Aggie Insights E-newsletter
    VOLUME 9 | ISSUE 12 December 2011     

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USU Alumni Spotlight - Yongqing Liang Yongqing Liang

Spotlight by Liz Wilson

Yongqing Liang earned his PH.D from Utah State University in Electrical and Computer Engineering and graduated in 2007 with an impressive 4.0 GPA. His success in the work of academia began with his positive attitude, which Yongqing said is key to believing that you can achieve your goals.

When deciding to go to Utah State, Yongqing was completing his undergraduate work at Nanyang Technological University where he worked on image processing. "I wanted to continue my research in this areas," he explained, "That is why I chose the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department [to finish my work]." His interest in studying at Utah State came from the high recognitions the university received from institutions like the Princeton Review and Popular Science magazine. The Princeton Review has ranked Utah State among the "Best Western" school for many years, and Popular Science called it one of the Top 10 Smartest Schools in the Nation. Yongqing described these as some of the reasons that he chose to finish his education at Utah State. Yonqing also added that "USU offers good research opportunities and the environment is supportive."

Yonqing credits a lot of the support he received to Doctors Budge, Moon and Gunther. He explains that they not only helped with his research but also helped him build a solid background in the area of signal and communications. While studying in this field, Yonqing completed his dissertation on Rate-Distortion Optimized Methods for Wavelet-Based Image/Video Coding. His remarkable knowledge of computer engineering and desire to learn more led to his involvement in IEEE, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

Along with pursuing his degree, Yonqing found time to attend Aggie basketball games and enjoy the beautiful scenery Logan has to offer. He and his family remember their time in Logan fondly and greatly enjoyed their 4 years here. "My son Eric was born in Logan in 2006," he explained, "Both I and my wife enjoyed the life in USU. We often talk about the nice people in Logan and beautiful sights there." Yonqing and his family now live in Austin, Texas.

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Aggie-to-Aggie Networking Luncheon Recap Alumni Scholarship

The Young Alumni Association welcomed Eric Shulz, from the Huntsman School of Business, as the guest speaker of the latest Aggie-to-Aggie Networking Luncheon. Speaking to almost 80 Aggie Alumni gathered in the Founder’s Room on the 18th floor of the Zions Bank Building in downtown Salt Lake City, Shulz presented on "Meaningful vs. Mindless Marketing."

Schulz joined Utah State University's Huntsman School of Business this year after a career in marketing and brand management with some of the top consumer product companies in the world. During his presentation, Shulz quizzed those in attendance on the best marketing practices. He shared past experiences from his work with Procter & Gamble, Disney, Coca-Cola and other well-known companies.  “The quiz is counter-intuitive” he said, “with the answers being the opposite of what you would initially think.”

Shulz spoke about the importance of keeping a product line to manageable size will increase sales. When a product has too many varieties to choose from, consumers can’t make a choice and won’t purchase anything. He cited the success of In-N-Out Burger was due to their limited menu that allowed customers the ability to easily make decisions when ordering.

While discussing brands, Shulz said when unveiling a new product it is better to give it a new brand name as opposed to an already established brand name. Old brand names carry along with them baggage that consumers may not like. He said a new name is a clean slate that marketing can build new affinity with.

Following Shulz presentation, a prize drawing was held for several pieces of Aggie gear and participants stayed to networked with one another while enjoying free Aggie Ice Cream provided by the Young Alumni Association.

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Old to New, USU Switches to Harris Online Directory Switch from inCircle to Harris O.L.D.

Out with the old and in with the new. Utah State University Alumni Association has made a switch from using the online community inCircle to using Harris Connect's Online Directory as a way to help USU Alumni stay connected with the university and with each other. The Online Directory allows users to search for classmates, update their profile and their information with USU, stay up-to-date with upcoming Utah State events, and register for events easily with autofill registration options.

For more information on joining the Harris Online Directory click here.

