Celebrating women warriors: President Tuminez’s RootsTech keynote speech

The celebration of International Women’s Day on March 8 brought President Astrid Tuminez’s keynote speech at the RootsTech Conference into perspective. In the speech, Tuminez proudly acknowledged the “women warriors” that have inspired her to become who she is today.

Born in the Philippines, Tuminez recognized the difficulties from which she came. Both of her parents pursued educational opportunities for her and her siblings, laying a foundation of hard work and determination that, according to Tuminez, determined the trajectory of her life.

“My journey from the village to the slums and later to the University of the Philippines, Brigham Young University, Harvard and MIT and now UVU wouldn’t have been possible without my mother’s vision and fighting spirit,” Tuminez said in the speech. “I am the third generation among women warriors.” 

Tuminez is the first female president to serve Utah Valley University. After accepting the position in 2018, Tuminez has strived to improve the university. Her presidency has witnessed the construction of new additions all around campus, including the completion of the UVU Pedestrian Bridge, the groundbreaking of the Scott C. Keller Business building, and the renovation of the Sorenson Center. 

“[I] look forward to leading Utah Valley University to its next level of success,” Tuminez said in a brief address at the beginning of her appointment. “Education frees the human spirit, and UVU’s dual-mission, which emphasizes engaged learning and inclusivity, gives students from many different backgrounds the same opportunity to access higher education and transform their lives.”

Tuminez’s attitude of inclusivity has not waivered, according to the many students who have worked closely with her.

“[We] love this idea of women being warriors! It shows that women are strong, brave, and resilient. We see these amazing qualities in so many of our women of UVU members! Each woman in our organization comes from different backgrounds and they all have different unique qualities, and each one is amazing at pursuing their educational goals and encouraging others to be their inner warrior,” the Women of UVU Leadership Council said in response to Tuminez’s keynote speech.

“As an organization, we strive to help empower women and help them see their potential as warriors. We are so lucky to be surrounded by amazing women warriors at UVU. We are especially lucky to have a female President of UVU who is a great example of being a powerful and inspiring warrior! President Tuminez is amazing!”

Tuminez described education as the “great equalizer” and concluded her keynote speech by acknowledging the types of opportunities education can afford people. According to Tuminez, these opportunities are what fuel the direction in which she leads UVU. 

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