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Herald Journal Thursday, Mar. 22, 2018

Former USU President George Emert Dies

George Emert, who served as Utah State University’s president from 1992-2000, has died. He was 79. USU stated in a press release Thursday that Emert died March 21 but did not give a cause of death. ... In a prepared statement, USU President Noelle Cockett praised Emert as a “dynamic leader.” “Throughout George’s administration, we all benefited from his ability to identify new opportunities to grow Utah State University and further our land grant mission,” Cockett stated. “He will be missed by the Aggie family.” ... Ross Peterson, who was a USU history professor during Emert’s tenure, remembers thinking it was good for USU get a fresh perspective, seeing Emert was never from the Intermountain West. “He was really the very first president from outside this reach since the very first (USU President Jeremiah Sanborn),” Peterson said. ... As USU president, Emert was a man who was both strongly praised and criticized. ... After Emert left office, he joined the USU faculty to teach for one year. In 2002, the auditorium inside the Eccles Science Learning Center was named after Emert and his wife, Billie.

The Player's Tribune Tuesday, Mar. 20, 2018

The Toughest Call of My Life

"I was three days away from my NBA dream, and I walked away. ... Three days before I was supposed to leave Utah, I made the hardest phone call of my life. I called up the Bucks. I told them I wouldn't be showing up and I explained why. Now I'm ready to tell you why, too. ... My family went wild the day I signed with Milwaukee. ... It was as happy a scene as anything I've witnessed in my entire life. But it wasn't how I was supposed to feel. ... I was about to have a panic attack. ... It's still hard to even think about, you know? Just coming to terms with this idea that for so long, my whole life - every decision I've made, every day I spent practicing, putting in work in the gym so I could achieve this one goal...and then you're in that moment and it's not how you imagined it. ... As the summer went on, the strange sensations got more frequent. ... Then I saw the symptoms. Fatigue, sweating, heightened heart rate, unwanted thoughts. I pretty much checked all of the boxes. They were all of the same things I was going through. ... It would be nice to say that every day gets a little easier, but it's not that simple. ... Right now I feel so much better than I did a few months ago. ... Mental health is real, and can be helped, I don't think our country talks about it enough.

Herald Journal Tuesday, Mar. 20, 2018

USU Celebrates 'National Ag Day'

On Utah State University’s quad on Tuesday morning, Tiffany Olsen squatted with her phone to get a picture of her 4-year-old daughter with Smokey the miniature horse. ... Smokey, who resides at the American West Heritage Center, was part of National Ag Day festivities on campus. Now in its 45th year, the annual day of celebration seeks to inform Americans how food is produced, the role agriculture plays in their lives and the how it provides for a stable economy. On Tuesday, the Quad was a space dedicated to doing just that. A giant cow statue painted blue and white stood on the sidewalk as USU students from the College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences handed out free milk from Gossner Foods and promoted the Dairy Science Club. Branch, an agriculture education major who sits on the College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences Council, told The Herald Journal why it’s important to be involved in National Ag Day. ... Branch believes part of the population is not aware of the inner workings of agriculture, so events like National Ag Day “let people see it, be aware of it and experience it.” ... National Ag Day is part of the larger National Ag Week, March 18 to 24, organized by the nonprofit Agriculture Council of America. According to the council’s website, National Ag Day is “a nationwide effort to tell the true story of American agriculture and remind citizens that agriculture is a part of all of us.” All kinds of entities, including public schools and higher education institutions like USU, participate in National Ag Day.

Cache Valley Dail Monday, Mar. 19, 2018

State Supreme Court Visits Utah State University

Students, facility and visitors had the opportunity Monday morning, to watch as two cases were argued before the Utah Supreme Court. The open court session was held at Utah State University for the first time in recent years. ...“The public needs to understand,” said Judge Durrant. “There’s a place where they can go and receive a decision on their individual case. Where the decision makers will be uninfluenced by popular sentiment, by race, gender, or other extraneous factors, where they can get a neutral arbiter. So, I think it is very important that the courts be respected in that way. ... After hearing the opinions in both cases, the justices said they would take the arguments under advisement and issue their written rulings at a later date. USU president Noelle Cockett said it was a pleasure to host the court on campus. She expressed gratitude for those involved in the judicial branch of government, who are concerned and have a passion about the rule of law and people’s rights.

Herald Journal Monday, Mar. 19, 2018

Students Share What Gives Them 'Hope' During Mental Health Week

On Monday inside the Taggart Student Center at Utah State University, Mollie Embody observed a wall covered in Polaroid pictures and tried to decide where to place the one just taken of her. ... Embody and other students were asked to pin a picture of themselves up on the wall and write a word or two describing what gives them hope during an activity that marked the start of USU’s Mental Health Week. ... During the lunch hour rush on the first floor of the TSC, students flocked to get their photo taken, write something and post it on the wall. “Sunshine,” “people who listen,” “music” and “God’s plan” were just a few of the things people wrote down that gave them hope. ... Addressing students’ mental health needs has been a priority on the part of USU officials over the last few years. In 2016, the USUSA approved a resolution declaring a “mental health crisis” on campus, and Utah’s other public colleges and universities did the same. The following year, after listening to students, Rep. Ed Redd, R-Logan, sponsored a campus mental health resolution, which was signed by Gov. Gary Herbert. Utah’s higher education governing board, the Utah Board of Regents, also formed a taskforce to address the issue. In the fall of 2017, the taskforce released its recommendations, which included requiring institutions to provide Mental Health First Aid courses. The first such courses at USU were provided in the Ellen Eccles Conference Center on March 16.

