Valedictorian takes Success in Stride and Humility

Published: May 02, 2011 | Read Time: 2 minutes

Only 11 undergraduate students will leave Southern Utah University this year with a perfect 4.0 GPA. A notable feat, this year’s 11 4.0 scholars comprise less than one percent of the 1,741 students within the Class of 2011. It’s hard to get any better than that.

Yet, for Nicole Schmutz, a Cedar City native, there is one more step up from perfect: being named as the University’s valedictorian – the year’s top scholar at Southern Utah University.

On her path to graduation, Schmutz has maintained the highest academic standards and has oft been commended for her work ethic and preparation both in the classroom and in the field.

According to Schmutz, “Anything less than my best was just never an option.”

And though she is both modest and sincere when she says that with the support of her family, professors and advisors, she couldn’t help but succeed, the reality is that a nursing degree is one of the most academically rigorous of all undergraduate degrees, according to SUU Provost Brad Cook.

Furthermore, Schmutz worked tirelessly both inside and beyond he classroom to make the very most of her formal education. Alongside her Nursing studies, Nicole has spent more than 600 clinical hours in service as a volunteer in local doctor’s offices, elementary schools, community clinics and regional medical facilities. She is also a member of the SUU Student Nurse Association.

For all this, Schmutz’s success is certainly to be commended on a large scale.

And so it will. Schumtz will be formally recognized during the University Commencement ceremony this Friday, May 6, at 4:30 p.m. in the Centrum Arena. The ceremony is free and open to the public, with general admission seating.

Our congratulations and good luck to this year’s top scholar.

From here, Schmutz would like to begin working in the field while preparing for graduate school. Ultimately, she hopes to work as a labor and delivery nurse.

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