The Center for Social Impact takes great pride in measuring and evaluating our work to make sure we are living up to our name. Please take a moment to look at the positive results of our service-learning programming on campus, as well as the good work done by our colleagues and partners who were given our most recent Community Engagement Awards.

infographic showing benefits of service learning

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.


These awards are presented by the UVU Office of Engaged Learning and the Center for Social Impact to recognize the work of outstanding faculty, staff, students, and community organizations on an institutional level who are excelling in community engagement, service-learning, and volunteerism. Recipients of the awards were honored at the UVU Center for Social Impact Recognition & Appreciation Luncheon on April 25, 2019. There was a $500 cash prize for each award winner. If you have any questions about these awards, please email or call (801) 863-8786. Thank you!

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Community Engaged Alum

  • Demonstrates on-going and deep commitment to community engagement
  • Leads, inspires, and engages other members of their community toward positive social change
  • Furthers the community engagement efforts of the institution

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Nomination for Steve Anderson: Steve currently works at UVU as the Director of Community and Government Relations in the University Relations division. In his work, he develops relationships to secure resources and support for UVU during each legislative session, to further UVU’s mission in the community, and to keep our neighbors happy (or at least, not as mad as they sometimes can be!). Steve serves on numerous committees and boards in the community, including the Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce Education Committee; STEM Fest Utah Board of Trustees; Orem Community Hospital Outreach Committee; the United Way Everyday Learners committee, and is the Chair of the Board of Directors at Project Read

On Why He is Engaged in his Community: 

"I am engaged in my community for so many more reasons than just my current job function. I have seen the impact that many organizations in our valley have on families and individuals and the incredible difference they make in their lives. I want a place for my family that is a community in the truest sense of the word, a place where people work together to make life better for each other."

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Community Engaged Student

  • Demonstrates commitment to building or enhancing campus-based efforts to address community needs
  • Leads, inspires, and engages other students, members of the institution, or community
  • Demonstrates efforts to sustain their work through developing strategies for institutional and community commitment

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Nomination for Nate Roundy: Nate has demonstrated outstanding leadership, tireless efforts, and genuine passion in addressing and raising awareness about issues of basic needs insecurity, sexuality, and gender diversity at UVU. Nate’s work is evidence of his unwavering commitment to justice and equity, informed by an intersectional framework that recognizes both the lived experiences of individuals with multiple marginalities, as well as the material effects of interlocking systems of oppression. Nate is a genuine pleasure to work with, and a force of hope for he encourages those who are around him to strive for a more just world.

On Why He is Engaged in his Community: “Engaging with my community is important to me because I believe our interactions in our community can create positive change. So many of the problems in our society are perpetuated in part from a lack of connection between members of communities. By engaging in communities, whether through service, research, or just getting to know others, we make connections that allow us to solve problems together.”

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Community Engaged Scholar

  • Experience in using community engaged or service-learning as a successful pedagogy
  • Innovation in employing reflective strategies to connect students' service with academics
  • Evidence of academic community engagement through teaching, community-based research, or promotion of service-learning on campus or in one's discipline

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Nomination for Dr. Tracy Sermon: Dr. Tracy Sermon is a Senior Lecturer in early Childhood and Elementary Education and has been teaching at UVU since 2000. Tracy is a long-time member of the UVU Service-Learning Faculty Committee and is the service-learning designated program faculty liaison for the education programs. She is a Service Learning Faculty Fellow and is a regular participant in our faculty learning circles, our engaged faculty retreats, and is a wonderful ambassador for service-learning pedagogy on campus and across the state. In her classes, Tracy brings the curriculum to life through providing her students with rich community-engaged experiential learning opportunities in local schools, where they get to apply what they learn in the classroom to hone their teaching skills, as they serve the teachers and students in the schools they visit. Tracy is a tremendous asset on our campus and is an excellent example of an engaged faculty member ensuring student success through offering engaged learning experiences.

On Why She is Engaged in her Community: “As an educator of future teachers, I am a firm proponent of embedding service-learning opportunities in all of my courses. I believe students are able to make stronger connections to course content as they both observe and practice what they are learning in classroom and school settings.  I value the many public partners that have engaged my students in meaningful learning experiences.”

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Committed Community Partner

  • Strengthens community involvement at your institution
  • Provides meaningful service and learning opportunities for students
  • Enhances their agency's mission, programs, and goals by partnering with your institution

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Nomination for Community Action Services and Food Bank: Community Action Services and Food Bank works to alleviate poverty by meeting the basic needs of persons seeking help and then giving them the tools to foster self-reliance. This is achieved through their food bank, community gardens, Circles, and their emergency assistance programs. In addition to hosting the Center for Social Impact’s 25th Anniversary Tree Planting kickoff event, Community Action more importantly serves as a co-educator to UVU students involved with their programs, remains a dedicated Service Council partner, and has stocked the UVU Food Pantry since it was established in 2009. We are grateful for their continued partnership and for all that they do to make Utah County a more equitable community

On Why They are Engaged in their Community: “Utah Valley University is deeply woven into Community Action Services and Food Bank's tapestry.  UVU is everywhere at Community Action: from serving clients in the food pantry to providing client management through internships; from helping children develop healthy relationships to having fundraising events and food drives.  We are very grateful for the strong relationship we have with the Center for Social Impact.”

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Community Engaged Administrator

  • Shows leadership in advancing community engagement as a critical component within their higher education institution
  • Forms innovative campus and community partnerships
  • Engages, models, or influences students to be involved in community service and/or service-learning

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Nomination for Kyle Reyes: Kyle Reyes has consistently demonstrated his commitment to supporting and advancing community engagement here at UVU. From his early days in the classroom, Kyle was trained as a Service-Learning Faculty Fellow and employed the service-learning pedagogy. Now as a university administrator, Kyle has made many significant and critical contributions to the successful evolution of the Center for Social Impact. His strategic guidance helped us navigate through the many conversations and approvals we needed to secure from the university’s president, academic leaders, university executive committee, and ultimately the Board of Trustees. Kyle also played a critical role in securing a very significant donation to expand the Service Council and the important work they do. And he continues to challenge us to be bold in our work, and gives us the support we need to accomplish some of our wildest dreams.

 On Why He is Engaged in his Community: “The work we do as educators is always nested in larger contexts and communities and it is our responsibility to provide opportunities for students to connect with communities locally, nationally, and globally.  I engage with diverse communities because I want to learn from them and find ways our students can partner with them for mutually beneficial learning.”

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Community Engaged Lifetime Achievement

  • Every 5th year, the Center for Social Impact gives a Community Engagement Lifetime Achievement Award
  • This award goes to someone who has made a significant and long lasting impact on community engagement at UVU

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Nomination for Alexis Palmer: For almost nine years, Alexis was volunteer and service-learning at UVU, as she took the Center from a quiet office to a powerful force on campus. The infrastructure of the service council and service-learning as it exists today is a continuation of the incredible foundation she established during her tenure at the Center. And many of the community partnerships that she established continue on to this day. Since leaving the Center, Alexis has continued to support community engagement work. She represented UVU for many years on the Utah Campus Compact board, engaging the university president on many issues. Alexis was also a main author of UVU’s Civic Action Plan - an integrated approach to community engaged teaching, scholarships, partnerships and institutional action. And her support and direction of the Center for Social Impact’s strategic framework was critical to our development and ultimate name change. As we continue to build out this framework and come up with new ways to engage the students and community, she is always willing to support our efforts. We could not make the impact that we do without her support.