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The Power to Change for Good

Utah State University

The Power to Change for Good


The Greats 2015 Utah State University

The Greats

The Power to Change for Good W

ith the promise of a new year’s beginning, it is time, once again, to reflect on all that was GREAT for Utah State University in 2015. PRESIDENT STAN L. ALBRECHT celebrated ten years of education, innovation and growth at the university, and since taking the helm in February 2005 he has seen the university through many changes and successes, most notably: 1. Enhancing USU’s Statewide Reach/ Regional Campus Growth 2. Logan Campus Transformation 3. Teaching, Research and Service 4. The Campaign for Utah State University 5. Achievements in Athletics 6. Global Reach

Seeing the Value in Higher Education, USU a Star in Rankings

#3 highest-ranked public university in the West for lowest tuition in “America’s Top Colleges” (U.S. News and World Report “Best Online Graduate Education Programs,” “Best Online Bachelor’s Programs,” January 2015)

#7 safest college campus in the United States (College Factual, Feb. 2015)

#8 in the nation among public colleges of education for total research dollars received, Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services (U.S. News and World Report, “America’s Best Graduate Schools,” 2016 edition)

#8 best public national university for graduates with the least debt (U.S. News & World Report, “Least Debt, Best Colleges,” 2015 edition)

#12 “Best College Town in America” (Niche,“2015 Best College Towns,” June 2015)

#21 public university in the nation in “National Universities Rankings 2015” by Washington Monthly (Washington Monthly, “National University Rankings,” 2015 edition)


he calendar “Year of Water” may be ending, but here at USU the work is never done. The university will continue to ADDRESS GLOBAL WATER CHALLENGES with the same fierce dedication it has for the past 127 years. The university’s engineers, hydrologists, agronomists, sociologists, climate scientists, educators and other researchers are still the foremost voices on issues related to water in the state and beyond. Their passion and understanding of this precious resource drives cutting-edge research and pushes them, as well as their students, to develop solutions to problems across the water spectrum. As Utah’s land-grant institution, it is the mission of Utah State University to serve the public through learning, discovery and engagement. As the Year of Water draws to a close, the university promises to continue its efforts to provide SAFE AND EFFECTIVE SOLUTIONS TO WATER CHALLENGES within Utah, as well as around the world. USU is the state’s source for water expertise — with a future to lead.

Utah Water Research Laboratory Celebrates

50 Years

USU’S UTAH WATER RESEARCH LABORATORY celebrated 50 years in 2015 and has been a leader in applied research aimed at solving current and future interdisciplinary water-related challenges here in Utah and around the globe. The tradition continues today, with internationally renowned UWRL faculty and their students engaged in CUTTING-EDGE RESEARCH benefiting all 29 Utah counties, several states and historically more than 70 countries.

USU 2015

“Year of Water”

1. Enhancing USU’s Statewide Reach/Regional Campus Growth By continually expanding its presence across the state, USU provides Utah students access to higher education by breaking through traditional geographic boundaries.

USU Online Ranks Above the Rest

#13 ranked online bachelor’s degree and graduate education program in the country (U.S. News and World Report “Best Online Graduate Education Programs,” “Best Online Bachelor’s Programs,” January 2015)

#12 ranked online bachelor’s program for veterans in the country (U.S. News and World Report “Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Veterans,” May 2015)

#2 public university in “2016 Most Affordable Online Graduate Schools for Master’s Degrees” (, November 2015)

Two New Buildings Celebrated in USU’s Regional Campus System USU EASTERN’S CENTRAL INSTRUCTION BUILDING was dedicated

USU-Uintah Basin Professor Rich Etchberger is Utah’s Carnegie Professor of the Year


ICH ETCHBERGER, a wildlife science professor at USU’s Uintah Basin campus in Vernal, was named the 2015 Carnegie Professor of the Year for the state of Utah by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. Etchberger created the wildlife science program at UBC when he arrived in 1995.

in October and facilitates the college’s music, theater, visual and fine arts, communications and criminal justice programs. It was also awarded “Best of Year” in the small project category in December by Utah Construction & Design. USU-BRIGHAM CITY unveiled its new classroom and student services building in December to benefit Aggies across Utah by hosting classes through video conferencing to and from other USU locations in the state.

