Community Engaged Opportunities for Faculty

Community Engaged Student Assistants (CESAs)

Community Engaged Student Assistants (CESAs) are awarded UAA Administration Scholarships to support faculty in their teaching, research, or creative activity. All activities should emphasize integrating community engaged experiences, disciplinary learning outcomes, or research and creative activity goals.

CESA activities should help students develop their leadership and commitment to civic engagement on campus and in the community and 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
  • Eligibility

    CESAs receive UAA Administration Scholarship Awards and must meet those eligibility guidelines in order to become a CESA. To be eligible for UAA Administration Scholarship awards, students must be: 

    • enrolled in classes for the semester in which an award is being made;
    • admitted into a UAA degree or certificate program;
    • making satisfactory academic progress;
    • meet UAA cumulative GPA minimums of 3.0 for a graduate program, 2.8 for a college or other academic unit award for undergraduate students, and 2.5 for administrative waivers for undergraduate students;
    • Please note: combinations of UAA Administration Scholarship funds and other financial aid must not exceed the student’s total cost of attendance. CESAs may check with Financial Aid ( to confirm eligibility.

    The scholarship amount depends on the number of hours per week on average that CESAs will contribute to their projects.The table below breaks down the scholarship amount CESAs receive based on the number of hours per week:

    Award Amount Per Number of Hours Worked
    To receive this amount of award: Complete these average hours per week: For total hours per 15-week semester:
    $500 undergrad/$1,000 grad 3 45
    $700 undergrad/$1,200 grad 5 75
    $1,000 undergrad/$1,500 grad 7 105

  • Expectations
    In addition to helping faculty members with their community-engaged research or project, CESAs are expected to complete a few assignments on Blackboard, as well as prepare an informational poster and present it at our annual Community Engagement Forum in the spring. 

Now Accepting Spring and Summer 2023 Proposals!

The Center for Community Engagement & Learning is accepting proposals for Spring and Summer 2023 Community Engaged Student Assistants (CESAs). Faculty will be notified of their acceptance to the program prior to the semester for which they apply.

2022-23 CESA Call for Proposals

Check out the 2021 CE Form e-portfolio and 2022 CE Form e-portfolio to see past projects!

Faculty Minigrants

CCEL provides minigrant funding for faculty in two areas:

  • Research or Projects:  to conduct community engaged research or plan and carry out community projects.
  • Curriculum:  to create or redesign curriculum incorporating community engagement and community partnerships. 

Funding is available for full-time faculty for these two types of community-engaged activities that further develop partnerships, involving students, faculty, and community members as participants in addressing public issues. Awards are open to full-time faculty in all UAA schools and colleges and at all campuses. Junior faculty, faculty teaching GER courses, and faculty in under-represented disciplines are encouraged to apply. Funded proposals will conduct community engaged research or plan and carry out community projects and involve UAA students whenever possible. These projects include engaged scholarship and professional partnerships with community organizations that incorporate the principles of reciprocity and respect for community knowledge with research or creative activity.

Now Accepting Proposals for Fall 2022-Spring 2023!

Due Friday, November 11, 2022 at 5PM


Proposals may request up to $1000 in funds. Projects may be fully or partially funded depending on availability.

All funding must be spent by June 1st, 2023.

Fall 2022-Spring 2023 Minigrant RFP

Past Projects

  • 2021-2022

    Coming soon!

  • 2020-2021
    Joy Chavez Mapaye, Journalism and Public Communications

    Managing Health Misinformation in the Infodemic Era
    Community Partner: Alaska Public Health Association

    Hattie Harvey, Psychology

    Alaska Cultural Standards for Birth to Five Early Learning Settings
    Community Partner: Cook Inlet Tribal Council

    Ashley O'Connor, Social Work

    Evaluation of the "Responder's Promise" Equine Therapy Program
    Community Partner: Aurora Equine Therapy Program

    Sarah Prielipp, Writing

    Community Story Walk
    Community Partner: MOA Parks and Recreation

    Leslie Redmond, Dietetics & Nutrition

    Promoting the use of herbs and spices to improve dietary quality and intake among food pantry clients in Alaska
    Community Partner: Saint Francis House Food Pantry

