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Salt Lake Tribune Wednesday, Apr. 18, 2018

USU Removes Leader of Office that Investigates Sex Discrimination

Utah State University has removed its Title IX coordinator two weeks after investigators found that school administrators had done little to address a “pervasive culture of sexism” and multiple assault allegations against faculty in the piano department. In an email to students and faculty Wednesday, University President Noelle Cockett said Scott Bodily will serve as the interim Title IX Coordinator. Former Title IX Director Stacy Sturgeon is now listed on the school’s website as an affirmative action/equal opportunity specialist. Its new vow of reform comes as the U.S. Department of Justice investigates its response to campus sexual assault, in a federal review announced in 2017. “These changes will help us more effectively prevent future sexual misconduct and discrimination, thereby enhancing the safety of our campus,” Cockett said in the email, noting that the university plans to hire a new permanent Title IX coordinator. ... Cockett said in the email that the school plans to hire additional staff, including a prevention specialist, in its Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Office.

Deseret News Tuesday, Apr. 17, 2018

USU Taps Wyoming Dean as New Executive Vice President

Francis D. Galey, who is a veterinarian and dean of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Wyoming, has been selected executive vice president and provost of Utah State University. ... "He has had a distinguished and successful career as a faculty member and in university administration. The knowledge and experience he brings with him is a great next step for him and us," Cockett said in a prepared statement. He will be second in command and the university’s chief academic officer. ... “Of course, as soon as you get on the horse, you’ll find out just how well-prepared you are,” he said. “But I am so excited for this opportunity.”

Herald Journal Tuesday, Apr. 17, 2018

Volunteers Craft Flowers for Cancer Patients at USU Service Center

Volunteers at USU’s Service Center spent Monday night making flowers for Disney princesses to wear in their hair. Their creations will be sent to the Magic Yarn Project, a nonprofit that makes princess and superhero wigs for children with cancer. ... Lani Vin Zant is the leader of the Utah chapter of the Magic Yarn Project. ... Vin Zant said the project works by sending and receiving supplies among volunteers like the ones at USU’s Service Center and dividing up the task of creating the wigs. ... Sara Greaves, a USU student, said the project was a good introduction to volunteering. ... Jacob Stark, a member of the USU President’s Cabinet Activities Committee, said he often volunteers at the Service Center. ... Ault-Dyslin said the simple contribution of a few hours making flowers has a big impact. “It makes a big difference for this nonprofit, which then in turn makes a big difference to the recipients of these wigs,” Ault-Dyslin said.

Utah Public Radio Monday, Apr. 16, 2018

Female Faculty Underawarded Compared to Male Peers at Utah State University

In 2011, the Association for Women and Science published a paper claiming women were underrecognized when scientific organizations chose nominees and selected prominent scientists to award. When Dr. Helga van Miegroet, a professor emeritus at Utah State University, read the paper, she wondered if USU had the same problem.“I gathered all the data at the level of university awards and I also went to the individual STEM colleges and asked them to provide me with the names of the recipients. So I gathered nearly 600 data points with records going back as far as 1958,” van Miegroet said. The trends on the level of different colleges at the university showed that women are nearing parity in non-research awards. ... “In the entire record of the university, only five women have ever received recognition for research achievement. Two of those are STEM women. Five women in the entire university have ever received recognition at the university level. Men are six times more likely to receive a research award than women are at the university level,” Van Miegroet said. Research institutions like USU demand a record of research excellence for professors to obtain tenure. Mentorship, service, and teaching are not considered to be as important during tenure review. Van Miegroet worries that the underawarding of female faculty for research excellence continues to prevent their promotion to full professor.

Cache Valley Daily Monday, Apr. 16, 2018

Maggard and Snyder Named USU Male and Female Athlete of the Year

Utah State cross country/track & field senior Dillon Maggard and junior Alyssa Snyder were named the Male and Female Athlete of the Year, respectively, at the annual Robins Awards, taking place on Saturday, April 1. ... Other nominees for Male Athlete of the Year included football senior Jalen Davis, tennis senior Jaime Barajas, basketball sophomore Sam Merrill, golf senior Braxton Miller and track & field sophomore Sindri Gudmundsson. ... Other nominees for Female Athlete of the Year included basketball sophomore Olivia West, gymnastics junior Madison Ward, soccer senior Bailee Hammond, volleyball senior Lauren Anderson, track & field junior Brenn Flint and tennis freshman Sasha Pisareva. Finalists for the Athlete of the Year were selected by members of the athletics department. A selection committee over these categories then selected the winners. The awards were just two of 20 honors extended by the University during the evening, with students, faculty and staff all receiving recognition to their individual contributions to Utah State.

Herald Journal Monday, Apr. 16, 2018

USU Student Veterans Raise Money for Wounded Warrior Project

Utah State University student Karlee Edwards was working in the Taggart Student Center on Monday and was asked by a colleague to go down the hall and get peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch.Edwards obliged, but she didn’t know making them would involve using her non-dominant hand. ... But Edwards went ahead, spread some peanut butter and jelly on some white bread — and gave a small donation to the Wounded Warrior Project, or WWP. ... Members of the campus community were challenged by USU student veterans to make sandwiches the hard way and give back to the WWP.Jeffrey Buckman, a USU student and veteran who organized the event, said about $150 was raised Monday thanks to the students’ donations. ... Buckman’s goal Monday was to raise funds for WWP, an organization that provides programming and help to veterans who were hurt in military combat operations after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. ... When he got the idea to raise money for Wounded Warrior Project, Buckman wanted to do something interactive. ... “I was just trying to figure out a way to let people see what it’s like every day for a wounded warrior without a prosthetic — just an everyday task,” he said.

