Center for Community Engagement & Learning

The Center for Community Engagement & Learning (CCEL) serves as the intersection of student learning, faculty research and creative activity, and community engagement.

Learn about CCEL

News & Events

CCEL Welcomes New Associate Director

We warmly welcome Donna Aguiniga, Associate Professor in the School of Social Work, in her new role as Associate Director of CCEL. For Fall 2018, Donna can be reached at 786-4062 or
Donna Aguinia head shot

Upcoming Events

  • Think Tank Series

    A non-profit agency presents a challenge or issue, and attendees brainstorm solutions for the organization. Students, faculty, staff and community members -- join us to assist agency and contribute your thoughts and ideas to the discussion! Pizza Provided. All sessions held in LIB 307.

    Thursday, September 20, 2018
    11:30 am - 12:45 pm
    Thursday, October 18, 2018
    1:00 - 2:15 pm
    Thursday, November 15, 2018
    11:30 am - 12:45 pm
    Thursday, February 21, 2019
    11:30 am - 12:45 pm
    Thursday, March 21, 2019
    1:00 - 2:15 pm
    Thursday, April 11, 2019
    11:30 am - 12:45 pm


CCEL 2017-18 Awards

  • Selkregg Community Engagement & Service Learning Award

    2018 Selkregg Award Recipient

    Dr. Hattie Harvey, Early Childhood Education

    Community Partner: Cook Inlet Native Head Start & Cook Inlet Tribal Council Head Start

    Project: Bridging Efforts in Early Childhood Yup’ik Immersion Programming

    Learn More
  • Faculty Minigrants

    Amanda Walch, Dietetics & Nutrition
    Managing Economic Insecurity: The Role of St. Francis in Making Ends Meet
    Community Partner: Catholic Social Services - St. Francis House

    Rebecca Robinson, Psychology
    From Conflict to Cultivation: Evaluating the Impact of the Fresh International Gardens
    Project on Refugee Mental Health, Resilience, and Wellbeing
    Community Partner: Catholic Social Services - Refugee Assistance and Immigration Services

    Marsha Olson, Journalism & Communication
    Be Counted UAA: Increasing Young Voter Registration and Turnout
    Community Partner: League of Women Voters Anchorage

    Deirdre Bryan, History
    Oral History of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in Alaska
    Community Partner: Alaska Association on Developmental Disabilities

    Kathryn Ohle & Jennifer McKay, Early Childhood Education, Consortium Library
    Sharing the Wealth: Connecting New & Seasoned Teachers
    Community Partners: Anchorage School District, Loussac Library

    Hattie Harvey, Early Childhood Education
    Family Engagement in a Yup’ik Immersion Head Start Program
    Community Partner: Cook Inlet Native Head Start

    Nancy Nix, Health Sciences
    Use of E-Portfolios as an Approach to Share and Preserve Cultural Knowledge and Practices
    Community Partner: Tuzzy Consortium Library in Utqiagvik (Barrow)

    Brian Cook, Theater & Dance
    Earth Matters on Stage 2018 Symposium
    Community Partner: Alaska Wilderness Forum and others

    Michael Mueller, Secondary Education
    Nurturing Responsibility for Bird Habitats in Alaska through Citizen Science Pen Pals
    Community Partners: Lake & Peninsula School District, Anchorage School District

    Rachael Hannah, Biological Sciences
    Anchorage Brain Bee
    Community Partner: Anchorage Museum

    Kathi Trawver, Social Work
    Evaluation of Mentoring of New OCS Line Workers
    Community Partner: Office of Children’s Services (OCS)

  • Dr. Alex Hills Engineering & Civic Engagement Award

    2018 Alex Hills Award Recipients

    Canyon Lewis, Mechanical Engineering
    and Claire Lubke, Biological Sciences

    Faculty Advisor: Todd Peterson, Electrical Engineering

    Project:  Autonomous Aeroponic Garden  

    Learn More
  • Second Bridge Award

    2018 Second Bridge Award Recipient

    Cole Murphy, Languages & International Studies

    Faculty Sponsor: Elizabeth Hodges Snyder, Associate Professor, Health Sciences.

