Current Honorees

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Rebecca Devitt Welch,
Common Roles/Uncommon Lives »

Rebecca Devitt Welch was a dedicated, gentle, kind and loving mother of five that gave her full attention to her children's upbringing. She compiled nine volumes of scrapbooks for her children prior to her death from cancer in 1995.
Ronda Walker Weaver,
Women in Education/Business » Education

Ronda Walker Weaver teaches Folklore and Research Writing at Utah Valley University, she is also Assistant to the President of Learning for an online ESL education development company. In addition, she has worked with numerous non-profit organizations. Other accomplishments include founding the Timpanogos Singer Songwriter Alliance and the Orem City Arts Council as well as consulting for numerous start-up companies. Her research and writing has led to paper presentations at numerous conferences, and work in partnership with the Library of Congress. She is a board certified chaplain, serving at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center in Provo and at Cirque Lodge in Orem.
Ruth Hale,
Women in the Arts » Entertainment/Theatre

Ruth Hale, along with her husband, Nathan, founded Hale Centre Theatre, a thriving popular theater in the round still in existence. She was a successful playwright and actress, who had a profound influcence in the community with her positive and uplifting plays.
Ruth Novak,
Women in Science »

Ruth Novak is a pioneer for women in the aerospace industry, eventually becoming vice-president and general manager of Hercules Aerospace. Since her retirement she has served on numerous boards and was one of the founders of the Utah Math-Science Network and Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS), which strives to inspire teenage girls to pursue math and science fields.
Sandra Rogers,
Women in Science » Education

Sandra Rogers is the International Vice President at Brigham Young University. She has responsibility for the David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies, the Ambassadorial Visits Program, and BYU’s student abroad programs. In addition, she oversees the university’s Division of Continuing Education. Dr. Rogers previously served as the associate academic vice president for International, Distance and Continuing Education, and six years as dean of BYU’s College of Nursing. As a nursing professional and humanitarian, she has worked in the Philippines, Nigeria, Jordan, and Romania, and has consulted for United States Agency for International Development (USAID). She also has worked with the LDS Church’s Humanitarian Services Committee in Africa and Eastern Europe, has served on the LDS General Relief Society Board under two presidents, and is currently chair for the BYU Women’s Conference Committee.
Shana Montgomery,
Common Roles/Uncommon Lives »

Mother of eight and grandmother of 33 grandchildren, Shana Montgomery views family as more important than anything else. Shana holds a BA in English, and authored Esther Romania Bunnell Pratt Penrose: An Uphill Climb, the story of Utah’s first female doctor - published in Colleen Whitley’s book, Worth Their Salt Too. A lover of music and blessed with the ability to sing, she has sung with the Utah Symphony Chorale, and the Jay Welch Chorale.
Sheri Dew,
Women in Religious Roles » Business

Sheri Dew, a native of Ulysses, Kansas, learned to work and take responsibility at an early age. A graduate from Brigham Young University, she has authored numerous books, including the biographies of two presidents of the LDS Church: President Ezra Taft Benson, and President Gordon B. Hinckley. She served as second counselor in the General Presidency of the Relief Society from 1997 to 2002, and is a former U.S. delegate to the United Nations. Since March 2002, she has served as the chief executive officer of Deseret Book Company, and also executive vice-president of Deseret Management Corporation.
Shirlee Silversmith,
Women in Public Service »

Shirlee Silversmith is the Director of the Division of Indian Affairs within the Utah Department of Community and Culture and serves as the liaison between the Governor and Utah’s tribes. Previously, she worked with the Utah State Office of Education as the Indian Education Specialist for nearly 20 years, and as the Learning for Life Director at the Utah National Park’s Council. Born and raised on the White Mountain Apache Reservation in Central Eastern Arizona, Silversmith is an enrolled member of the Navajo (Dine') Nation. She received a bachelor of science in secondary education from Brigham Young University and a master in education from Arizona State University.
Shirley Matthews,
Common Roles/Uncommon Lives »

Shirley Ferguson Matthews was raised on a farm and learned from an early age the value of hard work. Inspired by her mother’s example, she places motherhood as her most valued accomplishment. A recent cancer diagnosis, along with a successful treatment program, consequently left her more appreciative of life and the opportunities that come with each new day.
Susa Young Gates,
Women of Letters » Education

Susa Young Gates (1856-1933) was the daughter of Brigham Young and Lucy Bigelow Young, and was the first child born in the Lion House. A prolific writer, she authored more than a dozen books, and published in Mormon sponsored journals such as the Woman's Exponent, Young Woman's Journal, and the Relief Society Magazine (the latter two of which she founded). Amongst her many achievements she organized the music, and the domestic science departments at Brigham Young University (BYU) and was appointed to the board of trustees. Twice appointed official US delegate to the International Women’s Congress, and organized the Utah Chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution. During the period of 1889-191, she served on the General Board of Young Ladies Mutual Improvement Association, LDS Church.
Susan Richards,
Women in Education/Business » Business

Susan Richards is a woman who understands challenge and adversity. When her husband went MIA during the Vietnam War, Richards returned to BYU to finish her degree while supporting her two children. She successfully climbed the corporate ladder working for high-tech and software companies in various roles including manager of Marketing Communications (Novell), and director of Corporate Communications (Symantec). After retiring, Richards began volunteering for groups including, People Helping People, and Welcome Baby. She concurrently chaired the advisory boards for both the Women’s Leadership Council of United Way, and the Women’s Success Center at Utah Valley University. Richards finds great fulfillment in helping to prepare women to enter the workforce by teaching them to lift themselves above challenges and to gain success through their talents and capabilities.
Susan R. Madsen,
Women in Education/Business » Education

