10 years of women’s success

The Women's Success Center just celebrated 10 years at UVU, announcing a new research institute to support female scholars. Photo by Tyler Hacking.

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Editor’s Note: This article was updated on Wednesday, Oct. 27 at 9 a.m. A previous version of the article incorrectly stated that the donation in question was $1.6 million, rather than $500,000, and it did not mention that the donation was given by the Todd Family Foundation.

In celebration of their 10th Anniversary, the Women’s Success Center announced another monumental milestone: a $500,000 million donation from the Todd Family Foundation.

Since 2011, the Women’s Success Center (WSC) at UVU has worked to empower female students and to engage the school’s student base and community, as stated by WCS Director, Tara Ivie. On Aug. 18, a research institute was formally approved by the UVU Board of Trustees, joining the WSC’s many resources. 

The institute’s full title is the “Bonnie Ballif-Spanvill Endowed Faculty Fellowship,” named after the acclaimed doctor. Dr. Ballif-Spanvill received her bachelor’s degree and Ph.D. from BYU, where she works as a professor of psychology. As per the institute’s specific funding criteria, applicants must be a tenured employee of UVU, or be on the tenure track, among other requirements. Additionally, project budgets must include funding for at least one student worker paid a living wage.

Ivie likened the programs provided by the center as “pillars of service” designed to aid students, reach out to the community, and provide resources to parent-students on campus. More information can be found on the WSC’s website.

As a new pillar of the WSC, the research institute is dedicated to providing resources to “women scholars, scholars who mentor women, and scholars whose work focuses on women,” according to the institute’s online resources. The funding will be allotted by increments of up to $10,000 year by year, to preserve the Institute well into the future.

All eligibility criteria and requirements are available to the public online, but Dr. Ivie made it clear that “all applicant reviews are blind.” Those looking to obtain funding for their project will be considered based on the merit of their academic background and project proposal, not gender or another identity marker.

Nicole Trette, President of the Women of UVU student organization, has been involved with the WSC since 2018. When asked about her reaction to the announcement of the research institute, she said, “Over the past few years, it’s been amazing to see the exponential growth of the Women’s Success Center and all that they have been able to accomplish, including the new development of the research institute. This program will continue to amplify women’s voices at UVU and foster a more inclusive environment for success for women in higher education.”

Trette remarked that the Bonnie Ballif-Spanvill Endowed Fellowship was something that had been “a long time coming,” and expressed optimism in her remarks concerning the milestone. She congratulated the WSC on, “another exciting development towards helping students achieve success,” stating that she is “excited to see what the future holds and the student lives they will continue to positively impact!”

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