The Utah Statesman Monday, Mar. 19, 2018

USUSA VP Opens Up About Personal Mental Health Struggles

Joe Aratari was a sophomore at Herriman High School when he started severely struggling with mental health. Aratari is a junior majoring in communication studies, and he is the current student events vice president for the Utah State University Student Association. ... Toward the end of his sophomore year, Aratari was diagnosed with depression, which led him to start seeing a counselor and taking medication. ... “I think it was good for them to know that things weren’t perfectly perfect in everyone’s life,” he said. ... But things changed when he moved to Logan to attend USU. ... Though his position as a vice president has been incredibly rewarding, he said, with tears falling from his eyes, his depression sometimes makes it difficult for him to support his three directors in their work. ... Though many people he’s met through student involvement have impacted his life, Aratari said Felicia Gallegos, his best friend and a former USUSA activities director, has made the largest difference in his time at USU. ... Though Aratari’s position focuses primarily on overseeing events, he ran hoping to make a difference for others and pass on what he said has been given to him. ... “It’s been very motivating and encouraging, because I see the struggles that I’ve been through, and it makes me see the light at the end of the tunnel through doing involvement and becoming something more than yourself,” he said.

Herald Journal Friday, Mar. 16, 2018

Dancing, Gathering Found at Annual USU Pow Wow

There are over 550 federally recognized Native American tribes across the country, and that diversity is apparent at the USU Pow Wow. ... On Friday night and Saturday afternoon, the USU Nelson Fieldhouse is transformed into a dance hall, sales floor, cafeteria and gathering place. Event organizer Alina Begay, multicultural program coordinator at USU, said the 45th annual Pow Wow helps educate people on the Native experience. “I feel like a lot of times Native culture has been portrayed as in the past, in textbooks, especially here at USU for the classes, so they get to experience contemporary and the way we live our lives now,” Begay said. ... Vendors line the walls of the Fieldhouse, selling traditional clothing, beaded jewelry, screen-printed T-shirts and Native trinkets. ... On Saturday, the Fieldhouse will open at noon. ... Some dancers travel to pow wows for the cash prizes; others do it for fun.

Power Systems Design Friday, Mar. 16, 2018

Two Better Than One: USU Chemists Advance Sustainable Battery Technology

Utah State University chemists' efforts to develop alternative battery technology solutions are advancing and recent findings are highlighted in a renowned, international chemistry journal.  Tianbiao Liu, assistant professor in USU's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and his team reported a new molecular design for aqueous organic redox flow batteries, known as AORFBs, in the Jan. 2, 2018, issue of Angewandte Chemie, in which their paper is honored as a cover feature. In addition to Liu, the paper's authors are USU postdoctoral researcher Jian Luo and doctoral students Bo Hu and Camden DeBruler. ... The chemists' demonstrated battery delivered a high voltage of 1.44 volts in an aqueous electrolyte, along with impressive energy efficiency and capacity retention.  "The design is very robust and very stable," Liu says.

NASA Friday, Mar. 16, 2018

University Student Projects Launching on NASA Rocket from Wallops

Undergraduate students from across the United States will see the fruits of their efforts when their technology development projects fly on a NASA sounding rocket at 6:30 a.m. EDT, March 22, 2018, from the agency’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Student teams from four universities will be flying projects that include propulsion systems for small spacecraft; a new wire insulation material; a small reentry spacecraft; and a deployable boom and solar blanket for small satellites. Joyce Winterton, Wallops' senior advisor for education and leadership development, said, “The four universities were selected in 2016 to participate in the NASA Undergraduate Student Instrument Project or USIP. The teams are not only exploring projects that may impact future spaceflight but they are getting invaluable experience that will propel them into their future careers.” Participating universities and their projects are: ... Utah State University, Logan: The flight will test an arc-ignition, green propellant CubeSat thruster system. During the flight test, measurements will be gathered in order to assess the potentially harmful effects of plume contamination on spacecraft optical sensors, external electronics and solar panels. ... The NASA Visitor Center at Wallops will open at 5:30 a.m. EDT on launch day for viewing the flight. Live coverage of the mission is scheduled to begin at 6 a.m. on the Wallops Ustream site. Launch updates also are available via the Wallops Facebook and Twitter sites. Facebook Live coverage begins at 6:15 a.m. The rocket launch is expected to be seen from the eastern shore of Virginia and Maryland. Smartphone users can download the “What’s Up at Wallops” app for information on the launch as well as a compass showing the precise direction for launch viewing.

Utah Public Radio Friday, Mar. 16, 2018

USU Hosts Annual Organ Festival With Mormon Tabernacle Organist

A 1967 Holtkamp Organ is the featured instrument at the annual Campbell Organ Festival in Logan. Richard Elliott, principal organist for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, will be performing a few of his original works in the recently renovated Daines Concert Hall on the Utah State University campus this Friday. UPR's arts reporter Owen Sidwell visited Elliott at the Daines to find out more about how the organ works.

Utah Public Radio Wednesday, Mar. 14, 2018

Romney Meets with USU Students to Gain Support for U.S. Senate Seat

Students on the Utah State University Logan campus had an opportunity to shake hands with a former governor, Olympic organizer and past presidential candidate Wednesday. Mitt Romney was in Logan trying to gain support for the seat in the U.S. Senate, which opened when longtime Senator Orrin Hatched announced he is not going to run for reelection. On the USU Campus, Romney organized a meet and greet with students he hoped would support his candidacy. “He was a really nice guy," said longtime supporter and USU student Dillion Hutchins. "[He] asked for my name which was great. And signed my book with my name and it was awesome. He’s somebody I support because he stands up for what’s right in politics. I think a lot of time there aren’t those types of people so that’s one reason why I’m supporting him.” ... While on USU campus, Romney also taught a political science class.

