UWHEN Announces New Board Chair

2020-2011 Board of Directors Changes

Welcome to Chair Angie Walker 

On July 1, Angie Walker became the new Chair of the Utah Women in Higher Education Network (UWHEN) Board of Directors. Walker currently leads Salt Lake Community College’s online education division as the Director of SLCC Online & eLearning Services and teaches as an adjunct faculty member for Southern New Hampshire University. Regarding her new role, Walker shared, “I’m excited and grateful to have the opportunity to serve as the Chair for UWHEN this coming year! This is an amazing group of women who continue to inspire me. We have a great year ahead of us as we focus on expanding access to UWHEN’s events and resources to support all women across our growing organization.” Previously, Walker has worked across university and college levels as an educational administrator, project manager, assessment and instructional designer, and teacher. Walker holds a Master of Arts in Art History from the University of Utah and a Master of Science in Education with an emphasis on Instructional Design from the University of Wisconsin - Stout. She also has a graduate certificate as a Higher Education Teaching Specialist from the University of Utah. Walker is passionate about creating a positive and supporting environment for women working in higher education where they can network, learn, and grow. (And, she does precisely that!)

Looking Ahead: Teri Bladen, Board Chair-Elect

Teri Bladen was elected to serve as Chair-Elect for the UWHEN Board of Directors and will become Chair in July 2021. She is the Director of Campus Recreation at Weber State University (WSU), where she guides her team in creating opportunities that inspire engagement in healthy, active lifestyles. Bladen has been involved with UWHEN since 2013 and served on the Mission and Bylaws subcommittee in the creation of WSU's UWHEN chapter. She has served leadership roles in state, regional, and national associations, and embraces the idea of women moving forward together. UWHEN welcomes Teri’s leadership and appreciates WSU’s strong support of the UWHEN mission!

Gratitude for Repeat Past-Chair Mary Anne Berzins

When asked to comment on her UWHEN experience as both a member of the inaugural UWHEN Board of Directors and as a multi-term UWHEN Board Chair, Mary Anne Berzins (University of Utah) commented, “As I transition to Past Chair, I have spent a little time reflecting on my experience with UWHEN. When I first joined the UWHEN board, as one of the institutional representatives from the University of Utah, being Chair was never a conscious intention for me. I thought I would participate on the board for the required length of time, rotate off, and quietly return to my own little space.”
Berzins continued, “What I did not expect was to enjoy the experience in the way that I have. Being on the board, and then board chair, connected me with many colleagues across the state in ways that I would never have imagined. Making these connections brought both new perspectives and knowledge on a wide range of topics. It is joyful to connect with so many talented colleagues who are generous in sharing their knowledge and experience. Sometimes, being board chair can be onerous, yet, this has not been my experience with UWHEN. I have enjoyed the experience of working with my board colleagues to make available professional development workshops, the annual leadership conference, facilitating the setting up of UWHEN chapters at several institutions, and engaging in substantive conversations about advancing women in the academy. I have grown through this experience, both personally and professionally.”
“Most of all, I have learned that it takes all of us to make UWHEN, as an organization, accessible and relevant to women in our institutions. Over the past ten years, we have achieved much, yet there is much more to do in our evolving landscape. Our work goes on; while it may look and feel different in this COVID 19 era, it is no less relevant today as it was when we started in 2010.”
As a Board of Directors and on behalf of the thousands of UWHEN members that have been served through Mary Anne’s efforts, we express our sincere appreciation for her passion and dedication. (We’re also thankful for a Past-Chair role in which we get to keep her on the Board for another year!)


UWHEN Announces Presidential Sponsor Transition

The UWHEN Leadership Conference is a highlight for many women in higher education across the state. It was a discouraging time when we chose to cancel the 2020 event; we look forward with enthusiasm to learning from each other, renewing and forging connections, and recognizing achievements.

At the Conference, we recognize our Presidential Sponsor and ceremonially transition to the new Presidential Sponsor at the end of the term. In addition to 2020 marking UWHEN’s 10th anniversary, it also is a transition year for our Presidential Sponsorship. While we cannot recognize President Biff Williams (Dixie State University) in person, we nonetheless want to acknowledge his contributions and express our sincere appreciation.

President Richard B. (Biff) Williams is the eighteenth president of Dixie State University. He has served as the UWHEN Presidential Sponsor for three years. From the beginning, President Williams showed enthusiasm, commitment, and advocacy for our organizational success. During his tenure, Dixie State University has hosted the annual leadership conference and developed a vibrant local UWHEN chapter on the campus. President Williams has participated at our Annual Leadership Conference by presenting and serving on panels and starting an ongoing fill-the-bus competition with President Deneece Huftalin (Salt Lake Community College and former UWHEN Presidential Sponsor) to encourage and promote the annual Leadership Conference regardless of its location.

