Chemistry Major Honored as COSE 2020 Valedictorian 

Published: April 20, 2020 | Author: Kierstin Pitcher-Holloway | Read Time: 2 minutes

Mariah Clayson COSE ValedictorianChemistry major Mariah Clayson has always loved to learn new things and take on challenges. This determined attitude defined her college education and led to her being named the 2020 Valedictorian for the College of Science and Engineering at Southern Utah University. 

Originally from Kanab, Utah, Clayson initially wanted to attend SUU because it was close from home, but stayed because of the wonderful professors and friends that she met along the way. 

“Every professor in the Physical Science department has carried me through my degree in some way or another,” said Clayson. “That doesn't mean that they ever allowed me to slack off, but they spent hours with me answering questions and giving me encouragement. It was so comforting to feel like I had someone in the ring with me.”

Often when Clayson was feeling overwhelmed by her courses or the demands of college, her professors would take the time to talk through things. 

Because of her love for both the theoretical and practical side of chemistry, Clayson is torn between teaching or working in the industry. Since Clayson has yet to decide on a career path, she plans to take time away from school to work for a chemical company before pursuing a master's degree. 

Clayson believes the experience she gained during her two years working at the SUU Water Lab will be invaluable to her as she enters the workforce. Clayson will also take the other skills she has learned at SUU with her, as she moves on to bigger things. 

“SUU has helped shape my character by always challenging me to push the limits,” said Clayson. “Every year, my classes have gotten harder, it's seemed more and more impossible to keep up. But after the semester was over, I was somehow able to do it and my ability to handle it had increased. I now know that even if things seem impossible, I'll get through them. Maybe not perfectly, but I will get through them.” 

Clayson advises incoming students and current T-Birds to try to be flexible.

“Getting a degree takes a long time and you may go through different phases of your life during that time,” said Clayson. “Sometimes, it is important that I give all of my energy to my school work and getting ahead in life. However, other times required me to slow down and find more balance in my life.”

In recognition of their hard work and dedication, five incredible students have been named SUU’s valedictorians for 2020.

Tags: Graduation

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