KSL Monday, Apr. 16, 2018

Utahns Stuck in Hawaii Following Historic Island Flash Floods

Hawaii’s Garden Island, Kauai, is no stranger to rain, but the amount of rain the island received Sunday night was unprecedented. The storm left Sharon Olsen, a Bountiful resident, stuck, along with a group of college students from Utah State University. ... The storms caused hundreds of evacuations, so Olsen decided to put herself to work, she said. .. The flooding got worse, and the shelter ended up losing power and water. After they moved to a second location and opened a shelter, Olsen ran into a group of girls from Utah who were also willing to help, she said.I call them my Utah home girls, five local LDS girls. We’re all Aggies. We all went to Utah State,” Olsen said, “(We) just met today and just pitched in just helping people.” Olsen said it’s been a great experience meeting new people and spending her vacation serving others in need. She said, “This is what life is all about.”

Herald Journal Saturday, Apr. 14, 2018

Utah State Officials Closely Police Use of Aggie Name and Trademarks

Sam Park, owner of Sushi Go, doesn’t have to look far to be reminded of his 6-year-old daughter when he is at work. ... Those drawings are scribbles of different sorts, but many of them include the words “Aggie Sushi,” the original name of Park’s business. ... The decision to change the name of his establishment did not initially come from Park — it came from Utah State University, which has the word “Aggie,” among others, trademarked. Sushi Go is just one example of entities throughout the community that contained or currently contain a USU trademark. ... Aggie Auto Sales and the soccer team Aggies FC are prominent examples of entities that have worked out agreements with USU to use words trademarked by the university. Other than Sushi Go, examples of businesses that used to use the USU trademark but stoppled include Alpine Flats (formerly “Aggie Flats”) and 900 Factory (formerly “Aggie Factory”), both off-campus student housing complexes. Tim Vitale, USU director of public relations and marketing, said it’s important the university makes clear that the words “Aggie” or the “Aggies,” at least in Utah, are affiliated with the university. “We’re the Utah State University Aggies so we trademark our brand ... and in this case, words or letters, of … the thing that represent us,” Vitale said. ... Vitale said while USU may be keeping an eye out for any trademarks being used innapropriately, the university is not trying to be “confrontational” with the community.

Herald Journal Friday, Apr. 13, 2018

USU Looks to Refine Commencement Nomination Process

Every year, a Utah State University committee gathers nominations for speakers and honorary degree recipients for commencement exercises. But members of that committee say “new ways” could be deployed to get those nominations. Sydney Peterson, USU chief of staff and secretary to the USU Board of Trustees, said in an email to The Herald Journal that the Honorary Degree Selection Committee needs to explore new methods and “make sure we get a really good pool of nominees.” ... The minutes said the committee is “looking at doing things differently moving forward” and acknowledged it “has been tricky” to get “high-profile individuals” to speak at commencement. ... This year’s commencement speaker and honorary degree recipients have been announced. Thierry Fischer, conductor of the Utah Symphony, will speak and receive an honorary degree alongside three other individuals. ... Michael Scott Peters, president of the USU Student Association and member of the screening committee, said there have been discussions about how to capture a bigger pool of nominations and more recognized speakers.

Cache Valley Daily Friday, Apr. 13, 2018

USU Refusing to Pay Tim Duryea his Final Year's Salary, Family Claims

An alleged typo could prevent former Utah State University head basketball coach Tim Duryea from receiving his final year’s salary. ... Because he was let go before his employment contract was up, Duryea is still owed the salary for the duration of the agreement. According to Angie Duryea, Tim Duryea’s wife, the university is taking advantage of a typo in the contract to get out of paying the final year’s salary of $279,000. Both the contract and the offer letter state the employment term is for five years, but there is a contradictory line in the contract. It states that Tim Duryea would be employed “for a term of five (5) years, commencing on March 30, 2015, and ending on June 30, 2019.” The listed dates only cover four, not five, basketball seasons. ... USU spokesperson Tim Vitale said in an email that there is a discrepancy in the dates of the contract that the university is attempting to resolve. ... This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

Herald Journal Thursday, Apr. 12, 2018

USU Professor's 'Spider Silk' Research Spurs Potential New Product to Market

After years of research to produce mass quantities of spider silk — among the strongest materials in the world — a Utah State University professor and his team say they’re ready to get it out to the marketplace with a product people can use. USU biology professor Randy Lewis, his lab technicians and the limited liability corporation Spidey Tek announced in a news release this week that an adhesive would be the first product to market, thanks to an exclusive licensing agreement signed between the LLC and USU. ... Roberto Velozzi, CEO of Spidey Tek, said he will work with industry partners to get the product to market — hopefully in the next two years. ... Velozzi and Lewis formed Spidey Tek LLC, a bio-engineering company, in 2015. ... “When I tried to figure out how to make things lighter, stronger and cheaper, I started doing this research and then found Randy,” Velozzi said. “I realized that Utah State University, under the direction of Randy, they had the best technology out there.” Velozzi has high hopes for what spider silk — which is stronger than Kevlar, aluminum and steel — can do. It could be the basis for new products including artificial ligaments, tendons, airbags and parachutes.

Utah Public Radio Wednesday, Apr. 11, 2018

BYU's PathwayConnect Students Able to Make Transition to Higher Education

A yearlong program offered through Brigham Young University Pathway-Worldwide is designed to help students transition more successfully into a higher-education setting. Students who complete the PathwayConnect program have the option of applying to earn a degree or certificate online from BYU-Idaho. Thanks to a new partnership between Utah State University and Pathway-Worldwide, students can now choose to continue their education through USU.“The PathwayConnect program prepares students and transitions them into higher education,” said Robert Wagner, vice president for academics and instructional services at USU. “And then our regional campus and USU-online model then can help those students transition into a certificate or a degree here at Utah State University.” ... Wagner said this partnership will be especially helpful to students in rural Utah who want to receive a higher education without leaving their community. He said it is anticipated that most if not all Pathway students will be accepted to Utah State.

