Mission and Vision

The Interfaith Student Council (IFSC) engages in interfaith leadership by facilitating conversations and organizing events for students from a variety of worldview (religious, spiritual, and/or secular) perspectives. The council is comprised of select students who collaborate with clubs and organizations across campus and in the community to increase religious literacy, grow respect for every individual worldview, build understanding relationships, and work in cooperation with different worldview communities. Our goal on our campus is to achieve religious pluralism as Dr. Diana Eck talks about; a world where people of differing religions and worldviews can live and work together in peace while maintaining their distinctiveness. Pluralism is the positive engagement of worldview diversity toward a positive end. We achieve this on campus by building:

  1. Respect for different identities
  2. Relationships between diverse communities
  3. Commitment to the common good

2022-23 Interfaith Student Council


Interfaith Student Council
photo of Tayler Fern
2022
Tayler Fern

Tayler Fern

Tayler Fern is studying bioinformatics at UVU. In addition to her passion for biology, she has a passion for inclusion and interfaith. She considers herself an agnostic animist. Her passion for interfaith came from growing up in the diverse city of Vancouver, Canada. Growing up, Tayler was surrounded by individuals from a variety of worldviews, ethnicities, and cultures. She had friends who were Sikh, Atheist, Non-Denominational Christian, and Muslim. She learned that they had a lot of common values and felt inspired by their faith. This is the perspective she has brought with her to Utah. Tayler agrees with Saint Francis when he said, “All that we do is a preparation for love.” For her, there isn’t anything more meaningful than the relationships with her loved ones. This preparation to truly love others involves connecting over common values and learning to peaceably acknowledge the differences. This connecting and acknowledging is something Tayler learned while growing up in Vancouver. She hopes to help others learn this and learn how others do that here in Utah.

photo of Hannah Briceno
2022
Hannah Briceno

Hannah Briceno

Hannah Briceño is a Junior at UVU majoring in Digital Marketing with an emphasis in Data Analysis. She grew up in Orem and loves UVU. She is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and served a church mission in Spain. Outside of interfaith, she participates in the Presidential Internship with the Marketing and Communications department at UVU.

Hannah has always had a passion for Interfaith work. It really started when she made multiple friends with different faiths and/or having different secular beliefs. She believes that a group of people who disagree and still care for each other is the highest form of love. She joined interfaith so she could help create and foster a space on campus where people can feel safe to “agree to disagree” and still be friends. Off campus you can find Hannah binging reality tv shows, taking film photos or listening to music.

Aaron Stanger
2022
Aaron Stanger

Aaron Stanger

Aaron Stanger was born and raised in West Point, Utah. He was baptized into and identifies as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and served a 2-year mission in the Philippines from 2017-2019. He is a senior studying Psychology and has always been interested in dialogue about differences of all kinds. In his free time, he loves to play any sport, hike, run, read, and listen to podcasts. His interfaith interests stemmed from a class he took from Professor Brian Birch in the Fall 2021 semester which led to him attending the SCRIPPS 2022 conference where he was involved in the development of different small interfaith initiatives. It opened his eyes to the impact interfaith work can have.

photo of Maren Ostlund
2022
Maren Ostlund

Maren Ostlund

Maren grew up in a family that was mixed in many ways: biological and step, religious, agnostic, and atheist, miracle whip and mayonnaise. There was a lot to disagree on, but her family learned how to have conversations that celebrated differences while embracing commonalities. Although this was sometimes inconvenient (like making room for both miracle whip and mayo in the fridge), in Maren's experience it has always been worth it. Maren currently identifies as progressive LDS and is excited to be a part of the interfaith council and to utilize these conversations to discover more peace with her sometimes conflicting identities. She believes in compassionate relationality and has been trained in Systems Thinking. She hopes to pursue a career as a Social Impact Consultant, applying these principles as well as her academic pursuits in Social Work and Peace and Justice Studies. Maren believes that from condiments to critical questions, we must all learn to see in others "the part of [ourselves] we do not yet know", and engage in respect and curiosity toward ourselves and those we may perceive as different from us.

a photo of Sara Groesbeck
2022
Sara Groesbeck

Sara Groesbeck

Sara Groesbeck is a senior at Utah Valley University studying Strategic Comm and Public Relations. She has had the opportunity to be involved in many organizations on campus including UVUSA, Clubs and now the Interfaith Student Council. She loves UVU and getting to know the student body. Sara identifies as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and considers her faith to be a driving force in her life. She decided to join interfaith because she believes we can all can learn more from one another. She is excited to get to know more about other world views and help create safe spaces for these conversations to happen.

