The Center for Community Engagement & Learning offers many ways for faculty to become involved with community engaged learning and research at UAA. 

Snapshot of Faculty & Community Engagement Opportunities for 2015-16
  • Selkregg Award: Award supporting faculty in the development of community engaged research, creative activity, and academic service learning projects. 

  • Faculty Minigrants: CCEL offers mini-grants for faculty to design curriculum for community engagement and to support community-engaged research and projects.

  • Community Engaged Student Assistants (CESA): Provides tuition awards for graduate or undergraduate students to support faculty in their community-engaged learning and research for a semester long project.

  • Serve on the Advisory Council or the Certificate in Civic Engagement Faculty Committee: The Advisory Council includes faculty and community representatives working together with the CCEL Director to dynamically create and guide the work of the Center.  The Certificate Faculty Committee is advisory to the Civic Engagement Certificate Program.

  • Faculty now have the ability to designate their courses as Community Engaged (CE) or Service Learning (SL) through a new self-designation process on each semester's class schedule proofs (using the Attn Method column).  Read more about the definitions and details on the course designation process.

Hear what some faculty members have said about why they got involved in community-engaged teaching and research projects:

Dorn van Dommelen
“Service learning enabled me as a teacher to transition with students from ‘the world’s problems are too many and depressing’ to ‘the world’s problems are solvable!”

Professor Dorn Van Dommelen teaches GEOG/INTL 101 and partnered with Heifer International using case studies.  He’s exploring other partnerships now and requires students to reach out to a community and present the problems and possible solutions suggested from the case studies to combat hunger.   “It’s giving them something to do that’s more about changing the world . . . and my teaching too!”  Van Dommelen has a group of CESAs that assist in his multi-class project each year, and he has built a model to encourage student leadership. 

Gabe Garcia“I try to be very strategic and open up to communities things like the free seminar series for Filipino History Month, to create opportunities for students and faculty to participate too.  I try to work with organizations that satisfy my research interests but also meet a community need.”

Assistant Professor Gabe Garcia has worked either himself or by mentoring graduate students with Anchorage United for Youth and The Urban League, in addition to the Copper River Health Center and several Asian Pacific Islander organizations.   Garcia was nominated for the 2011 Ernest A. Lynton Award for the Scholarship of Engagement for Early Career Faculty.

Tracey Burke"By accident, I got handed this service-learning course, and I just started.  At first I tried some things that didn’t work out the way I had envisioned.  Now it is much smoother, and my students work with the Food Bank and do Food Stamp Outreach every semester, and I’ve added a Food Stamp Challenge on campus.” 

Associate Professor Tracey Burke participated in research for the 2005 Hunger Study and received the 2011 Selkregg Award to complete a qualitative research project on “a day in the life of” people in Anchorage who experience hunger.  A Community-Engaged Student Assistant (CESA) from CCEL helps Burke to implement and monitor her class project each semester.

If you are interested in any of these opportunities, but have more questions, please give us a call 786.4062 or email at We would love to hear about your ideas or interest in community engaged learning and research at UAA!