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USU Leading Ladies: Maddy Waddoups

Who runs the world? Girls. Who runs Utah State University? Also girls. 
USU is fortunate to operate under the leadership of countless incredible women. Whether they're students, teachers, employees or administration members, women at Utah State are doing amazing things every day that make the university better and encourage women to reach higher. The following profile is the second in a six-part series that will highlight a few of the women at USU who are taking charge and leading by example. 

Maddy Waddoups
Maddy stands by her "wall of inspiration," which features photos of West Wing character C.J. Cregg, President Obama, former Vice President Joe Biden, Madeline Albright, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and more

Maddy Waddoups, a USU sophomore, is a leading lady using her voice to advocate for her fellow students and friends, especially women. As a member of the Huntsman Scholars Program, Vice President of the Women in Business Association and Assistant Director for the Government Relations Council, Maddy has made equal opportunity and fair treatment among students her top priority.

Maddy was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts and then later, because of her father’s job, moved to Australia where she completed her sophomore, junior and senior years in high school. When deciding where to attend college, Maddy found herself touring the Utah State campus, where her parents had attended, and felt that it would be a good fit for her too.

Since then Maddy has immersed herself in the things that she is passionate about, one of those things being student involvement in politics and legislation that has the potential to affect the University. “There’s always improvement to be had,” she said. “Everyone should have a voice. Learning how to advocate for yourself may not come naturally but it’s one of the greatest lessons I’ve learned.”

Maddy, along with her fellow members of the Government Relations Council, travel to Salt Lake City and voice their concerns when legislation is proposed that has the potential to affect Utah State University and its students. Recently, members of the Council advocated for the passing of a resolution that declares the issue of mental health on higher education campuses in Utah a crisis. Council members also met with legislators to discuss proposed legislation that would prohibit increases in government spending allotted toward higher education, even with inflation occurring. That bill died in committee. Maddy encourages political involvement as she serves in her other leadership roles as well, particularly as the VP of the Women and Business Association.

Maddy recognizes that people often take issue with the word “feminism,” but asserts that it shouldn’t be a taboo word or topic. “You simply need to assess on a fundamental level whether or not you think men and women should have the same opportunities,” she said. The WIBA seeks to ensure that those opportunities are equal and that women have a voice in the workplace and everywhere else.

The WIBA hosts lectures and monthly meetings, at which attendees often hear from female executives and businesswomen working in various fields. Maddy feels it’s important to learn from other women and in doing so, create a network of women with whom you can look up to and rely on. “It makes me optimistic for the future when I see women helping women.”

As Maddy leads by example, she encourages her fellow students to be active participants in class and in discussions. “Raise your hand,” she said. “Straight up in the air, be confident in your opinion and be okay with being heard and being recognized.”

Maddy’s efforts and hard work are further evidence of the female leadership Utah State University is fortunate to operate under. To Maddy, her involvement is just a step toward the larger goal of, “making sure everyone has the dignity and respect, as well as the opportunities that they need to succeed.”

Know any remarkable women at USU? To nominate them for a feature story, email us at