USTAR Wednesday, Mar. 14, 2018

USTAR Announces Latest Round of Awards to University Researchers

The Utah Science Technology and Research Initiative (USTAR) announced the selection of eight University Technology Acceleration Grant (UTAG) awards.  “These projects are a testament to Utah’s innovative spirit,” said Ivy Estabrooke, Ph.D., USTAR executive director. ... The Utah Science Technology and Research Initiative (USTAR) announced the selection of eight University Technology Acceleration Grant (UTAG) awards. ... The UTAG program provides university researchers with funding for advanced stages of applied research and development activities to address the market gap where both federal funding and private investment are sparse. ... This competitive grant allows researchers to accelerate research and development, establish proof of concept, or perform product validation.  Selected projects span a wide range of deep-technology focused economic clusters such as life sciences and energy. ... A researcher from Utah State University, Silvana Martini, is incorporating high intensity ultrasound to improve the physical properties of healthy fats with the goal of providing healthier fat alternatives without compromising product quality. ... Applications were assessed by independent peer review panels prior to receiving final approval by the USTAR Governing Authority. Award amounts will be released pending final contract negotiations.

Cache Valley Daily Wednesday, Mar. 14, 2018

USU Researcher Seeks to Teach Engineering Fundamentals to Blind Students

A Utah State University researcher is developing non-visual techniques to teach the fundamentals of engineering to students who are blind or low vision. Dr. Wade Goodridge will oversee a new research study on spatial ability among blind students. “Spatial ability is not something that is only developed through sight," Dr. Goodridge explains. ... "So a blind or low vision person’s capability to mentally map a room they’re in and know to head a certain direction to go out a door. That is spatially relevant, it’s a model in their mind.” He said they are seeking to understand how a blind or low vision person develops spatial ability because it is an area of research that needs more attention.

Salt Lake Tribune Tuesday, Mar. 13, 2018

'Fan Apathy' Factored Into Utah State's Decision to Fire Tim Duryea

When Utah State athletics director John Hartwell met Sunday with Tim Duryea, the Aggies basketball coach asked if another win or two in the conference tournament might have been enough to save his job. The answer? No. The decision to fire him after three seasons as the coach in Logan was about much more than that. Utah State prides itself on its tradition of basketball success. As Hartwell assessed his men’s basketball program, however, he no longer saw the enthusiasm that once filled the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, and he no longer envisioned a path back there with Duryea at the helm. In an interview with The Salt Lake Tribune this week, Hartwell said wins and losses were a factor in the decision to fire Duryea, but there also were concerns about the future of the basketball program, an alarming drop in season ticket holders over the past four years and what Hartwell called “fan apathy” in Logan. ... “We want to make sure we get the right person leading this program going forward,” Hartwell said. “… When I think about who would be the perfect candidate, it’s somebody with passion and fire and proven recruiting prowess.”

UB Media Tuesday, Mar. 13, 2018

Dr. Johan du Toit to Speak at the Utah Field House of Natural History

Utah State University Professor Dr. Johan du Toit will speak at the Utah Field House of Natural History on Thursday March 15 at 7:00 p.m. Dr. du Toit will discuss the relationship between humans and prehistoric mammals and how this interaction shaped the evolutionary history of both. The presentation will focus on the evolutionary origins of humans and explain how our ancestors depended on the carcasses of large mammals, know as the megafauna for protein in African savannas. ... Dr. du Toit’s research interests are diverse, but mainly focus on the ecology of large mammals in terrestrial ecosystems. Dr. du Toit, along with his students’ investigates various topics regarding large mammals with field studies focused on southern African savannas and western American rangelands. For more information please contact the Utah Field House of Natural History. The lecture is free to the public.

Herald Journal Tuesday, Mar. 13, 2018

Spruced-Up Aggie Ice Cream Store Opens

Whether you’re a true-blooded Aggie from Utah or not, who doesn’t love the “spot where the ice cream flows”? That spot would be the newly renovated Aggie Ice Cream store at the Nutrition and Food Sciences Building at Utah State University. The store opened Tuesday after several weeks of renovations to take the space that functioned as an ice cream/deli shop and turn it into one that features ice cream and specialty sodas. “By adding the soda shoppe, it kind of of gives it an older ice cream soda shop feel. There’s nothing else like that on campus,” said Bridgett Liberty, Aggie Ice Cream Store manager. ... Today, the latest iteration of the Aggie Ice Cream store sells grab-and-go food items and drinks, including the specialty sodas out of the Soda Shoppe. ... As an added touch, the store includes the words of USU’s fight song, “The Scotsman,” painted on the wall — with an added line, “where the ice cream flows.” ... While not all elements of the store were ready Tuesday, that did not stop a steady stream of students and community members from coming to the Aggie Ice Cream store to please their sweet tooth.

KSL Tuesday, Mar. 13, 2018

USU Outdoor Design Program Gives Students Head Start in Industry

Utah State University’s Outdoor Design Program is only 3 years old, but it has more than 180 students enrolled. And even though their first graduates won’t come until 2019, they are already placing students with jobs. “The state of Utah has a lot of outdoor companies,” Assistant Professor Andrew Deceuster explained. “There was kind of a need to help fill that niche and that void of designers that were specifically trained to work with the outdoor companies.” ... With the help of 3-D printers, a metals lab, and a sewing lab, students get to see their ideas through, from inception to building prototypes.

Deseret News Monday, Mar. 12, 2018

Lighting Projects Saves USU Nearly $50K Per Year

Utah State University’s energy management team has completed a series of lighting upgrades at facilities across the state that it says will save nearly $50,000 and an estimated 794,460 kilowatt-hours annually. Zac Cook, USU’s energy manager, said the improvements will also reduce costs and aid in achieving the university’s goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050. ... The annual energy savings is equivalent to taking nearly 74 homes off the grid for a year, according to Cook. ... The projects represent $279,268 in improvements to the Logan campus and several regional campuses.

