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Dr. Heather Wilson-Ashworth, Ph.D., SFHEA

President

Dr. Heather Wilson-Ashworth earned her Ph.D. in Zoology at Brigham Young University. She teaches Human Physiology, Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology, College Biology and General Biology. Her research interests include developing a better understanding the issues influencing UVU student success, retention and motivation with an emphasis on understanding the complexities that underrepresented students including women, minorities and non-traditional students face. Her other research interests include the development and assessment of process skills in active learning classrooms and effective mentoring strategies in undergraduate research. Currently, she is a co-investigator for National Science Foundation Grant: Faculty-Mentored Experiences for Improving Undergraduate Biology Student Outcomes (NSF- 1833880). Her recent awards include a national award, POGIL Early Career Achievement Award (2020), UVU Student Advocate Award (2019), UVU Design of a UVU Online Course, 3rd place (2019) and UVU Presidential Award of Excellence in Engagement (2018).

Statement

UVU women have unique, rich, well-rounded, and needed perspectives on educational and work issues. During my service as a UWHEN board member, the following three goals would be my focus:  1. Empower and support women in their quest to seek UVU leadership opportunities.   2. Advocate for greater support and retention for women employees. 3. Create and promote greater opportunities for UVU women to join the dialogue shaping UVU policies, procedures, and teaching practices.

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Marianna henry

President-Elect

Marianna is an Academic Standards Counselor and Coach, Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, and Adjunct Instructor. She is a first-generation American; her family hails from Poland (yes, she speaks Polish)! She is originally from Grand Rapids, Michigan. When her husband was hired as a tenure-track professor at UVU, she transferred from Grand Valley State University and soon graduated with a bachelor's degree in Communication. Marianna earned a Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in Social Entrepreneurship, studying sociology and nonprofit leadership & organization. She has worked at UVU since 2009, previously in the study abroad department and academic advising. Marianna enjoys singing and reading, adores Halloween and Disneyland, and loves trip-planning just as much as the actual traveling part. She and her husband have four great kids, a big red dog, and a tiny fluffy kitten!

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Jessica Ballard

Past President

Jessica Ballard has been with Utah Valley University for over 8 years and is a Professional in Residence faculty member with the Woodbury School of Business teaching Event Planning and other related courses for the Hospitality Management Program. She previously worked as the Senior Director of Executive Events at UVU planning major events for the institution. She worked on fundraising events for student scholarships, particularly for the Women’s Success Center and underserved students of the University. She was also involved in the fundraising efforts for the new Wee Care Center on campus as well as the groundbreaking and ribbon cutting for the new Center.  Prior to UVU, she has managed events for the American Red Cross of Utah, Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company, and Westminster College. Jessica has a Master of Professional Communication Degree from Westminster College of Salt Lake City. She is also a Certified Special Events Professional (CSEP) and Certified Meeting Professional (CMP). She has been recognized with a UVU Presidential Awards of Excellence (2014) and a UVU Divisional Award of Excellence (2013). 

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Sara L. Moore, MBA

Chief of Staff

Sara Moore has been working at UVU for 3 years as the Internship Coordinator for the College of Engineering and Technology. She received her Family Studies bachelor’s degree and business minor at Brigham Young University. She received her Master of Business Administration from Western Governor’s University. Prior to UVU, Sara has worked at Brigham Young University and Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions. Sara has a passion for higher education and an innate desire to positively influence the lives of others. She is powered by connecting people and encouraging inspired ideas. Sara enjoys spending time outside, fixer-upper house projects, teaching her dog new tricks, and reading.

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sehrash khan

Treasurer

Sehrash is an Academic Advisor for Utah Valley University for the last 19 months. Sehrash completed her Bachelor of Science in Biology from University of Maryland Baltimore County. She graduated with her Master of Science in Toxicology from Colorado State University. Sehrash taught Human Biology at Anne Arundel Community College before she began advising at Utah Valley University. She enjoys cooking, reading and writing poetry, playing the Ukulele and spending time outside walking. She has never broken any bones and intends to keep it that way. 

