Elaine Eliason Englehardt is not only the highest paid woman at Utah Valley University, but also an accomplished academic and the special assistant to the president here at UVU. She is the hero for the week. Here is what she had to say:

Q: Your title states that you are the special assistant to the president. What exactly does that entail?

A: As special assistant to the president, I am the federal government legislative liaison. I’ve been doing this job for about seven years.

Through a grant-type process, I ask Senators Hatch and Bennett and Congressman Cannon and Matheson to fund special-needs projects for UVU. This year, with the help of many, I was able to bring in over $2 million.

Q: What were you doing prior to being the president’s special assistant?

A: I have been at UVU since 1976. I started as a journalism and English faculty member. I also advised the student newspaper. I did this for my first eight years.

In 1986, I became a humanities faculty member and taught a variety of courses. I also started working on the general education requirements.

In 1992, I designed, implemented and directed the Center for the Study of Ethics.

I was named a vice president at UVU under President Kerry Romesburg. I have also been an associate vice president for Academic Affairs.

I was a full time administrator from 1996 to 2005. In my nearly three decades at UVSC, I have enjoyed additional administrative positions, including dean, associate dean, and director and coordinator.

I am a distinguished professor of ethics, probably because of the successful implementation of my grants and scholarly activities in ethics. I am a dedicated teacher and love my students.

Q: What can you tell us about working with President Sederberg?

A: I enjoy my current position with President Sederburg. He is a true politician and gets along well with Senators Hatch, Bennett and Congressmen Cannon, Matheson and Bishop. Together, we decide which appropriations will be requested.

President Sederburg is well read. He is always reading a new nonfiction book that is challenging and interesting. He will often pass along favorite books to me.

We recently asked the senators to be part of President Sederburg’s television class. It was fun watching him visit with the Senators. He was to stick to a script and a time limit with each of them. This just didn’t work. He is a wonderful interviewer, and the visits went much longer than scheduled, and the questions were on many topics off the scripts.

Q: Outside of UVU, what are your hobbies?

A: Outside of UVU, I love to ski, run, hike, read and travel.

Q: Can you tell me a little bit about your family?

A: With my late husband Kirk, I have raised two children.
Rich, our son, is a physician specializing in surgery. He and his wife Amanda are both completing their residency programs at Michigan.

Kellie, our daughter, is director of public relations for Close to My Heart. She was also coordinator for public relations for the Ritz Carlton Hotel Corporation.

Our family loved to travel with Kellie’s benefits. We could stay at almost any Ritz Carlton or Marriott for a deep discount, so we’ve traveled most of Europe, China, Hong Kong, Australia, Canada, Cambodia, Saipan, Guam and Egypt.

Q: In one or two sentences, tell me something you would like to get across, any special message, to UVU students, faculty, and staff.

A: Work hard, play hard and love well. You will always cherish the time you have spent with family and friends. Get as much education as you possibly can. Then try to make your world a better place.