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    Utah Women & Leadership Project relocated to USU

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    By Julene Reese
    USU Extension

    The Utah State University Jon M. Huntsman School of Business is now home to the Utah Women & Leadership Project, formerly located at Utah Valley University. Susan R. Madsen, founding director of the UWLP, will also relocate from UVU to USU as the inaugural Karen Haight Huntsman Endowed Professor of Leadership and will have a joint appointment with USU Extension.

    Susan Madsen has been a speaker in numerous local, national and international settings. Photo courtesy of USU

    The mission of the Utah Women & Leadership Project is to strengthen the impact of Utah girls and women.

    “We serve Utah and its residents by producing relevant, trustworthy research; creating and gathering valuable resources; and convening trainings and events that inform and ignite growth and change for all Utahns,” Madsen said.

    She said her team has created and compiled resources on topics related to girls and women in areas that coincide with USU Extension programs, such as health, wellbeing, safety, finances, home and family, and youth development. Resources include videos, podcasts, curriculum, toolkits, events and a website,, which will serve as a one-stop location for all UWLP and state resources on Utah girls and women.

    “Our research crosses over many of Extension’s programs,” Madsen said. “Our resources can be additional options for Extension to use in their programming, and Extension resources related to girls and women can be shared on our platforms as well. I view it as a win-win for both entities.”

    Madsen said UWLP research impacts girls and women in all areas of the state, and it will be especially beneficial to those in rural areas.

    “I believe that UWLP will provide community members around the state with new offerings and topics of focus that can enrich communities in new ways and support Extension in expanding their offerings through events, resources and research,” she said. “I could not be more thrilled about this partnership!”

    USU Extension Vice President Kenneth L. White said he is extremely excited about having Madsen and her program become part of Extension.

    “This will provide a wonderful opportunity to develop important statewide Extension programming that facilitates women’s leadership development,” he said. “Susan has a very impressive record of important contributions in this area, and partnering with our land-grant mission of directed community outreach creates an extraordinary opportunity for Utah communities.”

    Madsen has presented her research across the globe and has been heavily involved for decades in examining the lifetime development of prominent women leaders, including interviewing numerous women university presidents, U.S. governors and international leaders. Her research has been featured in U.S. News and World Report, The Atlantic, The New York Times, Parenting Magazine, Chronicle of Higher Education, The Washington Post and she is a regular contributor to Forbes. Madsen has published six books, hundreds of articles, has been a speaker in local, national and international settings and serves on numerous education boards and committees. She received a bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University, a master’s degree from Portland State University and a doctorate from the University of Minnesota.

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