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

Cynthia Kimball Davis Cynthia Kimball Davis

Director of K12 Programs and Assistant Professor | Southern Utah University


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


Cynthia Kimball Davis is the Director of K-12 Programs and an assistant professor of teacher education at Southern Utah University.

Dr. Davis has spent her career in workforce education development, career & technical and postsecondary education and higher education. Her research focus is on heart-based hope communication, culture and leadership.

Dr. Davis is a breast cancer survivor, a BRCA1 mutation carrier, a brain tumor survivor, and has radiation-induced heart disease. Since 2008, she has presented nationwide on “Finding Previvors, Saving Lives and Impacting Family Trees.” Dr. Davis’ family cancer story has been featured in “People” magazine, on CNN, in the book, Pretty is What Changes, and on LifeTime Access Health. Dr. Davis has served on the Huntsman Cancer Institute's Patient Education Steering Committee, is a national patient speaker for Myriad Genetics and has served on her family's Kimball Family Foundation, a former non-profit organization that educated nationally on hereditary breast and ovarian cancer mutations.

One of Dr. Davis’ favorite quotes is by Colonel Arthur J. Athens, USMC, (Ret.), Director of the U.S. Naval Academy's Vice Admiral James B. Stockdale Center for Ethical Leadership: "I believe if you ask any extraordinary leader what leadership and love have to do with it, they would tell you everything."

She holds a Ph.D. and M.Ed. in curriculum and instruction.







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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 (5)

Postsecondary Education

Workforce Education Development

Heart-based Hope Communication, Culture, and Leadership

Educational Outreach & Professional Development

Career and Technical Education

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)

University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA) Diversity and Inclusive Excellence Committee Co-Chair (2023-2025) Nomination (professional)


SUU Influencer Award (professional)

2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022

SUU Distinguished Faculty Service Award Nomination Finalist (professional)


SUU HSS Faculty Collaboration Award Nomination (professional)


Effective Practice: Learning Effectiveness Award (professional)

Online Learning Consortium Conference, Orlando, FL, November, 2017

SUUWN President (Elected) (professional)


SUU Board of Trustees Staff Nomination (professional)


SUU Community Engaged Staff Member Nomination (professional)


SUU Employee of the Month Nomination (professional)


Learning Effectiveness Best-In-Strand Award (professional)

Online Learning Consortium Conference, Orlando, FL, 2017

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 (10)

In Partnership with Utah State Board of Education, SUU Offers School Leadership Professional Development

SUU News  online


Southern Utah University's Teacher Education Department is partnering with school districts and school leaders who need professional development courses through the School Leadership Professional Development Program (SLPD). With SLPD, school leaders may pursue one of four SUU Certificates in school leadership: Strategic Stakeholder Operations, Organizational Leadership, Instructional Leadership, and Educational, Political & Community Leadership.

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SUU to Host International Interdisciplinary Conference

SUU News  online


Southern Utah University is honored to host the 43rd Annual Association for Interdisciplinary Studies Conference October 14-16, 2021. The conference attracts teachers, administrators, graduate and undergraduate students, and independent scholars with an interest in developing research and instruction around interdisciplinary studies. This year’s conference will be the first fully virtual AIS conference.

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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 (9)

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.

EDUC 2400 - Schools, Society, and Diversity

This course critically examines educational issues relating to ethnic, racial, linguistic, economic, sexual, and gender diversity grounded in the social sciences and contemporary ideas, issues, and problems through the disciplines of history and philosophy. The course is intended to assist students in creating an equitable teaching and learning environment, furthering pedagogy. Includes school practicum.

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ECED 2950 - Integrated Curriculum and Assessment: PreK-3

Methods in planning and implementing an integrated curriculum using projects and thematic units and developmentally appropriate instruction for children’s learning. Assessment strategies and data collection, both formal and informal, for use in evaluating the progress of children in kindergarten and primary grades, meeting individual needs and reporting progress to parents. This course requires a three-hour per week practicum in addition to class time.

GOSC 4020 General Studies Capstone

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

EDUC 6020 - Information and Technology in Education

Introduction to information technology for teachers, administrators, and media specialists. Examines the role of technology in curriculum and instruction.

EDUC 6440 - Creativity in Education

Exploration of theories, research, and strategies concerning creativity and their application to personal creativity and to improvement of classroom practice.

EDUC 6650 - Practitioner Research I

This course builds upon the practitioner research proposal begun in EDUC 6030 - Principles of Practitioner Research by applying action research tools to classroom study. Candidates finalize research questions, conduct a literature review, determine their research methodology, and obtain IRB approval.

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.

EDUC 6910 - 21st Century Master Teacher

This course analyzes the characteristics of a “Master Teacher” in the 21st century. National standards, a synthesis of current research, and case studies provide the basis and background for the course. Advisor approval required and advisor will complete registration.