Aggie Insights E-newsletter
    VOLUME 9 | ISSUE 9 September 2011     

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USU Alumni Spotlight - Jacob Roecker Jacob Roecker, photo courtesy of

Spotlight by Liz Wilson

"Old Main stands like a lighthouse to the valley," says Utah State graduate Jacob Roecker. "My education will be the beacon I can use from this point forward." Majoring in Speech Communication, Jacob was able to use his education to light his way to his own life goals. When choosing his major, Jacob relied on the wisdom of his university counselor. The choice of a major was more a happy accident than a premeditated decision, Jacob admitted. "I got frustrated with the process and just told a counselor to...pick for me. What happened was a miracle...That counselor did all the legwork. Speech Communication was the perfect field for me to study and I loved the experience."

The choice of a major was just one of the many exceptional experiences that occurred to Jacob while he was attending Utah State. Jacob said, "My USU experience was nothing shy of awesome!" Some of his unique experiences in finishing school occurred because he was fitting his education in between his time serving in the US Army. "You see, I applied to USU while I was on my second deployment to Iraq," Jacob commented, "Phone communications were a bit spotty and the University Staff really helped work with me and my application."

While attending USU Jacob was able to utilize the ROTC as an invaluable resource that helped him study and also to enhance his experience there. "ROTC was the reason I was able to attend," Jacob explained, "It also gave me a bridge to cross in transition from a purely military environment to a predominantly civilian one. I didn't realize how institutionalized I had become by my eight years of serving in uniform." During his career at USU, Jacob took full advantage of his time at University. He was an Undergraduate Teaching Fellow, a swimming tutor, as well as the founder of the Cache Valley Salute, a 5k run designed to honor the contributions of Utah State University's Military Science programs. He was also selected as USU's Man of the Year in 2008.

Jacob came to understand that Utah State created a great environment for students to take advantage of similar opportunities of leadership and university involvement. "That's probably the biggest take from USU: The school isn't large or as well known as an Ivy League institution," said Roecker, "but the professors treat their students like they're destined to make a difference in the world." With the help of some Utah State students and teachers, Jacob was able to make his own impact on the world by publishing several books about his experiences in the military, including one entitled Your Future Demands Greatness: A Soldier's Inheritance. His advice to his fellow Aggies is to take the time to write down their own stories. "USU's professor's reaffirm their belief that each student matters," Jacob explained, "That means each person's story is important as well. It's worth writing down, and thanks to today's technology, it's easy to publish. Go ahead and laugh at the idea, but someone out there probably would like to read what you've been thinking. Don't wait for someone else to write your book. I can promise you it's not going to happen."

In addition to his recognition at Utah State and his success as an author, Jacob also served two deployments to Iraq where he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for his positive impact and high energy amongst his unit. Today Jacob continues his literary pursuits. He lives with his wife and three children in Utah.

Nominate an Alumni Spotlight

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Aggie-to-Aggie Luncheon Aggie-to-Aggie

The Young Alumni Association has hosted the Aggie-to-Aggie Networking Luncheon now for over a year. With each event the Aggie-to-Aggie Networking Lunch has continued to grow in event attendance and popularity. Young Alumni meet at the Zions Bank Building in downtown Salt Lake City to hear from a special Aggie guest speaker and network with fellow Aggies.

The next Networking Luncheon is coming up on Monday, September 12. For this luncheon, Aggie-to-Aggie and the Young Alumni Association are teamed up with the Big Blue Scholarship Fund for a special luncheon with USU Football Coach, Gary Andersen.

For more information click here

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Homecoming Weekend is Only Two Weeks AwayAggie Homecoming 2011

Come back to campus and join us for many of your favorite Aggie traditions!