Cache Valley Daily Wednesday, Apr. 11, 2018

Research Week will Highlight Student Research Into a Variety of Topics

Since USU is a research university, once a year the school showcases some of the work of research students and the university itself when it comes to what is really some ground-breaking research. Research Week is happening on campus this week. ...  "I’m making a research presentation all about toilets”, said Consalvo. ... Another speaker will be biological engineering student Bethany Jensen who has studied the problems of algal blooms. ... The IGNITE talks begin at 12 noon on Friday in the Merrill-Cazier Library. It is a free event but they ask you to RSVP if possible. More information on the weeks’ events can be found at www.usu.edu/researchweek

Park Record Tuesday, Apr. 10, 2018

Professor Wants Public to 'Bee informed' About Pollinators

Spring is here and Dr. Joseph Wilson is ready to talk about the bees. Wilson, an expert on North American bee species, assistant professor of biology at Utah State University Tooele Campus, TEDx Utah State University presenter and author of "The Bees in Your Backyard," will present Bee Informed: Pollinator Diversity and Conservation on Thursday, April 12, at the Swaner EcoCenter. The presentation will cover the importance of bees in the Beehive State as pollinators. ... Wilson's presentation will show there is more to the busy bees than meets the eye. ... The main issue Wilson will target is bee conservation, and by that he means every species of bees. ... Wilson will also talk about two major misconceptions about bees. ... Wilson's fascination with bees developed from his love of animals.

UB Media Tuesday, Apr. 10, 2018

Roosevelt Resident Accepted Into Prestigous Program

Noel Christian Guido, a Utah State University student known by friends as Guidz, lives in Roosevelt and is a native of the Philippines. He came to the United States in 2008 to further his education. While searching online, he came across a medical technologist job at the Uintah Basin Medical Center (UBMC). He applied, was offered the job, and came to start his new life in Roosevelt, Utah. ... “My education and work have motivated me to be resilient and to never stop dreaming, even if it meant leaving the Philippines for more opportunities. ... “Education brings out the best version of myself and will help me on my path to serve others." ... Guidz applied for Physician Assistant (PA) programs throughout the United States. While waiting to be accepted, he pursued his second bachelor’s degree at Utah State University-Uintah Basin, majoring in biology with a minor in chemistry. According to Guidz, USU-Uintah Basin helped prepare him for the next chapter of his life. Physician’s Assistant (PA) school is challenging, and taking classes at USU has provided him with a solid foundation in biological sciences. ... Guidz was officially accepted into PA school at Alderson Broaddus University in West Virginia.

PhysOrg Monday, Apr. 09, 2018

Climate Change Impacts on the Sagebrush Sea

Scientists from Utah State University developed a new way to use long-term population data to model how species could respond to climate change in the future. Using thousands of observations of big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) growth from Arizona to Washington, Andy Kleinhesselink and Peter Adler showed that sagebrush populations at cold sites increased after warmer than average years, whereas populations at hot sites decreased after warmer than average years. ... The novelty and strength of this new research is in combining measurements made over many decades from many hundreds of locations. ... The key insight of the study is that the effect of weather on sagebrush growth changes across the species' geographic range. ... Overall, the results suggest that long-term changes in temperature may be more important for the future of sagebrush than changes in precipitation.

Utah Public Radio Monday, Apr. 09, 2018

USU Experiments with New BikeShare Program

One-hundred-and-fifty bright orange bikes have sprung up on the Utah State University campus in Logan. A coalition between USU’s Aggie Blue Bikes, the city of Logan, local bike shop Joyride and company Spin partnered to bring the bikeshares to USU on a provisional basis. Program coordinator Meg McCarthy said one of the goals was to meet the high demand of USU students for bicycles. Aggie Blue Bikes offers used bicycle rentals to students, but there weren’t enough. ... The Spin Bikes are available to everyone, although USU students do receive a 50 percent discount. Bike rentals cost $1 for a 30-minute ride for non-students. The bikes are here on a trial basis and will disappear from campus in December. The university will then assesses the success of the bikeshare program and decides whether to continue it. If you’re interested in catching the bikes while they’re in Logan, there is a community event Wednesday, April 11 that let’s you try them out.

Science Alert Sunday, Apr. 08, 2018

Here's Why Some People Get 'Skin Orgasms' from Listening to Music

Have you ever been listening to a great piece of music and felt a chill run up your spine? Or goosebumps tickle your arms and shoulders? The experience is called frisson (pronounced free-sawn), a French term meaning "aesthetic chills," and it feels like waves of pleasure running all over your skin. Some researchers have even dubbed it a 'skin orgasm.' ... While scientists are still unlocking the secrets of this phenomenon, a large body of research over the past five decades has traced the origins of frisson to how we emotionally react to unexpected stimuli in our environment, particularly music. ... These findings, recently published in the journal Psychology of Music, indicate that those who intellectually immerse themselves in music (rather than just letting it flow over them) might experience frisson more often and more intensely than others.

Deseret News Friday, Apr. 06, 2018

Report Reveals Systemic Failures Addressing Discrimination, Sexual Assault

An independent investigation into allegations of discrimination and sexual assault in the Utah State University music department has found that discrimination and sexual misconduct went unpunished for years.  At a press conference Friday morning to release the report’s recommendations, University President Noelle Cockett announced that music department head Gary Amano has retired effective April 2 and is no longer employed at the university. ... The report also recommended sanctions for Professor Dennis Hirst, who investigators said enabled Amano’s discriminatory behavior. ... Another faculty member – whose name was redacted in the report – has been barred from further employment at the university, Cockett said. Additional recommendations included changes to ensure university policies “clearly prohibit psychologically abusive behavior by the faculty,” eliminate gender discrimination within the university, and develop standards for more stringent review of student claims of gender discrimination and sexual harassment by faculty. President Cockett stated that the university has within the last twelve months “already implemented changes that address some of the issues in the department,” but that they would continue to develop a code of ethics for treatment of students and create a task force to look at discrimination against students, staff and faculty. ... USU hired outside counsel Snell and Wilmer of Salt Lake City, to conduct the investigation on February 16 after several women claimed in Facebook posts that they had been mistreated by music department employees.

