Aggie Insights E-newsletter
    VOLUME 9 | ISSUE 10 October 2011     

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USU Alumni Spotlight - Mike Ellison Mike Ellison, photo courtesy of

Spotlight by Liz Wilson

Mike Ellison is a former Aggie football player who can never stay away from Cache Valley for too long. "I try to come back to Logan at least twice a year," Mike admits, "I like to enjoy the place for a few days. It's a breath of fresh air to come back to Logan." Mike is currently making his home in southern California.

Mike graduated from USU with a degree in Sociology; a degree he says was earned in the classroom as well as around campus. His study of society extended far beyond the things he learned from his professors. Mike explained that attending USU was a great way to learn how to solve problems and adjust to change. "It was a great spring board to learn how to deal with problem solving and change. Living in the dorms and off campus allowed me to learn how to deal with situations like that," Mike said. He agreed, as do many USU alumni, that the education at USU is invaluable, both in and outside of the classroom." Mike learned that making friends on campus, from all over the world, helped him to better understand how other people think and live. In the classroom, Mike said he took advantage of the great faculty resources. "Even if the classes were large I always went and talked to my professors," Mike said. "They were always willing to help me know where to go. I enjoyed the opportunities I had to go and talk to them. "

Mike was able to take advantage of the best resources that the University had to offer. While at USU Mike was involved in football, and was also able to make time to work as a graduate assistant for Coach Chuck Mills. After college, Mike went on to coach football and teach for over 10 years. This let him use his degree and his love of football to inspire others to follow their own passions.

Now Mike is an insurance agent and has developed an idea to help his fellow Aggies give a little back to their University. "A lot of people want to give [financially] to the university," Mike explained, "But they don't think they can." According to Mike, they might think that the University is only interested in large donations. "But there's always different ways for Alumni to give back that isn't one lump sum or a large endowment," Mike clarifies. He described how final expenses insurance is another way that Alumni can give back. By putting a small amount into final expenses insurance each month; Mike says people can determine that a portion of their final expenses be allotted to Utah State. It is an easy way Mike says that people can give back and leave their own gift to the University. "I would love to talk to anyone about what their insurance agents can do for them, to give back, " Mike said, " I just want to help people give to their University." Mike hopes that his idea will help even those on a tight budget to find some extra way they can pitch in and support their alma mater.

As a dedicated Aggie, Mike continues to do his best to help Utah State continue to provide an outstanding education to future Aggies, and he hopes he can help others do the same. Mike said, "I could have been a millionaire's son and I couldn't have gone to a better place than USU." He still keeps in touch with his fellow Aggie football teammates and also other Aggies across the country. When visiting other cities, Mike makes a point to seek out fellow Aggies to catch up with. "I went to Chicago once and looked up some fellow Aggies to ask where I could find a good hotel, "Mike said. To this his fellow Aggie replied, "there aren't any, you'll have to stay with me!" Mike is proud of the connections that still exist between Utah State students, even those who didn't know each other during school. He counts himself lucky that he still has plenty of opportunities to catch up with Utah State students, years after his university days.

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Homecoming Weekend Brings Aggie Alumni and families back to USU Alumni Aggie Homecoming 2011

Aggie Alumni and their families came back to campus for many of their favorite Aggie traditions.

The class of 1961 and the Golden Aggies held a reunion that included a luncheon and a tour of Logan campus. The classes of 1970-75 also toured campus and held a pregame party. Former USU assistant coach and former LSU Head Coach, Dale Brown spoke to students and Alumni on campus. The 1969-70 & 1970-71 Basketball Teams (players, coaches, managers, trainers) reunited as Grand Marshalls of the Homecoming parade and were honored at halftime of the football game between USU and CSU. Also honored in the Homecoming parade and halftime of the football game were Robert M. Matich, who was honored as the Alumnus of the year and Mark Erickson and Jennifer (Needham) Erickson, who were honored as the Distinguished Young Alumni for Homecoming.

