CHPS Alumni Continue to Break Barriers

UVU graduates Lindsey Sperry and Emily Schellhous are helping to break barriers of women working in male-dominated fields.

Lindsey graduated in December 2021 with a Bachelor of Science in Emergency Services Administration, Management and Disaster Assistance. She initially had an interest in geology and meteorology and previously worked as a CNA with a few EMT classes under her belt, all of which ultimately led her to the Emergency Management program at UVU.

For Emily, she knew from a young age that she wanted to take a similar route as her father, a retired fire chief, and work in emergency services, too. With a desired career-field in mind paired with a study abroad opportunity to the Balkans, Emily recounts those experiences abroad as her “ah-ha” moment that emergency management was the degree she was confident in pursuing.

es“That gave me the most real-world experience,” Emily said. “It was just really cool to connect with people who grew up so far away from me in such a different kind of lifestyle, and yet we have that passion for public safety, disaster planning, and making sure that our citizens are going to be taken care of no matter what happens.”

Lindsey and Emily acknowledged similar sentiments of how emergency management has less to do with the coursework and more to do with how much experience one has. The two were able to receive help from Chris Lindquist, an emergency services assistant professor, and work for Utah County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Management division.

Lindsey helped at drive-thru vaccine clinics in 2020 when first responders were provided access to the vaccination. Both women worked together in 2021 at vaccine clinics for the public.

Emily detailed a few responsibilities she had while interning, such as helping with isolation housing for people who needed to quarantine but had nowhere to go. She also assisted the personal protective equipment (PPE) distribution program in providing for facilities that were running low on supplies. 

The internship with Utah County snowballed into full-time job opportunities for Lindsey and Emily. Until March of 2022, Lindsey had been an emergency management assistant before welcoming her first child, and Emily works as a planner for the Emergency Management Bureau.     

When reflecting on the internship, Lindsey credits her emergency services instructor for helping her achieve that hands-on experience.

“Chris Lindquist gives 110% to every student and because of that, he’ll really push you, and in the end, he helps you get what you need done,” Lindsey said. “I commend UVU a lot for having an emergency management program because it’s such a new and upcoming career field.” 

Although careers in emergency management may seem catered toward men, Emily advises other females to not let that deter them. 

“There have been instances where I feel like I’m viewed as weaker or less just because I am a woman,” Emily shared. “But you just have to let it roll off of you and show them what you are worth, and that you are an equal.”

Visit for further information or contact the emergency services department at