    Amanda Walch, Dietetics & Nutrition

    Phase 2: Promoting the use of herbs and spices to improve dietary quality and intake among food pantry clients in Alaska
    Community Partner: Saint Francis House Food Pantry

  • 2019-2020
    Martha Amore, Writing

    Story Works WRTG 111 Collaboration
    Community Partner: Story Works Alaska

    Sara Buckingham, Psychology

    Untapped Talent: Inclusion and Integration in Anchorage, Alaska
    Community Partner: Mayor's Office

    Joy Chavez Mapaye, Journalism & Public Communication

    Brand U: A Strategic Communications Project to Help Local Businesses and Non-Profits
    Community Partner: Several Anchorage small businesses and non-profit organizations

    Herminia Din, Art

    Raising Awareness of Plastic Pollution in the Arctic
    Community Partner: Aleut Community of St. Paul Island

    Ruby Fried, Institute for Circumpolar Health Studies

    Traditional Food Security on St. Paul Island
    Community Partner: Aleut Community of St. Paul Tribal Government

    Alison Gardell, Biological Sciences, KPC

    Monitoring Beluga Habitat Use in the Kenai
    Community Partner: Alaska Beluga Monitoring Partnership

    Micah Hahn, Institute for Circumpolar Health Studies

    Development of a Food Security Index for the Municipality of Anchorage
    Community Partner: Municipality of Anchorage

    Rachel Hannah, Biological Sciences

    Alaska Brain Bee
    Community Partner: Anchorage High School Educators

    Britteny Howell, Population Health Sciences

    Barriers and Opportunities to Healthy Aging Using Concept Mapping: Phase II
    Community Partner: Anchorage Senior Center

    Amana Mbise, Social Work

    Asset Mapping to Inform FCC-UAA After-School Program
    Community Partner: First Congregational Church Anchorage

    Lauren Lessard, Institute for Circumpolar Health Studies

    Adolescent Mental Health Pilot Project
    Community Partner: NAMI, Story Works

    Lauren Lessard, Institute for Circumpolar Health Studies

    Adolescent Reproductive Life Planning
    Community Partner: State of Alaska Division of Public Health

    Nancy Nix, Population Health Sciences

    Healthy Food-Related Themes and Resources Across the Curriculum for Early Education
    Community Partner: Department of Health & Social Services

    Kathi Trawver & Heidi Brocious, Social Work

    Office of Children’s Services Mentoring Program Evaluation Project
    Community Partner: Office of Children's Services

  • 2018-2019
    Daniel Anteau, Theatre

    "New Kid"
    Community Partner: Anchorage School District

    Gabe Garcia, Health Sciences

    Evaluating the Anchorage School Based Health Centers
    Community Partner: Anchorage School Based Health Centers

    Rachael Hannah, Biological Sciences

    Anchorage Brain Bee
    Community Partner: Multiple High School Science Teachers

    Ian Hartman, History

    Black Life in the Last Frontier: A History of African Americans in Urban Alaska
    Community Partner:  Cook Inlet Historical Society and National Park Service

    Hattie Harvey, Early Childhood Education

    Blend Practices: Supporting Diverse Learners in Pre-K Classrooms
    Community Partner: Anchorage School District Preschool Program

    Agatha John-Shields, Indigenous Education

    Future Indigenous Educators Group
    Community Partner: First Alaskans Institute

    Toby Long, Chemistry

    Remote, On-Site Testing for Arsenic on the Kenai Peninsula
    Community Partner: Love INC

    Mike Mueller, Teaching & Learning

    Creating Birding Kits for Youth Citizen Science in Alaska's Public Schools
    Community Partner: Campbell STEM Elementary, National Park Service, Anchorage Museum

