Community on the Go

Program Hosts

Operation Overlord: the D-Day Experience
Patricia Keehley
Patricia Keehley | Emerita Faculty

Dr. Keehley arrived in Cedar City from Breckenridge, CO in 2003 and the following year she became the inaugural Director of the MPA program at SUU. She brought her previous experiences as a federal employee, entrepreneur, and political appointee to Cedar City where she served on Cedar’s Planning Commission, SUU’s Presidential Search Committee, and a nonprofit board. She’s also volunteered for numerous university and community events.

Dr. Keehley is no stranger to international travel. In 2009 she served as a Fulbright Scholar in China. She’s consulted with public agencies in Peru, Guam, Palau, American Samoa, and with the United Nations in Geneva, and AID in Egypt. She helped launch and co-instructed three MPA study abroad programs to Europe. For fun, she’s traveled several times to Australia, enjoyed Bangkok, and loves Iceland in summer.

Dr. Keehley retired from SUU in 2015 but continues part-time as Director of the Community on the Go program. Although she graduated as a bulldog from the University of Georgia, we know she’ll always be a T-Bird.

Gayle L. Pollock
Gayle L. Pollock

Gayle L. Pollock is the director and chief executive officer for the Bryce Canyon Natural History Association, an educational foundation that partners with the National Park Service at Bryce Canyon National Park. With over 21 years of service, Mr. Pollock has been an influential force in the development of educational programming and historical research including a recently completed oral history project for the park.

Since his early youth, Gayle has held a passion for history, especially for the World War II years. This life-long pursuit has led to extensive travel and research in both Europe and the Pacific Theatre. His travels have included multiple trips to the D-Day beaches of Normandy, France and visits to historic battlefield locations at Iwo Jima, Guam, Saipan, Tinian, Hawaii and mainland Japan. He is currently working on a book project that chronicles the valor and service of several of the men and women from the Bryce Canyon area during World War II.

Mr. Pollock is a graduate of Southern Utah University with a bachelor’s of science degree in geology and a master’s degree in public administration. In 2005, he was appointed to the SUU Board of Trustees and served as board chair from 2010-2013. His current executive leadership includes service as the advisory board chair for the Walter Maxwell Gibson College of Science and Engineering and the Community Advisory Board (CAB).

Gayle and his wife Marie are the parents of four grown children and make their home in Tropic, Utah.

Richard Saunders
Richard Saunders | Dean

Dr. Richard Saunders is an academic librarian and Dean of Library Services at Southern Utah University. A graduate of Utah State University, he holds a library degree from Brigham Young University and a PhD from the University of Memphis with an emphasis on the social history of recent America, and is professionally accredited by the Academy of Certified Archivists. His professional work experience includes service at the Utah State Historical Society, Montana State University, in the production side of commercial publishing, and at the University of Tennessee at Martin. Though a professional librarian, he has conducted historical research across the US and published widely, on Yellowstone literature, early Utah printing, Montana history, the work of historian Dale L. Morgan, Tennessee novelist Harry Kroll, and the civil rights movement in rural areas during the 1950s and 60s.

Inca Empire - Peru
Iliana Portaro
Iliana Portaro | Assistant Professor of Spanish

Dr. Iliana Portaro has been an Assistant Professor of Spanish at SUU since 2013. She was born in Lima, Peru and grew up in Southern California. She received her B.A. (English and Spanish/ Minor in Latin American Studies) from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2004. She later received an M.A. (2007) and Ph.D. (2013) in Latin American Literatures and Cultures from the University of California, Davis.

Her specializations include 19th and 20th-century Latin American literature, women’s studies, the intersection between literature and journalism, non-fictional genres, and Peruvian literature. Her research analyzes the works of female Peruvian intellectuals at the beginning of the twentieth century and how journalism is used as a place of encounters and transgressions, crucial for the formation of a female intellectual subjectivity.?

Emily Dean
Emily Dean | Associate Professor of Anthropology/Department Chair

Dr. Emily Dean (Ph.D., U.C. Berkeley) is an archaeologist specializing in the prehistory of the Andean region of South America. Before coming to SUU, she taught as a visiting instructor at Colgate University in New York and at the University of California, Berkeley. She has conducted archaeological and anthropological field work in the U.S., Peru, Bolivia, England, and Australia.

Christmas in London
Jeb Branin
Jeb Branin | Associate Dean & Executive Director of Experiential Learning

Jeb Branin is an Associate Dean at Southern Utah University. He has taught theatre at the collegiate level for almost 25 years. Jeb is the founder and director of the SUU - Theatre in London program and is fortunate to spend part of every summer in London introducing SUU students to the magic of theatre on the West End. He will be coordinating the plays we attend (participants get to vote on what they want to see) and his happy to conduct pre and post-show discussions for those who are interested.

Pam Branin
Pam Branin | Associate Director

Halloween in Transylvania
Kyle Bishop
Kyle Bishop | Academic Coord of Honors Program

Kyle Bishop is an associate professor of English and the director of the SUU Honors Program. As a scholar of all things popular culture, he has been leading dynamic summer study-abroad programs for seven years now; including, Harry Potter in the United Kingdom, British Gothic Literature, The Lord of the Rings in New Zealand, and Frankenstein Across Central Europe. He has an academic background in art history as well as literature and film, and he will be available for anyone who wants a little primer in the wacky world of modern art or who wants to learn more about Dracula and the monstrous side of London - and he'll of course be taking anyone interested to see Harry Potter film sites, including the WB Studio museum.