Southern Utah University


Ashlyn Judd

Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies

Ashlyn Judd is honored this year for her outstanding leadership in resurrecting the Student Alliance of Interfaith Leaders (SAIL) and in promoting valuable campus conversations and activities.  She identified and accomplished three principal goals: 1) to help those who may feel marginalized or overlooked because of their beliefs to feel that they belong at SUU by building an interfaith culture on campus: 2) to strengthen and spread interfaith culture to the surrounding community; 3) to ensure that this initiative will not end upon her graduation.  Interfaith work has become a central component of Ashlyn’s life and builds upon her success as a student Service Leader.  She looks beyond students and our campus to view her efforts as part of a larger, world-wide movement to promote tolerance and mutual respect.  In developing SAIL programs, Ashlyn has demonstrated honesty, passion, and humility in ways that inspire others and enhance community engagement.  

Elizabeth Olson


I enjoy working with the faculty and students at SUU who are thinking about a wide range of issues and problems our world is facing.  Students are challenged to engage with these real-world issues right now, in our community, to have a positive impact.

As an Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Liz Olson uses community-engaged, and/or reflective, pedagogies in all of her classes where common themes include public and global health, environmental problem solving, and sustainable development.  In one class at Frontier Homestead State Park, students researched, designed, and planted native landscaping and a garden for the Native Heritage Exhibit. In Anthropology of Nutrition & Community, students conducted a community-based research project. They identified community partners, obtained IRB approval, and conducted a survey of parents at five schools.  Students in Ecological Anthropology are asked to “make a change” in their own lives for four weeks and present findings to a relevant community audience, efforts that directed SUU’s Earth Club to raise awareness about recycling.  Professor Olson is energetic in connecting classroom with the community in a collaborative and self-reflective learning process.  Liz is also faculty advisor with our local Rotaract service club.

 Anne Smith

Special Programs Coordinator

Kinesiology & Outdoor Recreation

In a career spanning thirty years at SUU, Anne Smith has been a committed educator, staff member, and program builder.   Anne is recognized for her leadership in advancing outdoors education and community engagement, and for sustaining collaborations between SUU, local organizations, and public land agencies.   Anne’s work straddles the worlds of academics and student services, and community engagement is the “glue” that brings people together.  Anne has been an innovator and leader in shaping partnerships that include the Intergovernmental Internship Cooperative (IIC), the Outdoor Education Series (OES), Semester in the Parks, and SUU’s Day in the Parks.  She has been a advisor for the Outdoor Adventure Living Learning Community (LLC), Cedar City Trails Committee, and SUMA Art Hikes.  Anne has engaged, modeled, and influenced students to be involved in their own communities and in places such as Swaziland where they have raised funds and collected books for libraries.I have spent a lifetime helping people from all walks of life connect to nature, the outdoors, and in turn, to each other. I can think of no greater service that I would want to do.

Paula Mitchell

Library Studies and History

Sherratt Library

Paula Mitchell is honored this year as an SUU alum who has shown a deep commitment to all forms of community engagement, much of it focused on preserving local history and historical resources.  She has created strong connections between SUU’s Sherratt Library and a number of local, state, and national organizations (such as the Mormon History Association).  She has collaborated with the Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah and Bryce Canyon National Park, and she has been a quiet but effective leader with the Frontier Homestead State Park Foundation and the Iron County Historical Society.  She has helped to promote local history and heritage through activities such as Iron Mission Days, the Folk Festival, Christmas Market, Sheep to Shawl, and Archeology Day. Paula has supervised volunteers with the Utah Shakespeare Festival for more than a decade, and she is the go-to person for anyone researching history in southern Utah.As an SUU alum, the daughter of an alum, wife of an alum, mother of three alumni, and daughter of an SUU career executive, SUU has always been an integral part of my life.  Volunteerism and service help to build lifelong ties and gain a deeper understanding of our community.

Linda Mazzu, Superintendent

Bryce Canyon National Park 

Bryce Canyon National Park is committed to a robust partnership with SUU as together we build varieties of community engagement opportunities.  We will help to educate interns and SUU students in the NPS mission and expand partnership activities in our amazing outdoor laboratory.  

Bryce Canyon National Park enjoys a special partnership with SUU that helps both parties to fulfill our missions.  Besides the recent renewal of the BCNP-SUU Alliance For Education Agreement, BCNP benefits from and works with SUU’s Intergovernmental Internship Cooperative Program, the most successful program of its kind in the NPS.  Interns help BCNP to meet park needs while students become educated in public land management and hopefully become future NPS staff.  Interns from the local community doubly help to strengthen our community engagement and understanding.   SUU’s Semester in the Parks Program allows BCNP to be a great teaching and learning laboratory.  Ongoing partnerships will include monitoring of visitor use and engaging in scientific research.  National parks are places of great beauty that refresh our senses and transform our lives.  Collaborations with SUU suggest a bright future for the management of Bryce Canyon National Park while fostering a legacy of stewardship.

The mission of the National Park Service at Bryce Canyon National Park is to preserve, conserve, protect, and provide for the enjoyment of nationally significant resources including spectacular geologic formations, clean air, panoramic vistas, native vegetation and wildlife and the history of human interaction with them.