Utah Valley University
Annual Report 2022-23

A Place for


Utah Valley University is made up of students, faculty, and staff from numerous backgrounds, and we believe this makes UVU the special place that it is — a place for dreamers, a place for innovators, and a place for everyone who wants to learn and better their lives. We invite you to discovere what is possible through the transforming power of education.

A Place for you

A Place for

'Together, we've created a place of limitless possibilities. This is the real story of UVU.' —Dr. Astrid S Tuminez

Dear friends,

So much happens at a university in one year, it’s almost like time passes differently. There are so many achievements, challenges, and moments of joy.

I’m excited to share some of these highlights from the past academic year with you, including the words of author and leadership expert Whitney Johnson, who delivered our Spring Presidential Lecture.

“Learning is the oxygen of human growth,” she said, describing the path individuals take as we grow and change. She encouraged each of us to keep striving for new achievements, otherwise, “your plateau will become a precipice. What do you do? You keep climbing.”

In some ways, this is the story of UVU. We’ve done a lot of climbing — both the university and our students.

This year marks our 15th as a university, but our roots go back to 1941 when we opened as a small technical training facility to support the war effort. Our transformation since then has been breathtaking.

As I conclude my fifth year as UVU’s president, I am proud of what we have accomplished. Today, UVU is an innovative university and community college wrapped in one. With our open-admissions policy, we invite all students to “come as you are.” More than 43,000 have answered the call, joining together to create the largest university in the state. From 2022 to 2023, we helped 8,517 students earn 9,629 degrees and certificates. And we’re doing all we can to keep the cost of education affordable so that more students can keep climbing.

We have worked tirelessly to deliver on our commitment to include all students, regardless of background. We engage them with rigorous, meaningful learning opportunities and help them achieve their personal and professional goals for learning.

I am grateful to everyone who helped our students succeed over the past year, including the Utah Legislature. Lawmakers funded traditional needs and supported innovative programs like the Native American Excellence Opportunity, which will help more than 800 Native American students find community and achieve their academic dreams at UVU. I also salute our outstanding faculty and staff who show up every day with the goal of making a difference for our students and each other.

I’m also grateful to our generous benefactors, whose donations are an affirmation of the important work UVU is doing. More members of our community are joining them through EverGREEN, our first-ever comprehensive campaign for the university, which will support new programs and scholarships. You’ll read more about some of these transformative gifts in the following pages.

This past year, we refreshed UVU’s Vision 2030, a strategic, 10-year roadmap detailing our mission to meet the educational and workforce needs of UVU’s service region through 2030 and beyond. It was a wonderful opportunity to reflect on how UVU has provided exceptional care, exceptional accountability, and exceptional results while also setting goals to achieve even more. Our focus remains on helping our students succeed, whatever their dreams. To learn more, visit uvu.edu/vision2030/.

Of all the things I’m proud of from the past year, the most inspiring examples come from our students, staff, and faculty. Their stories are the heart of this annual report. Please read them and enjoy. You’ll meet hard-working students who overcame challenges to achieve their goals. Athletes who experienced moments of triumph. Artists who brought meaning and joy to our community. And you’ll gain a new appreciation for the dedicated UVU faculty and staff who provide the “oxygen” for student growth every day.

Together, we’ve created a place of limitless possibilities. This is the real story of UVU.

Thank you for your support.

With warmest regards,

Astrid S. Tuminez signature

Dr. Astrid S. Tuminez
President, Utah Valley University

A Place for

At UVU, we believe that everyone deserves the life-changing benefits of higher education. We are dedicated to offering our students exceptional learning experiences that are affordable, flexible, and tailored to each student to help them achieve their unique goals. We welcome individuals from all walks of life and empower them to thrive in an inclusive, supportive, and accessible learning environment. We believe that every individual has great potential and want everyone who steps through our doors to find their place at UVU.

UVU is dedicated to providing a place where students of all backgrounds can find connection and achieve their academic goals. Read more about these efforts here.

Latinos of Tomorrow Summer Bridge Program participants tour UVU’s Orem Campus.

a Thriving

UVU Latino Initiative serves growing community, individual needs

Utah's population has transformed over the past decade with a rapidly expanding Latino community. According to United States Census data, 15% of Utahns are Latino, while 30% of Utahns under age 18 identify as racial or ethnic minorities — up from 24% in 2010.

Utah Valley University has been well prepared to address this increase and help each student find success. In fall 2022, more than 5,000 students enrolled at UVU identified as Hispanic or Latino — about 12% of UVU’s total enrollment. In the halls and classrooms, on the athletic fields, on the stage, and in the community, Latino Wolverines have found a home at UVU.

The faculty and staff at UVU understand that each Latino student is an individual with different needs. One might be ready to thrive the moment classes begin. One might have grown up in Utah as a child of legal immigrants, with a desire to reconnect to their heritage. Another might be an international student on a visa. For another, obtaining financial aid might be their greatest need. Or overcoming the language barrier. Or finding suitable housing.

In other words: Addressing the educational needs of this rapidly rising demographic isn’t a one-size-fits-all proposition. ▀

Since 2012, UVU’s Latino student enrollment has increased by 113.52%.

USHE Institutional Data and UVU Business Intelligence and Research Services

UVU’s Latino Initiative was founded in 2007 with the aim to increase access, equitable educational opportunities, and enrollment and graduation rates for Latino students. Since then, it has helped thousands of Latino students at UVU thrive, earn degrees, and, most importantly, find a place for themselves in Utah Valley.

Elizabeth Nield, director of UVU’s Latino Initiative, said her vision is to provide services and programs to encourage inclusion, remove barriers, foster cultural competence through best practices, and guide students’ journeys to success. She wants to create a home away from home and a refuge for Latino students at UVU.

