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BYU creates new Office of Experiential Learning

David Waddell, former assistant dean in the College of Humanities, named inaugural manager.

In response to President Kevin J Worthen’s 2016 University Conference address and the introduction of the inspiring learning initiative, Brigham Young University has created a new BYU Office of Experiential Learning.

The office aims to connect and support existing experiential learning activities across campus and promote the standards and merits of these opportunities to students, faculty and staff. Experiential learning opportunities may include internships, student employment, service and volunteer work, study abroad programs, clubs, competitions and teacher/research assistants.

The Office of Experiential Learning will be located in suite 2400 Wilkinson Center.

David Waddell, assistant dean in the College of Humanities, will begin a new role as the inaugural manager of the Office of Experiential Learning Dec. 1.

“We are excited to have Dave as the new manager of experiential learning on campus,” said Brad Neiger, associate academic vice president. “He has a rich understanding of experiential learning, extensive experience advising students, and the ability to connect students with the opportunities that will help prepare them for life during and after graduation.”

Waddell is quite familiar with the concept of experiential learning. Seven years ago he was asked to design a program in the College of Humanities that directed students to experiential learning opportunities to help professionalize their degrees. It was so successful the College of Family, Home and Social Sciences also enlisted Waddell’s help.

Now, Waddell has been tasked with casting a broader net that will include collaboration with the University Advisement Center, University Career Services, Office of First Year Experience, Student Development classes and other campus entities to highlight the importance and availability of experiential learning.

David Waddell

“This new office is meant to support what’s currently being done and to make that work more successful,” Waddell said. “It’s about connecting the right students to the right opportunities, and maximizing the efforts of those who are already on the ground teaching and providing those opportunities.”


Waddell is an alumnus of the Department of History, where he received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

Previous to his role as assistant dean in the College of Humanities, Waddell worked as a career counselor in university advisement and special projects coordinators in the College of Family, Home and Social Sciences.

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