Herald Journal Monday, Mar. 12, 2018

Mitt Romney to Stop in Logan on Wednesday

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Mitt Romney is scheduled to make appearances in Logan on Wednesday. The 2012 presidential hopeful, former Massachusetts governor and 2002 Winter Olympics director will appear at Utah State University, according to MJ Henshaw, Romney's communications director. Romney will teach a political science class in Old Main at 1:30 p.m. before heading over to the second floor of the Taggart Student Center at 2:30 p.m. to do a meet and greet. He will also visit with USU President Noelle Cockett, tour Gossner Foods, and meet with local officials.

Herald Journal Monday, Mar. 12, 2018

USU Gets Legislative Funds for BNR Renovation

Ask USU officials and they’ll agree the BNR could use some work. Thanks to the Utah Legislature’s efforts this past session, the university will get the money it needs — $23 million — to renovate and bring the building up to code. Maura Hagan, dean of USU’s College of Science, told The Herald Journal in a prepared statement that the university is “delighted and grateful for the Legislature’s support,” which will enable USU to update the BNR and “better provide foundational courses in the biological sciences for our students throughout the university." "We look forward to working closely with the Utah Division of Facilities Construction and Management and USU Facilities to come up with a plan that meets our students’ needs,” Hagan said. The university has “much planning to do” before giving a timeline of the BNR renovation project or what it will mean for occupants of the building, she said. ... Ben Berrett, director of USU facilities planning, design and construction, said the renovation will include two small additions: a new circulation tower and a 2,000-square-foot addition to the west entrance to provide a lobby and student study space outside the 300-seat auditorium. ... For USU, the idea of renovating the BNR is a long time coming.

Deseret News Sunday, Mar. 11, 2018

Utah State Fires Head Men's Basketball Coach Tim Duryea

Utah State University athletic director John Hartwell announced early Sunday evening that Duryea has been relieved of his duties after three seasons as the head coach of the Aggie men’s basketball team. “We appreciate everything that Tim and his staff have contributed to Utah State the past three seasons, both on and off the court,” Hartwell said in a statement. “However, we feel it is in the best interest of the program to make a change.” ... The longest tenured assistant coach in USU history, Duryea was hired in April 2015 by former athletic director Scott Barnes to replace Stew Morrill following the Aggie legend’s retirement after 17 seasons as the head coach at Utah State. ... The statement released by USU on Sunday said “a national search for Utah State’s next head men’s basketball coach will begin immediately.”

Utah Public Radio Thursday, Mar. 08, 2018

Robotic Milking Machines Being Tested in Cache Valley

Researchers at the state’s agricultural university, Utah State University, are researching a robotics system that could be used to milk cows. Glen Mickelson is an assistant herdsman at the USU Caine Research Dairy. The dairy is in the process of replacing their hand milking program. Instead of using employees to do the milking two robotic machines have been installed. ... Mickelson said dairy farmers and milk production companies are interested in the results of the study. ... Robotic milking machines could be used by dairy farmers hoping to modernize their milking operation. Manufacturers of the robot are still trying to find ways to make sure the milking area of the cow is clean and free of contamination. Veterinarians at the dairy said they are also evaluating the amount of time it takes for most cows to adjust to being milked by a robot.

Cache Valley Daily Wednesday, Mar. 07, 2018

Funding for USU Science Building Comes Together After Legislative Session

The 2018 session of the Utah legislature will all be over on Thursday, March 8 at the stroke of midnight. State Senator Lyle Hillyard, R-Logan, feels that it has been a very good session this year and does not expect any last-minute negative surprises. ... "I was very, very pleased that we were able to get the (Utah State University) science building finished," Hillyard exclaims. "That's been a project for about two years. We did it piecemeal because of the budget, with clearly the understanding that we would finish the rest this year. ... He says it would cost a lot more to have to come back next year or the year after that to get the building finished. The Life Sciences building is currently under construction and the legislature approved $38 million of the $45 million price tag for the building.

Herald Journal Tuesday, Mar. 06, 2018

School Districts, USU Take Differing Stances on Student Gun Control Protests

Since a Florida high school shooting that left 17 dead sparked a national conversation about guns in America, officials with Utah State University and local school districts are responding to questions over how they would handle students who choose to walk out of class in protest of gun laws. ... On Tuesday, Frank Schofield, superintendent of the Logan City School District, issued a prepared statement to parents and students about the district’s role in political issues like gun control and how it would handle students who participate in protests. ... Universities across the country, including the University of Utah, have come out publicly saying whether prospective students choose to protest or not, it will not have a negative impact on their chances of admission. USU has not gone as public as some other schools on this issue, but Eric Warren, a university spokesman, told The Herald Journal the school would follow “standard admissions requirements” when deciding which students to admit to the Logan-based university. As far as current USU students, Warren said the university does not have broad-based attendance policies for students.

Herald Journal Saturday, Mar. 03, 2018

'Interesting Creatures': USU Professor Discusses World of Ecology

Utah State University Professor Nancy Huntly grew up in Michigan enjoying nature, but she had no idea it would lead to a career. ... Today, Huntly is the director of the USU Ecology Center and was recently named a Fellow of the Ecological Society of America, a large community of ecological scientists. Closer to home, she organizes the popular, public-oriented Science Unwrapped event series. Huntly sat down with The Herald Journal on Friday to discuss ecology and her career.

Utah Public Radio Friday, Mar. 02, 2018

Local Piano Festival Brings International Talent to Students And Community

The Wasserman Festival is an international musical celebration on Utah State University campus. The festival features various performers throughout the spring, including Yekwon Sunwoo. ... Sunwoo is one of the featured performers during this year’s Wasserman Festival. Formally named the Music West Festival, the Wasserman Festival was founded in 1980 by Irving Wassermann. He wanted a venue to showcase international talent to local music students. After his retirement, the festival was renamed in his honor. Along with public concerts, festival officials also organize lectures, demonstrations and masterclasses from some of the leading pianists around the world. “One of the things that I specifically do, is I try not to just pick performers that I like. Instead I think about trying to bring artists in that represent differences. So that in a season, students will get the chance to hear multiple different artistic goals,” said Dennis Hirst, festival director and associate professor in the Caine College of the Arts at USU. ... Daniel Hsu was the first performer this year. Yekwon Sunwoo, Kevin Kenner and the Brad Mehldau Trio will be playing in March and April.