Herald Journal Friday, Apr. 06, 2018

Student Creates Utahraptor Sculpture for USU Geology Museum

Growing up in Northern Utah, Justin Tolman had a passion for dinosaurs and fossils. ... And soon after he became a Utah State University student, he realized he loved sculpting. So it’s no surprise that Tolman is hard at work completing a sculpture of the state dinosaur — the Utahraptor — for the USU Geology Museum. The museum, currently under renovation, will unveil the sculpture April 20. David Liddell, the museum’s director, praised Tolman for this work. ... When people come to look at his sculpture, Tolman hopes he clears the air of common misconceptions about dinosaurs, like that they never had feathers. He also hopes people are intrigued by the Utahraptor, even though his sculpture is 1/3 the size of the actual creature. ... The Utahraptor gets its name for the fact that remains of the species have been found in the state, specifically Grand County, as far back as the 1970s — though no one realized it at the time. ... Although the USU Geology Museum does have some remains of dinosaur vertebrae and teeth, it does not have anything in it related to the Utahraptor, according to Liddell.

Cache Valley Daily Thursday, Apr. 05, 2018

USU Professor a World Figure in Wireless Communication

Utah State University Professor Dr. Rose Hu is a world renowned leader in tech. In fact, she is an expert in an area of electrical engineering that everyone is talking about, and that is wireless communications.She worked 10 years in the industry at Nortel, Blackberry and Intel before joining USU in 2011. ... “5G we are talking about 2020 targeted for the first commercial deployment. For the full , mature development and deployment for 5G it will still take a while.” The development of wireless communication creates advantages, but there are disadvantages. ... Her current research interests include next generation wireless network design.

Herald Journal Thursday, Apr. 05, 2018

USU Quidditch Team Eyes Another National Competition

Fans of the Harry Potter books who come to see Utah State University’s quidditch team in action might notice some differences in the real-life game compared to what they’ve read. Team players are not wizards or witches flying on broomsticks; they’re just ordinary students in T-shirts and sweatpants running with PVC pipes instead of brooms. Still, the Logan team competes regionally and nationally in a game modeled after the fictional one in J.K. Rowling’s books. ... Team members, including Groth, could be found practicing on the Quad on Wednesday evening, fresh off of a competition in Salt Lake City in which they played other teams such as University of Utah and University of Northern Colorado. These days, the upcoming national competition in Roundrock, Texas, April 14 to 15, is at the forefront of team members’ minds. A crowdfunding campaign to help cover travel costs has so far raised more than half of its $4,000 goal. ... Chase Ellis, director of USU Campus Recreation, said the 2017-18 school year marks the first time the team is under his office, whereas before, USU quidditch team was under the Office of Student Involvement. ... Overall, Ellis is appreciative of the fact that USU has a quidditch team.

Deseret News Wednesday, Apr. 04, 2018

New Allegations as USU Music Department Investigation Wraps Up

After a nearly seven-week investigation into Utah State University's handling of allegations of sexual misconduct within the music department, independent investigators are preparing to release a report of their findings and recommendations on Friday morning, according to Tim Vitale, a spokesman for the university. The Deseret News talked to 25 former and current Utah State music students, several of whom have reported their experiences to the investigators in recent weeks. A male former student who said he was groped by a music professor on an overnight trip in 2006. A police report from the 1990s describing the alleged sexual assault of a teenage student by a USU music department employee, who is now a music faculty member at the university. A former piano student, Whitney McPhie Griffith, who said she was raped by a piano instructor in 2009 and thirteen women — current and former USU piano students between 1998 and now — who said they had been subjected to various forms of mistreatment by faculty members, ranging from sexism to harassment to intimidation. Five of the 25 students who spoke to the Deseret News said they formally reported their experiences to university officials at the time."We want to reiterate that we are committed to finding out what happened," said Amanda DeRito, Utah State University Sexual Misconduct Information Coordinator, in an email to the Deseret News. Vitale said due to the independent nature of the investigation, the university cannot speak to the contents of the report before its release on Friday. "There are a number of recommendations in the report," said Vitale."We plan to address each of the recommendations made by the independent investigators." ... The music department investigation was prompted by allegations made by Amy Cannon Arakelyan, a USU piano student from 2003 to 2007 who wrote in a Facebook post that she was "sexually harassed" by a faculty member on a "regular basis," and Whitney McPhie Griffith, another former student who said that she was raped by a piano instructor in 2009.

Herald Journal Wednesday, Apr. 04, 2018

USU's 'Aggies GO' Website Offers Deeper Looks at Current Events

In the midst of today’s fast-paced news cycle, people can slow down and get a deeper, academic interpretation of what’s going in the world with the help of a new website designed by Utah State University students. Aggies Geopolitical Observatory, also known as Aggies GO, is now live thanks to the work of Political Science Professor Colin Flint’s students. ... Flint believes Aggies GO can provide insight into current events that news organizations sometimes cannot. ... Aggies GO launched in January and includes articles by Flint’s students about the United Kingdom’s split from the European Union, former President Barack Obama, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and America’s so-called “sanctuary cities.” ... Aggies GO has dozens of articles uploaded since its inception. Flint said there is no way to tell how many hits the website is getting, but he hopes to be able to do that in the future.Flint would also like to pay his students for their work and have them write longer articles. You can visit Aggies GO at http://chass.usu.edu/aggiesgo/.

Herald Journal Tuesday, Apr. 03, 2018

Huntsman School's 'Entrepreneurship Week' Brings Samplings of Local Eats

Utah State University student Clint Robison gravitated to the chips and salsa Cafe Sabor was selling Tuesday night in the courtyard of Huntsman Hall. ... Robison was just one of many students who flocked to Huntsman Hall during “Food Fest.” The event brought out local eateries so they could provide a sampling of their food to students. ... Food Fest was part of “Entrepreneurship Week,” April 2 to 5, hosted by the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business’s Center for Entrepreneurship. Emily Howe, a USU senior accounting major who is an intern at the center, helped organize “Entrepreneurship Week” events. ... Other activities during this year’s “Entrepreneurship Week” included a farmer’s market, an intellectual property conference and a business startup competition. ... “Entrepreneurship, to me, kind of means really understanding why you’re doing what you’re doing, pursuing it with everything you have and not being afraid to fail,” Howe said.