    Terry Nelson, Management & Marketing

    Tom Case Leadership Program
    Community Partner: Clark Middle School

    Marsha Olson, Communication

    Campus Vote Project
    Community Partner: League of Women Voters

    Riva Symko, Art

    Stories from Santa Fe to Anchorage
    International Gallery of Contemporary Art

    Kathi Trawver, Social Work

    Evaluation of Mentoring of New OCS 
    Line Workers
    Community Partner: Office of Children's Services

SL/CE Course Designations

UAA History and Rationale

The UAA Faculty Senate approved new definitions for community engaged academic curriculum in Spring 2014. The Community Engagement designation (CE) encompasses a broad range of ways that courses might engage students in learning about and taking action for the public good. Courses with the Service Learning designation (SL) are a subset of that broad range meeting additional criteria. A course may be designated CE or SL but not both. The absence of accurate data on classroom engagement led to the course designation process and is critical to our having a mechanism for capturing, assessing, and reporting academic engagement at UAA. Capturing this data, assessing it, and reporting out are integral to UAA's accreditation reports and to our continued status as a Carnegie Engaged University.

Not sure if your course should be designated, or which designation to use? You can read about the definitions, and find instructions on how to enter the designations, below:


  • Service Learning (SL)

    Service Learning (SL)

    The SL designation, by definition, asks more of the faculty and the students in designing a significant experience based in the community and asks that issues of impact, sustainability and reciprocity be addressed with the community partner. Additional guidelines are to prepare students for service roles, structure reflection, and address evaluation of impact for students and community.

    A Service Learning course is a Community-Engaged course which integrates the service learning more deeply and more intentionally. At a minimum, the course should have:

    Service: significant community-based work work defined in response to a need or aspiration presented by one or more partnering community organizations and for which core issues of impact, sustainability and reciprocity have been addressed.

    Clear linkage between the service and student learning outcomes: both academic and civic learning are addressed, and this is communicated in the syllabus.

    Preparation for service: students are prepared for the roles they will play, including engaging respectfully with a community that may differ significantly in race, class, age, or other elements of social identity.

    Structured reflection: intentional, systematic reflection on students' experience in the community is integrated throughout the course, not added as a one-time or final assignment. Reflection activities may include talking, writing or other means, and may be individual, group-based, or both.

    Evaluation: assessment of student learning and community impact has been planned. This could consist of asking the CCEL to survey the community partner and students, or could be instructor-designed assessment activities.

  • Community Engagement (CE)

    Community Engaged (CE)

    The designation of a CE course may apply to a broad spectrum of courses that could include a wide variety of experiences and activities. There may be a portion of the course or a set of assignments that require the students' interaction with the community and/or community issues that does not carry throughout the semester. Activities might be indirect or direct service to a community organization or individuals and could potentially take place entirely in the classroom. The broad definition may sometimes capture work that is exploratory for faculty beginning to engage with community in their courses, bring an application of theory to practice that is appropriate for only part of a course, or requires a relatively low level of community interaction due to large course size or other considerations that do not favor intensive engagement.

    A Community Engaged course involves the student(s) in some kind of work outside of the classroom that contributes to the public good. At a minimum, the course should:

    Design and implement the community work with appropriate community input so that the students' efforts will provide an identifiable public benefit rather than a community burden.

    Clearly link the community work to student learning outcomes in the syllabus.

    Engage students in some oral or written reflection that explores their experience of engagement and connects it with the course learning goals.

*Definitions Approved by UAA Faculty Senate on March 7, 2014
** Definitions and parameters were taken and modified from University of Massachusetts Amherst Office of Civic & Service Learning  

How to Designate UAA Courses

Department schedulers can designate courses through the CLSS online scheduling system, hosted by the UAA Office of the Registrar. To request access to CLSS please contact Basic instructions to help you get started in CLSS can be found on the Curric website.