Serving as a mentor to UWHEN Board Chairs, President Williams generously gave of his time and wisdom. “On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank President Williams for his mentorship, advocacy, and support for UWHEN. His energy and willingness to actively engage in our annual leadership conferences are especially appreciated,” said Mary Anne Berzins, UWHEN Board Chair. Thank you, President Williams, for your dedication to the UWHEN mission to advance women in higher education! 

We are also pleased to announce our next Presidential Sponsor is President Astrid Tuminez of Utah Valley University. President Astrid Tuminez is the seventh president of Utah Valley University and the institution’s first female president. She brings to UVU a broad and rich experience in academia, philanthropy, technology, and business. Born in a farming village in the Philippine province of Iloilo, President Tuminez moved with her parents and six siblings to the slums of Iloilo City when she was two years old, her parents seeking better educational opportunities for their children.

Her pursuit of education eventually took her to the United States, to Brigham Young University, where President Tuminez graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in international relations and Russian literature. She earned a master’s degree from Harvard University in Soviet Studies and a PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in political science.

Before assuming her current position, President Tuminez was a world leader in the fields of technology and political science, most recently serving as an executive at Microsoft, where she led corporate, external, and legal affairs in Southeast Asia. She is also the former Vice Dean of Research and Assistant Dean of Executive Education at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore (the premier school of public policy in Asia).

In 2012, President Tuminez authored a report on women’s leadership in Asia, sponsored by Asia Society and the Rockefeller Foundation, titled “Rising to the Top? A Report on Women and Leadership in Asia.” The report was launched in Shanghai, translated into Vietnamese, and used widely in Asia. As a researcher and advocate for women and leadership, she has given many keynotes on the subject to business, political, financial, and non-profit audiences in Asia and Europe.

President Tuminez and her husband, Jeffrey S. Tolk, have three children. In her spare time, she enjoys running, dancing, and martial arts.

Angie Walker (Salt Lake Community College, UWHEN Board Chair Elect), commented, “The UWHEN board is excited to have President Tuminez stepping in as our next presidential sponsor! We’re grateful for her willingness to bring her energy and passion to UWHEN’s work supporting women in higher education!” We welcome President Tuminez as our 2020-2023 Presidential Sponsor!


UWHEN 2020 Award Winners

 Four women represent the top leaders in Utah’s Women in Higher Education Network for 2020. 

The University of Utah’s Mary Anne Berzins received the Distinguished Service Award; the U of U’s Sumiko T. Martinez, Ph.D., received the Special Recognition Award; Utah Valley University’s Jessica C. Hill, Ph.D., received the Mentorship Award and the U of U’s Kirsten Mahoney received the Emerging Professional Award. 

Mary Anne Berzins--Distinguished Service Award

When Susan Madsen, Ph.D., organized the UWHEN organization in 2012, Berzins was on the committee to get it off the ground and involve women from all the institutions of higher education. Since them, Berzins has been the cornerstone of this organization and served in almost every position, sometimes more than once.

As assistant vice president, division of human resources at the U of U, Berzins’ primary focus is identifying and supporting appropriate leadership and organization, development mechanisms across the U.

She designs integrated curriculum for leadership development; facilitates leadership development programs; develops integrated, organizational, strategic support for departments and colleges, provides individual leadership coaching; and works collaboratively with many units across the campus.

One of her nominators wrote, Berzins’ demonstrated phenomenal support to the UWHEN Board of Directors and its mission. Having previously served as chair of the board, she willingly agreed to step back into that role in 2018 when the incoming chair stepped down. Her leadership and service helped stabilize the board during a time of transition and if once wasn't enough, she agreed to do it again the following year.

She is the only woman to serve as the UWHEN board chair three years. In addition to her outstanding leadership, she directly demonstrates her commitment to the mission of UWHEN by helping women advance careers within higher education leadership.

“Earlier this year, I found myself in need of guidance related to changes within my position at my institution. Mary Anne took the time to meet with me one-on-one and offer great feedback and support that helped me take the next steps in my career advancement,” wrote the nominator.

The next nominator wrote, “An expert in professional development, leadership and mentorship, Berzins exemplifies characteristics essential to supporting the UWHEN mission. Her advocacy and support for underrepresented populations increased UWHEN’s success by expanding resources, innovating content and reaching our constituents in a variety of settings (e.g., conferences, fall events and invited training at the institutions and across communities). During her tenure, she filled a vital role in the continuity and mission fulfillment of UWHEN. In addition to regular responsibilities, she repeatedly represented UWHEN at the national American Council on Education Women’s Network State Chair’s Conference.

“On a personal note, I witnessed and was a recipient of Berzins’ mentorship. Her patient and thoughtful leadership encouraged me and elevated my own capacity to lead and contribute.”

