Author: Jason Nowa

Assistant dean, David Jordan retires

The university is saying good-bye to one of its employees, David Jordan, assistant dean of research for the School of Science and Health. He is retiring at the end of December. On Monday, Nov. 29, Jordan was bid a happy farewell with a lunch reception at Centre Stage. Many colleagues, friends and family attended to show support for Jordan and his accomplishments at UVU. Jordan is originally from California but has lived in Oregon as well. He received a BBA in Accounting from Eastern Kentucky University in 1972. In 1995, he received a MBA from Portland State University. Jordan has worked at UVU since 2001. He was previously at Rogue Community College in Oregon where he was the Vice President and Dean of Administrative Services since 1981. Many of Jordan’s colleagues said that the accomplishments he will be remembered for were his helping hand in the development of the science building, the research station and research funding. Of his time spent at UVU, “it is the best institution anywhere to be associated with, such great students and faculty,” Jordan said. “I have not one negative thing to say.” Jordan will retire to Oregon with his wife and 3 kids, where he has a house awaiting his return. Jordan mentioned that some of his hobbies include photography, racquetball, skiing and web page designing. When asked what he will do with...

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Best-selling novelist returns

Best-selling author Kris Radish is coming to town Dec. 2-3 to speak to students about her widely known novels. She will also discuss her exploits as a journalist, during which time she covered murders, court trials and politics. Although she is originally from Wisconsin, Radish used to be the Utah County bureau chief for the Deseret News. She later left Utah County and covered news stories all over the world. This, she says, made for a lot of excitement. “During my lively, often humorous, always exciting and totally demanding career as a journalist, I was also stalked, shot at, assaulted and threatened with everything from a rock to a shotgun. I hung out of the side of helicopters, went to Bosnia during the war, flew an airplane, rappelled down a mountain cliff, almost drowned in the Colorado River,” Radish writes on her website. Despite the demands this life put on her, Radish found time to write widely acclaimed novels. She writes about relationships between people, parenting and gender relations, among many other subjects. She wants to help her readers know that society does not define you. “We are excited to welcome Kris home,” said Englehardt professor of Ethics. “She has traveled around the world talking about her books. I’m glad she is now coming to share her thoughts and talents with the Utah Valley community.” Radish will be speaking...

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Lessons learned, pathways forward

On Nov. 5 Utah Valley University held the inaugural International Higher Education Summit for Utah entitled, “Lessons Learned, Pathways Forward.” It was an all day event at UVU and was attended by officials from many of the well known schools in Utah including: BYU, SUU, UVU, Snow College, Salt Lake Community College, USU, University of Utah, Weber State, and Westminster. The purpose of the day was to highlight how campuses around the nation have incorporated studies with an international flavor. It was also introduced on how a campus can start to improve or begin international education in their institutions. At the opening session of the day, Dr. Barbara A. Hill, who is the senior associate for the Center for International Initiatives American Council of Education (ACE), spoke as the keynote speaker. Hill presented many of her experiences with mapping internationalization onto U.S. campuses. Hill also defined internationalization as adding an international aspect to teaching, learning and service to a university. There were two ACE surveys done in 2001 and 2006 to come up with the information for a study done in the U.S. on international studies at campuses. The survey was done in attempts to discover whether universities have international foreign language, learning abroad or campuses abroad incorporated into their school system. Hill presented that the number one finding according to the survey was that many students throughout the...

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Famed Freedom Writer speaks

Erin Gruwell, who famously helped inner-city kids form the group Freedom Writers, spoke Oct. 26 in the Grande Ballroom. Gruwell shared experiences she had while working with high school students in difficult circumstances in Long Beach, Calif. When Gruwell was introduced to these students, she soon learned the difficult situations they were. All 150 students scored under the 25 percentile in comprehensive tests. Many of the students had been to more funerals of loved ones than to birthday parties. As part of a writing exercise, she had students write their stories in a journal. One student wrote that he just wanted to stay alive and be the first in his family to finish high school. Gruwell spoke about how many people were not willing to give them a chance. “All my 150 students were told they were too stupid,” she said. But that was something she refused to believe. She wanted to give the students hope. One day, she brought apple cider and champagne glasses to class and had everybody make a toast to change their lives and become somebody. In order to help them accomplish this, Gruwell had to change some of her teaching strategies. She recalled one student early on in the school year that said, “Don’t teach to a task, teach to me.” That was just one instance that taught Gruwell that there is a huge...

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Freedom Writers’ Erin Gruwell to speak

On Tuesday, Oct. 26, the Freedom Writer’s Foundation president, Erin Gruwell, will be speaking in the Grande Ballroom from 12-1 p.m. Gruwell became a high school teacher at Woodrow Wilson High in Long Beach, California in 1994 while attending college. She was introduced to many of the students that were involved in gang violence, juvenile detention centers and drugs. Many administrators had written off these students as future dropouts, but Gruwell gave them a second chance. She inspired many of them to change the way they thought about life and to consider their futures. Gruwell created an eventual positive change in the students and they wrote about their story in The Freedom Writers Diary: How a Teacher and 150 Teens Used Writing to Change Themselves and the World Around Them, Freedom Writers. Gruwell and her students have now raised hope across the nation about accepting all races and backgrounds. They together have appeared on television shows such as Oprah and Good Morning America. Their story has been printed in newspapers and in People magazine. Paramount Pictures released a movie entitled FREEDOM WRITERS in January 2007 about Gruwell’s experience with the students, with actress Hilary Swank playing Gruwell. Gruwell travels nationwide speaking at different conferences about diversity and uniting different cultural backgrounds and races together. Her biggest accomplishments were done in the juvenile halls or inner city schools she speaks...

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