In the hustle and bustle, UVU staff gives back to local community. Courtesy of Alexis Palmer

In the hustle and bustle, UVU staff gives back to local community. Courtesy of Alexis Palmer

University employees have a new way to give back to the community through various service projects that were part of a yearly conference called Summer University.

“We start in early January, identifying potential projects within the community that our staff can participate in and last year was the first time that we added service projects to Summer University,” said Event Coordinator Alexis Palmer.

Palmer further explained that the purpose of this project is to give the staff an opportunity to participate in personal and professional development. “The staff at UVU normally do not have the opportunity to attend professional conferences or engage with the community,” Palmer said.

Summer University is meant to meet those needs. Although some of the volunteers were faculty, the majority who participated were staff.

The conference, held May 12-14, began with a family celebration and advanced into personal and professional development workshops and a keynote address.

On Wednesday all participating employees engaged in a day of service. Activities covered a wide range, including cleaning up after, grooming and walking animals, repairing pasture fences, building a home, sorting and organizing food in the food bank, landscaping, building decks, installing sprinklers and cutting down noxious weeds in the infield trails of the Provo Canyon Park.

According to Palmer, 800 employees participated for a total of 2,000 hours of service and $41,000 put back into the community through all of the service provided this year. The staff is satisfied about this year’s success and already planning next year’s projects.

“We hope to continue a day of service once a year that all UVU employees participate in whether it is through Summer University or another time during the year,” said Palmer.