Sunday is International Women's Day, a day set apart to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women.
Utah County has a rich history of amazing women who have lived in the area. Whether they excelled in politics, business, the performing arts, philanthropy or sports, local women have made a big impact in the world.
Here are 15 influential women who have had ties to Utah County.
Astrid Tuminez currently serves at the president of Utah Valley University, the first female to hold the position.
She took over at the school after former university President Matthew Holland left during the summer of 2018 to be a mission president for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
She is the first female and racial minority president at the university. Tuminez is a first-generation college student herself, raised in poverty in the Philippines until she attended BYU and Harvard University before getting her doctorate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Mia Love served as the U.S. Representative from Utah's 4th Congressional District until 2019. She was the first black female Republican in Congress.
She started her political work as a community spokesperson in Saratoga Springs, before she won a seat on the Saratoga Springs City Council in 2003. After six years on the city council, she was elected Mayor in Saratoga Springs.
Known as the "Iron Lady," Becky Lockhart served as the first female Speaker of the House for the the state of Utah. She served for 16 years in the Utah House of Representatives, representing the 64th House District in Provo.
Lockhart died in January 2015 from Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, an extremely rare neurodegenerative disease affecting only one in a million people.
Esther Eggertsen Peterson
Born and raised in Provo, Esther Eggertsen Peterson worked under three different presidential staffs and was a lifetime women's advocate.
She served as Assistant Secretary of Labor and the Director of the United States Women's Bureau under President John F. Kennedy. President Lyndon Johnson assigned her to the post of Special Assistant for Consumer Affairs. She later served as the Director of the Office of Consumer Affairs under President Jimmy Carter.
She also joined the Industrial Union Department, serving as the organization's first female lobbyist.
She received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1981 and was named a delegate of the United Nations as a UNESCO representative in 1993.
She died in 1997 at the age of 91.
Born in American Fork in 1895, Reva Bosone was the first woman elected to Congress from Utah.
She graduated with a law degree from the University of Utah and was the 14th woman admitted to the Utah State Bar. In 1936, she was elected as a Salt Lake City judge and served until she was elected to Congress in 1949.
While in office, she pushed for social welfare programs, including expanding Social Security for military personnel.
Most well-known for her work as a BYU volleyball coach, Elaine Michaelis won coach of the year awards from the Western Athletic Association, Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference and International Association of Coaching.
Michaelis began her sports career at BYU with volleyball, basketball and softball in 1956. Through the 60s and 70s, she coached volleyball, basketball, softball and field hockey. She continued coaching volleyball until 2002, when she retired from coaching.
Michaelis also served as the athletic director for women's intramural and extramural programs at BYU for 10 years. The volleyball court at the Smith Fieldhouse at BYU is named after her.
Michaelis was an women's athlete and coach before women's sports were as universally recognized.
Barbara Barrington Jones
Barbara Barrington Jones is most well-known as an international motivational speaker, specifically for women, as well as a philanthropist.
Channeling her abusive first marriage, Barrington works to help women. She began writing books and became a motivational speaker. She has run a camp for women for many years and has lectured all around the world -- Africa, South America, Korea and Australia.
She has also made substantial donations in the area to places like Thanksgiving Point for the construction of the Museum of Natural Curiosity and to Wee Care at UVU, for childcare for student mothers.
Karen Ashton, along with her husband Alan Ashton, is known for her philanthropy and service in Utah County.
She and her husband planned and built Thanksgiving Point as a community gathering place that hosts community events and theme gardens. She also served on the board of the Orem City Library, and was the founder of the Timpanogos Storytelling Festival.
She has also served on the Utah Valley University Board of Trustees, the Primary Children's Medical Board, the Shakespearean Festival Board of Governors, the BYU Museum of Art board and the BYU President's Leadership Council.
She also served on the Primary General Board and the Young Women General Board for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Shirley Paxman was best known for her involvement in the community, from service on the Provo City Board of Education, fighting for women, to the annual Carols By Candlelight she started. She also worked to save the old Brigham Young Academy, now the Provo City Library at Academy Square, and to save the old St. Francis of Assissi Catholic Church in Provo.
At age 96, she passed away Dec. 17, 2015.
Hester Rippy, a lifetime promoter of literacy, was the co-founder of the Lehi-Rippy Family Literacy Center.
She and her husband Bill Rippy, deceased in 2002, got involved in promoting literacy in 1997 when she received a position in the LDS Church as a literacy specialist.
