Carnegie Foundation


The Office of Engaged Learning (OEL) promotes and supports the five pillars of academic engagement at UVU. 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 Community Impact Projects, and the DC 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.

OEL also coordinates the efforts of the Capitol Reef Field Station, Office of Academic Research, Sponsored Programs and Institution Review Board. Each one plays a vital roll in the advancement of engaged opportunities for faculty, students, staff and community partners.

5 Pillars of Engagement


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.


Niki Swan
Director of Internship Services

Community Engagement

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 over 170 service-learning designated courses (250 sections) offered each semester, impacting about 12,000 students per year.


Jon Westover
Director of Academic Service Learning

Summer Valente
Director of Volunteer & Service Learning Center

Global And Intercultural

The Office of International & Multicultural Studies (IMS) 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. IMS has four areas of concentration: Outbound International Programs, Inbound International Programs, International Internships and Domestic Multicultural Experiences.

The Global/Intercultural initiative underscore UVU’s commitment to valuing global/intercultural opinions, backgrounds, traditions, perspective, and experiences. UVU recognizes that fostering an intercultural earning curriculum and an understanding of, and appreciation for, a variety of cultural perspectives and experiences is an essential element 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.


Baldomero Lago
Assistant Vice President,
Global Engagement

Thandiwe Dinani
Director of Global Academic Programming

Bryan Waite
Director of Intercultural Academic Programming

Undergraduate Research & Creative Works

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 student’s URSCA efforts including the Utah Conference on Undergraduate Research (UCUR) for students, the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) for students, 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 student’s URSCA success.


Richard Tafalla
Assistant Vice President,
Scholarship & Faculty

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 is working to provide assessment of curricular engaged courses and supports faculty development towards engaged learning.


Richard Tafalla
Assistant Vice President,
Scholarship & Faculty