Susan Madsen is a professor of management at Utah Valley University, and the Orin R. Woodbury Professor of Leadership and Ethics. She has been heavily involved, for many years, in researching the lifetime development of prominent women leaders - from which she has published two books, On Becoming a Woman Leader: Learning from the Experiences of University Presidents, and Developing Leadership: Learning from the Experiences of Women Governors. Professor Madsen is recognized internationally as an expert in the areas of women in education, and leadership - founding the Utah Women and Education Project in 2009, and the Utah Women and Leadership Project in 2013. She has received numerous awards and honors for her teaching and scholarship.
Vivan Lee,
Women in Science » Science/Medicine

Vivian Lee earned a bachelor's degree from Harvard-Radcliffe college and received a Rhodes Scholarship to study Medical Engineering at Oxford University. She entered medical school at Harvard at the age of nineteen and graduated with honors. She completed her residency at Duke specializing in Diagnostic Radiology where she also served as Chief Resident. Dr. Lee also completed an M.B.A. at NYU’s Stern School of Business in 2006. These accomplishments led her to be recognized in Crain's New York Business magazine's "40 under 40: New York's Rising Stars." She is the former Senior Vice President for Health Sciences at the University of Utah, Dean of the University’s School of Medicine, and CEO of University of Utah Health Care. She currently works as a radiology professor at the University of Utah.
Vivien Bohme,
Women in Education/Business » Business

In 2008, Vivien Bohme, in partnership with her sister Fernanda, launched Bohme Boutique with one storefront in Orem’s University Mall. Today, Bohme Boutique has grown into a thriving clothing company with multiple stores nationwide. Bohme Boutique now sits among the top 10 women owned businesses in the United States. This rapid rise, in a highly completive industry, speaks of determination, focus, and resilience.
Toshiko Toyota-Okutsu,
Women in Science » Science/Medicine

Dr. Toshiko Toyota-Okutsu was a pioneer in women's medicine. She was one of the first Asian female physicians in Utah. She attended medical school in Philadelphia during World War II while her Japanese American family was interned at a Japanese internment camp--Minidoka Rolocation Center in the Magic Valley area of Idaho. She started her medical practice in Salt Lake City in 1946 shortly after the war ended. Throughout her career she took care of many immigrant families. By the time of her retirement in the 1980's and ultimately her death in 1993, she delivered over three generations of babies to countless families.
Lorna C. Alder,
Common Roles/Uncommon Lives » Education

Lorna Adler (1907-2013) taught at BYU for 35 years in the Education and Art Colleges. She was called to the LDS General Board of the Sunday School where she served for 19 years, and was responsible for writing many of the manuals used for the children of the church. She served as President of the Sorosis Women’s Club, member of the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers, and in the leadership of BYU Women. After retiring from BYU, and beginning at the age of 72, she served a full time proselyting mission, and two temple missions in South America. Lorna received the BYU Distinguished Alumni Award, and co-authored a book at the age of 101, which received the award for Best International Publication from the Mormon History Association, and an award from Who’s Who of American Women.
Michelle Taylor,
Women in Education/Business » Education

Michelle O. Taylor was appointed as Vice President of Student Affairs at Utah Valley University in June 2013. Her twenty year career in higher education with her specialty in social work administration and policy has helped the institution navigate several major transitions. She graduated from the University of Utah with Masters of Social Work, MSW, in 1995 and completed her Masters of Public Policy Administration, MPA and Social Work Administration, Ph.D. in 2002.

Michelle has been a trusted friend and advocate of students, focusing on underrepresented students with diverse backgrounds. She has co-written and secured grants for millions of dollars, serves on multiple Boards and Committees, and presents at national and international conferences. She has received many honors and awards including Outstanding Professional, Adjunct Instructor of the Year, Excellence in Leadership, and Rainmaker Award for the Advanced Advocacy of Women. She was also awarded the UVU Board of Trustees Award of Excellence.
Adonica I. Kauwe,
Women in Education/Business » Education

Adonica I. Kauwe is the Assistant Director of Development for Student Affairs and Inclusion. Deeply committed to providing opportunities for all students, Adonica advocates for support to promote inclusivity, engaged learning, and student success. She grew up in Hawaii and Utah in very humble circumstances where she learned the value of hard work and the need for education. In 2007 to provide for the well-being of her family, she came to UVU to seek a college education.
Elaine S. Dalton,
Women in Religious Roles »

Elaine S. Dalton is chair of the Board of Trustees for Utah Valley University. She served as the thirteenth Young Women general president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 2008 2013, having previously served as second counselor and as first counselor in the Young Women general presidency. Previous to that she served on the Young Women General Board. She received her bachelor’s degree in English from Brigham Young University. She owned her own Interior Design business. She and her husband are the parents of five sons and one daughter.
Kathren Brown,
Women in Education/Business » Education

Kathren Brown is the associate vice president of Academic Administration at UVU. She grew up in a small rural community in Michigan. She attended a small private liberal arts college in Michigan as a first generation college graduate. Later she received a full-ride scholarship to attend Bowling Green State University where she holds a Ph.D. in Russian history. Her portfolio includes expertise in areas such as stewarding academic policies, faculty hiring and retention, academic IT, and Faculty Convocation. She has served as the academic liaison for the new classroom building on UVU campus and also received two fellowship at the Holocaust Museum.
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