Aggie Insights
    VOLUME 5 | ISSUE 7 July 2007     

In This Issue


Event Listings



USU Alumni Spotlight - Alice Colton Smith

Alice Colton Smith

Alice Colton Smith, longtime USU professor, community volunteer and church leader may be gone, but she is not forgotten.

Smith, who passed away a year ago this month, was the daughter of Don Byron Colton, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. She attended Washington University, the University of Utah, Columbia University, and Utah State University, from which she earned a master’s degree in Sociology. After receiving her degree, Smith continued on at USU as a professor for many years.

In addition to teaching, she and her husband, Whitney, traveled the world. They lived in Israel for a year in the early ‘50s and then spent time in Austria a decade later. Wherever they went, Smith and her husband remained active in their community and their church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

In 1964, Smith was called to serve on the LDS Relief Society General Board, a calling she served faithfully in for 14 years.

In 1993, at the age of 80, Smith was honored by Utah State University and the city of Logan for her many years of selfless service.

Whitney Smith died in July of 1994. Twelve years to the month later, Alice Smith passed away on July 31, 2006.

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Center for Persons with Disabilities Turns 35 Years Old

Center for Persons with Disabilities

For years, the Utah State University Center for Persons with Disabilities has been both serving the community and teaching others to serve. In June, the Center turned 35 years old and many past students returned from as far as Puerto Rico to join in the celebration.

One of the guests at the occasion was the man who started it all. Helmut Hoffman was a professor in the psychology department when he was tasked with founding a department of special education. Through years of dedicated fundraising and hard work, Hoffman built one of the top special ed. programs in the country.

Today, the Center remains one of the largest and most respected facilities in the world. It is the second largest research center at USU behind the Space Dynamics Lab. Last year, the Center for Persons with Disabilities helped over 120 students continue their careers through assistantships and stipends. Also almost 5,000 persons with disabilities were served by the Center.

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USU Pianist Wins Prestigious Competition

Aram Arakelyan

With the help of a piano scholarship, Aram Arakelyan came to USU to study music with instructor Gary Amano. In March, the pair’s hard work paid off as Aram won the Isabel Scionti prize for best single performance and first place overall in the senior solo division at the Kingsville International Piano Competition.

Aram’s success represents the fifth student of Amano’s to win at the competition, which is held at Texas A&M University-Kingsville. To win the competition meant preparing and performing a 20-minute program consisting of pieces from contrasting musical periods.

Aram, a native of Armenia, is preparing to graduate and can often be found performing on campus. He’s also spent time at Bear Lake’s Pickleville Playhouse working as an accompanist.

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History Professor Named "Top Young Historian"

Lawrence Culver

Assistant Professor of History Lawrence Culver was named the nation’s “Top Young Historian” by the History News Network for the week of June 3, 2007. As a result, the History News Network asked Culver, and expert on the history of tourism, to write an op-ed piece on that topic. His work, entitled “Are We There Yet? Historians and the History of Tourism,” was later reported on in the online edition of the Wall Street Journal.

Read Culver’s work online, and check out the Wall Street Journal’s coverage.

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Back to the Buzzer


Members of the Delta Sigma Phi Fraternity in 1964 having some fun.


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

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Read the Classnotes

Chapter News

The following events will take place in the few months:

  • July 14 - Weber County - Annual Car Show

  • July 14 - Summit County - Family Swim Party

  • For more information about these and other alumni chapters and to find the chapter in your area, visit

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    Twitchell in Running for NCAA Woman of the Year Award

    Jennifer Twitchell

    Each year, the NCAA Woman of the Year award serves to honor female student-athletes’ achievements in service, leadership, athletics and academics. This year Utah State University track star Jennifer Twitchell is one of two candidates from the WAC in the running for this prestigious distinction.

    During the past track season, Twitchell won the mile race at the indoor WAC Championships, as well as anchoring USU’s winning distance medley relay team. Her performance earned her first-team All-American honors and USU’s Female Athlete of the Year award.

    Off the track, Twitchell earned academic All-WAC and All-American honors and is an active volunteer in the community.

    The NCAA Woman of the Year will be named in October.

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    Travel Opportunities

    Travel with the Aggies to Hawaii

    The May 1st and June 1st deadlines have passed, the Hawaii trip is still available but pricing and airline has changed. Please call the Alumni Relations office at (435)797-2055, or visit

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