Aggie Insights
    VOLUME 6 | ISSUE 6 June 2008     

In This Issue


Event Listings



USU Alumni Spotlight - Becky Gillette

Becky Gillette

photo by Spencer Tirey - USA TODAY

Becky Gillette has been called a "watchdog" and the "Erin Brockovich of Formaldehyde", but long before that she was a Utah State Aggie.

Although Becky was initially attracted to USU's College of Natural Resources, not far into her collegiate career, Becky found her place in the field of journalism. By the time she graduated with her bachelor's degree in 1978, Becky had already completed five internships, including an internship writing for the Associated Press. Her career as a journalist and activist had only begun.

Over the years, Becky has worked primarily as a freelance writer, contributing to over 50 different magazines and other publications. She has made headlines in recent years with her work to bring attention to FEMA trailers, issued to displaced residents of the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina, containing unsafe levels of formaldehyde gas.

Taking matters into her own hands, Becky organized the testing of 69 FEMA trailers in 2007. Later that year, Becky testified about her findings in front of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Although her efforts have been acknowledged, Becky says there are still approximately 50,000 people affected by the high levels of formaldehyde.

An avid activist and proponent for the environment, Becky discovered the formaldehyde problem while working as a volunteer for the Sierra Club's Mississippi Chapter. She is an active worker for Planet Home and is also involved with the SERVAS organization, regularly welcoming international travelers into her home.

Becky currently resides in Eureka Springs, AR. She is the mother of two.

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Admissions office hosts Aggie Leadership Academy

aggie academy

The USU Admissions office hosted the first Aggie Leadership Academy, an intense 3-day leadership conference for high school student body and class officers. The program serves as an opportunity to teach these young leaders team work, communication, and other leadership skills that will help them serve their classmates next year. Students had the opportunity to experience a Professional Ropes Course and an evening at The Celebration Centre. The keynote speaker for this year's conference was Elder L Tom Perry, who recently received an Honorary Doctorate Degree from USU at Commencement. He also graduated from USU with a business administration degree in 1949. The conference was June 9-11. For more admissions news visit

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Aggie Lagoon day - Tickets available

aggie family day

A beloved Aggie tradition is back! Aggie Family Day at Lagoon is coming your way on Thursday, July 17, 2008. Enjoy group discounted tickets and FREE parking sponsored by your USU Alumni Association. You must order your tickets through the Alumni Office to get the discount and parking pass. At 6:00 p.m., please join us at the Davis Pavilion for Aggie Ice Cream and raffle prizes. All proceeds benefit the Alumni Legacy Scholarship Program. Visit the Aggie Family Day at Lagoon website here

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New Alumni Legacy Program

aggie family day

Does this remind you of your family legacy? Where does your Aggie tradition begin? The Utah State University Alumni Association wants your USU legacy story. Did you choose to come to Utah State University because you grew up hearing the stories about your grandpa kissing girls on the 'A'. Are you the last child of six or more who have attended Utah State? Or, are you the dad who supported your six children at Utah State to give them an opportunity at success? Show us all the ways your Aggie family tree branches out. Email us your story at To download a sample family tree click here.

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Salt Lake Bees Alumni event

USU Alumni

Join USU's Salt Lake Alumni Chapter and Young Alumni Association to celebrate the return of summer and watch the Salt Lake Bees advance their winning season on Saturday, June 21, 2008 at 7:05 p.m. Make your reservation for great seats by calling the USU Alumni Association (800) 291-2586 or online As an added bonus, the legendary San Diego Chicken (professional sports' first mascot) will be on hand for lots of laughs.

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Young Alumni service project

young alumni service

The Young Alumni Chapter held its annual service project at Salt Lake City's Road Home Shelter on May 17. Young Alumni President Sydnee Madsen and other board members served Aggie Ice Cream to residents, handed out balloons, and played games with the children. Brownies were donated by Harmons grocery store, and the residents enjoyed the treats while their children enjoyed the fish pond and the small toys they won.

