3, Campus Community Review, which then closed on August 31, 2023.

Finally, the following policies were approved to enter Stage 4, Board of Trustees Review. The next Board meeting is scheduled for September 28, 2023.

· Policy 141 Cost Transfers for Sponsored Programs

· Policy 168 Whistleblower Anti-Retaliation

· Policy 201 General Fiscal Policies and Procedures

· Policy 202 Payroll

· Policy 205 Investments

Policy Highlight

Policy 635 Faculty Rights and Professional Responsibilities

There are several rights that faculty members have that are laid out in Policy 635 Faculty Rights and Professional Responsibilities. For instance, “faculty members have the right to due process commensurate with their faculty appointment—as set forth in Policy 648 and other applicable university policies including Policy 648—in any disciplinary matter. This includes a right to be heard, a right to decision and review by impartial persons or bodies, and a right to adequate notice.” (4.4.6)

“[F]aculty, staff, administrators, and students have a right to privacy in their dealings with the University . . .” to the degree permitted by law and university policy. They have “the right to expect that certain records of their association with the University are treated as confidential.” With that right comes the restriction that “[f]aculty members do not access, use, or disclose private or confidential information unless permitted by applicable law or university policy.” Similarly, faculty members are to “store and dispose of records containing private or confidential information, including those stored electronically, in accordance with law and university policy.” (4.4.7)

Additionally, “[f]aculty members have a right to fair notice of any required trainings in advance of the deadline. Fair notice must be in writing (email is acceptable) and at least 60 calendar days in advance of the deadline, excluding holidays, off-contract periods (e.g., summers), and university-approved leaves of absence (other than vacation, personal, and consulting leave).” (

Another right faculty members are entitled to is “full freedom in research and creative works and in the publication, display, and exhibition of the results, subject to the acceptable performance of their other academic duties and compliance with state and federal regulations and university policy.” (4.6.3)

When it comes to workplace conflict, “[f]aculty members have the right to no cost, formal or informal conflict resolution or consultation services or training through university Faculty Relations services when attempting to resolve workplace conflicts.” (

Finally, “[f]aculty members have the right and responsibility to participate in the governance of the University in accordance with Utah law, Utah Board of [Higher Education] policies, and university policies.” (4.9.1) As such, faculty has “the right to vote on faculty appointments, promotions, and tenure, and to vote for representatives to college and university representative bodies[,]” as appropriate according

to their rank and status. (4.9.4) Along with that right comes the right “to elect and/or recall their department chair by majority vote” as stated in Policy 644 Appointment and Responsibilities of Department Chairs. (5.3.1)

As the title implies, along with these rights come responsibilities. Watch for our next Policy Highlight for a summary of some of the responsibilities that are important to be familiar with.