Utah Public Radio Tuesday, Apr. 03, 2018

Local Efforts to Improve Public Ecological Observatory Network

A group of researchers at Utah State University are leading a project called ARGON or Augmenting Research Grounded On NEON. ... “The aim of ARGON is to augment research grounded on NEON by filling in some of the historical information about what’s happened nearby the NEON sites, but then also to give more sites that can be compared with the NEON sites to give more of a spatial context” said Will Pearse, an assistant professor in the Biology Department at Utah State University and one of the leaders of the ARGON project. NEON, otherwise known as the National Ecological Observatory Network, exists independently of ARGON, but provides a research foundation to build upon for future scientists and projects. ... Last week Pearse and colleagues added around 4 million new data points to the ARGON database which is publicly available. For more information on the ARGON project and access to the database, visit the Pearse lab website here.

Cache Valley Daily Tuesday, Apr. 03, 2018

The Candy Bomber Returns to USU

Col. Gail Halvorsen, the “Candy Bomber” of the World War II era, will return to the Utah State University campus next week to participate in events supporting the school’s Aviation Program and the College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences (CAAS). ... Halvorsen, a native of nearby Garland, will attend the Wednesday banquet, then Thursday night, 7-8 p.m., will be the speaker at the CAAS Dean’s Spring Seminar at the Sunburst Lounge of the Taggart Student Center on campus. This event is free and open to the public. ... Andreas Wesemann, a.k.a. “Professor Baron” of the Aviation faculty, said Halvorsen will share stories of what it was like to be in Berlin after the war. ... Wesemann said the event will also be an opportunity to illustrate how the USU Aviation Program is growing.

PhysOrg Monday, Apr. 02, 2018

Hanging By a Thread: Why Bent Fibers Hold More Water

Inspired by the large droplets that form on a leaf tip or other thin filament, a team of researchers from Utah State University, University of Liège, Belgium, and Brigham Young University have found the exact angle at which a bent fiber holds the most fluid. Their findings were published March 15 in the Royal Society of Chemistry's Soft Matter, a top journal covering physics, chemistry and biology. Lead researcher Dr. Tadd Truscott, creator of the world-renowned Splash Lab at USU, says the study offers important insight into the field of fluid dynamics. "For the first time, we can identify the exact angle of a bent fiber that will hold the most fluid," he said. "This research has many industrial applications including drug manufacturing or in developing technologies that use microfluidics. This could also be useful in developing more efficient fog-collection nets which are becoming more popular in arid regions. Or on the other hand, this research could inspire a more efficient dehumidifier design." ... The researchers, including USU's Dr. Zhao Pan, Dr. Floriane Weyer and Dr. Nicolas Vandewalle of the University of Liège and Dr. William Pitt of BYU, tested their bent-fiber theory using a specially-constructed apparatus. ... Truscott says the droplet study offers a connection between science and art. "That's the best part of our lab," he said. "We are science nerds from different cultures, but we are all passionate about literature and art."

Cache Valley Daily Monday, Apr. 02, 2018

Logan City Limits Festival Takes Over Downtown this Weekend

There will be a mix of Utah State University students and others enjoying the local music scene this weekend as the Logan City Limits festival takes Downtown Logan once again. The annual event, hosted by Aggie Radio, will take place each evening from Thursday through Saturday at several different locations, including WhySound, The Cache and the Ballroom in the Taggart Student Center on campus. The festival started as a much-smaller, campus-only event almost a decade ago, but event organizer Isaac Morales said it has now grown to the point where it is well-known and anticipated. ... Those interested in getting familiar with the music that will be played can go to the Logan City Limits website and check out the Spotify playlists, but Morales said the best way is to do it is to just show up. ... But the festival isn’t just about music, Morales said, there are also film and art aspects to it. Logan City Limits has coordinated with the Cache Valley Center for the Arts Downtown Gallery Walk on April 6 from 6 to 9 p.m. Films will be screened Saturday, April 7 starting at 5 p.m. in the Taggart Student Center Auditorium. “Come to Logan City Limits,” Morales said, “because if you want music to live on in this town and you want to propagate the music scene all it takes is to step inside a venue and dancing around a little bit.”

Utah Public Radio Monday, Apr. 02, 2018

Research on Water Fleas Yields Possible Anti-Fungal Drug

Professor Meghan Duffy, an expert in infectious diseases who recently lectured at Utah State University, was interested in how food webs in lakes are affected by pathogens, not drug discovery. She set up an experiment to see how water fleas – a small crustacean that are also important food for young fish – grow and reproduce under different diets with different pathogen exposures. ... “In the end we found that these different species of algae that they might consume can really strongly influence whether they get infected by the fungal parasite. Three of the species completely prevented infections by this fungal parasite.” To Duffy and her team, this was big news. ... Her team is now taking the next step of testing Chlorella for use as an anti-fungal medication in humans. ... Although research without application to humans, also known as basic research, continues to face funding challenges, Duffy asserts it is crucial. “One of the values of basic research is often when we’re studying something because we’re interested in it we end up finding something that has unanticipated benefit to humans. To me this research really highlights this,” Duffy said.

Herald Journal Monday, Apr. 02, 2018

USU Announces Commencement Speaker, Honorary Degree Recipients

Utah State University has invited the conductor and musical director of the Utah Symphony to deliver the commencement address to the class of 2018. Thierry Fischer will speak on Saturday, May 5, at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum on campus, according to a news release issued by USU. He will also receive an honorary degree. ... Fischer will not be the only one to receive an honorary degree from USU this year. He’ll join Bartell Jensen, a USU alumnus and founder of the USU Research Park, also known as the Innovation Campus; John Welch, a USU alumnus and lawyer; and Gail Sorensen Williamsen, founder of The Elizabeth Academy, which helps young people with developmental disorders.

