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Cynthia Kimball Davis - Southern Utah University. Cedar City, UT, US

Cynthia Kimball Davis Cynthia Kimball Davis

Graduate Program Director of the Master of Interdisciplinary Studies (MIS) Degree | Southern Utah University


Specializing in Heart-based Hope Communication, Culture, and Leadership


Dr. Cynthia Kimball Davis is the graduate program director of the master of interdisciplinary studies (MIS) degree in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS). Prior to this role, Dr. Davis served at the University as the Integrative & Engaged Studies Department Chair in the former School of Integrative & Engaged Learning (SIEL). Under her leadership, the MIS degree's been ranked 3rd best in the nation by Best College Reviews and she has managed to expand enrollment by nearly 400%. Additionally, Dr. Davis is responsible for SUU hosting the international Association for Interdisciplinary Studies (AIS) Virtual Conference on Oct. 14-16, 2021.

Dr. Davis earned a B.A. in English from the University of North Carolina, an M.Ed., in education from the American Intercontinental University, a Ph.D. in education from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and is currently completing an M.A. in professional communication from Southern Utah University. Her research interests are in heart-based communication, culture and leadership, and marketing interdisciplinary studies.

Dr. Davis is married to Ryan, has five bonus children, eight grandchildren and two dogs. She loves spending time with these humans and fuzzy friends.






Cynthia Kimball Davis, Southern Utah University loading image loading image loading image


Dr. Cynthia Kimball Davis Support for Hereditary Cancer Risk Assessment & Testing Interdisciplinary Studies Degrees at SUU


Industry Expertise (3)

Training and Development


Writing and Editing

Areas of Expertise (16)

Educational Outreach & Professional Development


How to Market Interdisciplinary Studies

Heart-based Hope Communication, Culture, and Leadership


Belonging Research

Curriculum & Instruction

Customized Training

Educational Outreach


Interdisciplinary Studies in Higher Education

Management Training

Professional Development

Continuing Education

Curriculum & Instruction

Patient Advocacy

Education (4)

University of Nevada: Ph.D., Curriculum and Instruction

Southern Utah University: M.A., Professional Communication (in-process)

American Intercontinental University Online: M.Ed., Curriculum and Instruction

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: B.A., English

Accomplishments (10)

Effective Practice: Learning Effectiveness Award (professional)

Online Learning Consortium Conference, Orlando, FL, November 2017

SUU Distinguished Faculty Service Award Nomination Finalist (professional)

2020, 2021

WUUWN Red Handed Award (professional)


SUU HSS Faculty Collaboration Award Nomination (professional)

2019, 2020

SUU Influencer Award (professional)

2017, 2018, 2019, 2020

SUUWN President (Elected) (professional)


SUU Board of Trustees Staff Nomination (professional)


SUU Community Engaged Staff Member Nomination

2018, 2019

SUU Employee of the Month Nomination

January & March 2018

Learning Effectiveness Best-In-Strand Award

2017, Online Learning Consortium Conference, Orlando, FL

Affiliations (5)

  • University Professional and Continuing Education Association
  • Career & Technical and Postsecondary Education
  • Online Learning Consortium
  • Southern Utah University Women's Network
  • Association of Interdisciplinary Studies

Media Appearances (8)

Learning Opportunities in the Animal Services Profession

SUU News  online


“One of my favorite parts about the MIS Contemporary Animal Services Leadership learning block is there is now a master’s degree option, on the national level, in animal services,” said Dr. Cynthia Kimball Davis, MIS program director. “Particularly since students can now choose to study from 9-18 credits to help prepare them for positions in animal services. This is a game-changer in this field.”

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Southern Utah University partners with Best Friends Animal Society to offer new animal services programs

St George News  online


After a partnership launch between Best Friends Animal Society and Southern Utah University to provide animal services and leadership training, the two entities announced in July that they are now moving forward to offer even more educational programming, including a certificate earning opportunity and a master’s degree emphasis.

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Best Friends Animal Society and SUU Expanding Partnership

SUU News  online


“One of my favorite parts about the MIS Contemporary Animal Services Leadership learning block is there is now essentially a master’s degree, on the national level, in animal services,” said Cynthia Kimball Davis, Ph.D., MIS program director. “Particularly since students can now choose to study from 9-18 credits to help prepare them for positions in animal services. This is a game-changer in the field.”