They discovered that nearly 30 percent of the elementary-aged children in Lehi were reading below their appropriate reading level and with Hester Rippy's persistence, got buses to bring those children to the center and high school students to tutor them. The center soon outgrew its storage room and was moved to the west Lehi Library wing on 120 N. Center St.
President George W. Bush honored her as a Point of Light, L'Oreal Paris featured her as one of the Women of Worth and Lt. Governor Olene Walker presented her with the state's Community Award. She was honored by Jon Huntsman with the Huntsman Award for Excellence in Education, the Utah National Guard with the Minuteman Award and the Utah Coalition on Families gave her the Recognition of Outstanding Efforts award.
She passed away in 2014, four days before her 87th birthday.
During her 30 years as director of the Student Program Bureau at BYU, Janie Thompson oversaw thousands of performances and created six performing groups. Among them are BYU's Lamanite Generation (now the Living Legends), a dynamic performing group that features the choreography of American Indians, Polynesians and Latinos, and the award-winning song and dance group the Young Ambassadors.
In 2012, Thompson was recognized with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the SCERA's seventh annual Evening of Stars gala. The award was for her dedication to the performing arts at BYU.
She passed away in 2013.
Cydni Tetro was the co-founder of the Women Tech Council, an organization that provides mentoring and networking for women. She also works as an Entrepreneur in Residence for Disney.
At Disney, she works with Disney Research to help with commercial products. She has helped startups and served as CEO of a media company, was COO for FamilyLink.com.
She was recognized as a 100 Top Venture Entrepreneur and was a finalist for the Stevie Awards for Top Women Entrepreneurs.
Stephanie Nielson is a mommy blogger who has been inspirational in her recovery from severe burns caused by a plane accident.
Nielson was in a serious plane crash with her husband, Christian, and suffered burns over 80 percent of her body. She was in a coma for three months and underwent surgeries, skin grafts and physical therapy.
One year after her accident, the Utah County resident hiked the "Y" with her family to show her strength in her recovery.
Since then, she has become inspirational for her blog the "NieNie Dialogues" and wrote a New York Times bestselling book about her experiences called "Heaven is Here."
Shauna Rohbock is an Olympic medal-winning bobsledder and former professional soccer player. She also served as a soldier in the U.S. Army National Guard.
Born and raised in Orem, Rohbock graduated from Mountain View High School and BYU. She played soccer for BYU, setting several university records.
She won silver in the 2006 Torino Winter Olympic games held in Turin, Italy.
Noelle Pikus-Pace, an Olympic skeleton racer, won a silver medal in the Sochi Olympics in 2014.
The former Eagle Mountain resident was a favorite to win a the gold in the 2006 Olympics in Turin, but just months before the Olympics, her leg was broken by a four-man bobsled that failed to stop at the finish line. She had surgery and was able to return to racing seven weeks later. The story was told in the documentary "114 Days: The race to Save a Dream."
She placed fourth in the 2010 Olympics and announced her retirement shortly after. However, in 2012, she came out of retirement to try to qualify for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. She won her first Olympics medal -- a silver -- in Sochi.
In an interview after winning the silver medal, she revealed that she had a miscarriage at 18 weeks while carrying her third child. The pain of the loss was the encouragement she needed to get back into the sport and compete in the 2014 Olympics.
She retired after the 2014 Olympics and has since spoken out in encouragement to young women, encouraging them to dress modestly and stick to their values.
Other notable women with Utah County ties
Jane Clayson Johnson - National journalist, BYU graduate
Michelle Kaufusi - First female, and current, mayor of Provo
Elaine Bradley - Drummer for Neon Trees, attended BYU
Margaret Dayton - Current state senator from Orem
Sheri Dew - Author, current CEO of Deseret Book Company, BYU graduate
Patti Edwards - Wife of former BYU head football coach LaVell Edwards
Ruth Hale - Founder of the Hale Center Theater in Orem
Karen Hahne & Brenda Winegar - Founders of Kids on the Move
Sharlene Wells-Hawkes - Former Miss America, singer, ESPN reporter, BYU graduate
Deidre Henderson - Current state senator from Spanish Fork
Paige Holland - Wife of former UVU president Matthew Holland
Jewel - Singer/songwriter, born in Payson
Joyce Johnson - First female mayor of Orem (appointed in 1991)
Michelle McCullough - Entrepreneur and motivator for women
Marie Osmond - Singer/songwriter, born in Provo
Lindsey Stirling - Popular pop violinist, BYU graduate
Stella Welch - First elected female mayor of Orem
Peggy Worthen - Wife of current BYU president Kevin J Worthen
Melanie Huscroft - Co-founder of Younique