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Featured Alumni Benefit - Comprehensive Health Insurance Featured Benefit

AlumniMed+, part of the Alumni Insurance Program, is comprehensive medical insurance that provides a long-term medical insurance solution with options for deductible amount, copay amount, and other optional benefits. AlumiMed+ allows alumni to choose between a PPO and a traditional plan, depending upon their state of residence.

Visit the Alumni Insurance Program website for more information.

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Save $200 and Upgrade to a Lifetime Sustaining Membership Featured Benefit

You can save $200 and recieve your exclusive upgrade-to-life gift and personalized brick in the David B. Haight Alumni House courtyard. Beginning January 1, 2012 Lifetime dues will increase to $700 for Single and $900 for Joint. Now is the time to upgrade and take advantage of the current membership rate.

For more information click here

For a full list of Alumni benefits click here

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Upcoming USU Admissions Open Houses USU Admissions Openhouses

Utah State Open Houses & Receptions provides an opportunity for prospective students to meet with USU representatives. Students should apply online for admission before coming, they should bring their official transcript and ACT or SAT scores with them. If the student meets the requirements, they will be awarded an academic scholarship on the spot. Come and join USU in your area and discover Utah State!

Would you like to come help with an Admissions Open House? Click here

For a full list of USU Admissions Open House dates and times click here

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The Alumni Scholarship Program Alumni Scholarship

Alumni Legacy Scholarships are in place to assist children and grandchildren of alumni who wish to attend Utah State University. Aplications for the 2012-13 academic year are now available. Deadline to apply is February 1, 2012.

For more information and to apply for this and other scholarships click here.

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Nonresident Legacy Waiver Alumni Legacy Nonresident Waiver

Keep the Aggie tradition alive!

Did you earn a degree from USU? You can now send your child to Utah State and their out-of-state tuition differential will be waived. Stay connected through the next generation of Aggies. We'd love to have them here!

To qualify for the Nonresident Legacy Waiver, a future Aggie must:

* Be admitted to Utah State University.
* Have at least one parent who earned an associate degree or higher from Utah State University (verification required).
* Enroll at USU as a first-time student.

Time spent in Utah on the Alumni Legacy Nonresident Waiver cannot be counted towards establishing resident student status. If you would like to discuss other options, please email Tad Sorenson at

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Back to the Buzzer


1945: Publication Council

Standing (L to R): Harry Bonnel, Jean Richards, Dan Ludlow

Sitting (L to R): Jeane Forgren, Dr. King Hendricks, Dean N. A. Pederson, Lucille Hatch

Buzzers are available online! Click here to go to the Buzzer Yearbooks Collection at the USU Digital Library.

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Tailgate Party at the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Famous Idaho Potato Bowl

Pre-Game Party in Taco Bell Arena, located in the midst of all the Bowl Game events. Join with the Aggies to get ready for the game as the USU Football Team takes on the Bobcats of Ohio University.

Performances by the Spirit Squad, Big Blue and the USU Marching Band. Pre-Game Lunch - Famous Idaho Potato & Chili Bar, create your game day poster, free Aggie Tattoos for the kids, live music by LokalGrown

  • Time: 1-3 pm
  • Location: Taco Bell Arena (MAP)
  • Cost: $5 per person - students with a USU ID card are free
  • RSVP: Wednesday, December 14, 2011 Register online here

For a full list of Bowl Weekend events hosted by Utah State, please click here. For information on game tickets and hotel deals, click here.

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Machu Picchu & The Wonders of the Rainforest: Aug 26 - Sept 4 , 2012 Machu Picchu

Discover the rich history and wonders of Peru from Lima to Machu Picchu in this hands-on tour through the rain forest.

More information coming soon.

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Italian Reflections Luxury Cruise: November 7-15, 2012 Photo by Margan Zajdowicz

Explore Europe from Athens to Barcelona.

Immerse yourself in Capri, with its stunning panoramas. Spend a day in Rome reveling in magnificent monuments from the Colosseum to the splendor of St. Peter's Basilica and Michelangelo's breathtaking frescoes in the Sistine Chapel. Explore the fabled architecture of Renaissance Florence. See the sights and enjoy the views of historic old Marseille and visit the charming fishing port of Cassis. Pre-registration is going on now.

Click here to download the brochure.

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Tahitian Jewels - Oceania Cruises: Jan 27 - Feb 7, 2013 Photo by Margan Zajdowicz

Savor the tropical splendor of emerald-green palms, white sand beaches, and brilliant turquoise waters as you sail aboard the luxurious Oceania Cruises Marina to the most stunning destinations in the South Pacific, the gorgeous Polynesian islands. Experience a cruise with the finest service, accommodations, and cuisine at sea, where every port of call is an island paradise. Admire multihued lagoons around Moorea, be engulfed by tropical splendor at Huahine, "The Garden Island," and discover the region's cultural heritage on beautiful Raiatea. Watch a sunset on romantic Bora Bora, and wander the black sand beaches of Nuku Hiva. Sail to Hiva Oa, artist Paul Gauguin's idyllic island home, and enchant your senses with colorful sea life on Rangiroa before returning to Papeete on the lovely island of Tahiti. Set adrift, catch the breeze, and discover Polynesia's most beautiful gems on this exceptional voyage.

Click here to download the brochure.

Click here to download the registration form.

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USU Career Services Invites You to Connect with Students and Alumni Discover Career Success

As Utah State University (USU) graduates enter an uncertain job market, the advice of an alumnus provides valuable insight, encouragement, and networking opportunities.  In cooperation with the Alumni Association, you are invited to join Career Services' Student Alumni Mentor Network (SAMN), an exclusive network for USU alumni and current students.  By participating in SAMN you can:

  • Support students’ employment goals
  • Expand your own professional and social network by joining us on SAMN, Facebook, and LinkedIn
  • Invite your employer to recruit USU students and alumni for internship, entry-level and experienced positions

Please feel free to stop by when you are on campus.  The career coaches at Career Services are excited to facilitate your campus visit and professional career success.


Donna Crow, Executive Director
Career Services & Student Success
University Inn, Rm. 102

Connect with Career Services to:

- Hire USU students and graduates for internship and permanent positions.

- Share your career success as an alumni mentor.

- Connect with your career coach for personalized assistance in your career search.

Visit Career Services at:; (435) 797-7777; University Inn, 102.

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Utah State Flickr Group Flickr

New photos have been added to the Utah State Flickr Group. Photos from Homecoming weekend from last month have been added in addtion to other events like the Reno tailgate (2008), Texas A&M tailgate (2009), Oaklahoma tailgate (2009), BYU tailgate (2009), San Jose State pregame party (2009), Golden Aggie Reunion (2010), Aging Aggies Reunion (2010), and more.

Show your Aggie pride by sharing your USU related pictures on the Utah State Flickr group!

Flickr is one of the best online photo management and sharing applications available. Show off your favorite photos and videos to the world, securely and privately show content to your friends and family, or blog the photos and videos you take with a cameraphone.

Click here to view and add photos.

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Update Your Records Update Your Records (laptop photo courtesy of fotocromo)

Have you recently moved, changed your email address, or gotten married? Whatever the change might be, it's easy to keep your USU records current!

To update your records, simply complete the online form and we will make the necessary changes so you can continue to receive the Utah State University Magazine; invitations to our many alumni events; and information about our other exciting promotions and publications.

Click here to update your records.

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Class Notes

Class Notes

Have you received a recent promotion or participated in a community event? Do you ever wonder what other Aggies from your graduating class are up to?

Click here to add your own Class Note today!

Read all of the recent Class Notes to find out what's going on in the lives of successful Aggie Alumni everywhere!

Alumnus Notes

Theresa Foxley
BA '04


I have some exciting news. At the start of the year I will be joining MediConnect Global Inc. as its VP of Government Relations/Corporate Counsel. MediConnect provides secure digital medical record retrieval for its customers, including health and life insurance companies and law firms. 

MediConnect is based in South Jordan, Utah and has operations in Ephraim and abroad. It has been on Inc. Magazine's 5000 list for the past five years, and has also been recognized by the MountainWest Capital Network as part of the Utah 100. 

I am sad to be leaving Ballard Spahr, but very excited about this new opportunity.


Dawn Comfort
BS '79


How I loved Utah State University! While I've kept in touch with some, there are many others whose memories I treasure and I'd welcome the opportunity to reconnect. It's hard to capture over 30 years in a paragraph, but here are some highlights. After USU I served a mission for the LDS church in Montreal Quebec. After completing graduate school at BYU, I married my sweetheart and settled in our home town, Calgary, Alberta. We have four beautiful children. Brandon, 23 yrs. old, served a mission in Ogden Utah and is currently attending BYU-Utah. He is in his 2nd year of studies and plans on becoming a dentist. Renee, 21 yrs. old, traveled Europe after H.S. then did humanitarian work in Ecuador and Guatamala. She studies Health Sciences at BYU-Idaho. Jordan leaves on a mission to Sydney Australia in a couple of weeks. Jessica, our youngest, has one more year of high school. While all 4 of our children played high school basketball, Jessica is the most passionate about it and plays in the US Nationals in a couple of weeks in Dallas, Texas. She and I recently returned from a wonderful experience volunteering at an orphanage in Ecuador. My husband enjoys riding motorcycle when he isn't doing home renovations or serving as the Bishop of our ward. He works as Associate Director of Industry Training. I spend my time supporting our children in their various activities, working in Leadership development and teaching an adult religion class. I'm so grateful for the rich experiences and wonderful people at USU who influenced my life for good. I'm excited to read your news!


This month's obituaries can be found here.

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Current Schedules


Turbin Tabbed WAC Offensive Player Of The Year As Aggie Football Places Six On All-WAC Teams Aggie Honors

Aggies' Most All-WAC Honorees In Seven Years In The League, Most Overall Since 2003

LOGAN, Utah - Utah State football player Robert Turbin was named the Western Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year, and was one of six Aggies on the all-WAC first and second-teams, which were selected by the league's coaches and announced Monday by the conference office.

Junior running back Turbin was joined on the first-team by senior linebacker Bobby Wagner, senior offensive guard Philip Gapelu and sophomore center Tyler Larsen Senior defensive end Levi Koskan and senior tight end Tarren Lloyd were second-team selections.

"We are the second-place team in the league, no matter how you cut it. You can say what you want, but we are the second-place team in the league and they should have some kids on all-conference on that team and we do have some all-conference kids on the team. This is a very good conference with some very talented young men," USU head coach Gary Andersen said.

Both the three first-team all-WAC selections and the six overall honorees is the most all-WAC selections for USU in its seven years in the league and is Utah State's most overall all-conference players recognized since 2003 when the Aggies had nine in the Big West.

"It's just another blessing. Words can't really describe the feeling. It's a great honor to be recognized like that. I still kind of feel like I could have done more. There are times I could have done better. There are games I don't necessarily wish I had back, but could have done things better. To be noticed and have that honor is great. It just shows the respect coaches have for me is cool. There are a lot of offensive players, and a lot of good ones, so for them to put me at the top means a lot. The one main goal I set was to be the best. To be the best you have to win, and we've done that as a team. To be the best you have to be noticed as one of the best," Turbin said.

Turbin is USU's first WAC Offensive Player of the Year award recipient and just the Aggies' second WAC individual honor, joining Paul Igboeli's WAC Freshman of the Year honor in 2006. Overall, Turbin is just the second USU player to earn a conference Offensive Player of the Year honor, joining Kendal Smith who was the 1998 Big West Conference Offensive Player of the Year.


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Bench Boosts Aggies To 63-54 Taming Of Wolverines Tuesday Aggie Men's Basketball

Reed, Berger Help USU Bench Out-Score UVU Reserves, 27-18

LOGAN, Utah - Sophomore guard Danny Berger and junior forward Kyisean Reed came off the bench to combine for 21 points, in helping the Utah State reserves to a nine-point advantage over their counterparts, which resulted in a nine-point victory, as the Aggies beat Utah Valley, 63-54, Tuesday night in men's basketball action at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.

