With passions ranging from outdoor adventuring to Japanese anime to culinary creations, Abigail Wyatt has shared her talents across the Southern Utah University campus. As a Spanish major and strategic communications minor, Wyatt utilized her vast marketing and event planning experience to strategize, coordinate and execute the Outdoor Nation Campus Challenge at SUU this semester.
As the 2017 defending champions of the title “Most Outdoorsy School” in the nation, T-Bird Nation successfully proved SUU as the University of the Parks. Competing against 91 universities across the country, participants submitted photos of outdoor activities from September 18 to October 15. Wyatt was an integral part to this success, with her involvement beginning months before the fall competition.As a member of the SUU Office of Marketing Communication, Wyatt became involved with the setup of the Outdoor Nation Campus Challenge back in May. Working with her supervisor Nikki Koontz, assistant director of marketing, Wyatt assembled a committee of outdoor-centric individuals to help SUU defend its win from 2015.
“Our committee had so much enthusiasm for the event across campus,” said Wyatt. “This is why SUU is so deserving of this award. Everyone contributed in various ways and found creative solutions to make SUU victorious.”
Wyatt and Koontz developed a branding strategy for the four-week event and marketed each daily activity that committee members and national sponsors hosted. As her supervisor, Koontz worked closely with Wyatt, coaching her on event planning and strategy development.
“Abby did an incredible job organizing and managing the competition,” said Koontz. “She was reliable, passionate and driven to succeed. She really stepped up to the challenge and grew as a leader. Her biggest accomplishment was creating a unified, cohesive team that all worked together towards one common goal.”
“Outdoor Nation was a much bigger event than I’d ever done before and there was a lot of pressure to win,” said Wyatt. “The people involved have more experience than me, but they let me take charge and treated me like an equal.”
Wyatt will graduate this December and hopes to work as a bilingual marketer. Her time at SUU will end with the perfect capstone experience of claiming the title of “Most Outdoorsy School” in the Nation 2017 Champions.
“The Outdoor Nation Challenge only increased my love for Southern Utah University and the wonderful people here,” said Wyatt. “I’ve gained confidence in my ability to do anything I put my mind to thanks to SUU.”