    Project: Capacity & Sevices Development at Alaska Seeds of Change

    Learn More
  • Community Engaged Student Assistants
    Alaska Citizen Science Initiative
    CESA: Erin Alexander Ingle
    Faculty: Michael Mueller, Secondary Education
    Alaska Native Student Persistence & Success
    CESA: Vincent Tomalonis
    Faculty: Beth Leonard, Alaska Native Studies
    Alaska Writing Project
    CESA: Caitlin Buxbaum
    Faculty: Jonathan Bartels, Secondary Education
    Analysis of Human Remains: UAA Bioarchaeology Laboratory
    CESA: Tyler Teese
    Faculty: Ryan Harrod, Anthropology
    Bean’s Cafe
    CESA: Brittney Ramert
    Faculty: Donna Aguiniga, Social Work
    Campus Votes Project
    CESA: Moira Pyhala
    Faculty: Marsha Olson, Journalism & Communication
    Catholic Social Services Food Planning Research
    CESA: Brynn Byam
    Faculty: Tracey Burke, Social Work
    Clark Middle School Leadership Fellows Junior Program
    CESA: Ashley Roylance
    Faculty: Terry Nelson, Management & Marketing
    Connected for Success Process Evaluation
    CESA: Rachel Boudreau
    Faculty: Mary Dallas Allen, Social Work
    Creative Activities Fair
    CESA: Grayson Jackson, Katrina Phillipps, Zachary John,
    Laurence Juan
    Faculty: Karen Roth, Early Childhood Education
    Dialogues for Public Life
    CESA: Amanda Hansen, Jaina Willahan, Margaret Herbert
    Faculty: Donna Aguiniga, Social Work
    Evaluating the Impact of Alaska Seeds of Change Activities
    CESA: Mariah Seater
    Faculty: Micah Hahn, Environmental Health
    Family Experiences with the State of Alaska’s FASD Care
    Management Program
    CESA: Kaitlan Head, Gibson Gamel
    Faculty: Travis Hedwig, Health Sciences
    Evaluation of Mentoring of New OCS Workers
    CESA: Diane Erickson
    Faculty: Kathi Trawver, Social Work
    Model United Nations
    CESA: Alex Jorgensen, IntiMayo Harbison, Johnnie Templeton,
    Tuan Graziano
    Faculty: Kimberly Pace, Political Science
    Northern Journeys Student Assistant
    CESA: Callie Akins, Kelsey Hernandez
    Faculty: Hilary Seitz, Early Childhood Education

    Oral History of Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities in Alaska
    CESA: Rachel Krahn, Kjasti McElwee
    Faculty: Deirdre Bryan, History
    Project Buhay
    CESA: Jessica Petalio, Suzanna Aguino
    Faculty: Gabriel Garcia & Joy Mapaye, Health Sciences
    Psychology Pathways to Recovery
    CESA: Alice Han, Andrew Richie
    Faculty: Rebecca Robinson, Psychology
    Realizing Solutions
    CESA: Joey Sweet, Camilla Hussein
    Faculty: Sheila Selkregg, Public Administration
    Semester By the Bay
    CESA: Jill Burnham
    Faculty: Deborah Boege-Tobin, Biology
    Sharing the Wealth: Connecting New and Seasoned Educators
    CESA: Tia Wagner
    Faculty: Kathryn Ohle, Education & Jennifer McKay, Library
    Successful Aging of Urban Alaska Native Elders
    CESA: Jeremiah Lewis
    Faculty: Jordan Lewis, Medical Education (WWAMI)
    Translational Comparison: Electronic and Paper Data Collection
    CESA: Bethany Munden, Makenzie Heatherly
    Faculty: Mychal Machado, Psychology
    UAA STEM Day
    CESA: Liam Sarwas
    Faculty: Brandon Briggs, Biological Sciences
    UAA Brain Bee
    CESA: Jessica Reisinger, Tarah Lehman
    Faculty: Rachael Hannah, Biological Sciences
    Unite for Literacy
    CESA: Andrea Pierce
    Faculty: Kathryn Ohle, Early Childhood Education
    Veteran’s PATHWAY Data Analysis
    CESA: Issac Winters
    Faculty: Vanessa Meade, Social Work
    Yupik Immersion Family Engagement
    CESA: Jennassy Regal, Melissa Schmitz, Felisha Orsborn
    Faculty: Hattie Harvey, Early Childhood Education

The Center for Community Engagement & Learning (CCEL) serves as the intersection of student learning, faculty research and creative activity, and community engagement. CCEL connects academic programs with community needs to use scholarship and action for the mutual benefit of the University and the State, its communities, and its diverse peoples.

The Center is committed to fostering resilient communities through social, economic, and environmental justice in community-campus partnerships. Our work focuses on six core themes: Health & Well-Being; Positive Child & Youth Development;  Arts, Language & Culture; Food System;  Our Alaskan Environment;  and Access to Justice.

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  • Special Initiatives

    CCEL collaborates with several special initiatives and partnerships across campus.

