Infographic of annual report of service learning. Service learning is one of the most widely used high impact practices of engages learning at UVU. Last academic year, there were 382 service learning sections, 124 courses, 250 faculty and 8562 students engaged in service learning. 171,240 hours of service were given, totalling $4,110,000 in direct emmediate economic impact to the community, $128 is economic impact for every $1 spent of UVU academic service learning budget. $3.74 of the service learning budget was spent per student enrolled in service learning courses. infographic on service learning enrollments by academic year. Enrollment in 2017-2018 was at 8,562 and shows steady increase since 2005-2006. Taking at least one service learning course increases graduation rates by 30%. Students show higher quality of leaning in student-faculty interaction, reflective and integrative learning, and collaborative learning.


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 a statewide and 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 17, 2018. There was a $250.00 cash prize for each award winner. If you have any questions about these awards, please email or call (801) 863-8786. Thank you!

2018 CE Awards

Community Engaged Alumni

portrait of Cristobal Villegas

Cristobal Villegas

  • 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 Cristobal Villegas: Cristobal graduated in 2016 with a degree in political science and he is a University of Utah MPA graduate this spring. While a student Cristobal was active working with Service Council, Multicultural Student Council, and other inclusion efforts around campus, including founding both Diversity Dialogues and Diversity Lectures. He recently served as a National Delegate for Congressional District 3, participating in the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia during the 2016 election and is currently serving as the Secretary of the Utah Democratic Party.

Cristobal works as an academic advisor for Multicultural Student Services here at UVU and has continued to change lives and support inclusion efforts on campus.

On Why He is Engaged in his Community:  “By living through and being the consequences of the sacrifices of my immigrant parents, doing my best for everyone has been on my mind since childhood. Having been involved in student-activism, student-leadership, community activism, nonprofit services for people experiencing homelessness, and now, being involved at UVU as an Academic Advisor, I am able to assist more people in the ever-daunting system that is higher education. Being engaged with the community is not sitting idly by, but rather being one of the first  to risk it all for the betterment of all."

Committed Community Partner

portrait of Danielle Alcala with refugee children

Danjuma & Danielle Alcala

  • 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 Because He First Loved Us: Danjuma and Danielle Alcala run an amazing volunteer organization in Midvale that reaches out to refugee youth across the Salt Lake Valley. Even though they are not in Utah County they have allowed my students to participate in thousands of hours of service. Many times this service has been tailored to the talents and interests of my students. For example, fall 2017 one of my students wanted to talk about self-esteem and the Alcala's helped her and about 10 more of my students put on an event about self-esteem and anti-bullying for about 70 refugee youth. They have been invaluable in my quest for making sure that service learning allows my students to participate and learn while at the same time serving the community.

On Why They are Engaged in their Community: “We do what we do because we are followers of Jesus! He taught that we should love the Lord our God with our heart, with all our soul and all our mind, and love our neighbor as yourself.  We love Because He First Loved Us. Love is our motivation.”

Community Engaged Administrator

portrait of Fred White

Dr. Frederick White

  • 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 Fred White: Fred has shown significant leadership in advancing community engagement here at UVU. During his tenure as the Associate Vice President over the Office of Engaged Learning, Fred institutionalized Community Engagement as one of the five pillars of Engaged Learning. He was a key player in establishing Community-Based Participatory Research Service-Learning Fellows, High Impact Community Partnership SEED Grants, and Service-Learning Mini-Grants. Fred also helped coordinate and co-author UVU’s Civic Action Plan, and he champions service-learning, Service Scholar, and Alternative Breaks programs of the Volunteer & Service- Learning Center.

 On Why He is Engaged in his Community: “Utah Valley University is designated by the Carnegie Foundation as Community Engaged. This is foundational in our maturation from community college to university status. As such, the Office of Engaged Learning has been committed to efforts that draw our community and university into a closer and mutually beneficial relationship.”

Community Engaged Student

portrait of Chad Talbot

Chad Talbot

  • 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 Chad Talbot: Chad began three programs in the Volunteer and Service Learning Center. He started Lip Sync for Literacy, Real Talk, and Project Read. Each of these programs have been successful additions to UVU's campus. He also organized an effective budget for Service Council. As Vice President of Internal Affairs of the Service Council, Chad organized leadership trainings for students, organized leadership retreats, and supervised the use of the service council budget.

 Even in his senior year, he has become a program director, taking on a project helping with literacy. It’s very clear to all who know him that service is not a passing fad for him, but a defining part of his character.

On Why He is Engaged in his Community: “Simply put, I feel good when I’m helping others. I enjoy making a difference, whether it be a small act of kindness in someone’s life, or an act of service that benefits the community. Making a positive impact in others’ lives has in effect made a larger impact in my own.”

Community Engaged Scholar

portrait of Dr. Maria Blevins

Dr. Maria Blevins

  • 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. Maria Blevins: Dr. Maria Blevin is a UVU Service-Learning Faculty Fellow and teaches multiple service-learning designated courses. She is a scholar of conflict, organizational and environmental communication, and she is interested in the ways organizations involved with disputes concerning natural resource communicate and how organizational identities effect that communication. Through community-based research with her students, she hopes to gain knowledge that will facilitate changes in organizations and institutions to support a more sustainable mode of functioning. 
Most recently, she is part of a cross-disciplinary faculty team that submitted an NSF grant to support their research on the health and revitalization of Utah Lake.

On Why She is Engaged in her Community: “I believe the noblest goal of education is to help students become engaged community members and citizens.  Through engaged learning students and I can apply theory, skills, and ideas to real world subjects.  This application helps our students and our community grow.”

In the News


The annual Clothesline Project, held October 30 and 31, 2018 in the UVU Grand Ballroom, received recognition from various state news organizations. Read what the Center for Social Impact and the UVU Service Council are doing to raise awareness of social issues and connect students and community: