Through NHD Utah, students develop real-world research, analysis, and presentation skills. They make connections between the world they know and the choices made by people in the past. Each of these students have been recognized for their exemplary work beyond our competitions. Their stories offer inspiration for students and adults alike.
Natalia Lopez

Natalia Lopez looks to her family’s heritage for inspiration when choosing topics for her documentaries.  She has represented Utah at NHD’s national contest three times. As a sophomore at Green Canyon High School, she was selected for the NHD Digital Documentary Showcase at the National Museum of African American History. She also presented on NHD to the Utah State Board of Education.

Documentary Projects

Brown v. Board of Education

The Triumph and Tragedy of the East Los Angeles Walkouts

Mendez v. Westminster: Breaking Barriers


Green Canyon Student Win National Award

Jacob Simmons

Jacob Simmons graduated from Brighton High School in 2020.  During his junior year he was selected as an NHD Normandy Scholar. Working with teacher Eden Ellingson, he completed an intensive course of study on WWII and travelled to France to study the Allied Invasion. At the Normandy American Cemetery, he delivered a eulogy for Utah’s Silent Hero Second Lieutenant John K. Lundberg.  During middle and high school, Jacob created four NHD documentaries, taking each to the NHD national contest.

Documentary Projects

St. Eustatius: The Exploration, Encounter, and Exchange That Won the Revolution

Rabin of Israel: A Story of War and Peace

Louis D. Brandeis: Standing for the People

Fritz Haber: Feeding the World and Warfare


Madeline Christianson

Madeline Christianson was a sophomore at Lakeridge Junior High School when she created her award-winning Ghost Army exhibit, exploring the history of her great-grandfather’s clandestine World War II unit.  She became an active lobbyist on behalf of Ghost Army veterans, traveling to Washington DC several times to urge Congressional support for formal recognition of their service.  A four-year NHD competitor, she is known for her tireless research and intricate exhibits.

Exhibit Titles

Daughters of Liberty...Freedom Begins at Home

Prohibition: The Conflict of No Compromise

Ghost Army

Marie-Madeleine Fourcade: Breaking Gender Barriers, From Socialite to Savior