Top 5 clubs at DSU for the 2022-2023 school year

by Daniella Centeno, guest writer

As the school year progresses to a close, awards season is upon university organizations and faculty. 

The five nominees for Club of the Year for the Dixie Awards have made strides this year that made a difference in the community at DSU. Cesar Ruiz, a junior English major from Littlefield, Arizona, and vice president of clubs and organizations, said the clubs have made a huge comeback with making their presence felt after a difficult year and half due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

With the new school year coming up, Ruiz said he would like to see clubs come out of their comfort zone when reaching out to students, and he believes in finding creative ways to achieve that. 

The top five clubs on campus this semester currently up for Club of the Year award are Black Student Union, Healthy Trailblazers Coalition, Japanese Culture Club, Pickleball Club and Radiologic Technologist Association.

Black Student Union

 BSU is the only club linked to the Center for Inclusion and Belonging to make the list. BSU’s mission is to cultivate an understanding of Black cultures, its people and their accomplishments.

BSU President Xochile Avila, a sophomore communication studies major from Ogden, said this year the club made a difference through focusing on events showing the essence of Black excellence. She wanted to put on events that were fun for people but also more family oriented because there is a small percentage of Black students that are on campus. It was getting students to get out of their comfort zone and come to club events and participate.

Healthy Trailblazers Coalition 

The Healthy Trailblazers Coalition is a student organization focused on promoting physical and mental well-being on campus through resources, activities and support. Saige Coates, a sophomore pre-nursing major from Herriman and president of the club, said the difference the club made this year was by providing countless resources for students. 

Coates said a few ways have they have shown this is through adding a second Rx drop off box  on campus, making Deterra disposable drug kits (a way get rid of Rx and OTC medications) more accessible, being involved in campus RA Naloxone training, and hosting multiple events based on wellness and stress relief. 

The club was very active in volunteering, creating ties with other clubs, and community liaisons such as Utah Support Advocates for Recovery Awareness. 

Japanese Culture Club

The Japanese Culture Club is a club dedicated to Japanese culture, cuisine, entertainment, traditions, etc. It’s a community that allows students to get a chance to learn and immerse themselves in authentic Japanese culture through activities. 

Gregory DeWitt, a junior history and criminology major from Kimberly, Wisconsin, and president of the club, said: “What the club really strives for is to be a fun place to go and relax for a day during a long school year. I felt we were able to teach our members a lot about Japanese culture, which is ultimately what we strive for first and foremost.” 

Radiologic Technologists Association

The Radiologic Technologists Association is a student-led organization that works together to move forward the medical imaging profession to provide better health quality service. 

Ali Morgan, a junior medical radiography major from Bend, Oregon, and president of the association, said the club made a difference by being a helping hand this year. 

“We made it to a ton of service projects this year and actually serviced the most service hours out of all the clubs on campus,” Morgan said. 

They had two teams in the Great Race, attended every ICC meeting, and helped at as many campus service projects as the club could. 

Pickleball Club

The Pickleball Club is a student-led club where students can play pickleball whether it be casual or competitive. Matthew Morgan, senior accounting major from Santa Clara and president of the club, said the club created a consistent activity that allowed students to compete in a fun and safe environment. 

Morgan said it was very rewarding when he would receive texts from people being genuinely happy to simply be invited to pickleball nights. 

“I’ve realized that there are so many people on campus with nothing to do during the night and that they are just waiting to be invited out to do things,” Morgan said. 

Morgan said he would like their tournaments geared towards charity, as this is something he has recently been doing with recent tournaments.

5 stress-reducing tricks to help you conquer finals week

Finals week is quickly approaching, and students are getting closer to the finish line, which is stirring up feelings of stress among the student body.

If you are feeling overwhelmed by the endless list of assignments, papers, projects and exams you have due in the next two weeks, take a deep breath and check out the five ways you can reduce your stress during finals week.

Don’t cram

It can be easy to convince yourself you can wait until the last moment to start studying for an exam because you tell yourself you’ll just cram the information in right before the exam. Spencer Bell, assistant psychology professor, said cramming information for an exam can hurt students in the long run, especially if they need to retain that information for other classes in the future.

Bell recommends students try to study a little bit after each class to help aid in remembering the subject material. While cramming may seem like a tempting option, for students who tend to procrastinate, it can hinder your ability to recall information when it comes to actually taking the exam.

