SUU Broadcasts Weeklong, Statewide Municipal Clerk Training Due to COVID-19, Gains Students

Published: July 22, 2020 | Author: Haven Scott | Read Time: 3 minutes

SUU Broadcasts Weeklong, Statewide Municipal Clerk Training

In March of 2020, Southern Utah University was prepared to host the Utah Municipal Clerks Association’s Institute and Academy on their campus in Cedar City. The food was ordered, conference supplies ready, and plenty of bottled water on hand. When the new coronavirus struck the nation and states started following federal shutdown guidelines, the team at SUU Community and Professional Development quickly jumped into action.

In June, the UMCA Institute and Academy for Utah municipal workers, city clerks, and recorders was held for the very first time virtually. All participants, and most of the presenters, participated in the conference through Zoom Video Webinar. The SUU staff set up a small studio hub in the Sharwan Smith Center for the few presenters who could not present from their homes or offices.

In total, 28 speakers and 36 hours of instruction was given to 110 clerks and recorders from cities all over the state of Utah with social distancing practices in place. This required immaculate coordination, with two tracks often broadcasting at a time.

“It was really neat to see multiple university teams pull together to deliver this annual UMCA conference in a virtual format,” said SUU Community and Professional Development Executive Director Melynda Thorpe. “It was a campus effort including IT, Online Learning and Teaching, and several faculty from SUU stepping up to offer their expertise.”

UMCA President and North Ogden city recorder, Annette Spendlove, said the university did a great job pulling the feat off since it would have potentially been another year for the clerks and recorders to earn their certifications.

“Nothing can compare to meeting in-person, which allows the networking that is so important to our membership. But our first virtual conference was well thought out with excellent subjects and presenters, and few technical difficulties,” said Spendlove. “Well done SUU.”

Tropic city manager Marie Niemann agreed, saying she missed the networking that goes with in-person gatherings but said she thought this year’s UMCA conference was well planned, with great presenters, and a new experience for all.

“I really like that I can go back and watch the presentations since they were all recorded on Zoom and provided to us by SUU,” she said. “Although meeting in-person is always a good time, this was fun too. Great job to the team at SUU Community and Professional Development.”

Along with earning certification points, 10 percent of this year’s UMCA Institute and Academy attendees chose to enroll in a coinciding professional development course for earning credits applicable toward an SUU bachelor’s or master’s degree program.

For more information about the annual UMCA Institute and Academy, visit If you have questions about what SUU Community & Professional Development can do for your next conference, email or call (435) 865-8259.

Located in the world’s best backyard, Southern Utah University is the official “University of the Parks” thanks to its close proximity to several outdoor recreational areas and its educational partnerships with the National Park Service. SUU’s Community & Professional Development program offers opportunities for working adults to advance in their careers and pursue educational goals by providing access to a number of in-person and online training, certificates, conferences and adult study abroad programs.

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