SUU to Everywhere

Kaitlin Sorensen

Kaitlin Sorensen | SUU to Victim Services Director

While in high school, Kaitlin Sorensen attended a campus tour and overnight event hosted by Southern Utah University. She instantly fell in love with the campus atmosphere.

At first, Kaitlin struggled being away from family and trying to find her place. Fortunately, she was able to make great friends and develop a network of people that helped her push through and discover the confidence that comes with living on your own. She became a Presidential Ambassador and helped other students fall in love with SUU. She served in that capacity for four years while completing her degree in political science.

“I learned how truly independent I can be,” said Kaitlin. “I learned that I really was strong, brave and confident. I had struggled for many years with insecurities. My time at SUU helped me to know that my decisions were my own, and I found a lot of passion for many different things that I never would have explored before.”

That sense of independence and exploration led Kaitlin to work as a ski instructor, frequent the surrounding national parks, and learn to rock climb and repel, hobbies she continues to practice to this day.

In the classroom, Kaitlin was able to work with Dr. Angela Pool-Funai on a project that involved writing the standard operating procedures for the Iron County Justice Court while they were going through some changes. She also worked as a Judicial Assistant at the courthouse.

The summer before her senior year, Kaitlin and her husband discovered that she was pregnant. With her heart set on finishing her education, she attended classes all the way through December and had her son a few weeks later in January.

“It was really difficult balancing my health concerns, feeling out of place in the classroom eight months pregnant, and focusing on my school work at the same time,” said Kaitlin. “I finished my last semester and graduated when my son was 5 months old, and I have never felt more empowered. My professors, classmates, fellow ambassadors, and friends all supported me through that entire year, and I did it!”

After completing her bachelor's degree in political science, Kaitlin went on to get a Master’s in Public Administration from SUU the following year.

Kaitlin attributes much of her success to her mentors. Dr. Michael Stathis, professor of Political Science, Provost Brad Cook, and Ambassador advisor Kirk Blake each played important roles in challenging her thought processes, overcoming difficult circumstances, and developing a passion for learning.

During her studies, Kaitlin took a gender and politics course that combined her two passions; feminism and politics. This combination of topics helped her discover her career and led her to work in social justice for women.

Kaitlin now works as the Victim Services Director at the Canyon Creek Women’s Crisis Center, an organization dedicated to serving victims and families of domestic violence and sexual assault. Her responsibilities involve directing and managing all of the programming within the organization as well as the employees providing those services.

“My favorite part of my job is getting to see the look on a survivor’s face when they've felt empowered for the first time in years, or an employee discovers the power someone’s story has in igniting passion for their work,” said Kaitlin. “I also love public speaking and providing prevention education to the community.”

Kaitlin always had the support she needed from those around her at SUU, and now she is able to provide that same help to others in need.

Learn more about the political science and master of public administration programs.