To designate a course:

CLSS screen shot

Enter the Banner code, SL or CE, in the 'Attn Method' field, located in the enrollment section of the Edit Section window

Click 'Save Section'

Repeat for each course and section, if there is more than one section


Individual or Departmental Consultations

Need help? Contact the CCEL Main Office at 907-786-4062 or

Selkregg Award

The Selkregg Community Engagement & Service Learning Award of $5,000 supports faculty to develop community-based research, creative activity, and course-based service-learning projects. The award seeks to encourage, inspire, and reward faculty at UAA for engaged scholarship that creates and sustains our community partnerships. Purposes of the award are to recognize community engagement projects with significant discipline-based scholarship, community partnership, and creativity in project design and implementation. The projects ultimately aim to improve the quality of life for Alaska residents and develop civic leadership, democracy, and social justice on campus and in the community. Learn more about the Selkregg Award.

2022 Selkregg Award Recipient

Dr. Adam Dunstan

Department of Anthropology

Kenai Peninsula College  
Salmon Stewardship: An Ethnographic Research Project with the Kenaitze Indian Tribe

More details coming soon!

Past Award Recipients

  • 2021 Selkregg Award Recipients
    Leslie Redmond
    Dr. Leslie Redmond
    Amanda Walch
    Dr. Amanda Walch

    Leslie Redmond and Amanda Walch,
    Dietetics & Nutrition

    Community Partners: Food Bank of Alaska and the American Heart Association
    Establishing a Student-Supported Campus Food Pantry to Improve Food Insecurity at UAA

     Learn more about the project:

    Nearly 45% of students at the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) experience some type of food insecurity. In addition to increasing health risks, food insecurity also negatively impacts student success, with food insecure college students more likely to report a low GPA, have overall lower energy, and decreased ability to concentrate than their food secure peers. This project brings together students, staff and faculty at UAA as well as community partners including the Food Bank of Alaska and the American Heart Association who have a shared passion for improving food security among college students. The goal is to establish a student-supported food pantry on campus that meets the diverse needs of UAA students and contributes to improvements in food security, self-sufficiency, diet quality, and social support. The pantry will be led by a Student Board, which will allow students to be directly involved in decision making and management and opportunity to gain experience and skills related to leadership, strategic planning, volunteer management, marketing, and fundraising.

  • 2020 Selkregg Award Recipient
    Britteny Howell

    Britteny Howell,
    Division of Population Health Sciences

    Community Partners: Alzheimer’s Resource of Alaska and Last Frontier of Comedy
    Improv to Improve: An Improvisational Communications Training Program for Dementia Caregivers in Anchorage

     Learn more about the project:

    Britteny M. Howell, PhD is a Credentialed Professional Gerontologist (CPG), a Certified Dementia Practitioner (CDP), Assistant Professor at the University of Alaska Anchorage in the Division of Population Health Sciences, and the director of the UAA Healthy Aging Research Laboratory. Her work focuses on healthy aging in the urban Circumpolar North and on training Alaska's future gerontology and geriatric workforce. Dr. Howell's lab has several ongoing projects that involve undergraduate students in the design, data collection, analysis, and presentation of results of research involving older adults. She is a recent UAA INNOVATE award recipient, a current faculty fellow for the National Resource Center for Alaska Native Elders, and has worked on several projects through the CCEL and CESA programs. The lab's current work includes a purpose-in-life study among low-income residents of Anchorage and Fairbanks, an ethnographic exploration of older women's social experiences in water aerobics classes, and a health promotion intervention to increase fruit and vegetable intake and physical activity among diverse Anchorage seniors.

  • 2019 Selkregg Award Recipients

    Aisha Barnes

    Aisha Barnes, Department of Writing

    Community Partner: Anchorage Museum
    Close-Looking: Building Skills for Writing and Observation with the Anchorage Museum

    Professor Barnes’ project focuses on bridging the divide between writing and art. This collaborative project designed in partnership with the Anchorage Museum will bring students to the museum and teach them about Alaskan art, careers, and writing opportunities associated with art exhibits, culture, and community outreach. As part of the collaboration, museum staff and community leaders will present three lectures/discussions at UAA regarding ethical acquisitions and the roles of museums in communities. The students’ cumulative course projects will give them multiple opportunities to respond creatively to art in the museum in a public venue. Student-created audio projects about museum objects will be available to the public on the museum website.

