Search Committee Members
D. Richard Cutler, Ph.D. - Search Committee Chair
Professor and Head, Department of Mathematics and Statistics
Richard Cutler is Head of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Utah State University. He obtained his B.Sc. in mathematics from the University of Auckland, New Zealand in 1983, and his M.A. and Ph.D. in statistics from the University of California, Berkeley in 1985 and 1988, respectively. Dr. Cutler's research interests are in applied statistics with emphases in ecological and environmental statistics and in epidemiology. He is also a former director of the Statistical Consulting Center at USU. Dr. Cutler has been actively involved in mathematics and statistics education projects in his department and helped write the K-12 mathematics standards for the state of Utah.
Kurt Becker, Ph.D.
Professor and Head, Department of Engineering and Technology Education, College of Engineering
Kurt Becker is currently working on several National Science Foundation (NSF) funded projects including the National Center for Engineering and Technology Education. His areas of research include adult learning cognition, engineering education professional development and technical training. He has extensive international experience working on technical training and engineering projects funded by the Asian Development Bank, World Bank, and U.S. Department of Labor, USAID. Countries where he has worked include Armenia, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, China, Macedonia, Poland, Romania, and Thailand. He is currently a consultant on a USAID-funded project that involves workforce development and enterprise competitiveness. He works with the technology teacher education program in the department and teaches undergraduate and graduate courses.
Todd Campbell, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Science Education
Dr. Campbell is a faculty member in the School of Teacher Education and Leadership. His research focuses on factors influencing current reform in science education. This is supported by investigating science teacher professional development, scientific inquiry/modeling instructional practices and science/technology integration. Dr. Campbell is the PI for a National Science Foundation (NSF) project focused on integrating technology into science instruction and a state-level Mathematics Science Partnership professional development project partnering science teachers and scientists in curriculum development. He has published in numerous journals including the International Journal of Science Education, Journal of Science Teacher Education, and Journal of Science Education and Technology.
Alvan Hengge, Ph.D.
Professor and Head, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Alvan Hengge has been a member of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Utah State University for sixteen years. He obtained his B.S. from the University of Cincinnati in 1974, taught high school chemistry and physics for seven years, then obtained his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Cincinnati 1987. This was followed by an NIH postdoctoral fellowship in biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin, and work as a Scientist at the Institute for Enzyme Research at UW. Dr. Hengge's research program is centered on physical organic chemistry and biochemistry, studying the chemical mechanisms of catalysis and enzymology, with a focus on phosphatases.
Michelle B. Larson, Ph.D.
As Vice Provost, Dr. Larson interacts with USU students and faculty across all disciplines, and thrives on helping to facilitate academic pursuits campus-wide. Prior to joining USU, Michelle was the Deputy Director of the Center for Gravitational Wave Physics at The Pennsylvania State University where in addition to her administrative responsibilities, she oversaw efforts to integrate the research, education and outreach efforts of the Center. Michelle was the deputy director of NASA's Montana Space Grant Consortium, she was a scientist in the Kellogg Radiation Laboratory at Caltech where she was the project coordinator for the California High School Cosmic Ray Observatory (CHICOS), and she worked in the Space Sciences Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley where she developed ways to bring the science of NASA missions to public and school audiences.
Eric D. Packenham, M.Ed
Senior Lecturer of Science Education
Eric Packenham is a faculty member in the School of Teacher Education and Leadership. He specializes in science teacher development and science career access. He coordinates STEM Education initiatives between the College of Education and Human Services and the disciplinary colleges (Science, Engineering, Agriculture, Natural Resources) at Utah State University. He mentors students that major in STEM disciplines to broaden the pool of female and underrepresented students graduating with university-level STEM majors and STEM careers. He has expertise in working with state and national initiatives and served as Director at the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA). He also directed the Mathematics and Science Education Network (MSEN) Pre-College Program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and has been actively involved in large scale professional development programs to support teacher development. He has experience in recruiting and developing programs for the Expanding Your Horizons to inspire girls to pursue careers in STEM by engaging professional women from businesses, government agencies, and other universities to share their enthusiasm for science, engineering, and mathematics.
Robert Schmidt, Ph.D.
Associate Professor and Service-Learning Coordinator
Robert Schmidt has been on the faculty at Utah State University since 1991. He is an Associate Professor in the Department of Environment and Society. Dr. Schmidt received his MS from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, and his PhD in Biological Ecology from the University of California, Davis. His research program centers around human interactions with wildlife, including gray wolves in the western U.S. and green sea turtles in Hawaii.
Debra Spielmaker, M.S.
Associate Professor of Extension
Statewide Director of Utah Agriculture in the Classroom
The Agriculture in the Classroom program provides teacher training, teaching materials and other resources to contextualize learning for youth about agriculture and the environment. Professor Spielmaker conducts workshops and develops curriculum materials for K-12 educators in the areas of science, social studies, and healthy lifestyles. Her workshops model a variety of teaching strategies and hands-on activities. Debra prefers authentic learning and hands-on experiences to contextualize learning and stresses that agriculture—food and resources that provide for our basic needs—is the ideal integrated construct for teaching science, technology, engineering, and math, as well as how science and technology impact and change our culture, society and history. Debra has made numerous national presentations concerning agricultural literacy and believes that everyone should understand agriculture because its success affects our quality of life and our environment.