awards of excellence

Trustees Awards & Presidential Excellence Awards

The University Awards of Excellence program recognizes faculty and staff who dedicate their time and talents to students, scholarship and the advancement of higher education. This year, the UVU Board of Trustees recognizes four employees for their contributions to forwarding UVU’s mission. The Presidential Awards of Excellence highlight seven faculty and staff for their efforts in key areas related to UVU’s mission and core themes.

President’s Message

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Here at UVU, I am regularly inspired by the contributions of our faculty and staff. I am pleased to recognize formally a few of our employees whose dedicated service is illustrative of so many across campus carrying out their various responsibilities with tremendous energy and excellence. This is just one of the ways — though surely the most visible and meaningful way — that the University strives to make sure that such marvelous efforts do not go unnoticed.

Matthew Holland

Matthew S. Holland, President

Utah Valley University

Board of Trustees Message

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It is a privilege for members of the Board of Trustees to join with the UVU community in honoring you as members of the University family in your pursuit of excellence. We recognize the efforts of a select few who have distinguished themselves through outstanding service to the students, the institution and the community.

We congratulate those who are being honored. We thank you for demonstrating exceptional commitment in fulfilling your assignments and for your dedication to the ideals and mission of UVU.

As Trustees, we acknowledge the contributions made by all the faculty and staff of the University. On behalf of the Board, I thank you for your service and reaffirm the commitment of the Board to support UVU’s ongoing commitment to student success.

Greg Butterfield

Greg S. Butterfield, Chair

UVU Board of Trustees

Board of Trustees Awards of Excellence

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Briant Farnsworth

During his 15 years at UVU, Briant J. Farnsworth saw the School of Education grow from 30 students to nearly 1,000. As dean of the school and in his current role as professor emeritus, Farnsworth has helped shape the course of the education community in Utah, which he is pleased to see gain momentum and support each year.

Farnsworth was instrumental in developing UVU’s secondary education program and was the chief developer of the Master of Education degree, the first master’s degree offered at UVU. Thanks to his invaluable leadership, UVU became the first institution in the Utah System of Higher Education to receive national accreditation from the Teacher Education Accreditation Council. Farnsworth has served on the Utah Council of Education Deans, and has twice served as its president.

Farnsworth and his wife, Glenna, have five children and 14 grandchildren. He enjoys reading, writing, hiking, traveling, and spending time with his family.

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Cheryl Hanewicz

Cheryl Hanewicz has over two decades of computer and managerial experience, which she brings to her role as associate professor and chair of the Department of Technology Management. Prior to joining UVU, Hanewicz taught at Eastern Michigan University and worked in administrative positions and as a consultant for software development companies.

In addition to being a well-respected educator, Hanewicz has served as a mentor for several entities on campus, including the Women’s Independence Scholarship Program, the Women’s Success Center, the Women Helping Women Mentoring Program, and the Center for the Advancement of Leadership. She is a board member of eSingleParent, a nonprofit organization committed to improving the lives of single parents in Utah, and created the STEM Open House for Women in Technology and Computing. She was also a member of the Utah Women and Education Project, a statewide effort to determine why more young women in the state do not attend college and how to get them to complete degrees.

UVU is a family affair for Hanewicz, whose husband, Wayne, is the chair of the integrated studies department. Hanewicz has one daughter, two stepsons, and one granddaughter.

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Jim Michaelis

Jim Michaelis has spent over 34 years at UVU, including the last twelve years as the associate vice president of facilities and planning, and has helped usher in the creation and expansion of several UVU facilities, including the Science Building and the Library. Before joining UVU, Michaelis worked in the purchasing department for the Granite School District.

As the associate vice president of facilities and planning, Michaelis ensures that UVU maintains a safe, clean and comfortable learning environment for its 30,000 students. In 1997, Michaelis, a certified purchasing manager, received the designation of Lifetime CPM, which requires extensive professional purchasing and supply management experience. He is currently the president of the Utah chapter of the Association of Physical Plant Administrators. Michaelis earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Utah.

He and Venice, his wife of 39 years, have five children and 22 grandchildren. He enjoys skiing and spending time at the cabin he and his family built together.