Blanding Campus Native American Rocket Team Competes Nationally Utah State University Eastern engineering students

“I motivate my students to grasp the opportunities to change their lives, to earn a degree and to contribute to their community,” Etchberger said. “I have been extremely fortunate to work with an amazing bunch of undergraduate students over the past 20 years.”

successfully competed in the nation’s largest high-

Etchberger is the university’s 14th faculty member to receive the prestigious educational honor.

them three rockets they designed, built and launched.

powered rocket competition for Native American college students in Wisconsin in May. The students, guided by their professor JARED BERRETT, a USU Eastern engineering faculty advisor, brought with

2. Scaling Up — Logan Campus Transformation

After years of planning by the university, two newly constructed buildings now have a presence on the USU Logan campus thanks to funding from generous donors, state and federal funding and students.

USU Opens Doors of New Aggie Recreation Center to Students USU opened the doors of the new Aggie Recreation Center in November during a ceremony that included local and state higher education dignitaries. USU STUDENTS CREATED AND SECURED FUNDING for the state-of-the-art, 105,000-square-foot building that includes hardwood gym courts, an elevated indoor track, a multi-activity court, a 4,600-square-foot fitness center, group fitness studios and student lounges. It also includes USU’s outdoor programs, a climbing wall, rappelling ledge and an outdoor recreation rental shop.

New Appointment: USU Names Dean of College of Science

Utah State Begins Production of Biosynthetics for Commercialization USU’s newly constructed BIOPRODUCTS SCALE-UP FACILITY on the university’s Innovation Campus opened in February

USU named MAURA E. HAGAN of the National Center for Atmospheric Research

allowing for the production of

in Colorado as the new dean of the College of Science in September. In her new


role, Hagan will work collaboratively with college leadership to foster student success, promote ongoing faculty development, maintain a culture of educational assessment and improvement and ensure consistency of science programs and instruction throughout all USU locations and teaching centers.

OF SPIDER SILK. Stronger than Kevlar and more elastic than nylon, spider silk, until now, could only be produced in limited quantities. The USTAR Bioproducts Scale-Up Facility at USU enables scientists to produce

Happy Birthday Merrill-Cazier Library


SU’S MERRILL-CAZIER LIBRARY marked an important milestone in September 2015 — the 10-year anniversary of its opening. Generations of students have studied in USU’s library, beginning in one room in Old Main on up to the current 305,000-square-foot hub of learning it is today.

synthetic spider silk, as well as other synthetic bioproducts, in quantities that will be useful for the PRODUCTION OF REAL-WORLD PRODUCTS. Funding for the facility was provided by the Utah Science Technology and Research (USTAR) initiative.

3. Teaching, Research, Service USU Receives “Innovation and Economic Prosperity” Designation

USU once again closed the 2014–15 fiscal year with record-breaking research funding, totaling $232 million in sponsored awards. The influx follows a 12 percent increase in research funding to academic colleges, a total of $111 million.

Items of Note

USU was one of 30 institutions to receive the designation from the Association of Public Land-Grant Universities that acknowledges

• USU undergraduate biochemistry and physics

universities working with public and private sector partners in

major KATHRYN “KATIE” SWEET was named as

their states and regions to SUPPORT ECONOMIC DEVELOP-

a 2015 GOLDWATER SCHOLAR in a prestigious

MENT through a variety of activities, including innovation and entrepreneurship, technology transfer, talent and workforce development and community development.

Multi-Million Project Will Teach Relationship Skills to At-Risk Youth For nearly 10 years, USU has offered relationship education classes to people throughout Utah. Now, information will be brought to a new audience: at-risk youth. Over a period of five years, more than $7.6 million in funding will bring HEALTHY

national competition that recognizes outstanding achievements in science and mathematics. • Members of USU’s student chapter of the SOCIETY OF HISPANIC PROFESSIONAL ENGINEERS created a workshop aimed at educating Hispanic parents in Cache Valley about the college application process and financial aid programs available for students. • Jon M. Huntsman College of Business student GAVIN SALISBURY, MIS, ‘16, and recent Huntsman MBA alumnus RILEY DUKE, ‘15, traveled to India to work with the KVM Foundation, which provides English language and professional skills education to university students and community members. • SYDNEY SCHAEFER from the Department of

RELATIONSHIP EDUCATION to youth in juvenile detention

Health, Physical Education and Recreation in the

facilities, alternative high schools and the Youth in Custody program.

Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Hu-

BRIAN HIGGINBOTHAM, a professor in Family, Consumer and Human

man Services received the prestigious NATIONAL

Development in the College of Education and Human Services, and


USU’s associate vice president for Extension, will lead the new project

DEVELOPMENT AWARD in September for research in the physical

that includes instruction, distribution of materials and research.

rehabilitation of older adults.

