Current Honorees

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Dianne Bjarnson,
Women in Education/Business » Education

Dianne Bjarnson has practiced as a midwife for over 30 years, assisting over 1,300 births. In 1980, she founded the Midwives College of Utah (formerly the Utah School of Midwifery; the first accredited midwifery college in the state of Utah). Midwives College of Utah is one of the largest and longest standing direct-entry midwifery programs in the nation. Bjarnson was president of the college for the first 20 years and is currently a faculty member of the college, and also sits on the College Board. Additionally, as a master herbalist and instructor for The School of Natural Healing she counsels women in the use of nutrition, herbs, and natural procedures for healthy pregnancies and safe childbirth.
Dora Lopez,
Common Roles/Uncommon Lives »

Dora Lopez is a mother who sacrificed much in order to cross the U.S. border to improve her life and the lives of her posterity.
Doris Madsen Brunatti,
Women in the Arts » Music

Doris Madsen Brunatti is a opera and Classical concert soloist. As a mezzo-contralto, she has performed at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Temple Square, and Abravanel Hall. As a vocal teacher and mentor to her students, Brunatti adopts a classically legitimate teaching style that speaks to the integrity of a performance. Coached and mentored by Annette Richardson Dinwoodey, herself a contralto, Brunatti learned how to shape sounds, and to appreciate that in its purest delivery, truth is in the sound.
Elaine Englehardt,
Women in Education/Business » Education

Elaine Englehardt is a distinguished professor of ethics, and philosophy at Utah Valley University (UVU). She has taught ethics, philosophy, and communication classes at UVU for the past thirty-eight years. She has written and directed seven multi-year, national grants; the first from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), which funded the beginning of the ethics and values core interdisciplinary course at UVU. From this work, she is considered the founder of the Ethics Across the Curriculum movement. Professor Englehardt is the author of eight books, and the co-editor of the journal Teaching Ethics. She has served in various administrative positions at UVU including vice president, dean, and director.
Ellen James,
Common Roles/Uncommon Lives »

Ellen James volunteered for many organizations including Timponogos Storytelling Festival and the 2002 Winter Olympics. She also worked for Senator Mike Lee's campaign and currently serves in his Washington  D.C. office.
Doris Judd,
Common Roles/Uncommon Lives »

Doris Judd lives a life of sacrifice and service with an attitude of optimism and humor. Turning the challenge of needing to continually uproot her growing family from one remote location to another into an ongoing adventure for her children, she was able to support her husband’s Air Force career in a positive way. Doris has chosen to live her life believing that unavoidable change provides opportunities for growth. Her capacity to love extends beyond her family circle, enabling her to touch the lives of others in positive and supportive ways, both in her travels and in her various church-related assignments.
Enid Barr Cosgriff,
Women of Charity »

Enid Barr Cosgriff (1912-1997) founded the Ballet Society, which supported the new ballet department at the University of Utah. This organization resulted in the establishment of the Utah Civic Ballet, now Ballet West. During the early years Enid hosted many artists from around the world to support growth for the ballet company. She also assisted in the renovation of the Holy Cross Hospital, and the founding of the first Pink Ladies volunteer organization. Serving as President and General Manager of the Salt Lake City Bees baseball team, she became the first woman in professional baseball to assume the responsibilities of general manager. Remembered for her boundless energy, she lived her life in service of her family, community, and her church. In 1988, she received one of the highest honors bestowed by the Catholic Church when Pope John Paul II created her a Lady of the Equestrian Order of Holy Sepulchre. She was financially and personally involved in many service and arts organizations. She was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Utah in 1989.
Esme Anderson,
Women in Science »

Esme Anderson is a family nurse practitioner providing health care to students, faculty, and staff at the UVU Health Center. She also runs her own clinic, Athena Women’s Clinic. Esme holds a Master of Science and family nurse practitioner from the University of Utah; her early training began at the Florence Nightingale School, St Thomas's Hospital, London, UK. Born and raised in Scotland, Esme learned at an early age, through the example of her mother, to recognize and respond to the needs of others.
Gail Miller,
Women of Charity » Business

Gail Miller is the owner of Larry H. Miller Group of Companies. Gail and her late husband, Larry, grew their businesses into one of the largest privately owned companies in the United States. Gail’s strong legacy of giving back includes the creation of the Larry H. Miller Education Foundation, and Larry H. Miller Charities. Gail is the chair of the board of trustees of Salt Lake Community College, serves on the National Advisory Council at the University of Utah, and sits on the board of trustees for Intermountain Healthcare, and Zions Bank. She has received numerous awards for her contributions and service to Utah including the Athena Award, Bronze Minuteman Award, Legacy of Life Award, Continuum of Caring Award, and Utah Best of State Award in the Individual Humanitarian Community Development-Private Sector.
Gay Beck,
Women in Education/Business » Education

Gay Beck is an award-winning educator with a passion for teaching. She is currently a kindergarten teacher at Highland Elementary School in the Alpine School District. In 2011, she was awarded Utah’s Teacher of the Year, followed a year later with the California Casualty Award for teaching excellence. She was also awarded the Pearson Foundation Global Fellowship. Her dedication to enriching the lives of her young students is evident in her compassionate and insightful teaching style.
Genevieve Atwood,
Women in Science »

