Hali Nielsen (’08, Communication) always felt she was at home while attending Southern Utah University and now credits her campus experience for opening doors to her professionally.
Her experience as a SUU Presidential Ambassador helped her land her first job as an admissions counselor at Utah Valley University (UVU) which then led to her present position as a school counselor at Oak Canyon Jr. High School. Hali says, “The most satisfying experiences for me, are watching students succeed and seeing things click for them, the light bulb moment, when they finally get it.”
Hali helped establish an ambassador program at UVU and received a presidential recognition for her outstanding service. In 2011, while working in the prospective student services office, she garnered more accolades as her office received the president’s department of the year award and she was recognized as the senior coordinator in that office.
SUU Communication Professors Matt Barton and Brian Heuett pushed Hali to see her potential and were “always incredibly helpful.” With their guidance and extra insight, Hali discovered what she wanted to do with her degree and how best to get there.
She loved working at the Sherratt Library and racing coworkers to see who could shelf books the quickest. Hali loved touring campus with prospective students and their parents, hosting anxious high school students for overnighters, and assisting at other campus events. Fun times with friends and road trips to Vegas, especially to watch Jill Stephens compete in the Miss America Pageant also made the list of her fondest SUU memories.
With a desire to serve her community, Hali volunteers with the Utah County Boys and Girls Club and with local high schools on “Legacy” projects to improve those schools. She also gives her time to a reading program in Alpine School District and will begin working with United Way in this fall.
Hali loves her job and is always looking for a good adventure. She is proud to say that her mother, Sandy Nielsen, is an SUU alumna. Both of her parents work in education and so the field was a natural fit for her. Hali currently lives in Orem, Utah.