SUU Honors Eight Valedictorians for the Class of 2024

Published: April 10, 2024 | Read Time: 5 minutes

Eight outstanding Southern Utah University students have been named valedictorians for their respective colleges, in honor of their perseverance and excellence throughout their academic careers. Their journey to becoming the highest academically ranked individuals in their respective fields stands as a testament to their commitment to academic excellence and personal growth.

University Valedictorian - Garrett Shaw

Garrett ShawGarrett Shaw will represent SUU’s Class of 2024 as the university valedictorian. Shaw is graduating with degrees in business management and accounting and plans to attend BYU Law School, starting in the fall of 2024.

Shaw was surprised to be named University Valedictorian saying, "I always felt that many of the people around me were very intelligent and never thought this would be a reality. SUU has some really great students."

College of Performing and Visual Arts - Holly Biesinger

Holly BiesingerHolly Biesinger has been named the 2024 valedictorian for the College of Performing and Visual Arts. She majored in art education and history with minors in art history, illustration, painting/drawing/printmaking, and history teaching, as well as a Grace A. Tanner Certificate of Human Values. Biesinger plans to pursue graduate studies after graduation.

Originally from West Valley City, UT, she chose Southern Utah University for its diverse academic opportunities, stunning location and supportive community. During her time at SUU, Professor Ran Qi and Professor Hala Swearingen greatly impacted her. Holly credits SUU for helping her discover her passion and future career path through its dedication to fostering exploration and growth.

Biesinger has been involved in the Art Education Club and the National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS) at SUU. She is proud of speaking at TEDxSUU and presenting at events like the Utah Conference on Undergraduate Research and the National Art Education Association conference. Additionally, Biesinger extends her gratitude to her family and fiancé for their support.

College of Engineering and Computational Sciences - Joshua Brinkerhoff

Joshua BrinkerhoffJoshua Jeffrey Brinkerhoff has been named the 2024 valedictorian for the College of Engineering and Computational Sciences (CECS). While majoring in Mechanical Engineering, SUU helped him discover his passion, leading him to work for RAM Aviation, Space & Defense after graduation.

Originally from Tropic, UT, Brinkerhoff chose SUU for its family connections and campus atmosphere. He credits Scott Munro and other engineering professors for nurturing his interest in mechanical engineering. Joshua is proud of the paper he published with the Utah Academy of Science and his capstone project. He thanks his wife and family for their support.

College of Health Sciences - Bailey Jeppesen

Bailey JeppesenBailey Jeppesen has been named the 2024 valedictorian for the College of Health Sciences. Majoring in nursing, Jeppesen plans to work on the cardiology/ICU stepdown unit at St. Luke’s Hospital in Boise, ID.

Originally from Tooele, UT, she was attracted to SUU's outstanding nursing program and outdoor opportunities. Professors Schmidt, Campbell, Neilson and Lister greatly impacted her. SUU's clinical rotations solidified her passion for nursing. She's proud of her nursing capstone project and the friendships she built at SUU. Bailey thanks her parents, friends and nursing cohort for their support.

Beverley Taylor Sorenson College of Education and Human Development - Reagan Kimball

Reagan KimballReagan Kimball has been named the 2024 valedictorian for the Beverley Taylor Sorenson College of Education and Human Development. Majoring in Social Work with a minor in Psychology, Kimball plans to start her Master's program at Utah State University, graduating with her MSW in April 2025.

Originally from Draper, Utah, she chose SUU for its reputation for student involvement and the welcoming atmosphere. Kimball also appreciates SUU's location for its proximity to outdoor activities. Kimball was greatly impacted by Professor Brad Simpson, who helped her realize her potential both as a social worker and as a person. She thanks her parents for their support and her social work classmates for becoming her college family.

Dixie L. Leavitt School of Business - Allie Quarnberg

Allie QuarnbergAllie Jae Quarnberg has been named the 2024 valedictorian for the Dixie L. Leavitt School of Business. Majoring in accounting, Quarnberg has managed the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program and plans to go into public accounting.

Originally from Ephraim, UT, she chose SUU for its AACSB-accredited business school and welcoming atmosphere. Professors Jonathan Lee and Robin Boneck helped her find a passion for taxes. Allie is proud of her achievements and thanks her family, husband and SUU for their support.

College of Humanities and Social Sciences - Jazzlyn Shannon

Jazzlyn ShannonJazzlyn Shannon has been named the 2024 valedictorian for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. Majoring in criminal justice with psychology and political science minors, Shannon plans to work in victim advocacy in Florida.

Originally from Hurricane, UT, she grew to love SUU’s close-knit community and emphasis on the outdoors. She appreciates Colonel Jacobson, Professor Delane Smith and Professor Bennet for their mentorship. SUU helped her discover her love for travel, the outdoors and helping people. Jazzlyn was an instructor for the SUU Western Swing Dance Club and is proud of her personal growth. She thanks her loved ones for their support.

Walter Maxwell Gibson College of Natural Sciences - Kylee Stoddard

Kylee MarrisKylee Stoddard has been named the 2024 valedictorian for the Walter Maxwell Gibson College of Sciences. Majoring in chemistry, she plans to apply to dental school after graduation.

Originally from northern Utah, Stoddard was drawn to SUU for its small class sizes, beautiful campus and competitive chemistry curriculum. She credits Dr. Werner, Dr. Pierce and Dr. Monson for their impactful teaching. SUU helped her discover her passion for learning through deep relationships with professors. Stoddard thanks her professors and SUU for their support.

SUU's 2024 Commencement Ceremony

Southern Utah University’s Commencement Ceremony will be held on Thursday, April 25, 2024, at 7:00 p.m. in the America First Event Center. Individual College Degree Convocation Ceremonies will be held the following day, Friday, April 26, 2024. 

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

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