Three students wearing doctor coats and scrubs smile in an all-green room.

UVU creates community partnerships in Utah County and beyond to provide students with opportunities to learn, grow, and innovate inside and outside the classroom. Our engaged learning model ensures that students receive the experience and gain the skills they need to thrive well after graduation.

Education amplified

New Innovation Academy Launches UVU Forward

In April 2022, UVU launched the Innovation Academy to better prepare students for work and life success. Led by Dr. Tammy Clark, associate provost for Academic Innovation, the Academy includes several programs and initiatives:

Screenshot of the Innovation Academy website’s home page, featuring links to the Capitol Reef Field Station, e2i, Education Abroad, and Excelerate programs.

Excellence and Innovation Initiative (e2i) supports student projects through strong industry collaboration and mentorship.

UVU Excelerate and Project-based Learning integrate course curriculum with projects for external partners, giving students opportunities to collaborate and create tangible products.

Integrated Studies allows students to combine academic department-based minors into degrees.

Curricular Innovation is a sandbox that supports faculty who want to create interdisciplinary courses, microcredentials, and academic programs.

Learn more at www.uvu.edu/innovation

Headshot of Dr. Tammy Clark.

“Students who participate in the academy will become more engaged in their education and establish critical teamwork and problem-solving skills that will be essential for thriving in an increasingly connected global society.”

— Dr. Tammy Clark
Associate Provost for Academic Innovation

Group photo of Abroad program students.

Engaged learning around the world

UVU encourages students to broaden their worldviews by engaging with culture and history through study abroad programs. UVU School of Education students traveled to Finland, Estonia, and Sweden in May 2022 to learn more about education in the Baltic region.

Community Partnerships

Headshot of Brayden Cutler.

Alumni Spotlight:
Brayden Cutler

Gaining real-world experience as a Wolverine

Brayden Cutler graduated from UVU in fall 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in integrated studies with emphases in business management and speech communications. While studying at UVU, Brayden participated in many engaged learning opportunities, including the Stanford Innovation Fellowship and the Wolverine Fund, a student-run venture capitalist group that offers investing experience.

Brayden works as an analyst at Omni, a Salt Lake Citybased venture capitalist software company. He said that his experience with UVU’s engaged learning programs helped him decide on this career path and offered invaluable opportunities for workforce preparation.

“I got to network with a lot of different venture capitalists and help our venture team analyze deals,” Brayden said. “That led me to my job, where I was on the analyst team doing similar things that I did with the Wolverine Fund.”

He also said he enjoyed UVU’s collaborative learning atmosphere. “I feel like I thrive in an environment where I can work as a team with people, and that’s what UVU is,” Brayden said. “There’s enough room at the table for everyone.”

Facebook and Eagle Mountain Observatory

In July 2021, UVU announced plans with Facebook and Eagle Mountain City to create a stargazing park in the city’s Walden Park. UVU will provide two high-powered telescopes for the observatory and work with the Utah Valley Astronomy Club to develop monthly astronomy classes. Facebook donated $250,000 to support the project, as well as two $5,000 engineering scholarships to UVU and $5,000 for UVU’s 2021 Engineering Week.

Women in Construction

UVU’s Women in Construction group inspires women in UVU’s construction program with unique experiences and opportunities. In 2021, the group visited the first-ever 100% all-women-built home in Utah, The House That She Built in Saratoga Springs, and met some of the women who built it.

Actors performing on stage for UVU’s production of “Footloose: The Musical.”

Sundance Partnership:

In summer 2021, UVU and Sundance Mountain Resort presented their 13th collaborative show, “Footloose: The Musical,” as part of the Sundance Summer Theatre series. The production was wildly successful, with tickets repeatedly selling out during the show’s three-week run. Students, faculty, and staff have contributed to all aspects of the summer theatre series since UVU first partnered with Sundance in 2008.

Sustainability: At UVU, green runs deep

A bulldozer moving trees on UVU campus.A pair of hands working in the dirt of the UVU GRIT Garden.Volunteers digging with shovels on UVU campus.

