About Eccles A.P.E.X.

In its previous iteration as the "SUU Convocations Series," the Eccles A.P.E.X. program has been bringing exciting experts across all disciplines to campus for almost 40 years! It began as a speakers’ series funded by the president’s office, and its first event was on March 24, 1983, with motivational Speaker Dan Clark speaking on the "The Power of Positive Thinking." Currently, the series is housed in the Provost’s Office and directed by a faculty member on a ½ time teaching load with a support staff. Attendees to our events are students, faculty, staff and community members, and speakers have been invited from all areas of the US and abroad. While on campus, guests are invited to interact with students and faculty in multiple ways, with opportunities to connect and network in vast areas of scholarship! All A.P.E.X. events are free and open to the public!

What’s with the [X]? The new tagline for our series is “Ask. Ponder. Educate. [X].” and the [X] represents the variety of topics we explore in the series – it's the variable element from week to week. The A.P.E.X. team is passionate about the broad spectrum of thoughts, ideas, disciplines, backgrounds and cultural themes that can be showcased and shared, all within the context and with the consistency and organization that our team provides. There is sure to be something for everyone at some point in the season, and all events will certainly open your mind and creativity!

Our Team

Ryan Paul, APEX Director

Ryan Paul - Director

Contact: paul@suu.edu

Ryan Paul is an advocate of diversity in storytelling, a curator of Cedar City’s history, and studies Rock 'n Roll's impact on the world.

After earning a graduate degree in History from the University of Mississippi, Ryan forsook his Northern Utah home and settled in Southern Utah. He currently works as an Assistant Professor of History at Southern Utah University, specializing in Public and Local History and the History of the National parks. Ryan was thrilled to take on A.P.E.X. Events and continue the series on campus as Director.

Ryan has written five documentary films, lectured across the State as a Utah Humanities Council Road Scholar, served as President of the Utah Museums Association, and created a number of museum exhibits.

Alongside Cedar City’s local tourism bureau, Ryan writes and hosts the web series “Main Street Minutes” which dive into the history of the area. Ryan also served as the Museum Curator at Frontier Homestead State Park Museum for 19 years.

In 2015 he earned a Master's Degree from Southern Utah University in Arts Administration.

Ryan is a devotee of all things Elvis, Dr. Who, and DC Comics.

Sophia Grzywacz

Sophia Grzywacz
Student Producer

This is Sophia’s third year here at SUU. She is majoring in both Management and Accounting with the hopes of becoming a Hospital Administrator. Her passion is people! She loves getting to know and meet new people. She enjoys traveling and the great outdoors. She is from Las Vegas, Nevada and spent her childhood in beautiful Southern Utah and absolutely loves it here!


Evan Miller
Student Assistant Producer

Evan is in his first year at SUU. He recently returned home from serving an LDS mission in Oklahoma, USA. He is planning to study marketing and entrepreneurship with hopes of creating his own business one day. Evan loves being with friends and family, exploring the great outdoors, and eating good food with good people. His favorite activities are rock climbing and tennis. Evan is always looking to meet new people and experience new opinions and ideas.

Abby Hughes
Digital Content Specialist

Abby Hughes is currently in her sophomore year here at SUU. She is majoring in Communications. Abby loves the outdoors, reading, meeting new people, and Swig. Her favorite activities are paddle boarding and backpacking. Abby also loves traveling and hopes to visit her dream location, New Zealand, one day. Abby is always down for an adventure and loves connecting with other people!

Reese Whitaker
Radio Producer

Reese Whitaker is currently a senior at SUU. He is majoring in Communications with an emphasis in Media Studies, also he has a minor in Business Management. Reese is also currently the Assistant Production Director at KSUU Thunder 91.1, a student-run radio station on the SUU campus. Born and raised in Las Vegas, Cedar City has definitely been a change of scenery. Even though he has love for Cedar, Vegas will always be home in his heart. He is a sports fanatic. With his favorite teams being The Las Vegas Raiders, The Vegas Golden Knights, and The Utah Jazz. Make sure to tune into Reese for Rockaholics Anonymous, Thunder 91’s premium late night rock show. Every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 7-8pm.

Christina Schweiss

Christina Schweiss is a Sophomore at SUU majoring in Theatre and Communications and minoring in Shakespearean Studies. She loves writing, poetry, acting, meeting new people, and exploring different wonders life has to offer. Her favorite Shakespeare play is “Two Gentlemen of Verona” and she loves the show “Golden Girls” with her favorite character being Blanche.