Mathematical Science Major Named 2022 CECS Valedictorian

Published: April 25, 2022 | Author: Kaylee Condie | Read Time: 3 minutes

Nathan Wiggins has been named as the 2022 valedictorian for the College of Engineering and Computational Sciences (CECS) at Southern Utah University. Wiggins majored in actuarial sciences and minored in finance.

“Being named valedictorian has made me feel very connected to SUU,” said Wiggins. “The whole history of this University is built on simple, ordinary people accomplishing things beyond their own ability because of the people around them, and their willingness to keep trying when things get hard. I'm surrounded by extraordinary people, and it's really special to be a part of what we as students have accomplished together through these past few years.”

Wiggins grew up 20 minutes from the SUU campus in New Harmony, Utah. His parents were his first and biggest role models and taught him the importance of setting the right priorities. His life has also been guided by his six siblings, all of whom attended SUU and went on to do great things. Two of them are even faculty members now. And even though he considered himself to be “the rebel” of the family, he always felt the pull to the SUU campus.

“I never even applied anywhere else,” Wiggins said. “When I first came to SUU, I was really nervous. I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but I learned from professors and students that what I really enjoy is spending time with the people who mean the most to me. I learned that I’m not looking for a specific career: I’m looking for something that can help me grow the closest with my family, and I don’t think I would have found that at any other university.”

Wiggins quickly immersed himself into the exhilarating culture of SUU. He had a lot of interests so it took some time before he decided on his major. He thought about going into English or communication, but then a class in mathematical modeling changed his mind. The class taught him how to solve real-world problems using principles of math, such as optimization, and it completely changed his thought process. He became a devoted member of the SUU Mathematics Club and moved on to achieve greater things on SUU soil.

“He became the Special Projects Assistant for S.I.E.L. which was a brand new program at the time,” explains his mentor and first boss, Dr. Cynthia Kimball Davis. “It was a new position in a new department, and he was our first student worker ever. He did banners, websites, and design - there wasn’t anything he couldn’t do. There wasn’t anything he wasn’t willing to do.”

Wiggins took that work ethic with him in every area of his life. His dedication has paid off and he is now working full time for SUU as the financial manager of a $4 million grant, as well as the lead data analyst.

SUU’s 2022 Commencement Ceremony will be held on Friday, April 29 in the America First Event Center. Tickets are not required for the ceremony, but seating preference will be made for graduates and their families. The ceremony will also be streamed online by SUTV-9 and on SUU's social media channels.

Visit SUU’s graduation website for more information about the 2022 Commencement Ceremony.

Tags: College of Engineering and Computational Sciences Mathematics Graduation

Contact Information:

Contact the Office of Marketing Communication