Project Staff

Dr. Susan R. Madsen
Founder & Director
Orin R. Woodbury Professor of Leadership and Ethics
Utah Valley University, Woodbury School of Business
(801) 863-6176

Dr. Susan R. Madsen is the Orin R. Woodbury Professor of Leadership & Ethics in the Woodbury School of Business at Utah Valley University. She is also the Founding Director of the Utah Women & Leadership Project and the Utah Women and Education Initiative. Since 2009, Susan has led efforts in Utah to get more women to graduate from college and to help more girls and women in Utah find their voices and become leaders. Professor Madsen and her team have written many Utah research and policies briefs and snapshots and hosted events to support the mission of their work. Susan is a well-known global scholar, authoring or edited six books and publishing hundreds of articles, chapters, and reports. She is a sought-after speaker in local, national, and international settings. For example, she has presented at the New York Times, Argentina Parliament Palace, House of Commons in England, and NGO sessions at the United Nations. She serves on many nonprofit, community, and education boards and committees, including Envision Utah, Real Women Run, Utah Women in Higher Education Network, United Way of Utah County, and Better Days 2020. Dr. Madsen received a bachelor’s degree from BYU, masters from Portland State, and a doctorate in human resource development from the University of Minnesota. She and her husband Greg are the proud parents of four adult children and one grandson. For more detailed information about Dr. Madsen, please see her detailed bio and/or her professor page. For more information about her speaking, see the UWLP Speaking Request page and Madsen Global Leadership.







Deirdre Miller
UWLP Coordinator
Utah Valley University
(801) 863-5724

Deirdre Miller is the Utah Women & Leadership Project Coordinator where she manages projects, events, and coordinates with volunteers and ambassadors. She studied Communications Research and Business Management at Brigham Young University, where she helped conduct research on the global impact of social media. With a background in Digital Marketing and Content Management, Deirdre has several years of experience in growing digital communities and strategizing the best practices to reach targeted audiences. She enjoys the accessibility that digital communication has brought in creating communities. She also has experience in organizing international trade show events as well as local events in the Utah community. As a business owner and having worked in the private sector, Deirdre has fostered a strong desire to strengthen women in business and is honored to work with Dr. Madsen on the Utah and global initiatives focused on strengthening the impact of girls and women worldwide.



Robbyn Scribner
Research Fellow
Utah Valley University

Robbyn Scribner is a Research Fellow at the Utah Women & Leadership Project at Utah Valley University. Most recently, Robbyn has been the team lead for the Utah Women Stats Research Snapshots series, where she co-authored twelve snapshots on various topics of interest surrounding Utah women, including poverty, labor force participation, domestic violence, unpaid care work, and the gender wage gap. Robbyn also works on community relations and fundraising for the Project. She holds a Master's degree in English with an emphasis in composition and rhetoric from Brigham Young University, and a Bachelor's degree (also from BYU) in European Studies. Robbyn has focused on promoting excellence in writing; she has taught university writing at all levels and co-directed a cross-curricular writing tutoring program at BYU. She has also led seminars and workshops for scholars in various fields, training them on teaching and incorporating more writing in their specific disciplines. Robbyn has a special interest in researching and writing on issues affecting women and careers, including the creation of alternative pathways for women to create successful careers even while prioritizing other areas of their lives. Robbyn is thrilled to be working with Dr. Madsen on research and projects that can help improve the opportunities and experiences of women in Utah and beyond. 



Heather Sundahl
Writer and Media Relations

Heather Sundahl is the writer and media relations specialist for the Utah Women & Leadership Project at Utah Valley University. She holds a Master's degree in English as well as a Bachelor's degree in Humanities from Brigham Young University. Since 2014 she has been the President of Exponent II. Before taking on the helm she was an associate editor for the Exponent II. Heather also has many years of experience as a ESL instructor.




Sharosky Dalmasi
Graduate Assistant
Utah Valley University

Sharosky Dalmasi is the Utah Women & Leadership Project Graduate Assistant. She received her undergrad at the Woodbury School of Business at Utah Valley University in Business Management. Her background includes administration, business strategy, and operations management. Sharosky has worked in public service, serving the communities along the Wasatch Front. She is the first in her family to pursue a Graduate Degree and is a great advocate for women seeking a higher education and advancement in the community.





April Townsend, Ed.D.
Research Fellow

Dr. April Townsend is a Research Fellow focusing on research studies, literature reviews and data analysis. She has 30 years of extensive experience working with government organizations, where she has held leadership and top management positions for the last 21 years. Her focus has been on organizational effectiveness, leadership development, strategic leadership and financial accountability. Dr. Townsend has lead organizational initiatives and cultural change efforts that increased transparency and transformed operational systems.
April received her doctorate in education with an emphasis on organizational leadership from Northeastern University, where her dissertation research explored the journeys of women in top leadership roles within government organizations. Dr. Townsend is interested in bringing the theoretical aspects of leadership into practical application. She actively mentors and develops the leadership skills of the women and men with whom she works and has shared her broad experience and research through numerous trainings in the public sector on coaching and mentoring, effective leadership through developing strengths, change management, and social and emotional intelligence.
Dr. Townsend is committed to diversifying the ranks of leadership through increasing the presence of women. She directed the development of an Employees' University training program and was recognized as one of Utah's 2016 American Graduate Champions for her mentorship efforts and for founding the Women's Leadership Forum, which provides women in local government an opportunity for leadership skill development. 

         april townsend