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Laurie Miller

Laurie Miller has been with UVU since 2006 and is currently the director of Utah’s statewide GEAR UP education program, which helps low-income students graduate from high school and prepare for college. She holds a doctoral degree in instructional systems technology from Indiana University and a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Brigham Young University.

Over the course of her career, Miller has taught instructional technology at Brigham Young University, Indiana University and Utah State University and served as dean and senior vice president of instruction and evaluation at Neumont University. Miller specializes in college-preparation studies for underserved populations, collaborative and project-based instructional approaches, and online teaching environments. Her dedication to helping underrepresented students has helped strengthen the student-centered focus of the University and helped the GEAR UP program obtain a $26 million federal grant for over 50 schools within the state.

Miller and her partner, Kevin, have six children combined. She enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, reading, visiting museums, and playing outdoors.

Presidential Awards of Excellence

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Jacob Ellsworth

Jake Ellsworth began his career at UVU as a Service Desk technician in 2002 and is currently the senior Oracle developer in Administrative Programming Services. Ellsworth received a Bachelor of Science degree in Information Technology from UVU and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in information systems from the University of Utah.

As the Presidential Award winner for efficiency and effectiveness, Ellsworth has been an instrumental project manager and lead developer for several important software projects at UVU, including the institution-wide structured enrollment implementation where he worked to create the required software architecture and managed software development efforts. He developed the online residency application, which has been recognized by the state of Utah as the easiest residency application to review. He also helped develop the online graduation application and automated advisor assignments, which has helped improve efficiency and service levels. Ellsworth has earned the Oracle Certified Professional and Oracle Certified Java Associate professional certifications.

Ellsworth and his wife, Jessica, have two children — Brayden and Samantha. His hobbies include riding motorcycles, fly-fishing, and other outdoor activities.

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Carolyn Johnson

A native of Washington state, Carolyn Johnson began working at UVU in 1992 after graduating from Brigham Young University with a master’s degree in recreation management and youth leadership. Prior to joining UVU, Johnson worked as a counselor for troubled youth in northern Idaho and Utah.

The Presidential Award winner for inclusion, Johnson, as the assistant director of the Department of Accessibility Services, helps others see and live up to their own potential. Johnson both applauds and embodies the University’s dedication to provide opportunities for underserved and disadvantaged populations by taking the time to work with individual students one on one. She received the Outstanding Service Award in 1993 and 1994 and is helping to organize the second annual UVU Symposium on ADHD in September.

Johnson and her husband, a UVU alumnus, have two sons — James and Kaden. She loves the outdoors and its refreshing perspective, enjoys hiking and camping, and has summited both Mount Rainier and Grand Teton.

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Megan Kennedy

Megan Kennedy’s experience as an NCAA Division I volleyball player at Brigham Young University makes her uniquely qualified in her current role as associate director of athletics at UVU. Kennedy has also worked as the UVU women’s volleyball assistant coach and an academic adviser for athletics as well as an elementary school teacher.

The Presidential Award winner for leadership, Kennedy was instrumental in coordinating UVU’s seven-year transition to D-I, beginning in 2002. Kennedy also managed the certification process during the evolution from junior college status to D-I, making UVU the only program in the history of collegiate sports to transition directly to D-I from junior college status. Kennedy has further demonstrated her unique leadership abilities by helping to provide strategic planning and implementation within the department and coordinating and enhancing UVU’s athletic programs. She has developed NCAA grant opportunities and other funding resources to meet department needs and is currently assisting with the transition to the Western Athletic Conference.

Kennedy enjoys golfing, skiing, collecting antiques and folk art, spending time with her friends and family, and, of course, Wolverine Athletics.

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Glendon Parker

Prior to joining UVU as an assistant professor of biology, Glendon Parker worked at the University of Utah, Johns Hopkins University, and the University of Alabama at Birmingham and received his doctoral degree from Monash University in Australia, where he is originally from.

