About the Office of Engaged Learning

The Office of Engaged Learning (OEL)  develops institutional strategies for engagement, facilitates innovative practices, and oversees a variety of initiatives and programs including Grants for Engaged Learning (GEL), Global Spotlight, High-Impact practices, Capitol Reef Field Station, and the D.C. Experience as a few examples. “Engaged” at UVU involves active and collaborative learning, which provides students the opportunity to connect their academic experience with their professional and civic lives.


Internship Services is the central location for organizing, promoting, and coordinating the internship process. Our mission is to support engaged learning and student success at Utah Valley University by developing exceptional internship opportunities, supporting student internship goals, managing the internship process, and offering comprehensive information and assessment to our academic and community partners. We provide reliable and extraordinary service to faculty, staff, students, and our community partners.



McKay Isham
Interim Director of Internship Services

Community engagement


Jon Westover
Director of Academic Service Learning

& Director of the Center for Social Impact 

Summer Valente
Director of the Center for Social Impact


Our institutional commitment to community engagement is reflected in our university mission, our Carnegie classifications (since 2008 and reaffirmed in 2015), and our active participation in the Utah Campus Compact. Our understanding of community engagement has been developed in several areas of the university (Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, and University Relations) with a strategic objective to work with governmental, corporate, and civic partners in reciprocal and dynamic ways.

The Office of Engaged Learning supports more than 400 service-learning designated courses (250 sections) offered each semester, impacting about 8,000 students each year. Academic service-learning is a recognized high impact practice that has a significant impact on student persistence retention and completion, as well as a host of other student learning and professional development outcomes.

Service Learning Volunteer GEL Grants



Global and intercultural

The Office for Global Engagement assists faculty, students, and staff in developing and maintaining strong international and intercultural relationships; supports globally-focused programs of study, service, and research; and creates strategic international partnerships with key institutions around the world. Global Engagement has four areas of concentration: Outbound International Programs, Inbound International Programs, International Internships, and Domestic Multicultural Experiences.

Global Engagement

The global and intercultural initiatives underscore UVU’s commitment to valuing global and intercultural opinions, backgrounds, traditions, perspectives, and experiences. UVU recognizes that fostering an intercultural learning curriculum and an understanding of and appreciation for a variety of cultural perspectives and experiences are essential elements of higher education. We provide support for faculty and students while offering a G/I distinction that recognizes student academic interaction with diverse ideas and people from a wide range of cultural backgrounds.

G/I Initiative


Baldomero Lago
Chief International Officer - Vice Rector
Global Engagement




Bryan Waite
Director of Global/Intercultural Academic Programming
Global Intercultural Initiative

Undergraduate research and creative works


Nichole Ortega
Director of Undergraduate Research and Creative Works

Shelly Andrus
Coordinator of Engaged Learning Programs

Utah Valley University believes that undergraduate research, scholarship, and creative activities (URSCA) are indeed the “pedagogy of the 21st century” and an increasingly important aspect of higher education. All students should have the opportunity to participate in inquiry-based learning, as broadly defined within their discipline. To this end, OEL offers programs and support for students' URSCA efforts, including the Utah Conference on Undergraduate Research (UCUR), the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR), the D. Clark and Pam Turner Endowment for Engaged Learning in STEM Research Fellowships (TEELS), and the Presidential Award for Faculty Scholarly Activities. Furthermore, OEL believes that mentoring is a key component in students' URSCA success.


Engaged curriculum

The Office of Engaged Learning strongly believes students’ academic learning is facilitated by presenting content and methods within a real-world context. “Curricular Engagement describes the teaching, learning, and scholarship that engages faculty, students, and community in mutually beneficial and respectful collaboration” (Carnegie). To this end, OEL supports faculty development toward engaged learning and is working to provide assessments of curricular-engaged course.

High Impact Engaged Learning Grants Grants of Research for Engaged Educators and Novices Undergraduate Research Summer Institute Grant


Ala'a Alsarhan
Director of Engaged Curriculum

Capitol Reef Field Station


Michael T. Stevens Ph.D
Director of Capitol Reef Field Station

Capitol Reef Field Station (CRFS) is a center for education, research, and conservation located inside Capitol Reef National Park. UVU is one of a few universities in the United States that operate a field station inside a national park. Through our uncommon partnership, we are able to facilitate place-based learning and a variety of other high-impact practices in the context of the Colorado Plateau.