    Michele Burdette-Taylor

    Michele Burdette-Taylor, School of Nursing

    Community Partner: Central Lutheran Church
    Interprofessional Academic Service-Learning Student-Led Free Clinic

    Dr. Burdette-Taylor’s project expands a foot and wound care clinic for the homeless of Anchorage into a primary care clinic. The clinic will increase the number of providers skilled in administering specialized care and remove barriers for the homeless in need of care. This is an interprofessional academic service-learning model that brings together a collaboration among the WWAMI School of Medicine, UAA’s School of Nursing, Central Lutheran Church and community outreach partnerships. Faculty, students, and community partners will provide medical and psychosocial services at Central Lutheran Church. Students will be offering clinical and emotional care while completing clinical course objectives and learning about interdisciplinary care, social justice issues, and developing an understanding of the values of community service. 

  • 2018 Selkregg Award Recipient

    Hattie Harvey

    Hattie Harvey, Department of Psychology

    Community Partner: Cook Inlet Native Head Start & Cook Inlet Tribal Council Head Start
    Bridging Efforts in Early Childhood Yup’ik Immersion Programming

    Partnering with Cook Inlet Native Head Start and Cook Inlet Tribal Council’s Early Head Start program, Dr. Harvey’s project recognizes the imperative to strengthen the quality and accessibility of early childhood programs in our state of Alaska. This collaboration continues foundational work by Dr. Harvey on early childhood development. It is designed to foster the exchange of information between teachers and families and to provide families with opportunities to engage with culturally-relevant Yup’ik activities and materials.  The project is intended to serve as a foundation for the development of a larger network, Early Childhood Native Network for Immersion Programming, to address a state-wide need to connect resources for early childhood immersion programming.

     Learn more about the project:

  • 2017 Selkregg Award Recipient

    Jamie Elswick

    Jamie Elswick, WWAMI

    Community Partner: Central Lutheran Church
    "Mobile Foot Clinic for Anchorage’s Homeless Population"

    Elswick’s project “Mobile Foot Clinic for Anchorage’s Homeless Population” brings together a collaboration among the WWAMI School of Medicine, UAA’s Nursing faculty, Central Lutheran Church and local outreach partnerships to deliver mobile basic foot, nail, and wound care to Anchorage’s vulnerable homeless population. UAA medical and nursing students will be trained and gain valuable experience and awareness of issues facing vulnerable populations. This project will increase the number of providers skilled in administering specialized care and remove barriers to clients receiving needed treatment. Students will provide mobile foot care at local service locations, including self-care outreach with personal care kits and allow for on-site care of common foot and wound care to decrease associated health issues. In addition to increasing access to services, this project will instill values of community service and outreach among the next generation of medical practitioners.

     Learn more about the project:

  • 2016 Selkregg Award Recipient

    Ian Hartman

    Ian Hartman, History

    Community Partner: Cook Inlet Historical Society (CIHS)
    "A Comprehensive Study of African American and Civil Rights History in Southcentral Alaska"

    Professor Hartman is deepening an existing partnership with the Cook Inlet Historical Society and building a network of contacts in the NAACP/Anchorage chapter, Shiloh Baptist Church of Alaska and the Martin Luther King Foundation of Alaska to provide African American community leaders, activists, and working people an opportunity to share their stories and reflections of life in Anchorage.

    The archival research and oral history interviews will emphasize the migration of African Americans to Alaska prior to and during World War II, housing and employment discrimination, mobilization and activism of African Americans during the Civil Rights Era, and the impact and legacy of discrimination into the present. The project will showcase Anchorage as a diverse city with a rich, multicultural history, advancing a new and exciting interpretation of the city.  The research will be incorporated into curriculum on the history of Alaska and a new course entitled History of Race and Ethnicity in the American West, bringing together students, community members and educators with an explicit mission to shed light on a history that has remained in the shadows.

