EPHRAIM—A life-long Manti resident and graduate of Manti High School was honored as valedictorian for two-year programs during Snow College commencement in Ephraim last Friday, May 6.
The honor went to Amie Squire, daughter of Annette and Ralph Squire, who, according to the commencement program “has always excelled academically.”
At Manti, she maintained a 4.0 grade-point average and was named to academic all-state teams in soccer, basketball and softball. She was also named female athlete of the year at the high school.
After serving a mission in Cincinnati for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Squire wanted to stay close to home and attend a small (but not too small) college, according to a biography in the commencement program.
While at Snow, she took a class called Global Perspectives on Education, which took her to Guatemala for two weeks.
It was in anatomy and physiology classes that she found her passion. She plans to attend Weber State University to study radiography, with a specialization in sonography.
In her valedictory talk, she listed some of the things she had learned at the college, including hard work, time management, getting enough sleep and remembering that no matter how life seems, everything is going to be okay.
Most important, she said, she has learned that “each individual matters” and to “be kind and caring to everyone.”
She described a study of rabbits in the 1970s designed to measure the effects of diet on heart health. A group of rabbits was fed a high-fat diet. The researchers monitored their blood pressure, heart rate and cholesterol.
As expected, many of the rabbits developed fatty deposits inside their arteries. But some rabbits had far less fat inside their arteries. “It was as if there were two groups of rabbits,” Squire said.
Further investigation showed that “every rabbit with fewer fatty deposits had been under the care of one researcher,” she said. “She fed the rabbits the same food as everyone else, but as one scientist reported, she was an unusually kind and caring individual.
“When she fed the rabbits, she talked to them, cuddled and petted them… She did more than simply give the rabbits food. She gave them love.”
The researchers repeated the experiment. “The same thing happened,” Squire told the commencement audience. “Rabbits under the care of the loving researcher had significantly higher health outcomes.”
Later, a scientist published a book titled, “The Rabbit Effect” discussing how the way people treat people affects health as much as lifestyle.
She said Snow College had given kindness and caring to her and many other students, adding, “I know they strive to do this for every student they interact with. Snow College not only affects our education but affects our overall wellbeing….Snow College’s kindness to each of us has made a difference in our personal life.”
Squire plans to be married in July. She and her husband will live in northern Utah while continuing their educations