The Center for Social Impact is committed to measuring and evaluating our work. Please take a moment to look at the positive results of our social impact programming, as well as the good work done by our colleagues and partners who were given our most recent Active Citizen Award.

Service-Learning

infographic showing benefits of service learning

Service-Learning Superstar Award

The Center for Social Impact is excited to announce a new way of recognizing the fantastic work of our service-learning faculty members on campus and in our community–a monthly Service-Learning Superstar Award.

 

April 2022 - Dr. Khaled Shaaban

headshot of Khaled Shaaban

We are pleased to announce Dr. Khaled Shaaban as the April Service-Learning Superstar! Dr. Shaaban is an Associate Professor in the Department of Engineering. He teaches a service-learning course titled CIVE 4020 Highway Planning and Design. In this course, students work on real-life projects from the industry. All the projects focus on solving transportation problems in the State of Utah. The projects cover different topics such as corridor selection, design of highway horizontal and vertical alignment, design of intersections, calculation of quantities, and cost estimating. As part of these projects, the students collaborate with other students and develop practical skills that can be applied to future employment. The projects are conducted in accordance with applicable design standards, codes, and specifications and in coordination with the Utah Department of Transportation.

 

When asked about the importance of service-learning, Dr. Shaaban said, “I believe that service learning is fundamental for the future of our engineering students. To be competitive in this market, we need to prepare our students to enter the workforce with real-life experience through addressing actual problems in our community.”

 

 

March 2022 - Sandy Wilson

headshot of Sandy WilsonWe are pleased to announce Professor Sandy Willson as the March Service-Learning Superstar! Professor Wilson was nominated by the Dean of the College of Health & Public Service, Cheryl Hanewicz. Professor Wilson is the Department Chair of Allied Health and Associate Professor in Dental Hygiene. Sandy completed the Service-Learning Fellowship and was instantly smitten with service learning.

Sandy was challenged to be more intentional with how students completed their dental hygiene clinical hours and was inspired to think outside-the-box in finding community partners for DENT 206G - Oral Public Health and dental hygiene clinical courses. These courses provide students with the principles of community health and build on their knowledge of ethics, dental science, and dental hygiene practice.

Students in the DENT 206G course are required to provide 20 hours minimum service to community partners. Sandy’s students are now exposed to a wide variety of organizations that provide essential services to patients who might not otherwise have access. These establishments include Centro Medico Hispano, Food and Care Coalition, Give Kids a Smile, Kids on the Move, Lake Ridge Senior Living, Melisa Nellesen Center for Autism, Mountainlands Community Health Center, and Scenic View Academy. In some instances, Dental Hygiene has been given permanent space to set up their portable equipment. Clients learn about dental health and get their teeth cleaned for no charge. For a small department, Dental Hygiene’s impact in the community is substantial as an example of exceptional care.

When asked about why she uses the service-learning pedagogy, Sandy said, “Service-learning is sort of a no-brainer in teaching dental hygiene. Implementing intentional service-learning with meaningful reflection is ALL the emojis. 😊 When students reflect upon their experiences with service-learning in my courses, I can really see them honor the process.”

February 2022 - Dan Hatch

 

headshot of Dan HatchWe are pleased to announce Dan Hatch as the February Service-Learning Superstar! Dan is an Assistant Professor in Interaction & Design in the Department of Digital Media. His service-learning courses include DGM 221R – Digital Design Practicum, DGM 2240 – Interaction Design, and DGM 490R – Senior Capstone.

In these courses, students have engaged in multiple service-learning projects where they have worked on websites and design for Habitat for Humanity, Francis David Millet, Hands of Charity, Utah State Poetry Society, and the Fuller Center, to name a few. Students have also worked on projects for the Capital Reef Field station and Timpanogos Cave. Congratulations, Dan!

January 2022 - Farah Sanders

headshot of Farah SandersCongratulations to our January Service-Learning Superstar, Farah Sanders! Farah Sanders is Public Relations and Strategic Communication Faculty in the Department of Communication.