Sophomore starting guard Preston Medlin netted a team-high 13 points and a career-high six assists, while Reed added 11 points. Berger had 10 points, including seven in the second half, in only his second game of action, as USU led from start-to-finish in improving to 4-4 overall, and snapping a two-game losing skid to avoid its first three-game losing streak since 2007-08.

Utah Valley was led by Isiah Williams' game-high 16 points while Kevin Woods added 10 points off the bench for the Wolverines, who also evened their record with a level 5-5 mark with the loss.

With the win, the Aggies remain unbeaten against the Wolverines by improving to 7-0 overall, including 4-0 in Logan. USU has now won 26-straight home games against in-state competition and is 28-1 at home against fellow Beehive State foes under head coach Stew Morrill. Utah State has won 30 of its last 38 games against in-state opponents and improves to 37-12 against the state of Utah over the last 12 seasons. Overall, the Aggies have now won 86 of their last 89 home games and are now 196-14 at home under Morrill.


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USU Women's Basketball Concludes Three-Game Road Trip at Idaho State Saturday

Aggie Men's Cross Country

The Aggies look to snap a two-game losing streak at the Bengals.

LOGAN, Utah - A grueling three-game road swing will conclude for the Utah State women's basketball team on Saturday, Dec. 10 in Pocatello against Idaho State at 2 p.m.

The Aggies are 5-3 this season after losing at Montana and Montana State last week. The Bengals are the fourth Big Sky Conference team that USU has faced so far this season. Utah State is currently 1-2 against the conference. The Aggies still have one more team from the league on the schedule, hosting Northern Arizona on Dec. 19 for School Day at 12 p.m.

Idaho State (5-4) holds a 15-13 series lead over Utah State. The Bengals have won five-straight against the Aggies, including a 64-52 win in Logan last year. In that game, Chelsea Pickering scored a game-high 29 points. USU was led by a double-double by Ashlee Brown who had 17 points and 15 rebounds in the loss. The last time that the Aggies defeated the Bengals was during the 2006-07 season when USU won at home, 85-83.

This season, Pickering has played in only three of ISU's games. The Bengals are led by Lindsey Reed who averages 11.8 points per game. Ashleigh Vella averages 10.6 points and 6.2 rebounds per game. Last time out, Idaho State fell to Utah in Salt Lake City, 56-31. Kaela Oakes led the team with nine points, while Jessa Jeppesen added seven rebounds.


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Utah State Student-Athletes Participate In Shop With A Jock Program

Aggie Athletics

This event provides deserving children the opportunity to go Christmas shopping with 40 student-athlete representatives from each of Utah State's varsity athletic teams as well as Big Blue.

LOGAN, Utah - For the fourth consecutive year, Utah State Athletics teamed up with eFORCE® Software this Holiday season for the annual Shop with a Jock event. This event provides deserving children the opportunity to go Christmas shopping with 40 student-athlete representatives from each of Utah State's varsity athletic teams as well as Big Blue. The event also presents student-athletes with the opportunity to give back to the local community who supports them throughout their careers at Utah State.

"I participated in Shop with a Jock because it was an opportunity to reach out and give back to the community. They are constantly supporting us by attending athletic events, so I felt it was important to give back," said freshman men's track student-athlete, Devin Wright; "I also wanted to give less fortunate kids an opportunity for a memorable Christmas."

The youth participants were nominated by a local elementary school to attend. The event, held on Monday, December 5, 2011, began at the Dee Glenn Smith Spectrum with an autograph signing session and photos on the Spectrum floor. After being assigned their shopping partners, the Shop with a Jock crew headed to a local retailer to begin their holiday shopping.

"My favorite part about the experience was the bus ride. I sat next to a little boy that couldn't contain his excitement about the fact that he was about to go to pick out some great things to have a great Christmas," said junior, Shay Sorensen, of the volleyball team.

"Seeing those kids faces all light up at the sight of some new toys and clothes reminded me of all I have," said Sorensen, "This experience really shows me what the Christmas season is all about--giving to others."


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