The Growing Resilience & Inclusivity Together (GRIT) Garden grows fresh produce for the UVU Food Pantry and provides a space for academic research, education, and mindful connection with nature.

A UVU student planting in the UVU GRIT Garden.

UVU is committed to creating a more sustainable future for the university and the region as a whole. This past year, UVU worked toward its goal of meeting 92% of its energy needs with renewable resources by 2023 and organized several sustainability-focused events and projects.

UVU hosted the Utah County government, sustainability thought leaders, and business community members for the first annual Utah County Sustainability Summit.

UVU celebrated Earth Day and Earth Week by recognizing the university’s progress and hosting events for the community, including a recycling challenge, tree planting, trail cleanups, and a Fix-It Clinic.

UVU’s Sustainability Week featured environmentalist events, lectures, and panels. Construction also began on the Elektron Solar Project, an 80-megawatt solar farm that will power the university.

Convening community conversations

UVU continues to make efforts to hold important conversations, support students, and impact communities — on campus, beyond campus, and even beyond the state of Utah.

Civility Highlights Gubernatorial Debate at UVU

In April 2022, the UVU Center for Constitutional Studies hosted a discussion between the 2020 Utah candidates for governor: Christopher Peterson, a University of Utah legal professor and the democratic candidate, and Utah Governor Spencer Cox, the republican candidate. Despite their political rivalry in the 2020 race for Utah governor, the two agreed on the need for more civility in civic debate and the problems with growing political polarization. Verlan Lewis, the David & Laurea Stirling Endowed Chair of the UVU Center for Constitutional Studies, moderated the discussion.

Former Utah gubernatorial candidate Christopher Peterson and Utah Governor Spencer Cox seated together.

Panelists on stage during the Utah Valley Growth and Prosperity Summit
Student posing next to the Utah Valley Growth and Prosperity Summit logo.

A Growing, Prosperous Utah Valley

In October 2021, UVU hosted the Utah Valley Growth and Prosperity Summit to discuss how the valley is creating the future for its booming population. The event featured a variety of panels from Utah Valley civic and business leaders on topics including workforce development, transportation and infrastructure, water, housing, healthcare, natural resources, and education. At the end of the summit, Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity Dan Hemmert, former Utah Governor Gary Herbert, and Utah Governor Spencer Cox signed the Growth and Prosperity Compact of Utah Valley, a document outlining principles to govern continued growth and prosperity.

Former Governor Gary R. Herbert speaking at a pulpit.

A New Home for
Public Policy

The UVU Board of Trustees approved the Gary R. Herbert Institute for Public Policy to become an academic center at UVU in March 2022. The self-funded, non-partisan academic institute aims to help students become knowledgeable, active, and sound voices in politics and public service. It joins other specific academic units at UVU, including the Center for Constitutional Studies, the Center for National Security Studies, the Center for the Study of Ethics, the Women’s Success Center, and the Center for Social Impact.

Former Governor Gary R. Herbert seated with wife Jeanette Herbert, President Astrid S. Tuminez, and Utah Governor Spencer Cox.

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Scrollable Timeline

Jul 14

Utah Transportation Summit

Speaker at a pulpit during the Utah Transportation Summit.

Native American man dressed in traditional Native American garb speaking at the 15th Annual Governor’s Native American Summit.

Aug 6

15th Annual Governor’s Native American Summit

Aug 10

Intermountain Mental Health Services Summit

Sept 11

UVU commemorated the 20th anniversary of 9/11 with an interactive art project and exhibit created by artist Frank McEntire

Economist Dr. Dambisa Moyo speaking at UVU.

Oct 1

Presidential Lecture Series: Dr. Dambisa Moyo, global economist and bestselling author

Oct 7

College of Humanities and Social Sciences Conference on Suicide Prevention

Students outside releasing doves during the Suicide Prevention Conference.

