2013-2014 Award Recipients

Community Engaged Alum: Gretchen Palmer, M. Ed.

This award recognizes an alum of your institution that:

  • 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

picture of Gretchen PalmerNomination for Gretchen Palmer:  UVU is proud to have Gretchen Palmer as a community engaged alumnae. Her dedication to the UV Mentors program is noteworthy in and of itself, but Gretchen goes above and beyond to help connect the mentors with opportunities to serve. Gretchen has been supportive of the service programs UV Mentors contribute to and provides the insight and guidance they need to pull of successful events. She has been a part of Make a Difference Day and the Hunger Banquet for the past few years, all of which have had great participation. Gretchen is also a big part of the SLAM Conference, which engages students in a conference of their very own, encouraging them to be active and participate in the community around them.


Committed Community Partner: Community Health Connect

This award recognizes an individual or organization who:

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

picture of Community Health Connect LogoNomination for Community Health Connect: Community Health Connect is an incredible organization that does so much for our community. Not only do they fill the medical and dental needs of many in the area, but they do so by organizing the efforts of willing volunteers in our community. They are able to orchestrate the efforts of students, medical professionals, and donors, maximizing the ability of each of these groups to meet local needs. Students gain valuable experience through volunteering with Community Health Connect, and medical and dental professionals feel like their donations are directly reaching those in need. Community Health Connect is committed to volunteerism and to eliminating health care barriers to every member of our community.


Community Engaged Scholar: Dr. Eric J. Russell

This award recognizes an individual with:

  • 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

Picture of Eric Russell
Nomination for Dr. Eric J. Russell:  First off, Eric is the key supporter of service learning in his department (Emergency Services). Without him it is likely there would not be service learning in his area even though it plays a vital role. Next, he strongly believes in the value and relevance of service learning and does all he can to encourage its use. Eric serves on multiple groups relating to service learning including learning circles and the service learning committee. Added to that, Eric has worked collaboratively with other faculty to create and submit articles for publication consideration. He is always responsive and does what he says. Plus, he encourages others to see their own value and roles. Eric is a pleasure to work with and is about as direct and honest as they get. He is a faculty who strives to serve his students in the best ways he knows how.



Civically Engaged Staff Member: Tonya Hunter

This award recognizes a staff member that:

  • 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

picture of Marianna HenryNomination for Marianna Henry: Marianna Henry has been a valuable staff partner to the Volunteer & Service-Learning Center this past year.  She helped develop and plan the Center's Fiji Service Expedition, provided valuable feedback and resources, and continues to support the Volunteer and Service-Learning Center through promotion and her position on PACE. Marianna most recently organized the staff holiday book drive that resulted in the donation of 118 books to United Way of Utah County.


Community Engaged Student: Mindy Sutton

This award recognizes a student or a student group that:

  • 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

picture of Mindy SuttonNomination for Mindy Sutton: Mindy has served with the Utah County Crisis Line since July of 2013. She has been trained in Crisis de-escalation and clocked nearly 200 hours in our call center. She volunteers as a lifeline for people in crisis related to thoughts of suicide, depression, addiction, abuse, loss of a loved one or any other problem a caller may feel unable to cope with. Mindy has extended herself beyond the call center by participating in an optional continuing education volunteer improvement program with our agency. She has successfully completed two levels and is working on the final two. She is consistently improving in her work as an interventionist. She goes beyond the mark to learn all she can from her UVU courses and apply her knowledge to what we do. She promotes suicide prevention and our agency to students in her classes on campus and at booths for various events in Utah County. She also has a passion for helping others who suffer from addictions and is eager to further her education in the Bachelor of Social Work program. Mindy often provides volunteer support as a mentor and gives valuable suggestions for the improvement of our call center. Having successfully overcome many personal struggles in her life, Mindy is very engaged in the work we do. She is a living example of our mission which is to provide compassionate crisis support, hope through community resource referral, and empowerment through positive choices. I nominate Mindy Sutton for the Community Engaged Student Award. Her dedication to the relief of those with disparities and her commitment to provide quality resources for those in need make her an excellent candidate.