Farah Sanders enjoys providing opportunities for students that ensure service learning to the community, persons with disabilities, underserved populations, audiences seeking social change, and the advancement of proper representation in state and national forums.

Over the years Sanders has had the privilege of advising students as they addressed key social issues with both state and national organizations as part of the Public Relations and Strategic Communication Case Study and Campaigns courses. Below are a few of the service-learning platforms she has overseen.

  • Utah Affordable Housing Crisis – improved housing opportunities in Wasatch County.
  • U.S. 2020 and 2010 Census – seeking proper counts of Utah residents for accurate representation in the U.S. Congress.
  • Organ donor awareness – increased the number of organ donors in the state of Utah and kidney screenings.
  • General Mills challenge on childhood obesity – partnered with Utah County elementary schools and Orem City on making healthy choices and adding more movement to daily activity.
  • Financial Literacy in partnership with Ally Financial Bank – partnered with Centro Hispano of Provo to aid in improving financial literacy for underserved populations.
  • Improved awareness of services for Autistic Families and Students within the Utah County community with The Melisa Nellesen Center for Autism at Utah Valley University.
  • Student Veterans of America – partnered with the UVU Student Veteran Success Center to improve academic retention of student veterans, helped get English and Math veteran specific courses approved through academic affairs at UVU.
  • Anti Bullying – partnered with local middle schools in Utah and Salt Lake County to raise awareness of the signs of bullying.

December 2021 - Dr. Stevie Munz

photo of Dr. Stevie MunzCongratulations to our December Service-Learning Superstar, Dr. Stevie Munz! Dr. Stevie Munz is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication.

Here is what Dr. Munz says about her involvement with service-learning at UVU:

"When I began teaching our COMM 319G Communicating Across Cultures course, I also began my service-learning journey. I believe deeply in the positive power of understanding the lived realities of folks who seem different from our own experiences. The beauty of service-learning is it provides a means for us to shift our understanding, complicate how we think about identity/ies, and broaden our knowledge about culture, diversity, inclusion, and access. Students in my courses work with refugees, food and housing insecurity, the English Language Club, as well as literacy communities and learn how difference matters in their communities and neighborhoods. Through the years, I have found some of the most powerful teaching experiences have come through service-learning as I witness students link textbook content to everyday social and cultural challenges in their communities."

Below are a few student narratives:

"From my service hours, I have gained a desire to become a regular volunteer at the food bank. I appreciate so much that they give back to the community so eagerly and it makes it a rewarding and nice place to volunteer. I feel like it's also helped me understand socioeconomic class and race. This experience has moved me to ask more questions to help me understand my own ignorance and assumptions."

"My service hours have helped me see connections between our class content and other communication classes which I think is cool.  The longer I have been volunteering the more that I have seen uncertainty reduction theory come into play from the students perspective.  It has been pretty apparent to me that a lot of the students have trust issues and it has taken a while to reduce their uncertainty about me."

november 2021 - emily hedrick

Congratulations to our November Service-Learning Superstar, Emily Hedrick! Emily is an Assistant ProfessImage of Emily Hedrickor in the Digital Media Web Developer and Design program. She is also a proud Wolverine and graduated in 2009 as one of the first graduates of the newly created Digital Media department.

In fall 2018 Emily accepted a full-time tenure track position at her beloved alma mater UVU Digital Media department. She continues to follow industry shifts in technology and emerging markets to help prepare students for the ever-changing digital media world.

Emily teaches multiple service-learning courses in her department and uses supportive strategies to help both her students and service-learning partners to have meaningful learning experiences. Several of her service-learning partners have been so pleased, they have been working together over multiple semesters.  Some examples of service-learning projects and deliverables from her Adaptive Media II course are listed below.

Gibbs Smith Team A: Social media content of the book Wild Spaces using panoramas of real locations. An e-book version of Little Naturalists: Wangari Maathai Planted Trees and engagement with planting a tree in Africa (the students made a little website component to allow the reader to donate a $1 to plant a tree, just like the protagonist in the book).

Gibbs Smith Team B: The team created an activity kit of the book Fascinating World of Astronomy. The kit has the students build their own telescope, a constellation chart based on the artwork, stickers, and a paint set. Students designed everything, including the packaging.