    Alaskero Partnership is a workgroup of Filipino American UAA faculty and community members seeking to increase visibility, vitality, and sense of community among Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (API), especially youth

    Campus Vote Project UAA strives to increase voter registration, education and turnout, with a special focus on college students.  The project began during the spring 2016 semester and has continued each semester since.

    Civic Eats Initiative is focused on developing, promoting, and recognizing Community-University partnerships in creating strong, sustainable, and equitable community food systems.

    Dialogues for Public Life program was created to facilitate and develop the capacity of the campus and local communities to discuss challenging social issues in a productive and meaningful way.

    Urban in Alaska is an exploration of Anchorage  as an urban area with urban issues in what is more typically considered a rural state. Urban issues in Anchorage are similar to other cities: poverty, homelessness, access to affordable housing, mental illness, substance abuse, sustainability.

    Resilient Communities Initiative Community resilience offers a useful lens for assessing and working with the needs of communities such as Anchorage. Viewing communities as complex and dynamic living systems allows for creative solutions to emerge, new solutions that may lie in understanding systemic relationships among community issues found in our city.  The Resilient Communities initiative proposes to invest $30,000 in 2018-19 to bring faculty, students, and community partners together to foster community resilience through partnerships in several thematic areas. 

  • ENGAGE Social Issues

    Food Security, Youth & Education, Affordable Housing & Neighborhood Development, Health & Mental Health, Environment & Sustainability - Find out what's happening on campus and in the community around these social issues.

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  • Civic Engagement Certificate

    UAA students can earn a Civic Engagement Certificate along with his or her major. This 30 credit Certificate prepares students to become active, effective, ethical citizens in their professional and personal lives.

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 Donate to CCEL and support civically engaged student and faculty projects at UAA!


Carnegie Foundation Community Engagement Classification Seal

presidential honor role seal

Student Opportunities

  • Civic Engagement Certificate
    UAA's Certificate in Civic Engagement prepares students to become active, effective, ethical citizens in their professional and personal lives. Students develop practical skills to link their learning to community involvement through service-learning experiences, internships, community-based research, and creative activities. This program highlights scholarly, community-based engagement in students' major coursework while making connections to academic, personal and civic development of skills and competencies.
  • Fall 2018 CEL Courses
    Impact Your Campus & Your Community!
    CEL A292 - 602: Introduction to Civic Engagement
    CRN: 70679 I T I 5:30pm - 8:15pm I SSB 223
    CEL A292 - 603: Introduction to Civic Engagement
    CRN: 70680 I MW I 1:00 - 2:15 pm I ADMIN 143A
    CEL A292 - 801: Introduction to Civic Engagement
    CRN: 70681 I TR I 4:00pm - 6:30 pm I Online | 10/12 - 12/15
    CEL A390 - 301: Issues, Approaches & Ideologies in Community-Based ESL Tutoring
    CRN: 77430 | TR 10:00 - 11:15 am | Location TBA
    CEL A395 - 801: Civic Engagement Internship
    CRN: 70683 I Contact Judith Owens-Manley at
  • CCEL Public Service Scholars - $$

     The CCEL Public Service Scholars program is funded by partial scholarships from the University of Alaska system. This application certifies that you are prepared to devote 5-10 hours per week to supporting community engagement as a liaison between the UAA campus and community networks and coalitions in particular thematic areas (e.g. Food Systems, Our Alaskan Environment, Health & Well-Being, Positive Child & Youth Development, Arts, Language & Culture; Access to Justice).

    Activities that you may be involved with can include but not be limited to:

    • Community-based research through academic courses; supporting faculty-community engaged projects or research.  
    • Policy analysis or issue briefs on assigned issues.
    • Participation in Think Tanks and Urban in Alaska Conference during academic year.
    • Construction and maintenance of Social Media/Community Information Hubs for issue areas above.   


  • CESAs - $$

    What is a Community Engaged Student Assistant (CESA)?

    Community Engaged Student Assistants support students, faculty, and community partners in four key areas: 

    • Developing community partnerships with faculty;
    • Recruiting, placing, training and coordinating service-learners for courses;
    • Developing creative projects, applying technical expertise, and collecting research data;
    • Providing direct service/research to the community partner(s). 

    Why be a CESA?

    • Have a meaningful experience working with faculty and community members;
    • Hands-on opportunities utilizing your major to work with the local community;
    • Administration Scholarship Awards available for eligible students.


  • Annual Scholarships - $$

Contact Us

Phone: (907) 786-4062

LIB 211N
Center for Community Engagement & Learning
University of Alaska Anchorage
3211 Providence Drive
Anchorage, AK 99508

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