The Road Home shelter is available for families wishing to move 'seamlessly from the cold streets into warm housing, from despair and alienation toward hope and inclusion.' For information on how to get involved in the Young Alumni chapter, visit

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Alumni sets goal: 4,000 "A" plates in 2008

This article will appear monthly with updates on our plate numbers

USU Alumni Association

The Alumni Association has sponsored the "A" plate program since the Spring or 2000. The point of this program has one financial purpose, to provide scholarships to legacy students.

Who are legacy students and how can they qualify for a scholarship? Legacy students are the children or grandchildren of Aggies, your kids and grand kids. These scholarships are given by all of our Alumni Chapters to the legacy students from their respective areas, for example the Salt Lake County chapter will award scholarships to students only from Salt Lake County.

USU Alumni Association

How does the "A" plate fit into all of this? In addition to showing your pride in USU, the $25 plate fee is a donation that goes 100 percent directly into the scholarship fund for the county in which your car is registered.

But can my $25 really make a difference? Last year the Alumni Association awarded over $190,000 in legacy scholarships. Nearly half of that funding came from the "A" plate program and Alumni like you making the choice to show your pride and support scholarships.

How can I get an "A" Plate? We have made it easy for you. We have made the "A" plate available in every motor vehicle department throughout Utah, you can bring in your current registration and they will give you a new plate right on the spot (The DMV adds a one time $10 transfer fee). You don't even have to wait for your renewal to come up. If you want to make the donation directly to the Alumni office, you can visit our "A" plate page here and we will send you the form to take to the DMV. If you are buying a car from a new or used car dealer, simply ask them for "A" plates when you are finishing the paper work and they will take care of the rest for you.

The Alumni Association has set a goal in 2008 to end the year with 4,000 "A" plates on the roads in Utah. This will provide at least $100,000 to give back to the legacy scholarship program. As of April 2008 we have over 3,549 plates. If you don't have a plate but have always thought about it, now is the time.

Do you have a custom "A" plate and want to show it off? Click here.

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Back to the Buzzer


The 1969 Freshman class officers - Kent Bowen, President; Stan Petersen, Vice President; Sue Swan, Secretary


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

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

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Eight Aggie Football Players Named To Phil Steele's Preseason All-WAC Team

Scott Barnes

Eight Utah State football players were recognized by Phil Steele's College Football Preview preseason all-Western Athletic Conference team, announced by the publication Monday June 2nd.

Utah State's list of preseason all-WAC honorees consists of four defensive players and two offensive players. Senior linebacker Jake Hutton was tabbed to the first-team list, while junior linebacker Paul Igboeli and junior safety James Brindley were selected to the second-team. Senior tight end Rob Myers and senior defensive tackle Ben Calderwood were on the third-team while senior offensive center Ryan Tonnemacher was named to the fourth-team along with the senior brother tandem of cornerback Josh Taylor and safety Caleb Taylor. FULL STORY

Season Tickets Now Available For 2008 Football Season

USU football

Utah State's athletics department announced that season tickets for the upcoming 2008 Football season are now on sale. USU will host six games this fall, including match-ups with in-state rivals BYU and Utah.

Season tickets for west side chair back seats are $150 and requires a Big Blue Scholarship Fund donation. East side season tickets are $110 and general admission season tickets are $100.

In addition to season tickets, Utah State is also offering an Aggie Family Season Plan, which includes two adult and three Junior Aggie general admission tickets for $310. Fans also can continue to purchase Junior Aggie tickets for $50.

The six-game home schedule, which is USU's first since the 1998 season, also includes games against Western Athletic Conference members Fresno State, Hawai'i, Idaho and New Mexico State.

Fans can purchase tickets over the phone by calling 1-888-USTATE-1 or 435-797-0305, in person at the USU Ticket Office inside the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, or on-line 24 hours a day at

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Travel Opportunities

New England Fall Foliage Cruise

October 4 - 11, 2008

For complete details click here.

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