Deseret News Friday, Mar. 02, 2018

USU Named a Top Producer of Fulbright Scholars

Seven scholars from Utah State University were awarded Fulbright grants for the 2017-18 academic year, more than any other university in the state and the second largest producer of Fulbright scholars in the Western states. According to the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, that places USU in the top 10 of research institutions producing Fulbright scholars. “Research has always been top priority at USU, and our faculty continue to press the envelope on innovating and discovering within their fields,” USU President Noelle Cockett said in a statement. ... Fulbright scholars are awarded grants to conduct research, lecture, and/or consult with other international scholars and institutions through the Fulbright and other international programs.

Outside Thursday, Mar. 01, 2018

Get a Degree in Gear at Utah State University

At USU, students in the country’s first program for gear designers aren’t just learning how to sew a bestselling jacket. They’re being groomed to lead the industry’s next big political and environmental fights. ... In 2015, Logan-based Utah State, tucked in the foothills of the Wasatch Range north of Salt Lake City, launched the Outdoor Product Design and Development program, the country’s first undergraduate major created expressly for outdoor-gear designers. ... Purser and her 41 classmates will be the first to graduate from Utah State’s program, in spring 2019. The major—which now has more than 170 students—prioritizes hands-on experience. ... “We want to teach these students the history of products,” Michael says. “But we also want to teach them, when they’re tasked with making a new line of gear, to build something innovative.” ... These days, if you want to make a difference in the outdoor industry, it’s no longer enough to love playing in wild places. The battles increasingly happen on a national stage and require strategic thinking. ... “These kids should make the whole culture better,” says Michael. “The question for us is: How do we produce thought leaders in an industry that needs to be asking the hard ethical and environmental questions?”

Herald Journal Thursday, Mar. 01, 2018

L.L.Bean Officials Promote Products and 'Bootmobile' at USU

Outside the Taggart Student Center on Thursday, Utah State University student Jackson Morgan decided to try his hand at a boot toss activity though he did not use just any boot. Morgan tossed several of L.L.Bean’s iconic duck boots to win a prize during the Maine-based clothing company’s Winter Fun Tour. ... L.L.Bean experiential marketing specialists Ben Sandy and Keith Smith said the company only makes stops for the tour in places where the company’s stores are located. Utah does not have an L.L.Bean store now, but since the company plans to open its first Utah brick-and-mortar store in Park City later this year, officials were able to make USU a stop on the Winter Fun Tour. ... Sandy and Smith hung out at the L.L.Bean booth on campus Thursday to talk with students. They also gave a seminar in Old Main about the company’s history and an overview of its product line. ... Chase Anderson, a development officer at USU, said he heard about L.L.Bean’s Winter Fun Tour and contacted company officials to see if they’d come to USU. Anderson said L.L. Bean’s appearance at USU coincides nicely with the school’s outdoor product design program.

Utah Public Radio Thursday, Mar. 01, 2018

Student Researcher Presents Findings About Student-Athlete Concussion Trends

Almost half a million student athletes compete in 24 different sports at a collegiate level. Many of these athletes will suffer concussions. Josh Hansen, a pre-med student at Utah State University, found differences in health care-seeking behaviors among certain racial groups. But when it comes to NCAA sports, the racial groups didn’t make a difference. “Maybe it suggests that there are stronger identities that athletes develop as a football player, or as a volleyball player or as a soccer player rather than the culture that they grew up with,” Hansen said. ... Hansen decided to dig deeper and look at the sport where concussions are most controversial. ... Hansen said he wants to help change the culture in NCAA athletics, but he feels like a little fish in a big pond. ... This week Hansen will be presenting his research on Capitol Hill in Salt Lake City.

Herald Journal Thursday, Mar. 01, 2018

USU Hosts First 'CHaSSy Film Festival'

Several months ago, Utah State University film major Connor Bond made a dark comedy film about existentialism starring himself. He made it just for fun with a friend, uploaded it to YouTube and just hoped people enjoyed it. But it turns out the film, “Sonzai,” which wraps just under three minutes, would be perfect for the first-ever CHaSSy Film Festival. ... Bond ended up winning Best in Show on Thursday at the film festival, sponsored by the College of Humanities Arts and Social Sciences and hosted by the English department. ... The film festival saw 18 filmmakers make 21 films, according to English department faculty who helped organize the event. The festival was open to submissions from any student at USU regardless of their college affiliation. ... Joe Ward, dean of CHaSS, said the idea for a film festival came from a conversation he had with a USU alumnus. ... The films ranged from wordless features about a guy making a wedding ring from a skateboard to another about the effect of harmful algal blooms. ... “It’s just great to see how so many people can come together based off of one prompt. It has to be a three minute video,” Henderson said. “Then, you get all these different perspectives on how you can make a video.”

Herald Journal Thursday, Mar. 01, 2018

Utah Supreme Court to Visit USU

In what is said to be a first-ever visit, the Utah Supreme Court will come to Utah State University next month to hear two cases. Janelle Hyatt, communications director for the College of Humanities Arts and Social Sciences, said the court asked USU officials if it could conduct business there as part of an effort to periodically hear cases outside of its main chambers in Salt Lake City. While the docket may change, USU is expected to host the court March 19 in the Caine Performance Hall. ... USU President Noelle Cockett is scheduled to give an introduction of the court before hearing arguments. After the cases are heard, the court will take questions from the audience. ... According to Geoffrey Fattah, spokesman for the Utah Supreme Court, the court commonly goes to University of Utah and Brigham Young University, which both have law schools, to hear cases. ... Although USU does not have a law school, the court became interested in coming to the Logan university because of its law and constitutional studies program, according to Fattah.