Sumiko T. Martinez, Ph.D.--Special Recognition Award

Martinez is the associate director for scholarships and student funding for the U of U’s College of Nursing. Her responsibilities include managing a $1.6 million annual scholarship budget for 1,500+ undergraduate and graduate students, secure a dedicated fund for emergency scholarships for nursing students, advocate for students to get assistance in completing their programs, assist in supervision of TAs and work-study students, write a policy and procedure manual for critical functions and serve on the emergency preparedness committee plus the campus-wide-homeless- student-task force.

Her nomination letter said Martinez’s vision in creating a dedicated emergency scholarship in the U of U’s College of Nursing helped many women in higher education, often during particularly vulnerable periods of their lives. Research tells us that a $400 emergency can derail a student’s higher education, and Martinez was determined that should not happen to any of her students.

She led the university to formalize the scholarship into its own account so funds are clearly demarcated for students in financial crisis, making it an easier program for fundraising and allowing better data collection on the impact of emergency funds on nursing students. Since 2017 when she formalized this scholarship, 38 women benefitted directly, enabling them to continue their education in the face of homelessness, food insecurity, domestic violence, medical emergencies, loss of jobs or transportation and many other serious situations.

Her close collaboration with the university’s advancement team contributed to successfully securing a donor to endow the scholarship so it will exist in perpetuity. Martinez’s impact with the hardship scholarship continues to be felt for years to come, as students who received these funds graduate from the College of Nursing and work in healthcare and touch many lives. However, the ripple effect goes farther than the students who have already benefitted. She is leading a project in conjunction with colleagues in the University Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid to simplify student access to emergency funds across campus and ensure that students in financial crisis get a coordinated response that includes not only money to tide them over, but also resources and assistance to help prevent them from landing in a financial crisis later on.

Her vision in combining immediate assistance to women with long-term education for success is deserving of a special recognition from UWHEN.

Jessica C. Hill, Ph.D.--Mentoring Award

Hill is an associate professor of psychology at UVU where she admits to being a broadly prepared cognitive developmentalist who studies cognitive psychology in the context of lifespan changes. She’s an internationally recognized scholar on teaching and learning in higher education and an award-winning educator who incorporates culturally relevant and learner-centered teaching across delivery modalities. A prolific grant writer and published author, she teaches general psychology, cognitive psychology, cognitive psychology as a learning community with abnormal psychology, research methods, psychology of adjustment, graduate seminar in the teaching of psychology and introduction of undergraduate pedagogy.

Her nominator wrote that Dr. Hill epitomizes the mentoring of women; she focuses on building pathways for women to ascend to their professional goals. The following demonstrates her impact on faculty, staff, and students across UVU, the state of Utah and the nation:

1. Co-developer and co-director of the USHE Women's Leadership Exchange: UWLE was developed to provide USHE women with leadership training because USHE consistently lags behind the nation in women-senior leaders. Hill and Nancy Hauck, Ph.D. from Dixie State University advocated support for the program which, in its inaugural year, supports 21 mid-career women and their mentors from all USHE institutions through training in developing: a. a leadership vision, b. executing plans and evaluating outcomes, c. building relationships & navigating organizational complexity, and d. communicating with and influencing others. This demonstrates her dedication to advancing women leaders in higher education in Utah.

2. Society for the Teaching of Psychology Mentor: Since the inception of the program, Hill provided monthly support to junior faculty in psychology teaching across the nation. These faculty are on the tenure track. Her effort demonstrates her dedication to supporting female faculty.

3. Tenure and promotion mentor for UVU faculty: Since receiving tenure in 2018, Hill served as tenure mentor for two women in her department. In addition, she was asked by the provost's office to provide promotion mentorship to a woman in another college. The request was made because of Hill's commitment to mentoring women, high standards in writing and performance, and high regard for her integrity and ability to maintain confidentiality.

4. Undergraduate research mentor: Hill co-leads a research team for undergraduate students and purposefully recruits and trains women students in order to promote STEM as a career option. Thus far, she mentored 25 students.

5. Informal mentoring (2012 - present): Hill seeks opportunities to informally mentor women students, faculty and staff. This illustrates that mentoring is a primary focus of her day-to-day activities. She is active in identifying women who need assistance and offers it to them without any expectation of some sort of favor in return. She mentors because it is the right thing to do. It is impossible to calculate the broad impact of Hill's mentoring is intrinsic to her personality—such mentoring is seamless and unobtrusive yet rich.

Kristen Mahoney--Emerging ProfessionalAward

Mahoney is the academic program manager for the U of U’s RN-BS nursing program where she is responsible for the student administration and programming for students in their academic program. Her responsibilities include recruiting associate-degree-registered nurses, overseeing student’s admissions and orientation processes, creating onboard programming, navigating campus requirements and advising life changes/difficult situations, crafting programs for individual student needs and assisting with graduation.

