Coronavirus information

In response to the COVID-19 global pandemic, the University of Alaska Anchorage has taken steps to protect the health and safety of our campus community. Visit the University of Alaska Coronavirus Information website to learn how UAA and the university system are responding to this situation. Find links to communications, policy guidance, resources and information about the university's community restrictions, which apply to all faculty, staff and students. The UAA Student Health and Counseling Center remains open at this time to serve UAA students. For information about COVID-19 symptoms and current health recommendations, visit the CDC website and the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services.

About CCEL


Carnegie Foundation "Elective Community Engagement Classification" Seal

The Center for Community Engagement & Learning 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.


Community Engaged Designation

Since 2006, UAA has been recognized by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as a “Community Engaged Institution.”  CCEL serves as a central locus for the intersection of student learning, faculty research, and community engagement.  UAA uses the Carnegie Foundation's definition of community engagement for our work with communities: "Community Engagement describes the collaboration between institutions of higher education and their larger communities (local, regional/state, national, global) for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity." 

Strategic Goals

"CCEL strategic plan" brochure cover
  1. Develop & support faculty & students in the pedagogy & practice of community engagement & learning.
  2. Provide leadership for "effective" community engagement, outreach & partnerships at UAA.
  3. Be a catalyst, convener & connector for addressing community issues & engaging the university for the future of Anchorage & Alaska.

 CCEL Connects Campus & Community 

  • Monthly Think Tanks showcase non-profit organizations with questions to answer together as a community. 
  • Dialogues for Public Life trains UAA & community members to address critical issues in civil dialogue.
  • Urban in Alaska provides an umbrella for events throughout the year focused on our urban issues in Anchorage.


CCEL is guided by an Advisory Council consisting of faculty, staff, students, and members of the community.  We work together to develop partnerships that connect academic programs with community service and forge linkages between theory and practice, between knowledge and action, and between the university’s academic resources and the community’s development.

  •  Faculty and staff across the UAA Campus act as ambassadors for community engagement and as resources to connect academic interests, student learning goals, and broader university initiatives to the work of the Center.
  • Community organizations and community members bring local knowledge and expertise, linking community needs with projects, faculty and students. 
  • Student representatives bring a unique perspective, energy and ideas to the mix as we create and learn together.  

The Advisory Council meets twice each semester to brainstorm, develop resources, cross-pollinate projects, exchange information, and take our work together to the next level.  Our commitment to collaboration is to encourage innovative, practical, and action-oriented approaches to improve Alaskan communities.  The Advisory Council guides CCEL:

  • as a clearinghouse for faculty interested in community-based, service learning pedagogy and research;
  • as a front door to the university for community leaders with project ideas;
  • as a catalyst for students seeking engagement or relevant learning experiences beyond the traditional classroom; and
  • as a promoter and generator of participatory action research to help meet the applied research needs of our communities.

2019-20 CCEL Advisory Council Roster

Donna Aguiniga (CCEL), Colleen Bickford (Department of Housing and Urban Development), Michelle Burdette-Taylor (Nursing), Paul Clark (Community),  Brian Cook (Theatre) , Lauren Criss-Carboy (UAA Student),  Herminia Din (Art), Gabe Garcia (Health Sciences), Travis Hedwig (Health Sciences), Darrel Hess (Municipality of Anchorage), Holly Kent (Alaska Ocean Observing System), Kim Koval (Bean's Cafe), Panu Lucier (thread Alaska), Hollis Mickey (Anchorage Museum), Marsha Olson (Communication), Libby Roderick (Center for Advancing Faculty Excellence), Polly Smith (Alaska Literacy Program), Cassandra Stalzer (United Way of Anchorage)

The Advisory Council will meet on:

  • Friday, September 13, 2019, 2:30-4:00 p.m. in UAA GHH 105
  • Friday, November 08, 2019, 2:30-4:00 p.m. in UAA LIB 302A
  • Friday, February 14, 2020, 2:30-4:00 p.m. in UAA LIB 302A

The Community Engagement Council is a faculty group that meets monthly during the academic year with representation from colleges of the university and community campuses. An updated Report to the Provost was submitted in February 2017.