Deseret News Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018

Undergraduates Show Off Their Research at the Capitol

The Capitol saw 50 undergraduate researchers from Utah State and the University of Utah gather in the rotunda on Wednesday to show off their latest projects representing in science to sociology to literature. At one booth, a pair of Utah State biochemistry students, Melena Garrett and Riannon Smith, said they successfully transplanted the gene-editing DNA known as CRISPR into common strains of E. coli. ... Smith said the 25 students from Utah State and 25 Utes came to the Capitol to show legislators the importance of undergraduate research. Kyle Hillman, a biological engineering student at Utah State, showed off a strategy to combat toxic algal blooms in Utah Lake and other bodies of water around the state. ... Hillman urged continuing support of research at Utah State and other institutions.

Herald Journal Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2018

USU Student's Research Step Toward Curing Side Effects of Diabetes

A Utah State University student’s recent research could eventually result in ending side effects of diabetes. Ryker Hacking, a junior with plans to obtain a master’s degree in chemical engineering, was able to synthesize a recently discovered molecule called methoxy biphenyl triol, or MBT, in a lab. “It was so rewarding to feel like I was doing something that mattered, running reactions and solving problems with chemistry to get the effect you want and just seeing how that knowledge and problem-solving could potentially help people’s lives down the road,” Hacking said. ... What Hacking did was an example of natural product chemistry — the science of taking molecules with medicinal properties that can only be found in tiny amounts in nature and making more of them through chemical reactions. ... Hacking said his research in the lab led him to figure out how to produce MBT “on an industrial scale.” ... But getting Hacking’s findings will require additional research, extensive analysis and clinical trials, Christiansen said. ... While Hacking is proud of the research he has done, he knows he will not be able to see the next phases of it. “So I feel like I am a link in a chain,” he said.

Herald Journal Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018

Attorney in USU Music Dept. Case Known as Caring, Hard Worker

Salt Lake City-based attorney Alan Sullivan, recently hired by Utah State University to investigate claims of sexual misconduct in the school’s music department, has established himself as a diligent lawyer who is no stranger to high-profile cases, according to colleagues. ... The Herald Journal reached out to Sullivan for this story, but he declined to answer questions about the USU investigation or his previous clients. USU President Noelle Cockett announced last week that Sullivan would conduct an independent investigation into accusations, including rape, sexual discrimination and sexual harassment, made recently by several former students about the music department in the 2000s. “They have experience with investigations of allegations in higher (education) within the state, they’re familiar with Title IX regulations, standards, processes and so we felt they would be best to do this independent investigation,” Cockett told students, faculty and staff last Friday at a meeting. “Not only are we investigating the concerns that students have raised about sexual harassment, sexual assault, bullying, etc., we’re also investigating whether or not the university acted appropriately in 2009.” .. It’s not known what Sullivan may find in his USU investigation, but what is known is the Salt Lake City attorney’s reputation with his clients and in legal circles. ... The latest accusations of sexual misconduct leveled against USU are certainly not the first time the school has had to deal with these kinds of cases.

Herald Journal Friday, Feb. 23, 2018

Aggie Ice Cream Store Under Renovation Until Mid-March

The Aggie Ice Cream Store at Utah State University is getting a makeover. Dave Irish, Aggie Ice Cream manager, said the small joint inside the C. Anthon Ernstrom Nutrition and Food Sciences Building closed this week and won’t be open again until March 12, right after spring break. The USU Facilities office is overseeing the project. Irish described the effort as a full remodel, a project that has been talked about for the last five years. ... The focus of the new Aggie Ice Cream store will be more on ice cream and less on food, Irish said. Whereas the former Aggie Ice Cream store had a prepared-to-order deli, the new place will simply have “grab and go” items, Irish said. Plus, the store will have a “soda shop” with different flavors. ... Aggie Ice Cream isn’t available in the store under renovation, but you can pick up your favorite flavor at the USU Campus Store, Huntsman Hall, the Marketplace in the Taggart Student Center and participating grocery stores.

PhysOrg Friday, Feb. 23, 2018

Playing Both Ends: Amphibian Adapted to Varied Evolutionary Pressures

Caecilians are serpent-like creatures, but they're not snakes or giant worms. The limbless amphibians, related to frogs and salamanders, favor tropical climates of Africa, Asia and the Americas. Most live in burrows of their own making; some are aquatic. With colleagues from Brazil, Utah State University ecologist Edmund "Butch" Brodie, Jr. reports caecilians feature greatly enlarged poison glands at each end of their bodies, which appear to have evolved from different selective pressures – the ability to tunnel into the ground and to defend oneself from predators. Brodie, along with Carlos Jared, Pedro Luiz Mailho-Fontana, Rafael Marques-Porto, Juliana Mozer Sciani, Daniel Carvalho Pimenta, and Marta Maria Antoniazzi of São Paulo's Butantan Institute, published findings in the Feb. 23, 2018, issue of Scientific Reports. The team's research, supported by the Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development, focuses on Siphonops annulatus, a caecilian species found throughout Brazil. ... The eccentric amphibian, Brodie and colleagues write, is "really a box of surprises."

Herald Journal Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018

USU Professor to Discuss Science of Ceramics for 'Science Unwrapped'

Ask John Neely, professor in Utah State University’s department of art and design, what he finds so fascinating about pottery, and he can sum it up in one word: Lunch. ... Neely has been teaching ceramics at USU since 1984 and has been around the world making things out of clay or teaching people how to do it. On Friday, Feb. 23, he will speak at Science Unwrapped, a monthly program sponsored by the College of Science aimed at educating the public on a variety of disciplines within science. This year, Science Unwrapped is taking a somewhat different approach, merging the program with the Caine College of the Arts’ “Year of the Arts,” which is why Neely was asked to speak. Neely’s presentation is scheduled for 7 p.m. Feb. 23 in the Emert Auditorium, Room 130 of the Eccles Science Learning Center. Neely sat down with The Herald Journal to talk about his presentation and a little bit about his life.

