Center for Engaged Learning

CCEL Research Extension

The mission of the CCEL Research Extension (RE) is to meet the data and research needs of community partners and nonprofits in Ogden and Greater Northern Utah. The RE undertakes community research projects that are for any length of time, are faculty or staff-led (with support from an undergraduate research assistant), and are paid. Projects can begin at any time after a contract between CCEL and the community partner has been signed. The RE can help community partners find possible funding sources if needed.

We Offer: 

Data Collection


Instrument Development


Data Analysis


Program Evaluation






Katherine French-Fuller

Katharine French-Fuller, Ph.D.

Director of Research

Dr. Katharine French-Fuller joined the CCEL as director of research in May of 2018. Katharine received her Bachelor’s degree in Latin American Studies from the College of William and Mary, Master’s Degree in Latin American Studies from the University of California at Berkeley, and a PhD in History from Duke University. She has extensive experience utilizing a wide variety of qualitative research methodologies. A Fulbright Scholar, she has conducted research in Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Washington, DC, and Ogden, UT. She has taught or served as a teaching assistant for courses at both UC Berkeley and Duke University.

Katharine has been at Weber State since December of 2013. She was first contracted as the researcher for the Underrepresented Student Retention Initiative, which was sponsored by the Vice President of Student Affairs. This gave Katharine the opportunity to work with a wide range of faculty and staff across campus and in the community to seek a comprehensive explanation and solution to low underrepresented student retention. Since March 2015, she has worked at the Office of Sponsored Projects, which has given her a wide exposure to and involvement in different research projects underway on campus, as well as the opportunity to continue developing her relationships with faculty, staff, and community members. Katharine continues her role as Senior Research Development Officer in the Office of Sponsored Projects in addition to her new role as director of research.

Yesenia Quintana

Yesenia Quintana, M.Ed.

Evaluation and Community Research Supervisor

Yesenia earned her BS in Psychology from Weber State University and a Master's of Education in Measurement, Evaluation, Statistics, and Assessment from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She oversees the day-to-day management of research projects and supervises undergraduate research assistants.

Cassandra Backman

Cassandra Backman, PSM

Evaluator and Community Research Analyst

Cassandra earned her Bachelor of Science in Zoology in 2016 from North Carolina State University and her Professional Science Masters focused in education, evaluation, and not-for-profits from Colorado State University in 2018. She has experience in behavioral research, evaluation of educational programs and curriculum, visitor studies, and STEM education (K-12 and Higher Education). Currently, Cassandra oversees the data needs of three projects focused on evaluating educational outcomes among K-12 students, afterschool programming, and community food security.

Research Fellows

Ryan Cain

Dr. Ryan Cain

Ryan Cain is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Teacher Education and research fellow with Center for Community Engaged Learning's Research Extension. Dr. Cain's research interests include investigating how to improve the accessibility of transformational education experiences in the Ogden community. Currently, he is conducting a needs analysis study for GEDs and adult high school diplomas in the Ogden Area.

Nicola Corbin

Dr. Nicola Corbin

Nicola A. Corbin is an associate professor in the communication department at Weber State University who mentors and supports Wildcats on their quest to achieve their educational dreams. She teaches public relations and mass media courses, and advises Ogden Peak Communications, Weber State’s student-run public relations firm. As a fellow with Weber State University’s Research Extension, Corbin and WSU communication students are currently conducting a comprehensive stakeholder perception study for the United Way of Northern Utah to help the organization in its long-term strategic planning efforts.

Jenny Gnagey

Dr. Jenny Gnagey

Jenny Gnagey's research focuses on issues of housing stability, quality, and affordability in the Ogden area. She is also piloting OgdenCAN's Housing Advocacy program to provide renters rights education and tenant counseling and advocacy in landlord-tenant disputes. When not working on these projects she spends time teaching as an adjunct professor in the Weber State economics program, hiking in the Wasatch Mountains, and spending time with her husband and their two girls.

Blanca Yag├╝e

Blanca Yagüe

Blanca Yagüe is a PhD student and teaching assistant in the Anthropology department at the University of Utah. She holds an MS in Amazonian Studies from the National University of Colombia, Amazonian Branch, and a BA in Environmental Sciences from the University of Granada. Blanca has been working in the Amazon region for 11 years, mostly in Colombia. She has an interest in the cultural changes Indigenous peoples undergo when they transition to urban spaces; she looks at their foodways and use of Traditional Ecological Knowledge as a way to study ethnic identity expressions in the urban environments. Blanca’s research interests include food sovereignty and environmental justice. She is involved with the University of Utah Prison Education Project (UPEP) and carries on participatory research about Food Justice in Salt Lake City’s West Side. She is currently conducting an ethnography about food security in East Central neighborhood in Ogden, with OgdenCAN and Weber State University.

Research Assistants

  • Allyse Anderson, Communications
  • Samantha Pollard, Technical Geography


How Can We Help?

The Research Extension is located on the garden level of the United Way building across the street from Ogden High School. 

2955 Harrison Blvd, Suite 100
Ogden, UT 84403

Mail code: 4610