“My students are my friends,” Nield said. “Even when they’ve finished school, they know they can consider you a friend. That’s the most important part I have seen.”

In addition to the Latino Initiative, UVU provides programs, activities, and events to help Latino students feel at home — in some cases, even before they’ve started attending classes.

UVU offers three summer program options for high school students: Latino Scientists of Tomorrow, Engineers and Technologists of Tomorrow, and Business Leaders of Tomorrow. Each one is a tuition-free, 10-week course of classes and activities designed to increase the number of underrepresented students in Utah who graduate with STEM degrees.

The programs have been so successful that they’re now being piloted at six other universities across the nation, and they’ve received $2 million in support via a partnership with Dominion Energy.

“About 85% of the students who complete the Latino Scientists of Tomorrow Summer Bridge Program come to UVU for at least one semester after graduating high school,” said Daniel Horns, dean of UVU’s College of Science and co-administrator of the Latinos of Tomorrow Summer Bridge Program. “About 40% of those students are majoring in a STEM field.”

UVU also highlights resources, scholarships, and financial aid in numerous community outreach events at high schools and other places where families feel comfortable, meeting them where they are and providing information in Spanish to those who need it.

UVU senior Hector Cedillo, president of UVU’s Latino Leadership Council, said the biggest thing he tries to communicate at these events is that there are no limits on what Latino kids can do in life.

“Sometimes people think Latinos come to the U.S. just to work, you know, construction and restaurants, things like that,” Cedillo said, “When in reality, we have the potential, the capacity, the skills, the knowledge to become a CEO of a company, become a business owner. There are so many more things that we can do.”

Cedillo, a Mexico native who first immigrated to Connecticut before moving to Utah, said he was looking for that “home away from home” Nield described — something that can be a big obstacle for Latino students uncomfortable with the local language and culture.

“I feel like the biggest challenge that we have is just being away from your loved ones, your family, your friends,” Cedillo said. “So you start talking to your classmates, your neighbors, and you pretty much create your own family here.”

Latino-focused events at UVU, such as Bachata Fest and Celebración Latinoamericana, help students and community members preserve and embrace their cultures, even if they’re a long way from their countries of origin.

“We don’t want students to lose their cultural background,” Nield said. “That’s so important for us. When another person knows about your culture, they can get to know you. You’re not putting on a mask. You don’t think, ‘Oh, I need to be another person, because I don’t fit here.’”

Together, these efforts earned UVU recognition as an Outstanding Member Institution by the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU), a nonprofit organization representing more than 500 colleges and universities in the U.S., Latin America, Spain, and school districts throughout the nation.

On average 145 students participate in UVU’s Latino Summer Bridge Programs each year.

UVU Latino Initiative

“We are so grateful for the support from HACU as we continue to serve our growing and diverse communities,” said Kyle Reyes, UVU vice president of Institutional Advancement, who accepted the award at HACU’s annual conference in San Diego in October 2022. “Inclusivity is among [UVU’s] founding pillars. We have led the way in initiatives to open the door to success for everyone.”

While the challenges of a college education can seem daunting and varied, Cedillo said the resources are here to help at UVU.

“Regardless of your immigration status, if you’re from Utah or not, if you speak the language or not, college is really hard,” he said. “You need to have people around you. There are so many resources here. You just have to put in the effort and sacrifice. The sky is the limit.” ▀

“About 85% of the students who complete the Latino Scientists of Tomorrow Summer Bridge Program come to UVU for at least one semester after graduating high school. About 40% of those students are majoring in a STEM field.”

— Daniel Horns
dean of UVU’s College of Science and co-administrator of the Latino Scientists of Tomorrow program

Yvonne Nsabimana

Student Spotlight

Yvonne Nsabimana had a happy childhood in Rwanda — but it was interrupted by the Rwandan Civil War. In April 1994, she and her mother and siblings were waiting for their father to return home. Nsabimana heard a huge explosion and her family later learned that their father died.

“Normally, the funeral would follow,” Nsabimana said. “Unfortunately, that’s not what happened.”

She and her mother and siblings fled to Belgium, covered in the back of a truck. When they arrived, she and her siblings had to find work to help the family make ends meet. In the midst of tragedy, Nsabimana connected to dance.

“I was in a Rwandese ballet company there since I was almost 14,” she said. “That really helped me heal with the trauma of war and the sense of community that brought me back to the sense of life.”

In 2008, she began studying transportation management and logistics at UVU as an international student. Her marketing and career success class especially resonated with her. “[The class] helped me with the next thing I ended up doing in my life.”

Nsabimana began teaching African dance, and even created a nonprofit called Ngoma y’Africa, which helps communities in Utah and the African diaspora connect with African culture. They often partner with UVU’s African Diaspora Initiative, too.

“We offer them that sense of self-acceptance, the sense of being happy — because it’s hard to navigate the system,” Nsabimana said. “It’s really hard to be able to feel like you belong sometimes in a community where you are a visible minority. So we try to build that sense of community and that sense of belonging, and we are really grateful for that partnership [with UVU].”

New Funding for Native American Students

In Utah’s 2023 legislative session, UVU received funding to establish a Native American Excellence Opportunity, providing scholarships, mentorship programs, and academic support to promote Native American student achievement. UVU’s Native American students bring invaluable cultural contributions and perspectives to our campus community. The university strives to create a welcoming environment that fosters academic success and personal growth for our Native American students through strong support and resources.

UVU Named a Top 10 Military-friendly School

UVU is dedicated to supporting its more than 2,000 veteran students with unique resources, including the Veteran Success Center, which currently serves about 800 military veteran students and 2,400 military dependents. UVU’s commitment was further acknowledged in May 2023, when the university earned a Top 10 Military Friendly School designation from Military Friendly, an organization that reviews college and university investments in serving military and veteran students.

