Our Mission

The Center for the Study of Ethics (CSE) advances the interdisciplinary exploration of ethical theory and practice. We administer a variety of programs designed to advance ethics education on our campus, within our community, and in national and cross-cultural contexts. The study of ethics is a critical tool in navigating the complexities of personal, professional, and civic life. The CSE is a nonpartisan, non-advocacy organization committed to the inclusion of diverse perspectives and practices. 
 
Center  activities include:
  • educational programs for students and faculty
  • public forums to promote civic engagement
  • interdisciplinary research projects


FIVE YEAR REPORT (2015-19)

Our Team

This is a picture of Brian Birch, the director of Utah Valley University's Center for the Study of Ethics.

Brian D. Birch

Director

Brian D. Birch is professor of philosophy and director of the Center for the Study of Ethics. He received his Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Philosophy from the University of Utah (1990, 1992) and completed a Ph.D. in Philosophy of Religion and Theology from Claremont Graduate University in 1998. His areas of focus include the intersection of ethics, religion, and public life. He is the founding editor of Teaching Ethics: The Journal of the Society for Ethics Across the Curriculum and among his current book projects is a volume entitled Radical Pluralism.

Phone: 801.863.6363
Email: brian.birch@uvu.edu

This is a picture of Courtney Burns, Assistant Director of the Center for the Study of Ethics.

Courtney Burns

Assistant Director

Courtney Burns graduated from Utah Valley University with a B.A. in Integrated Studies and from Queen's University, Belfast, Northern Ireland with an M.A. in Comparative Ethnic Conflict. She has interests in the areas of Conflict Transformation and Intercultural Ethics.

Phone: 801.863.5455 
Email: courtney.burns@uvu.edu

This is a picture of Elaine Englehardt, the distinguished professor of ethics and philosophy in Utah Valley University's Center for the Study of Ethics.

Elaine Englehardt

Distinguished Professor of Ethics

Elaine Englehardt is a Distinguished Professor of Ethics and Philosophy. She has taught ethics, philosophy, and communication since 1976. She has written and directed seven national grants in  Ethics and Ethics Across the Curriculum. She is considered the founder of the Ethics Across the Curriculum movement. She has authored eight books, numerous articles, and co-edits the journal Teaching Ethics. She has served as Vice President, Dean, and Director at UVU. Her Ph.D. is from the University of Utah.

Phone: 801.863.6464
Email: elainee@uvu.edu

This is a picture of Evan Jones.

Evan Jones

Communication Specialist

Evan Jones is a junior at Utah Valley University working towards a B.S. in Integrated Students with emphases in Psychology and Religious Studies. He manages social media and assists with graphic and website design for the Center for the Study of Ethics and works for Sunstone as the president of the Sunstone Foundation Student Association. He has interests in Mormonism, the cultural expression of religion, and intra-religious pluralism.

Email: ejones@uvu.edu

This is a picture of Nathan Tucker.

Nathan Tucker

Research Assistant

Nathan Tucker is a senior majoring in philosophy and minoring in religious studies and classics at Utah Valley University. He works as a research assistant at the Center for the Study of Ethics and an intern with the Society for Mormon Philosophy and Theology. He has previously served as an intern for Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought and as a member of UVU's Interfaith Student Council. His research interests include Mormonism, existentialism, religious diversity, and the history of theology.

Email: nathantucker@uvu.edu

Faculty Fellows

This is a photo of Thomas Bretz, a Faculty Fellow for the UVU Center for the Study of Ethics.

Thomas Bretz

Faculty Fellow
Environmental Ethics

Thomas Bretz is an Assistant Professor in the Philosophy & Humanities Department. He earned a PhD. in Philosophy from Loyola University Chicago as well as a Masters in Philosophy from The New School. He teaches introductory courses on ethics and philosophy as well as various courses on environmental philosophy. His research focuses on the question of how individuals and society can develop more sustainable and equitable relationships to the non-human world. He is a faculty advisor for the UVU Green Club.

This is a picture of Nichole Ortega, a member of the faculty advisory board for Utah Valley University’s Center for the Study of Ethics.

Nichole Ortega

Faculty Fellow
Student Engagement

Nichole Ortega is in her 14th year at Utah Valley University where she is an Associate Professor and served for six years as Chair of the Department of Dance. She teaches Ballet, Dance Education, and other core courses. Nichole has served as President of the Utah Dance Education Organization and the Utah Academy of Science, Arts, and Letters. She has shared her research at several national and international conferences.