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Gayla Amosa

Professional Development Coordinator

Gayla Amosa is the English Language Learning Coordinator of Student and Faculty Services. She is from the North Shore of Oahu, in Hawaii. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Design/Art, from California State University Dominguez Hills, a teaching degree from Brigham Young University Hawaii in Secondary Education and a Master's Degree in Education/Counseling from the University of Phoenix. She taught Art/Design at Kahuku High and Intermediate in Hawaii for ten years and was a Counselor for the last ten years there. Gayla loves traveling, reading, writing, photography, sewing, and crafting in her spare time. She is also a big fan of football and even played quarterback on her High School girls team. Her family is her passion and spending time with them and close friends is her favorite thing to do.

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Dr. Violeta Vasilevska

Events Coordinator- Programs

Dr. Vasilevska is a professor at the Department of Mathematics. She was born and raised in Republic of North Macedonia and received her doctorate degree from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. After working for a few years at the University of South Dakota, she joined the Department of Mathematics at Utah Valley University in 2010.

She is passionate about teaching; and in her classes, she implements various active learning, student-centered approaches and cultivates an inclusive, interactive, and engaged environment.

Her research interests are diverse, ranging from topics in pure mathematics to topics in math education. She enjoys mentoring students through undergraduate research. Since 2007, she has been leading and participating in various outreach programs that popularize mathematics, especially ones that encourage and support women in mathematics. As a result, she has been involved and interested in researching the effect of after school math programs on the high school women’s attitude towards mathematics through her outreach program Math Girls Rock!.

Dr. Vasilevska has received several awards recognizing her teaching excellence, such as Faculty Senate Excellent Award (2020, 2015) and Intermountain MAA Outstanding Teaching Award (2017). Furthermore, she has received several awards and recognitions for her outreach efforts that include 2016 Champion of Inclusion Award for a Faculty Member and 2014 Wolverine Achievement Award (Distinguished Volunteer Service). Among her hobbies are her love for Origami, reading, and traveling to learn about different cultures.

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Cassidy salisbury

Events Coordinator- Logistics

Cassidy began her career in Higher Education in 2016. She is the Professional Development Coordinator in the Concurrent Enrollment office; her favorite part of this position is the opportunity to plan meaningful events and connecting with hundreds of talented high school teachers and departments on campus. She proudly earned her Bachelor of Science in Communications from UVU in 2021, with an emphasis in Public Relations and a minor in Event Planning. 

Growing up in Minnesota shaped Cassidy’s love for the outdoors. She loves being on the lake in the summer and skiing in the winter. She met her husband of 5 years on her first day of classes at UVU, although she swore she would never be “that person.” Together, they love spoiling their French Bulldog, Bruce. Their family of three loves camping, fishing, and traveling together. 

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Dr. maritza sotomayor

Ambassador to Faculty

Dr. Maritza Sotomayor is an Associate Professor of Economics in the Woodbury School of Business at Utah Valley University, where she has been teaching since 2009. She currently serves as the Assistant Chair for the Finance and Economics department.

She completed her Ph.D. at the Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona, Spain. Her M.A. is from the Centro de Investigacion y Docencia Economicas (CIDE) in Mexico City, Mexico, and her B.A. is from the Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru (PUCP) in Lima, Peru.

She has taught undergraduate and graduate-level courses in different formats, face-to-face, online, hybrid, small, and large sections. She received the 2017 Excellence in Teaching Award. She is a Senior Fellow for the Higher Education Academy  (SFHEA) since 2019.

Her primary research interest is on international trade issues, from the effects of regional integration in developing countries, intra-industry trade measurement, global value chains to comparative studies. She is the co-author of "Global Manufacturing Production: An Analysis and Determinants for Mexico's Trade in Value-Added." (Journal of International Applied Economics, 2020). Currently, she is working on a research paper about the alternative indicators for the GDP.

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natalie brewster

Ambassador to Adjunct Faculty

Natalie is the Leadership Programs Coordinator at Utah Valley University. She oversees student leadership development programs, advises students, and engages in various Student Life & Involvement areas. Natalie also enjoys teaches adjunct for the Department of Technology Management.

As a first-generation college student, she received her bachelor's degree in Psychology from Utah Valley University. In addition, she received a master's in Management & Leadership and an MBA from Western Governors University.  Natalie was recently accepted to Gonzaga University, where she will be completing her Ph.D. in Leadership Studies.

Natalie is a certified Strengths Coach, certified 360-Feedback Coach,  certified in Project Management, and holds CPE and CPE Train-The-Trainer through NASPA. Natalie received an Excellence in Teaching award from The National Society of Success and Leadership in 2019 and 2020. 

