Meet the Presidents

The Utah Student Association leadership is made up of the Student Body Presidents of Utah institutions. There is also a Chief of Staff appointed by the Presidents and an advisor. They are all anxious to advocate on behalf of the higher education students of the State of Utah.

Sami Ahmed

President of the Utah Student Association

Utah State University

Sami Ahmed is serving his second term as Student Body President of Utah State University in Logan, Utah. Throughout his two years in student government, Sami has worked on building a meaningful connection between University faculty, administration, and students. He is a True Aggie first and foremost. However, he loves to promote and support all USHE institution in the State of Utah. Sami was born and raised in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia before moving to Utah in 2006 at the age of eleven. He attended West High School in Salt Lake City and is a proud panther. Sami currently studies Finance with minors in Anticipatory Intelligence, Chemistry, Economics and Real Estate.

Matthew L. Griffin

Legislative Vice President of the Utah Student Association

Snow College

Matthew L. Griffin is serving as the Student Body President of Snow College. He is finishing his last year at Snow College and will move on to get his bachelor’s degree in Biology. Matthew is originally from Richfield, Utah where he is the youngest of 5 siblings. This is Matthew’s first year in leadership with higher education, but has served in leadership all his life in Student Government and hours of volunteer work with Utah School for the Deaf and Blind. In April 2020, Matt was elected as the Student Body President. Matt’s goals support mental health awareness, unity, inclusivity, and civic engagement among the student body. Matt serves on the Board of Trustees, acting on behalf of Snow College

Penny Mills

Executive Vice President of the Utah Student Association

 Dixie State University

Penny is honored to be serving as the 2020-2021 President of the Student Association at Dixie State University, and as the DSU Student Trustee. She is also thrilled to serve the Utah Student Association as this year’s Executive Vice President.

As a student at DSU, she is studying Communications, with an emphasis in Applied Leadership. She loves DSU because it is a place where you can blaze trails to your own dreams, and live them! She loves the great leadership spirit there.

Penny got involved at DSU as the Administrative Assistant to the Vice President of Student Life, and most recently before becoming Student Body President, she served as the Vice President of Service for DSUSA.

Penny loves to work with people and help them find and live their dreams. She spent a year and a half as a full-time service volunteer in Eugene, Oregon. As part of her goals this upcoming year, she wants to unify students on Dixie State University’s campus, especially in light of COVID-19. Penny Mills grew up in Orem, Utah as the youngest of five children. She loves learning and living an active and outdoorsy lifestyle. She is also interested in fashion, sewing and clothes!

Spring Cullen-Buford

Brigham Young University

Spring was born in California, the second of four children. Her name came with inspiration from her older sister, Autumn. Growing up she participated in school athletics, but loved the arts: dance, theatre and music. Upon her High School graduation she moved to Provo, Utah and began studying Computer Science at Brigham Young University (BYU). Although she had never coded before, she felt it would be a useful skill to learn and wanted to take advantage of all the resources universities offer. 

During her time at BYU, Spring became involved with many on campus organizations. She became president of a philosophy club, Communications Director for Golden Key International Honour Society and both started and directed a Women’s Initiatives Mentoring Office for women in Computer Science. All these service opportunities led her to run for BYU Student Body President. “I saw many ways that students could be more connected with the University, have more of a voice and feel unified as a student body”, she said. Now the 2020-2021 BYUSA President, Spring is dedicated to student outreach and integrating student opinion into campus decisions

Emily Hernandez Alzamora

Salt Lake Community College

Emily Hernandez Alzamora serves as the SLCC Student Association President. Prior to this position, Emily served as a SLCC Student Ambassador for the 2019-2020 academic year. She talked to high school students about higher education, scholarship opportunities, involvement, etc., and how SLCC is a great place to begin their education. Emily has always loved being involved in leadership and service, so when the opportunity arrived to be involved in college, after graduating from Murray High School in 2019, it was an easy choice to become a Student Ambassador. During her time as an ambassador, Emily has come to learn and appreciate all the resources that SLCC provides and how much staff/faculty/professors care about their students. Knowing that, she wants to continue extending that care throughout her presidency and build a connection with the students as well as the institution. Emily originated from Utah and comes from a Latin American family. She is a first-generation college student who has been taught that higher education is the key to success. She is currently studying business and wants to continue her education in the field and later pursue a law career in business.

Nouman Kante

Southern Utah University

Nouman Kante is currently serving as the Student Body President for Southern Utah University. Nouman was born in Ouelessebougou Mali, West Africa. He is currently a senior studying Business Management and Philosophy. Some of his favorite things to do include reading, running, biking, hiking, playing soccer, and learning new things. Since being at SUU, he has served in many leadership roles across campus such as Resident Assistant, International Student Ambassador, Upper Division Senator, and President of African Union Club. As Student Body President, Nouman wishes to build upon SUU ‘s welcoming environment for all students. He is passionate about working hard to bring all students together. He loves SUU because of the academic programs they have to offer and outdoor scenery. Nouman also loves the feel of the small classes and diversity on campus.

