Aggie Insights
    VOLUME 5 | ISSUE 4 April 2007     

In This Issue


Event Listings



USU Alumni Spotlight - Jay Miller

Jay Miller

Jay Miller has worked with Arkansas State Parks for 30 years, first as state trails coordinator and state park planner, and for the past twenty-two years as Administrator of Program Services.

As head of the Program Services division, Mr. Miller is responsible for interpretation, publications, and exhibits, and oversees training and direction for the interpretation and education programs within Arkansas ’s 52 state parks and museums. The park system employs approximately 60 full and part-time park interpreters who present over 40,000 programs annually. The Arkansas State Park interpretation/education program has received numerous national and regional awards for excellence in exhibits, publications and interpretation including “Excellence in Interpretive Support” from the National Association for Interpretation. Mr. Miller was named the 2005 Distinguished Professional Interpreter in Region VI of the National Association for Interpretation, and in 2006 was named NAI’s Master Interpretive Manager.

In addition to his work with Arkansas State Parks, Mr. Miller is a consultant to agencies and private entities. He developed audiovisual programs for Grand Canyon National Park , Dinosaur National Monument and Hot Springs National Park . He designs brochures and indoor and wayside exhibits, and leads workshops on interpretation training, planning and exhibit design. For several years he has taught Interpretation of Historic Sites in the public history graduate program at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock . He is a trainer and consultant, and a frequent speaker at Conferences, including the 2007 Arkansas Governor’s Conference on Tourism, and the Interpreting World Heritage Conferences in Puerto Rico and Vancouver

Mr. Miller spent six weeks in Madagascar as a consultant to the Madagascar National Park Service; and in Bolivia he developed the interpretation plan for the Flor de Oro ecolodge complex at Noel Kempff Mercado National Park , and recently was part of a five country NAI interpretive team to South Korea . He served on the advisory committee for the ArkansasEcotourism Development Manual; and he continues to enjoy traveling America ’s rivers as guest naturalist on the historic Delta Queen steamboat.

Mr. Miller received his Bachelor’s degree from Ouachita University and a Master of Science in Forest Recreation Management with an emphasis in interpretation from Utah State University . He is a Certified Public Manager, a Certified Interpretive Planner, and a Certified Interpretive Trainer. He is married to Janée Norsworthy Miller and has three daughters: Jennifer , Jordan and Jameson.

Back to Top

USU College of Ed Ranks High on U.S. News and World Report List

USU College of Education and Human Services

In U.S. News and World Report’s 2008 America’s Best Graduate Schools list, Utah State University’s College of Education and Human Services earned a spot at number 26. With over 1,100 schools on the list, this year’s ranking puts the CEHS among the top two percent of graduate schools in the country.

The CEHS has ranked in the top 50 on the America’s Best Graduate Schools list for the past nine years. This year’s ranking represents a significant jump up the list. This jump is due to a number of new programs, including projects dealing with autism research, arts education, and communicative disorders.

On a similar note, the CEHS was also ranked second in the country in total research dollars received. Only Teacher’s College at Columbia University raised more external funds.

Back to Top

USU Museum of Anthropology Receives Major Gift

Lyman and Vivian Willardson

The Utah State University Museum of Anthropology was the recipient of a generous gift of ethnographic and archaeological items from the collection of Lyman and Vivian Willardson. The gift includes such spectacular treasures as a Voodoo mask from Haiti, wood carvings from Africa, and rugs from the Middle East.

Lyman S. Willardson earned a master’s degree from USU and worked as an irrigation and drainage engineering throughout the world. It was during his travels that the family was able to collect so many precious artifacts. He also taught irrigation and drainage engineering at Utah State. Mr. Willardson passed away on October 4, 2005.

Mrs. Willardson is also an Aggie, graduating with a degree in home economics. She served as a teacher for many years and currently lives in an assisted living home in Logan.

The collection is available for viewing at the USU Museum of Anthropology.

Back to Top

Aggie Musicians Travel to New York City

The Chamber Music America national conference draws attendees from around the nation. This year, faculty and students from Utah State were among those invited to New York City to mentor, teach, and perform for the next generation of musicians.

At the conference, the USU students had the chance to perform and interact with elementary school students. This gave the USU students a unique opportunity to see what it’s like to teach younger kids about music.

But what would a trip to New York be without going to see the New York Philharmonic or a performance at the Metropolitan Opera? The USU contingent was able to do both during their trip.

The aim of Chamber Music America is to ensure that music remains a vital part of American life.

Back to Top

Getting Rid of Inversion

Winter in Utah is famous for “the greatest snow on Earth,” but the season has also become known for something less attractive: inversion.

