Exemplary Collaboration Award

Weber State’s Global Community Engaged Learning program received the Exemplary Collaboration Award. The program is led by six Weber State faculty and staff: Kristen Arnold, interior design; Jeremy Farner, building design & construction; Jay Hill, football head coach; Jacie Johnson, interior design; Shauna Morris, interior design; Julie Rich, Social & Behavioral Sciences dean. 

The Global Community Engaged Learning program undertakes projects in developing nations to help alleviate poverty and helps Weber State students develop skills and confidence to be proactive global citizens. Every year 100+ WSU students are involved in the design, fundraising, planning and execution of an international humanitarian trip. The projects begin with an interdisciplinary design charette where students enrolled in junior-level coursework in interior design, building design & construction, or construction management work in interdisciplinary teams to create design proposals for the international nonprofit partners.

The projects have created invaluable real-world, experiential learning opportunities for students in Fiji (2020, 2019); Uganda, Africa (2018); Mozambique, Africa (2017, 2014); Peru (2016); and Thailand (2015).

In May 2019, 37 Wildcats traveled to Nambouwalu, Fiji, to improve a primary school in a small village suffering the long-term devastation of cyclones. The group constructed a computer classroom, teacher offices, sick bay for children and enlarged an existing preschool. The projects were augmented with rainwater harvesting for back-up water during the dry season. The group worked with villagers and the school children on the construction. They also created large murals to remind Fijian students that they are now part of the Weber State family