Uniting With Language

In February 2023, UVU’s Office of Inclusion and Diversity and Department of Languages and Cultures celebrated International Mother Language Day, emphasizing the importance of linguistic diversity and cultural heritage. Activities included multicultural performances from the Cultural Envoy Leadership Program and a “word wall” where notes written in different languages were shared with the campus community.

Celebrating Black History and Culture

At UVU, our Black students are a fundamental part of our campus community and diverse student body, and we strive to celebrate Black history and culture throughout the year. In January 2023, UVU held its annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration Week, featuring speakers Anthony Ray Hinton and Dr. David Kwabena Wilson, and held service activities.

During Black History Month in February, UVU's African Diaspora Initiative hosted several events for all students.

Instant picture #1: Speaker Anthony Ray Hinton signs copies of his book for students.
Large image: Dr. David Kwabena Wilson Speaks at UVU in January 2023.
Lower right: This year, all students were invited to activities and events celebrating Black culture, including a Black History Month skate night, a Juneteenth celebration, and a visit from the Utah Black History Museum bus.

Wolverines Show Their Pride

At UVU, we’re proud of our Wolverines of all gender identities. In June 2023, UVU celebrated Pride Month with activities like creating pride tote bags and a campus-wide poster exhibit highlighting 10 queer trailblazers. UVU students, staff, and faculty also proudly marched in the Utah Pride Parade on June 4 in Salt Lake City. Year-round, UVU’s LGBTQ+ Student Services provides a range of resources, support, and programming to ensure safety and inclusion on campus for LGBTQ+ Wolverines.

Supporting Firsts in the Family

UVU supports students throughout their educational journeys with a particular focus on first-year students and first-generation college attendees. These students face unique challenges, and UVU is committed to providing comprehensive assistance. From personalized advising and academic support to resources tailored to their needs, UVU ensures that all students receive the guidance and resources necessary for a successful college experience with resources such as the First-Generation Student Success Center and the First-Year Advising Center.

37% of UVU students are first-generation, meaning that neither of the student’s parents completed a bachelor’s degree.

UVU Business Intelligence and Research Services, Fall 2022

Providing a Place for Student-parents

UVU is dedicated to providing comprehensive support to its student-parents, recognizing the unique challenges they face in balancing academic pursuits with parental responsibilities. UVU’s Wee Care Center provides a safe and nurturing environment where students can entrust their children while they focus on their studies, supporting 178 children and 119 families in the past year alone.

In 2023, UVU introduced a new play area in the Fulton Library, providing a welcoming space for student-parents to study, read, and research while keeping their children entertained nearby. Since 2019, UVU has also provided Mamava pods to allow mothers to access a private, secure spot for breastfeeding. UVU also introduced a website where student-parents can find helpful resources specific to their needs: uvu.edu/studentlife/new-parents.

Kaitlin Lebeau

Student Spotlight

Kaitlin LeBeau, a theatre major at UVU, grew up as a Child of Deaf Adults (CODA), giving her a unique perspective that she said formed her into the person she is today.

“Imagine being in the grocery line, and the cashier asks, ‘Hey, how are you today?’ And the five-year-old who’s loading groceries onto the cart is like, ‘We’re doing good, thanks!’” LeBeau said. “I got a firsthand look at how the world isn’t fair or the same for everyone who lives in it. Going through high school and college, I realized that [being a CODA] is kind of like a superpower.”

This past year, LeBeau shared her superpower with the UVU community when she was an assistant director, understudy, and American Sign Language (ASL) coach for a production of “Romeo and Juliet” that featured Deaf actors and actors with autism.

“We wanted to do an ASL version of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ because Deaf people have existed forever and ever, and they‘re going to continue to exist,” LeBeau said. “But their stories are rarely told because people don‘t want to get over the hill of casting a Deaf person in something.”

LeBeau encourages UVU students to take leaps. “Ask if you can get involved, because there is a spot for you,” she said. “And once you find it here, you‘re going to do so great. And it‘s going to be so great.”

The Women‘s Success Center celebrates the graduation of scholarship recipients.

Supporting Wolverine Women

From the women in UVU’s student body to President Astrid S. Tuminez and everywhere in between, women impact all levels of education at UVU. We strive to celebrate and honor the accomplishments of our women Wolverines during Women’s History Month each March, as well as throughout the year. UVU proudly supports women with the student-run organization Women of UVU, the Women’s Leadership Academy, and the Women’s Success Center.

Over the past year, UVU's women's success center had a remarkable impact on UVU's community:

UVU students



students completed the Women‘s Leadership Academy program


Women of UVU
Leadership Council members

Student scholarships awarded

At UVU, women's enrollment increased to 43% in the College of Science.

UVU Business Intelligence and Research Services, Fall 2022

Online Programs Offer Flexibility

UVU Online programs empower students of all backgrounds to pursue their academic goals on their own terms. UVU offers 40+ diverse programs online and adds more each year, allowing students to integrate education into their busy lives and foster a culture of lifelong learning.

UVU offers 40+ online programs and has added new programs in the past year, including:

Bachelor of Science in healthcare administration
Bachelor of Science in public health
Associate of Science in public health

A Place for

UVU offers students valuable opportunities for growth, learning, and innovation both inside and outside the classroom. With the openness of a community college and the rigorous curricula of a four-year university, UVU empowers students with academic experiences that lead to success in work and life. Our dynamic engaged learning model and dedicated staff and faculty mentors provide students with the knowledge, resources, and skills that empower them to flourish and forge career paths they can take pride in.

UVU School of Education students visited Navajo Nation elementary schools and taught students using robotics. Read more about these efforts here.

