Why I Choose SUU: Ryan Sunderman

Southern Utah University – what a school! I’m only a sophomore, and I’ve already found my home. 

The day I walked onto campus as a dewy-eyed freshman, it didn’t take long until I truly recognized that I was home. I had no reason or desire to leave then, and don’t now.

SUU was a great option for me. I went on a tour, and the ambassador who showed me around campus listened to what I wanted, showed me what I’d like, took note of what I wouldn’t and helped me make connections. 

I mentioned that I was interested in videography, and she wasted no time setting up a brief introduction with Lee Byers, who is part of the Communication department and the head of ThunderVision. This truly  helped pave the way for my future.

My freshman year, I had some of the best roommates and made some of the best friends. I honestly never thought I would care about football as much as I do today. Lo and behold, I’ve been to more games in a year and a half at college than I have in 18 years on this earth. 

There were rough patches, but I couldn’t ask for better friends, better professors or better mentors. My ACE, Jocelyn Duncan, was one of the best. I know everyone says that, but it’s true!

 Leading into my sophomore year, I’m only a semester in and so much has already happened. Never would I have thought to get involved in student government, but I’m so glad I did. 

I interviewed for the student videographer position within the Office of Student Involvement and Leadership, and I have had some of the best bosses. It has opened so many avenues for me. 

In a way, I genuinely think I have made just as many connections (if not more) as if I would have joined a fraternity. This is something I could put on a resume and be looked at just as seriously as any other candidate, especially if this relied on a specific skill set or job for videography.

Through this job, I attended a leadership conference up at Salt Lake Community College over the summer. There were other members of SUUSA and the advisors over STIL and SUUSA at the conference as well. I also attended a team retreat where I got  to know my team that I have the privilege of working with this year.

I love SUU because of all the opportunities I’ve gotten through my choice to come here. In addition to school, Cedar City is a small town where there’s something new I can discover every week. 

SUU is in the backyard of the national parks, with five national parks or monuments within a day’s drive, 4 of which I personally have been to and highly encourage everyone to go check out.

At the end of the day, SUU has something for everyone. If you are reading this wondering if SUU is the school is for you, take a closer look. Take a tour. Get to know people. You will be welcome here.


Story and Photos by: Ryan Sunderman