In her nomination letter, Mahoney exemplifies the qualities of a good leader – vision, honesty, integrity, dedication, courage, kindness, creativity, adaptability, and above all, being able to listen. She brings these qualities into her daily work at the U of U College of Nursing as the RN-BS program manager and her students and the college are better off for it.

She increased the capacity of multiple partnerships to ensure that women have more career opportunities, collaborating with the Salt Lake Community College Nursing Program to design an Express Pathway for seamless transfers for newly minted RNs pursuing a bachelor’s degree. She has also worked with both the University of Utah Health hospital and clinics system to help working RNs advance their careers by attaining a higher degree.

Additionally, Mahoney is developing partnerships with a network of rural hospitals across Utah and the Western United States, bringing educational options to women in geographically isolated communities. Everywhere she goes, she first listens to the needs of the people she is working with – never assuming she already has the answers.

Along the way, she implemented many policy changes to increase access to higher education for underserved populations – working professionals, older/nontraditional students, and women living in rural communities, including the American Indian reservations. Key among these policy changes is implementing tiered-admissions requirements removing unnecessary barriers based on experience, educational circumstances, and location.

Her perseverance and dedication to advancing the educational opportunities of underserved women have been remarkable, and she will succeed as a leader in higher education as she continues on this path.


UWHEN Leadership Conference POSTPONED UNTIL 2021

020 UWHEN Leadership Conference

 “We have been closely monitoring the development of efforts to minimize the impact of COVID-19 and today, we made the hard decision to cancel the 2020 UWHEN Leadership conference, on April 3, at Weber State University. Although we hoped we could go ahead as planned, we have decided that it would not be wise to convene a large gathering at this time as our first priority is the safety and well-being of all of you and our presenters.       
We will still be announcing our UWHEN awards for some of our colleagues during early April and also recognizing our current and incoming Presidential sponsors.  


Additionally, we will explore options to increase the number of professional workshops in the fall.  

Finally, we will be refunding registration fees for anyone who has already registered for the conference. If you have registered, you will receive an email from Eventbrite shortly confirming your refund. Important: Please note that individual attendees will need to cancel their own hotel arrangements.

We are disappointed that we will not see you at Weber State University in April and we look forward to seeing you at one of the fall workshops.”



Mary Anne Berzins

Chair, UWHEN Board


2019 Leadership Conference Registration Open

Registration Open for 2019 Leadership Conference

April 5, 2019 Dixie State University

Rise Together


2019 Leadership Conference Presentation Proposals Due 1.11.19

2019 Leadership Conference Presentation Proposals Due 1.11.19
Have You Submitted Your Proposal?

UWHEN is accepting presentation proposals for the 2019 Leadership Conference to be held at Dixie State University on Friday, April 5, 2019. We encourage you to share your expertise and submit a proposal!

This year’s theme, Rise Together, incorporates three topics:  Women in the Workplace, Emerging Leadership, and Connections. Proposals for each topic may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Women in the Workplace (e.g., Women’s Development; Taking a Chance on Opportunities; Meeting Challenges; Work-Life Balance; Balance at Work; Promotion & Advancement; Competition & Celebration)
  • Emerging Leadership (e.g., Being Brave; Saying Yes; Competencies for Leadership; Leading from Who, What, & Where You Are; Personal Branding)
  • Connections (e.g., Champions & Allies; Active Community Building; Training, Coaches, Mentors, & Sponsors; Building Strategic Partnerships; Women Supporting Women; Men Supporting Women; Community Building)

Visit for. For further assistance or questions, email us at


Registration Open for Online Fall Event Webinar by Western Governors University

Let’s Rise – How Women in Higher Education Can Rise Together

Friday, December 7 ▪ 1-3PM ▪ Webinar via Western Governor’s University

Join leading women in higher-education from the comfort of your own favorite work-space in an inspiring, reflective, and interactive virtual workshop (yes, even virtual meetings online can be interactive!) focused on personal and professional development.  This workshop is dedicated to identifying the unique leadership barriers, habits, and behaviors that hold women back from rising and strategies for how to transform your skills to confidently achieve your goals.