New Horizons

UVU Students Receive Hands-on Learning Experiences in Navajo Nation Elementary Schools

In March 2023, 16 UVU School of Education students toured Utah’s San Juan County elementary schools to instruct K-6 students using robotics and network with professional educators.

“This trip provides our UVU preservice teachers, the elementary school students, and the K-6 teachers with an opportunity to witness how engaging robotics can be and how computer science can be integrated across the content areas,” said Krista Ruggles, elementary education professor and director of the UVU Creative Learning Studio.

San Juan County has 12 schools, six of which are in the Navajo Nation, a Native American reservation that occupies a portion of southeastern Utah. UVU students taught at three elementary schools in the Navajo Nation: Tsébii‘nidzisgai Elementary School (TES), Montezuma Creek Elementary School, and Bluff Elementary School.

Faculty instructed UVU students about navigating cultural differences while teaching in Navajo Nation classrooms to help students build awareness of the world around them. Students on the trip earned the global/intercultural distinction on their transcripts, demonstrating that they have graduated with global and intercultural competencies and skills necessary for future employment and graduate school.

Elementary education students and twin sisters Sarahi and Arahi Salgado took this instruction to heart and developed a kinship with the Navajo students they taught.

“Teaching at [TES], I was able to relate to the kids because I am a person of color,” Arahi Salgado said. “And not just because of that, but also because of my experiences at home. Some teachers have told [me] that a lot of students are absent much of the time, and that was our situation. Growing up, we were going through a hard time; our parents just got divorced. We were absent so much that we were behind … I want to be the one person in the room that says, ‘Hey, you‘re struggling. Let‘s do it together … It doesn‘t matter how many weeks it takes, but let‘s work.’”

Sarahi Salgado recalled a similar experience in TES.

“I loved noticing how special our differences can be,” she said. “When we went into one of the classrooms, I started asking the kids questions like ‘What does your name mean?’ Because they all have unique names like my sister and I do. And ‘What other languages do you speak?’ … it was so beautiful to see the connections, even though we‘re so different in a way. I kind of saw myself in the kids.”

The student-teachers used lesson plans incorporating robotics from the UVU Creative Learning Studio. One such lesson was the Robot Mouse, which can be used to teach children lessons in geometry, algorithms, problem-solving, and coding — important STEM principles.

While UVU students worked with children in classrooms, School of Education faculty Krista Ruggles, Mike Patch, Joey Foote, and Dean Vessela Ilieva worked with district staff to see how schools could integrate robotics into teachers’ lesson plans.

“This effort is beneficial for both sides,” said Shannon Dewsnup, San Juan School District assessment director. “I think it‘s beneficial for the students to … get that hands-on experience to go into the classroom and work with these students. Our district is so unique; you’ll never find another across the whole United States.”

In just five days, UVU students experienced a kind of engaged learning no college class could ever teach.

“This trip is a hands-on learning experience of how I can be more flexible in my teaching, and it‘s giving me that practice,” elementary education student Madison Pond said. “This has inspired me to make my lessons more engaging, more hands-on, where we can learn together.” ▀

Innovation Academy:
Investing in Experience

Launched in 2022 UVU’s Innovation Academy provides programs aimed at giving students the hands-on experience they need to supplement their classroom learning.

“We want to give students a sense for what life will be like after graduation and alleviate fear that there won’t be jobs waiting for them,” said Tammy Clark, associate provost for Academic Innovation and head of the Innovation Academy. “We want to fill students with hope that this investment in themselves — attending college — will pay off.”

The Innovation Academy offers cutting-edge programs, including Excelerate, the Excellence and Innovation Initiative (e2i), research and creative works, service learning, internships, and more.

Campaigning for a Healthier Campus

UVU communications students partnered with UTA to launch the “Give the Gift of Clean Air” campaign, an initiative encouraging students, faculty, and staff to use public transportation, carpool, or bike to reduce air pollution.

Student Explores Light Pollution Impact on Great Salt Lake Birds

Lia Rabellino, an integrated studies major with minors in biology and environmental studies, wanted a capstone project that gave her research experience. Working with the Great Salt Lake Audubon, she explored the impact of light pollution at the Gillmor Sanctuary, a bird habitat along the Great Salt Lake’s southern shore.

Just miles from the Salt Lake City International Airport, the new state prison, and the proposed inland port site, the sanctuary faces increasing artificial light. Through her research, Rabellino hopes to provide insight into how it impacts local birds.

Rabellino, who graduated in 2023, will present her project at a national conference this fall.

UVU Students Work With United Nations on Global Sustainability

A delegation of 48 students from UVU’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences attended the 67th session of the Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City in March 2023. There, the students presented research, toured the general assembly, and met high-level U.N. officials. Students also presented original research and a 1,600-page publication of 78 peer-reviewed scholarly articles.

“Once again, UVU’s voice reaches far and wide and empowers our students to deliver their research as they advocate for women everywhere at the 67th session of the Commission on the Status of Women,” said Baldomero Lago, UVU’s chief international officer.

This past year, 3.175 UVU students completed internships, a 13% increase since 2018.

UVU Career and Internship Center


A Place for

At UVU, we’re driven by the mission of empowering our students with engaged teaching, services, and scholarship. In short, everything we do is powered by the goal of helping students succeed in their professional careers and personal lives, so they can better contribute to their families, employers, and communities. We take immense pride in providing our Wolverines with the knowledge, skills, and resources that help them thrive — and we know these achievements are just the beginning.

At commencement, the Class of 2023 was encouraged to enjoy the journey and embrace stages of transition. Read more about the journey here.