Ephraim Kum

University of Utah 

Ephraim Kum is a current third-year undergraduate majoring in Honors Political Science, with an emphasis in Public Policy. Born in Ghana, he is the son of parents that immigrated to the United States when he was only one year of age. Creating projects and helping others has been on the forefront of Ephraim’s mind and heart all his life and has influenced his roles and work in the school and community. A few examples of areas where he has been able to serve include the Salt Lake City Mayor’s Office, the Salt Lake County Mayor’s Office, the Utah Division of Multicultural Affairs, The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and currently as Student Body President in ASUU.

Sione Siaki

Utah State University Eastern

Sione Siaki is serving as Student Body President at Utah State University Eastern. As a first-generation Tongan-American student, Sione is currently in his third year, pursuing a degree in Sociology, with an emphasis in Criminal Justice, and a Minor in English. So far he has served as President and Vice-President of the Serving Utah Network at USU Eastern, Ambassador for the Utah System of Higher Education, and as a mentor for the UServeUtah Youth Council, under the Lt. Governor’s Commission on Service & Volunteerism. Sione is passionate about empowering youth and the growing Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander community in the state of Utah. He has worked with organizations such as the Utah Pacific Islander Civic Engagement Coalition and the Mo’unga Project. Sione has also had the opportunity to present for the Multicultural Youth Leadership Summit and the 68th United Nations Civil Society Conference.

This academic school year, Sione hopes to foster an environment of equity, inclusion, and transparency at Utah State University Eastern, with a goal of addressing structural barriers and working to create institutional change in effort to close opportunity gaps for underrepresented students. 

Danielle Corbett

Utah Valley University

Danielle Corbett is a junior pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Art & Design with a minor in Art History. She takes pride in UVU’s dual-mission and the invitation extended to students, faculty, staff, and the community to “come as you are.”

In the years preceding her role as Student Body President, she was a member of the Wolverine Ambassador program where she was able to advocate for the importance of higher education in the community. She also served as a member of the Executive Service Council at UVU’s Center for Social Impact. During her time on Service Council, she began to better understand the importance of representation, advocacy, and taking a systemic approach to understanding social problems. She is especially interested in issues surrounding equity, sustainability, and the accessibility of educational opportunities.

Upon graduating from UVU, Danielle is planning to pursue a master’s degree in design. She hopes to work as an Art Director for independent films or musical productions.

Ben Ferney

Weber State University

Ben Ferney is currently serving as Student Body President at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah. Previously, he graduated high school in Nanjing, China, spent two years as a full-time service volunteer in Sydney, Australia, served as President of the Latter-day Saint Student Association (LDSSA) at Weber State and has led 76 youth on humanitarian trips in Tonga and Peru.

Ben has attended Weber State since Spring 2017 and will graduate in Spring 2021 with his undergrad in Communications; Public Relations and Advertising. Ben was elected as Student Body President in Spring of 2020 and ran with a desire to unite the student body, increase mental health awareness, improve communication with the student body and develop deeper relations with the community.

Ben leads seven Student Body Vice Presidents and their teams and is a Trustee on the Weber State University Board of Trustees. He also volunteers as an advisor for the North Ogden City Youth Council. Ben is excited for the future and to make a difference in many lives. 

Candyce Damron

Utah System of Higher Education Student Representative

Utah Valley University

Candyce Damron is a senior at Utah Valley University studying Behavioral Science, with an emphasis in Family Studies and a minor in Human Resource Management. Candyce is originally from Mesa, Arizona but quickly settled in Utah, which she now calls home. Candyce has a passion for the power of student voice and representation. She has been involved at her university in several capacities such as a peer mentor, positions in the student government, as well as a legislative internship with the Utah System of Higher Education. She enjoys any sport with a racket, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and spending time with her family. Candyce plans to pursue a law degree after she graduates with honors at UVU, on her path to working in higher education administration.

Dexton Lake

Chief of Staff of the Utah Student Association

Utah State University

Dexton Lake is a senior finishing his bachelors degrees in Agribusiness and Plant Science with an Emphasis in Horticulture and Cropping Systems in the Fall 2020 semester to pursue a masters degree in Agribusiness. A proud first generation Aggie, Dexton has served the students of Utah State University as Academic Senator for the College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences, as Student Body Executive Vice President, and currently as Administrative Assistant for Utah State University Student Association. During his tenure in office, Dexton has improved student fee transparency, championed low tuition rates, advocated for improved mental wellbeing resources, and secured over $60,000 to improve lighting on Logan campus.

Dexton met his beautiful wife Kassidy while running against her in a USU election. A native of Blackfoot, Idaho, Dexton spent his formative years working for his family’s farm and beef cattle ranch, learning the value of hard work and love for those who feed the world. He is a graduate of the Western College of Auctioneering and currently works as a contract auctioneer across Idaho and Utah.