The UAA Community Engagement Council was formed in April 2014 from the Faculty Task Force that developed the Carnegie application for designation as an “Engaged University.” The Task Force was designated as a permanent faculty council by Provost Bear Baker and completed its first year with a Report to the Provost sent November 3, 2014.

A goal of the Council realized in Fall of 2015 was to designate courses in Banner as community-engaged (CE) or service-learning (SL). The work plan of the Council is designed to implement steps outlined in the 2014 Carnegie application and to continue to deepen, integrate, and make our community engagement as a university more pervasive and more visible.

Committees of the CE Council:

  • Community Engagement Assessment Master Plan, Dr. Deb Periman, Summer 2015
  • Community Engaged/Service Learning (CE/SL) Course Self-Designation Process – Executive Summary, Dr. Christine McDowell & Dr. Clare Dannenberg, Summer 2016
  • Community Engagement Indicators & Data: Where, What & How Information is Stored, Dr. Shannon Donovan, Summer 2017

2019-20 Community Engagement Council Roster

Donna Aguiniga (CCEL), Michelle Burdette-Taylor (Nursing), Jackie Cason (English), Sharon Chamard (Justice), Joel Condon (Construction, Design & Safety), Shannon Donovan (Geography & Environmental Studies), Thia Falcone (Kodiak College), Amana Mbise (Social Work), Irasema Ortega (Education), Cheryl Siemers (Kenai Peninsula College)

The Community Engaged Council will meet on:

  • Tuesday, September 10, 2019, 9:30 - 10:45 am in UAA GHH 105
  • Tuesday, October 8, 2019, 9:30 - 10:45 am in UAA GHH 105
  • Tuesday, November 12, 2019, 9:30 - 109:45 am in UAA GHH 105
  • Tuesday, December 10, 2019, 9:30 - 10:45 am in UAA GHH 105
  • 2017-18 Community Engagement Council Roster
    Christina McDowell (chair), Osama Abaza, Andrea Anderson, Clare Dannenberg, John Dede,  Shannon Donovan, Thia Falcone, Jeff Libby, Michael Mueller, Judith Owens-Manley,  Irasema Ortega, Joel Condon, Deborah Periman, Angelia Trujillo, Cheryl Siemers
  • 2016-17 Community Engagement Council Roster
    Christina McDowell (chair), Osama Abaza, Andrea Anderson, Barbara Brown, Clare Dannenberg, John Dede,  Shannon Donovan, Thia Falcone, Kathrynn Hollis-Buchanan, Jeff Libby, Michael Mueller, Judith Owens-Manley,  Irasema Ortega, Nancy Nix, Deborah Periman, Angelia Trujillo, Cheryl Siemers
  • 2015-16 Community Engagement Council Roster
    Christina McDowell, Clare Dannenberg, Deborah Fox, Irasema Ortega, John Dede, Judith Owens-Manley, Kathrynn Hollis-Buchanan, Nancy Nix, Osama Abaza, Angelia Trujillo, Paul Deputy, Jeff Libby, Deborah Periman (Chair)
  • 2014-15 Community Engagement Council Roster
    Christina McDowell, Clare Dannenberg, Deborah Fox, Irasema Ortega, John Dede, Judith Owens-Manley, Kathrynn Hollis-Buchanan, Michael Mueller, Nancy Nix, Osama Abaza, Shannon Donovan, Tara Smith, Deborah Periman (Chair)

Carnegie Task Force 2013-14

Designations for Community-Engaged Teaching, Research & Creative Activity

Community Engagement & Service Learning Curricular Definitions
Designations for Community-Engaged Research & Creative Activity 


"Teaching Excellence in an ENGAGED University" reports highlighting community-engaged teaching at UAA: