Inside the newsroom: Women winning the vote was about persistent leadership


Astrid S. Tuminez smiles to the crowd at the public meeting of the board of trustees where she is introduced as the seventh President of Utah Valley University in Orem on Friday, April 20, 2018.

Astrid S. Tuminez smiles to the crowd at the public meeting of the board of trustees where she is introduced as the seventh President of Utah Valley University in Orem on Friday, April 20, 2018. | Adam Fondren, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Valley University President Astrid S. Tuminez was 5 years old and living in the slums of the Philippines when Catholic nuns offered her a chance to go to school. As she tells it, that invitation changed the trajectory of her life. Hopes and dreams can mean something when they are matched with opportunity.

Today’s Deseret News contains an opinion piece from Tuminez, now a remarkable college president. She details the learnings that have come since COVID-19 changed everything for higher education. But to me the most compelling observation is this striking comment about the change that came when the virus hit.

“As reality sunk in, I realized that my team and I had to step up to a new level of leadership.”

That winning approach led her team to move 4,000 course sections online within two weeks. And they were just getting started. Ruth V. Watkins, president of the University of Utah, showed similar leadership, as her opinion piece in the Deseret News last week revealed, “The 4 key lessons COVID-19 has taught the University of Utah.”

Salt Lake Community College President Deneece Huftalin is charting a new course for thousands of students in Salt Lake City. She detailed that vision in her piece “COVID-19 brings a new look to community college,” with remarkable improvements in technology.

Strong leadership from women in Utah is the norm, with leaders not just in education, but in media, technology, philanthropy, religion, civil rights and government. You can draw a direct line to today’s leaders from the leadership of women 150 years ago …read more

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