Other events included the Homecoming 5K run, the students campout on the QUAD, and the All Aggie Reception at Hamilton's.

  • View pictures of the Homecoming parade here.

  • View pictures of the Homecoming football game here.

  • View pictures of the Homecoming 5K run here.

  • View pictures of the Homecoming campout on the QUAD here.

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Old Main Society Honors Significant Alumni Old Main picture courtesy of UST

The Utah State University Old Main Society recognized individuals with three of its most prestigious awards Friday, Oct. 7, during annual Old Main Society activities on campus.

The university honored Richard and Joyce Shipley with the Spirit of Old Main award. William and Carol Strong received the Spirit of Old Main Emeriti award. And, Nate and Heather Wickizer were honored with the Spirit of Old Main-New Generation award.

The Spirit of Old Main Award is bestowed for lifetime achievements and loyalty to the university. The Emeriti Award honors retired faculty or staff of the university who have also shown exemplary dedication and contribution. The New Generation award is given to a person or couple the university recognizes as the "next generation" of Aggies.


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The Second Annual USU Bookstore Wreath Auction USU Bookstore

Join the USU Bookstore in the second Annual 'A' Holiday Event wreath Auction. Anyone may pick up a wreath from the USU Bookstore to decorate before Oct 14. The wreaths must be returned to the Bookstore by Nov 1. They will be on display in the Boostore window and online until Dec. 1 A silent auction will be held from Nov. 28 to Dec. 1. All of the proceeds will be donated to the Cache Valley Food Bank.

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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 - Aggie Athletics Benefits Featured Benefit

The Aggie athletic events for the 2011-12 year are listed below. To receive the sustaining member discounts, you must show your sustaining member card when you purchase your tickets. May not be combined with any other offer. Subject to availability.

  • 20% discount per ticket on WAC Conference football games in November

  • 20% discount per ticket on the following men's basketball games:
    • Duel in the Desert/Gossner tournament games
    • Montana Tech game on 2/14/2012

  • 50% discount on all women's athletics tickets or 50% off women's sport pass during the 2011-2012 Season.

For details and game times, visit or call the Ticket Office at (888) 878-2831.

For a full list of Alumni benefits click here.

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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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Tips from Liberty Mutual

National Campus Fire Safety Month: Every Campus Can Be Fire Safe, Fire Smart Liberty Mutual

The freedom and new life opportunities presented by living on one’s own is a powerful and positive force for many college students. However, many students aren’t thinking about fire safety while they’re away at school, and this lack of awareness can lead to trouble. At Liberty Mutual, we’re always doing our homework to provide you with helpful information that can help make your family safer, at home or away. We hope that you share this article on with a college kid you know and love.

What’s behind campus fire emergencies?

Fires occur on campus for many of the same reasons they do at home, and for reasons unique to college life. They also tend to occur around the same times, from 5-10pm in the evening and on weekends. Here are some other facts worth knowing about fire on campus:

  • Overloaded electrical circuits and extension cords are often a source.
  • Cooking appliances such as microwave ovens or hot plates that are left on or unattended are dangerous.
  • Fire alarms are often ignored (just another test, right?) or go unheard by many students.
  • Students are unfamiliar with 911 or other campus-specific emergency notification procedures.
  • Many students have no evacuation plan for their campus residence or are unaware that their dorm or apartment building may have one.

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Back to the Buzzer


1951: Aggie Marching Band

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

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Tooele County Aggie Benefit Night Tooele County Aggie Benefit Night

Come listen to our keynote speaker, Robert Kirby, Salt Lake Tribune humor columnist. There will also be a silent auction, light refreshments, door prizes and Aggie Ice Cream (while supplies last). Sponsorship opportunities available.

