SUU Honors Eight Valedictorians for the Class of 2022

Published: April 20, 2022 | Read Time: 6 minutes

2022 valedictorians Eight outstanding students have been named Southern Utah University’s valedictorians in honor of their perseverance and academic excellence. Each has a remarkable story leading them to be placed as the highest academically ranked individual in their area of study.

University Valedictorian - Greyson Chamberlain

Originally from Saint George, Utah, Greyson Chamberlain transferred to SUU due to its great reputation. He has a passion for traveling and sports. His interest in his personal finances led him to develop a love for investing, which quickly became one of his favorite past-times.

“Before coming to SUU, I had little knowledge of the finance industry, but I came out of SUU with diversified knowledge and experience,” Chamberlain said. “I made great friends that played huge roles in my success in the school. The finance competitions and clubs that I participated in at SUU taught me a great deal about real-world applications of my degree.”

Chamberlain graduated in December 2021 with a degree in finance. Currently, he is working at Zions Bank in the leadership development program and plans to continue his career in corporate banking.

Beverley Taylor Sorenson College of Education & Human Development - Adelina Nielsen

Native to Ridgecrest, California, Adeline Nielsen is the oldest of five children. Nielsen chose SUU for its welcoming atmosphere and small-town feel. She is a great advocate for helping others and received inspiration from her Introduction to Social Work course which lead to her career choice and life goals. Nielsen knows life is best lived when you find something that you’re passionate about and that makes you happy.

“Relationships are super important,” said Nielsen. “The professors at SUU are personable and care about their students. Being in class with like-minded people who have similar goals and interests and want to make a difference in the world is definitely my favorite memory at SUU.”

Nielsen is graduating with a degree in family life and human development. After graduation, she plans on earning her master’s degree in social work, with her end goal being to work with elementary students and help them through problems they may be experiencing.

College of Engineering & Computational Sciences - Nathan A. Wiggins

Nathan Wiggins, from New Harmony, Utah, always knew he wanted to attend SUU. The University is a family tradition among his siblings. Wiggins is a true NASCAR fan and an outdoor enthusiast. At first, Wiggins contemplated an English or communication degree, but through his passion for sports, he realized he enjoyed the statistics associated with sports and let that be his guide.

“When I first came to SUU, I was really nervous,” Wiggins said. “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 is graduating with a degree in mathematical science with an emphasis in actuarial sciences.

College of Health Sciences - Sariah J. Campbell

Coming from Pocatello, Idaho, Sariah Campbell chose SUU based on its ideal location, scholarship opportunities, and nursing program. Campbell uses her positive outlook on life to embrace whatever life may bring. She is passionate about mental and physical health and tends to be a thrill-seeker.

“The different opportunities, activities, and classes at SUU have provided me with the most important things in my life right now,” said Campbell. “During nursing clinicals and classes, I discovered that psychiatric nursing is where I need to be. I’ve met so many encouraging and kind people that have changed my outlook on life and helped me become a more positive, better person. SUU has changed the direction of my life.”

Campbell is earning her degree in nursing. After graduation, she will work as a registered nurse at a psychiatric facility in Nevada, with her ultimate goal of becoming a psychiatric nurse practitioner.

College of Humanities & Social Sciences - Shayla Howe

Shayla Howe came to SUU from Manti, Utah. She earned her associate degree from Snow College and knew she always wanted her career to be helping and cheering for others. Once she came to SUU, she discovered her passion for psychology.

“I genuinely loved my education at SUU and felt greatly impacted by each class and professor,” said Howe. “I appreciate, admire, and learned a lot from every one of my psychology professors who expanded my understanding and gave me further insight on how to apply it. The courses and professors at SUU helped me discover that principles of psychology are evident in every aspect of life.”

Howe is earning her degree in psychology. Following graduation, Howe plans to spend some quality time at home with her children before returning to the educational field and getting her graduate degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.

College of Performing & Visual Arts - Cris Belk

Coming to SUU from El Paso, Texas, Cris Belk chose SUU due to its location and art facilities. Belk greatly enjoys gardening, hiking, and spending time in nature, and was inspired by the landscape of Utah. She has a background in costume construction. Her work with textiles and fabrics eventually lead her to work in ceramics and sculpting.

“The studio art faculty have all been amazing,” Belk said. “All of the faculty were very supportive and challenged me to practice new skills and processes. Trying things I hadn't done before helped me start developing my own style and preferences for materials. I appreciate that SUU's art faculty have a variety of perspectives and styles.”

Belk is graduating with her degree in ceramics and sculpting. She advises incoming students to not worry so much about failure but to focus on trying new things and gaining new experiences.

Dixie L. Leavitt School of Business - Kameron Mortezazadeh

Kameron Mortezazadeh of Highland, Utah grew up playing soccer and enjoyed taking part in his family’s Iranian culture. When he was a teenager, he went on an LDS mission to Kenya. Cedar City and its surroundings were the perfect fit for Mortezazadeh, which helped him to decide on SUU. Mortezazdeh has a passion for family and community and understands the importance of reliability.

“Professors at SUU have made all the difference in my education,” said Mortezazdeh. “This is synonymous with the experience of other students. People want to come to SUU to interact and build relationships with professors and students. I never had a professor I didn’t like.

Mortezazdeh is graduating with his degree in accounting. After graduation, he plans to move north and work with an accounting firm with their transaction advisory team.

Walter Maxwell Gibson College of Sciences - Jackson Nowatzke

From Saint George, Utah, Jackson Nowatzke came to SUU due to its reputation for having a great campus culture with its small classes and helping students get into graduate school. Growing up, Nowatzke played football and baseball. He compares sports to medicine because in both you have to work as a team to achieve something bigger than yourself.

“SUU has helped me discover my passion by providing me with classes that have sparked my interest and through organizations that have helped me understand what it takes to get into medical school,” said Nowatzke. “Classes such as anatomy, physiology, immunology, and histology have grown my interest to learn how the human body functions.”

Nowatzke is earning his degree in biology. After graduation, he plans to continue his career in medicine.


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.

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