SUU holds academic Festival of Excellence

From student presentations to keynote speaker Paula Marshall, Southern Utah University’s Festival of Excellence events spread across campus on March 30.

The Festival of Excellence is an annual event where students, staff and faculty are able to present their research, projects, displays and performances to the public. Included in these presentations are capstone projects and class-wide projects. 

Jon Smith’s Advanced Film and Production course premiered their short film, “Wonderstone,” at this event—allowing directors and others who worked on the project to present their work to an audience of their peers and mentors. 

“Being able to talk and present to these highly esteemed minds was breathtaking,” said actor and director Nick McEuen. “Their interaction and genuine interest in what we had put the backbreaking work into made the project feel all the more special.” 

For other students, it was the first time they were able to present their work to anyone outside of their courses. 

“It was really fun and a new experience since I’ve never been able to present a film in front of a bunch of people and be able to talk about the camera work to people who are actually invested and interested,” said Alex Fryer who worked on both camera and throughout the editing process.

Students not only presented throughout the day but also had the opportunity to listen to the research of others. 

“It was super cool to see the research others had done and watch them present it,” said Megan Newbold, a junior at SUU. 

The Festival of Excellence also included keynote speaker Paula Marshall, the CEO of BAMA Frozen Dough. 

Marshall has written numerous books and supplies 100% of frozen pies in the United States through her company. She is a successful third-generation family business owner and subscribes to Dr. W. Edwards Deming and his system of profound knowledge. 

Her company’s mission statement is, “People helping people be successful.” 

She is able to accomplish this mindset by helping team members take accountability across the board. She also supports them physically through on-property medical clinics, health facilities and lawyers that offer services to all team members. Though this love of her people does not end with the company’s mission statement.

“Love and honor every soul, every second,” is Marshall’s personal mission statement that has helped her to overcome the doubt placed upon her. 

It is through this mindset that this supply chain was able to rise from pits and flourish among their competitors. 

“Listen to what others have to share,” Marshall said.

It is that phrase that the Festival of Excellence truly encapsulates. While listening to one another, students, staff and faculty are able to learn more about one another and the research they have to offer. 


Article and Photo by: Audrey Gee