President Astrid S. Tuminez speaking on stage at the Silicon Slopes Summit.

Oct 13

UVU Woodbury School of Business students participated in the Silicon Slopes Summit

Feb 16

Former U.S. Ambassador Frank G. Wisner lectures on the country’s relationships with Russia, China, and Iran

Former U.S. Ambassador Frank G. Wisner speaking at a pulpit at UVU.

Columnist David Pogue speaking on stage at UVU during Presidential Lecture Series.

Mar 3

Presidential Lecture Series: David Pogue, technology and science columnist

Mar 11

College of Humanities and Social Sciences Conference on Addiction

Person posing outside in slot canyon standing on sand.

Students speaking in front of flags at the Utah Diplomatic Conference on International Trade Relations.

Mar 21

Utah Diplomatic Conference on International Trade Relations

Mar 31

Healing Conversations Conference

Apr 19

College of Humanities and Social Sciences Conference on Domestic Violence

Apr 28

First Annual RMI Risk Management Conference

Intermountain Engineering, Technology, and Computing Conference logo.

May 13-14

Intermountain Engineering, Technology, and Computing Conference (i-ETC)

International Engagement

China Challenge Summit

In June 2022, UVU hosted the China Challenge Summit, an unprecedented conference created by UVU and World Trade Center Utah to address U.S.-China relations. The conference featured experts on mutual political, economic, and security interests between China and the U.S., including former Deputy National Security Advisor Matt Pottinger, U.S.-China Business Council President Craig Allen, The Wall Street Journal Chief China Correspondent Lingling Wei, UVU President Astrid S. Tuminez, and former U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman Jr.

Former U.S. Ambassador to China John Huntsman Jr. speaking on stage at the China Challenge Summit at UVU.

“There’s a reason that we’re here. Not only do we love this state. Not only do we love UVU. This is where new thinking is occurring. This is where entrepreneurship abounds. This is where new technologies are being advanced, developed, and commercialized. This is where people really care about the global environment.”

— Jon Huntsman Jr.

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Image description: Left - Four panelists speaking on stage at the China Challenge Summit at UVU. Center - Woman smiling at desk during China Challenge Summit. Right - President Tuminez in a crowd during the China Challenge Summit.

UVU Shows Support for Ukraine and Ukrainian Students

On February 28, 2022, days after Russia invaded Ukraine, UVU lit the UCCU Center yellow and blue — the colors of the Ukrainian flag — to show support for the people of Ukraine. At the time, 13 Ukrainian students attended UVU. The university’s International Student Services office worked to ease their burdens as they sought to contact loved ones and deal with the emotional toll of war. “We all try to have communications with our parents and friends,” said UVU student Katia Afinogenova. “We’re all in big distress physically and mentally, but I can’t imagine how it is for the people back in Ukraine.”

The exterior of the UCCU Center building hit with yellow and blue lights.

Arts and Culture

An appreciation for culture and the arts makes life richer. In 2021 and 2022, UVU provided ways for Wolverines and the community to enjoy performances, exhibits, and works of art.

Actress in red dress sings on staircase on stage.

Digital Media Festival

UVU hosted the annual Digital Media Arts Festival in May 2022. The festival gathered digital media students from 14 different high schools and four tech centers across Utah to receive awards, listen to keynote speaker Dan Clark, and participate in breakout rooms taught by UVU faculty and staff. Over 70 awards were given to students in the categories of web design, 3D animation, T-shirt design, stop-motion animation, and more. The event was sponsored by the Utah State Board of Education.

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Nothing sparks joy like music does, I figured i wanted to chase that joy as long as possible”

— Alec Powell

UVU Education Alumnus and Choir Teacher

Two performers in Giacomo Puccini’s opera “La Bohème.”

Puccini's ‘La Bohème’

UVU’s School of the Arts presented three showings of Giacomo Puccini’s opera “La Bohème” in January 2022 at The Noorda Center for the Performing Arts. UVU music and theatre students performed alongside seasoned professionals.