Don’t multitask

Laying out your priorities in preparation for finals can be challenging. This problem usually stems from procrastination leading students to resort to multitasking in an attempt to finish their assignments quicker, and perhaps, incorrectly. Paige Torsak, a junior marketing major from San Diego, California, has advised the students she peer coaches that multitasking does more harm than good when it comes to time management.

“We taught them about how switch-tasking works and how much time you actually waste by doing that,” Torsak said.

Instead, Torsak encourages her students to devote their attention to one task at a time. If you are struggling to figure which assignment to work on first, Torsak recommends completing assignments in the order they are due to avoid turning assignments in late.


Bell also suggests students should engage in regular physical activity to help mitigate the impact of stress. Exercise can increase the production of endorphins in your body, which act as “your brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters.” If you don’t have time to complete a full workout or visit the gym, take a five-minute walk around the neighborhood or throw an impromptu dance party.

Take a break

When students get on a roll with studying for an exam or working on a project, it may feel difficult to stop because they are in the zone and being productive. However, Yulisa Castaneda, a junior media studies major from Wendover, cautions students against studying for hours on end without a break.

“If you take a few minutes to breathe and regather, it’s much easier to study for longer periods of time,” Castaneda said.

If you are unsure of how to structure your breaks, try out the Pomodoro Technique where you work on a task for 25 minutes and then take a break for five minutes. After completing your fourth cycle, take a longer break up to 30 minutes. During those breaks, you could stretch, make yourself a snack, chat with a friend, or even take a quick nap.

Lean on your support system

When you are stressed, you may shut out your friends and family in an attempt to prevent distractions from disturbing your studying. Bell said students tend to isolate themselves in study rooms during finals, but reaching out to your social supports like friends, family or even classmates can help reduce stress.

If you still want to focus your energy on studying, form a study group with other students in your class so you can socialize while preparing for your upcoming exams. Students can also plan an end-of-the-semester gathering with friends to motivate them to finish strong and celebrate all their hard work.

Finals week is ultimately what you make of it, so take the time to not only focus on your studies, but also pay attention to your mental and physical health. You have devoted so much time and energy into this semester, so end it on a high note.

The results are in for this year’s best school dance

Here are your options: Foam Dance, Chaos, Retro Prom and Inferno, so which is your pick for best dance of the year at Dixie State University?

We did a poll on the @sunnews_daily Instagram to ask students what their favorite school dance was this year. Shoutout to DSU Student Association for putting on each of these dances to bring the student body together for some fun.

Quick, place your bets because here are the results.

Third runner-up: Retro Prom

14% of our voters selected Retro Prom as their favorite school dance of the year. Retro Prom was an ’80s vibe dance with a punch bowl, disco ball and photo booth. Those who attended wore their best ’80s outfits, and some students even brought a date.

Second runner-up: Inferno

24% of our voters selected Inferno as their favorite school dance of the year. Inferno was the last dance of the school year with a jersey theme. Everyone showed up in a jersey repping their team. DSUSA even made a one-of-a-kind Inferno jersey, and did a giveaway for a couple of students to win the jersey. At the dance there was a photo booth, live DJ, Devon “Dink” Rice on the drums and live basketball games.

First runner-up: Chaos

29% of our voters selected Chaos as their favorite school dance of the year. Chaos is DSU’s Halloween dance, and it is far more than just a dance with an oxygen bar, haunted house, carnival games and silk aerial artist. Everyone who attends shows up in a Halloween costume to embody the Chaos dance Halloween theme.

Here’s what DSU students said about Chaos.

Kylee Seager, a sophomore biology major from St George, said: “My favorite dance would have to be Chaos. I loved all of the different activities that I was able to do. The energy everyone brought and the dancing crowd itself was by far amazing. I loved doing the mini activities, trying the oxygen bar and going through the haunted house. The music was fun, the people were friendly and the dance was phenomenal.”

Kaiya Villines, a junior criminal justice major from Yerington, Nevada, said Chaos was her favorite dance because there was more to do than just dance.

Winner: Foam Dance

33% of our voters selected Foam Dance as their favorite school dance of the year. The Foam Dance is a dance to start off the school year right. Everyone shows up in their swimming suits, goggles and dancing shoes. The entire time you are dancing with foam bubbles to a live DJ. This school year DSUSA even rented large blow up slip ‘n slides.

Here’s what DSU students love about the Foam Dance.