Herald Journal Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018

USU Students Race Mini Boats During Engineers Week

Inside the Anderson Engineering Building’s atrium Thursday afternoon, Utah State University students huddled together with glue guns, toothpicks, Styrofoam, aluminum foil and paper plates. But they weren’t making arts and crafts projects. Instead, the students made miniature boats out of those materials and put them to the test. They placed their boats at one end of a long pool and turned on a fan to see which boat would get to the other end first. ... The race was just one of many activities scheduled during Engineers Week, sponsored annually by the National Society of Professional Engineers. According to the NSPE website, Engineers Week is “dedicated to ensuring a diverse and well-educated future engineering workforce by increasing understanding of and interest in engineering and technology careers.” Erik Olson, a mechanical engineering major and student senator for the College of Engineering, said it’s important for the university to recognize the hard work people in the field do with Engineers Week. “It’s a national celebration,” he said. “Engineers are everywhere, and they are essential for the smooth functioning of society — if you want a car, if you want a safe road, if you want a safe bridge. All these things are from engineers.” ... Overall, students thought mini boat racing was a fun activity Thursday.

Utah Public Radio Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018

'Whose Streets?' A Documentary About the Ferguson Uprising

The Culture & Mental Health Lab, Merrill-Cazier Library, and Cache Refugee & Immigrant Connection have partnered to host a college and community screening of “Whose Streets?,” a documentary about the Ferguson uprising. The event is made possible with funding from Utah State University's Diversity Council. Following the screening will be a panel discussion with scholars, organizers, and community leaders. Please join us for this important event and panel discussion.

Herald Journal Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018

Jazz, Swing Night Returns to Elite Hall

Three nights of jazz music and swing dancing are on tap at Hyrum’s historic Elite Hall starting Thursday night, supporting restoration of the dance venue and helping to provide scholarships for Utah State University students. Serving as a fundraiser for the Larry Smith Jazz Scholarship since 2005, the annual Jazz Night at Elite Hall brings together live music from student musicians and swing dancers from USU. Event producer KaDee Hoffer said having the event at Elite Hall allows participants to have a true dance hall experience as the spring-loaded floor makes the venue come to life. ... Hoffer said members of the USU Big Band Swing Club will be on hand to provide basic interaction for attendees starting at 6 p.m., with the dance starting at 7 p.m. and lasting until around 11 p.m. each night. ... Aside from Thursday’s dance-only night, Friday and Saturday will feature a catered dinner from Firehouse Pizzeria. The cost for the dinner and dancing is $25 per couple. “Not only is this great for swing dancers, but it is really good entertainment. The jazz bands play really great music,” Hoffer said. “The USU jazz bands put on a good show and have amazing singers.”

Deseret News Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018

Rock-n-Fossil Day is Saturday at USU

Utah State University’s Department of Geology invites inquiring minds of all ages to the 2018 USU Rock-n-Fossil Day Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., in the Geology Building on the USU Quad. Admission is free. “We welcome the community to join us for a day of science learning,” Dave Liddell, geology professor and event coordinator, said in a statement. “We’re offering a variety of engaging activities.” The day’s activities include tours of the USU Geology Museum, demonstrations of how rocks break and how streams flow, as well as opportunities to view sections of rock under microscopes. Guests are also invited to bring a rock, mineral or fossil for identification by USU geologists. ‘Fossil dig’ activities, along with dinosaur cookies, will be provided for young children.

Cache Valley Daily Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018

Inspire and Wonder During Engineering Week at USU

It’s been known as Engineering Week for many years but this year it’s shortened to Engineers Week at Utah State University. Events kick-off Tuesday with the week-long theme Inspire – Wonder. Engineering students Erik Olson and Clint Ferrin were guests on KVNU’s For the People program last week. ... “I found as I’ve been going through this program, I’ve been receiving more and more creativity than ever before in my life. You have to create correct models of everything that you’re doing and if you don’t bad things happen. ... explained Ferrin. ... “Engineering is something that Utah State is known for. Our mechanical engineering department, specifically, its reputation precedes itself. And so what we wanted to do this year (is) to give students real practical experience at networking, really how USU engineering can set them up for a meaningful and valuable career,” Olson said. To see what other events are going on during the week-long schedule go to

Standard Examiner Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018

Climate Change Expert Uses Art, Music to Communicate Scientific Concerns

Rob Davies is an accomplished scientist. He worked in Russia helping with the International Space Station. He researched quantum optics in Oxford, England. He’s now an associate professor at Utah State University in the Department of Physics. Above all, however, Davies might best be known as a talented science communicator. ... The Standard-Examiner spoke with Davies about communicating science, why it matters and why people need to take action now to leave a better world for the future. ... The following conversation has been edited for length and clarity. Audio from the entire interview is available online, along with musical clips from the performance, on the Standard-Examiner’s Out Standing in a Field podcast.

Standard Examiner Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018

3 USU Officials Freed from Civil Liability in Fraternity Rape Lawsuit

Three Utah State University officials have been dismissed as defendants in a former student’s lawsuit that alleges the institution failed to act on reports of sexual assaults at two fraternity houses before she was beaten and raped. U.S. District Judge David Nuffer ruled Feb. 8 in Salt Lake City that the officials qualify for immunity from legal liability under the Utah Governmental Immunity Act. The Logan university remains as a defendant, but Nuffer’s ruling said, “... no clear law has been established sufficient to impose ... liability against a state (employee) for underreacting to a known potential threat of sexual harassment or assault by a third party acting outside of the mantle of state position and authority.” ... Defendants in the civil suit include USU, the nonprofit Gamma Kappa Alumni Association and the Illinois-based Sigma Chi. ... In its answer to the suit, USU said officials had known of “an anonymous allegation of sexual assault,” not a reported 2014 incident detailed in the woman’s complaint. “If Utah State learned of any of the allegations being true, Relopez would have been potentially subjected to the penalty of expulsion from school,” the university said.

