View the 95th Episode of the Dialogue Gospel Study featuring Cynthia W. Connell.

Cynthia W. Connell is a nonfiction author, poet and essayist. From her father she is a descendant of the Saponi Indians of Virginia and North Carolina who were a First Contact people, and from her mother she descends from the Algonquin First Nations of Canada. She has a BA in English from Brigham Young University with a special emphasis in writing personal history. Her writing has appeared in print and online publications, including The Ensign Magazine, By Common Consent and Exponent II Magazine. She was one of the Exponent II BIPOC Scholarship winners for 2022, and is a Latter-day Saint Publishing, Media and Arts 2023 Spark Award Winner in the category of Memoir.

Cynthia served a full-time mission in the Arizona Holbrook/Arizona Phoenix Mission among the Navajo, Hopi and Spanish speaking communities. Shortly after returning from her mission, she received a calling to be the Lamanite Cultural Specialist for Historic Temple Square in Salt Lake City. While there she met her future husband, Richard Connell. Thirty-five years later, they are the parents of three children and recently became first-time Grandparents. Together, they served as Presidents of the BYU Former Student Officers Society and later as organizers and first Co-Chairs of the BYU Native American Alumni Association. In addition, Cynthia has also served on committees and panels for both the Mormon History Association and for Latter-day Saints Publishing, Media and Arts.

She and Richard currently live in Springville, Utah where she serves as a Stake Education Specialist for her Ward. Cynthia enjoys family history research, sewing and baking heart healthy treats for her family.