The Presidential Award winner for scholarship, Parker effectively represents the University’s commitment to academic rigor and professional excellence. Parker has published 19 articles, including three publications in 2012, in national publications such as “The Journal of Biological Chemistry” and “International Journal of Biological Macromolecules.” He has attracted almost $400,000 in extramural grants and contracts into UVU and his company, Protein-Based Identification Technologies LLC, which is partly owned by UVU. Parker received the Dean’s Faculty Excellence Award for Scholarship in the College of Science & Health in 2011 and served as the chair of the Institutional Review Board at UVU from 2010 to 2012.

Parker’s wife, Jacinda, is a neurogeneticist at the Columbia University Medical Center. Parker sings bass as a member of the Cathedral Choir at the Episcopal Cathedral of St. Mark in Salt Lake City.

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Lynley Rowan

Lynley Rowan developed her love of learning by observing her parents, who always found the world to be a fascinating place. Rowan is currently an associate professor of public and community health as well as the director of the Ghana service-learning study abroad program. After receiving her doctoral degree in health education and promotion with an emphasis in international health issues, Rowan used her education to develop and implement research and health education projects in Mexico, Honduras, Bolivia, Peru, the Dominican Republic and Ghana.

The Presidential Award winner for teaching and engagement, Rowan enjoys bringing both reality and imagination into the classroom. She is dedicated to the concept of engaged learning and strives to create opportunities for her students to put their knowledge to practical experience, whether locally, nationally or internationally. Rowan received the Faculty Excellence Award in 2008, the Civically Engaged Scholar Award in 2009 and the Outstanding Education of the Year Award in 2010.

Rowan enjoys skiing, playing tennis, motorcycling, cooking, reading, traveling, and spending time with her family.

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Peter Sproul

Peter Sproul, a certified executive chef, has twice been named Utah State Chef of the Year — in 2009 and 2011. He was also named an American Culinary Federation National Chef of the Year semi-finalist in 2012. In addition to directing the Culinary Arts Institute at UVU, Sproul is executive chef and owner of the award-winning Chef’s Table restaurant in Orem.

The Presidential Award winner for student success, Sproul is a dedicated advocate of providing meaningful and well-rounded university experiences to his students by supporting them in their goals and preparing them for success. He has established networks to secure internships and service-learning opportunities for his students and has created partnerships with multiple nonprofits to expose students to the many ways they can give back to their community. He consistently coaches students and student teams and has found opportunities for them to compete in a variety of culinary competitions, including five straight Utah state titles and gold medal recognition from the American Culinary Federation at the regional level.

Sproul and his wife, Lisa, have three daughters — Brittany, Allyson and Kristen.

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Stephen Whyte

Stephen Whyte has over 15 years of extensive national and international public relations experience, which he has used to expand and enhance the public relations program at UVU. Whyte has worked around the world with international companies such as Singer Sewing Machines and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, and his expertise ranges from working with top-tier TV and print media to counseling CEOs and cultivating relationships with members of Congress.

As the Presidential Award winner for engagement, an assistant professor of communication and the coordinator of the public relations program, Whyte enjoys helping UVU students actively prepare for success in the workplace. In addition to being an esteemed educator in the classroom, Whyte has taken public relations students on engaged-learning trips throughout the country to meet with professionals in New York City, Boston, Washington, D.C., Seattle and Los Angeles. He was recently recognized as the 2012 National Public Relations Student Society of America Outstanding Faculty Adviser out of 300 universities.

Whyte and his wife, Roxane, have five children. They enjoy traveling, skiing and telling jokes around the dinner table.

Board of Trustees Awards of Excellence

  • Briant J. Farnsworth, former dean, School of Education
  • Cheryl Hanewicz, chair, Department of Technology Management
  • Jim Michaelis, associate vice president, Facilities
  • Laurie Miller, director, GEAR UP Program

Presidential Awards of Excellence

  • Jacob Ellsworth, efficiency and effectiveness
  • Carolyn Johnson, inclusion
  • Megan Kennedy, leadership
  • Glendon Parker, scholarship
  • Lynley Rowan, teaching and engagement
  • Peter Sproul, student success
  • Stephen Whyte, engagement

