UVU recognized nationally for community service

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Carrie Laudie | News Editor | @carrielaudie


UVU received national recognition for its commitment to making the community better. UVU was named to this year’s President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with distinction in two categories: General Community Service and Interfaith Community Service. Only 40 universities are given this distinction in the nation. UVU was also one of 240 college and universities who received the Carnegie Foundation 2015 Community Engagement Classification

UVU originally received the Carnegie Foundation Classification in 2007 and there is an extensive reclassification process that takes place every seven years. Brian Birch, director of the Center for the Study of Ethics and the Religious Studies program, facilitated both the Carnegie Foundation reclassification as well as the application process for the Honor Roll.

“Both of these distinctions are significant for the university. They demonstrate national leadership and innovation in higher education. They are also concrete proof that the university is putting into practice what we put on our billboards. We truly are committed to engaged learning opportunities for our students”, said Birch.

One thing that helps UVU stand out is its Interreligious Engagement Initiative. The intent of the initiative is to increase understanding and dialogue between members of different faiths. They do this with an inter-faith student council, academic programming, community partnerships and the UVU Reflection Center.

“The UVU Reflection Center provides space for meditation, prayer, reflection, or other forms of individual religious expression… In addition to providing quiet space, the center will host lectures, workshops, interfaith student meetings, and other relevant activities”, according to the UVU Interreligious Engagement pamphlet.

Community service is important, and UVU has proven that it continues to be a priority by planning and facilitating more than 160 service projects a year. That doesn’t even include classes that require community service and service projects as part of its curriculum.

Summer Valente, director of Volunteer and Service Learning said, “Being honored on the Presidential Honor roll for the last six years in a row is a real testament to UVU’s commitment to engaged learning in our community. The impact of the community service performed by the students, faculty, and staff at UVU continues to increase and it’s wonderful to be recognized for our work. It is a privilege to be listed among the top 100 or so universities in the nation for our commitment to community service. We have wonderful students that do amazing things from volunteering on the Service Council to going on Alternative Break service trips to service-learning projects. There are lots of great opportunities for students to get involved and they can stop by our center in SC 105 to learn more.”