Date: Thursday, November 3, 2011

Time: 6:00 pm - Silent Auction, 7:00 pm - Program

Location: Stansbury High School Auditorium

Cost: $15 per person by Nov. 2, $20 at the door

RSVP: Register online here

Sponsorship Deadline: September 16, 2011

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Discover Career Success

Connect with Career Services to:

Discover Career Success

- 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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New Photos from Homecoming on the 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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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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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

Bruce A. Draper
BS '66


I am enjoying retirement in Cache Valley. I help with housework and enjoy yard work and gardening. I do volunteer teaching. I teach basic math at the county jail, English as a second language and adults how to read. It has been enriching to live in a university town. I have seen much change in Logan since moving here in 1945.

Cynthia J. Smith
MEd '92


My attendance at USU was at a pivotal point in my life. Although I attended the Logan campus during the summer to complete the residency for my Master's Degree, I found the proximity of the Cedar City and St. George campuses allowed me to obtain the degree while working full-time in Beaver, UT as a teacher and mother. Varnell Bench was my direct committee chairperson. His personal assistance and direction both encouraged me and gave my thesis the direction needed to build a concise and thorough guide for teachers. I'm thankful for the staff under whom I was able to study. The USU experience was absolutely fantastic.


This month's obituaries can be found here.

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Current Schedules


Aggie Football Remains Highly Ranked Among FBS And WAC Statistical Leaders Aggie Football

USU Leads WAC In Five Categories, Ranks Sixth In FBS In Rushing Offense

LOGAN, Utah - Utah State football remains ranked among the country and conference's leaders in this week's Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) and Western Athletic Conference (WAC) statistics, released Sunday.

The Aggies lead the league in five categories, including rushing offense, which they rank sixth in the nation at 309.6 yards per game. USU also leads the WAC and ranks 16th in the FBS in total offense at 480.4 ypg, as well as leading the conference and ranking 22nd in the country in passing efficiency at 155.77.

Utah State also is tops in the league and 11th in the nation in scoring offense, hanging an average of 42.6 points per game on the scoreboard.

On special teams, the Aggies lead the conference and rank fourth in the country in net punting at 42.67.

Defensively, USU is third in the WAC and 34th in the FBS in rushing defense (115.4 ypg), while also ranking third in the conference and 53rd in the county in pass defense (215.4 ypg), to rank second in the league and 29th in the nation in total defense (330.8 ypg). The Aggie defense is also second in the league and tied for 29th in the nation in sacks (2.4 pg/12 in five games).

Individually, junior running back Robert Turbin leads the WAC and is third in the FBS in scoring at 14.4 ppg, while leading the league and 10th in the nation in rushing at 119.8 ypg. Turbin also is fifth in the conference and 46th in the county in all-purpose yards (130.4 ypg).

Freshman quarterback Chuckie Keeton is first in the league and 22nd in the nation is passing efficiency (157.05), while ranking seventh in the conference and tied for 77th in the country.

Junior RB/KR Kerwynn Williams is third in the league and 19th in the nation in all-purpose yards (156.6 ypg), consisting of ranking second in the WAC and 12th in the FBS in punt returns (16.8 ypr), as well as third in the conference and 36th in the country in kick returns (25.0 ypr).

Defensively, senior LB Bobby Wagner is tops in the WAC and fifth in FBS in tackles at 12.2 per game, while fellow senior LB Kyle Gallagher is 10th in the league and tied for 82nd in the nation (8.0 pg). Senior DE/LB Levi Koskan is fourth in the conference and tied for 30th in the country in sacks with .7 pg, while also ranking fourth in the league and tied for 37th in the country in tackles for loss (1.3 pg).


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Pemberton Powers Aggies to 3-1 Win Over Louisiana Tech Sunday Kendra Pemberton

Utah State soccer earns 10th win of the season for the sixth time in the last nine years.

LOGAN, Utah - Sophomore midfielder Kendra Pemberton was involved in all three goals as the Utah State women's soccer team won its second-straight match with a 3-1 victory over Louisiana Tech at home on Sunday.

With the win, Utah State improves to 10-4-1 overall and 2-1-0 in Western Athletic Conference action. The Aggies have now won at least 10 matches six of the last nine seasons. The record for wins in a season is 13 in 2008. The Lady Techsters fall to 8-4-4 overall and 1-2-0 in league play.