Jonathan Westover

Jonathan Westover

Faculty Fellow
Ethics in Public Life 

Jonathan Westover is an Associate Professor of Organizational Leadership in the Woodbury School of Business and Director of Academic Service Learning at UVU. He is also the program co-director of the Human Resource Management program and the president of the Utah Academy of Sciences, Arts, and Letters. He was recently a Fulbright Scholar (Minsk, Belarus), a POSCO Fellow at the East-West Center, and visiting scholar at the Wilson Center.   

 

 

 

 

Faculty Advisory Board

This is a picture of Anne Arendt a member of the faculty advisory board for Utah Valley University’s Center for the Study of Ethics.

Anne Arendt

Technology Management

Anne Arendt is an Assistant Professor in Technology Management. Prior to that, she worked as the Web Resource Director in University Marketing and Communications. Before that position, she worked in Distance Education as a Resource Manager. In total, Anne has been at UVU for over 11 years. Before coming to Utah, she worked for Walden University in Minneapolis as the Director of Web and Application Development, and at Smyth Companies in Saint Paul as a Web Team Manager.

This is a picture of Monica Campbell.

Monica Campbell

Dance

Monica Campbell is an Associate Professor in the Department of Dance, as well as the Modern Dance Program Coordinator. She received her M.F.A. in Dance from the University of Utah. She is the Artistic Director of UVU's Contemporary Dance Ensemble (CDE). In 2017 she was awarded an Ethics Center Faculty Fellowship to accompany UVU's Peace and Justice Studies Program to Northern Ireland. The resulting research culminated in the new piece of choreography for CDE, Turas, that premiered in March 2018.

This is a picture of David Connelly a member of the faculty advisory board for Utah Valley University’s Center for the Study of Ethics.

David Connelly

Associate Provost
Academic Programs

David R. Connelly is the Associate Vice President for Academic Programs at Utah Valley University. He is a former faculty senate president and chair of the History and Political Science Department. His primary teaching interests are in public administration with specific interests in public management, leadership, performance measurement, and survey research. He has worked developing and implementing information technology policy while at the Center for Technology in Government at the University at Albany.

This is a picture of Michael Goode.

Michael Goode

History and Political Science

Michael Goode is an Associate Professor of History. As a historian of early America and the British Atlantic with a particular focus on religion and political culture, he researches and writes about how early modern peoples thought about and negotiated violence, colonialism, and warfare – and what this tells us about our present-day engagement with these vexing problems. His book project examines the role of peace as a language and practice of government in colonial Pennsylvania.

This is a picture of Sarah Hall, a member of the faculty advisory board for Utah Valley University’s Center for the Study of Ethics.

Sarah Hall

Public and Community Health

Sarah Hall is an Assistant Professor in the Public and Community Health Department. She earned her Ph.D. in Global Health from Arizona State University. She also holds a Master of Public Administration and a B.A. in English from Brigham Young University. Prior to obtaining her Ph.D., she managed programs and marketing for several nonprofit organizations. Sarah has worked extensively on health and environment-related projects in countries including South Africa, Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, New Zealand, Mexico, Thailand, and Indonesia. 

This is a picture of Marcy Hehnly, a member of the faculty advisory board for Utah Valley University’s Center for the Study of Ethics.

Marcy Hehnly

Criminal Justice

Marcy Hehnly has taught at Utah Valley University since Fall 2014 having moved to Utah from Atlanta Georgia. She currently teaches Introduction to Criminal Justice, Police Patrol Operations, Ethics, Police Administration, Juvenile Justice & Delinquency, Corrections, and Criminology. She is a graduate of the New Faculty Teaching Scholars Program and is also a Service Learning Faculty Mentor. In addition, Dr. Hehnly works closely with the Women's Success Center as well as the Veteran's Center on various assigned projects.

This is a picture of Leandra Hernandez, a member of the faculty advisory board for Utah Valley University’s Center for the Study of Ethics.

Leandra Hernandez

Communication Studies

Leandra Hernandez is an Assistant Professor of Communication Studies. She received her Ph.D. from Texas A&M University. She enjoys teaching health communication, gender studies, and media studies courses. Her work explores Latina/o cultural identies in cultural health experiences, news and media representations, reproductive justice, and gendered violence. As the Chair of the NCA La Raza Caucus and Latina/o Communication Studies Division, she fosters Latina/o Communication Studies for students and scholars alike.

This is a picture of Benjamin Johnson, a member of the faculty advisory board for Utah Valley University’s Center for the Study of Ethics.