Celebrating Wolverine Achievement

At Commencement 2023, UVU honored 8,517 graduates from all backgrounds:

  • 87.7% are from Utah

  • 49.6% identify as female

  • 33.6% are first-generation students

  • 18.7% are students of color

  • Oldest graduate is 69 years old, the youngest is 16

The graduates received a total of 9,629 degrees including:

  • 4,226 bachelor's degree

  • 2,725 associate degrees

  • 422 master's degree

  • 2,224 certificates or diplomas

  • 32 graduate certificates

After Graduation...

  • Graduates who said their experiences were good or excellent: 96%

  • Are employed one year after graduation: 83%

  • Percentage of employed UVU graduates who have responsibilities very related or moderately related to their course of study: 64%

  • Percentage of graduates continuing education one year after graduation: 39%

From 2017 to 2023, the number of degrees and certificates awarded by UVU increased by 236%.

UVU Business Intelligence and Research Services

UVU ranks in the top 20% of US colleges for economic mobility.

Third Way

UVU has 250+
Program Options

Certificate programs: 80
Associate degrees: 59
Bachelor's degrees: 101
Master's degrees: 18
Online programs: 44


Average age of students: 24.7
How many total students:  43,099 total students (4% increase from previous year)
Full-time equivalent students: 27,646.12 (3% increase from previous year)
High school students: 13,612 (10% increase from previous year)
Faculty and staff: 5,437 (5% increase from previous year)

Top 3 states students come from: California, Arizona, Idaho
How many states represented: 50
Top 3 countries students came from: South Korea, China, Mexico
How many countries represented: 66


UVU Student Wins National Design Competition, Work Displayed in New York City

UVU graphic design student Evan West created a 3D model of a red and white rocket ship careening through space, surrounded by meteors, planets, and stars. He created it with his wife, Ashley West, a student at Brigham Young University. The couple were announced winners of the Wonderbox Challenge, a national entrepreneurial competition, and their work was displayed on LG’s billboard in Times Square in New York City from mid-December 2022 through mid-January 2023.

UVU Takes Home Gold in SkillsUSA

In keeping with university tradition, UVU has once again flourished at the SkillsUSA National Leadership & Skills Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, in June 2023. UVU took home two national champion gold medals, two silver medals, and three bronze medals and podium finishes. Nearly 6,000 students from across the country competed in the conference. In 19 categories at the national conference, 18 of the 19 UVU competitors finished in the top 10, including three category participants who finished just off the podium in fourth place.

Culinary Champs Win Gold

UVU culinary students Lindsay Peck and Sarrenity Dickson earned top honors in the American Culinary Federation (ACF) competition, winning gold medals and accolades for their culinary expertise and craftsmanship. The students‘ exceptional performance reflects UVU‘s commitment to providing a comprehensive culinary education and nurturing talent in the culinary arts.

Priscilla VillaseÑor-Navarro

Alumni Spotlight

Priscilla Villaseñor-Navarro, a first-generation Mexican-Dominican, first-generation student, and UVU integrated studies major, said her experience at UVU was remarkable because of her decision to get involved. During her time at the university, she was a Center for Social Impact fellow and a UVU Student Association employee. She was also a diversity and inclusion presidential intern through the Presidential Internship Program, which is made possible by funds raised at the annual UVU Presidential Scholarship Ball.

She also coordinated the Clothesline Project, an event that displays T-shirts from victims of sexual assault and domestic abuse. The event emphasized sexual abuse at the Mexico border and toward Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women.

Now graduated, Villaseñor-Navarro hopes to continue working in diversity, inclusion, and equity. “Looking back at being a fellow at the Center for Social Impact and being a presidential intern … that’s where I found that I’m most happy and fulfilled, doing that work and being in those spaces.”

Aviation Program Soars

UVU’s Aviation Program helps rank UVU as a top 50 public university system regarding return on investment. A bachelor’s degree in aviation at UVU provides an ROI of $450,980, with hundreds of students graduating from the program each year.


Money Mastery: Personal Financial Planning Wins

UVU’s Personal Financial Planning Program had an exceptional year, marked by a series of victories in prestigious competitions. In July 2022, they won the International Association of Registered Financial Consultants (IARFC) competition. In October 2022, a team of three students won the Financial Planning Association (FPA) Financial Planning Challenge. The program’s success continued in November 2022, when they took first place in the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education (AFCPE) Knowledge Bowl. These wins are a testament to the training and commitment of students and faculty in the Personal Financial Planning Program, a top-10 nationally ranked program.

Pedro Del Valle

Student Spotlight

UVU junior Pedro Del Valle grew up in Florida before moving to Utah. He grew up with a single mother, and his family had few options to earn money. His brothers eventually became involved with crime, selling drugs and stolen designer items.

“They weren‘t shown many options, especially coming from uneducated immigrant parents,” Del Valle said. “One thing that was very present in my life growing up was that money was very needed to survive and to enjoy your life, basically. Education was shown as something that is an option, but I was never shown how to achieve it.”

After graduating from high school, Del Valle worked odd jobs in food service and at a moving company. “I was going through the motions with no determination and no end goal of what I wanted to do. It was just money,” he said.

When his wife convinced him to pursue higher education, Del Valle enrolled at UVU, and soon found a strikingly different environment compared to his education in Florida. “I was shown a very different aspect of education … [Teachers] were passionate about what they did and passionate about teaching students.”

As a child, Del Valle had always enjoyed math and science, and at UVU, pursuing his passions finally seemed possible. He became involved with Underrepresented Students in Science (U-SIS), a program that strives to increase retention and completion rates for those underrepresented in science and health.

In summer 2023, Del Valle will attend the Blavatnik Institute at Harvard Medical School as a research student, along with three other UVU students. The students will work in the laboratory of Dr. Silvi Rouskin, principal investigator and assistant professor of microbiology at Harvard Medical School.