Timp Cave: The students created an asset library and templates to help the Timp Cave education team to engage with teachers about their cave programs. They researched how to leverage social media with hashtags and types of visual content. Then provided templates and recommendations based on their research.

UVU Marketing: DGM students put their UX skills to work to redesign the UVU Students Page. They used research and testing to determine the most logical and intuitive design layout.

 

october 2021- Dr. Ashley N. Egan

photo of Ashley Egan with the words Service-Learning SuperstarOur October recipient of this award is Dr. Ashley N. Egan, Assistant Professor of Biology. Dr. Egan has designed powerful service-learning experiences for her students that have had meaningful impact on their learning and our community. Dr. Egan shared the following recent service-learning experience with us:

“During Spring 2021, I taught BIOL 3800 Conservation Biology as service-learning. We worked with the City of Vineyard’s landscape planner to use only native plants that were representative of the area to work with for the five major greenspaces.

“Working in groups, the students met each week over teams to learn about Utah native plants and choose 25 plants for their ecozone. The students chose their plants with form and function in mind, for example, with the purpose of providing shade, color in the fall, flowers in the spring or fall, etc.  They honed their plant lists and created a plant palette with photos and information for each species and presented as a group to the city landscape planner.

“My experience this spring semester with teaching SL Conservation Biology was amazing and I found it to be one of, if not the most, rewarding teaching experiences thus far in my career. Personal reflection through written or verbal accounts is an excellent metacognitive means for connecting knowledge with life and is a pivotal aspect

 of service-learning pedagogy. I saw leaps and bounds in student learning of both course content material, connection to other aspects of life, and even recognition of learning of transitional skillsets. One student wrote in an anonymous survey: ‘I felt that this reflection activity was an effective method for me to connect my service activity to the academic content of the class.’

“I have found service-learning to be very impactful on my students and fulfilling to see them learn at a higher level through reflection, selflessness, and community engagement by applying course concepts to address real-world community needs.”

 

Awards

Beginning in 2021, the Center for Social Impact began giving the Active Citizen Award to recognize the work of outstanding faculty, staff, students, and community organizations. This award is given to individuals who contribute in one or more of the following ways:

 
  • Strengthens social impact work at UVU
  • Shows leadership in advancing community engagement as a critical component within UVU
  • Forms innovative campus and community partnerships
  • Engages, models, or influences students to be involved in the pathways of social impact
  • Serves as a co-educator and provides meaningful opportunities for students to learn and experience one or more of the pathways of social impact
  • Connects coursework and/or academic research to community-identified needs as a successful pedagogy
  • Innovatively employs reflective strategies to connect students' impact with academics
  • Demonstrates academic community engagement through teaching, community-based research, or promotion of service-learning on campus or in one’s discipline

Active Citizen Award icon

 


This year's award was given to Dr. Hilary Hungerford, Associate Professor of Geography, for the following reasons:

Image of Hilary Hungerford

  • Her strong commitment to student success, particularly in the areas of service-learning instruction and student mentoring.
  • Her rigorous scholarship as a faculty member committed to social justice and inclusion, a member of the SIMLab faculty, and very notably as part of the Utah Lake National Science Foundation faculty team.
  • Her support of Center for Social Impact programming, including her participation as a keynote speaker for the inaugural The Breakdown event.
  • Her efforts as a citizen serving in the local community on committees and panel discussions related to her expertise.
 

 

Our Internal Commitment to Social Equity

This commitment outlines the intentional actions we commit to take in pursuit of social equity in both what we do and how we do it. We anticipate all actions will begin during the 2020-2021 academic year. This year’s commitment is heavily focused on addressing racial equity. As we evaluate and update this commitment on an annual basis, we anticipate addressing the many intersectional aspects of social equity in future actions. Please take a moment to read our commitment.

Social Impact Fellows

Social Impact Fellows plan and implement student-run programs and events that make an impact at UVU and with the community.

Watch the video at right to see what the Social Impact Fellows learned during their 2020-2021 term.