Register Here

Dr. Lauren Carris is a learning design leader with over 15 years of experience in higher education settings. Currently, she leads the transformation of personalized learning design, at scale, at Western Governors University as the Director of Learning Experience and Design.  There, she focuses on implementing a transformational Learning Design Methodology to support curriculum and assessment teams in the colleges throughout the program lifecycle. She leads design teams, creative content teams, content curation teams, and accessibility and universal design teams who support the evolution of our practice and process. Dr. Carris is a respected leader who excels at solution-driven interdisciplinary collaboration, talent development, and scalable change-leadership.  She relies on the latest innovations and research in technology, learning science, user experience and design, accessibility, and industrial-organizational psychology to reimagine the definition of exceptional learning experiences and transform design practice.
Kacey Thorne is the Director of Program Architecture at Western Governors University. She is responsible for setting strategy and vision for the design of program frameworks and curriculum maps that serve as the foundation on which all WGU programs are built. Thorne is passionate about competency-based education and creating programs that facilitate open loop learning, leverage prior learning, and allow for personalized pathways. She began her career in education 15 years ago as a Health Science and CTE classroom teacher for both secondary and post-secondary students.
Dr. Mollie Nordgren is an Academic Program Director in the College of Health Professions at WGU.  She is responsible for leading disaggregated program teams to achieve the best outcomes for students.  Dr. Nordgren has a passion for educational innovation and technology. She has successfully utilized simulation and other innovative teaching modalities to improve student performance and satisfaction in challenging courses.  Her background as a nurse and clinical educator brings a unique perspective to higher education.  Dr. Nordgren has a PhD in Nursing Education and Administration and she has been at WGU for three years, where she has served in various curricular positions.

Registration Open for 11/09/18 Fall Event at Westminster College

The Utah Women in Higher Education Network is pleased to announce registration is open for the second of three Fall Events.

Have you ever wanted a mentor but don’t know how to make that happen? Or have you ever wanted to share your experience and expertise in a meaningful way? We are not only going to help you understand what a mentoring relationship can be, but we will also put it into action. Whether you come to this session wanting to find a mentor or looking to mentor a budding professional, you will leave satisfied.

We are seeking up to 40 women (20 mentors and 20 mentees) from various backgrounds across higher education to help us pilot a UWHEN mentoring program. During the session, we will “speed match” you with a mentor or mentee, we will provide you with mentorship training, and we will ask you to schedule future mentoring sessions as your schedule allows. We will provide suggested topics to discuss at each session, as well as an optional check-in call with our facilitators to help you with the process.

UWHEN. Let’s take this moment and make it a movement.

Registration Details
Identify yourself as a mentor or a mentee. Registration is limited. Workshop attendance is a requirement in order to match mentors and mentees.

  • Register as a MENTEE if you are desiring to build a relationship with someone further along in their career that can guide you and give you advice.
  • Register as a MENTOR if you are interested in providing guidance and advice to a budding professional.
  • If filled, register on the WAIT-LIST. If a spot becomes available we will contact you.
  • If unable to attend please NOTIFY us beforehand so we can give your spot to someone on the wait-list.

Registration Details

Registration: (Registration is limited to 40!)
Directions & Campus Map: Parking: Please print a visitor parking pass (sent to you via email after registration) and park in any available spot. We recommend entering Westminster College on 1700 south and 1200 east and park in the Dumke Field Parking Lot, (underneath the soccer field). Exit the lot heading north and the building is the Kim T. Adamson Alumni House, (building 19 on the map). Contact: Lauren Erlacher,, 801.832.2208

Registration Open for 10.5.18 Fall Event at Utah State University

The Utah Women in Higher Education Network is pleased to announce registration is open for the first of three Fall Events.  The Finding Financial Freedom workshop will be held on Friday, October 5 at Utah State University (Logan, Utah).  Attendance is free for employees of UWHEN member institutions and workshop outcomes include:

  • Find reliable resources for reducing debt (credit card, student, mortgage).
  • Make prudent decisions on student loans.
  • Know when to put your financial security first (when children of all ages may have a claim on your resources).
  • Prioritize your long-term financial freedom over short-term wants. 
  • Recognize the need for an Advance Health Care Directive, letter of last instruction, and a will. 
  • Locate and use trustworthy financial resources

For additional details and to register by October 3, visit


2018 UWHEN Leadership Conference Registration Available (UPDATE: SOLD OUT)

Registration is now open for the 2018 UWHEN Leadership Conference, which will be held on Friday, April 6, at the Salt Lake Community College South City Campus.  The Conference is applicable for all women employed in higher education, including staff, faculty, and administrators.  This year’s Conference emphasizes mentorship and feature dozens of excellent speakers on subjects supporting UWHEN’s mission to advance women’s leadership on our campuses.  Additionally, UWHEN will be presenting its inaugural Leadership Awards!  Bring your colleagues and join us for an inspiring and educational event! Download the full program here.

Seats are limited, so register early to reserve your seat early at


Call for Submissions: Mentor Stories & Photos (Due 3.12.18)

What is the most significant mentor-mentee relationship in your life and how did it impact you? What difference did a mentor make in your life at a critical time? What is a mentor? Why are mentors particularly important for women?  Are mentors important in areas other than professionally? Who makes the best mentor? What was the most important thing you learned from mentoring or being mentored?

As part of our initiative to celebrate mentorship at the 2018 UWHEN Leadership Conference, we want to hear your story! 

Help us recognize your mentor and celebrate mentorship by responding to any of the questions above in 100-400 words and including a photo of you and your mentor (or mentee!) or a meaningful mentoring event.