Art Museum at Lakemount

In 2022, the UVU Museum of Art moved to Lakemount Manor, an estate generously donated to the university by the children of Melanie Bastian. UVU and the School of the Arts will use Lakemount Manor as a public art museum, which will open in 2023. During the move, the museum featured several virtual exhibitions, including the 2022 Student Art Exhibition and the “Peripheral Terrains” exhibit by artist Alexandra Giannell.

Lakemount Manor exterior.
Lakemount Manor interior entry and staircases.

Headshot of Alec Powell.

Alumni Spotlight: Alec Powell

An Exceptional Graduate Sparks Joy

Alec Powell, UVU music education alumnus and choir teacher at Mountain Ridge Junior High School in Highland, Utah, was named to a prestigious list of music educators: Yamaha’s 40 Under 40. The list recognizes exceptional music educators under age 40 who go above and beyond in growing music programs.

After taking a choir class in college, Alec fell in love, applied for a music scholarship, and decided to become a music teacher. “Nothing sparks joy like music does,” Alec said in an interview with KSL. “I figured I wanted to chase that joy for as long as possible. I like the freedom that education allows as a musician. There’s still the procedural aspect of being a teacher, but it also leaves me a lot of freedom to be expressive.”

Professional photo of Angelica Salazar playing the violin.

Student Spotlight:
Angelica Salazar

Music student finds faculty support when she needs it most

Angelica Salazar is a performer, composer, and teacher majoring in violin performance at UVU. She said her experience taking music courses and playing in the UVU Symphony and Chamber Orchestra helped her become a strong leader and educator.

“My studies at UVU have really helped me develop the performance, pedagogy, and business skills I need to run my own private violin studio, teaching students of all ages and levels,” Angelica said. “Because of the tools UVU has given me, I feel confident that I will be able to make a name and meaningful career for myself doing what I love most.”

Recently, Angelica underwent a serious brain surgery and lost her ability to walk, balance, turn her neck, see well, and control her hands. She said her music professors and colleagues were there to support her through this life-changing experience.

“It is a miracle I am playing violin now,” she said. “My professors went out of their way to make sure I was taken care of and that my classes would accommodate my needs. The teachers and students at UVU are amazing and I am so grateful to be at a school where I feel valued, seen, supported, appreciated, and cared for.”

Woman performing traditional Mexican dance on stage.

Ballet Folklórico de México

Ballet Folklórico de México, a traditional Mexican dance troupe, performed at UVU in March 2022 at The Noorda Center for the Performing Arts. The Noorda offered ticket discounts to the Latino community in Utah and Salt Lake counties. Folklórico dancers also taught a masterclass on movement and Mexican culture for students enrolled in UVU’s dance and culture courses.

Incan Empire Festival Inti Raymi

The Office for Global Engagement, in conjunction with the city of Cusco, Peru, and the Consulate of Peru, celebrated Inti Raymi, the most important festival of the Inca Empire, in April 2022 in the UVU Grand Ballroom. It was the first time this celebration was held outside of Peru. Actors, dancers, and the mayor of Cusco attended, and the event was livestreamed to Peru and to all Peruvian embassies throughout the world.

Women dressed in traditional Peruvian garb performing a traditional Peruvian dance at UVU.

UVU Students Paint Loveloud Festival Mural

With the help of the LOVELOUD Foundation, the organization behind LGBTQ+ charity music festival LOVELOUD, four UVU Design Studio students designed and painted a new mural on the Torrent Cycle building in downtown Salt Lake City.

Colored mural in downtown Salt Lake City with the words “Love Loud”.

Esprit d.c. Hip Hop Dance Course

UVU introduced Esprit d.c., a performance-based hip-hop course, in October 2021. The course is designed for students interested in learning more about hip-hop culture, growing technical and performative skills, and developing themselves as dance artists. Students in the course perform and work with professional choreographers and choreograph or dance in at least one student work at the end-of-year showcase.

Student does backflip in Hip Hop Dance course.