Three Inspiring Women in the SUU Community

Southern Utah University is celebrating International Women’s Week, and the many inspiring women on campus are worth celebrating. Here are three of those women that inspire students and staff to both work harder and be better people.


Pam Branin, Associate Director of Community Engagement Center

The first inspiring woman on the list is Pam Branin. Pam is the director at the Community Engagement Center at SUU. 

When asked about a woman in the community who is inspiring to him, Jacob Klem, a worker at the CEC, immediately recommended Branin. He is impressed with how involved she is in the community. 

Branin’s favorite part about her job is seeing kindness and positivity from those around her, especially students. 

“Everyone on our campus and in the broader community has needs and something to contribute,” Branin said. “Working together, we can build a strong community that’s inclusive, accessible, and supportive of everyone.”


Tracy Sanders, Head Coach of SUU Women’s Basketball 

Coach Tracy Sanders just finished her third season as head coach for the women’s basketball team at SUU. 

The season before Sanders got here, in 2017-18, the team finished an abysmal 3-27. In her first season, they improved by five wins. Then in her second season here, Sanders led the Thunderbirds to one of their best seasons in recent memory, and the second-highest scoring season in program history. 

Sanders just wrapped up a third season amidst the changes brought about by COVID-19. The Thunderbirds had a whopping 11 games canceled, but they were still able to finish 11-9 with a first-round bye in the Big Sky Conference tournament. 

Sanders has helped the T-Birds to steadily improve every year that she has been a coach, and she has made the women’s basketball program one that is always exciting to watch. 


Donna De Silva, Nursing Professor

Professor Donna De Silva is in charge of the SUU Student Nurses Association and is always helping students to find volunteer and service hours.

She is loved by many of her students, and is a great example of pursuing one’s dreams. Julia Dalton, a nursing student at SUU, raved about De Silva for her perseverance.

De Silva’s dream was to be a nurse, and she started nursing school after she had kids. In order to help pay for school and support her family, De Silva went an uncommon route and became a truck driver. According to her, she was the only female truck driver, and she would often get teased. Donna eventually made it through nursing school and began working in the pediatrics field.


Story by: Christian Esparza
Photo by: CoWomen on