Utah Campus Compact 2017

Committed Community Partner - Carrie Maxson - Ogden School District

Carrie Maxson believes fervently in the power of higher education to change lives and communities.  As an employee of the Ogden School District, she has activated this belief by creating collaboration opportunities between Ogden schools and WSU.  She has written grants to support tutoring programs whereby WSU students provide academic support for underrepresented secondary school students.  The program has led to an increase in enrollment and continuation in school for these at-risk children.

Carrie has now arranged for tutors and other volunteers to work with elementary school age children who are faced with intergenerational poverty.  The volunteers are creating systems for family support as well as academic risk-prevention.   This partnership has increased the likelihood of tutored students achieving a higher education. Additionally, it provides WSU students with excellent job study options that work toward increasing diversity and inclusion on campus and in our community.


Community Engaged Alum- Corbin Standley 

Tragedy and community-engaged experience combined to transform Corbin Standley’s life.  Corbin had already been a leader at WSU, active in the CCEL and president of the Honors Student Advisory Board and the local National Society of Collegiate Scholars, when he chose to become a vocal and passionate advocate for suicide prevention and awareness.  Having suffered the loss of his brother to suicide, Corbin devotes his life to promote help and healing for families like his in northern Utah through public speaking and social media outreach. He began by founding and chairing the planning committee that held WSU’s first Out of the Darkness Campus Walk for suicide prevention in 2015.  The Walk has since become an annual event and has raised almost $10,000.

Corbin graduated from WSU in psychology in 2015 and now serves on boards for the Utah Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the Legacy Suicide Survivors Group in Ogden; he also is a member of the NUHOPE Suicide Prevention Coalition.  At WSU he provides volunteer and advocacy opportunities for students by having created a CCEL-AFSP partnership.

Corbin is a research analyst in neuro-oncology at Huntsman Cancer Institute. His personal research interests focus on community psychology, social psychology, and service learning. He will begin a PhD in community psychology in fall 2017.


Committed Engaged Faculty Member - Monica Williams

Dr. Monica Williams, assistant professor in the Dept. of Criminal Justice, has collaborated with students and community partners on many projects employing community-based research.  Each project employs Monica’s pedagogy of having students take the lead: students immerse themselves in researching the issue, designing public surveys, supervising volunteers who gather information, analyzing the data, drawing informed conclusions, and subsequently presenting logical solutions to local problems.   Monica thus, while teaching students the appropriate skills, satisfies another of her passions: using research to help communities.

Her students’ projects have included a public opinion survey about city government, focus groups on health disparities among African Americans, and a public opinion survey on Ogden City policing.  Community clients receive professional work and students receive exceptional, first-hand experience to prepare for employment.  WSU is grateful to Dr. Monica Williams for her commitment to excellent pedagogy, teaching, and scholarship.


Community Engaged Staff Member - Tara Peris-Caputo

Tara Peris-Caputo believes that being civically engaged means caring about the community and choosing to be an active participant who makes innovative, appropriate contributions that support, promote, and improve the community we share. She puts these principles to work as director of Student Involvement and Leadership at WSU and as an adjunct instructor in the First Year Experience Department.

Tara developed a now traditional Week of Service for the Clubs and Organizations program in 2014.  This week connects students with community partners needing help while enabling students to become better acquainted with each other.  Student groups she has advised have themselves created the programs of “Soup & Sticks on the 25th” and “Summer Service Mondays.”   She has advised students to start campus conversations on projects such as conserving farm space and other environmental issues, on building hygiene kits and on creating free community fitness classes. Tara also enlists the help of her colleagues and family members to participate alongside students or beside her as she works at St. Anne’s or Ogden Rescue Mission during her time off work.  She believes that once she gets people engaged in the community through service, they will remain committed to community through life..


Community Engaged Student - Haille Van Patten

Until she joined WSUSA’s service team in 2014, Haille Van Patten equated civic engagement with direct service.  Now she has become a real agent of social change by combining democratic engagement with community research and cultural immersion, working with community partners to make a long-term difference in their programs and in the larger community.  In addition to leading and participating in several alternative break service trips through her undergraduate years, Haille has created a sustainable infrastructure for the program.  She developed position descriptions, training manuals, and branding materials to help the program progress as well as craft a grant proposal to fund scholarship positions that will enable underrepresented students to participate.

Haille wants to help other students identify their “why” for being and doing.  Her own answer is “because I care about my community.” She consciously creates inclusive environments of understanding and accepting other populations so that all people will be comfortable and inspired to work alongside her. Other projects in which she is democratically engaged are the Food Recovery Network and local, state, and national levels of government.