The Salt Lake Tribune Sunday, Apr. 01, 2018

USU Piano Students Talk a Culture of Sexism, Discrimination and Favoritism

USU launched an investigation into its piano department last month after a student criticized how the school handled her 2009 rape report against a teacher. But students have been complaining for years of a broad pattern of favoritism, sexism and emotional abuse by faculty. Twenty current and former music students at USU and the Logan school’s attached Youth Conservatory spoke with The Salt Lake Tribune; at least eight said they complained to school administrators of mistreatment by the piano faculty, dating back to 2004 and as recently as 2017. The Tribune has obtained emails and documents in which university officials acknowledged complaints against piano faculty, but it’s unclear what, if any, action was taken. ... USU President Noelle Cockett announced that the university had hired Salt Lake City attorney Alan Sullivan to investigate claims of sexual assault, harassment and gender discrimination and make recommendations. USU expects his report to be completed soon and will make it public, the university said in an email to The Tribune. ... The Department of Justice is examining USU’s handling of sexual assault reports campuswide in a separate investigation launched more than a year ago. ... “It wasn’t like it was one person,” said Amy Arakelyan. “… I don’t think that there’s a way forward unless it’s just completely revamped from the top down.”

Herald Journal Saturday, Mar. 31, 2018

USU Latino Group Hosts Annual Fiesta Americas

Utah State University’s student center was alive with music and dance on Friday night in celebration of Latino culture. The Latinx Student Union’s annual Fiesta Americas event welcomed merengue dancers, a professor turned DJ, and students and locals who came to join the celebration. A loud, happy mix of Spanish and English could be heard from the Taggart Student Center ballroom throughout the evening. Ketzel Morales is the secretary of the LXU and was recently voted in as next year’s president. She said the event is all about strengthening the relationship between the Latino community and the university. ... She said Fiesta Americas is one of many events the LXU organizes that help to fund scholarships for Latino students. Luis Hernandez, current president of the LXU, said Fiesta Americas is a celebration of the diverse but tight-knit Latino community in Cache Valley. ... The event featured a hoop dance performance by dancers from the Native American Student Council, along with a performance by the university’s Mister and Miss International. ... Every year, after the performances, the event ends with a dance party.

Utah Public Radio Friday, Mar. 30, 2018

Bulls on Logan Main Street Set for Late Retirement

While strolling along Main Street in Downtown Logan, one can visit antique shops, eat at restaurants, and see opera and theater productions. Walking along, one can also see some peculiar painted bulls ... “The Bulls on Main Street, Aggie Stampede, was a project we launched from the Center for Persons with Disabilities here at Utah State, back in 2012. And we were celebrating our 40th anniversary and we wanted to do something to reach out to the community and make a connection,” said Bryce Fifield, former director of the Center for Persons with Disabilities. ... That connection was a hit and miss, according to Fifield. Many people and businesses disliked the idea of having the bulls bolted to the sidewalks. ... The Center for Persons with Disabilities collaborated with the Logan Downtown Alliance, and worked with them to make the installment happen. But now after six years, the bulls are being taken down. ... Their original plan was to take the bulls down in September 2015, but due to popular demand and nothing to take their place, the removal deadline was extended.

Deseret News Friday, Mar. 30, 2018

Koby McEwen to Transfer from Aggies

On the heels of hiring a new head coach in Craig Smith earlier this week, the Utah State Aggies basketball program has received a big blow. Standout guard Koby McEwen, who won Mountain West Conference Freshman of the Year honors last year and then was a third-team all-conference selection this year, announced via Twitter Friday evening that he has obtained his release to transfer from the program. ... The 6-foot-4, 200-pound McEwen led the Aggies during the 2017-18 campaign in rebounds (5.4) and assists (3.2) per game and was second in scoring behind Sam Merrill (15.6 points per contest).

Herald Journal Friday, Mar. 30, 2018

USU ROTC Sets Obstacle Course for' 'CHaSS Week'

Faced with the choice between tacos or running through an obstacle course on Friday afternoon, it’s safe to say that many Utah State University students chose the former over the latter. But there were a few who felt like giving the obstacle course, set up on the Quad by the USU U.S. Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, a try. ... The obstacle course was one of the concluding activities of College of Humanities and Social Sciences Week. USU’s Military Science department, which houses ROTC, is part of CHaSS. ... “Our college has such a wide spectrum of disciplines and courses, but they all focus in some way on our common human condition,” said Joe Ward, dean of CHaSS, to The Herald Journal. ... On Friday, U.S. Army ROTC personnel set up the course on the northeast corner of the Quad, hoping to recruit some freshmen.

Herald Journal Thursday, Mar. 29, 2018

Campus Community Shares Experience with 'Work in Progress' Mural

Utah State University associate professor Abby Benninghoff’s emotions almost got the best of her Thursday when she started talking to campus community members about the stencil portrait she made of Juliette Gordon Low, founder of the Girl Scouts. ... Benninghoff was just one of a handful of campus community members who spoke in the Eccles Conference Center about their contributions to a mural that pays tribute to American women who have left a lasting impact on their field of study, from mathematics to writing. The concept of the mural was created by Jann Haworth, ... Haworth wanted the mural to be more than just her own, so she has been traveling around to different schools with her daughter, Liberty Blake, to get communities around the state to add to it. Katie Lee Koven, director of the Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art, liked the idea. She wanted a project that could engage faculty and students. “We are here to serve the arts, but also expand people’s experience and opportunities to learn from the arts,” she said. “This project was perfect.”

Council on Undergraduate Research Wednesday, Mar. 28, 2018

David Peak Selected as 2018 CUR-Goldwater Scholars Faculty Mentor Awardee

David Peak, professor of physics at Utah State University, has been selected as the 2018 CUR-Goldwater Scholars Faculty Mentor Awardee. The award, which consists of a plaque and $5000 for the awardee’s research program and/or undergraduate researchers, will be presented at the Biennial Conference of the Council on Undergraduate Research, which will be held at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City in Arlington, Virginia, on July 1–3. Selected from 10 finalists, Peak was recognized for his achievements as a research leader, as well as a productive scholar, teacher, mentor, and adviser to 33 undergraduates who have received 36 Goldwater scholarships and honorable mentions. ... Said USU President Noelle Cockett, “Utah State University is thrilled David Peak is receiving this well-deserved national honor. Professor Peak has tirelessly mentored undergraduate researchers throughout the university and guided them in successfully competing for prestigious national scholarships and recognition.