USU Interfaith Initiative in National Spotlight USU anthropology and religious studies professor BONNIE GLASS-COFFIN developed USU’s Interfaith Initiative to

• NIEL HOLT, director of the Space Dynamics Laboratory, was one of eight individuals honored in April with the 2015 UTAH GOVERNOR’S MEDAL FOR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY. An additional four faculty members are taking home the award in 2016, including Noelle Cockett, Michelle Baker, Christine Hailey and Paul Hill.

“promote positive interaction among people who orient

• NATHAN GEER, assistant professor in USU’s

around religion differently.” And the program is gaining

Department of Mathematics and Statistics, is

national attention as Glass-Coffin was invited by the Huffington Post to write about the initiative and how it helps others learn about and respect those whose convictions are different than their own.

the recipient of a 2015 FACULTY EARLY CAREER DEVELOPMENT ‘CAREER’ AWARD from the National Science Foundation.

4. The Campaign for Utah State University

The generosity and thoughtfulness of USU donors ensures the future success of Utah State University and its students.

USU Names Engineering Building in Honor of Longtime Supporters USU named its FLAGSHIP ENGINEERING CLASSROOM BUILDING in honor of RICHARD AND MOONYEEN ANDERSON in August. The Andersons are alumni of USU and have made countless contributions through the years that have benefited students and the campus community. Their lifetime giving and most recent financial commitment total more than $5 million — a level of support that ensures the long-term success of the Richard and Moonyeen Anderson Scholarship fund that has helped approximately 100 undergraduate students complete an engineering degree at USU.

Lauded Aboriginal Artwork Displayed at USU

Woodbury Corporation Donates $1 Million to USU's Wayne Estes Center WOODBURY CORPORATION, a real estate development company headquartered in Salt Lake City, DONATED $1 MILLION to the Wayne Estes Center, USU’s new athletic center, as part of its ongoing commitment to strengthening the communities in which it does business. Woodbury Corporation and USU have a working relationship that spans more than 25 years.

USU's School of Accountancy Announces New Professorship The School of Accountancy in the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business at USU has formed a $1.5 MILLION BONNIE B. AND JAMES H. QUIGLEY/DELOITTE FOUNDATION PROFESSORSHIP IN ACCOUNTING thanks to support provided by the Quigleys, with added support from the Deloitte Foundation. The Quigleys are USU alums who are appreciative of the quality of education and opportunities afforded to them during their time at USU.


WO COMPLEMENTARY EXHIBITIONS featuring artists from the Australian Western Desert and the American West were on display at the Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art (NEHMA) at USU beginning summer 2015. “Abstraction and the Dreaming: Aboriginal Paintings from Australia’s Western Desert” (1971-present), featured historic and contemporary works from private collections, and “Transcendence: Abstraction and Symbolism in the American West” was drawn from NEHMA’s own distinguished art collection. Works for the Abstraction and the Dreaming exhibition were loaned from collectors JOHN AND BARBARA WILKERSON, New York (John is an alumnus of USU); Dennis Scholl, Miami; Julie Harvey, Idaho; and Stephen Luczo, San Francisco.

5. Achievements in


Several notable events have changed the face of Aggie Athletics, increasing notoriety and providing a surge of momentum into the next century.

Maverik Stadium Announced as Part of New Corporate Partnership Utah State’s football venue is now known as MERLIN OLSEN FIELD at MAVERIK STADIUM after USU and Maverik, Inc., owners of convenience stores throughout the Intermountain West, jointly announced a long-term naming rights partnership to its football stadium. Romney Stadium was originally built in 1968 and was named after legendary Utah State football and basketball coach and athletics director E. Lowell ‘Dick’ Romney, who spent 29 seasons as the Aggies’ athletics director and head football coach from 1919–48.

Student-Athlete Graduation Success Legendary USU Basketball Leader Closes the Book on Coaching


NE OF THE GREATEST CHAPTERS in Utah State University men’s basketball history came to a close in March when HEAD COACH STEW MORRILL (above left) coached his final regular season game on the floor of the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum. The coach, who patrolled the bench for 17 years, retired at the end of the season, marking the end of a men’s basketball dynasty. During his tenure, Morrill guided the Aggies to 17 STRAIGHT WINNING SEASONS, including 12 of the top 13 seasons in school history in terms of wins. His tenure also included a string of 13 consecutive postseason appearances, including eight NCAA tournament bids, four in the NIT and one CIT run that continued all the way to the championship game.