Submission Details

  • Narratives should be submitted in Word format and high-resolution photos should be submitted as .jpg or .tif.
  • Submissions should be emailed to UWHEN Board Member Jacqueline Russell (SUU) at
  • The submission deadline is March 12, 2018.
  • By submitting a photo, you acknowledge you have the permission of the individual(s) pictured and, if applicable, the photographer to use for the purpose of this display (if selected).
  • Selected stories and images will be displayed at the Leadership Conference on April 6, 2018.
  • All complete submissions will be entered in a drawing for one of two $25 Amazon gift cards to be given at the Leadership Conference!

Do you have any questions?  Let us know!  Email


Leadership Award Nominations Due 1.26.18

UWHEN is calling for nominations for the inaugural UWHEN Leadership Awards to be presented at the 2018 Leadership Conference on Friday, April 6, at Salt Lake Community College (South City Campus).  The UWHEN Leadership Awards recognize those who are significantly advancing leadership and women as leaders within Utah’s higher education institutions.  Administrators, faculty, and staff are eligible to be nominated or self-nominated. Nominations are requested from the higher education community through January 26, 2018 for the following categories:

  • Distinguished Service – The Distinguished Service Award is given to an individual for sustained exemplary leadership, scholarship and/or creative work, philanthropy or service which has served to advance the mission of UWHEN.
  • Special Recognition – This award is given to an individual, group, or organization that has demonstrated excellence and or innovation in creating programs, curriculum, and/or projects that have had a significant impact on advancing women in higher education. For example, nominees may have provided an effective vision, devised impactful policy, created new systems, engaged in effective collaborative work, shown extraordinary courage or dedication, or achieved unique significant accomplishments with the intention of achieving positive change for women relative to leadership and advancement in higher education.  Such programs/curriculum/projects may have connected their campus with the community, positively impacted their campus, or been disseminated beyond their institution.
  • Mentorship – This award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated ongoing commitment to mentoring other women in higher education. The recipient of this award should cultivate the importance of mentoring as a means of developing women in leadership in higher education. The recipient of this award should inspire and cultivate vision and leadership in others.
  • Emerging Professional – This award recognizes an individual who is early-in-career in higher education and who demonstrates rising leadership potential through her work in higher education.

Award Eligibility Requirements

  • Nominees must be affiliated with a Utah institution of higher education that is a member of UWHEN in good standing.
  • Nominators may nominate only one candidate in each category.

Nomination Guidelines

  • Obtain permission from the nominee prior to submitting materials.
  • Submit all required information in the online nomination form by the published deadline.
  • In addition to the justification essay on the form, please attach the nominee’s current CV.
  • Please be sure to list the nominee’s name as they would like it reflected on the award and all published materials.

Additional Information

  • Nominators and award recipients should expect to attend the annual UWHEN Leadership Conference and awards presentation. If the honoree cannot attend the conference, they should appoint a person to accept the award in their honor and prepare a brief, written statement of acceptance. The nominator may be asked to present the award.
  • Award recipients are given a complimentary registration to the UWHEN Conference to accept their award.
  • Awards will be given only when warranted at the sole discretion of the UWHEN Awards Committee.
  • Special consideration may be given to candidates who have contributed time and energy on behalf of UWHEN.
  • The Awards Committee, at its discretion, may hold interviews with appropriate persons from the candidate’s work environment.
  • Only the required materials will be reviewed. Additional materials will not be forwarded to the evaluation committee.

See the award nomination link for details:  For assistance or questions, contact UWHEN at


What will YOU propose? Submit Your Presentation Proposal by 1.12.18!

UWHEN is accepting presentation proposals for the 2018 Leadership Conference, which will be held at Salt Lake Community College (South City Campus) on Friday, April 6, 2018.  Our theme is Mentorship Matters and we’ve provided below some topics to spark your ideas (and you’re welcomed to use these, too!).  Submit your proposal by Friday, January 12, 2018.  See the proposal submission link for details:  For assistance or questions, contact UWHEN at

  • Mentor Mystery:  What Qualities Should I Seek in a Mentor?
  • Lit Review:  Evidence-Based Mentorship (Best Practices in Mentorship)
  • Faculty Mentoring Models
  • Investing in Mentorship:  Developing a Mentorship Program in Higher Education
  • Mentoring Measurement:  How Do You Measure the Impact of Mentoring in the Workplace?
  • Power Mentoring:  Book Review (*Or Other Book Discussion)
  • Barriers to Advancing Women in Leadership Positions:  Mentorship as a Solution
  • Men-Toring:  Working with Male Mentors to Increase Gender Diversity & Equity in the Workplace
  • Case Studies in Mentorship:  Successful Leadership Development Programs
  • Becoming a Mentor:  Strategies for Improving Your Own Effectiveness as a (In)Formal Mentor
  • Finding Your Voice:  How to Receive Mentorship
  • Using a Mentor to Create Opportunities