KSL Wednesday, Mar. 28, 2018

USU Experiment Launches on NASA Rocket

Locally-developed “green” thrusters that could potentially "change the small spacecraft industry" launched Sunday on a NASA rocket in Virginia. Designed and patented by Utah State University professor Stephen Whitmore, and built by his team of aerospace engineering students, the thrusters — small motors used to orient spacecraft in zero gravity — were tested in space for the first time on NASA’s 43-foot-tall rocket. ... “It’s an exciting time for us because this gives our students unparalleled industry experience, and at the same time, we’re developing something that could completely change the small spacecraft industry.” ... The team’s next job is to determine if the exhaust plumes from the thrusters contaminated a nearby optical sensor during the launch. If they burned clean, the technology could revolutionize the space industry, according to Whitmore. USU’s payload was one of only four universities’ selected to fly on the rocket.

Herald Journal Wednesday, Mar. 28, 2018

USU Officials Hope 'Central Suites' Residence Hall Will be Ready in Fall

Construction delays prevented Utah State University from opening its latest residence hall on time, but now school officials can say more confidently that it will be ready for students to move into this coming fall semester. That is welcome news considering Central Suites, located at E. 850 North in Logan — between the Logan Cemetery and USU campus — was supposed to be finished in time for students to move in at the beginning of the current school year, according to Steve Jenson, director of USU Housing and Residence Life. ... School officials said the new residence hall and planned demolition of Valley View and Mountain View towers is part of a master plan aimed at revitalizing the northern core of the Logan campus. ... Central Suites is meant to replace an adjacent residence hall, Valley View Tower, now 52 years old. USU student Dustin Schroeder, a resident of Valley View Tower, said it is a nice place to live considering the residence hall’s age. ... Central Suites will be a five-story residence hall housing 378 students. ... Schroeder said he would consider putting in an application to live at Central Suites for the fact that it’s “new and it’s clean and … everything is well-constructed and in good condition.” “It’s in the central campus location,” he said.

Penn Today Tuesday, Mar. 27, 2018

Linking Teen Driving Behaviors to ADHD, Other Mental Health Factors

Teenage drivers ages 16 to 19 are three times more likely to get into fatal accidents than their older counterparts. In this age group, around 20 percent in the United States have been affected by symptoms associated with mental health disorders, including 9 percent with a lifetime history of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). What’s the relationship between these well-documented conclusions? That’s what Penn nursing researcher Catherine McDonald wanted to find out. McDonald studies what distracts these newest drivers on the road. ... she and colleagues from Penn Medicine, the Center for Injury Research and Prevention (CIRP) at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia(CHOP), and Utah State University linked mistakes behind the wheel to self-reported symptoms of ADHD and other mental-health disorders, findings they published in the journal Nursing Research. ... McDonald and colleagues noticed a clear link: The more inattention symptoms a teen reported, the more mistakes that driver made in the simulator. ... “We would like to learn more about the relationship of mental-health symptoms to driving behavior in a sample with higher rates and severity of ADHD,” McDonald says, “so we can examine the impact of inattention and hyperactivity-impulsivity symptom severity across the full range of these dimensions.” That next step could help move the research toward its ultimate goal: tailoring interventions for teens drivers at risk in different ways.

PhysOrg Tuesday, Mar. 27, 2018

NASA Launches USU Student-Built Experiment into Space

After long delays caused by storms and rough seas, NASA on Sunday launched a rocket into space carrying an experiment built by students at Utah State University. The 43-foot-tall sounding rocket launched at 6:51 a.m. from Wallops Flight Facility on the eastern shore of Virginia. ... USU's payload was one of four selected to fly on the rocket. ... USU aerospace engineering graduate students Marc Bulcher, Zac Lewis and Rob Stoddard, and aerospace engineering professor Stephen A. Whitmore designed and built the USU experiment. Their goal was to flight test a new type of thruster developed and patented by Whitmore. ... "This is the first time a USA-developed green propellant has been flight tested in space," said Whitmore. "It's an exciting time for us because this gives our students unparalleled industry experience, and at the same time we're developing something that could completely change the small spacecraft industry."

Cache Valley Daily Tuesday, Mar. 27, 2018

USU Professor Involved in Cloning and Genetic Engineering

Growing up on her grandmother’s farm in a mountain region south of Siberia, Irina Polejaeva fostered an interest in animals.That led to a degree in animal science and a PhD in developmental and stem cell biology at the National Institute of Animal Science in Moscow. Now a professor at Utah State University her work as an animal scientist involves cloning and genetically engineering animals. ... “The focus of my program now is to produce large animal models that will help us understand human disease and find cures for a variety of human diseases. ...She is also busy now as co-chair of the organizing committee for a large animal genetic engineering summit in June in Park City.

Herald Journal Tuesday, Mar. 27, 2018

USU to Hold #MeToo Panel Discussion

On Thursday, a panel of Utah State University faculty and staff will discuss the #MeToo movement — along with some historical, cultural and legal analysis about it. The discussion, titled “Meaning and #MeToo,” will be hosted by the school’s department of languages, philosophy and speech communication. It will feature campus community members Mattie Burkert, assistant professor of English; Nicole Vouvalis, director of USU’s Institutional Review Board Office; and Erica Holberg, assistant professor of languages, philosophy and communications studies. ... The #MeToo movement had its roots in numerous women and men going public with their stories of sexual misconduct at the hands of famous men, including Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey. ... During Thursday’s panel discussion at USU, Burkert, who teaches British literature and has an interest in gender issues, will talk about how issues society is facing now “have their roots in problems and debates” that go back centuries. ... The panel discussion with Holberg, Vouvalis and Burkert will be 3:30 p.m. Thursday, March 29, in the Fine Arts Visual Building, Room 150.