Kate Dummermuth, a freshman exercise science major from Caldwell, Idaho, said: “My favorite dance was the foam dance. It was unlike anything I had been to before. The music was great, the energy was high and it was just such a great start to the best year.”

Aaliyah Moreno, a freshman psychology major from Roosevelt, said: “The foam dance was by far the best dance this year. They had the best DJ. Around the time of that dance it was so hot [outside], and the foam felt so good and kept you cool while we danced our butts off.”

Tahlia Webb, a junior exercise science major from St. George, said: “I loved the Foam dance the best. There was a lot going on with the water slides, photo booth, foam and music. It was just the perfect way to kick off the fall semester.”

‘Growing Pains:’ the first DSU senior art exhibition in Las Vegas

One senior art graduate is showing her senior exhibition at a Las Vegas art gallery this semester, and she is the first to show outside of St. George.

Karina Larsen, a senior art major from Provo, created an art exhibition called “Growing Pains,” and the road to getting her to Las Vegas involved hard work, long hours and deep emotions.

“I got to put my personal experience into a project that people can connect with,” Larsen said. “This is the first time that I actually feel proud of myself as an artist because before this I didn’t even think of myself as an artist.”

Larsen’s exhibition is displayed in multiple rooms at Left of Center Gallery. It includes both 2-D and installation art. There is a collection of ceramic lidded pots, ceramic tree sculptures, a video installation, and cinder block platforms. There is a dichotomy shown between industrial objects and organic objects, going along with the dichotomy of the human emotional experience.

“Even though there is all this hurt and pain inside of you, you also need to collect the good memories,” Larsen said. “Even though things suck sometimes, I can still look at the beautiful things and the room for growth.”

The final piece in the show is a house engulfed in natural objects like flowers and pinecones. These natural artifacts are things Larsen has been collecting since the start of her college education. She said these natural objects represent beautiful times in her life like when she received her first bouquet of flowers. She has been collecting and preserving moments to put together in this piece.

“When people see my work, I want them to start introspecting and interrogating themselves,” Larsen said. “Like, ‘what are my haunted spaces or the things I keep inside my four walls, and what is the barrier that I create between myself and others?’”

Marylou Parker, gallery director at Left of Center, said Larsen is more professional and advanced than she expected. She said she was excited to offer Larsen the full gallery space rather than just a room in the space. One room is what Dixie State University art majors typically utilize, but Parker said Larsen has a full-length exhibition at the gallery.

“I was blown away by how beautiful the pieces are and how unique the show is,” Parker said. “It’s really been educational and inspirational for people to see this contemporary work and the quality of the work.”

Parker said Larsen was very thoughtful about her use of the space and strategic with the placing of all her pieces. Parker said one stand-out piece from the show is the video installation piece along with the collection of ceramic pots and the ceramic trees.

Larsen said the video is her favorite piece in the show because it is the most genuine, emotional expression of her growing pains. The video depicts Larsen struggling with her cognitive distortions, or inaccurate and negative beliefs about herself. Larsen said her sister was the one to film and edit the video because Larsen knew she needed help from someone she felt comfortable being vulnerable with.

“I feel almost embarrassed about it because this is rawness to the extreme,” Larsen said. “It was the hardest out of all of pieces to do, and it was very physically and emotionally draining.”

McGarren Flack, assistant professor of studio art, said the video is his favorite part of Larsen’s show. He said Larsen did a good job acting in the video, and Larsen’s sister did a good job filming and editing. He said Larsen was not required to produce as much work as she did for her project, and she was very prolific in the creation of her art.

“Because of the amount of work, this show would be the equivalent of a master’s degree,” Flack said. “There were a lot of crunch times most students don’t have because they don’t have to produce so much work.”

Flack said Larsen is a memorable, stand-out student with creativity being her strongest quality as an artist. He said she is experimental and open to trying new things with her art, while taking well to feedback and constructive criticism.

Larsen said her creative interests began in highschool, and her exhibition is a collection of all the art forms she’s learned to love throughout her experience.

“Ceramics class was the first to give me a place to do things, and make things and feel things,” Larsen said. “It was liberating, and although I’m not a ceramics artist, but a conceptual artist, ceramics is my one, true first love.”

She said as she explored other mediums, she always treated different mediums as separate things. She learned how varying mediums can complement each other with her senior project.

“All the pieces have something to say with each other,” Larsen said. “I really played with different mediums in the space.”

