A.P.E.X. - Ask. Ponder. Educate. [X].

About A.P.E.X.

We have been working this past year on the new brand and fresh direction for this treasured part of the SUU campus community!

In its previous iteration as the SUU Convocations Series, this program has been bringing exciting experts across all disciplines to campus for 30 years! It began as a weekly speakers’ series funded by the president’s office and curated by a staff member with input from a faculty committee chaired by a faculty member. The first event was on March 24, 1983, with motivational Speaker Dan Clark speaking on the "The Power of Positive Thinking." Currently, the lecture series is housed in the School of Integrative and Experiential Learning and directed by 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. Dr. Vartan and her team are 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

Dr. Lynn Vartan - Director

Contact: vartan@suu.edu  - lynnvartan.com

Percussionist Lynn Vartan is an international performer and educator who is an advocate for diversity in music. As a new music percussionist Lynn has worked with Michael Colgrass, Vinny Golia, Arthur Jarvinen, Ursula Oppens, Joan Tower, Glen Velez, Xtet, James Newton, Chinary Ung, the Hilliard Ensemble, the Tambuco Percussion Ensemble and Grammy Award-winning Southwest Chamber Music, and is known for her dynamic athleticism and exciting energy on stage. She has commissioned and/or performed countless new works for percussion by composers such as Donald Crockett, William Kraft, Steve Hoey, Veronika Krausas, Erica Muhl, Arthur Jarvinen, Sean Heim, Jeff Holmes, Keith Bradshaw and Shaun Naidoo.

A devoted ensemble musician, Lynn is the percussionist for Southwest Chamber Music, the violin/percussion duo 61/4 which she founded with Shalini Vijayan, and a duo percussion group Exacta that she formed with Tambuco’s Miguel Gonzalez. Lynn is currently the Director of Percussion and director of the APEX Event Series at Southern Utah University. Lynn is endorsed by the Paiste Corporation, Remo Inc. and Marimba One.

Kourt Osborn - Event Producer

Kourt is a current Masters of Public Administration candidate at SUU. He received his Bachelor's Degree in History and Philosophy from SUU in 2017. Kourt's passion for Do-It-Yourself punk-rock-ethos has turned into a DIY-ethos based passion for justice, education, and empowerment. Kourt aspires to turn his passions into a career in which he serves to empower marginalized communities. Along with justice, passion, music, and his studies, Kourt likes to spend his time annoying his cat, bothering his friends and family with existential prose, and going on lavish vacations he reasonably shouldn't be spending so much money on.

Contact: kourtosborn@gmail.com 

Katie Englert - Photography

Katie Englert is Lecturer in the Honors and BIS programs at SUU. With a background in Photojournalism and Anthropology, she is always taking photos of the culture and community around her. In her spare time, she enjoys being outside and working in her yard, mountain biking, swimming, and exploring the southwest.


Jordan Nielsen - Marketing & Graphic Design

Jordan is a Senior at SUU studying Percussion Performance and loves to perform in groups. He loves other forms of art such as graphic design and audio/video recording. If Jordan has a moment when he isn’t working or practicing, you can find him in a comfy chair, with a good book, a cup of coffee, and a blanket.

Contact: jord.nielsen@gmail.com 

Billy Clouse - Blogger and Reporter

Billy is the Editor-in-Chief of Thunderground, an independent student media source at SUU. He loves graphic design, which he is majoring in, as well as journalism and photography. Billy has unhealthy obsessions with Christmas, Oxford Commas, and sloths, and he's accepted being tired as a personality trait.

Contact: editor.thunderground@gmail.com