Natalie is a self-proclaimed beach bum, lifetime Utah Jazz fan, and lover of Southern Utah. After over 5yrs of dating and three proposals, Natalie married her soulmate, Ryan, in 2011. In 2014 Natalie discovered her "why" when she became a mother to her daughter and will be welcoming a little boy in October 2021.

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lucy castro

Ambassador to Staff

In 2015, Lucy joined the UVU community when she worked for the School Community University Partnership Department (SCUP) as an Administrative Assistant and later as UVU PREP Program Coordinator. Currently, Lucy is the Operations Coordinator of the English Language Learning Department (ELL) which is part of University College.  As a first-generation college graduate, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations from Brigham Young University; and a soon-to-be Master of Business Administration from the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University her pursuit for higher education continues. Her journey as a non-traditional student helps her to build connections with many students and staff employees within our UVU community who are likewise pursuing their dreams.

Lucy’s passion for education has greatly shaped her life, and in return, she seeks to empower and motivate others to reach their academic goals. Working at UVU provides Lucy with daily interactions with diverse populations such as first-generation, international, resident, and non-traditional students.  Lucy’s day-to-day work and passion is to connect all who seek educational opportunities to UVU. In 2017, Lucy was recognized with the UVU Student Affairs Award of Excellence, for her service and contributions to community engagement and program development.  In her spare time, Lucy enjoys spending time with her three daughters, reading, cooking, and sightseeing around Utah.

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niki swan

Ambassador to Satellite Campuses

Niki Swan has been with UVU for 7 years. She is currently the Director of Clinical Education and is an Assistant Professor for UVU’s Physician Assistant program. 

Niki has an MBA with an emphasis in strategy from Claremont and is passionate about teaching students and professionals how to strategically move their career forward. As a management consultant, Niki has worked with professionals from a variety of industries to rekindle their passion and harness their strengths to move their careers forward. With over ten years of industry experience and seven years of higher education leadership experience, Niki is able to bridge the gap between academia and industry, connecting students and professionals to make career goals reality.

Her 5 kids, 2 dogs, and 1 cat keep her laughing and appreciating life’s beauty.

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dr. bonnie andersen

Advisory member

Dr. Bonnie Andersen is the past-president of the UWHEN UVU Chapter. She has been a faculty member in the Physics Department since 2008. Her research focus is in thermoacoustics, where heat energy is converted into sound energy, and acoustics of the clarinet and the human vocal tract. Her work with students has been presented at regional, national, and international conferences. In addition to research, she is an advisor to the Women in Physical Sciences Club and has received grants to send female UVU physics majors to regional events for undergraduate women in physics. In 2017, she organized STEM summer camps for first-sixth graders at UVU as part of UVU’s Continuing Education and has overseen the continuation of the camps. She has been a workshop presenter at Expanding Your Horizons and SheTech for four years. She has also given presentations and workshops at UVU Prep and Wolverine Day. She has volunteered at various physics booths for STEMfest, Expanding Your Horizons, Empowering Your Tomorrow, and other venues.

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Linda Makin

Campus Advisor

Linda Makin serves as the Vice President for Planning, Budget and Human Resources at Utah Valley University. With over 38 years of higher education experience, Linda has participated with and led numerous teams to achieve new heights and vistas. She serves on numerous committees at UVU as well as UVU’s ElevateHer liaison, a peer evaluator for NWCCU, and a member of the Business Affairs Council and Budget Officers System Subcommittee within USHE. Linda co-chairs the UVU women’s council and is chair of the Board of Directors for Utah Community Credit Union. She is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Utah Foundation. Linda earned a master’s degree in public administration from Brigham Young University and a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Utah Valley University.  She is actively engaged in professional organizations having presented at regional and national conferences.

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mykenzie hydo

Marketing Coordinator

Mykenzie is the Director of Field Education in the Master of Social Work (MSW) Program. Prior to coming to UVU three years ago, she worked with a nonprofit organization providing programs and services for people living with multiple sclerosis. She has an MSW degree from the University of Utah and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Brigham Young University. She loves working with students and social workers in the community and believes strongly in the value of human connection in effecting real and lasting change. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and three kids, camping, and reading.