The USU student athlete Graduation Success Rate stands at 87 PERCENT according to the NCAA. Among Utah State’s 16 NCAA sponsored sports, two have a 100 percent GSR — men’s tennis and men’s basketball, both having achieved that metric for eight straight years.

Comings and Goings: • One of the longest tenured assistant coaches at USU in any sport, STEVE REEDER, retired in summer after completing his 35th year as the distance coach for the Aggies’ track and field and cross country programs. • JOHN HARTWELL was named USU’s new vice president and director of athletics in July, after spending the past three years as the athletics director at Troy University. Hartwell succeeds Scott Barnes, who had served at USU since 2008.

Aggie Accolades • Utah State head football coach MATT WELLS was selected as the Coach of the Year in April at the Fourth Annual Governor’s State of Sport Awards in Salt Lake City. • 12 FOOTBALL PLAYERS earned various all-conference accolades, including linebackers KYLER FACKRELL and NICK VIGIL, who both

Former USU ASSISTANT COACH TIM DURYEA (above right) was named Morrill’s successor becoming the 18th head men’s basketball coach in 110 years.

garnered first-team honors. • USU’s CHARI HAWKINS broke her own school record in the heptathlon during the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Finals in June, wrapping up her illustrious career as an Aggie by recording 5,750 points during the event.

6. Global Reach

A Utah State University education provides a variety of rich learning experiences inside and outside the classroom. Part of that experience is learning together with people from a wide variety of backgrounds from countries around the globe.

USU and NASA Launch Probes into Northern Lights A NASA Oriole IV suborbital sounding rocket blasted off from Alaska’s Poker Flat Research Range in January into the Aurora Borealis carrying SIX RESEARCH PAYLOADS built by the USU’S SPACE DYNAMICS LABORATORY as part of NASA’s Auroral Spatial Structures Probe mission. The USU payloads are helping scientists and satellite operators to better understand the energy processes during auroral activity in the thermosphere and its effects on satellites as they orbit Earth. Satellite planners and operators are able to better plan and forecast the state of the thermosphere as they relate to satellite trajectories. This becomes increasingly valuable information during solar storms when large

amounts of electromagnetic energy interact with Earth’s upper atmosphere.

USU Signs 2-Year Research Deal with Korean Bio Medical Institute A new deal was signed by USU researchers that could help bring fresh answers in the FIGHT AGAINST CANCER, DIABETES and other diseases. Representatives from the university and USTAR-Endowed Professor of Biological Engineering FOSTER AGBLEVOR signed an official research agreement with SORAM Bio-Medicine Research Institute of Seoul, South Korea.

Theatre Arts Faculty Member Creates International Exhibit Theatre Arts Professor NANCY HILLS, from the Caine College of the Arts, travelled to Great Britain to present an exhibit based on her research of British clothing historian, costume designer, teacher, conservator and author Janet Arnold (1932–1998). The presentation featured recreations of Arnold’s gowns that were constructed by USU THEATRE ARTS GRADUATE STUDENTS and modeled by 11 USU INTERIOR DESIGN STUDENTS.

USU's Space Crop Expert Separates Fact from Fiction on Farming in Space


RUCE BUGBEE’S job title, director of USU’s Crop Physiology Laboratory, conjures thoughts of a scientist whose work is firmly rooted in the earth. But for the past 33 years, the majority of Bugbee’s research has focused on how to GROW FOOD IN SPACE. The book, and now major movie, The Martian makes growing food in space, or more precisely on Mars, key to the hero’s survival. Bugbee explained some of the finer points of the science of growing plants in space and assisted reporters from around the world on what the story gets right and where it’s more fiction than science in news outlets ranging from the Huffington Post, to the Discovery News Channel, to Popular Mechanics and Business Insider.

The Utah State University Greats 2015 is published by the USU Public Relations and Marketing Office, 0500 Old Main Hill, Logan, Utah, 84322– 0500, Phone: (435) 797-1351. Copyright 2016.

USU Greats 2015  

You know what's GREAT about ideas? Anyone can have one. They can come anytime, from anywhere, right out of the blue, in ways we least expect...

USU Greats 2015  

You know what's GREAT about ideas? Anyone can have one. They can come anytime, from anywhere, right out of the blue, in ways we least expect...