  • Class of 1961 and Golden Aggie Reunion Activities: Campus tour, luncheon and more

  • Classes of 1970-75 Reunion: Campus tour and pregame party

  • Estate Planning Breakfast Seminar: Leave your Legacy at Utah State University

  • Special Guest Speaker: Coach Dale Brown

  • All Aggie Homecoming Reception: Meeting place for all Aggies with food, cash bar and live music

  • Spirit Squad/Young Alumni Scholarship 5K: Warm-up with Big Blue and Aggie Spirit Squad

  • Homecoming Breakfast: Recognition of this year’s honorees*

  • Homecoming Parade: Main Street Logan, Center Street to 800 North

  • Aggie Volleyball vs. Hawaii: Rematch of last year’s WAC Championship, free with your football game ticket

  • Pre-game Party: Food and activities for all ages, featuring Radio Disney’s Rocking Roadshow

  • Aggie Football Game vs. Colorado State: Kick-off at 6 pm in Romney Stadium

*2011 Homecoming Honorees:

  • Alumnus of the Year - Robert M. Matich

  • Distinguished Young Alumni - Mark Erickson and Jennifer (Needham) Erickson

  • Grand Marshals - 1969-70 & 1970-71 Basketball Teams (players, coaches, managers, trainers)

Register Online Here

Get the full Homecoming Schedule here.

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Aggie Pride Plates Number Continues to Grow Aggie Pride Plates

More than 4,900 Aggies are showing their pride in Utah State University with their Aggie Pride license plates and the number continues to rise. This program has raised more than $650,000 for student scholarships! Show your pride and make a difference, get your Aggie plate today!

For more information click here

Get your "A" Plate online

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Featured Alumni Benefit - Zions Bank @ Work Featured Benefit

As an employee or alumnus of Utah State University, Zions Bank is proud to offer you unique products and services designed to say, "we haven't forgotten who keeps us in business". Find out more about unique checking, money markets, credit cards and consumer loans. When you visit any branch of Zions Bank, just tell the representative that you are interested in the benefits of Zions Bank @ Work for Utah State University employees and alumni.

For more information about Zions Bank @ Work, click here.

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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Alumni Legacy Nonresident 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 Alumni Legacy Nonresident 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

Teen DrivingLiberty Mutual

Teen drivers get safe driving examples from many places: television ads, driving instructors, their friends. But no one has more influence over their future driving than their parents.

The best teacher of a new driver is a good role model. Well before your teen is preparing to get their learner's permit, you should be watching your own behaviors to ensure you are following all rules of the road.

Don't speed
As an experienced driver, you may think that going a few miles over the speed limit isn't going to affect your driving ability. But in 31% of fatal crashes involving new drivers, speed was a factor.*

Wear Your Seat Belt
49 states plus Washington, D.C. currently have some form of seat belt laws on the books**, with fines for non-compliance ranging from $10 to $100. That means not wearing your seat belt could not only be costly for you, but it could set a dangerous precedent for your teen when they become a new driver. According to the National Safety Council you can increase your chances of surviving a collision by more than 50% by wearing your seat belt.

Put Down the Cell Phone
Whether you're calling someone to say you're running late or simply returning a call, any time you pick up your cell phone while driving it is distracting you from keeping your full attention on the road. With teen cell phone use at its highest level ever, if your teen witnesses you using your phone while driving, chances are they'll do the same. 6,000 people died in crashes involving distracted drivers in 2008***, you don't want your teen to make the same mistake.

Stay Calm
Sitting in traffic can be an annoying experience for anyone whether they are a new or experienced driver. And no one is happy with the driver who cuts them off on the highway. But as the adult, swearing, yelling or voicing your frustration in other ways with your teen in the car could lead them to do the same. Allowing emotions to run high while behind the wheel can distract new drivers from the road.

Get Back to the Basics
You drive up to a 4-way stop sign on a deserted road. No one else is around. You slowly roll through the intersection instead of coming to a complete stop. Not only will that get you a ticket, but your teenager sitting in the passenger seat just saw you do that too. Need to brush up on the basic rules of the road? Take a quick refresher course.

Get Tips from the Experts
The National Safety Council offers an online course Alive @ 25 Parent Program that helps parents identify the risks a teen driver faces and reinforces basic driving skills and good decision-making to help their teens become safe, responsible drivers.

Whether you or your teen realize it, teenagers are influenced by the examples their parents present. In the years leading up to your teen getting their learner's permit you should be keenly aware of your own driving habits, and be sure you're exhibiting the same caution you hope they take when they are behind the wheel.

Read more tips from Liberty Mutual here.

