Astrid Tuminez spoke for the first time since being elected UVU president on August 15, saying her first 100 days in the presidency will be ones of listening and learning.

Held by the PACE Staff Association, the forum held in the UCCU Center began with a short film. Presented by Interim President Jeff Olson, the video showcased Tuminez’s journey from being a student who couldn’t read, to accomplishing many professional endeavors over her lifetime.

With narratives from those close to Tuminez, the video recollected the many challenges she had overcome, showcasing her as a woman who utilized education to lead a successful life.

Speaking to a crowd of hundreds, Tuminez began by thanking attendees and joking about her height. Mentioning Barbara Young and Emily Brown of fleet services, she joked that they gave her a booster seat after struggling to find a car that worked with her small stature.

Touching on topics ranging from potential challenges to the importance of libraries, Tuminez expressed that she looks forward to the whirlwind of learning opportunities that are to come.

“I come to this job feeling very humble in realizing that I have a lot to learn,” Tuminez said.

Mentioning she had read books about presidential transitions to prepare for her own, she emphasized that while many challenges are forecasted, she is fully dedicated to serving all members of the UVU community.

“This is something that’s very full of meaning and full of promise,” Tuminez said. “It’s the type of challenge that I think will motivate me to get up every morning and feel really energized.”

Currently serving as Microsoft’s Regional Director of Corporate, External, and Legal Affairs at Microsoft Southeast Asia, Tuminez addressed rumors that UVU might become a “Microsoft-only” university.

“The answer to technology is not a product, the answer to technology is leadership,” she said. “Leadership is strategic thinking and execution. At the end of the day you’re best off with a very secure platform that works well, and that people can understand.”

Nathan Gerber, the Professional Association of Campus Employees (PACE) Staff Association President says the questions were compiled from dozens of staff questions gathered from a surveyor.

Tuminez who will officially start Sept. 17, is still currently in the moving process. Gerber says a main goal within organizing this event was getting it to coincide with Tuminez’s busy schedule.

“She’s still full-time with Microsoft, she’s moving her family and trying to get settled in, this is a huge transitional time,” Gerber said. “We’ve been in coordination with the president’s office, chief of staff Justin Jones, and the transition committee that’s helping president Tuminez transition as smoothly as possible.”

Ultimately, Gerber says that the new president will bring some characteristics to the table that will be instrumental in helping students succeed.

“Inclusivity is huge for her. Diversity is huge for her. Technology is huge for her. All of these play into student success and where we want to take the university, Gerber said. “It’s a phenomenal connection.”

Photography by Markell Woolstenhulme

Instagram: @miss_martha_markell

Vince Vides
News Editor