Registration Open for Final Fall Event: Creating Your Strategic Advantage – Women at Work (SUU)

Friday, November 3 | 1-4PM | Southern Utah University | Sharwan Smith Student Center (Starlight Room), 351 W University Blvd
Attendance is FREE for UWHEN member institutions. Register online at
  • 1-1:45PM Pre-Event Guided Tour of Southern Utah Museum of Art (13 S 300 W) with Director and Curator Jessica Farling. Guests will be able to view the exhibits and get behind-the-scenes information.
  • 2-2:20 Meet & Greet Reception (Sharwan Smith Student Center; Starlight Room (2nd Floor))
  • 2:30-3:30PM Workshop (Sharwan Smith Student Center; Starlight Room (2nd Floor))
  • 3:30-4PM Networking (Sharwan Smith Student Center; Starlight Room (2nd Floor))

Do you know your strengths and weaknesses? Do you know what you bring to the table when you show up to work each day? Do you know where you want your career to go and how to get there? Join a conversation with Mary Weaver Bennett who spent over 25 years as a legislative and regulatory policy expert in Washington, DC, Ms. Bennett will share insights and experience on how she thrived and was successful in a demanding and male-dominated environment. This event will help you gain tools to explore your individual strengths and weaknesses and create your strategic advantage.


Mary Weaver Bennett most recently served as president of Red Ridge Consulting, LLC, and as an expert advisor for Blackline Advisory Group in Nashville, TN. She is a specialist in legislative and regulatory policy matters for the financial services industry, including electronic payments, government relations, advocacy, and communications. Prior to moving to southern Utah in 2014, she was Director of Government and Industry Relations for the Electronic Transactions Association in Washington, DC, where she led federal and state public affairs strategy, lobbying, and outreach initiatives. Ms. Bennett’s professional experience spans over 25 years in a range of Washington, DC, institutions including the US House of Representatives, the US Senate, The Washington Campus, and the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) under the US Securities and Exchange Commission. During this time, Ms. Bennett spent nearly ten years on Capitol Hill, working as professional staff member for several House committees and as a senior aide to Senator Richard Bryan (NV). Ms. Bennett then started her government relations career as an Associate Director at the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, a regulatory body overseeing auditors of public companies. Ms. Bennett has also worked as a public affairs television writer, created Washington-based political education programs for business executives, and is a veteran of several congressional and presidential campaigns. She is a graduate of The Pennsylvania State University where she majored in Political Science. She is enjoying the adjustment to western life in Ivins, UT, where she spends free time with her husband Doug, works with wild mustangs at Windhorse Relations, and supports the Kayenta Arts Foundation.


UWHEN Featured on American Council on Education Blog

The American Council on Education Women’s Network noticed UWHEN’s recent initiatives towards mission fulfillment and asked the Network to blog about strategies other state networks may consider towards the network’s development. The article, written by 2016-2017 UWHEN Board Chair Dr. Jessica Egbert (Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions), is entitled “Building Momentum: Lessons Learned & Success Strategies of the Utah State Women’s Network” and may be found at via


Registration Open for Second Fall Event: Lots of “A’s” with plenty of “F’s – Authentic Anecdotes that Allowed Actuality and Aha-Moments with Women Leaders (WGU)

Friday, October 6 | 1-4:30PM | Western Governors University | Big Cottonwood Conference Room, 4001 S 700 E, Salt Lake City
Attendance is FREE for UWHEN member institutions. Register online at

Join leaders for an interactive and insightful afternoon of learnings, lessons, and actionable activities that will support your goals for success.