*National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: Traffic Safety Facts Research Note, November 2009
** GSHA Seat Belt Laws
*** Liberty Mutual and SADD Survey 2010

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Back to the Buzzer


1970: Aggie Basketball Team

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

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Aggie-to-Aggie Luncheon Aggie-to-Aggie

Join the Big Blue Scholarship Fund at the next coaches luncheon. Meet Aggie Football Head Coach Gary Andersen and have the opportunity to hear about the team and ask questions. Open to all Aggies. Pay at the door.

Date: Monday, September 12, 2011

Pre-Game Party: 12:00 noon

Location: Zions Bank building 18th Floor, located on One South Main Street, Salt Lake City, UT

Cost: $13 per lunch for Big Blue Scholarship Fund Members and Alumni Sustaining Members
          $16 per lunch for non members

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Southern California Aggie Alumni Event at the LA Dodgers Alumni Event at the LA Dodgers

Bring the family and enjoy an evening at Dodger Stadium as the Dodgers take on the Pittsburg Pirates. Your game ticket (located in section 314) includes access to the All You Can Eat Pavilion, the ultimate venue at Dodger Stadium with unlimited Dodger Dogs, nachos, peanuts, popcorn and soft drinks.

Date: Saturday, September 17, 2011

Time: 7:10 pm

Location: Dodger Stadium (1000 Elysian Park Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012)

Cost: $30 per ticket (game ticket and all you can eat)

RSVP: Register online here

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Weber County Aggie Scholarship Golf Tournament Golf Tournament

The winning best ball team will represent Utah State University at the Acura College Alumni Team Championship at Pinehurst, North Carolina (Courses 2 & 4), October 27-30, 2011. In 2010, the USU Team tied for 4th place at the National Tournament.

Date: Monday, September 26, 2011


Registration: 8:00 am
Shotgun Start: 9:00 am
Luncheon & Awards: 2:00 pm


Best Ball Tournament ($110 per person, $440 per team)

2-Net Best Balls of Foursome, open to men and women. Established USGA, no maximum point spread.  Alumni affiliation is appreciated, but not required for participation.

Scramble (non-qualifying, $100 per person, $400 per team)

4-Person Scramble, no handicap.

For more information, email call Karen Shepherd at 801-668-7865.


Registration deadline is September 20, 2011.
Participants: Register online here
Sponsors: Register online here

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Aggie Homecoming Weekend 2011 Aggie Homecoming 2011

This year's theme is Old and New - Forever Blue, Once an Aggie Always an Aggie. Come back to campus and join us for many of your favorite Aggie traditions such as the Homecoming Breakfast, Homecoming Parade, and True Aggie Night. We are also excited to welcome back the Class of 1961 and the rest of the Golden Aggies!

Last year we added a new event that became an instant Aggie favorite: the All Aggie Homecoming Reception. This is the meeting place for all Aggies! Join us for food, entertainment and a no-host bar at Accolade (located at Hamilton's Steak & Seafood). Come meet up with classmates and meet this year's Homecoming honorees, then hit the town and visit your favorite Logan hang-outs.

Date: September 23 & 24, 2011

Schedule: Click here

For more information, visit the Homecoming website.

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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 on the Utah State Flickr GroupFlickr

New photos have been added to the Utah State Flickr Group. Photos from past 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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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

William Clift
BS '70


I was an "Adventure" in college and continued my adventures and adding to my education. I worked for the Utah Water Research Lab and Forest Dept. I then adventured to the Colorado Rockies and was involved in Site Surveying and Planning. I was also on Rocky Mountain Rescue as well as avid climber and skier. I spent 6 years in Colorado and moved back home in Texas to help my mom and dad out. I then built my own business developing energy efficient homes and ranches. I also was a Fireman/EMT and felt I gave back a lot to my hometown. My dad passed and my mom helped me until I had some opportunities to do the same in California where I have been for 23 yrs. I have built Solar Homes and currently involved in an alternative energy project that could bring water into the California area by way of the ocean. My wife is an accountant with a large Golf Management Firm and keeps me in line. My daughter is 28 and is involved in acting and recently moved to New Orleans and started a nonprofit company to help with the oil spill cleanup. Our son is an EMT and soon to be a Medic in Las Vegas. 2009 things came to a halt and I was on the adventure of my life, I needed a Liver Transplant to save my life. I had lots of help from my family and now I am ready to get back to a level I have never been before. Look out world "I'm Back".


