To honor five of Utah’s female presidents of higher education, Girl Scouts of Utah bestowed the 2018 Girl Champion award to Dr. Noelle Cockett, Dr. Bethami Dobkin, Dr. Deneece Huftalin, Dr. Astrid Tuminez and Dr. Ruth Watkins.
The event took place Oct. 12 at the Marriott in Salt Lake City. With over 100 people in attendance on the International Day of the Girl, Girl Scouts announced the observance day will now be a statewide observance day for the citizens of Utah, according to Gov. Herbert.
As of this fall, half of Utah’s colleges and universities are led by women, and 70 percent of all students here in Utah are led by women, according to Girl Scouts leaders.
UVU’s president, Dr. Astrid Tuminez was one of five women given the honor of Girl Champion. Having had a rough start, Tuminez’s mother left their family when she was five leaving her father to raise seven children in poverty in the Philippines. With the added difficulty of having not having basic amenities and unable, Tuminez through determination and mentorship from influential women in her life was able to achieve the role she holds today as UVU’s first female president.
“One of the most important women who championed me when I was in the sixth grade was my teacher in English,” said Tuminez. “What it meant for me, for someone to champion me was that I was able to see my own worth in a different light; it made me feel like I was special.”
Tuminez further explained that because the English teacher was a highly praised teacher, it made receiving her attention more fulfilling.
With over 76 percent of female United States senators, 80 percent of female tech leaders and 50 percent of female business leaders being former Girl Scouts, the Girl Scouts mission to build girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place is being fulfilled.
“There’s a message that I’d like all Girl Scouts and UVU students to internalize,” said Tuminez. “Failure does not define you, grit defines you. Your ability to get up defines you.”