With the win, the Aggies improve to 7-0-0 this season at home which is their best-ever start. The seven wins ties both the 2010 team that went 7-1-2 at home and the 2008 squad that was 7-2-1 at Chuck and Gloria Bell Soccer Field.

"We thought that we really came out and started the game strongly. We knew that they are very effective and sitting back, and catching teams on the counter-attack. We thought that it was really important to take it at them early which showed fantastic tenacity from our team. Looking at the result we are now 2-1 in conference matches and took a big step toward qualifying for the conference tournament," USU head coach Heather Cairns said.

The Aggies wasted no time getting on the board, scoring the first goal in the sixth minute. Sophomore forward Mari Miyashiro returned to form with her third goal of the season taking a pass from Pemberton and blasting an 18-yard shot to the back left corner. The assist was Pemberton's team-leading seventh of the season. She now has 12 career assists and is tied for second in career assists with Aggie-great Charity Weston (2003-06). She is just three assists from tying Lindsey Smart's (2006-09) career record of 15 helpers. Later in the match, senior forward Shantel Flanary would add her name to that list with her 12th career assist.


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Utah State Men's Tennis Gives Strong Performance In Weber State Fall Open

USU freshman Marcus Fritz captures flight two championship title on Saturday.

LOGAN, Utah - Utah State men's tennis team finished its strong performance in the Weber State Fall Open with true freshman Marcus Fritz winning the flight two final over Idaho State's Nate Gross, 6-3, 6-3. In his first time every donning a USU uniform, Fritz, who hails from Stockholm, Sweden, played solid tennis. Fritz was award America First Credit Unions Utah State Athlete Of The Week for his performance. (

In doubles action senior Sven Poslusny and freshman Matt Sweet claimed the doubles title late on Saturday. Poslusny and Sweet faced the host tandem of Simon Unger and Oliver Wood. The two teams traded points early in the match but, the combo of Poslusny and Sweet was too much for the Wildcats to handle and Poslusny and Sweet capture the match, 8-5, and secured the title for the Aggies.

Poslusny and Sweet advanced out of the semifinals in a thrilling, 9-8, win over Idaho State's Charles Norman and Austin Miller. In the quarterfinals, Poslusny and Sweet dispatched of another Idaho State duo, Nate Gross and Dan Buckingham by the narrowest of margins, 9-8.


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Aggie Spikers Return Home This Week To Host Fresno State And Nevada In A Pair Of WAC Matches

Aggie Volleyball

Weekly Volleyball Release - 10/9/11

Utah State (7-11, 2-3) will continue Western Athletic Conference play this week with a pair of home matches against Fresno State (8-9, 3-2) on Thursday, Oct. 13 and Nevada (3-13, 1-4) on Saturday, Oct. 15, with both matches beginning at 7 p.m.

All of Utah State's home matches are available to watch live via the internet at Fans can also follow all of the action on the internet via GameTracker, a service that provides play-by-play updates of the match along with updated stats.

Utah State is 7-11 on the season and 2-3 in Western Athletic Conference play after losing on the road at Idaho (3-0) last weekend. The Aggies are led by senior All-American outside hitter Liz McArthur who is hitting .144 and averaging 3.72 kills, 2.40 digs, 0.43 blocks and 0.16 service aces per set. Junior outside hitter Josselyn White is hitting .180 and averaging 2.94 kills, 2.64 digs, 1.14 blocks and 0.20 service aces per set, and junior opposite side hitter Shay Sorensen is hitting .164 and averaging 2.41 kills, 0.85 blocks and 0.47 digs per set. As a team, Utah State is hitting .156 on the year as compared to a .173 hitting percentage for its opponents.

Senior outside hitter Liz McArthur ranks sixth all-time at Utah State with 1,274 career kills and third all-time with 3,825 career attempts. Zuzana Cernianska (2002-05) holds the all-time school record with 1,813 career kills and 4,423 career attempts. McArthur also ranks 10th all-time at USU with 86 career service aces.


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