Herald Journal Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018

Angela Davis Speaks on Intersection of Art, Social Justice at USU

From the moment she walked onto the floor of the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum on Thursday night bearing a bright smile, social justice activist Angela Davis was greeted with thunderous applause and a standing ovation. And it was not the only one, either, for the 74-year-old UC Santa Cruz distinguished professor emerita, who spoke for nearly an hour on “the intersection of the arts and social justice” in a talk sponsored by USU’s Center for Women and Gender. ... On Thursday night, Davis noted she had been asked to build her talk around the Year of the Arts initiative at USU. ... Davis’s talk was warmly received by the people who filled one side of the Spectrum. ... Ann Berghout Austin, director of USU’s Center for Women and Gender, said she thought Davis would be the perfect fit for USU’s arts initiative in part because her personal story spawned a lot of artwork. ... In an interview with The Herald Journal, Berghout-Austin said she hoped everyone who listened to Davis speak at USU felt “just uncomfortable enough that they can continue to work in their own sphere for social justice — not just for women, but for everybody.

Herald Journal Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018

Campus Sex Assault Bill Advances in Utah

A panel of Utah lawmakers approved a campus sexual assault bill Thursday despite concerns that encouraging colleges to alert police to serious allegations could keep victims from reporting assaults. Rep. Kim Coleman pointed to cases where women reported assaults only to find school officials already knew about multiple allegations against the perpetrator. “No woman should go to the police after a brutal rape and find out the institution knew about five other victims before her and did nothing to prevent her rape,” Coleman, a West Jordan Republican, said. Her plan passed with an 8-2 vote and now goes to the full Utah House for consideration. ... The proposal says schools may report sexual assault allegations to police in serious circumstances, like when multiple victims are involved. ... Speaking in favor of the bill were representatives for a woman who sued Utah State University after she was assaulted by a fraternity brother. ... Utah State, for its part, has said the suit doesn’t tell the whole story.

PhysOrg Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018

Using Stick Insects to Study Natural Selection, Predictability of Evolution

"Evolution often appears random, even when driven by the deterministic process of natural selection, because we just aren't aware of all the environmental fluctuations and other factors taking place that drive change," says Utah State University biologist Zach Gompert. "If we had a better understanding of the mechanisms at play, we might have a better picture of evolutionary change and its predictability." Gompert, with colleagues Patrick Nosil, Romain Villoutreix, Clarissa de Carvalho and Victor Soria-Carracso of England's University of Sheffield, along with Timothy Farkas of the University of Connecticut, Jeffrey Feder of the University of Notre Dame and Bernard Crespi of Canada's Simon Fraser University, explored these questions and report findings in the Feb. 16, 2018, issue of the journal Science. ... "We used a rare and unique data set of 25 years of field data documenting the evolution of cryptic body coloration in terms of frequencies of three 'morphs' – flavors, if you will – of stick insects," says Gompert, assistant professor in USU's Department of Biology and the USU Ecology Center. "Using the first 10-15 years of the data, we tried predicting, or forecasting, the changes that would occur in the subsequent years of the data." ... "Our findings support previous discoveries and suggest evolution of morph frequencies in these stick insects is indeed a result of selection," Gompert says. "They also suggest poor predictability of environmental variation and how it affects selection, rather than random evolutionary processes, might be the main limits on predicting evolution." While we can use the past to predict change, he says, we're constrained by our lack of knowledge of the future and complex ecological processes that contribute to change.

Utah Public Radio Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018

Utah State University Program Leading in Virtual Design Research

A community in the mountains is being designed by students at Utah State University. They’re using a new technology to get a bird’s eye view of the project. The project on Powder Mountain in the Ogden Valley is being designed using virtual reality, a design method Benjamin George, a professor of landscape architecture design at USU, said is more useful than older physical models. ... Jennifer Coates, one of the design students says these live virtual interactions help them know where and how to build structures on the mountain. ... According to Professor George, USU is one of the first universities to use virtual reality for design and will most likely lead the way in virtual design research.

Utah Public Radio Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018

'Engineers Without Borders' Collaborate to Bring Water to Navajo Mountain

In June 2006 a wildfire on Navajo Mountain destroyed all vegetation resulting in debris and sediment contaminating Beaver Springs, the source of all water for the Navajo Mountain community. Currently, a pipeline 40 miles away in Inscription House, Arizona provides a limited amount of water for household use by the 400 residents of Navajo Mountain. Unfortunately, secondary water - usable for gardening and livestock - is not available. At a weekly meeting of Engineers Without out borders, Utah State Universitystudents discuss design plans for a fill station at Navajo Mountain. A collaboration between the engineering firm Jones and DeMille, the Navajo Nation, and Engineers Without Borders are planning new infrastructure that will reestablish Beaver Springs as a usable water-source. ... “Right now there is not a lot of economic potential," said USU engineering student Justin Pace. ... Jones and DeMille engineer Ryan Jolly described how Engineers Without Borders can help bring secondary water to the community. “The focus right now with this project is to get the locals a fill station, somewhere they can drive their trucks and fill up," he said. ... Hank Stevens acknowledged working with Engineers Without Borders has helped accelerate much-needed water projects. “The only thing I can say is without them we wouldn’t be doing some of the projects that we are doing out here," he said. ... Increased wildfire safety, self-sustaining agriculture, and more infrastructures are just the beginning of what secondary water can provide for the people of Navajo Mountain.


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