Larsen said her professors and art classes have made her the artist she is today, and without school, the door to art would have never opened for her.

Parker said Larsen’s show is astounding, and she hopes to continue her association with DSU to see more student shows at Left of Center Gallery in the future.

“We’re very impressed with the work [Larsen] has done and very happy she gets to do it here,” Parker said.

Larsen said this project has taught her that hard work pays off and has created more enthusiasm in her future as a contemporary artist.

“I now know how I can put negative energy to work and use it as a positive,” Larsen said. “This project is something that I, for once, feel truly proud of because it is holistically who I am.”

“Growing Pains” will be displayed until May 21. To learn more about Left of Center Gallery and Larsen’s exhibition visit https://leftofcenterart.org/

Summer 2022: A time for rest, rejuvenation

The semester is coming to an end, and it’s time to think about how you want to spend the summer. 

St. George is a great place for outdoor activities as long as you can handle the heat. There are tons of gorgeous hikes and Zion National Park is just an hour away. While most students plan on spending their summers relaxing and forgetting about school, others are hitting the grind and working hard.

Larsen Rogers, a sophomore psychology major from Albuquerque, New Mexico, will be playing for a USL League 2 semi-pro soccer team. The team is connected to the USL Championship professional soccer team, New Mexico United. 

“My dream is to play professional soccer, and this team is one of the country’s developmental programs to work towards that professional level,” Rogers said. 

To pass the time between practices and games, Rogers will be working and taking online classes. He said he’s looking forward to showcasing his skills to professional scouts and coaches over the summer. 

Summer break is a great time for students to look into furthering their future careers and making connections in the field. 

Jake Harber, a sophomore communication studies major from Pinedale, Wyoming, got the chance to work with the University Marketing and Communication PR team. He will spend his summer writing blogs, press releases, helping with events and preparing for events in the fall. 

“I want to go into PR, so this is helping me get experience and build my portfolio,” Harber said. 

While he is working with UMAC, Harber said he is also looking forward to the warm weather and motorcycle rides. 

While some students like to stick around the St. George area, others like to avoid the hot days and travel back home for the break. 

“I’m mostly just excited to be back home and see my friends, family and pets,” said Kennedy Elton, a sophomore graphic design major from Kansas City, Kansas. 

Elton is going to spend her summer working alongside her family to make money for the next semester. When she isn’t working, she is excited for a couple of concerts she is going to attend. 

Alexander Andersen, a senior communication studies major from Los Angeles, will be going back home to avoid the St. George weather and spend time with friends. He will also be taking online classes to speed his graduation along. 

If you plan on sticking around St. George, there are plenty of fun things to do. Sand Hollow and Quail Creek State Park are both great lakes to cool off on a hot day. They have paddle boards and water toys you can rent out for the day, or you can stay on the beach and swim.  

Summer is the time to rest and rejuvenate after a long year of school. So have fun, relax and prepare for next semester. 

D-Queens through the years

A Dixie State University tradition since 1922 is the D-Queen pageant for women who embody the spirit of Dixie.

The pageant includes an interview, talent, written essay, evening wear, onstage questions, academic achievement, service, and involvement. Here is a list of a few of the past D-Queens explaining what winning the title has meant and what they have accomplished since.

1963 – Lana Larkin

In 1963, before it was DSU, Dixie Junior College (DJC) had no pageant involved in crowning the D-Queen. Instead the faculty would nominate a number of women they believed were good representatives of the Dixie spirit. Then the student body would cast the final vote in crowning the queen.

Larkin graduated from DJC with an associate degree. She continued her schooling at Brigham Young University and received a bachelor’s degree in homemaking education. In 1966, Larkin and her husband lived in Mexico for a year to further her husband’s studies. Larkin taught on and off briefly at various schools after graduating but mainly focused on raising her children.

During her time as D-Queen, Larkin said she, “Felt… a responsibility to remember that it wasn’t about me. I was standing as a representative of what the ‘D’ spirit was.”

Larkin most remembers her desire to best represent and support the students during the few months she was D-Queen before graduating. She carried this desire into the rest of her life.

“Whenever we have an opportunity to stand as a representative of something or some group… really it’s to represent what you are there to represent and not make it a personal thing,” Larkin said.

2008 – Jennifer Shakespeare

Shakespeare graduated from Dixie State College of Utah completing her associate degree. She continued her education at Southern Utah University and received her bachelor’s degree in communications. Shakespeare worked in marketing and sales in assisted memory care for about eight years. Last year she transitioned to work for Deseret Digital Media and does sales for them on Utah.com.