photo of Asmaa Alsharif
2022
Asmaa Alsharif

Asmaa Alsharif

Asmaa Alsharif is a data science major and a tutor at the writing center. Her faith and worldview is Islam. Asmaa was born in the Muslim-majority country of Libya. When she moved to America at the age of 5 years old, she suddenly found herself in the minority. She was often asked questions about her hijab and her religion by her peers. Asmaa loves interfaith because it bridges the gap between people and cultivates goodwill and friendship. She has many friends from various religious backgrounds, and she has always found it interesting to hear them share their worldview. It's important to Asmaa that we find a way to relate through our similarities, but also recognize and respect our differences. In her leisure time, she enjoys hitting the gym, eating Ben and Jerry's chunky monkey flavored ice cream, and playing Gartic Phone.

photo of Simone Anderson
2022
Simone Anderson

Simone Anderson

Simone Anderson is a dual major in elementary education and philosophy. They hope to utilize this unique combination in their careers as an elementary teacher to facilitate and build a classroom culture of thoughtful and respectful discussion. With this eventual goal of career, they are excited to be placed in an environment of interfaith dialogue, where these goals of respectful and thoughtful discussions are mainstays.

Although Simone identifies under the banner of secularism, their worldview can be greater defined with a sympathy to twentieth century existentialism and a strong belief in the innate good intent of humanity. These beliefs help inform their action and focus on community building and political projects with the secular student alliance and the progressive student alliance.

photo of Jessy Katu
2022
Jessy Katu

Jessy Katu

Jessy Katu is in her second year at UVU, majoring in Business Management. She loves to learn and considers it a privilege. She is bilingual, with English as her first language and Spanish as her second. She always finds the right words to express what she’s thinking; you will seldom find her speechless.

Jessy loves the outdoors, traveling, and meeting new people. This year, she hopes to learn more about religious pluralism and build relationships with her colleagues on the Interfaith Student Council. She wants to continue to learn and grow, teach others about pluralism, and help make UVU a safe place for all religious identities.

photo of Lizzy Jensen
2022
Lizzy Jensen

Lizzy Jensen

Lizzy Jensen is a junior in UVU's Theatre Arts BFA program with an emphasis in Musical Theatre and a minor in Religious Studies. She was raised in Gilbert, Arizona as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Lizzy served an eighteen-month mission in Detroit, Michigan and is profoundly grateful for her time there. She believes that those experiences awakened her passion for religious studies and taught her the depth of human goodness. Since coming home from Detroit, Lizzy has moved away from traditional LDS orthodoxy and likes to define herself as "Mormon-ish," hoping that will express her fondness for the LDS community and the greater umbrella of Mormon theology while still honoring her personal schisms from traditional beliefs held by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Her faith transition ignited her passion for interfaith work, and she hopes to be a force for good in her religious community, encouraging more widespread love, respect, and acceptance of religious diversity.

Lizzy is also a Foundations Ambassador and the Vice President for the resident "drama club" on campus, the Theatre Arts Guild (come play with us!). Lizzy loves UVU and credits her participation in the Honors program for enabling her passion for religious studies and interfaith work. When she isn't singing, acting, or reading about Mormon history, Lizzy enjoys tweeting, running, watching sitcoms, and spending quality time with her friends.

photo of Miranda Noble
2022
Miranda Noble

Miranda Noble

Information Coming soon

How can you get involved?

The best way to get your foot in the door for a spot on the council is to serve on a planning committee to help us organize our events and activities. Every year the council recruits 3-5 people per committee to help them accomplish the mission of the IFSC. The folks who volunteer on those committees are prioritized during application reviews. Qualifications to be on the council are:

  • Commit to participating in the Interfaith Student Council for a full academic year from August through May.
  • Maintain full-time student status at UVU (12 credits or more), while a member of IFSC.
  • Must have a 2.50 Cumulative GPA or higher when applying and maintain a 2.50 GPA or higher each semester in the program.
  • Complete the responsibilities and expectations of the Interfaith Student Council.

Applications are closed for the 2022-2023 year.

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What are the benefits of being on the council?

  • Scholarship funding - ½ in state tuition waiver for fall and spring semesters
  • Close interaction with religious leaders and scholars of religion
  • Free registration to related conferences and workshops
  • Development of interfaith leadership skill set and knowledge base
  • Priority Registration
  • Eligibility to participate in the IFSC alternative spring break

What does the Interfaith Student Council Do?

The Interfaith Student Council will organize and participate in the following activities during the school-year:

  • Summer Book Club
  • Fall Retreat
  • Interfaith Forums - 3rd Wednesday of each month
  • Excursions
  • Better Together Days
  • Spring Break Interfaith Alternative Break
  • Interfaith Breakfast with the UVU President
  • Recruiting events throughout the year

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