     Learn more about the project:

  • 2015 Selkregg Award Recipient

    Kathryn Ohle

    Kathryn Ohle, Early Childhood Education

    Community Partner: Unite for Literacy and Head Start
    Supporting the Preservation of Native Languages and Encouraging Early Literacy with Children's Books

    Professor Ohle's project "Supporting the Preservation of Native Languages and Encouraging Early Literacy with Children's Books" seeks to provide children's books to families, children, and teachers in Alaska Native languages through the use of a free digital library with translated texts, as delivered through

    Linguistically unique educational needs are especially prominent in Alaska, as Native students currently have lower rates in literacy achievement and higher rates of high school dropouts than any other group of students. The need to preserve Alaska Native languages might be even greater, for the average Alaska Native tongue has fewer than 1,000 speakers, the majority of whom are over the age of 70.

    Dr. Ohle's work with language preservation and early literacy is based on recommendations from the Alaska Native Language Preservation and Advisory Council. Promoting whole family learning and speaking, with a focus on early childhood literacy, is a best practice for reinforcing Alaska Native languages and culture.

     Learn more about the project:

  • 2014 Selkregg Award Recipient

    Rebecca Robinson

    Rebecca Robinson, Psychology

    Partner: Refugee and Immigration Services Program (RAIS), Catholic Social Services

    Professor Robinson continues a longstanding partnership with RAIS that began while she was a graduate student in clinical/community psychology. For the next year, she proposes to complete a local needs assessment for the refugee populations in Anchorage by gathering qualitative data from refugees and community organizations that serve refugees. A PhotoVoice project with refugees, combining photography with grassroots social action, will provide insight into how they conceptualize their circumstances and help solve problems they face.

    James Fitterling headshot

    James Fitterling, Psychology

    Partners: Homeward Bound, Anchorage Rescue Mission, Habitat for Humanity Anchorage, First Covenant Church of Anchorage

    Professor Fitterling designed a partnership that brings organizations together with volunteer homeless individuals in building adequate housing for Anchorage families unable to obtain conventional house financing. His past experience as chief of a chemical dependence treatment program in Mississippi demonstrated the therapeutic rationale for providing people with opportunities to engage in productive activities. He will replicate a similar collaboration in Anchorage, including qualitative research and a PhotoVoice project. 

  • 2012 Selkregg Award Recipient

    Irasema Ortega

    Irasema Ortega, Elementary Education and Language Education

    Community Partners: Kashunamiut School District, College of Education

    Professor Ortega’s work strengthened an existing partnership between the Kashunamiut School District and the College of Education. Ortega collaborated on curriculum for Alaska Native teachers to teach science from Native and Western perspectives, including knowledge of the elders and promoting a more harmonious, sustainable view of the natural world.

     Learn more about the project:

  • 2011 Selkregg Award Recipient

    Tracey Burke

    Tracey Burke, Social Work

    Community Partner: Food Bank of Alaska

    Professor Burke worked with UAA students to conduct research with the users of food pantries and to produce a series of “Day in the Life” sketches of poverty and hunger.  By partnering with the Food Bank of Alaska and associated agencies, Burke and students identified challenges and opportunities for new strategies to reduce hunger for Anchorage families.

     Learn more about the project:

  • 2010 Selkregg Award Recipient

    Cathy Sullivan

    Cathy Sullivan, Nursing

    Community Partners: Catholic Social Services, Refugee Assistance and Immigration Services (RAIS), and the Refugee Youth Choir in Mountain View

    The Refugee Youth Choir is composed of children and teens from many different countries, including Somalia, Bhutan, Sudan, and Iraq.  Professor Sullivan and a group of senior nursing students worked with these young people to identify and address health concerns affecting themselves and their families. Some of the concerns included dealing with the stress of relocation to a new country, building positive peer support networks, avoiding harmful behaviors, and accessing health care in a new and very different land. This community health learning experience increased the students' awareness of diversity in Anchorage and gave them hands-on practice with some of the ways health care providers must adapt to meet the needs of new immigrants.

     Learn more about the project:

Faculty Development & Instructional Support 
Center for Advancing Faculty Excellence, Academic Innovations & eLearning, and Center for Community Engagement and Learning 
Library 213 • (907) 786-4496 • • Mon – Fri, 8a – 5p