Men's Basketball Makes History

UVU Students Receive Hands-on Learning Experiences in Navajo Nation Elementary Schools

The UVU men's basketball team shattered records in 2022-23, finishing with a 28-9 record — the most wins in program history — and a trip to the Final Four of the National Invitational Tournament (NIT).

Early in the season, the Wolverines surprised opponents by defeating Oregon from the Pac-12 on the road, then by claiming the Utah Valley crown with a second consecutive win over crosstown rivals Brigham Young University — the first time UVU has beaten BYU in back-to-back matchups.

The Wolverines then rampaged through their WAC foes, claiming the regular-season title with a 15-3 record. After a narrow overtime loss in the WAC Tournament semifinals, UVU accepted a bid to play in the NIT for the second time in program history, where they defeated New Mexico and Colorado on the road before hosting Cincinnati in the first-ever UVU home game to be broadcast on ESPN. The Wolverines defeated the Bearcats, earning a spot in the NIT semifinals in Las Vegas, where they lost an overtime heartbreaker to the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

UVU earned numerous WAC honors in recognition of its superb season. Sophomore center Aziz Bandaogo was named WAC Defensive Player of the Year. Bandaogo, along with Le’Tre Darthard and Trey Woodbury, also earned First Team All-WAC honors. Head coach Mark Madsen, who departed UVU to become head coach at the University of California, was named WAC Head Coach of the Year.

Battling on the Mat

Evan Bockman claimed third at the U23 Freestyle Team Trials, finishing the tournament 6-1 overall. Three other Wolverines — Yusief Lillie, Kase Mauger, and Isaiah Delgado — made the consolation rounds of eight.

Academic Wins

This academic year, 85.51% of student-athletes had cumulative GPAs between 3.0 and 4.0, with 14 student-athletes earning perfect 4.0 GPAs.

UVU’s student-athlete graduation success rate is 87%.

UVU athletics

A Sensational Soccer Season

In October 2022, Heather Stainbrook scored the game winner and broke the Utah Valley career points record in leading the Wolverines to a 2-0 win over Utah Tech in the team’s regular season finale at Clyde Field. The win secured the Wolverines the outright Western Athletic Conference regular season championship. Utah Valley finished the season with a 13-3-3 overall record.

Cheer Champions

UVU teams walked away as national champions after competing at the 2023 NCA & NDA Collegiate Cheer and Dance Championship. UVU’s Spirit Squad placed first in the Division 1A Game Day category. The dance team placed first in the Division 1 Hip Hop category and second in the Division 1 Jazz category. The cheer team placed second in the Advanced All-Girl Division 1 category.

Forbes logo

UVU is ranked among Utah’s top 10 best-in-state employers

Forbes 2022

Golfer Sets Winning Records

At the Pizza Hut Pat Hicks Invitational, senior golfer Brady McKinlay won his fourth straight individual title to become Utah Valley‘s all-time career wins leader. He also won all four of his individual titles this season in back-to-back-to-back-to-back tournaments.

2023 Awards of Excellence

In April 2023, the UVU Presidential and Board of Trustees Awards of Excellence recognized and honored 11 full-time faculty and staff members who dedicate their time and talents to students, scholarship, and the advancement of higher education. Through their work, these award recipients have exemplified exceptional care, exceptional accountability, and exceptional results. Their dedication has played a pivotal role in nurturing student success and upholding the ideals that make UVU a place for all students.

Trustees Awards

Frederick White

Professor, Russian and Integrated Studies

Wendy Farnsworth

Academic Advisor, College of Health and Public Service

Laura Busby

Director, Business Intelligence and Research Services

Ibrahim Tashman

Director, Dining Services

John Hansen

Director, Dining Services

Presidential Awards

Ryan Law

Director, Money
Success Center

Jeremy Knee

Deputy General Counsel

Matthew Potts

Assistant Athletic Director, Development

Daniel Delgadillo

Director, Culture and Talent

Amanda Hyer

Lead Project Manager, University Marketing and Communications

Marisa King

Senior Director, Student Leadership and Involvement

Community Staff Awards and Recognitions

Emilio Manuel Camu

Emilio Manuel Camu

Emilio Manuel Camu, director of UVU’s First-Generation Student Success Center and director of OCA Asian Pacific American Advocates Utah, was named one of 22 recipients of Utah Business Magazine’s Living Color Awards.

Clark Collings

Clark Collings

In April 2023, UVU’s general counsel, Clark Collings, was recognized as one of the top in-house legal attorneys in Utah with a Utah Business Magazine 2023 Corporate Counsel award at a banquet in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Tara Ivie

Tara Ivie

In May 2023, Tara Ivie, associate vice president of Inclusive Excellence at UVU, was featured in Utah Business Magazine’s 30 Women to Watch list. The list features “exceptional women in Utah businesses [who] empower others and confidently lead their companies.” LINDA MAKIN

Linda Makin

Linda Makin

Linda Makin, vice president of Planning, Budget, and Finance, received the Utah System of Higher Education Women’s Leadership Exchange Elizabeth Hitch Mentorship Award. In May 2023, Makin retired after more than 40 years of service to UVU

Kara North

Kara North

Kara North, UVU Board of Trustees member and Alumni Association Advisory Board president, was named one of Utah Valley Business Quarterly’s 40 Under 40 for her work as a managing partner of Moxie Law Group.

Kevin 'Ook' Woods II

Kevin "Ook" Woods II

In June 2023, Kevin “DoK” Woods II, mental health specialist for UVU Athletics, was named one of Utah Valley Business Quarterly’s 40 Under 40. Woods was recognized for helping high-end performers achieve success by focusing on mental health.

