First Scholars Faculty & Staff

First Scholars Faculty and Staff are voluntary, self-identified first-generation college graduates and professionals who serve as USU faculty, advisors, staff, and administrators who want to support first-generation college student success.

Many current and potential first-generation college students can better relate, converse, and receive feedback from a person in a position of leadership who has experienced similar feelings, challenges, and triumphs to get to where they are.

What They Do

  • Self-identify as a first-generation college graduate and accept the invitation to support first-generation college students at USU.
  • Attend an annual USU first-generation college student celebration.
  • Connect, mentor, and refer first-generation college students to resources both proactively and when approached throughout the year.

First Scholars Faculty & Staff by College/Division


Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services

Name E-mail Position
Breanne Litts Assistant Professor | Instructional Technology & Learning Sciences
Nate Trauntvein Assistant Professor | Kinesiology & Health Sciences
Mireya Ori Program Coordinator II | Department of Nursing (USU Eastern)
Donna Blaylock Online Adjunct Instructor
Ryan Seedall Associate Professor | Marriage & Family Therapy
Marilyn Cuch Lecturer, Advisor, Director of the RCDE Secondary Education Program | Teacher Education & Leadership
Mario I. Suárez Assistant Professor | Teacher Education & Leadership
Katherine Vela Assistant Professor | Teacher Education & Leadership (USU Eastern)
Scott Bates Department Head | Psychology
Sara Boghosian Clinical Assistant Professor | Psychology
Michael Gerald  
Kathleen (Kit) Mohr Professor | Teacher Education & Leadership
Trenton Landon Assistant Professor | Special Education & Rehabilitation
Kathleen (Kat) Marie Oertle Associate Professor | Special Education & Rehabilitation
Ty Aller Coordinator of Programs SR | Institute for Disability Research, Policy & Practice
Kaylee Litson Post-Doctoral Research Fellow | Instructional Technology & Learning Sciences
Cache Pitt Audiologist, Faculty | Communicative Disorders & Deaf Education
Brenda Smith Project Coordinator III | Institute for Disability Research, Policy & Practice
Linda Donaldson  
Tressa M. Haderlie Advisor | Psychology
Dakota Pond Service Navigator | Sorenson Legacy Foundation Center for Clinical Excellence
Faith Thomas Project Coordinator SR | Institute for Disability Research, Policy & Practice
Hillary Fruge Coordinator III | Psychology
Jennifer Caines Advisor | Teacher Education & Leadership
Aryn Dotterer Associate Professor | Family, Consumer, and Human Development
Jeannine Huenemann Marketing Manager | Teacher Education & Leadership
Amanda Ramos Professor | Human Development & Family Studies
Ronen Sebag Lecturer | Teacher Education & Leadership
Heather Thomas Advisor | Nursing 

Caine College of the Arts

Name E-mail Position
Danielle Green  
Anthony Lott Associate Professor | Art (USU Blanding)
Raymond Veon Assistant Dean | Arts Education

College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences

Name E-mail Position
Bart Tarbet Research Associate Professor | Animal, Dairy, & Veterinary Sciences
Prateek Sharma Assistant Professor | Nutrition, Dietetics, & Food Sciences
Mateja Savoie Roskos Assistant Professor, Co-Director | Nutrition, Dietetics, & Food Sciences
Bonnie Schenk-Darrinton Office of Research- Proposal Development Specialist
Kara Thornton-Kurth Assistant Professor | Animal, Dairy, & Veterinary Sciences
Denise Stewardson Associate Professor, Director | Agriculture Systems Technology & Education
Andreas 'Baron' Wesemann Director | Aviation & Technical Education
Mirella Meyer-Ficca Research Assistant Professor | Animal, Dairy, & Veterinary Sciences
LaCee Jimenez Program Coordinator | Nutrition, Dietetics & Food Sciences
Tami Spackman Advisor | Animal, Dairy, & Veterinary Sciences
Valerie Novack Graduate Student | Landscape Architecture & Environmental Planning

College of Engineering

Name E-mail Position
Melissa Scheaffer Principal Lecturer | Engineering Education
Shannon Syrstad Research Engineer II | Utah Water Research Laboratory

Jon M. Huntsman School of Business

Name E-mail Position
Matthew D. Meng Assistant Professor | Marketing & Strategy
Sterling Bone Professor | Marketing & Strategy
Polly Conrad Senior Lecturer | Data Analytics & Information Systems
Dave Patel Associate Dean | Student & External Affairs
Jason Smith Professor | Economics & Finance
Randy Simmons Professor | Economics & Finance
Erin Bergeron Advisor | Management
Nate Q. Jensen Career Specialist | FJ Management Center for Student Success
Russell Fisher Lecturer, Associate Director | Marketing & Strategy, Center for Entrepreneurship
Pia Bergholtz Advisor | Exploratory, Business & Communication
Chad Simon Associate Dean | School of Accountancy 