Inversion is a phenomenon where cold air becomes trapped below warmer air. This means that pollution from the surface is trapped in the lowest layer of the atmosphere. More than simply ugly, inversion is a serious health hazard.

One Utah State University scientist is working to discover the sources behind the inversion and come up with ways to get rid of it.

Phil Silva is studying the chemistry behind the pollution to find out just what the main causes of inversion are. His research discovered that most of the pollutants that make up inversion are ammonium nitrate. Ammonium is given off by agricultural processes and nitrate is created from industrial processes and vehicle emissions.

In a place like Logan, which has been traditionally agricultural, but is fast becoming more urban; this isn’t great news. But by understanding the causes of inversion, Silva hopes to be able to stop it.

Back to Top

The new Aggie Academy for Legacy students

The Admissions Office at Utah State University is excited to announce the first ever Aggie Academy! Aggie Academy is a three-day retreat from June 18-20, 2007, for high school students who are the descendants of Utah State University alumni. If you have a son, daughter, grandson, or granddaughter who is between 14-18 years of age, open the doors of opportunity by sending them to USU! As part of the Academy, students will visit the beautiful campus of Utah State, experience famous Aggie Traditions and activities, and enjoy the surroundings of Cache Valley.

As part of Aggie Academy, your student will discover the many opportunities available at USU, become connected with campus and the surrounding area, enjoy various recreational activities on and off campus, and create friendships and memories with other Legacy students throughout the United States!

Important facts to know about Aggie Academy:

  • Begins at noon Monday, June 18 and concludes with lunch Wednesday, June 20
  • Space is limited; register soon
  • Registration closes Monday, June 4, 2007 (based on availability)
  • Cost of the event is $100 per participant (payable online when registering), which includes lodging, food, activities, and Aggie gear
  • Participants will stay in the newly constructed student Living and Learning Community
  • Please join us in continuing the Aggie Tradition within your family and community. Three days on the USU campus will give all participants the opportunity to share a common bond of Aggie Pride. We look forward to welcoming your family to campus and sharing all USU has to offer.

    For additional information on Aggie Academy, please contact the Admissions Office at 800.488.8108, email Craig Whyte, or visit the Admissions website at

    Back to Top

    Continue your learning - For Free!

    Utah State University OpenCourseWare (OCW) is an open access repository of educational materials used in courses offered by Utah State University (USU). Under continuous development, the collection currently includes courses from many different departments on campus with the long term goal of eventually providing access to materials supporting almost every course offered by Utah State University. USU OCW provides free and open access to online course materials, but does not provide free access to professors or free university credits.

    USU OCW receives almost 25,000 unique visitors every month, with over 100,000 page views. Materials are accessed by on-campus students trying to decide which courses to take, students from other campus who want additional information, faculty members teaching similar courses, or life-long learners wanting to find detailed information about a particular topic. Users can brush up on their Mandarin Chinese, learn how to be a better parent, or learn how to tend to their garden. To get more information or look up courses, please visit:

    Back to Top

    Back to the Buzzer


    Members of the 1947 ROTC drill on the Quad.


    Utah State University Alumni Relations sponsors many exciting events throughout the year. To keep informed about the most current ones, visit often.

    Back to Top



    Read the Classnotes

    Chapter News

    The following events will take place in the few months:

  • April 28 - Davis County Spring 5K Run
  • May 17 - Weber County Picnic
  • May 19 - Eastern Idaho Swim Party
  • June 28 - Utah/Salt Lake County Golf Tournament
  • July 13 - Utah County Swim Party
  • July 14 - Weber County Car Show
  • For more information about these and other alumni chapters and to find the chapter in your area, visit

    Back to Top


    Aggie Student-Athletes Give Back

    USU Athletics

    In addition to excelling on the field and in the classroom, Aggie student-athletes are quick to contribute to their community.

    Just a few examples of this commitment are members of the Aggie basketball team visiting elementary schools to speak about sportsmanship. The football team was recently involved in raising money for Ryan’s Place, a park named for two-year old Ryan Adams.

    Then there’s former Aggie gymnast Katie Rutherford’s charity called Dollars For Change. Katie created the charity to help end poverty in the world through one dollar donations from people. This spring, USU student-athletes will be holding a semi-formal social to raise money for Katie’s charity.

    For more on what USU student-athletes are involved in, visit

    Back to Top

    Travel Opportunities

    Travel with the Aggies to Hawaii

    In conjunction with the USU vs. Hawaii football game, enjoy a week in Hawaii for only $1,195 per person. This includes a direct flight from SLC to Honolulu, transfers, hotels and game tickets. You must book by May 1st to guarantee this price. For more information on this and upcoming alumni travel events, visit or call the Alumni Relations office at (435)797-2055.

    Back to Top