Action Civics and Service Learning

If service learning happens at all, it is often disconnected from civic learning.  How can we strengthen the natural links between these two forms of learning?  Recent research suggests we might need to think “outside the box.”  For example, one recent study (ex: Laura Padilla Walker’s BYU study for found that students developed a stronger civic disposition simply as a result of offering help to perfect strangers.  Other research has found that service learning can promote civic engagement when students are prompted to explore the underlying inequities that give rise to the needs for service in the first place.


Action Civics helps educators to uncover these links by starting from the students’ perspective. Students begin by identifying issues that matter to them and then they identify groups and strategies for addressing these issues. Teachers need tools to help students make these connections and to help establish meaningful or “critical” service learning opportunities that support a reciprocal relationship between the students doing the service and the community being served.

The Panelists

Alexis Bucknam

Utah Campus Compact & Doctoral Student, University of Utah Department of Educational Leadership and Policy

Alexis has worked in higher education and community engagement for nearly two decades. Prior to her appointment as Executive Director of Utah Campus Compact, she served as the Director of Student Programs with the Blum Center for Developing Economies at the University of California, Berkeley. Prior to working in the Blum Center she held two other positions at Cal as a program coordinator in the Public Service Center and coordinating all the Academic Dean Searches for the university. She also spent two years directing student activities for Mills College and served a year in the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps as a Team Leader. She earned her B.S. Management from the University of Utah (U.), M.A. Counseling in Student Affairs at UCLA, and is currently a student in the Ed.D. in Higher Education Administration program in the Educational Leadership & Policy department at the U.

Cameron Diehl

Executive Director, Utah League of Cities and Towns

Cameron became Executive Director of the Utah League of Cities and Towns in October 2017. He started his career at ULCT as a legislative intern in 2006 while at the University of Utah and returned to ULCT after graduating from the University of Colorado School of Law. He has served on the Utah State Bar Civics Education Committee. In high school, he was a member of the Murray City Youth Government. He now oversees the ULCT Local Officials Day at the Capitol for youth council members that he attended as a teenager.

Sidney and Bill Price

Specialists, JustServe

William D. (Bill) Price, a graduate of BYU, had a 33-year career in business and education. Sidney Howk (Sid) Price, also a BYU graduate, has been active in many community organizations and church-related endeavors. They are the parents of three children and 14 grandchil