The Salt Lake Tribune Monday, Mar. 26, 2018

4 Percent Tuition Hikes Expected for University of Utah, Utah State

The Utah Board of Regents is expected to vote Friday on a statewide tuition hike of 1.5 percent for Utah’s public colleges and universities, according to materials released Monday. Additional campus-level increases, known as “Tier 2”, are also under consideration, potentially bringing the total hike in tuition next year to 3.9 percent at the University of Utah and Utah State University; 3.5 percent at Dixie State University; and 2.5 percent at Weber State University. The board is scheduled to meet on Friday in St. George. It is uncommon for tuition hikes to be rejected after agenda materials are prepared by staff of the Utah System of Higher Education. David Buhler, Utah’s commissioner of higher education, said in a written statement that Regents and campus presidents are working to keep Utah tuition costs as low as possible — without sacrificing quality. ... Undergraduate students at USU will pay an additional $238 next year, followed by $150 at Dixie, $199 at WSU, $88 at Southern Utah University and $74 at Utah Valley University.

Deseret News Monday, Mar. 26, 2018

Aggies Officially Name South Dakota's Craig Smith as New Head Coach

Utah State has found its successor to Tim Duryea. Two weeks after Duryea was fired as the Aggies' men's basketball coach, the school announced Monday that Craig Smith will take over as head coach of the program. ... "Our family and I are pumped to join Utah State University and the community of Logan," Smith said in a USU press release. ... Smith will be formally introduced as the Aggies' new coach at a news conference at 11 a.m. Tuesday in the Wayne Estes Center. ... "Utah State has a rich tradition of excellence with tremendous fan support. The Dee Glen Smith Spectrum is one of the best home-court atmospheres in the country and I am amped to see 'The HURD' in full force. We are looking forward to making USU hoops a force in the Mountain West," Smith said in the press release.

Deseret News Monday, Mar. 26, 2018

Former USU President George Emert Dies at 79

George H. Emert, who served as Utah State University’s 13th president, died Wednesday at age 79, according to a statement from the university. The statement did not give a cause of death.“He was a dedicated Aggie who was a dynamic leader,” current USU President Noelle Cockett said in the statement. “Throughout George’s administration, we all benefited from his ability to identify new opportunities to grow Utah State University and further our land grant mission. He will be missed by the Aggie family.” Emert, who served as president for more than eight years, stepped down in 2000. ... During his presidency, the university said scholarships rose from $6 million to $29 million, while the endowment was raised from $7 million to nearly $80 million. Contracts and grants to USU also increased from $89 million to more than $140 million, and student enrollment went from 17,000 students to nearly 21,000. ... In 2002, the auditorium in the Eccles Science Learning Center was named in honor of Emert and his wife

Deseret News Sunday, Mar. 25, 2018

Orem Man Succeeds with Down Syndrome, Prepares to Attend USU

Like many college students, Jonny Peay, of Orem, was elated when his acceptance letter to Utah State University landed in his mailbox. ... For Peay, 22, getting into USU was an intricate process of meetings, interviewing and then spending a day on campus to see if he fit with the campus and if the campus fit for him. ... In some parts of the United States and certainly the world, Peay wouldn't be allowed in college, in fact, he wouldn't exist. The son of Mark and Lisa Peay, he was born with Down syndrome. ... Through long days and years of the Peays fighting the system and helping their son, the reward paid off. Jonny Peay can read, speak and write, not only in English but also in Tongan. ... He is currently attending part-time classes at Utah Valley University where he is a member of the "Act Risk No More" acting troupe. He is carrying a 3.94 GPA. ... This fall, Jonny will move on as a full-time student to USU. It is the fulfillment of one of Lisa and Mark Peay's dreams for their son. It will be the first time Peay will be on his own, living in a dormitory with a roommate and going to classes every day on campus. He will be responsible for himself. When he completes the two-year program, Peay says he wants to work in the music business. ... Before that he will be going through extensive counseling and training in the Aggies Elevated program. ... "I want to be a good example to my brothers and sisters," he said. "I want to tell them to keep going, don't quit, and have faith.

Herald Journal Friday, Mar. 23, 2018

USU Hosts Inaugural Huntsman Venture Forum

Derick Morales, manager of the Huntsman School’s Partners in Business Program — the entity that organized the event — said the Huntsman Venture Forum was actually the idea of some alumni that school officials were visiting with in California. ... School officials agreed, and planning for the Huntsman Venture Forum has been going on since last year, according to Morales. “The entire purpose is to build business in Utah and beyond,” he said. “We just want to be the greatest resource we can to businesses in the United States and especially here in Utah. … Anything your business needs to know or need to grow, they can find it here at Huntsman Venture Forum. ... The Huntsman Venture Forum included panel discussions, a keynote event with USU alumna and businesswoman Theresa Foxley and a business showcase competition.

Utah Public Radio Wednesday, Mar. 21, 2018

Undergraduate Researchers Successfully Transplant a Bacterial Immune System

In the Jackson lab at Utah State University, mixers whirr, protein purification machines beep, and shakers jiggle, all with one goal: isolating and describing the bacterial immune systems known as CRISPR. ... Ryan Jackson, an assistant professor at Utah State University's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, is interested in CRISPR Type IV. “These type IV systems that we’re trying to understand are in bacteria that grow in really weird places and are difficult to grow in the lab,” Jackson said. ... Obviously, Jackson couldn’t keep a sulfuric acid waste pond in his lab just to study CRISPR type IV. Enter his undergraduate researchers, Riannon Smith and Malena Garrett, biological engineering majors at Utah State University. ... If the immune system works then the Jackson lab will try to map the 3-D structure of the protein to better understand how they work. If all goes well, Jackson hopes that other researchers will be able to use this work horse bacteria alteration to develop CRISPR type IV into a gene editing tool.

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