Genevieve Atwood is the former Utah State Geologist, who was a key player in stabilizing the Thistle slide in 1980 helping to prevent any additional damage. She is a prominent Utah scientist who served six years in Utah House of Representatives.
Hedvig Marie Olsen Jenson,
Common Roles/Uncommon Lives »

Hedvig Marie Olsen Jenson (1823-1914) was born in Denmark and with great sacrifice immigrated to Utah in 1863. She married Hans Christian Jensen in 1846 and together they had eight children.She loved music and played the violin to the delight of her family.
Helen Smith,
Common Roles/Uncommon Lives »

Helen Smith, raised during the Great Depression, learned at an early age the value of personal responsibility and hard work. She benefited from the example of her mother and other women in her community who were models of resilience and resourcefulness. Helen is a gifted singer and loves directing music. She belonged to the American Fork Civic Chorus and was a charter member from its inception, has directed music for over 50 years, and has sung at 130 funerals. Helen is the mother of three daughters, and is now a great-great- grandmother.
Irene Ellison,
Common Roles/Uncommon Lives »

Irene Ellison was born in 1923. As a young adult during World War II she learned certain characteristics that have guided her throughout her life. She acquired a sense of resourcefulness attributed to her "strong pioneer heritage" and her mother, who lived during the Great Depression. She also developed a musical talent. She plays the piano, organ, violin and French horn. Besides a gift for playing instruments, her musical capabilities include singing.
Jaclyn Hunt Herrin,
Women in Public Service »

Jaclyn (Jackie) Hunt Herrin, Miss Utah 2001, focused her platform on raising organ donation awareness for Intermountain Donor Services (IDS). Her work with IDS spanned five years. Jackie has been challenged with eye problems for much of her life, which led her to volunteer for the Utah Lions Eye Bank. She started working with cornea donation awareness and later focused on organ donation as well.
Jan Chamberlin,
Common Roles/Uncommon Lives »

Jan Chamberlin has her private voice degree from BYU where she studied with acclaimed dramatic opera tenor, the late Ray Arbizu. She teaches in both musical theater and classical styles, and has over 30 years of voice teaching experience. Jan has performed in venues for recitals, house concerts, and musical theater productions in the state of Utah, including The Assembly Hall on Temple Square, and Springville Art Museum Recital Series. She sang and recorded with the audition choirs of BYU, Salt Lake Vocal Ensemble, Cathedral of the Madeleine, Canti con Brio (BYU Alumni Choir), and Eastman School of Music. Jan sings soprano with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir on the weekly broadcasts of Music and the Spoken Word. She is an active member of NATS, MTNA, Festival, and AIM.
Jaynann Morgan Payne,
Common Roles/Uncommon Lives »

Jaynann Payne was named Mrs. Utah in 1968 and the second runner up for Mrs America. As a motivational speaker, mother of 12 children, and a delagate in 1977 for the International Women's Year, she has spent her life in the service of others.
Jeanetta Williams,
Women in Public Service »

Jeanetta Williams’ professional and community service has centered on her passion and absolute dedication in addressing discrimination and human right issues. She has served as president for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) for over 20 years; she also serves on the NAACP National Board of Directors. Through her active involvement and leadership she has made significant contributions, some of which include: founder of the Utah Conference of Minority Transportation Officials Chapter, co-founder of the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce Multi-Ethnic Business Committee, member of the Utah State Bar Ethics and Discipline Committee, Co-Chair of the Pre-Adjudication Committee of the Utah Task Force on Racial and Ethnic Fairness in the Legal System, advocate for low income/disadvantaged persons and Senior Citizens for public transportation and equal housing laws in Salt Lake, and led efforts in class action lawsuits on zoning ordinances in Utah. Jeanetta has received numerous recognition awards for her work, including the Utah Women’s Achievement Award from the Governor’s Commission for Women and Families, the Medgar Evers Distinguished Service Awards, the 1989 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Civil Rights award, the Rosa Parks Award given by the NAACP Salt Lake Branch, and she was the first recipient of the YWCA Racial Justice Award in 2006.
Jill Mulvay Derr,
Women of Letters »

Jill Mulvay Derr is a historian for the Historical Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She was an American history professor at Brigham Young University, director of the Joseph Fielding Smith Institute for Church History, and the president of the Mormon History Association. She is the author, co-author, or editor of several articles and books including, Women’s Voices: An Untold History of the Latter-day Saints, 1830–1900 (with Kenneth W. Godfrey and Audrey M. Godfrey), Women of Covenant: The Story of Relief Society (with Janath Russell Cannon and Maureen Ursenbach Beecher), and Eliza R. Snow: The Complete Poetry (with Karen Lynn Davidson).
Julia Caswell,
Common Roles/Uncommon Lives »

Julia Caswell was born under the oppressive environment of communist Bulgaria. However, her family was able to leave when her father was transferred to Algeria for a 2-year work assignment. Not wanting to return to Bulgaria at the end of that period, the family, through a series of miraculous events, managed to escape to France. Remarkably, years later in 1989, Julie was assigned to be the broadcaster (working for Voice of America) who would announce to the Bulgarian population, the end of communist rule. Julie’s multilingual capacities (speaking Bulgarian, English, Russian, and French) has proved valuable as she and her children moved around the world to various assignments connected to her husband’s career in the State Department, and her own professional work as teacher, translator, writer, and broadcaster.
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