While at DSC, Shakespeare was on student government and wanted to be involved in D-Queen.

Shakespeare said: “I knew homecoming was just way too fancy for me, and there was no way I was getting in a swimsuit. A group of friends and I wanted to do it and I loved Dixie and the whole culture of it just seemed like a fun experience.”

Shakespeare wanted to showcase her school spirit through her talents. During the talent portion she played a melody of the school song and “Just for Now” on the piano while a slideshow of photos from past years at DSC played in the background.

Shakespeare loved how the pageant incorporated different strengths with portions focused on verbal communication, written communication, stage performance and more. While she loved the experience, she remembers not expecting to be crowned D-Queen.

“I was actually looking at a different girl… I was like, ‘Oh yeah it’s for sure going to be her’ and then they called my name and I was like, ‘what?,'” Shakespeare said.

Shakespeare said the experience taught her to always go for things in life that you wonder about. “It was everything I hoped it could be and more… I hope I can always remember that courage.”

2009 – Chelsea Tavana

Tavana attended DSC from 2007 to 2010. She received her associate degree and following her graduation, she served a full-time mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in San Fernando, California. She graduated from BYU in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in public health with an emphasis on international development. This led her to organize and attend humanitarian trips in Kenya, Malawi, Mexico and Thailand.

Tavana participated in the pageant because her mother was a pageant winner, judge and contestant in many pageants. She also grew up watching the Miss America pageant each year. Tavana loved her time at DSC and was heavily involved with being a member of student government and an ambassador. For the talent portion of the pageant, Tavana performed a hula to show her love for her Hawaiian heritage.

Tavana worked as a community engagement specialist at United Way in Provo and started her own photography business. She eventually married and had one daughter. However, Tavana struggled with heart complications throughout her life and on March 4, 2019 she unexpectedly passed away in her sleep at 30-years-old.

Tavana’s mother Michelle Gould, said: “The hallmarks of Chelsea’s life were her love of our Savior, Jesus Christ, her love of her family, her love of her friends, and her deep love for serving all people she met. Chelsea was a light to all who knew her and left her legacy of service, a love for all people and an example for all of us and would want us to carry that love and light on to others.”

2012 – Jacee Whatcott

Whatcott graduated from DSU with a bachelor’s degree in biology and a minor in chemistry. She received her personal training certificate and currently runs her own business in Salt Lake City. In September, Whatcott’s dream of having a family is coming true with the birth of her little boy.

Whatcott was an integral member of campus as she was on Student Alumni Association for a couple of years. She put on multiple events for students and alumni to attend. Being part of the SAA, Whatcott wanted to represent the association at the pageant.

“I had never imagined myself doing it before so I didn’t know what to expect… I met some pretty awesome people, and that is what I remember most, they made it enjoyable and worthwhile,” Whatcott said.

This is only a few of the many D-Queens who deserve to be recognized. From the first D-Queen, Roma Esplin, to our newest, Anna Barfuss, we recognize the achievement of being crowned D-Queen and thank them for their service and support.

A look at some of the best classes at DSU

We are all required to take the basic core classes in college, but out of the myriad of options available, which are the best?

Choosing the right classes tends to be difficult for students. Many first and second year students struggle to find classes that fit their interests and busy schedules. Whether it’s a professor they don’t get along with, a subject that bores them or a class with a homework overload, there seems to be a lot of pressure to get it right the first time, so you don’t have to put yourself through more school.

The best way to find a class that’s best for you is to take something of interest to you. With over 53 bachelor’s degree programs to choose from, Dixie State University has an abundance of subjects and a variety of classes within each subject. If you’re into writing and literature, try your hand in English or media studies classes to improve your writing skills. If you’re into looking inside the mind of a criminal, take some of the criminal justice classes.

Nathan Ghisolfo, a junior digital film major from St. George, initially struggled to find classes that were right for him. He began by taking information technology classes to figure out whether or not it was a path he wanted to pursue. Later on in his schooling, he decided to switch over to something more aligned with his interests and turned his attention toward the film department.

“My Film 3660 class, which is digital film production, has the best professor I’ve ever had, best experience I’ve ever had and I’ve literally been able to do everything I’ve ever wanted on film sets,” said Ghisolfo. “Plus everyone in that class is awesome, so no complaints whatsoever.”