Lauren Carris is a higher education and learning leader with over 15 years of curriculum and program design experience in diverse institutional settings. She seeks to inspire her teams and institutions to solve complex challenges in design and delivery. Lauren entered higher education through language learning program development in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) at UCLA, where her career advanced to focus on faculty and staff development, high stakes performance assessment leadership, cross-institutional curriculum alignment, and higher education leadership in public, private, for-profit, and non-profit institutions. Today, she applies her leadership and drive for innovation to the increasing demand for affordable, attainable, personalized, quality higher education at Western Governors University. There, Lauren leads teams within Academic Programs to support the advancement of WGU’s competency-based learning experience at scale. She relies on the latest research in learning science and user experience and design to facilitate collaboration among thought leaders, policy makers, industry experts, institutional leadership, and learning design professionals to reimagine the definition of exceptional learning experiences.
Melissa Flores (Facilitator) serves as the VP State Operations and Partnerships for Western Governors University (WGU). Flores develops strategic initiatives with WGU State Chancellors, elected officials, business and community leaders to expand access to post-secondary educational opportunities by providing a means for individuals to learn, independent of time or place, and to earn competency-based degrees that are credible to both academic institutions and employers. As part of an extensive career in higher education, Flores has served in a variety of roles. She had responsibility for 29 schools, 15,000 students and 1,800 employees as a Division President for Corinthian Colleges, Inc. Prior, she established School Analytix, and consulted with post-secondary, for-profit, higher education institutions. Flores was also the Chief Operating Officer for a start-up university, establishing all activities associated with campus operations and accreditation. Flores was an 11-year veteran of Apollo Group/University of Phoenix moving through positions of increasing responsibility at a state, national and international level. As the Vice President of International Operations, she was instrumental in starting international campus activities and gaining regional accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission. As Vice President of Business Development and Integration, she implemented a national online distribution system for curriculum and initiated the pilot for a blended delivery model combining online and campus-based learning. Melissa is passionate about expanding opportunities and experiences for others. Within non-profit organizations, she served as Director of Vocational Services for a health-care organization. She currently serves as a committee member for the National Ability Center which is committed to helping people of all abilities develop lifetime skills through both affordable & adaptive sports and recreation. Melissa received her undergraduate degree from California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo and her masters from University of Phoenix. Melissa was born and raised in Southern California but has called Park City, Utah, home for 14 years. She is married and has a 15 year-old daughter.
Stacey Ludwig Johnson has spent 26 years serving individuals and families in capacities relating to before and after school and alternative programs for high-risk youth, Department of Corrections programs for juvenile offenders, distance learning certification programs for adults, and most notably, almost 20 years as a pioneer in competency-based education leading and inspiring teams at WGU. Dr. Johnson was drawn to WGU because of WGU’s mission and she has enjoyed the opportunity to innovate and deliver student support services that improve the quality and expand access to higher education for a primarily non-traditional, under-served population of adult learners. She is most excited about her new role as the VP of Academic Operations because it provides the opportunity to collaborate with talented colleagues as they lead the largest Teachers College in the nation.
Lisa Raisor has over 15 years’ experience in the private higher education arena. She currently serves as the Director of Curriculum and Interim VP of Academic Programs for Western Governors University, College of Information Technology. In these roles, she provides leadership and vision to the ongoing design, development, delivery and evaluation of the IT programs, utilizing student performance data as well as feedback from students, faculty and employers to inform continuous improvement efforts of the IT programs and student experience. In addition, she collaborates with industry experts to ensure programs meet industry need, and works with university stakeholders to ensure processes and procedures surrounding curriculum design, development and delivery effective. Prior to joining WGU, Lisa served as the Director of Product Development for ECPI University, where she was responsible for the curriculum design, development and deployment of all university programs for online, hybrid and residential delivery, as well as faculty/staff training initiatives. Lisa holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Mathematics from Western Michigan University, and a MS in Education, Instructional Design for Online Learning from Capella University. She is also a United States Distance Learning Association member.
Kacey Thorne is the Director of Assessment Design and Development at Western Governors University. As the Assessment Director, Kacey leads cross functional teams in the design, development, and evaluation of all assessments delivered at WGU. She is passionate about the design and development of authentic and reliable assessments for WGU students. Kacey began her career in education 14 years ago as a Health Science classroom teacher in both traditional and online settings for secondary and post-secondary students. Her passion for students and a desire to expand access to higher education brought her to WGU 5 years ago. Kacey holds a MEd in Instructional Design from Western Governors University.
Tracey Wheeler is the Director of Curriculum for Teachers College at Western Governors University. She received her doctorate at Utah State University in Curriculum Design and Instruction with emphasis in Instructional Leadership and has a BA degree in Chemistry from California State University, Long Beach. She has over 16 years of experience in higher education leadership in areas related to accreditation, state licensing, programmatic development, curriculum and assessment at department and institutional levels. Wheeler’s current role as Director of Curriculum includes building collaborative teams, ownership, mentoring future leaders and making strategic decisions related to competency-based education, program development processes, use of innovative technologies, program priorities, and working with external agencies to meet state and accreditation requirements. Tracey’s additional experiences include; Site Visitor for CAEP, Director of Secondary Education, Director of Accreditation and Assessment for the Education Department, Institutional Accreditation Assessment Coordinator, instructional designer consultant for Mager Consortium, grant awards, scholarly productivity, and member of external advisory committees (e.g., NSF State of Nevada Epscor grant, STEM education, online/ blending digital environments, etc.). She was a professor for over 13 years, received full rank advancement, designed/ taught courses in Teacher Education through different delivery formats (e.g., face-to-face, blended, online), received grant awards, served on institutional committees and has presented at international and national conferences on research-based innovative technologies, online curriculum design and learning theories. Tracey has a passion for her profession in the field of education and believes her most important contribution is creating future leaders and teachers and are caring, effective and be positive role models for future generations.