Benjamin A. Johnson

Student Leadership & Success Studies

Benjamin A. Johnson is an Associate Professor and Associate Chair in the Department of Student Leadership & Success Studies. His teaching and research interests include history and philosophy of education, comparative and international education, metacognition, and faculty-student mentoring. Among his research interests include ethics in leadership and ethics in fundraising and endowment building at public universities. He currently serves as Senior Editor for The Journal of Student Leadership at UVU.

This is a picture of Rick McDonald.

Rick McDonald

English & Literature

Rick McDonald is a professor in the Department of English and Literature at Utah Valley College.  His areas of Scholarly interest include Medieval Mysticism, Medieval Literature, and ethical considerations within Horror movies. Rick is a past Associate Director of the Center for the Study of Ethics and has been at UVU for 16 years.

This is a picture of Michael Minch, a member of the faculty advisory board for Utah Valley University’s Center for the Study of Ethics.

Michael Minch

Peace & Justice Studies

Michael Minch is the Director of Peace & Justice Studies. His research focuses on conflict transformation and peacebuilding (including negotiation and mediation, theories of violence, and reconciliation), theories of justice, and global justice. He also works in political and moral theory, and in particular, the connections between them; democratic theory and democratic peace theory, political ecology and political theology.

This is a picture of Kate McPherson, a member of the faculty advisory board for Utah Valley University’s Center for the Study of Ethics.

Kate McPherson

Honors Program Director

Kate McPherson is Professor of English and Honors Program Director at UVU. She is co-editor of several scholarly essay collections about English Renaissance drama, and she also serves as Resident Scholar for the Grassroots Shakespeare Company, an original practices performance troupe begun by two UVU students. In recent years, Kate has been honored with the UVU Trustees Award, the College of Humanities & Social Sciences Faculty Excellence Award and the Alumni Outstanding Educator Award.

This is a picture of Luke Peterson a member of the faculty advisory board for Utah Valley University’s Center for the Study of Ethics.

Luke Peterson

History & Political Science

Luke Peterson is a Lecturer in History and Political Science and director of the Office of New Urban Mechanics at Utah Valley University which specializes in developing innovative solutions for local government. He earned his Masters in Public Policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and has previously served as director of corporate and community partnerships at UVU and as director of tourism and economic development for Wasatch County, Utah.

This is a picture of Jeff Peterson, a member of the faculty advisory board for Utah Valley University’s Center for the Study of Ethics.

Jeff Peterson

Business Management

Jeff Peterson is an Associate Professor of Business Management in the Woodbury School of Business, where he teaches Organizational Behavior and Business Ethics. Prior to coming to UVU Professor Peterson had an extensive career in industry and has worked or consulted for companies such as Intel, Microsoft, Boeing, Starbucks, Weyerhaeuser, and Premera Blue Cross. He is a strong proponent of the value of concerted self-reflection as a tool to help people live informed lives that embody ethical and moral behavior.

This is a picture of Axel Ramirez, a member of the faculty advisory board for Utah Valley University’s Center for the Study of Ethics.

Axel Ramirez

Secondary Education

Axel Ramirez is an associate professor of education. He was a public school teacher for twelve years prior to coming to UVU. His area of focus is K-12 social studies education. His current projects include recruiting Latina/o students into the field of education and developing curriculum for Pacific Islander secondary students.

This is a picture of Michael Stevens, a member of the faculty advisory board for Utah Valley University’s Center for the Study of Ethics.

Michael T. Stevens

Biology

Michael T. Stevens is an Associate Professor of Biology and the Director of Capitol Reef Field Station. He teaches and conducts research in two areas: plant ecology and science education. As a plant ecologist, he studies how trees and shrubs interact with their environment and are influenced by factors such as herbivory, competition, latitude, soil nutrients, and boulders. As a science educator, he studies the roles that Science Faculty with Education Specialties (SFES) play in higher education.

This is a picture of Bryan Waite, a member of the faculty advisory board for Utah Valley University’s Center for the Study of Ethics.

Bryan Waite

Secondary Education

Dr. Bryan R. Waite is a Professor of multicultural education and language acquisition theories and methods and the Department Chair of Secondary Education in the School of Education.  At UVU he also works as the Director for Global/Intercultural Academic Programming. Originally from Texas and New Mexico, Dr. Waite has a Ph.D. in Education with an emphasis Equity and Cultural Diversity also from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Dr. Waite has a wealth of knowledge and experience on culture diversity and inclusive practices. He now works with faculty who are implementing global awareness and diversity into their university classes in addition to his responsibilities in the School of Education.