This month's obituaries can be found here.

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Current Schedules


Utah State Women's Soccer Climbs to Seventh In West Region RankingAggie Women's Soccer

The Aggies ranked for the second-straight week in NSCAA West Regional poll.

LOGAN, Utah - - After earning its first-ever regional ranking last week, the Utah State women's soccer team continues to climb the National Soccer Coaches' Association of America (NSCAA) West Region poll by moving up to seventh this week after entering at ninth last week.

The Aggies continue to make history by starting the season 6-0-0 for the first time ever. Utah State earned a pair of 1-0 wins last week over in-state rival Utah and former Big West foe Cal State Fullerton.

This week, Utah State continues its season-high four-match homestand, taking on Rice on Thursday, Sept. 8 at 4 p.m., and border-rival Idaho State on Sunday, Sept. 11 at 1 p.m. Rice is currently eighth in the Central Region rankings. This is the first meeting between the Aggies and the Owls. Before joining Conference USA, Rice was a member of the Western Athletic Conference.


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McArthur Ties Career-High With 25 Kills in Utah State's Five-Set Win Against Weber State TuesdayLiz McArthur

USU has now won three straight matches and improves to 4-3 on the year.

OGDEN, Utah - Senior All-American Liz McArthur tied her career-high with 25 kills and junior Laurel Bodily posted a career-high 30 digs to lead Utah State's volleyball team to a five-set win (25-18, 23-25, 25-23, 23-25, 15-13) here against in-state rival Weber State Tuesday night.

Utah State, who has now won each of its last three matches after starting the year with a 1-3 record, improves for 4-3 with the win. Weber State falls to 0-6 with the loss. Overall, USU is now 33-19 all-time against the Wildcats including 12 wins in its last 13 matches, and eight straight victories on the road.

McArthur, an outside hitter from St. George, Utah (Snow Canyon HS) posted her fifth double-double of the season and 17th of her career as she added 13 digs in the match to go along with three block assists and one service ace. Bodily, a junior libero from Idaho Falls, Idaho (Idaho Falls HS) recorded her 27th career double-digit dig match, including her seventh-straight this season with her 30 digs. Overall, it is the third time in her last four matches that Bodily has posted at least 20 digs.


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USU's Keeton Named National Freshman Of The Week

Chuckie Keeton (Photo by AP/Dave Martin)

Aggie Quarterback Throws For 213 Yards, Rushes For Two TD's In Aggie Debut

LOGAN, Utah - Utah State football player Chuckie Keeton has been named the National Freshman of the Week for his performance Saturday.

Keeton, a native of Houston, Texas (Cypress Creek HS), was 21-of-30 passing for 213 yards and added two rushing TD's as part of 33 rushing yards in his Aggie debut in USU's hard-fought 42-38 loss at defending national champion No. 23/19 Auburn Saturday. Keeton is believed to be the first Aggie freshman to start a USU season-opener in at least the modern era. Keeton is also the first Aggie freshman to start a game at QB since Riley Nelson in 2006.

"Chuckie is a special player," USU head coach Gary Andersen said in his post-game interview. "I promise you no one is hurt more, even though he has been with us for a short period of time. We are in very good hands at the quarterback position. ... I love Chuckie Keeton. I have loved Chuckie Keeton since I walked into his living room."


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McKenna Brothers Lead USU Cross Country at Utah State Open Saturday

Aggie Cross Country

USU men finish second, while the women finish fourth in Aggies' only home meet this season

LOGAN Utah - Senior Brian McKenna was USU's highest finisher, placing fifth (21:06.7), at the Utah State Cross Country Open to lead the Aggie men to a second-place finish Saturday, at the American West Heritage Center south of Logan.

The Aggie women, who were led by sophomore Hannah Williams in 11th-place (18:05.8), placed fourth overall in the season opening meet for both teams. The women ran a 5k race, while the men ran a 7k race.

"You want a group at the front, it helps bring other people along," USU veteran head coach Gregg Gensel said. "The improvement that we have shown both on the men's and the women's side from two weeks ago when we started practicing is phenomenal. I like seeing that kind of improvement. That is what you want out of the athletes and that is what we got. Having this experience at home, at a somewhat familiar course is important."


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