Biology Graduate Named College of Sciences Valedictorian

Published: April 18, 2023 | Author: Clare-Estelle Perkins | Read Time: 2 minutes

College of Sciences valedictorian Alexa LordAlexa Lord has been named the 2023 valedictorian for Southern Utah University’s Walter Maxwell Gibson College of Sciences. She is graduating with a biology major and chemistry minor. After graduation, she plans to stay an extra year to continue playing basketball and work on a master’s degree in business with a healthcare administration focus. She’ll head to medical school soon after.

Lord is the daughter of two SUU alumni and after a campus visit, she fell in love with the community and the scenery as well as the basketball coaches. Throughout her life she has held a passion for sports and being active, she played volleyball and basketball in high school and continued athletic endeavors throughout her college career. Lord is a member of SUU’s women's basketball team and the president of the athlete advisory committee. She feels inspired for her career as she volunteers at the family support center in town and various other volunteer opportunities. She also takes inspiration from her father, a medical doctor, as she follows his path into med school.

In appreciation of her professors, she named Dr. Jon Karpel, associate professor of biology, and Dr. Paul Pillitteri, associate professor of biology, with whom she enjoyed studying and doing research on the kidney function of athletes, as her most influential professors. Taking Organic Chemistry with Dr. Ty Redd helped her grow and she learned a lot, not just about chemistry, from taking that class.

“The people here, the community, all my professors and peers have been really supportive and pushed me to be my best as I became more interested in my future career path,” said Lord. “There's a great community here and it has really helped me grow.”

Balancing her schedule with basketball, schoolwork, and social events posed a challenge to Lord but did not stop her from high achievements.

“I am very impressed that Alexa was able to attain a high level of academic performance even with the demands of being an athlete,” said Dr. Karpel. ”Her dedication to being the best shines through in every moment.”

Lord is proud that the basketball team won the Western Athletic Conference Tournament championship for the year 2022 and is honored to be valedictorian.

“It is an honor, I am very grateful to be named valedictorian,” said Lord. “I owe it to all the people around me, I couldn't have done it without my team supporting me as well as my professors and peers pushing me to be better. I really feel that I owe it all to them.”

Southern Utah University’s Commencement Ceremony will be held on Friday, April 28, 2023, at 8:30 a.m. in the America First Event Center. The Commencement Ceremony is open to all graduating students and their guests. Tickets are not required, but graduates and their families will be given priority seating.

Visit SUU’s graduation website for a full schedule of events.

Tags: College of Natural Sciences Biology Graduation Athletics

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