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Online MIS Ranked Third in Nation

SUU News  online


According to Dr. Cynthia Kimball Davis, chair of Integrative & Engaged Studies Department, and chair of the MIS degree, “Our MIS degree is just a year and a half old, yet this distinction is a testimony to the success of our program and the folks that have put countless research, time and energy into building it. Thus, this ranking does not surprise me.”

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Southern Utah University’s Master of Interdisciplinary Studies Degree Ranks 3rd in Nation

St. George News  online


According to a news release from the university, the degree launched in January 2018 and currently serves more than 40 students with 15 possible programs of academic study. The degree can be completed entirely online or via a hybrid format.

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Support for Hereditary Cancer Risk Assessment & Testing

Access Health  online

Do you know your family’s history of cancer? If you have an inherited hereditary cancer syndrome such as Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Syndrome (HBOC) or Lynch Syndrome, your risk of developing cancer is shockingly higher than that of the general population. Knowing your family history, getting genetic testing and being proactive can ultimately help your physician prevent cancer or identify it at an earlier, more treatable stage. Watch a very special episode of Access Health on Lifetime Television and get all the facts, resources and testing information. Learn what you need to know about your family history of cancer. Find out about the 60-second hereditary cancer risk quiz that could literally save your life. Hear from some of the most knowledgeable experts in the field, including Certified Genetic Counselor Marianne Lotito and Angelina Jolie’s breast surgeon, Dr. Kristi Funk. Neither you nor your family can afford to miss this very important special presentation of Access Health.

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Information is Power for Cancer Patients

Huntsman Cancer Institute, University of Utah  online

“Education is vital to the care of all cancer patients,” says Susan Childress, RN, MN, OCN, director of Nursing Services at Huntsman Cancer Hospital. “We are committed to the premise that all patients are entitled to verbal, written, and electronic education that specifically addresses their physical and psychological needs as cancer patients and survivors.” The Patient Education Steering Committee at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI), co-chaired by Childress, was created for that very purpose.

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SUU Brings UMCA Institute and Academy to Cedar City

The Insider  online


“We are excited and honored to have been selected by UMCA and IIMC to host their annual institute and academy at Southern Utah University,” said Davis. “For the next three years, our goal is to deliver the highest quality of continuing education and certifications through our top-notch faculty, and others, from among several municipalities throughout the state of Utah.”

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Articles (3)

Be a hope-based leader, not a fear-based one


Cynthia Kimball Davis

When students or participants are off base on an assignment or exercise, I work to find a way to provide feedback that will hopefully motivate change by creating an emotional connection where they are inspired to make something better and stronger.

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Utah family finds joy after devastation in Haiti

Deseret News

Cynthia Kimball Davis

Brian and Tonya Wilson meet their son Tyler for the first time at The Creche Enfant Jesus orphanage in Haiti.

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Ultimate touchdown: An LDS college quarterback helps a co-worker in his reception of the gospel

Deseret News

Cynthia Kimball Davis

College quarterback helps a co-worker in his reception of the gospel.

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Courses (7)

EDUC 2000 Exploring Education in Society

This course explores the historical, philosophical, political and economic foundations of education in the United States. Topics include multiple perspectives, current events, and trends and issues.

GOSC 4020 General Studies Capstone

Student complete a written capstone project reflecting their varied knowledge and experience as General Studies majors.

GOSC 6000 Assessment

The study of current psychological principles of teaching and learning, and principles and techniques for developing, validating and interpreting educational measures. The use of educational measures for evaluation and planning processes.

GOSC 6900 MIS Capstone Project

n this course MIS students plan and complete a professional project as a required capstone experience. Learners will research and address a professional problem, then report the results. The project is practitioner-based and culminates learning from each of the three coursework-based learning blocks. Students will study and apply project management skills including proposal and assessment techniques, then carry out their project. A comprehensive report and presentation will serve as final deliverables.

COMM 4240 Technical Writing

This course focuses on practical types of writing used in business and industry. Using principles of analyzing and planning to meet the reader’s informational needs, students produce proposals, instructions and the various types of informative and persuasive reports used in organizations.

SGCS 6010 Classroom Management

Theory and application for creating a 21st Century learning environment are the focus for this course. Maintaining student cooperation in diverse classroom and network settings will be a focus.

BIS 2000 Success Strategies

This course will introduce students to the concepts and foundations of interdisciplinary study, focusing on discussion-generated understanding.