Parker Sovic, a junior physical therapist assistant major from Bountiful, said his favorite class he’s taken so far is business law. He said the teacher is really cool, and he really connected with the subject.

Another factor that comes into play when choosing the best class for you is the amount of homework you’ll have to dedicate yourself to each week. This can depend on the credit load for the course.

Mikayla Vaughn, a senior art major from Salt Lake City, said printmaking has been her favorite class so far because of the connections she’s made. She enjoys printmaking and the results that come through the printmaking process.

“The professors I had all really cared about what they were teaching and were super knowledgeable and helpful.” Vaughn said. “It was all a combo of great teachers and fun subjects to learn.”

There are many different ways to choose the best class for you. Finding a subject you love really helps in how you approach a class. Taking time to figure out your schedule will also help in how you approach your schooling.

DSU police teach women in the S.A.F.E. class

We never think something bad will happen until it does. It’s normally something we see in movies, not in real life, right? 

The harsh reality is those things do happen in real life. Women can be assaulted because they happen to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. Our parents warned us of the dangers of walking around alone late at night or early in the morning before sending us off to college. Most of us probably shrugged it off not thinking anything could happen. 

Dixie State University is offering a new class to female students and faculty called Self-Defense Awareness and Female Empowerment. In response to past requests for female safety classes, DSU created the S.A.F.E. class. It is an eight hour course broken down into four two hour classes.

One in five women are sexually assaulted on college campuses and 90% of them are never reported. 

Self defense is an important skill to have as a college student. Knowing how to defend yourself in a bad situation could be life saving. 

“The S.A.F.E. class will help educate and train women specifically on how to defend themselves physically from assaults,” said Teresa Starnes, police records administrator and victim advocate. 

Starnes is instructing the class, and said the overall goal is to create a survival mindset through recognition and a call-to-action plan.

Students never know when they might get attacked or if they ever will, but having the skills to defend yourself or others in harm is valuable. 

Blair Barfuss, chief of police and director of public safety, said students will learn physical defense skills, warning signs and how to avoid potential danger. They will understand the value of fighting off an attacker or stepping in to confront someone who may be trying to take advantage of someone who may not be able to physically defend themselves. 

In a situation where you are being attacked, there are three possible reactions–fight, flight or freeze. Taking a self-defense class can help students avoid the freeze reaction and keep themselves and others safe. 

Carly Young, a sophomore elementary education major from Tooele, took a self-defense class to feel safer around campus. 

“It was a really good experience for me and makes me feel a bit safer and more confident when I’m out by myself,” Young said. “I just feel like it’s something that everyone, especially women, should do at some point in their life.” 

The S.A.F.E. class is going to be held every spring and fall semester with no extra charge. It will typically be held in the Student Activity Center from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The dates are chosen around staff availability, and an announcement will be sent out to students and faculty. Classes are limited to 12 participants on a first-come, first-serve basis to female students and faculty. 

DSU student pursues rare music degree, opportunities

Out of 53 bachelor’s degrees offered at Dixie State University, one student will be graduating next year with a degree in music emphasizing in music performance on guitar.

Chad Roundy, a junior music major from St. George, is the most advanced guitar performance student of the three in the music department. Roundy began playing guitar when he was 11 years old, and hasn’t looked back. He has gained experience through individual guitar lessons, DSU music classes like the Jazz Ensemble, and playing gigs around town.

Guitar instructor Lisle Crowley, has been teaching Roundy for about 8 years and is looking forward to continuing their lessons together. He said Roundy has a sense of discipline that makes him stand out as a student and as a guitar player. Crowley said Roundy plays more gigs than some artists who have been playing for decades because of his professionalism and commitment.

“He had to start working to pay for his own lessons as a young man, and that’s when he took complete responsibility for what he did,” Crowley said. “He’s always been a very dedicated student.”

Crowley said Roundy is not only a strong guitar player, but a strong artist because of the non-technical skills he has.

He has got a good, well-rounded approach to his playing which I think is essential if you’re seeking music performance as a career,” Crowley said.

Roundy said he was sure he wanted to pursue music as a career since he began playing as a child.

“As soon as I started I knew I wasn’t going to stop,” Roundy said. “These past couple years have been the first time in my life where I’m surviving just on my gig money.”

Roundy said his professors have been an integral part of his development as an artist. He said their teaching styles during class have been key in helping him improve.