Steven J Sonnenberg

Alumni Spotlight

Steven J. Sonnenberg is the CEO and co-founder of Awardco. He graduated from UVU in 2006 with a degree in computer science and played basketball for the men’s team from 1999 to 2000.

Sonnenberg started his first company, WholesaleMatch, while a junior in college. The venture quickly grew into a multimillion-dollar company. Mentors in UVU’s entrepreneurship program encouraged Sonnenberg to enter the Loyola Marymount University Entrepreneurship Contest, where he represented UVU. He took home second place among thousands of applicants in the West Coast Region.

In 2011, Sonnenberg started Awardco, a company that aimed to modernize employee recognition. Awardco has continued to grow in revenue each year, and Sonnenberg has won multiple awards for his work building Awardco, including recognitions such as top 25 fastest-growing companies in the U.S. by Inc. Magazine, fastest-growing company in Utah by MountainWest Capital, and 2022 Entrepreneur of the Year by BusinessQ Magazine. Sonnenberg was also recently inducted into the UV50 Hall of Fame.

2023 Alumni Award Winners

In February 2023, UVU honored alumni and community members who have distinguished themselves through career success and for their efforts in supporting UVU and its students.

Lychelle L. Day and Aaron D. Day

UVU Alumni Impact Award

Lychelle L. Day ‘03 and Aaron D. Day ‘04

James N. Clarke and Andrea M. Clarke

UVU Honorary Alumni Award

James N. Clarke and Andrea M. Clarke

Steven J. Sonnenberg

UVU Distinguished Alumni Award

Steven J. Sonnenberg ‘06

Christopher S. Chileshe

UVU Alumni Impact Award

Christopher S. Chileshe ‘12

Chad W. Linebaugh

University Partner Award

Chad W. Linebaugh ‘99

Linda J. Makin

Wilson W. Sorensen
Lifetime Achievement Award

Linda J. Makin ‘02

A Place for

UVU serves as the setting for crucial dialogues that hold the power to shape the future of our community and the world at large. Within our vibrant campus environment, these conversations create ripples that extend far beyond our boundaries and provide students with unparalleled learning opportunities. UVU actively fosters an atmosphere that encourages these exchanges, supporting students and local businesses and making a lasting impact on communities.

Whitney Johnson spoke on learning, growth, and self-innovation in the spring 2023 Presidential Lecture at UVU.

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Center for Constitutional Studies Constitution Day Conference

Legal scholars and researchers from around the world gathered for the UVU Center for Constitutional Studies Constitution Day Conference, held in observance of Constitution Day on Sept. 17. Speakers presented on the Reconstruction Amendments.

September 2022

October 2022

6th Annual Suicide Prevention Conference

UVU hosted the sixth annual Suicide Prevention Conference to bring attention to mental health, educate the public on suicide prevention resources, and remember those lost to suicide.

Nobel Prize Recipient Speaks in College of Science Panel

Nobel Prize recipient and Howard Hughes Medical Institute president Dr. Tom Cech addressed students during the “Finding A Place for You in STEM” panel discussion luncheon hosted by UVU’s College of Science and Underrepresented Students in STEM (U-SIS).

November 2022

November 2022

Presidential Lecture Series: Elazer Edelman

Renowned medical doctor, engineer, scientist, and professor Elazer Edelman emphasi-zed the need for community in scientific innovation as he gave the fall 2022 Presidenti-al Lecture titled “Engineering, Science, and Medicine: Partners in Translation.”

Presidential Lecture Series: Whitney Johnson

Renowned business thinker, world-class lecturer, and bestselling author Whitney Johnson spoke on learning, growth, and self-innovation as she delivered the spring 2023 Presidential Lecture.

February 2023

March 2023

Annual Conference on Addiction

UVU’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences held its annual Conference on Addiction, featuring speakers Tom Arnold and Dr. Lipi Roy. The conference addressed Utah‘s ever-increasing addiction problem, including sessions, services, and booths on addiction-related topics, including support.

Annual Conference on Domestic Violence

In April 2023, UVU’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences held its 2023 Conference on Domestic Violence featuring keynote spea-ker Dr. Ludy Green, an international expert on domestic violence and founder of Second Chance Employment Services.

April 20223

April 2023

UVU Sustainability Summit

Experts in engineering, technology, policy, social entrepreneurship, and sustainability gathered in April 2023 in the Scott C. and Karen Keller Building for the second annual UVU Sustainability Summit to discuss challenges and solutions in the fields of sustainability and environmental consciousness.




A Place for

As an open-admissions public teaching university, UVU’s mission is focused on student success. Our faculty are attracted to UVU because of that mission, as well as our focus on engaged learning, small class sizes, and student mentoring. UVU’s exceptional faculty work hard through research and scholarly and creative works to stay current in their fields of expertise, ensuring students receive the most relevant, high-quality education.

UVU associate professor Daren Nelson taught UVU students how to use scientific instruments to measure water flow at Utah Lake. Read about UVU faculty members‘ research at Utah Lake here.

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A Place for
Building Futures

UVU extends its appreciation to the state legislature, donors, alumni, and community partners whose generous support has been instrumental to our continued growth and success. With every donation, our capacity to provide transformative educational experiences is amplified. Together, we are making a profound impact on the lives of students, fostering a culture of excellence and innovation that resonates far beyond our campus walls.

The 2022 UVU President‘s Scholarship Ball raised funds to empower student success and shared an exciting announcement about EverGREEN, UVU‘s inaugural comprehensive campaign. Read more here.

President's Scholarship Ball Fuels Student Success

UVU hosted its 32nd annual President’s Scholarship Ball on October 22, 2022. This year’s ball focused on student success, which drives UVU’s overall mission. During the event, UVU raised $455,500 for presidential scholarships, which will help students achieve their academic ambitions and graduate with work-ready skills.

