UVU Announces 2020 Trustee, Presidential Awards of Excellence

On Wednesday, May 13, President Astrid S. Tuminez announced the recipients of the Utah Valley University Awards of Excellence.


On Wednesday, May 13, President Astrid S. Tuminez announced the recipients of the Utah Valley University Awards of Excellence — the highest honor given by the university in recognition of an individual’s commitment to exceptional care, accountability, and results.  

President Tuminez spoke about each honoree’s accomplishments during the Talk with Tuminez Town Hall.

Hilary Hungerford was congratulated for engaging students both in physical and virtual classrooms and through research. Her online classes bring students together in a way that allows them to feel connected to a community.

Shannon Mussett was honored for her rigorous and enthusiastic support of the UVU student community, her tireless work to broaden engaged-learning opportunities, and her commitment and devotion to teaching.

Dustin Berlin developed a self-sustaining online aviation program. His pioneering efforts led to the creation of a successful program that is cost-effective and engaging. He also pursued a federal contract to design training modules for the FAA.

Andrew Stone was honored for his efforts to remove financial barriers to student success. Under his leadership, UVU implemented Campus Logic software to reduce FASFA (Pell Grant) verification from two weeks to 2-3 days. He also led the restructuring of scholarship programs, improved campus-wide coordination of federal aid, private scholarships, grants, and waivers. His efforts have benefited thousands of students.

Christine Walker’s award was given for her efforts to recruit more women into mathematics. Women are historically underrepresented in the field. She has also been instrumental in improving the preparation for UVU’s college algebra courses and the pass rates for mathematics.

Tiffany Evans was recognized for removing barriers to student success — from overhauling the bell schedule to eliminate overlap and scheduling conflicts, to implementing a new math placement tool (ALEKS) and the Math 100R course. Her student-centered, results-oriented approach has led to high completion.

Baldomero Lago is the chief international officer at UVU and an associate member of the U.N. Department for Global Communications. His many achievements include bringing the 68th United Nations Civil Society Conference to Salt Lake City. It was the first such conference held in the United States outside of New York.

Paul Weber is recognized as a beloved professor of physics. One student wrote, “Dr. Weber could read from the dictionary for an hour, and I would still sign up for his class.” His engaging style and a classroom where respect and inclusivity are heralded were just portions of the reason for his selection. He is also the PI on a National Science Foundation-funded project to develop and teach nanotechnology at UVU.

Ken Sekaquaptewa’s efforts were honored for his monumental efforts and programs that have helped Native American students at Utah Valley University. His efforts have benefited countless individuals as he has fostered relationships with the Native American community, tribal leaders, and government offices to create pathways for recruitment and student success. He also worked tirelessly to develop community outreach programs and events.

Ashton Stitt led a small but talented team in Executive Events through the planning and coordination of the presidential inauguration, the opening of the Noorda Center for the Performing Arts, and the Presidential Scholarship Ball. Under Stitt’s direction, the Scholarship Ball last year raised a record amount of money — entirely to benefit students — for a single evening.

Board of Trustees award recipients will receive a $5,000 stipend, and Presidential Award recipients will receive $4,000. A formal ceremony recognizing the significant efforts of those honored will be held in the fall.

Trustee Award winners: 

Hilary Hungerford

Hilary Hungerford, Associate Professor of Geography

Shannon Mussett

Shannon Mussett, Professor of Philosophy

Dustin Berlin

Dustin Berlin, Assistant Dean of the College of Health and Public Service

Andrew Stone

Andrew Stone, Associate Vice President of Enrollment Management

Christine Walker

Christine Walker, Professor of Mathematics

Presidential Award winners:

Tiffany Evans

Tiffany Evans, Director of Program Completion

Baldomero Lago

Baldomero Lago, Chief International Officer

Paul Weber

Paul Weber, Associate Professor of Physics

Ken Sekaquaptewa

Ken Sekaquaptewa, Program Director of Multicultural Student Services

Ashton Stitt

Ashton Stitt, Senior Director of Executive Events