“All my classes are interactive and you’re kind of the black sheep if you’re not speaking up and being involved,” Roundy said. “You don’t just get that at any university.”

Glenn Webb, director of the jazz ensemble and associate professor of music, said Roundy’s strong sense of drive and dedication to his goals make him a successful musician at a young age. He said Roundy has sought opportunities in the community that were not there before, and he is creating much of his own career path as he advances.

“[Roundy] has crafted his goals so that they are manageable by him,” Webb said. “He is not relying on the system or the world to line up in his benefit—he is building his own career.”

Webb said Roundy is a bold and adventurous musician and because of that new opportunities will find him.

“Innovation and Trailblazing are a big part of who [Roundy] is,” Webb said.

Crowley said Roundy’s range of technical and nontechnical skills will propel him forward in his career. He said he’s met many musicians that still haven’t learned the skills Roundy has gained, and one of Roundy’s most important qualities is his dependability. 

“If a student is not going to keep their word and be reliable, they’re going to have a hard time in this industry,” Crowley said. “No amount of talent can make up for that.”

Crowley said another quality that distinguishes Roundy from other young musicians is his thirst for knowledge. Crowley said Roundy would often volunteer to help him in his free time to learn more about music technology, recording and sound manipulation. He said Roundy’s desire and curiosity will serve him well as he discovers his career, and he is excited to continue offering guidance and watching him improve.

“As a teacher it is so rewarding to see a student progress,” Crowley said. “To watch them learn is probably the best part.”

Roundy said he is excited for future opportunities like playing in the live orchestra at Tuacahn Center for the Arts this summer alongside Webb. He said he’s learned a lot during his degree program at DSU, and he is looking forward to continuing his education and furthering his career.

“This is what I want to do,” Roundy said. “I’m excited to get out there and do my thing.”

To learn more about Roundy or to book him for lessons or live performances visit https://linktr.ee/chadroundy.

DSU dance department brings communities together through performance

Art is expressed in anyway that feels right to you, and the dance department at Dixie State University embodies this everyday.

DSU dance majors spend each day of the week expressing themselves in class through movement and connection. The connection they experience while dancing goes beyond the movement with the music. The students involved in the dance classes have connections with their peers and professors as well.

Taylor Taft, a dance major from Herriman, said: “I get to dance with people who have the same passions as me and we all validate each other and see each others potential which is something that is important to me. I also feel very noticed in my major I am very close with my professors and the students and I have built a lot of connections that way.”

The professors and students involved with dance at DSU strive for an inclusive, accepting environment for all. This is evident in their concert, Dance in Concert: A Community Dance Experience as they interact with each other and the audience throughout the performance. This unique dance performance allowed the dance department to show how important it is to be unique and proud of your own community.

Jennifer Weber, assistant professor of dance, said: “Everybody comes from different walks of life and it makes a very rich dance environment which I enjoy getting to interact with them, getting to learn who they are, what makes them spark, and then we work together to bring those sparks alive like in this concert.”

Dance in Concert: A Community Dance Experience was performed by 10 dancers of various years in school at DSU. This concert not only showcased the dance potential at DSU, but it also resembled the care the dance department has for communities. Since it’s a concert with so much audience involvement, the dancers had to step outside of their comfort zones to get the audience moving.

Weber said: “My hope with the concert is that the audience realizes how powerful and transformative dance is. There are lots of opportunities for the audience to engage with it in the ways that are meaningful to them. I think the arts carry a lot of importance in our culture, and I hope the audience experiences that, and sees that, as well as very beautiful dancing and production elements.”

A couple of aspects of the concert included aerial silk dancing, speaking with the audience, a tour of the stage given by the dancers, and a dance party with the audience after the concert. Weber said all of these parts make up a unique performance the audience has most likely never experienced.

Ashly Barraclough, a senior dance major from Ivins, said her favorite part of the dance concert is the aerial silk dance. She said it has been a fun process getting to work with two other aerialists. It was her first time getting to do aerial silks, so it was special for her.

Sara Gallo, associate professor of dance, said: “We have been working on this for the entire academic year. We started back in the fall, and we were really interested in how we could bring not only our dance community but our DSU community into art making, and how we can continue that into the actual performance.”

Gallo, Barraclough, Taft and Weber each said they wanted this concert to give the audience an experience of a dance performance they have never seen before. The goal was to interact with the audience and share what they love doing, and that is art in the form of dance.