College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Name E-mail Position
Nichelle Frank Assistant Professor | History (USU Eastern)
Angela Montague Instructor | Sociology, Social Work, & Anthropology
Joseph Ward Dean | College of Humanities & Social Sciences
Russ Winn Lecturer | English
Rosa Thornley Lecturer | English
Cris Meier Assistant Professor | Sociology, Social Work, & Anthropology
Jason Leiker Principal Lecturer | Sociology, Social Work, & Anthropology
Meredith Wang Assistant Professor | Journalism & Communications
Jayme Walters Assistant Professor | Sociology, Social Work, & Anthropology
Sam Arungwa Assistant Professor | Sociology, Social Work, & Anthropology (USU Blanding)
Ashley Wells Lecturer | English
Kim Hales Lecturer | English (USU Statewide)
Davis Anderson Instructor | Political Science
Jason Gilmore Associate Professor | Languages, Philosophy, & Communications Studies
Jump Norman Associate Professor | Social Work
Guadalupe Marquez-Velarde Assistant Professor | Sociology, Social Work, & Anthropology
Christy Glass Professor, Interim Director | Sociology, Social Work, and Anthropology
Colin Flint Distinguished Professor | Political Science
Tammy Proctor Distinguished Professor, Department Head | History
James Sanders Professor | History
Joyce Kinkead Professor | English
Jessica Rivera-Mueller Assistant Professor | English
Tom Liljegren Director | College of Humanities & Social Sciences Advising Center
Hannah Stevens Graduate Instructor | English

College of Science

Name E-mail Position
John A. Flores II Principal Lecturer | Biology
Nick Dickenson Associate Professor | Chemistry & Biochemistry
Lisa M. Berreau Vice President for Research, Professor | Chemistry & Biochemistry
KimberLeigh Felix Hadfield Senior Lecturer | Mathematics & Statistics
Monica Borghi Assistant Professor | Biology
Tonya Triplett Principal Lecturer | Physics
Sara Freeman Assistant Professor | Biology
Emily Virgin Graduate Student | Biology
Jordan Truex Advisor | Chemistry & Biochemistry
Claudia Ki Graduate Student | Biology
Jaden Turner Graduate Student | Biology
Alana Ward Business Manager | College of Science
Joe Shope System Administrator III | Biology

S.J. & Jessie E. Quinney College of Natural Resources

Name E-mail Position
Janice Brahney Faculty | Watershed Sciences
Tal Avgar Assistant Professor | Wildland Resources
Trisha Atwood Faculty | Watershed Sciences
Cody Zesiger Assistant Professor | Agriculture (USU Extension)
Joseph Wheaton Faculty | Watershed Sciences
Casey Pennock Research Assistant Professor | Watershed Sciences
Shantell Garrett PhD Student | Wildland Resources

Executive Vice President

Name E-mail Position
Grecia Jimenez Admissions Specialist | Admissions
Ryan Jensen Director of Enrollment Marketing | Admissions
Erin Wadsworth-Anderson Instructional Designer | Center for Innovative Design & Instruction
Rene Eborn Deputy of Digital Transformation & Associate Vice President | Executive Vice President
Adela Dempkowski Residency Officer | Admissions
Stephanie Bagnell Counselor | Financial Aid
Karla Urie Advisor | Exploratory, Pre-Business
Tarren Jessop Staff Assistant | Admissions
Shari Christopherson Manager | Academic Testing Services

Student Affairs

Name E-mail Position
Aeden Anbesse Black & African American Program Coordinator
| Inclusion Center
Michelle Bogdan-Holt Director | Inclusion Center
Daniel Lawrence Director | Campus Recreation
Sarah Timmerman Program Coordinator | Inclusion Center
Jessica Roueche Program Coordinator | USUSA Clubs

Business and Finance

Name E-mail Position
Isela Phelps Programmer Analyst | Information Technology
Alex Bindrup Supply, Art & Sundries Buyer | Campus Store
Rebecca Seamons HR Specialist | Human Resources
Jared Leatham Coordinator, Interior Designer | Facilities Planning, Design, & Construction


Name E-mail Position
Tony Hearrell Assistant Director | Compliance

Provost's Office, Advancement, Marketing, and Administration

Name E-mail Position
Becky Thoms Head of Digital Initiatives | Merrill-Cazier Library
Janet Anderson Vice Provost, Associate Vice President | Provost's Office, Academic & Instructional Services
Dana Rhoades Director | University Marketing
Scott Olson Senior Director | Principal Giving (Advancement)
Jonathan Young Director of Annual Giving | University Advancement

USU Statewide / USU Extension

Name E-mail Position
Sarah Pullman Business Manager | Business Services (USU Eastern)
Tim Keady Assistant Professor | Extension Cache County
Ashley Yaugher Assistant Professor, Program Coordinator | Extension Carbon/Emery Counties
Latrisha Fall Administrative Assistant | Uintah Basin-Vernal
Kimberly Hiatt Program Coordinator- Student Support Services
| Blanding 
Vanessa Liesik Program Coordinator III | Uintah Basin- Roosevelt & Vernal
Heather Lyman Academic Advisor- Student Support Services
| Blanding 
Rebecca Berrett Completion Coordinator & Integrated Studies Advisor | Statewide Campuses
Bailey Horton Program Coordinator | 4-H & Youth (Extension)
Jacob Van den Akker Director of Statewide Advising | Statewide Campuses
Jessica Prettyman Staff Assistant | USU Eastern
Jess Crank Program Coordinator | Upward Bound (USU Eastern)