Divisional Awards of Excellence

Academic Affairs

  • Jessica Awtrey
  • Lisa Price
  • Ted Ungricht

Development & Alumni

  • Jessica Ballard


  • Jeff Johnson

Finance & Administration

  • Scott Draper
  • Evelie Giddings
  • Daniel Hutchison
  • David Scott
  • David Shumway
  • Lynn Seimer
  • Frank Young

Student Affairs

  • Kimberly Barraclough
  • Jordan Doman
  • Ashley Larson
  • Doug Palmer
  • Jared Sumsion
  • Michael Walker

University Relations

  • Stephanie Albach

Deans’ Awards of Excellence


  • College of Aviation & Public Services
  • Cory Chamberlain, Aviation Science — engagement
  • John Fisher, Emergency Services
  • Jim Green, Aviation Science — outstanding educator
  • Ken Sink, Aviation Science — service

College of Humanities & Social Sciences

  • David W. Scott, Communication — scholarly work
  • Dave Litchford, Communication — service
  • Nancy Rushforth, Philosophy & Humanities — creative work
  • John MacFarlane, Humanities & Social Sciences — advising

College of Science & Health

  • Brent Bargeron, Physics — service
  • Fern Caka, Chemistry — teaching
  • Tim Doyle, Physics — scholarship

College of Technology & Computing

  • Arlen Card, Digital Media Technology — teaching
  • Robert Dunn, Construction Technologies — service
  • Neil Harrison, Computer Science — scholarship

School of the Arts

  • Doris Trujillo, Dance

School of Education

  • Raquel Cook, Secondary Education — graduate mentor
  • Kristy Johansen — cooperating teacher

University College

  • Jon Anderson, Developmental Math — scholarship
  • Keith White, Developmental Math — service
  • Darren Wiberg, Developmental Math — scholarship

Woodbury School of Business

  • Abdus Samad, Finance & Economics — scholarship
  • Cherie Twyman, Marketing — teaching


College of Aviation & Public Services

Bobbi Kassel, Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement

College of Humanities & Social Sciences

Natalie Shelley, Communication

College of Science & Health

Jason Hill, Web Development

College of Technology & Computing

Jim McCulloch, Communication

School of the Arts

Linda Moore, Office of the Dean

School of Education

Rick Dumont, Academic Advising

University College

Elizabeth Nield, Basic Composition/English as a Second Language

Woodbury School of Business

Polly Clauson, Academic Advising

Faculty Senate Awards of Excellence

Full-time Faculty

College of Aviation & Public Services

Kenneth Crook, Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement

College of Humanities & Social Sciences

Nancy Tobler, Communication

College of Science & Health

Joe Jensen, Physics

College of Technology & Computing

Keith Mulberry, Information Systems & Technology

School of the Arts

Reed Criddle, Music

School of Education

Kristin Wright, Secondary Education

University College

Joshua Hilst, Basic Composition/English as a Second Language

Woodbury School of Business

Mohammed El-Saidi, Finance & Economics

Adjunct Faculty

College of Aviation & Public Services

Nancy Robison, Emergency Services

College of Humanities & Social Sciences

Tammy Christensen, Languages

College of Science & Health

Dean Jennings, Biology

College of Technology & Computing

Rory Henrie, Automotive Technology

School of the Arts

Jon Liddiard, Theatrical Arts for Stage & Screen

School of Education

Julie Nelson, Elementary Education

University College

Micah Bradshaw, Developmental Math

Woodbury School of Business

Whitney Taylor, Marketing

PACE Awards of Excellence

Full-time Staff

Dustin Berlin

director of aviation online education, Aviation Science

Sharon Bluth

assistant director, GEAR UP

Patricia Howard

director, Financial Aid & Scholarships

Tara Ivie

academic advisor, Behavioral Science

Cameron Jarman

technician, Information Technology Service Desk

Maren Mather

coordinator, Internship Services

Matt Reichman

assistant director of web strategy, University Marketing & Communications

Mark Stone

technician, Information Technology Service Desk

Part-time Staff

Julie Pierce

creative designer, University Marketing & Communications

Shari Engelhardt

administrative support, School Community University Partnership

Steve Reich

support technician, Media Services & Engineering

Trevor Morris

coordinator, Faculty Center for Teaching Excellence