The ball was also the platform for an exciting announcement introducing the university’s inaugural comprehensive campaign, EverGREEN.

Women's Success Center Raises Funds to Transform Lives

This year’s Women’s Success Center Scholarship Luncheon raised a total of $477,172, which will fund student scholarships that enable women to complete their degrees and better their lives.

icon of an award.

students received private scholarship awards (2022-23)

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was distributed for scholarship awards (2022-23)

UVU Institutional Advancement Data and Analytics

UCCU Makes Single Largest Corporate Gift in UVU History

At last year’s UVU President’s Scholarship Ball, Utah Community Credit Union (UCCU) announced a gift of $28.5 million, with $20 million directed to the development of a new soccer stadium for the university. The state-of-the-art facility will provide increased seating and national broadcast-ready equipment, along with a video screen and scoreboard.

“An investment in UVU is an investment in the future,” said UCCU CEO Bret VanAusdal. “It provides tremendous benefits for our children, families, and the entire state, especially since 80% of UVU students are from Utah, and the vast majority settle here after graduation, contributing to our local workforce, industries, and communities.”

Melanie Bastian's Love of the Arts Lives on in the New UVU Museum of Art at Lakemount

Melanie Bastian, a former member of the UVU Board of Trustees, left a legacy of “making her home open to others.” Upon her death in 2016, her four sons, Rick, Darren, Jeff, and Robbie, committed to keeping their mother’s promise to share their “beautiful home” by gifting it to UVU for what has now become the UVU Museum of Art at Lakemount. The new museum celebrated its opening to the public on May 13, 2023, with an inspiring exhibit titled, “The Art of Belonging.”

Courtney Davis, dean of UVU’s School of the Arts, shared, “Melanie opened the doors oftentimes to the community,” she said. “Now UVU is keeping her wish to expand the arts to all.”

For more information about the museum and upcoming exhibitions, visit uvu.edu/museum.

Legislative Update

During the 2023 Utah General Legislative Session, UVU secured the funding necessary for the university’s growth and expansion, as well as compensation funding to offset the burden of inflation on employees and their families.

Legislative Funding Highlights:

$1,506,700 one-time funding and $503,500 ongoing for the Native American Excellence Opportunity

$4 million one-time funding for the UVU Lehi Campus health professionals renovations

$9 million ongoing for targeted workforce development in computer science and healthcare

Kayson Christensen

Alumni Spotlight

Kayson Christensen of Payson, Utah, graduated with a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering in spring 2023. During his time at UVU, he maintained a 4.0 GPA in the UVU Mechanical Engineering Program, worked closely with professors on research, and was valedictorian of the College of Engineering and Technology. His education equipped him well for his new role as a process engineer in the 309th Missile Maintenance Group at Hill Air Force Base in Northern Utah.

Christensen said his experience at UVU prepared him for his career, especially the aspect of working with other students in his classes. “Entering this job, all I have done is work with team members on individual and group projects,” Christensen said. “My mentor has often asked for input on his individual project, as collaboration is extremely beneficial in the workplace.”

The Campaign for UVU

EverGREEN is the campaign for UVU, supporting its Vision 2030 plan, which aims to meet the educational and workforce needs of our community, state, country, and world. The campaign impacts every area of campus, from academics and athletics to student life and engaged learning.

“UVU has offered thousands of students the opportunity to change their life trajectories, develop their full potential, and impact the world,” said Kyle Reyes, vice president of Institutional Advancement and CEO of the UVU Foundation. “The EverGREEN campaign will increase UVU’s ability to provide high-quality, accessible, affordable, engaging, personalized, and relevant education that will transform the life of a student and the world as we know it.”

UVU has set an ambitious comprehensive fundraising goal of $350 million. To date, the university has achieved nearly 52% of its campaign goal and aims to complete it by fall 2026.

Fundraising includes all areas of campus, and will be achieved through student support, capital projects, programmatic growth, special initiatives, and increased university endowment. EverGREEN will be a pivotal unification point for UVU, creating a sense of inclusion for donors, regardless of how much they give or the areas they support.

Amy Sunderland'I wholeheartedly support Utah Valley University as a donor and advocate for its unwavering commitment to empowering all students. UVU enables students from all backgrounds to unlock their full potential, access opportunities, and build up their communities here in Utah and beyond.' —Amy Sunderland, UVU Foundation Board member
UVU launched EverGREEN with a special kick-off celebration for all faculty and staff, followed by a public announcement at the President’s Scholarship Ball.

UVU launched EverGREEN with a special kick-off celebration for all faculty and staff, followed by a public announcement at the President’s Scholarship Ball.

An Invitation to
Make a Difference

Kara North

“As a 2007 graduate and active UVU alumni member since 2015, I thought I knew it all about campus happenings. But I was mistaken. UVU has undergone remarkable growth and change. Visit campus again and experience the excitement firsthand. Attend artistic or athletic events, mentor students, or join the EverGREEN campaign as an ambassador. The time is right to get involved now!”

— Kara North ’07
Alumni Association Advisory Board president UVU business management

Lauren James

“Every day I wake up and am thankful for donors. They made it possible for me to receive an education. Without their support, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I want to continue making a significant difference in the lives of my fellow students and beyond.”

— Lauren James
UVU marketing major and scholarship recipient


How to give

Every donation impacts a student’s life and helps UVU grow.

Give Today  

Making UVU a Place for You

Reflecting on the past year, Utah Valley University remains steadfast in its commitment to making our university a place for innovators, a place for creators, a place for dreamers — a place for everyone.

As we stride forward, we are dedicated to providing exceptional care, exceptional accountability, and exceptional results for students of all backgrounds and aspirations while meeting Utah’s evolving higher education and workforce needs.